Bruxism is a condition in which an individual grinds or clenches the teeth. Bruxism occurs unconsciously during the day and/or at night while sleeping. Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder and those who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleep breathing disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other imbalances. Due to bruxism occurring unconsciously, individuals are usually unaware of the presence of a habit until complications develop. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of bruxism early to help mitigate structural damage to the teeth, gums, jaw, facial muscles and to ensure there is no underlying airway compromise.
Common signs/symptoms of bruxism:
– Increased stress and anxiety
– Flattened, fractured, chipped or loose teeth
– Worn tooth enamel exposing deeper layers of the tooth
– Increased tooth sensitivity
– Tired or tight jaw, neck, shoulder muscles
– Ear pain
– Headache originating in the temples
– Callus or damage to the inside of the cheek
– Indentations on your tongue
– Bony outgrowths in the upper and lower jaws as well as the roof of the mouth (exostosis)
– Gum recession
– Poor sleep quality
Dr. Kaur and Dr. Petersen understand that every patient is an individual and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Dr. Kaur and Dr. Petersen strive to find the source of what is contributing to your habit of bruxism and to educate you on ALL of your treatment options. At times, this may include the recommendation for an occlusal splint (night guard) or even a referral to an ENT and/or Sleep Specialist.
Some suggestions for natural solutions which may help to relieve the symptoms related to bruxism:
the manipulative treatment of misalignments in the skeletal, connective tissue, muscles, and nervous system.
in some individuals, bruxism can be a structural issue caused by the bones in the skull shifting. A Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) through gentle manipulation may be able to reduce or eliminate the stress which triggers bruxism.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
this gentle, noninvasive form of bodywork addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and the treatment may release compression which alleviates stress, pain, and the stimulus for bruxism.
a neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles. Myofunctional therapy includes facial/tongue exercises, behavior modification techniques and myofunctional appliances to promote proper tongue position, improved breathing, chewing, and swallowing and a reduction or elimination of bruxism.
bruxism can be associated with mineral deficiency. The most common deficiencies related to bruxism include calcium, zinc and magnesium. Natural sources of these minerals can be found in Himalayan and Celtic sea salt, bone broth, and high quality mineral supplements.
stress and anxiety are key triggers for bruxism. Essential oils can help calm the nervous system, reducing stress, anxiety and bruxism. Valerian, chamomile and lavender oils may be helpful.
homeopathic remedies like Schuessler’s Cell Salts, Calc Phos, Calc Fluor and Mag Phos are potentiated solutions derived from natural substances which may help to alleviate imbalances which can contribute to bruxism.
Yoga and Meditation
reduces stress and imbalance which may contribute to a reduction in the body’s unconscious bruxism habit and relief from pain and tension.
the rubbing and kneading of the physical body during massage assists in the reduction of stress, pain and tension associated with bruxism.