Do you find yourself involuntarily clenching your teeth? Perhaps you wake up most mornings with a headache due to gnashing your teeth as you sleep.
If so, you’re not alone; roughly 50% of the adult North American population has reported some degree of bruxism, according to a report published in Science Direct. Bruxism treatment and diagnosis are best left to a health professional. However, can this condition be treated naturally?
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the constant, uncontrollable gnashing and grinding of your teeth. This typically occurs during sleep (sleep bruxism), though it can also happen during waking hours (awake bruxism). If left untreated, bruxism can lead to health conditions, such as:
- Teeth enamel damage
- Increased teeth and gum sensitivity
- Jaw soreness
- Tight facial muscles
The causes of bruxism are still not fully understood, though researchers attribute the condition to a combination of factors, such as genetics, anxiety, and physical and psychological stress.
Read Also: Botox for Bruxism: What You Need to Know
Natural Remedies for Bruxism
There are some at-home remedies that you can try out. These forms of bruxism treatment may yield relief in various degrees depending on the severity of your condition.
Wear a Mouth Guard
You can purchase a rubber mouth guard designed specifically for preventing teeth grinding during sleep. This won’t stop your body from involuntarily gnashing your teeth. However, the mouth guard provides a barrier between the upper and lower molars that offsets damage to your teeth.
Bruxism is at least partially attributed to stress. It’s during times of heightened anxiety that people may unknowingly grind their teeth as a response. This behavior may carry over to bedtime if the stressful issue isn’t resolved. Whether it be through meditation, exercise, or other activities, try to reduce stress however you can. Allocating more time for yourself to partake in a hobby is also a good way to offset stress.
Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C may enhance your adrenal glands’ response to stress. More vitamin C may help you deal with stressful situations, thereby making you less prone to bruxism. One German study showed that subjects who were supplemented with 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily had less levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Consume More Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral linked to various enzymatic reactions, including nerve impulses. Studies have also linked magnesium deficiency to higher stress levels. Low magnesium levels have also been correlated with anxiety, restlessness, and sleeplessness, all of which can be contributors to teeth grinding. If you elect to consume magnesium in supplement form, aim for magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate, which have higher bioavailability.
Gently massage the muscles in your face, neck, and shoulders. Apply gentle but firm pressure to the muscles and massage in a circular motion. This relieves tension in the masticatory and adjacent muscles. An occasional full-body massage from a professional masseuse may also be helpful. Stress is stored in the body, and releasing that stress reduces the involuntary reflexes associated with bruxism.
When to Seek Treatment for Bruxism
The above methods may work wonders, or not work at all. In any case, if the issue persists, the next stage of bruxism treatment should be to consult with a doctor. A medical professional may be able to effectively treat the underlying cause, rather than just treat the surface-level symptoms. In most instances, home remedies provide temporary relief, or they merely address the symptoms without treating the root of the problem.
Do you have a persisting case of bruxism? It may be time to seek assistance at Maestri Dental. Bruxism treatment in Lafayette, LA, is one of our mainstay services, and we treat patients with recurring awake and sleep bruxism. Set up an appointment today and take the first active step to wellness.