Causes and Consequences of Bruxism

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 this problem.

It could also be possible that consuming certain medications, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, among others, could contribute to suffering from bruxism.

What are the consequences?

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?  What are they?

You could turn to using mouth guards that protect the teeth from the pressure exerted by biting or grinding them.  You could also try relaxing massages for the face muscles, especially in the areas of the mandible, neck, and shoulders.

Mouth guard

 

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 bruxism

Let’s 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.  Avoid interaction with any other medications.  Do not consume 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 consuming 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.  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

This is a fairly beneficial course to help awaken the mind and alleviate tensions from daily activities.

Diet

A diet rich in calcium helps protect the teeth from wear and tear, caused by bruxism.

Which foods are rich in calcium?

  • Vegetables like spinach, onions, 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 since they are hard, they 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 mindset.
  • 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”.