Reviewed and updated for accuracy on 06/11/23
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can be a troublesome habit that not only affects your dental health but also disrupts your sleep and causes discomfort. While there are various approaches to addressing this issue, many individuals seek natural remedies to alleviate teeth grinding.
Fortunately, there are several techniques and lifestyle adjustments that can help you tackle this problem without relying on medications or invasive treatments.
In this article, we will explore a range of natural ways to stop teeth grinding, allowing you to regain control over your oral health and enjoy a more peaceful night’s sleep.
How do I stop grinding my teeth in my sleep naturally?
Here are a few tips that may help:
- Manage stress: Stress and anxiety are often associated with teeth grinding. Practicing stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in relaxing activities before bed may help minimize teeth grinding.
- Establish a bedtime routine: Creating a calming routine before bed can signal your body to relax. Avoid stimulating activities such as watching TV or using electronic devices close to bedtime. Instead, consider activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to soothing music.
- Avoid stimulating substances: Reduce or eliminate the consumption of stimulating substances, especially close to bedtime. These include caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks), alcohol, and tobacco.
- Jaw and facial relaxation exercises: Gentle jaw and facial exercises can help relax the muscles involved in teeth grinding. For example, you can try applying a warm washcloth to your jaw area for a few minutes before bed or gently massaging the jaw muscles with your fingers.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: Establishing a regular sleep routine can help regulate your body’s internal clock, promoting better sleep quality. Aim for consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, even on weekends.
- Improve sleep environment: Create a sleep-friendly environment that is dark, quiet, and comfortable. Consider using earplugs, eye masks, or white noise machines to block out disruptive sounds.
- Protect your teeth: Using a mouthguard or splint recommended by your dentist can help protect your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding. These devices create a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, reducing the impact of grinding.
Remember, these natural remedies may provide some relief, but they might not eliminate the underlying causes of teeth grinding. If you’re experiencing severe bruxism or if these self-help measures don’t alleviate the issue, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and further guidance.
What vitamins stop teeth grinding?
While there isn’t a specific vitamin that is known to directly stop teeth grinding (bruxism), certain nutrients are important for overall oral health and muscle function. Magnesium, in particular, is often associated with muscle relaxation and may play a role in reducing bruxism symptoms. It is believed that a magnesium deficiency could potentially contribute to teeth grinding.
Therefore, maintaining adequate levels of magnesium through diet or supplements might be beneficial. However, it’s important to note that the underlying causes of teeth grinding can vary, and a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional is recommended to determine the best course of action. They can provide personalized advice on nutrition, supplementation, and other potential treatments.
How can I relax my jaw while sleeping?
Relaxing the jaw while sleeping can help alleviate teeth grinding and associated discomfort. Here are some strategies that may help:
- Mindful jaw relaxation: Before going to sleep, take a few moments to consciously relax your jaw muscles. Gently release any tension in your jaw by opening your mouth slightly and allowing your teeth to separate naturally. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can also promote overall relaxation, including the jaw area.
- Warm compress: Applying a warm compress or moist heat to your jaw before bed can help relax the muscles. Use a warm washcloth or a heating pad set to a low temperature. Be cautious with the heat level to avoid burns.
- Avoid stimulating activities: Engaging in stimulating activities before bed, such as chewing gum or eating hard foods, can activate the jaw muscles and potentially worsen teeth grinding. Avoid these activities in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- Optimal sleep position: Sleeping on your back with a supportive pillow can help keep your jaw relaxed and reduce the likelihood of clenching or grinding during sleep. Side or stomach sleeping positions may put more pressure on the jaw, so try to shift to sleeping on your back if possible.
- Dental devices: Using a dental night guard can provide a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing excessive grinding and clenching. These devices can help relax the jaw muscles and protect your teeth.
- Stress reduction: Stress and anxiety can contribute to teeth grinding. Prioritize stress management techniques, such as engaging in relaxation exercises, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and seeking professional help if needed.
Remember, these strategies may help relax the jaw, but they may not address the underlying causes of teeth grinding. If you continue to experience significant jaw tension or if teeth grinding persists, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and further guidance.
How can I lower stress in the body?
Lowering stress in the body is a common goal for many individuals seeking a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Since teeth grinding has been linked to stress as a major cause, lowering stress can reduce or eliminate nightly teeth grinding and clenching. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies that can help alleviate stress naturally.
Engaging in regular physical exercise, such as walking, jogging, or yoga, can promote the release of endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones that help reduce stress levels. Incorporating relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness practices into your daily routine can also have a profound impact on stress reduction.
Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and finding time for enjoyable activities and hobbies can all contribute to lowering stress levels. Exploring techniques that work best for you and creating a self-care routine tailored to your needs will help create a more peaceful and balanced state of being.
A note on breath work:
Take a deep breath and exhale. Actually do that 6 times. Six deep breaths is the minimum number to take in order to feel the effects of stress relief via breathing.
