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    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

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Poll: Do you have bruxism? A hypothesis on how bruxism may cause ME/CFS

Do you have bruxism?

  • Yes, at least one family member with bruxism

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • Yes, no family member with bruxism

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • No bruxism

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • Don’t know

    Votes: 1 8.3%

  • Total voters


Senior Member
Bruxism is the involuntary clenching and grinding of teeth at night. The only way to know whether you have bruxism is for someone else who is sleeping with you to notice the noise, and possibly wake up themselves due to the noise of grinding. It is impossible for you to notice yourself since you are asleep at the time.

Bruxism is often genetic and can exist since childhood.

How can bruxism cause ME/CFS? Kjetil Larsen has written about long term clenching of muscle causing the weakening of muscles over time.


When you hear about people developing health problems in adulthood due to high stress (whether positive or negative), it is conceivable that long term clenching of the whole body muscles causes various dysfunctions. According to Kjetil, it is the key link that links psychological stress to chronic disorders.

But if you have genetic bruxism, then you are clenching your muscles long term at nighttime even in the absence of psychological stress, potentially since childhood.

What are the consequences of continually clenching and grinding your jaw for one-third of your entire life? Potentially significant. Severe weakness of the neck muscles may result, causing disorders such as CCI and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome due to severe weakness of the scalene muscles in the neck.

Do you have bruxism? It might explain the cause of your ME/CFS, and I think it certainly explains mine. I am diagnosed with TOS and intracranial hypertension, and still have unresolved genetic bruxism. I plan to go to the dentist soon so I can stop grinding my teeth.

perchance dreamer

Senior Member
I recently learned from my dentist that having a small airway can contribute to bruxism. She said it can make you grind your teeth in a subconscious effort to open the airway.

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
I'm having big issues with my jaw

I don' t think I"m grinding my teeth.

All the swelling is an issue for me, mouth tongue pulp the teeth are rooted in...I Notice constant issues with my teeth are out of alignment from this swelling and its straining my jaw muscles and then inflammatory issues make it all much worse.

Jaw ache is really lousy feeling...