Melatonin for Teeth Grinding

21st Aug 2022

Melatonin for Teeth Grinding

Sleep bruxism involves involuntary teeth grinding and jaw clenching while you're asleep. Although it may sound like a fairly harmless habit, it's not. The jaw muscles are surprisingly powerful, and when they're activated without conscious thought to restrain them, they can wreak havoc. The result can be toothaches and dental damage, jaw pain, facial pain, earaches, headaches, and other discomforts. Could melatonin for teeth grinding offer a welcome source of natural relief?

Melatonin for Teeth Grinding

Can Melatonin Treat Bruxism?

A case presented in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology offers hope that melatonin might be useful in treating sleep bruxism and its side effects. The case involved a seven-year-old child who had multiple parasomnias. A parasomnia is a sleep disorder that triggers abnormal behavior during any stage of sleep. Parasomnias are very common in children, and this girl experienced both sleep talking and teeth grinding for several years. After just three days of melatonin, her symptoms improved dramatically. By the second week, they had vanished. Treatment ended after one month, and her parasomnias did not return. No adverse reactions were reported.

"Melatonin has been studied in a variety of sleep disorders, but evidence is often weak or conflicting because of smaller or lower-quality studies," according to Pharmacy Times. There's certainly no proof that a lack of melatonin is a potential cause of bruxism or any other sleep-related movement disorder. However, while clear evidence may be absent, there is information that suggests that melatonin may benefit patients battling sleep disorders. This includes sleep apnea, sleep bruxism, sleep talking, sleepwalking, and other sleep movement disorders. Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, who also struggle with bruxing and sleepiness may see the greatest benefit.

Melatonin for Bruxism

How Does Melatonin Help Bruxism?

To understand how melatonin for teeth grinding helps the patient, you need to know a bit about it. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health offers some fascinating facts:

  • Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the brain.
  • It plays an important role in regulating the body's circadian rhythms, or internal clock, which impacts your sleep.
  • Melatonin is generated in response to darkness, so being around lights at night can interfere with your body's production of this hormone.
  • Melatonin is also available as a dietary supplement. Some versions are produced from animals, but most are synthetics.
  • Melatonin is considered safe for most populations. However, it isn't recommended for pregnant women or those with autoimmune disorders.
  • Melatonin may interact with some medications, so you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking it.

Basically, taking melatonin can help encourage a healthy circadian rhythm. This sets the stage for healthy sleep cycles and reducing sleep troubles.

How do you Take Melatonin?

As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains, melatonin doesn't make you sleep. Instead, rising melatonin levels prepare you for sleep by helping your body reach a state of quiet relaxation. Most people will produce enough of the hormone naturally, but if you'd like to try a supplement, it's available over the counter in the U.S. In fact, you'll have your choice formats because it can be found in gummies, liquids, and pills. Most people will take 1 to 3 milligrams an hour or two before their bedtime.

Melatonin for teeth grinding and specially for sleep is particularly effective when paired with good sleep hygiene. That means taking steps like the following for successful sleep:

  • Be consistent about your routine.
  • Make your bedroom a comfortable place.
  • Keep the room dark.
  • Avoid electronics in the hours before your bedtime.

If you don't see any improvement after taking melatonin for a week or two, stop taking it. If you do see some benefit, continue with the treatment for up to two months. Then, stop taking the hormone to see how your sleep is. Be sure to continue with the healthy sleep hygiene that you've established. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have concerns.

Other Natural Supplements to Treat Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can be incredibly destructive. If left untreated, it can lead to worn tooth enamel, broken teeth, and temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. When treating teeth bruxism, doctors and dentists often start their list of recommendations with a night guard. Also called a mouthguard or oral splint, this piece of protective plastic sits between the jaws and prevents contact between the upper and lower teeth. Botox injections and medications like painkillers, muscle relaxants, and certain antidepressants are also traditional treatments for sleep bruxism.

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However, traditional treatments aren't the only tools in the toolbox. Supplements can also help. Since it's widely accepted that stress is among the risk factors for bruxism, look for supplements that combat stress. VeryWellMind offers a few suggestions:

  • Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer. It's essential for hundreds of functions throughout the body.
  • Calcium helps to calm the nervous system and strengthen teeth and bones.
  • B vitamins help to generate healthy energy and vital building blocks for the body. They're also known to improve mood and boost a person's perception of their ability to handle stress.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports the immune system. It boosts healing at the cellular level by providing protection from damaging free radicals.
  • Vitamin D multitasks. It is vital for the immune system. It also assists with cardiovascular, brain, muscle, bone, and overall health.

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If you're interested in a natural approach to managing your bruxism, melatonin for teeth grinding may be appealing. It's generally considered safe when taken as directed, but you should check with your doctor or pharmacist because it can interact with some medications. If a mouthguard is part of your strategy for managing your teeth grinding, Pro Teeth Guard offers custom-fit mouthguards online for an affordable price. Our night guards are made in a professional dental lab using professional materials and processes. This is effectively the mouthguard that you’d receive from a dentist.

Sources:

  • https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cap.2019.0143
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/parasomnia
  • https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/melatonin-considerations-for-use-in-patients-with-sleep-disorders
  • https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/melatonin-for-sleep-does-it-work
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/vitamins-for-stress-relief-3145074
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