BRUXISM (GRINDING TEETH)
Nearly 1 in 3 people (including children) suffer from teeth grinding, causing severe tooth damage, jaw disorders and headaches.
While teeth grinding can happen during the day, the majority of people do it at night. Daytime teeth grinding often occurs as a result of stress, anxiety, or just a bad habit.
Sleep bruxism, is believed to be a sleep-related movement issue often accompanied by sleep apnoea and snoring.
– Fractured or flat teeth
– Teeth sensitive to hot, cold and sweets
– Pain in the jaw
– A headache located in the temples
In children, research has linked asthma, upper airway infections, and anxiety disorders with teeth grinding. In one study, majority of the children with bruxism also had respiratory problems. (>)
Researchers have also found a relationship between anxiety and bruxism, indicating that anxiety can cause teeth grinding and gnashing. (>)
There is also evidence that suggests some children may begin grinding their teeth as a natural response to pain (earache, etc.).
Children with competitive or hyperactive personality may be more prone to developing bruxism.
In adults, the causes of teeth grinding may associated with one or more of the following underlying medical conditions or prescription medication side effects:
- Sleep apnoea
- Anxiety disorder
- Unresolved anger or frustration
- Unmanaged stress
- Huntington’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth
- Certain psychiatric medications and antidepressants
The most common conventional treatment is a mouth guard, specially designed to keep teeth separated to prevent further damage.
If the problem is caused by improper alignment of the teeth, correcting the alignment is required.
PRESCRIPTION MUSCLE RELAXANTS AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS
When the cause is due to stress, depression or anxiety, muscle relaxants are often prescribed. While they may be helpful, at the same time they cause side effects.
The combination of the following is usually very beneficial and sometimes effective:
Good Magnesium 200mg twice daily, Ashwagandha (standardised) 2-3 times daily, Good Multivitamin (with high strength B vitamins), Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Tulsi (Holy Basil), 5-HTP Tryptophan (to increase serotonin), Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 (5-10,000 IU daily), Vitamin B12 (1000mcg after breakfast in the form of sublingual methylcobalamin), Zinc, Potassium (Brewers yeast).
A couple of the common signs of a magnesium deficiency include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, restlessness and hyperactivity. Adults can take 400 milligrams of high-quality magnesium supplement before bed to improve the quality of sleep. For children, follow the RDAs provided by the National Institute of Health for best results. (>)
In addition to supplementation, including foods naturally rich with magnesium, such as spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, kefir or yogurt, almonds, black beans, avocado, figs, and bananas, may help you stop grinding your teeth.
Like vitamin C and magnesium, the role of the B vitamins in our overall health and wellness is well-documented. Having a deficiency in any one of the B vitamins may cause psychological stress, depression and even panic attacks.
Vitamin B5 may be especially useful when you are trying to overcome bruxism.
As a complement to stress management techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy, boosting your intake of vitamin C can be beneficial when learning how to stop grinding your teeth. Vitamin C is used by our adrenal glands, affecting our response to stress. It is also essential in the making of dopamine, which helps to regulate moods.
Used for generations as a natural sedative and anti-anxiety treatment, valerian root has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, with no reported side effects. (>) A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that 800 milligrams of valerian over an eight-week period improved the symptoms of restless legs syndrome and improved the overall quality of life. Since bruxism is classified as a sleep-related movement disorder, like restless legs syndrome, trying valerian root is warranted. (>)
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.