Consequences of Bruxism and its Causes

· September 24, 2014
Bruxism consists of biting or involuntarily grinding your teeth, which can happen to anyone. Learn about the consequences of bruxism here.

Bruxism consists of biting your teeth or involuntarily grinding them.  This can happen to people while they are sleeping, as well as while they are awake. Although the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, stress and anxiety play and important role in the consequences of bruxism.

Consuming certain medications, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, among others, could contribute to suffering the consequences of bruxism.

What are some consequences of bruxism?

Over time, this condition of “biting or grinding” your teeth could cause:

1. Problems with the temporomandibular joint.

2. The muscles in the area become inflamed.

3. Premature tooth erosion.

4. Dental fractures.

5. Headaches and earaches.

6. Sleep disorders.

7. Loss of tooth enamel.

8. Excessive tooth sensitivity.

9. Hypertrophy in the chewing muscles (masseters)

Are there treatments for the consequences of bruxism? 

Mouth guards help protect the teeth from the pressure exerted by biting or grinding them.  Additionally, try relaxing massages for the face muscles, especially in the areas of the mandible, neck, and shoulders.

Mouth guard - consequences of bruxism

 

But of course, as a matter of prevention, we need to avoid the trigger factors; in this case, anxiety and stress.

Natural remedies to prevent the consequences of bruxism

Use herbs that possess relaxing and calming properties in order to eliminate tension and nervousness.

Boldo

Make an infusion with 2.5 grams of dried boldo leaves in 100 ml of water, before going to bed.  Consequently, avoid interaction with any other medications.  Do not consume continuously for longer than 4 weeks.

Chamomile

Drink an infusion with one tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers.  Drink one cup before going to bed. Avoid use during pregnancy.

Valerian

Make an infusion with 15 grams of this plant’s root.  Let set over night.  Avoid consumption during pregnancy, breast feeding, and for small children.

Marjoram

Make an infusion with one pinch of dried leaves in a glass of water for half an hour.  Drink three times a day.

Lemon balm

Make an infusion with a pinch of dried leaves in one glass of water for a quarter hour.  Drink three glasses a day.

Relaxing baths

Relaxing bath

 

Thyme

Take a relaxing bath by adding a good amount of a thyme flower infusion to your bath water.

Sage

Make an infusion with three tablespoons of this dried plant, and one liter of water.  After that, add to bath water.  These relaxing baths can be taken for 15 to 20 minutes.

Applying heat

Moisten a towel with warm water.  Make sure that the temperature is pleasant.  Remove the excess water and place over both sides of the face.  This will help to relax tense muscles.

Music therapy

Next, music therapy classes prove very beneficial in helping to awaken the mind and alleviate tension from daily activities.

Diet

Finally, a diet rich in calcium helps protect teeth from wear and tear which are among the consequences of bruxism.

Which foods are rich in calcium?

  • Vegetables like spinach, onion, watercress, thistle, Swiss chard, and broccoli.
  • Legumes: white beans, garbanzos, soy, lentils.
  • Milk and its byproducts, eggs.
  • Fish, seafood, and crustaceans.

Avoid eating dry fruit as they are usually quite hard. These could worsen mandible pain.

More advice

  • Drink a glass of warm milk before going to bed.
  • Learn to take things more calmly and with a positive attitude.
  • Perform relaxing exercises with smooth and deep breathing before going to bed, and in any situation that causes stress or anxiety.

“If you ever wake up with mandible pain for no apparent reason, you should suspect that you are suffering from bruxism”.

Lavigne, G. J., Khoury, S., Abe, S., Yamaguchi, T., & Raphael, K. (2008). Bruxism physiology and pathology: An overview for clinicians. In Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2842.2008.01881.x

Lobbezoo, F., Ahlberg, J., Glaros, A. G., Kato, T., Koyano, K., Lavigne, G. J., … Winocur, E. (2013). Bruxism defined and graded: An international consensus. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12011

Lobbezoo, F., Van Der Zaag, J., Van Selms, M. K. A., Hamburger, H. L., & Naeije, M. (2008). Principles for the management of bruxism. In Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2842.2008.01853.x