If most people had a solution that can help alleviate teeth grinding, they would jump on it.
Essential oils are known for all manner of therapies, but if someone tells you that essential oils can play a part in helping people who suffer from teeth grinding, you would have to wonder if it’s really true?
Well, we are about to find out by exploring the causes of teeth grinding and its possible solutions in addition to how essential oils can be part of that solution.
Clenching teeth every so often and occasionally even grinding them out of anger or stress is a normal reflex action for most people. However, teeth grinding can go to another level, where it actually becomes a problem that needs dental management.
Teeth grinding itself is not harmful but, if left unchecked, it can lead to dental complications, such as damaged teeth and the problems that can arise from that.
People who grind their teeth might not know that they do so.
But how could they, after all, they are asleep when all this is happening?
Usually, most get to know of their nocturnal teeth grinding habit through a family member revealing to them that they actually grind their teeth during their sleep.
For persons who often wake up to a dull headache and a sore jaw in the morning that is not related to a hangover, further investigation may reveal that you might be suffering from bruxism.
Anyone who suspects that they may be suffering from this condition should consult a dentist at the earliest opportunity for an examination.
Based on the symptoms that you describe, the dentist will check for any signs of bruxism by:
- Examining your mouth and jaws for any signs of excessive wear on your teeth or tenderness in your jaws
- Asking about a sore jaw on a regular basis
- Inquire about headaches when you wake up
What are conventional treatments of bruxism?
Whereas the initial stages of bruxism are not harmful, a person with this condition should seek help at the earliest.
The effects of staying with this condition for long is that it can give birth to dental complications and resulting challenges, such as:
- Loosening of teeth
- Eventual tooth loss
- Wearing teeth down to a stump
These would be the eventual outcomes of severe teeth grinding if not arrested in its earlier stages.
When bruxism gets to this stage, dental intervention procedures, such as fixing partial or full dentures may be required. Other interventions might mean your dentist performing root canals, bridges, crown or implants in order to remedy the damage prolonged bruxism can cause.
In the early stage of bruxism, the only known preventative solution is wearing a mouthguard when going to sleep. If stress is the cause of teeth grinding, a dentist may also recommend counseling, exercise programs or prescribe muscle relaxants.
Other suggestions include relaxing therapies, such as aromatherapy using essential oils to help alleviate the stress.
Essential oils are known to be excellent in stress alleviation through aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy can be done through topical applications, such as massage or inhalation.
Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system which is that part of the brain connected to the nose and sense of smell.
Why essential oils are so powerful is because when used correctly they affect the limbic system which has a link to emotions, blood pressure, breathing, hormonal balance, and stress.
This in part explains why aromatherapy using select essential oil can help reduce stress for persons with bruxism.
What essential oils are good for teeth grinding?
If you suffer from bruxism as a result of stress-related problems, learning how to relax and reduce stress is the best possible way to get to the root of the problem.
Essential oils can be used to create blends that are therapeutic by way of aromatherapy through massages to relax muscles, as well as calming scents that positively affect your mood, heart rate, emotion, and memory.
Below are some essential oils that can help with bruxism.
Lavender can be used topically for massages or a few drops can be added to bathwater for inhalation to produce a calming effect in the body. A few drops onto your pillow hours before you sleep will also aid in sleeping.
Lavender essential oil is a good addition to your essential oil chest, as it can blend well with other essential oils that can be used for stress relief, such as peppermint oil and chamomile oil (just to name a few).
Stress can sap energy from your body and general demeanor. Nothing quite revitalizes the senses like the strong scent of peppermint. The potent scent is a good energy booster that helps kick lethargy away.
When blended with lavender and lemon, peppermint oil helps bring energy to the room, while lavender reduces anxiety and brings calm to the brain. This combination of calming and mood-lifting effects on the body and senses and can help individual fight depression and stress.
The stress aspect of bruxism can be helped through the use of essential oils, such as peppermint.
Place a few drops in your bath water and have a long soak. Also, use it together with your body lotion for a lingering revitalizing scent throughout the night that fights off stress.
This essential oil is known for its sweet and woody scent. Frankincense is also known as the oil of kings and has been in existence since ancient times. The scent is pleasing to the senses inducing a relaxed feeling.
It is particularly effective when used in conjunction with other oils, like chamomile, for stress relief.
Chamomile scent is deep and super gentle with an ability to deal with stress-related symptoms and lift up your spirits. Bruxism can occur as a result of stress, anxiety, and worry, resulting in one becoming highly irritable.
A few drops of chamomile oil in your bath water can provide great calm and relaxation.
Topical application of chamomile in a recipe blend, such as the one described in the lower section of this article is excellent for lifting up your mood. It also helps with restorative sleep and generally reducing the stress that can cause teeth grinding at night.
Also, consider chamomile tea bags, so you can brew a cup of chamomile tea. It gives you just as much relaxation when you ingest it.
Rosemary oil is incredibly portent for stress relief.
Diffusing a few drops in an essential oil diffuser in the bedroom or office can help you relieve stress. Adding a few drops into your bath water will also help you relax and calm your mind as you inhale this sweet and woodsy scent.
