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Lavender takes on Bruxism for Thanksgiving

By: Dr. Ratti Handa on November 23rd, 2016


Are you a bruxist? A what? No, not a Brexist, of the UK formerly part of the EU, a bruxist, a teeth grinder.

Do you clench your jaw when you sleep? Do you wake up with a headache? Perhaps you know someone who wakes you up snoring. Did you know sleep apnea is a symptom of bruxism.

According to the Bruxism Association (yes, there’s an entire association dedicated to this common phenomenon) p hysical symptoms include headache, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) jaw discomfort and muscle aches, facial myalgia (muscle pain), ear ache, tightness and stiffness of the shoulders, limitation of mouth opening and sleep disruption of the individual as well as the bed partner.

You may be thinking yes, this describes me, but what can I do? Well, bruxism can cause a variety of oral symptoms including tooth wear and fractures and in extreme cases, early tooth loss. So, if you or your partner is waking up with a sore jaw or consistent headaches, you should come in for a visit and we can discuss the options.

In the meantime, for those of us who get stressed around the holidays, your bruxism may intensify. So here’s a nice way to relax after your awesome family gathering. Go get some lavender oil at a local natural food store and put a few drops on a warm washcloth. Place the cloth just in front of your earlobe before bed. The scent may help you fall asleep more easily and the warmth will help to relax your jaw.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving and perhaps a warm lavender towel after dinner. And don’t forget to mention it at your next dental visit if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

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