"Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. The condition affects both children and adults.
Some people with bruxism unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day, often when they feel anxious or tense. This is different from tooth grinding or clenching that occurs at night, which is called sleep bruxism. Most children who are bruxers do so at night, while adults are either daytime or nighttime bruxers."
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[YEA] 05/11/2013: Toourlady89 from Hayward, Ca: "My family has been taking Magnesium since I read from Magnesium Miracle book that most of us are magnesium deficient.. After weeks of using Chelated Mg Glycinate 400 mg, plus Magnesium Oil-- 8 Sprays to each leg at night-- my husband started sleeping better, uninterrupted. I noticed that he did not grind his teeth anymore. He also stopped snoring. I just hear a soft hiss as he sleeps. I googled Magnesium and snoring: An article by Dr. Carolyn Dean states that Mg deficiency causes SNORING and SLEEP APNEA - where Mg should be the first choice of treatment before resorting to the common treatments such as surgeries or CPAP. Her suggested dose: Magnesium Citrate powder 300mg twice a day. We used the Chelated Mg and it worked as well. We also use Magnesium Chloride spray as it works faster, per Dr Sircus "Transdermal Magnesium" book.. Hope it helps."
12/24/2012: Craig from Forest Grove, Oregon: "After years dealing with teeth grinding, clenching, TMJ, and a variety of dental night guards, I started taking magnesium suppliments and the effect was immediate. Most of the bruxism literature that I've read labels stress as its major cause. I'm sure that's true for some people, but I also knew that it didn't fully explain mine. Discovering such a simple solution to such a long term problem was an epiphany."Replies
02/11/2013: Laura from Portland, Or replies: "How much magnesium would you take for bruxism? I clentch my jaw horrible at night while sleeping and I never get a restful sleep anymore. I would love to try this."
02/12/2013: Georgia from Eastern, Sd replies: "For teeth grinding have you ever heard that it could be caused by parasites in your body? My son was doing that and we gave him supplements and garlic to get rid of the parasites and it did. It is an saying from the old days."
02/12/2013: Oldriska from Prague, Czech Republic replies: "Whether you buy magnesium liquid or tablets the package should state the recommened dosage. I'd stick to that at least as you start using it, after a few days or weeks you'll be able to tell if you need to take more for your symptoms. You'll know when you're taking too much because likely you'll get diarrhea. Good luck with your treatment."
08/30/2012: Chopsewyee from Anchorage, Alaska: "Last night was the first night that I ever 'experienced' teeth clenching (that I can remember that is). I woke up in the midle of the night and vagely remember me clenching my teeth. I went back to bed and never thought of it again until I was driving to work and rubbed my tongue on the inside top molar and noticed that I felt what I think is a crack. I quickly checked the other side but it didn't feel like that at all; felt smooth - like a tooth should be. Then I noticed some discomfort and pain radiating around the molar that is 'cracked'. Problem is, I have no dental insurance and hardly any money to get it checked out. I'm so afraid of the dentists already (had countless of bad experiences) that this situation is really putting high anxiety on me. I'm so stressed that this is happening and no way for me to fix it that I'm also afraid to now sleep due to the research I read stating stress could be a cause of this happening in the first place :( I'm not sure what to do but I wish at this point someone would just take the tooth out!! Any ideas or advice for me that someone would like to share?!"Replies
08/30/2012: Cathy from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma replies: "Hi, I feel your pain, I recently had to have a lot of dental work, as I was clenching my teeth in my sleep and had lost a crown, then fractured a tooth. I also had dental phobia, but had no choice really.. It turns out I have Sjorgren's Syndrome, and one of the symptoms is excessively dry mouth, which causes cavities, bad breath, sometimes mouth sores (haven't had those yet, thankfully). I did have dental insurance, but it doesn't cover a lot of the expense. Luckily I did find a good caring dentist, who was willing to work with me and let me pay off over time. I hope you can find someone like that, because regardless of the cause, your teeth will continue to deteriorate, if you don't get them attended to. Your mouth health is very important, so please ask around, look online, whatever you can do, to find someone who can help you. I had to have two teeth removed and a new bridge replacement, but as I said, a good dentist will want to help and will hopefully let you pay a bit at a time. Hope this helps, will keep good thoughts for you!"
[QUESTION] 05/16/2009: KT from Irvine, CA: "Hello Earth Clinic Team,
This is just a request to add TEETH GRINDING page to your website. Would love to have information on that and what different people are using to end Teeth Grinding. I have a feeling I grind my teeth and the tip of my tongue has been hurting lately, am afraid I might injure my tongue further someday if grinding is the cause. Of course I wish I could catch myself grinding at night to take control of it. If anyone has any clue how to deal with it, specially using vitamins or minerals, please write in. Thank you."
05/18/2009: Pat from San Diego, California USA replies: "What different people are using to END TEETH GRINDING...I Just Had To Add To This Subject!
