How to Treat Bruxism (14 Steps)

How to Treat Bruxism

Bruxism is excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It is an oral parafunctional activity; i.e., it is unrelated to normal function such as eating or talking.

Bruxism Treatment Part 1: Correcting the habit

1. Apply a hot compress.


Dip a wash cloth in hot water, wring out the excess and then hold a wet towel over tense or painful area of the jaw for 10 minutes.Perform the procedure as soon as you notice tension or pain. One can also use a hot compress just prior  to known times of stress to help avoid the voltage before it happens.The heat will relax the jaw muscles and help release them. When it is with the jaw relaxed, the occurrence of bruxism is less likely to occour .

2. Massage the jaw.


With your fingers, gently massage the affected muscles by applying light but firm pressure, to areas in tension. Then work around the jaw and mouth with small, circular motions.It is best to massage before the occurrence of bruxism, but you can also apply it as soon as you notice tension or pain.

Massaging the affected area will relieve the tension of the jaw muscles. Once they are relaxed and loose, you will feel naturally less inclined to grind your teeth.

3. Practice the proper position of the jaw.

If bruxism has become a chronic problem, it is likely that constantly and unconsciously, you have kept the jaw in an improper position. Practice proper jaw position every few hours can reprogram the brain and muscles.When closing the lips, there must be a small gap between the upper teeth and lower.

Place the tip of the tongue between the front teeth, keeping it in position for at least five minutes. During this period, the jaw muscles will relax and return to a more natural position.

If this simple fix is uncomfortable or useless, you may need to ask the dentist to show the best position to be adopted. Memorize how you feel and take pictures of their appearance when the jaw is in the correct position. Later, you can check the pictures to practice the position in front of the mirror.


4. Take the right nutritional supplements.

In particular, increase the intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Eating adequate amounts of these nutrients can help regulate muscle activity, including the activity of the jaw muscles.You can increase the intake of these nutrients through food intake or daily nutritional supplements.

If you choose to take supplements, you should consume a magnesium part for every two parts calcium. For example, 600 mg of calcium and 300 mg magnesium. The vitamin C in take is independent and the suitable daily dose is 90 mg.Keep the daily nutritional ritual for at least two months before determining whether it has been helpful or not.

Bruxism Treatment Part 2: Dealing with stress

5. Identify the causes of stress.

Stress can cause bruxism in daytime or night time.When stress is unavoidable, it is important to find ways to treat the causes as they are identified.Keep a journal to help you identify the causes of stress. Take note of any incident that causes anxiety, even if  it looks mild , and pay particular attention to the causes of stress that occur immediately before or during daytime incidents of bruxism.

Avoid any stress can be eliminated. For causes that can be eliminated, balance them with behaviors that help to relax the mind. For example, listen to soft music, enjoy a bubble bath, meditate or calm the mind with aromatherapy.

6. Set the sleep cycle.


Follow a regular sleep pattern improves their quality, which can reduce the gnashing of teeth at night. Have eight hours of quality sleep can also reduce the overall stress, and facilitate the elimination of habit even during the day.Go to bed and wake up always at the same time every day, regardless of their agenda. Try to establish a full eight hours of sleep between their activities.

In addition to increasing the hours of sleep, try to improve their quality. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which can alter the sleep cycle of the organism.Try to completely relax the body and mind before going to bed and sleep, which is in a slightly cool and comfortable temperature. Do not forget to delete all lights and turn off all irregular sources of noise.

7. Work out.


Regular exercise relieves stress and regulate mood and the immune system. As a result, causing tension of bruxism decreases and the jaw muscles become stronger and more elastic.It is not necessary to engage in strenuous exercise to get these benefits. Try walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, three to five times a week. Make it a regular part of your routine for at least two months, if not permanently.

Bruxism Treatment Part 3: Looking for professional medical help

8. Mark appointments with the dentist and the doctor.

Often, bruxism is a multifaceted problem that involves physical and mental factors. A qualified dentist will be able to treat the oral components of the problem, but you must talk to the doctor for it to determine a treatment plan for any other factors.

9. Invest in bite plates.

Both the mouthguard as dental for bruxism (also known as bite plate) keep the teeth apart and protected against damage caused by gnashing of teeth. Even though more expensive, bite plates are better than mouthguards, which are available without prescription . Mouthguards are usually made of hard plastic. You still feel pain caused by bruxism, which can worsen the underlying tension in the jaw.

Bite plates are made of moldable acrylic and adapted to the size of the mouth of the patient. They will not prevent bruxism, but reduce the pain associated with the condition and prevent mandibular voltage increases.

Nozzle protectors and bite plates are usually reserved for nighttime treatment, but in extreme cases, when the gnashing of teeth during the day is a problem, can be used in daytime.

Massage Inside Mouth for Bruxism

10. Correct misaligned teeth.

Damaged or misaligned teeth can contribute to bruxism. See the dentist for it to determine the best way to take care of the problem.Orthodontic appliances help to correct misaligned teeth too. However, in some cases, the dentist may recommend strategic placement of crowns to settle the matter.If there is a damaged tooth, its restoration can help restore proper alignment of the teeth.

11. Look for professional therapy.

There are different types of therapy that can help correct bruxism, but the most common are bio feedback and cognitive behavioral therapy.Biofeedback is a type of physical therapy. During the activity, the doctor examines how the patient maintains and controls the jaw through stateful specialized equipment. The doctor can use the same equipment to help train and regulate muscle activity of the patient’s jaw.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the psychological component behind bruxism .Through conversations with the counselor or psychologist, the patient can change the way to address the stress and react to it, which can decrease anxiety.

12. Try acupuncture.


Talk to a professional acupuncturist on regular treatments that can reduce pain and tension in the jaw. Even if there is little scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of acupuncture, it is an old popular form of alternative medicine.Learn about professional acupressure treatments. Acupuncture uses needles strategically placed to control pain, but acupressure uses firm pressure applied to specific points.

13. Learn about muscle relaxants.

Muscle relaxants relax the jaw muscles, which helps prevent bruxism. Talk to your doctor about relaxing administered orally and intravenously.Muscle relaxants oral should be prescribed by a doctor, and should be taken for short periods to avoid dependency and relax the body’s immune response.They can cause drowsiness, so it should be taken before bedtime.

Treatment with botulinum toxin (Botox) is injected directly into the affected area, just relaxing areas around the jaw muscles. These treatments last for prolonged periods and are usually prescribed as a last resort.

14. Examine your medications.

If you are taking any medication for some time and there was no bruxism before you start treatment, ask your doctor if the gnashing of teeth habit can not be a side effect of medication.If the drug is the cause of bruxism, the doctor may prescribe another medication to help eliminate it.

There are different types of medication that can cause bruxism, and some of the culprits are antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, including selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs can also cause bruxism and should be eliminated.

[ MORE ABOUT : Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching ]

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