Remedies for Bruxism: Understanding and Treating Teeth Grinding


Remedies for Bruxism Understanding and Treating Teeth Grinding


Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, affects a significant portion of the population. It is a condition where individuals unconsciously grind or clench their teeth, often during sleep. The causes of bruxism remain largely unknown, but it can lead to various complications such as tooth wear, jaw pain, headaches, and the need for a night guard. In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of bruxism, its potential causes, and two natural remedies that can help alleviate its symptoms.

Understanding Bruxism

Bruxism is characterized by rhythmic masticatory muscle activity, which refers to the involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth during sleep. This phenomenon occurs in the transition phase between different sleep cycles, particularly in the more superficial levels of sleep. Interestingly, despite the vigorous teeth grinding, individuals do not wake up due to the brain's arousal during this phase of sleep.

The autonomic nervous system plays a role in bruxism, as there is an activation of this system just before the grinding occurs. This activation affects the heart, leading to an increase in pulse rate. Additionally, the jaw muscles experience an increase in tone, which is directly related to grinding. The dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system controlling the muscular system appears to be a significant factor in the development of bruxism.

Potential Causes of Bruxism

While the exact causes of bruxism remain uncertain, several factors have been associated with an increased risk of developing the condition. Research suggests that smokers have a higher risk of bruxism, with double the likelihood compared to non-smokers. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption and the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also increase the risk of bruxism. SSRIs are medications commonly prescribed for anxiety and depression, and they manipulate serotonin levels in the brain.

The involvement of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in the autonomic nervous system further supports their connection to bruxism. Serotonin, in particular, plays a role in sleep regulation, and deficiencies in this neurotransmitter may contribute to the development of bruxism. Studies have found that individuals with a genetic variation in the HTR 2A gene, which is responsible for serotonin receptors, have an increased susceptibility to bruxism.

The Role of Snips in Bruxism

Understanding single nucleotide polymorphisms (Snips) is crucial in comprehending the genetic factors associated with bruxism. Snips are tiny changes in the sequence of genes that can affect bodily functions. In the context of bruxism, a variation in the HTR 2A gene's sequence can significantly increase the risk of teeth grinding during sleep. This gene is responsible for serotonin receptors, and its altered function can lead to serotonin deficiency.

It is important to note that genetic predisposition alone does not determine the occurrence of bruxism. Other factors, such as diet, environment, and stress levels, can influence the expression of these genetic variations. By addressing these factors and ensuring a healthy lifestyle, individuals with genetic predispositions can mitigate the risk of developing bruxism.

Natural Remedies for Bruxism

Thankfully, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism and reduce the frequency of teeth grinding. Two key nutrients have shown promising results in managing bruxism: thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamin D3.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Thiamine is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in the production of serotonin and dopamine. Deficiencies in thiamine can lead to imbalances in these neurotransmitters, potentially exacerbating bruxism symptoms. Individuals who consume excessive alcohol, smoke heavily, or consume high amounts of caffeine are at a higher risk of thiamine deficiency.

To address this deficiency, incorporating thiamine-rich foods into the diet is recommended. Nutritional yeast is an excellent natural source of thiamine, and it can be easily incorporated into various dishes. It is advisable to choose unfortified nutritional yeast to avoid synthetic additives. Alternatively, natural B1 supplements can be considered under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a vital nutrient known for its role in bone health and immune function. However, recent research has also highlighted its impact on mood regulation and neurotransmitter activity. Vitamin D3 acts as a potent modulator for dopamine and serotonin levels, making it an essential nutrient for individuals with bruxism.

Ensuring adequate sun exposure and incorporating vitamin D3-rich foods into the diet are effective ways to maintain optimal levels. Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products are excellent sources of vitamin D3. In cases where dietary intake is insufficient, vitamin D3 supplements can be considered with appropriate medical advice.


Bruxism can significantly impact an individual's quality of life, leading to tooth wear, jaw pain, and other discomforts. While the exact causes of bruxism are not fully understood, addressing potential factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and genetic variations can help mitigate the risk. Incorporating natural remedies like thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamin D3 into one's lifestyle can aid in the management of bruxism symptoms by promoting the balance of neurotransmitters involved in sleep and stress regulation. However, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and treatment options.

Remember, a holistic approach to health, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and good sleep hygiene, can contribute to overall well-being and potentially reduce the occurrence of bruxism.

Note: The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you suspect you have bruxism or any other health condition, please consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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