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Grinding your teeth at night can cause a number of problems, such as seriously wearing down your teeth, loosening the teeth, gum reduction, jaw joint problems, and may be a cause of headaches during the day. You may not realize you are grinding your teeth unless somebody sleeping with you notices it. Otherwise you may notice symptoms to alert you to the problem, such as headaches, aching jaw muscles, loose teeth or gum problems.
Studies have shown that one of the causes is a deficiency in pantothenic acid (one of the B-vitamins) and calcium. Pantothenic acid, an anti-stress vitamin, reduces the production of certain hormones from the adrenal glands. A lack of pantothenic acid is a factor in the control of motor activity; bruxism is a sign that motor activity is not under control. A calcium deficiency causes muscle cramps or involuntary movement of muscles in the mouth resulting in grinding of the teeth. Chew a few calcium or bone meal tablets before bedtime. This remedy seems to reduce contractions of the jaw muscles. Another idea is to crush the tablets and combine them with wheat germ oil and mix with food or drink to make it palatable.
A magnesium deficiency may be another cause. A deficiency can cause spasming, and seems to affect people at night. Leg cramps and teeth grinding are just two ways a magnesium deficiency manifests itself at night. See our remedy below.
Another possible cause of bruxism is parasites. Pinworms, a common parasite, can cause teeth grinding. A large percentage of the population has some form of parasitic infestation, so have a stool analysis test to determine if you have parasites. Then try an herbal parasite cleanse, not a drug remedy.
Some people who have bruxism are internalizing their anger. There are many ways to deal with anger, but it is not the scope of this section. However, meditation, tai chi, and exercise are a few methods to try. Anything that will help you relax will be beneficial. A method called Emotional Freedom Technique may be helpful in dealing with stress and anger.
To eliminate your tooth grinding problem here are several suggestions: try taking a warm bath before bedtime; drink less alcohol. Your dentist will be able to assess the extent of tooth damage caused by this problem. The dentist may recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard (expensive) to be worn while you sleep or you may purchase one from a sporting goods store. If the problem persists, consider cognitive-behavorial therapy.
Take supplements or foods rich in pantothenic acid and calcium to help relieve your tooth grinding problem.
Calcium Take calcium before going to bed. This will help relax your muscles.
Lavender Mix 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil in a teaspoon of almond or olive oil and massage in onto your jaw and neck close to the jaw. Also, drink some lavender tea regularly.
Magnesium Take 4-500 mg of magnesium before going to bed. This, too, will help relax your muscles and will prevent leg cramps, too.
Pantothenic acid is found in multivitamins, and should be taken daily.
Valerian Mix 3-4 drops of valerian essential oil in a teaspoon of almond or olive oil and massage in onto your jaw and neck close to the jaw. Also, drink some valerian tea regularly.