Anyone can suffer from Bruxism or teeth grinding, however children are more likely to get affected from it. Bruxism usually happens while sleeping or during stress. In children teeth grinding generally goes away as they grow up and teeth erupt completely. If there is mild bruxism, no medical attention or treatment is required but if this becomes severe resulting in jaw pain or disorders, headaches or damage to teeth, you need to get it treated. However there are certain very efficient and time proven remedies which help in getting rid of bruxism naturally. In this article we have discussed certain amazing and effective home remedies for teeth grinding or bruxism.
When your child is asleep usually there are sounds of easy breathing or occasional sigh but if you notice some harsh sounds of grinding or gnashing teeth, this condition is known as bruxism. Teeth grinding or bruxism is common in children and some adults also suffer from it. However most of the children get fine with time and this condition goes away on its own but if it doesn’t go, you need to be concerned about it. Grinding of teeth usually happens when the child or a person is sleeping (deep sleep) or during some stressful condition.
The exact cause behind bruxism is not known. However some of the factors which are considered to be responsible for it are crooked or misaligned teeth, due to pain in ear or during teeth. Other causes can be stressful conditions or when one is angry. Bruxism is commonly seen in hyperactive children. Certain medical conditions and medications can also cause teeth grinding.
Usually bruxism does not cause any problem but if it happens a lot then can result in jaw problems or pain, wearing down of teeth chip or enamel, or severe facial pain. If the complaints are not serious and simple like pain in jaw than there are certain home remedies which can help in reducing or eliminating bruxism.
Let’s learn about them.
1. Splint therapy
It is considered to be the first line of defense against bruxism. Splint therapy includes wearing a specific occlusal splint, dental night guard or bite guard which acts as a physical barrier and protects teeth and tongue from any type of damage during teeth grinding. It also helps in alleviating the symptoms of pain in jaw or teeth. It is best to get this guard customized as they are made using the exact impression of your teeth and fits easily.
2. Warm compress
Warm or hot towel compress helps in alleviating the pain and relaxing the muscles. In case you are unconsciously or instinctively clenching the teeth, these warm compresses relax the muscles of the area, relieving tension and pain and also improve the blood circulation of the area.
Diet is vital in any case and bruxism or teeth grinding is not an exception. Including magnesium in your diet can help relieve the stressful teeth grinding. Magnesium relaxes the muscles and blood vessels which eventually help in reducing the tension over the area and prevent clenching or grinding of teeth while asleep.
4. Muscle Stretching Exercise
Practicing some of the muscle stretching exercises can help in preventing the bruxism as well as relieves the pain and stiffness due to it. You can do or make your child do the jaw exercise in which one opens the mouth wide as much as possible comfortably and then try to touch the tongue to the front teeth. Or you can also try maintaining a gap between upper and lower jaw. These both exercises help in relaxing the muscles as well prevent its occurrence
5. Management of Stress
Stress and anger are also one of the causes of bruxism or teeth grinding. So it is necessary to manage or relieve stress through various measures. Stress causes your muscles to tighten up and your sleep can be restless resulting in teeth grinding. You can try to manage the stress through yoga or meditation. Even if it is the child who is suffering you can make them try simple yoga or meditation techniques. Meditation and yoga not only relieves stress but also keeps anxiety and depression at bay.
6. Turmeric milk
Turmeric is very well known for its numerous health benefits and anti inflammatory is one of them. It helps in relieving inflammation which eventually leads to alleviating the pain in jaw and head. Also the acid tryptophan present in turmeric acts to relax the nervous system giving you or the child restful and relaxed sleep. Give the child a glass full of milk mixed with turmeric before bedtime. If the taste troubles the child, you can add a teaspoon of honey in it.
7. Jaw massage
The muscles of the jaw, i.e. temporalis, masseter, lateral pterygoid and medial pterygoid muscles work synergistically to open and close the jaw. Tightening of these muscles due to any reason can result in triggering bruxism or teeth grinding. So massage them daily in order to provide relaxation to them and prevent teeth grinding.
8. Herbal Tea
Consuming caffeinated drinks or alcohol results in altering the sleep cycle and eventually may lead to teeth grinding. Instead of these beverages opt for herbal tea which not only relieves stress but also prevents bruxism by relaxing the nervous system. You can take green tea or chamomile tea before bedtime.
9. Psychological Support
In conditions of stress what your child first needs might be your support. Children are usually very sensitive and susceptible to stress over small issues like going camping alone for the first time on a school trip, changing schools or cities or fighting with some friends in class. You should give some time to them and try to counsel them and bring out the reason for stress and solve it. Don’t forget stress is one of the big reasons for bruxism.
Some teeth grinding or bruxism is the part of development of children and hence cannot be prevented. However if it is causing serious issues like headache, pain in jaw, or teeth problems, you must need to do something. These home remedies will help in most of the cases and reduce the frequency of bruxism or might even clear it completely. However if bruxism persists for a long time and results in more severe issues, do consult a doctor and get it treated timely.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.