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How Chiropractic Care Can Help You Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Published Date: 
August 7, 2023
Woman lying in bed grinding her teeth.

Bruxism, the clinical term for tooth grinding, is not a significant health problem. However, over time, it can cause severe damage to your teeth and overall oral health. It can also contribute to secondary conditions, including headaches.

If you’re experiencing bruxism and aren’t sure how to handle it, consider visiting the chiropractor. This offers a safe, natural, and effective option for treating the condition and the pain it tends to cause.

What Causes Bruxism?

There might be several potential causes of bruxism, including:

  • Habit
  • Sleep disturbances, especially sleep chewing
  • Age (more common in young children)
  • Aggressive personality
  • Medications
  • Abnormal tooth alignment
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Genetics
  • Sleep apnea
  • Misaligned jaw

Additionally, the following common conditions could increase your risk of bruxism:

The exact cause of bruxism is unknown, but health experts believe it is usually linked to one of the above issues. A combination of these issues might cause it. They also theorize the cause to be a blend of physical, genetic, and psychological factors.

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Teeth clenching
  • Chipped, loosened, fractured, or flat teeth
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Pain and sensitivity
  • Tight jaw muscles
  • Pain in the jaw, face, and neck
  • Ear pain
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Dull headache
  • Damage to the mouth’s soft tissue

Adverse Effects of Teeth Grinding 

Over time, bruxism hurts dental health. The adverse effects of the condition include:

  • Damage to the teeth and jaw
  • Headaches 
  • Facial and jaw pain
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD or TMJ)
Woman with chipped tooth undergoing dental exam.

Home Remedies for Coping with Bruxism

There are several things you can do at home to manage bruxism. For example:

  • Wear a mouth guard when sleeping
  • Practice proper jaw alignment
  • Manage anxiety and stress
  • Speak to your doctor about switching medications if you believe there’s a link to bruxism
Man holding a dental mouth guard over the bathroom sink.

One of the best ways to reduce problems with jaw clenching is to learn to manage stress. There are several tools you can use for this, including:

  • Herbal remedies include valerian root, chamomile, peppermint, and lemon balm. You can brew these in teas or create tinctures.
  • Essential oils include bergamot, lavender, vetiver, and ylang-ylang. You can diffuse these with a machine, massage them into your skin with a carrier oil, or inhale them directly from the bottle.
  • Vitamin C. This supports healthy adrenal glands and improves your body’s stress response.
  • B vitamins. These reduce stress and depression. Vitamin B5 is beneficial for treating bruxism.
  • Magnesium. This helps with anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and hyperactivity. 

How Chiropractic Care Can Help You Stop Grinding Your Teeth

There are several ways chiropractors treat bruxism. Your specific treatment plan is determined by the cause or causes of why you grind your teeth. 

Stress and anxiety are among the most common reasons people grind their teeth. Working with a chiropractor is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. In addition to the chiropractic treatment you’ll receive in-office, you’ll also learn strategies you can use at home for managing stress and keeping your body relaxed.

Some of the most common treatments chiropractors use to deal with bruxism, misaligned jaws, and dental health issues in general include:

  • Manual, deep-tissue massage therapy of the area surrounding the jaw
  • Activator adjustment to the TMJ with a spring-loaded instrument
  • Manual chiropractic adjustment to the neck
  • Jaw exercise recommendations to strengthen the misaligned jaw joint

All of these treatments are safe, quick, and pain-free. Over time, you might notice improvements beyond the treatment of bruxism.


Chiropractors determine the underlying cause of a problem and treat it at its root. Instead of masking symptoms, your body can heal, eliminating the pain and reducing your risk of future problems. If you struggle with bruxism, talk to your chiropractor about treating the issue.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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