This Is My First Time Here... Just Found It By Other Links... I Too Had Teeth Grinding For Years And Years... My Dentist Said My Front Teeth On The Bottom Were Worn Down So Bad Thats Why They Were Starting To Wiggle And Ready To Fall Out... I Sleep Alone So I Could Not Catch Myself Grinding Or Not But Every Morning I Had Face Pain And Headaches and Was Just Living With It And Taking Aspirins All The Time... Got So Bad That I Got On The Internet To Research And Read All About Stress TMJ Etc.... Don't Have Much $$$...fixed Income Etc... So I Went To Wal-mart To Find A Sleep Aid Device... All Too Exspensive For Me... Then The Light Bulb Went Off... Headed Over To The Sports Dept...Guy Showed Me Some Sports Mouth Pieces From My Child-hood Days... Football Mouth Guards,both Adult/Child Sizes For Just One Dollar Each.
Bought A Few To Try Out...But Also Bought _____ Mouth Piece Just Two Dollars In It's Own Case...Well,Now For This Long Story Short!...After A Week Of Trials Can Now Say The Boxer's Mouth Piece Worked So Well For Me..My Problem Is All Gone..Because The Boxer Guard Is Both Upper And Lower Protection...I Slept/Sleep Like A Baby EVERY Night
Now... Also My Teeth Don't Bother Me For The 1st Time In Years..They Tighten Back To Normal Plus I Guess I Don't Snore Any More Either There Is An Opening Between The Upper/Lower Part Of The Mouth Piece That Lets In MORE AIR To Breath.. Sleep Thru The Night Now!.. NO More Tossing And Turning All Night Wake Up Fully Rested Not Tired And Sore Mouthed!... All By The Grace-Of-God And Just TWO-BUCKS!... After A Few Nights OF Wearing It You Don't Even Know You Have It In... Look Forward To Bed Time Now ... HOPE This HELPS Someone Else Too!"
05/19/2009: G from NY, NY replies: "The first "night guard" I bought was in the dental aisle for about $18.00. Then, like you, in the sporting goods department I found mouth guards for $.98. Exactly the same but without the case. I bought the youth size. Fits well for the bottom teeth...less bulky. You don't need top and bottom. The way it works sizes these to your mouth.
My problem was not with grinding, but that my teeth seem to like to move. I used to have perfectly positioned teeth. In my old age (alost 50), my bottom teeth seem to be shifting/over-lapping and now wearing down from my top teeth hitting them.
Hope this helps."
05/30/2009: Nancy from Ladysbridge, County Cork, Ireland replies: "In reply to KT from Irvine California: Go to the TMJ Section. There is a wealth of information there. I, too just started severe teeth grinding (or if I haven't just started, I'm just noticing it at night, with constant headaches, sore facial muscles and terrrible insomnia. I noticed that it started right after my last chiropractic session. I contacted my chiropractor and he said that I possibly need an adjustment of C1 so I am returning this week and will keep you posted."
07/30/2009: Lori from Spokane, WA replies: "I have had great success with phosphatidylserine 100 mg (PS). I was introduced to this by a doctor that recommended this supplement for lowering cortisol levels (stress hormone). Not only did I feel less agitated during the day, but I also stopped clenching my teeth at night. My neck and shoulder pain caused by clenching was also gone. I take one or two capsuls a day as needed, and the great part is that it starts working in about 15 minutes. "
EC: More about this supplement here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphatidylserine
09/22/2009: Celise from Houston, Tx replies: "Are there any side effects from taking phosphatidylserine 100 mg and where can I find it? The teeth grinding has ruined my quality of sleep. I wake up exhausted and I can see that I'm chewing through my nightguard."
09/22/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa replies: "Tooth grinding/clenching can be caused by a Magnesium deficiency."
09/24/2009: Janice from Coloma, Mi replies: "I would like to know if anyone else has used Phosphatidylserine and if you had good results."
12/08/2009: Bryon from Escondido, Ca replies: "I have had bruxism for years, and use $1 mouth guards from Walmart or Kmart. I will try phosphatidyserine. Over the years it has gotten much less intense; my first several weeks did most of the damage and I didn't know what was happening.
Important note: I always rinse my mouth guard in the morning upon rising, and soak it in about 3/4 " of 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. If you don't do that you may get a persistent sore throat. Also, in the beginning I often forgot to put the guard in my mouth at night, so a trick is to place it on your pillow sometime in the afternoon or evening so that you cannot miss it at bedtime.
Best of health, all, bry"
01/13/2010: Deanna from Wyoming, Michigan replies: "teeth grinding: I have a question about the magnesium deficiency that people were talking about. What if you are allergic to magnesium?"
07/07/2010: Jasonmchicago from Chicago, Il , Usa replies: "Stress and muscle tension seem to be part of bruxism. What I've been doing lately is to take 1000mg of Chelated Magnesium (available at your health foods store) and it has really helped with relaxation and teeth grinding/clentchin. I've also started exercising again and getting relaxation massages."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 08/24/2011: Sherine from Barcelona, Spain replies: "I have been grinding my teeth since the age of 18yrs. (yes shocking! ) so I am proud to announce that I am a grinder expert!
