CBD for teeth grinding and clenching
In view of the legalization of medicinal marijuana in many states, cannabidiol has piqued the interest of the public and of many medical practitioners and researchers. More commonly referred to as CDB, this important and often controversial component of the marijuana plant is being marketed as a cure to many illnesses and aches, especially in the alternative or holistic healthcare sector. However, in recent years, dental practitioners have pioneered in treating their patients with CBD, most of whom suffer from the ill-wills of bruxism. Although most claims are speculative at best, there has been significant activity in the space with some scientific researches actually backing it on its benefits. So does CBD help relieve the effects of bruxism, or is it just an anecdotal placebo that tricks them into thinking so?
What is bruxism?
Teeth grinding and clenching can be a sign of determination, anger, frustration, or nervousness. But when applied regularly, this habit can become a detrimental feat for teeth and oral health. Bruxism or teeth grinding is a common sleep disorder and parafunctional activity of the oral muscles determined by the increased and repeated/sustained frequency of spasmodic teeth grinding, gnashing, or clenching. It is a common phenomenon that can affect anywhere from 8 to 31% of the population, says a study. Depending on the time of occurrence, bruxism can be categorized into two - awake bruxism (AB) and sleep bruxism (SB). Sleep bruxism is more common among the masses with a whopping 13% of victims in the adult population. In childhood, the frequency can be even more heightened.
The main symptom of teeth grinding is tooth wear and tear. But the disastrous outcomes do not stop there. A common reason why people seek medical help in relation to bruxism is the pain that it causes, mostly in the face, neck, pain, head, and ear. Dental practitioners are more inclined to treat patines suffering from such pain, especially myofascial pain (MFP) by means of CBD oil and other products.
What causes bruxism?
According to the Bruxism Association, stress, anxiety, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake may be some possible causes of bruxism. However, very little credible evidence is present to support this claim. Researchers have linked bruxism to people who suffer from sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or people who have extremely stressful work environments.
In one research study, 62.5% of children with bruxism had respiratory issues. Bruxism in children is common in those diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder or a medical issue, such as cerebral palsy. The Indian Journal of Dental Research has also demonstrated that a link between bruxism and allergic rhinitis, ear infection, and mouth breathing.
Factors that increase the risk of bruxism:
- Stress - a stress work or home environment increases the chances for bruxism
- Age - older individuals are less likely to engage in bruxism
- Medications - psychiatric medications such as antidepressants may produce side-effects like teeth grinding
- Caffeine and alcohol - excessive intake increases the risk of bruxism
- Personality - aggressive or violent people are more prone to teeth grinding
- Other diseases such as Parkinson’s, ADHD, dementia
Bruxers may exhibit these signs and symptoms:
- Teeth may become flattened (attrition), fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn-down tooth enamel, exposing the deeper layers of the tooth
- Increased pain Hypersensitivity of teeth due to the exposed dentin and pulp
- Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
- Dull headache starting at the temples
- Facial pain due to clenching and consistent grinding
- Earache and disrupted sleep
- Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and surrounding muscles, leading to temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
- Broken tooth fillings and other restorations
Tooth damage from teeth grinding may occur in extreme cases and require immediate dental intervention. Chronic grinding can even grind down the teeth to stumps. In such cases, you will need root canal therapy, crowns, implants, and much more endodontic help.
CBD for bruxism
Researches report that the myorelaxant property of CBD helps relieve aches and pains like myofascial pain and temporomandibular pain. It has also been identified that only a few drops of CBD oil each day can significantly lower the incidence of teeth grinding and pain that has resulted from this destructive behavior.
Cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant is an excellent treatment option for bruxism due to its medicinal and therapeutic properties. Here are some benefits of using CBD and how it can help curb the side-effects of bruxism:
- CBD helps aid in the management of anxiety by triggering the serotonin receptors of your brain which is responsible for regulating our moods, social behavior, appetite, and memory. Since stress and anxiety are huge contributors to bruxism, CBD can help minimize the occurrence of teeth grinding and clenching by abolishing anxiety and tension.
- CBD is also well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s ability to reduce inflammation, halt spasms, and relax tense muscles make it a prime contender for relieving tension associated with bruxism. It helps ease the strain on the temporomandibular joint and jaw muscles, effectively treating bruxism as well as TMJ disorders.
- CBD is thought to aid in relieving chronic pain by calming pain receptors. This can help reduce discomfort and sensitivity associated with bruxism by “numbing” the mouth and giving you a sense of overall wellness.
- Medical marijuana or CBD helps individuals fall asleep quicker and stay asleep. Studies have shown that CBD helps keep the individual in stage 3 deep sleep and stage 4 REM sleep longer. Sleep bruxism can often disrupt sleep due to pain, pressure, or noises associated with the grinding.
If you are suffering from the pains of bruxism, you may want to visit your dentist to gain a proper perspective on what you should do to relieve it, whether it be getting easy solutions for surface relief, like CBD for good sleep or to get to the root of the problem and eliminate it, like using CBD to abandon stress and anxiety. The uses of CBD in dentistry are limitless. Make sure you talk to your dentist before getting the CBD product best suited for your bruxism problems.