Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ATI Wisdom Booklet 5: Medical - Teeth and Bruxism

In this post, ATI gives a crash overview of anger causes people to grind their teeth and the horrific side-effects that can ensue.  Of course, the anger-teeth grinding angle is overplayed while the effects are a mix of real and made-up consequences.

Let's start with the overview:
  • I'm already confused after less than one sentence.  I don't understand why people have to yield personal rights in the first place.  Rights are generally used to describe basic human needs that all people should have access to.  It makes no sense that giving up basic human needs would make someone less angry instead of infuriated.
  • Chronic anger is bad for people and health so I agree with the author on that factoid.  Reputable medical sites like Mayo Clinic do list emotional and personality causes of bruxism, so that portion is not entirely made up.
  • I'm curious what "expensive treatments" the booklet is referring to.  Most people who have stress-related bruxism either use a mouthguard at night or seek short-term therapy for stress relief.  While therapy and mouthguards can require an outlay of cash, the benefits can continue for years - and neither are painful.

Pretest!
1) Got me.  Meek people may be more likely to grind their teeth if they are repressing a lot of anger....
2) Incisor, cuspids, bicuspids and molars
3) Jesus Christ.  Neck pain, sore jaw, broken teeth, TMJ pain....um.....hot and cold sensitivity....um...I'm out of  real ideas so....fear of frogs, death and uncontrolled hiccuping.
4) Does the army want meek soldiers?  Seriously?

  • A person who doesn't expect much of other people will never be disappointed, angry, frustrated or bitter?  I think a better solution would be to expect reasonable behavior from most people and deal with the negative emotions that come up when others behave badly.  
  • What does mercy have to do with this?  Mercy requires the other person to admit they did wrong, but the affected person described here is running around with a chip on their shoulder (according to ATI) and no one who actually wronged them.
  • This brings up a warning sign I've never articulated before.  Be very cautious of groups who cannot see internal contradictions like the writing mass of contradictions that appear in the average ATI booklet.


  • God, that first paragraph is a mess.  A function is the job of a part of the body.  The job of teeth is not to have a nice smile or to support the lips.  Those are consequences of having intact teeth, but not the main function.  Also, there are a few other portions of the face that are quite important to how the lower half of the face looks including the cheekbones, the jaw, and the lips.
  • I could be wrong, but of that list of 4 sounds, I make the "l" sound by placing my tongue at the roof of my mouth and "p" by forcing air across my lips.  I do need my front teeth to pronounce a "th" and a "f" sound and developed one heck of a lisp when I was missing my front teeth as a seven-year-old.
  • Where did CP/QF people learn that you should place the most important reason last in informational topics?!?  The function of teeth is the mechanical processing of food and occasionally for defense or mating purposes.  Full stop.



  • I do have to give the author some kudos here.  First, the author managed to describe the four types of teeth correctly and succinctly.  Secondly, the diagram of the teeth is clear, elegant and informative.

  • Not a huge thing, but "condyle" is a term that describes a rounded area of a bone generally at a joint.  The condyle that is being discussed in this section is the mandibular condyle.  
  • Likewise, a person can laugh and swallow with their jaw held shut.


  • I'm wondering if ATI somehow conned a dentist into writing this section because the anatomy section is unusually good.
    • The only tricks I would add is having the students palpate the temporalis and masseter on themselves.  To feel the temporalis, place your fingers on your temples gently.  Clench your jaw and release a few times.  The movement you feel in the temple is due to the temporalis muscle. To feel the masseter, place your fingers on the jaw about an inch below the ears and slightly forward.  Clench and release the jaw to feel the masseter.


  • One concept that I worked diligently on when teaching high school was training students to be able to use common sense when looking at numbers.   Let's assume for a minute that 175 pounds per square inch is right.  
    • Does it seem logical that a person who is stressed could double (2x) the amount of force they apply to their teeth when stressed?  IMHO, that seems reasonable for a maximum force on teeth although it may do damage over time.
    • Does it seem logical that the force of a person who is stressed could increase by over five hundred times (500x)?  No, that sounds insane.
  • Based on a desultory search of internet resources, I've found a maximum bite force of ~260  pounds per tooth in humans.  The estimated bite force of a T. rex is 12,800 pounds per square inch.  That means the top range of the human bite force listed by ATI is over seven times (7x) stronger than a T. rex which is completely implausible.


  • Good news!  Science has rejected the link between malocclusion and bruxism.  Lots of people have malocclusions.  Some people have bruxism.  But malocclusions do not cause bruxism or vice versa.




  • This ATI booklet is the only place I can find that proffers the "people grind their teeth into pieces to reduce the pain of grinding their teeth into pieces argument."  Bruxism can damage teeth  but that's not the same as a cycle of grinding due to damage.
  • Man, I was about to give the booklet kudos for a decent list of symptoms until I hit the statement that bruxism can prevent people from opening their mouth.  Bruxism can reduce the amount a person can comfortably open their mouth, but it doesn't cause lockjaw.

  • Again, the link between bruxism and TMJ isn't very strong.  Some people with bruxism will have TMJ, but most people with TMJ don't have bruxism and most people with bruxism don't have TMJ.  
  • TMJ is pretty easily treated.  Many people, myself included, recover pretty quickly with OTC NSAIDS and rest.  If that doesn't work, there are lots of options like physical therapy or biofeedback that work.  If you've done a ton of damage, surgery is a n option.


  • That's not caused by bruxism.  It's usually a random occurrence with an unknown cause.  



  • I can't find anything about tooth strangulation.  The closes thing I found is when the root is reabsorbed after a traumatic injury.  
    • My husband had that happen to one of his teeth after surgery to remove his extra teeth.  (He had a partial third set that developed above his adult teeth.)  


  • Yes, bruxism is often related to stress, tension or anxiety - but not always.  Likewise, most people have times of stress, tension and anxiety in life, but only a small percentage have bruxism severe enough to require treatment.
    • No one besides the author of this booklet links bruxism to bitterness, unforgiveness, temporal values(?), immorality and/or unyielded rights.  That's just silly.



  • WTF?  
    • Basic training includes dental work.  A frequent side effect of dental work is sore jaws and teeth.  
    •  At the exact same time, basic training effectively trains soldiers to follow the orders of their drill sergeant.
    • Because of this, dental pain and the number of people following orders does roughly line-up but it's correlation not causation.   
  • Want to have some fun?  Send a message to all of your family and friends in the Armed Services with a copy of the section above. They will enjoy it. :-P


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  • The last paragraph has to win some awards for overwrought writing.  Untreated bruxism is not going to ruin your life nearly as quickly as following Gothard's teachings.

    Remember, just say no to Wisdom Booklets!  Your sanity will thank you.


3 comments:

  1. NO ONE should have to give up "personal rights". And yes, ATI, if you're denying people basic rights, they WILL feel anger.

    As someone who grinds their teeth during sleep, the solution to bruxism is to wear a mouth guard at night, not to relinquish rights or stop feeling emotions. It sounds like ATI is blaming tooth-grinders for a condition that is beyond their control.

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