The Analyst™

Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

Healthy

  Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding Teeth)  
 
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Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | It can lead to... | Recommendations

 

Being more common in children than in adults, bruxism has been estimated to occur in 5% to 20% of the 3-17 year old age group. In younger children it often stops by the time the second set of teeth appear. In adults, bruxism is more prevalent in athletes, military tank drivers, compulsive over-achievers and those involved in very meticulous work. Sufferers are sometimes advised to slip their tongue between their teeth when they become aware of clenching, as this self-protective measure prevents further clenching.
 

 
 

Conditions that suggest Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding Teeth):
 
 
Allergy  Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever
 Allergy may play a role in bruxism. It is reported that bruxism is more frequent in those experiencing periods of allergic rhinitis or asthma.

Digestion

  Sensitive Teeth
 Many people are unaware that they clench or grind their teeth while asleep. Signs can include sensitive or even chipped teeth.

Environment / Toxicity

  Mercury Toxicity / Amalgam Illness
 People with mercury amalgam fillings who grind their teeth or chew gum can suffer additional mercury release.

Infections

  Periodontal Disease - Gingivitis
 Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.
 
 

Risk factors for Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding Teeth):
 
 
Allergy  Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)
 Hidden food allergies may contribute to the chronic clenching of teeth.

Nutrients

  Magnesium Requirement
 According to Ploceniak, prolonged magnesium administration nearly always provides a cure for bruxism. This confirms an earlier report which claimed remarkable reductions and sometimes disappearance in the frequency and duration of grinding episodes in six patients who took assorted vitamins and minerals (which included 100mg of magnesium) for at least five weeks. When the supplement intake stopped, the symptoms returned. [Bruxism and Magnesium, My Clinical Experiences Since 1980, by C. Ploceniak (Translated from the French by James Michels)]

  Calcium Requirement
 Cheraskin & Ringsdorf (1970) studied the effects of nutritional supplements on teeth grinders or clenchers. Of these, 16 took calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), iodine, and vitamin E. When surveyed a year later, they reported that bruxism vanished. In contrast, the 15 bruxers who only took vitamins A, C, E and iodine showed no improvement. It seemed reasonable to conclude that the active agents were calcium and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

Respiratory

  Asthma
 Allergy may play a role in bruxism. It is noticed that bruxism is more frequent in those experiencing periods of allergic rhinitis or asthma.
 
 

Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding Teeth) can lead to:
 
 
Infections  Periodontal Disease - Gingivitis
 Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.
 
 

Recommendations for Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding Teeth):
 
 
Dental  Dental Appliance
 A dental appliance can protect the teeth from harm in cases of bruxism at night. This is also known as a "night guard", and one can be made for you by your dentist.

Electrical

  Biofeedback
 Studies support the conclusion that heavy bruxers have reduced frequency of clenching early on with biofeedback treatments.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

  Test for Food Allergies
 Teeth grinding may be aggravated by certain foods in some individuals.

Mineral

  Calcium
  Iodine
 People who clench and/or grind their teeth in their sleep can reduce this by taking up to 8 drops of Lugol's (potassium iodide) daily or periodically. SSKI can also be used.

  Magnesium
 Until further research is done, the best strategy may involve taking the following on a daily basis: magnesium, calcium and pantothenic acid. If bruxism subsides, it is advisable to continue taking these supplements, but perhaps at a lower dosage. If no improvement is observed after 2 months, another approach should be tried.

Psychological

  Stress Management
 Treatment may include stress reduction and creating a positive home environment. Psychological stress is considered a significant cause.

  Counseling
 Bruxism is sometimes due to strong emotions such as resentment, frustration, anger, grief, or fear, and can result from a dysfunctional family situation.

Vitamins

  Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Allergic Rhinitis:  Also known as hay fever, this is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes that is caused by specific allergen(s). It is an allergy characterized by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing and a burning/scratchy sensation of the palate and throat.

Allergy:  Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.

Asthma:  A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.

Bruxism:  Prolonged, unintentional grinding and clenching of the teeth, usually occurring during sleep. 'Bruxers' are often unaware that they have developed this habit. Symptoms include abraded/chipped teeth (in extreme cases, waking up with tooth chips in the mouth); facial pain; oversensitive teeth; tense facial and jaw muscles; headaches; dislocation of the jaw; damage to the tooth enamel, exposing the inside of the tooth; a popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ); tongue indentations; damage to the inside of the cheek.

Calcium:  The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Iodine:  A essential mineral that is an integral part of the thyroid hormones, thyroxin and triiodothyronine which have important metabolic roles and govern basal metabolism. The best known iodine deficiency symptom is goiter. Other iodine deficiency problems are reduced vitality, hypothyroidism, inability to think clearly, low resistance to infection, loss of control of the muscles of the mouth resulting in mouth contortion and drooling, defective teeth, tendency to obesity and cretinism which is a congenital abnormal condition marked by physical stunting and mental deficiency.

Magnesium:  An essential mineral. The chief function of magnesium is to activate certain enzymes, especially those related to carbohydrate metabolism. Another role is to maintain the electrical potential across nerve and muscle membranes. It is essential for proper heartbeat and nerve transmission. Magnesium controls many cellular functions. It is involved in protein formation, DNA production and function and in the storage and release of energy in ATP. Magnesium is closely related to calcium and phosphorus in body function. The average adult body contains approximately one ounce of magnesium. It is the fifth mineral in abundance within the body--behind calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Although about 70 percent of the body's magnesium is contained in the teeth and bones, its most important functions are carried out by the remainder which is present in the cells of the soft tissues and in the fluid surrounding those cells.

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Mineral:  Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.

Pantothenic Acid:  A B-complex vitamin necessary for the normal functioning of the adrenal gland, which directly affects growth. It is also essential for the formation of fatty acids. As a coenzyme, it participates in the utilization of riboflavin and in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Vitamin A:  A fat-soluble vitamin essential to one's health. Plays an important part in the growth and repair of body tissue, protects epithelial tissue, helps maintain the skin and is necessary for night vision. It is also necessary for normal growth and formation of bones and teeth. For Vitamin A only, 1mg translates to 833 IU.

Vitamin C:  Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E:  An essential fat-soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant, helps protect cell membranes, lipoproteins, fats and vitamin A from destructive oxidation. It helps protect red blood cells and is important for the proper function of nerves and muscles. For Vitamin E only, 1mg translates to 1 IU.