Foods and Beverages to Avoid If You Grind Your Teeth

Foods and Beverages to Avoid If You Grind Your Teeth

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

Do you know or suspect that you’re grinding your teeth at night? If the answer is yes, your first step should be to see a dentist who can check for damage to your enamel and any signs of gum inflammation or disease. You should also invest in a night guard to prevent further damage from happening over the long term.

A visit to the dentist and a night guard will help alert you to any existing problems and cushion your teeth and gums against the risk of future problems, but neither the dentist nor the guard can stop you from grinding. In fact, it is very hard to cure someone of teeth grinding completely.

There are ways, however, to lower the intensity and frequency of grinding, and one of those is through diet. This is largely because teeth grinding arises from stress and anxiety, and diet actually has a strong relationship with physical and mental stress and overall well-being.

So, let’s look over some of the ways you can help yourself out at mealtime.

Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep Quality with a Balanced Diet

Everyone knows you can reduce your stress levels by finding time for relaxation and exercise. But did you know you can also contribute to lower stress by enjoying a balanced diet? In fact, researchers keep learning more and more about the strong relationship between gut health and mental health/general well-being.

Some foods to avoid in order to promote more well-being through diet are simple sugars and carbohydrates. That’s because they create glucose spikes within the body, tax your insulin production, and contribute to inflammation, which produces physical stress throughout the system.

So, as appealing as it might be to reach for that candy bar to get a quick pick-me-up in the late afternoon, consider reaching for some fresh fruit instead.

Fruit has sugar, but most fruits also have a lot of fiber. Fiber slows down the body’s uptake of glucose and also helps overall gut health. Good fruit choices include berries, kiwi, apples, and citrus. Ones you may want to avoid because of the glucose spikes they cause include pineapple.

Also, don’t assume juice has the same qualities as fruit. Juice does not have the kind of fiber fruit has, so it acts more like a simple sugar. Other foods that convert to sugar quickly include potatoes, bread, and white rice.

Overall, make sure you are getting a balanced diet, with plenty of vitamins and minerals and very limited levels of processed foods, like hot dogs, sausages, sugary cereals, and popular junky snacks. This will keep your body healthy so that you are not suffering from chronic levels of physical stress simply due to a struggling immune system.

Cut Back on Caffeine and Alcohol Intake

Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which can increase your body’s alertness but also feelings of stress and anxiety. It also raises your chances of grinding your teeth. So does alcohol. In fact, studies have found correlations between both caffeine and alcohol consumption and increased teeth grinding.

The causation is not entirely clear, but we do know that both substances create low levels of physical stress in the body, which may trigger more tension and grinding. Both alcohol and caffeine can also affect the quality of your sleep, leaving you more tired and groggy during the day and leading to more stress over time.

What About Foods to Include in Your Diet?

Some of the foods recommended for reducing anxiety are foods rich in:

  • Folate and other B vitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Tryptophan
  • Zinc

Some of these vitamins are crucial to serotonin production (which controls mood) and others simply keep the body working well.

Additionally, a 2015 study from Psychiatry Research found a link between probiotic foods (like sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, and kefir) and lower social anxiety. And this link was expanded by a 2017 study published in Annals of General Psychiatry that linked probiotics with alleviating effects on major depressive disorders. Theories suggest the link could be chemical, through serotonin production, or due to the anti-inflammatory effects of the probiotics.

Whatever You Do, You Should Also Invest in a Night Guard.

As we mentioned above, teeth grinding is extremely hard to cure completely. So, you should always buy a night guard to protect your teeth if you find out that you are grinding them.

If you already have damage to your enamel, you can also help your enamel out by avoiding foods that can damage it further, such as simple sugars (again) and highly acidic foods, like lemon, lime, coffee, wine, soda, and tea.

Visit TeethNightGuard to order your custom night guard through us and save yourself the extra cost you would have if ordering through a dentist.

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