Rosemary is known to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) in your system.
Cortisol has been known to cause high blood pressure and increase cholesterol, as well as chances of heart disease.
Topical application of the essential oil is effective after a relaxing shower. For those who enjoy the taste of rosemary, infusing the food-grade rosemary in your dishes or tea will also help you relax.
If you want to sleep better, valerian is one essential oil that helps you achieve deep restorative quality sleep. It also helps combat stress and anxiety by reducing negative energy and chemicals in the body that bring about stress.
A few drops to your bath, in a diffuser as a stand-alone oil or in a blend will help you feel calmer and more balanced.
This way one can sleep better and get over the grinding of teeth while sleeping.
Add it to lavender, lemon, and sweet almond oil to use as a massage mix.
Alternatively, just place a few drops of valerian and lemon oil in your diffuser for a relaxing blend. Do this in your bedroom and bathroom before your sleep and before you shower.
This essential oil has an uplifting sweet scent that is useful for calming the nervous system and relaxing the senses. The effect of ylang ylang is quick to alleviate symptoms of stress and depression, such as fear, irritability, and negativity.
Psychological stress can be significantly reduced in people suffering from bruxism by using this essential oil to relax. When ylang ylang oil is blended with bergamot oil, it does an effective job of reducing psychological stress as well as cortisol levels.
This is a great oil to use in a blend. Add it to sweet marjoram essential oil, chamomile oil, and olive oil to make a superb massage oil.
Bergamot essential oil has a distinctly pleasant and calming fragrance.
It is strongly suited and effective in helping deal with depression, anxiety, and stress.
It has the ability to positively affect the heart rate and blood pressure, calming and soothing effect on the body.
Use it in a blend with other similar oils, like lavender for a heightened calming effect. You should be extra careful to dilute bergamot oil in a carrier oil for topical application, as it can cause photosensitivity when exposed to sunlight.
Clary Sage can be used as stand-alone oil for stress relief or blended with other oils such as lavender or rosemary for maximum benefit.
It can be used in a diffuser, bathwater or topically as in a massage oil blend diluted with a carrier oil. When topically applied, use it after a hot shower when your pores are open for optimum penetration.
Juniper Berry essential oil has a myriad of uses owing to its many properties. One of the things that juniper oil is known for is being a relaxant and sleep aid. When inhaled, juniper is said to have the ability to reduce inner pain and trauma.
For someone with teeth grinding issue, which usually occurs at night in their sleep, using a few drops of juniper oil in your evening bath, or diffusing it in your room, may help you feel relaxed and aid in reducing stressful feelings.
This may be the key that helps an individual with bruxism seep blissfully, stress-free and without the need of a mouthguard.
How to use essential oils for teeth grinding (useful recipes)
In case you are using essential oils for topical applications such as a massage, it should be diluted using a carrier oil, such as jojoba, olive or almond oil. Aromatherapy essential oils can be used through massage oils, bathing oils and skincare products.
A word of caution though, much as essential oils are natural, they should never be applied to the skin while neat. Instead, ensure that they are in their diluted form.
You can use select essential oils, such as the ones mentioned above in your bath, massage, and topical application. This will help with your relaxation and reduce or alleviate your stress levels.
Here are some helpful recipes on essential oils that help reduce stress:
Topical application recipe for stress relief
Take the blend and rub between the palms of your hand and inhale. Also, rub some more on the nape of your neck as well as your temple. This helps you relax and have a restful restorative sleep.
Bathing oil inhaling recipe for stress relief
Add this to your bathwater, inhale and relax.
Mental stress reliever to use with a diffuser or bathwater
Picture calming scenes as you inhale the aroma, such as lying under a tree or watching a magnificent waterfall. Use of essential oil for aromatherapy and meditation is a powerful way to beat stress.
Bruxism soothing exercises
There are some simple bruxism exercises that one can do to bring relief to sore jaws.
This includes massaging them gently to get them warmed up and loosen knots. This is a simple exercise that can be done when you are home relaxing or take a few moments from your work in the office to massage them.
Relaxing your shoulders sounds simple enough and it actually helps ease built-up tension with a less likelihood of grinding your teeth.
You can also deal with this condition through natural relaxing homemade remedies.
Since bruxism is primarily caused by stress, engaging in a healthier lifestyle can help.
This includes exercising in the evenings, taking a warm bath and listening to music all of which can reduce stress levels helping alleviate bruxism.
No one likes to live a stressful life. Therefore having a routine that helps an individual deal with life’s stresses is imperative. This includes exercising regularly which could mean anything from outdoor cycling, golfing, jogging or swimming.
Simple initiatives, like practicing good sleep habits, can also help prevent conditions like bruxism.
Surrounding yourself with uplifting scents, such as essential oils, will keep your mood upbeat. You can do this by using essential oil in your home, car or office, with the help of an oil diffuser. An occasional deep tissue essential oil massage will also help you keep the stress levels in your body to a minimum.
Have you used the above essential oils to keep bruxism at bay?
Tell us how they worked in the comments below.