Though there is a range of medical treatments available for bruxism and teeth grinding, from Botox to mouth guards to sleep apnea masks, you may prefer to keep things natural and only use products from nature or make changes to your lifestyle habits to help relieve the symptoms. Here, we’ll consider several different options for treating the signs and symptoms of bruxism and teeth grinding – the natural way!
Vitamins and Minerals
One potential cause of bruxism is a mineral deficiency, particularly one in calcium. Adding calcium, and the complementary mineral magnesium, to your diet can build bone strength and even prevent teeth grinding episodes. In this way, even if you still have the odd teeth grinding episode, at least your teeth will be stronger and able to withstand some of the damage! You can take a calcium and magnesium supplement in order to get your daily recommended amount of these minerals, or you can eat foods such as green leafy vegetables and nuts (magnesium) and dairy products such as milk and yoghurt (calcium). Be sure to also add some vitamin D to your diet in order to promote the proper absorption of these minerals by eating fish or getting outside for healthy sunlight exposure.
In many cases of bruxism, nutritional deficiency is considered to be the root cause. Therefore, it’s important to stock up on some other important vitamins and such as vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B-5. A multivitamin will contain all of these important minerals, or you can eat citrus fruits (vitamin C), bananas (potassium), and lentils, avocado, and kale (vitamin B-5). Of these, vitamin B-5 is perhaps the most important as it can also help reduce stress and hyperactivity, other potential causes of bruxism.
Lower Your Stress Level
One of the most common causes of bruxism and teeth grinding, whether during the day or night, is stress. Following from that, one way to reduce or even stop your teeth grinding altogether is to eliminate stress! But that is easier said than done. It’s not always possible to simply step away from one’s responsibilities and obligations, but there are ways that one can manage their stress and go to sleep a bit more relaxed than when they woke up.
One great way to manage stress is to take a bit of time for one’s self and get a massage. Whether it’s a ten minute chair massage or a 90 minute deep tissue massage, spending some time removing the tension from your body is a great way to de-stress and gain some much needed relaxation. Another way to reduce stress and thereby prevent teeth grinding is to practice yoga on a regular basis. Even doing a few simple poses in the morning or before going to sleep will help your mind decompress and stretch out your body in a relaxing motion.
Exercises for Bruxism
Along with taking certain vitamins and minerals and doing your best to eliminate stress fro your life, you can also do a few exercises to help reduce your bruxism and diminish the amount you grind your teeth. One useful exercise is more of an awareness exercise than strength training: when faced with a trigger, place your tongue against the back of your top teeth. This makes it impossible for you to grind your teeth, and the more you practice this exercise the more natural and habitual it will become.
One of the most common (and painful) symptoms of bruxism is a sore jaw – but there are steps you can take and an exercise you can do to prevent this! Anytime you feel your jaw tensing up and your teeth about the start grinding, relax your jaw muscles. If you’re unsure of what your jaw muscles feel like when they’re tensed, practice clenching and unclenching your jaw to better understand the sensation. That way, when you feel your jaw muscles tensing, you’ll know how to relieve them!
Develop a New Nighttime Ritual
Often, teeth grinding occurs at night, leaving one with a sore jaw and a throbbing headache in the morning. In order to prevent grinding your teeth in your sleep, consider adjusting some of your nighttime rituals. For instance, just before bedtime, have a crunchy snack of an apple or carrot to give the jaw a bit of exercise. This will actually calm the jaw, and having a relaxed jaw will reduce the likelihood of nighttime teeth grinding.
Another trick is to wrap a warm washcloth around the jaw area to help relax the muscles and prevent your bruxism from flaring up while you sleep. This trick also helps to relieve headaches and jaw clenching during the day, so consider using this tip around the clock!
Above all, watch what you drink in the evening. Try to void alcohol at all costs before bedtime, as it interferes with your sleep and can even worsen sleep apnea and teeth grinding. Instead, relax before bed with a cup of warm milk or tea. These soothing, warm beverages will actually improve quality of one’s sleep by promoting deep sleep, relaxing the facial muscles, and even preventing teeth clenching and grinding.
Natural remedies for bruxism and teeth grinding are a great way to treat your symptoms homeopathically or as a supplement to any medical treatments you may be using. You’ll also feel better in both mind and body after practicing some of these treatments – so what are you waiting for? Try a natural treatment for bruxism today!