This is a natural cure for grinding teeth
When we can decrease our stress levels, amazing things start to happen for us. Inflammation, gut issues, headaches, mood, chest pain, jaw pain and much more can be relieved through learning to keep ourselves in a state of calm.
More drugs is not the solution to curing bruxism.
There is no quick fix medication to solve this problem. You can certainly take an Ibuprofen for some relief if you’re feeling the effects of teeth grinding the next morning. But this only provides temporary relief. Taking drugs to make yourself sleep more deeply will not cure bruxism. The bruxing action will occur regardless of whether you took sleep aids or not.
Wear a custom night guard during sleep to protect your teeth
Every day, thousands of dentists regularly encounter patients with headaches, orofacial pain and signs of teeth wear.
A custom night guard is the best immediate protection for preventing further wear and relieving pain symptoms. This mouth guard for sleeping (also known as a dental night guard) is made from a mold of your teeth – unsurprisingly the fit is much better and more comfortable than a generic nightguard from the supermarket. Additionally, it lasts much longer.
Additional relaxation techniques
Meditation and other relaxation techniques can help us retrain the muscles in this area.
There are a number of techniques to use before bed to reduce the chances of tooth grinding.
A simple body scan lets us travel the length of the body, paying attention to tension in key areas. Those that are new to the approach will benefit from guided practice. You will note that many of these sessions do focus on the jaw. Guided sessions are available in many free apps, so cost isn’t an issue here.
We hold stress and tension in our jaw and teeth. When irritated, masseter muscle knots can cause a plethora of issues. You can self massage your jaw to achieve a conscious relaxation.
The idea of exercise for relaxation can seem counterproductive to some newcomers. Yet, a nightly session of yoga can free up the mind and help channel energy in the right direction.
This exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous. You are not there to work up a sweat. Practitioners can feel rejuvenated and more at peace after just 20 minutes of gentle stretches and poses.
This helps relax the muscles, including areas of tension in the face.
A gentle, warming heat around the jaw is a great way to relax muscles and lower the risk of grinding teeth.
Simply soak a wash cloth in hot water, wring it out and apply it to the jaw for while. Some find that it also helps to do this during the day to help maintain a relaxed state.
A bath before bed. This is something that comes up time and time again in guides to natural remedies and relaxation – and for good reasons!
A warm bath before bed is the perfect way to bring two of the points above together. The warm water helps relax muscles, including those around the jaw as well.
Sink back in the water and inhale the scents from luxuries toiletries or those essential oils. You could even stretch out your muscles in the water with a little hydrotherapy exercise.
Natural ingredients, like those found in essential oils, are a great choice for those that want a simple, drug-free approach to combating teeth grinding.
What are you drinking before bed?
Any drink with caffeine or other stimulants is a bad idea before bed.
Ideally, you want a soothing, calming drink that will help you relax and maybe even contribute to your oral health.
Hot milk is something that many people swear by for a better nights’ sleep. A nice warm mug, with a little added turmeric, could help to relax the jaw and add some extra calcium for dental health. Those that are put off by the idea of yellow milk may prefer the simple alternative of herbal teas, like green or chamomile. A little honey can sweeten the taste too.
Prepare chamomile tea by boiling 2 tsp. of chamomile flower powder in water. Filter it and keep aside for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp. of lemon juice and another of honey. Mix well. Drink 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Let’s take a look at the masticatory anatomy to understand what is being affected.
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. TMD can happen as a result of inflammation of the joint, deterioration, muscle or nerve injury, or jaw misalignment.
When you open your mouth wide, the joint that allows that action to happen is called the temporomandibular joint. On average, it opens and closes as much as 10,000 times a day!
Masticatory Muscles: 4 Muscles of Mastication
Masseter – The masseter muscle is powerful. Shaped in a quadrangular fashion, it is split into two parts; deep and superficial.
Temporalis (Temporal Muscle) – Want more power? The master muscle is not as powerful as the temporal muscle; a broad, fan shaped muscle on each side of the head.
Medial Pterygoid – Can be called a “wing” muscle. This muscle forms a sling around the mandible. It serves the movement of the Temperomandibular Joint. The contraction of the medial pterygoid elevates the mandible, causing jaw closure & jaw protrusion.
Lateral Pterygoid – a.k.a. the other “wing” muscle. It has a superior head which is tiny and located at the top of the muscle. What’s unique about this muscle? It is the only one of the 4 muscles that can open the jaw. Bilateral activation causes protrusion. Unilateral contraction causes laterotrusion.
In conclusion, teeth grinding can be a troublesome issue, but there are numerous natural ways to address it and find relief. By incorporating the seven strategies outlined in this article, you can take proactive steps to reduce teeth grinding and promote better oral health.
From stress reduction techniques and jaw relaxation exercises to maintaining a consistent sleep routine and using protective dental devices, these natural approaches can make a significant difference. Remember, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized advice.
By embracing these natural methods, you can regain control over teeth grinding and enjoy a more peaceful and comfortable sleep, leading to improved overall well-being.
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