Back to blog
rest better
If you're a night-time teeth-grinder, you're not alone. As this is a common complaint, we decided to round up some of the best ways to stop grinding your teeth while you sleep naturally. Read on to discover more.
how to *stop grinding your teeth* in your sleep naturally

Teeth grinding (aka bruxism) is fairly common and affects many people. In fact, many of us are prone to grinding our teeth unconsciously during sleep.  

The knock on effects manifest in a variety of ways. From tooth damage and jaw pain, to headaches, disrupted sleep, and beyond, regular teeth grinding while sleeping has the potential to negatively impact our day to day lives!  

But fear not. There are several natural ways in which you could effectively reduce or eliminate teeth grinding in your sleep. Scroll on to discover the solutions we stumbled across while exploring this common complaint. 

understanding what causes bruxism 

But before we take a look at some of the suggested solutions, understanding the possible causes of teeth grinding in sleep is a must. Here are some of the main reasons you might be grinding yours on a nightly basis: 

  • Stress: Emotional stress or feelings of anxiety can trigger teeth grinding (1). 
  • Sleep disorders: Many sleep disorders – including conditions like sleep apnea - can increase the likelihood of bruxism (2). 
  • Misaligned teeth: Having poorly aligned teeth (malocclusion) can lead to grinding them in your sleep (3). 
  • Stimulants: Caffeine, alcohol, and smoking can all exacerbate bruxism (4). 

 

natural ways to stop grinding your teeth 

Now that we know what can trigger adults and children to grind their teeth in their sleep, it’s time to explore some of the natural solutions available. Read on to discover some potential resolutions to this frustrating complaint: 

1. manage stress and anxiety

Given that stress and anxiety can further fuel teeth grinding, managing them could help reduce bruxism generally. Here are some of the best ways to help manage the stress and anxiety we feel in our daily lives: 

 

  • Mindfulness and meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be extremely helpful while trying to reduce stress and anxiety. Don’t believe us? Just read our blog post that’s dedicated to the topic. Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can all be very effective at reducing our stress levels which should lead to reduced episodes of teeth grinding. 
  • Regular exercise: Ahhh – the magic of exercise is a gift that just keeps on giving. But, physical activity has been proven to be a great way to reduce stress (5). Experts recommend aiming to be active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week to experience the benefits (6). 
  • Therapy: When all else fails, seek professional help. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can also help you to manage your stress and anxiety levels much more effectively (7). 

2. improve your sleep hygiene

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, sleep hygiene is at the centre of everything. Learn more about sleep hygiene – and what to work into you night-time and morning routines – right here. But if you’re in a hurry, here’s a summary of the key factors involved:  

  • Establish a routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on weekends. Having a consistent sleep schedule will help to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm. 
  • Create a relaxing bedtime regime: Before bed should be a time that’s dedicated to winding down. So, try to engage in relaxing, screen-free activities before bed. Things like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music are all great examples. 
  • Optimise your sleep environment: The optimal bedroom setting is cool, dark, comfortable, and quiet. So be sure to invest in a comfortable mattress and some supportive pillows (we can help there!). 

3. adjust your diet

If your consumption of stimulants is the most-likely cause of the teeth grinding scenario, making some simple adjustments to your diet could help. Here are the top suggestions to try: 

  • Limit stimulants: Reducing your intake of those key stimulants, – i.e. caffeine, nicotine and alcohol - especially in the hours leading up to bedtime has the potential to stop you grinding your teeth in your sleep. 
  • It’s great to hydrate: Dehydration is another factor that can contribute to teeth grinding. So, be sure to drink plenty of water during the day. 

4. jaw exercises and massages

Another effective way to reduce the likelihood of another nightly tooth grinding session is to regularly exercise and/or massage your jaw. Read on for more info: 

  • Jaw relaxation exercises: Really simple exercises such, as opening your mouth as wide as you can and closing it really slowly, can help relax the muscles and reduce grinding.  
  • Massage your jaw: Massaging your jaw muscles can also help to relax the muscles and lessen the chance of your grinding those gnashers while you’re sleeping. 
  • Warm compresses: You could even turn to applying a warm compress to your jaw before bed. Doing so can help relax the jaw muscles, reducing tension (8). 

5. herbal remedies

Grinding your teeth together on a regular basis? Herbal remedies may be handier than you think. Here are some of your favourites: 

  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile is well-known for its calming effects. And as such, drinking chamomile tea before diving under the duvet could effectively help you to relax and reduce bruxism. 
  • Lavender essential oil: Using lavender oil – be it in a diffuser or by applying it directly to your skin* - can help to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. 

*When applying lavender essential oil direct to your skin, you’ll need to ensure it’s properly diluted with a carrier oil to avoid subsequent symptoms such as skin irritation (9) 

6. correcting dental problems

If you’ve tried all of the above and have had no success in stopping grinding your teeth at night, it’s time to consult your dentist. If your teeth grinding is a result of misaligned teeth, your dentist may suggest corrective procedures. Alternatively, they could give you a custom-fitted mouthguard to wear at night. 

7. biofeedback therapy

Biofeedback devices can be effective at helping you be more aware of your teeth grinding habits. They help monitor muscle activity and so can be used train you to reduce teeth grinding through improved awareness (10).  

8. aromatherapy

Last on the list of potential natural ways to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep is through the use of essential oils. By using calming essential oils such as lavender, ylang-ylang, or bergamot into your nightly routine – either via a diffuser or by applying them to your skin (diluted, of course) – you can help to promote relaxation. 

teeth grinding at night: our conclusion 

Addressing your teeth grinding habits naturally may involve exploring several avenues. From managing your stress and anxiety levels to improving sleep hygiene, making dietary changes, and even exploring alternative therapies, there are plenty of routes to take.  

But in integrating some or all of these natural ways to stop your teeth grinding into your daily routine, you could potentially significantly reduce or even eliminate bruxism all together. The results? Well, better sleep and overall well-being should ensue.  

And if your symptoms persist, remember to reach out to a healthcare professional. They can help you to rule out underlying conditions while giving you the opportunity to explore other treatments. 

sources: 

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/teeth-grinding/ 
  2. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/teeth-grinding-in-sleep 
  3. https://www.sonriadentalclinic.co.uk/blog/relationship-between-bruxism-and-malocclusion/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10795287/ 
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469 
  6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916 
  7. https://www.derbyshiremind.org.uk/news-activities/sam23-cbt-techniques-to-manage-stress/ 
  8. https://abaudeandds.com/home-remedies-for-tooth-grinding/ 
  9. https://jerseylavender.co.uk/can-lavender-essential-oil-be-applied-directly-onto-the-skin/ 
  10. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/biofeedback/about/pac-20384664