I have tried the gum shields and yes, they definitely protect the enamel of your teeth and are a must to eat painlessly and if you want teeth later on in life! So gum shields - yes! The $5 boxer gum shield from the sports store or the $300 personalised one from the dentist will do too.
However, these are means of protection, not prevention. There are still the associated headaches and potential jaw-lining problems to watch out for. Also, sticking in a gum-shield every night and taking it out in the morning with spitty hands and washing it is not the sexiest thing to do when you have a partner in bed with you! I realised that I did not want to keep using the gum shields forever and wait for a miracle to happen to stop me from grinding! So I looked into changing the causes rather than the symptoms of Bruxism. So here are my recommendations:
You can try herbal remedies to relax the mind and muscles before sleeping. Valeriana is very good for this (in capsules). Chamomile tea can help some. Also I would recommend some homeopathy - such as Belladona (but best ask a Homeopath). Also try some Bach Remedies - those are great and easy to use/find in a pharmacy.
Overall, I think there is no miracle cure for bruxism as it is related to inner-tension and stress (therefore personal), so perhaps something needs to change in the lifestyle, and introducing activities that just rid you of the tension. For instance Yoga or Tai Chi, or any sport or passion you may have. Acupuncture has also been successful in treating bruxism.
Other practices such as breathing exercises, a bit of stretching or even a foot rub before sleeping can work wonders! I'd also recommend burning some Lavender essential oil in the bedroom before sleeping.
Lastly, a healthy diet means a happier body and mind! Again... Lifestyle. :)
Oh and last note: please beware that you don't grind in the day as well!
Hope this helps!"
08/24/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Sherine, teeth grinding may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Try rubbing some magnesium oil on your body or swim in the sea (best source of magnesium) and see if you stop grinding your teeth. Research magnesium deficiency teeth grinding."
10/12/2011: Teri In T Town from Tacoma, Wa, Usa replies: "I spent a horrific amount of money on a custom mouthpiece at my dentist office. It didn't stop me from grinding but did stop the damage. Then I lost it. I really wanted to simply stop grinding so that I didn't wake up with a sore jaw. Cured in 3 weeks!!
Here is what I did. Before I went to bed, I taped a piece of medical grade tape over my nostrils, but poked tiny holes in it. So now I am a mouth breather. You wake with a really dry mouth, and a really wet nose, and it may interfere with your sleep a little. I took some melatonin to help knock me out while I did it. The first 10 days or so you wake with a little muscle fatigue in the jaw but not the soreness from grinding.
I also listened to a relaxation CD before bed called Insight by the Immrama Institute. You can download it for a small sum, and they are very enjoyable. Voyage (first track of Insight) makes you sleepy and relaxed.
This seems to work by retraining your jaw muscles to hold your mouth open, and releases the tension. When I stopped wearing the tape, I didn't sleep with my mouth open, but with my teeth slightly apart... And no sore jaw in the morning. Yipee!"
01/02/2012: Megamom from Buffalo, Ny replies: "Dear Teri in T Town, your cure sounds like a great idea. I plan on trying the medical grade tape over my nostrils tonight. Can't wait to see if it helps! The idea of waking well rested without an aching jaw and teeth is worth the bother of trying to get used to sleeping with my nostrils blocked."
06/27/2012: Martie from Tampa, Fl replies: "Recently, l went to the dentist and picked up a magazine to read. In it was a lengthy article by a dentist that stated breathing through your mouth when you sleep is a fast way to gum disease because it dries your gums out so bacteria grow very fast. It also stated that commercial toothpastes have glycerin in it, which causes foodstuff to stick to your teeth and harden fast. There is some research indicating bruxism is caused by a mineral deficiency, worth checking out."
Supplements, Mouth Piece
10/02/2009: William from Raton, New Mexico: "bruxism / tooth grinding: Vitamin C in teaspoon quantity twice a day and I took a super 10 antioxidant once a day. I also had a mouth piece made to fit over the teeth at night by a dentist who charged me $800."Replies
10/03/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa replies: "Tooth grinding is symptomatic of a Magnesium Deficiency. Try a Magnesium Citrate drink before bed."
Violet Ray Machine
[YEA] 12/18/2010: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa: "I had no idea that this would cure my teeth grinding, however, I haven't grind-ed my teeth since! I now have a "violet ray" machine and I have been using it on my scalp for about 6 or 7 months now to cure some hair problems that I use to have. It has caused a great side effect though! A WARNING though if you decide to get the "violet ray" - DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL on the day that you use it!! And please search the internet for all other warnings about it. I only use it for about 1 -10 minutes at a time. It has relaxed me tremendously; so much that I only use it once a week instead of 5 days a week! However, it has CURED me of grinding my teeth at night, which I did for about 13 years. I use to wake up with a sore jaw, and my teeth have been a little disfigured from it. It has also helped with some blood pressure issues that I have had, which is also a wonderful side effect!"Replies
04/18/2011: Sean from Sydney, Nsw, Australia replies: "What side effect did the violet ray machine cause you exactly?"