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A woman wincing due to her toothache at night

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Bruxism: How to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally?

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Approximately 8% of adults and 14% of children are believed to grind their teeth while they are sleeping. Teeth grinding is a common medical condition that unfortunately is not looked at as something to be “cured”, simply “helped”.

Polysleep understands the pain and frustration that can come with grinding teeth, which is why we have put together a list of how to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally.

A young woman profil with gaze to the right grinding her teeth due to bruxism

What is bruxism?

You may wonder, “what are grinding teeth called?”. Bruxism, commonly referred to as teeth grinding, is a condition in which one grinds or clenches their teeth, whether they are aware of what they are doing or not.

Awake bruxism is when a person grinds their teeth while they are awake while asleep bruxism is grinding teeth in sleep.

Causes of bruxism

Teeth grinding can be caused by several different things including stress and anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, depression, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Teeth grinding symptoms

Bruxism comes with a wide variety of symptoms including:

  • Painful and/or sensitivity to the teeth
  • Loose, chipped, or cracked teeth
  • Pain in the face or jaw
  • Worn down tooth enamel
  • Fatigue
  • A flattened biting surface
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty opening or closing your jaw fully
  • Sleep disorders
  • Malfunctioning or damaged crowns and fillings
Woman lying in bed and wincing her jaw due to bruxism

How to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally?

At Polysleep, we know that grinding your teeth in your sleep can leave you waking up in extreme pain and left with a sore jaw for hours - but are there any natural remedies that can provide relief?

Continue reading for our top tips to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep naturally.

To lessen the amount of discomfort you are feeling it is important to be mindful of your teeth placement by keeping a small space between your upper and lower teeth to avoid grinding.

Another commonly practiced exercise is to open your mouth as wide as possible while maintaining comfort then attempting to touch your tongue to your front teeth. This exercise is designed to relax your jaw muscles and reduce the amount of tension built up.

A hot towel, heating pad, or heat compress can help to increase blood flow to the area the heat is applied to. To relax the muscles in your jaw, lay down with your face on a hot towel, compress, or heating pad for no more than 15 minutes, flip over and do the same on the other side.

Practicing yoga or meditation is a great natural stress-reducing remedy. By reducing the amount of overall stress on your body, you can relax your mind and body.

Vitamins can be added to your diet via supplements or through specific foods. By adding certain vitamins into your daily diet you can enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

  • Magnesium: incorporating this mineral into your daily routine can promote overall relaxation and help to regulate your mood. It can be found naturally in certain foods such as boiled spinach, avocado, dry roasted almonds, black-eyed peas, bananas, pumpkin seeds, fish, yogurt, flaxseed, and dark chocolate.
  • Vitamin B: You can add vitamin B into your diet by consuming more potatoes, cabbage, vegetables, fish, chicken, liver, seafood, and of course through a vitamin supplement.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C can be attained through a supplement or certain fruits and vegetables such as citruses, peppers, guava, papaya, broccoli, and strawberries.
  • Turmeric milk helps to relax the nervous system, aids in a better quality of sleep, and has anti-inflammatory properties that help with jaw pain relief.
  • Herbal teas help to minimize stress, relax the mind and body, and help you to stay calm. The less stress on your body means there is less tension.

A bite guard, also known as a mouth guard or night guard, helps to minimize the extent of teeth grinding at night by creating a barrier between the top and bottom teeth. A mouthguard can be purchased at most drug stores or dental practices can make one custom fit just for you.

People experience sleep bruxism for several reasons including a mattress or pillow leaving them uncomfortable. The Polysleep mattress and Polysleep pillow are designed to provide ultimate comfort and proper body alignment to help you sleep better each night. They are also designed to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, which is a common cause of bruxism.

Close-up of a woman putting her mouthguard being effective against teeth grinding

A mouth guard for grinding teeth: is it working?

A mouthguard is an occlusal splint designed to help achieve a better night’s sleep for those struggling with bruxism. This device is designed to create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to stop you from grinding them together at night.

A custom-made mouthguard can be more effective for those suffering from chronic sleep bruxism. These pieces protect your teeth from damage and reduce the amount of strain and tension on your jaw leaving you feeling less pain.

A custom mouthguard is often more expensive than one that can be bought over-the-counter but is a better option for most. These pieces can be made in a variety of thicknesses and are designed to fit the specific shape of your mouth versus the “one size fits all” OTC option.

If you have been using an OTC night guard and are still experiencing jaw pain each morning, it may be time to consider having a custom-made mouthguard by a dentist.

Bruxism: FAQ?

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is often a sign of stress and anxiety. While not everyone who experiences teeth grinding displays symptoms, those with severe bruxism find themselves suffering from extreme headaches, jaw pain, and tooth damage.

The severity of teeth grinding differs from person to person, however, if left untreated this condition can lead to severe tooth decay or damage, severe jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint disorders.

Bruxism often is accompanied by popping, crunching, or squeaky sounds as well as scraping or chewing sounds.

Teeth grinding is not good for your teeth, however, many people report feeling good when they are grinding their teeth. Bruxism may be used as a coping mechanism or simply might be a bad habit during deep concentration. Many people experience awake bruxism as a result of anxiety, stress, or anger, and clenching their teeth together helps to reduce the amount of tension.

A massage therapist performing an exercise to relax the muscles of his patient's jaw

It is important to consult with a dental professional if you experience jaw pain or tooth damage as a result of severe bruxism.

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