Are you grinding your teeth, especially while sleeping? Waking up in the morning with a sore jaw? Are you being kept awake by your spouse’s incessant gnashing, grinding and clenching of teeth all night long? Does your jaw make a popping sound? Are you worried your child may grind his teeth down to nubs? Stress, anxiety, tension, anger and frustration are the commonly known causes of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Teeth grinding occurs in adults and children all over the world.
If stress and anxiety are the cause of your teeth grinding, the obvious solution would be to take away the stressors. However, not everyone has the luxury of going on holiday or taking a break away from our responsibilities. My fellow autism mothers know that walking away from the stress and pressures of raising and recovering our children with autism is not an option. Instead, we find creative ways to manage our stress levels and take measures to minimize our anxiety. Exercising, getting a massage and doing yoga are great stress-busters.
Taking fish oil or Omega 3 supplement with high EPA helps with mood regulation. L-Theanine, a natural green tea extract, helps relieve anxiety and aids in serotonin production. Diffusing lavender essential oil is calming and grounding. My fellow Thinking Mom and Team TMR co-author Shawty swears by meditation and adrenal support to manage her stress level and minimize her teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is also associated with mineral deficiency, especially calcium. People who are doing detox especially, heavy metal chelation, may find that it depletes minerals too. Some people tend to leach minerals faster than the average person and need to replenish their minerals. Giving Mei additional calcium citrate with meals did the trick. I prefer calcium citrate, as it is absorbed better than other forms. Always remember to take calcium supplements with meals, otherwise kidney stones may occur.
It’s Not Just Calcium
But what if it’s not just calcium? For some people, they may need a little extra zinc rather than calcium. Sometimes I need to increase my daughter’s magnesium intake separately, especially if there is teeth clenching is involved. Magnesium is also calming, helps with serotonin production, helps with calcium absorption and it relaxes tight muscles. I prefer Magnesium Glycinate as it is easier to absorb, and less irritating to the gut.
Calcium, magnesium and zinc are staple supplements in every basic biomedical protocol for autism. But the human body requires more than just these three minerals. You can use a multi-mineral supplement to get the others if you like. But I wondered if there were more effective solutions, a more natural source of minerals.