Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is not something to be ignored. The possible results of bruxism can be quite serious, such as causing problems with the temporomandibular joint, wearing down your teeth, and causing headaches and other types of pain. One of the negative effects of teeth grinding is that your body doesn’t get the needed amount of restful sleep; and lack of sleep can lead to other serious health issues. Fortunately, there are home remedies available for bruxism.
Bruxism Risk Factors
People with Down Syndrome tend to have a habit of teeth grinding. Anyone with stress, anger, and frustration is also subject to develop the habit of teeth clenching. Bruxism is common among young children, but they typically grow out of it by the time they reach adolescence. The possibility of teeth clenching is increased by stimulants such as caffeinated beverages, alcohol, illegal drugs, and smoking tobacco.
Not sure whether you have bruxism? The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- Clenching or grinding your teeth loudly enough that you disturb others at night
- Chipped, worn down, flattened, or fractured teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chronic facial pain
- Frequent severe headaches
- Tightness or pain in your jaw muscles
- Damage on the inside of your cheeks caused by chewing
You should visit your doctor or dentist if teeth grinding has caused:
- Your teeth to be sensitive, worn, or damaged
- Pain in your ear, jaw, or face
- Others to complain about grinding noises you make in bed when you’re sleeping
Your doctor or dentist can provide you with remedies such as custom splints, which work far better than over-the-counter night guards. In the meantime, the following are some suggestions for how to treat teeth grinding with home remedies.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
The beauty of doing research and gaining an education on home remedies for teeth grinding and other health issues is that you can find new ways to live a naturally healthy lifestyle. Many times, home remedies can be an excellent substitute for taking various kinds of prescription drugs. Simple relaxation techniques and changes in behavior, such as avoiding stimulants, can provide needed relief.
To ease the effects of teeth grinding, make it a habit to chew on crunchy fruits and vegetables before you go to bed at night. When you chew these types of food, you give your mouth and gums good exercise. The exercise provides a calming effect on your mouth. A relaxed mouth helps to reduce the amount of teeth clenching which occurs during the night.
Place a washcloth that’s soaked in lukewarm water around your face, as another way to relax your jaw muscles. Cover your jaw all the way across the face at the jawline. This simple treatment can prevent your teeth from clenching. Some have found that this practice, performed nightly, is all that’s needed to prevent teeth grinding.
Warm Massage and Bath
Another home treatment for bruxism doubles as a way to enjoy pampering yourself. Since teeth grinding is typically caused by the stresses of life and feelings of anger and frustration, relieving tension in the body can provide relief. Before going to bed, enjoy a warm, leisurely bath. Light a few scented candles and dim the lights, to promote luxurious relaxation. Follow the bath with a great massage, and you’re likely to enjoy a very restful night of sleep with minimal teeth grinding.
Get in the Right Sleep Position
To reduce teeth grinding, the best position to sleep in is on your back. Research has shown that when people are sleeping on their stomach or sides, teeth grinding occurs more frequently.
A Soothing Drink Before Bedtime
Avoid drinking alcohol at night because it interferes with sleep and can make teeth grinding worse. Instead, drink something that will enhance sleep. Drinking warm milk before bedtime is a proven approach to going to sleep faster and sleeping more soundly. A cup of hot herbal tea can also help you sleep better and reduce teeth clenching.
Another effective home remedy for teeth grinding is to take calcium and magnesium supplements. Research shows that adding these two minerals to your daily diet effectively reduces teeth clenching during the night.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Another way to ease muscle tension is with deep breathing exercises. Anything you can do to get your body completely relaxed before you go to sleep will help with your effort to stop teeth grinding. Begin a nightly routine of simply breathing deeply for a few minutes before you lay down to go to sleep. If one of these home remedies don’t work, try another; one of them is sure to help you reduce teeth grinding and its harmful effects.