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Meditation For Teeth Grinding

Meditation For Teeth Grinding

23rd Oct 2021

Bruxism, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD), sleep apnea, and other sleep movement disorders take a physical and mental toll. These conditions involve repetitive movements that cause enormous wear and tear on the teeth, facial muscles, jaw muscles, and more. In the case of bruxism, nightly teeth grinding and jaw clenching are often prompted by stress. Meditation for teeth grinding offers a medication-free way to destress and treat and stop bruxism without worrying about any negative side effects.

meditation for teeth grinding

Can Meditation Help Teeth Grinding?

When it comes to teeth grinding, experts have not identified definite causes. However, stress is the most common risk factor for bruxism, according to present research. The American Dental Association explains, "If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling, and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety."

Why is meditation at the top of the list? As Mayo Clinic points out, meditation is a form of complementary medicine that has shown real wellness benefits. Meditation is encouraged as a treatment option for stress related bruxism for the following reasons:

  • Anyone can practice it because it's easy to learn, inexpensive, and requires no special equipment.
  • Learning to meditate is a skill. Once you master it, you can use it whenever and wherever you want to. That is empowering.
  • Meditation helps you gain perspective, reduce negative emotion, and manage stress.
  • Numerous research studies suggest that meditation helps people dealing with chronic conditions that are aggravated by stress.
  • Meditation can be used in combination with other treatments and, unlike medications, doesn't have any negative side effects.

Meditation has been used by numerous cultures for centuries as a means of physical and mental relaxation. As a result, there are various forms of meditation, so you can experiment to find one that works for you. When meditating, the primary intention is to tap into your subconscious and reach a state of tranquility and peace. This mental calm and general relaxation is good for your emotional well-being, and it lingers even after you stop actively meditating. Since stress is a risk factor for so many health conditions, meditation can benefit both your overall health and your oral health.

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Meditation for teeth grinding can provide general help for bruxism because it helps reduce stress. However, if you are able to identify the specific factor that is causing you anxiety and prompting your bruxing, then you may be able to target it more effectively with your meditation practice. Another approach involves targeting the muscles and behaviors most impacted by bruxing. These might include the jaw, neck, or back muscles.

meditation for bruxism

Types of Meditation for Teeth Grinding

Any meditation that reduces your general stress level may help decrease bruxing. However, some forms of meditation can be especially beneficial for bruxers.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditations for teeth grinding focus on teaching you to relax and engage your subconscious as you learn to release the tension stored in your jaw, mouth, and neck muscles. Popular examples include Insight Timer's Releasing Jaw Tension and Stop Grinding Your Teeth with Guided Meditation, which can be found at Audible.com.

Sleep Meditations

Sleep meditations work by encouraging uninterrupted, deep sleep. While you could turn to YouTube or Spotify for meditation playlists, there are apps devoted specifically to meditation. Buddhify offers a variety of different meditations, including sleep meditations. As the name implies, Slumber is primarily focused on helping you get a good night's sleep. You'll find several guided sleep meditations here and calming music and nature sounds as well. Improving your sleep is also beneficial for other sleep disorders and overall dental health.

can meditation help teeth grinding

How Does Meditation Help Alleviate Teeth Grinding?

A 2011 Harvard study found that just eight weeks of mindfulness meditation was enough to cause documentable physical changes in the brain. Areas that govern learning and memory gained brain cell volume. Meanwhile, the area responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress lost volume. The discovery matched participants' self-reports of their stress levels, suggesting that meditation changes both the brain and our subjective perception.

Meditation works by connecting with the subconscious mind to shed the constant chatter that overwhelms the conscious mind. When the goal is to stop teeth grinding, most programs will call attention to the muscles that hold tension as a result of bruxism:

  • You may be encouraged to use a series of small movements to tense and relax the muscles of your jaw, face, neck, shoulders, and back.
  • You may be guided through deep breathing exercises to prompt an easing of tension.
  • You may be urged to perform a gentle self-massage of the muscles of your face and neck.

Positive affirmations, which operate on the principle that words have power, offer an extra push of positive energy. Adding one to your meditation practice is an easy and effective way to reinforce healthier habits and embrace wellness. That means incorporating these statements can be useful for anyone interested in overcoming a teeth grinding habit.

Meditation for teeth grinding can be helpful in conjunction with other treatment options as well. Other treatments include mouth guards/night guards, botox, medications, and physical therapies for jaw pain.

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Meditation for Bruxism

Meditation has been successfully used as a healing practice for hundreds of years by a wide array of cultures. There are many types of meditation available to explore which might help you stop teeth grinding. Whether you opt to simply experiment with general meditation as a source of stress relief or search out specific programs for meditation for teeth grinding, there are lots of opportunities available. You can try it yourself with an app, video, or playlist. Or, you could take a class or join a group. Regardless of the approach that you choose, learning to meditate can provide you with an empowering, cost-effective wellness tool for many teeth grinders.

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