Teeth-grinding, technically termed “bruxism,” can lead to a wide range of effects, from headaches to misalignment of teeth. It is usually related to stress or can be a side effect of certain medications. Your dentist can confirm whether or not you grind your teeth, whether in your sleep or throughout the day as a response to certain stressors.
Preventing Teeth Grinding
Because it can lead to extreme pain and some uncomfortable problems with your jaw, it is extremely important to find a way to stop the teeth-grinding. Below are some of the most effective remedies to help you quit grinding your teeth.
Because valerian helps to relax the whole body and mind and induces sleep, it is an effective remedy to prevent teeth grinding. You can opt for a glass of valerian tea before bed or simply mix in a few drops of valerian essential oil with a carrier oil (like olive oil) and massage it onto your jaw area.
2. Turmeric Milk
Milk contains tryptophan which induces sleep and allows you to avoid lying restless in bed, stressing about your day. Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation and pain. Heat up a cup of milk and mix in one teaspoon of turmeric powder; make sure it is well blended. You can add in a little bit of honey to sweeten the milk. Drink this mixture while it is still warm about half an hour before bedtime.
3. Warm Compress
This is effective in relaxing and soothing the muscles of the jaw and will help prevent grinding and clenching. Simply soak a washcloth in hot water and ring out, then hold the compress to the jaw (make sure you check the temperature before holding it to your skin). Do this two times per day, including right before bed.
Lavender is very popular for use in helping to relax the mind and body. Incorporate 3-4 drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of olive oil and massage this mixture onto the jaw and neck area before bed.
Massage will help to not only relax the muscles related to the jaw, but also reduce stress and induce relaxation throughout the body. This in turn will help reduce the urge to grind your teeth or clench your jaw. While a full-body massage on a regular basis is optimal, a more realistic option for most people is to massage your head and jaw every night before going to sleep.
6. Herbal Tea
Because teeth grinding is so closely related to stress, herbal tea is an excellent and effective remedy to combat teeth grinding. Green tea, chamomile, and peppermint all have soothing and relaxing properties and will help to reduce stress. Try replacing your daily cup of coffee with a glass of herbal tea and enjoy a cup right after dinner as well to help you sleep through the night without grinding your teeth.
Even dentists agree that regular exercise can help prevent teeth grinding. Regular exercise reduces stress throughout the body and improves our body’s ability to deal with stress. Even something as simple as walking a few times a week can help dramatically.
Improving your intake of vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium can also help relax the jaw muscles and prevent grinding and clenching. Incorporate a deep-breathing or other relaxing routine into your bedtime ritual to reduce stress and keep bruxism at bay. It is important to get this condition under control to reduce further damage to your teeth or jaw, and to prevent pain and discomfort throughout the day.