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Does Magnesium Actually Work for Bruxism?

7 min read
by Dylan Hao |

You’ve been subconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth, and you’re ready to figure out why. This condition, called bruxism, usually happens during sleep, but it’s possible to have awake bruxing symptoms, too. 

While there are many reasons you could have this condition, some experts suggest that bruxing is the result of a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium helps to regulate the nervous system and muscular functionality in the body. If you’re not getting enough in your daily diet, this deficiency might show up as clenching and grinding.

Luckily, you can add magnesium to your day with supplements or other easy changes. But does magnesium actually work for bruxism? We’ll answer that question and more here!

How Can Magnesium Help for Bruxism?

Your body relies on nutrients like vitamins and minerals to run every system properly. When you’re missing any of them, your whole body can suffer.

For instance, protein is essential for muscle strength, growth, health, and skin and hair. A form of protein called amelogenin gives teeth their structure. Without enough protein, everything from your cells to your muscles, bones, and teeth is negatively impacted.

Yet, while we hear plenty about protein, it’s not as common to read headlines and see products blasting their “magnesium-filled” properties.

So, what’s so important about this mineral?

Magnesium and You

Magnesium is part of the bodily process that creates and sustains healthy muscles, bones, and nerves. It also helps to keep blood sugar levels optimal. 

Remember how we just said protein is extremely crucial to your health? Well, magnesium makes protein, as well as bones and DNA.

Unlike certain other nutrients, your body doesn’t create magnesium naturally. You need to get it from your diet through things like:

  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Wholegrains
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Other magnesium-rich foods 

The average rule of thumb is that adult men should have 400-420 mg of magnesium daily, and women 310-320 mg.

However, how much you need depends on factors like your stage of life, health, age, and gender.

If you don’t get enough magnesium, it can lead to dangerous conditions, including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis.

How Can You Tell if You're Magnesium-Deficient?

Magnesium deficiency is a progressive condition. You may not notice it until you have had low levels for a long time.

By then, the deficiency has impacted the flow of other nutrients, like potassium and calcium. Your cells need these essential components to keep the rest of your body’s systems healthy, so magnesium deficiency is often only found once another co-occurring condition is noticed.

Recognizing Magnesium Deficiency

Signs of low magnesium include headaches, lack of appetite, tiredness, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Understandably, these symptoms can be confused with many other disorders.

By the time you’ve narrowed down the usual culprits, you could have more obvious signs of magnesium deficiency, such as:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle cramps
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures

At this point, you’re likely headed to the doctor or the emergency room. But although magnesium deficiency should be taken seriously, it isn’t typically life-threatening by itself.

Those with it are more likely to develop heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. They’re also prone to stroke and migraines.

The best way to avoid magnesium deficiency and all its complications is to ensure you’re getting plenty of this mineral in your diet. 

How Does Fixing Your Magnesium Level Help Bruxing?

Digging into the importance of magnesium is helpful, but we get it. You want to know how it impacts your bruxing and helps you feel better. 

The link between magnesium intake and awake or sleep bruxism symptoms isn’t well-known, but it’s legitimate. Bruxing happens when your brain tells your jaw to clench and grind your teeth subconsciously. 

Many people brux because their facial muscles are too tight or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is out of alignment. The TMJ is responsible for your mouth’s ability to move forward, backward, and side-to-side. 

Overuse of the jaw muscles and injury to the facial area can directly impact the TMJ, causing jaw clenching and grinding. 

Bruxing is also linked with stress.

Magnesium: The Magic Fix to Your Bruxing?

Sleep bruxism is annoying, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. But more importantly, it can be dangerous.

The effects of untreated bruxing can lead to:

  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • Broken teeth or restorations
  • Sensitive teeth and gums
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain

Could magnesium fix all this?

The answer is: Maybe!

Magnesium has a soothing effect on your body. It controls the neurotransmitters in your brain that stimulate the release of stress hormones like cortisol.

So, more magnesium could equal less stress and, as a result, fewer grinding episodes.

On the physical side, magnesium levels directly affect your muscle strength. The mineral is part of the process that helps maintain normal muscle contraction and relaxation. If you don’t have enough of this electrolyte, it might cause your TMJ and jaw muscles to work too hard, leading to bruxing behaviors.

So, boosting your magnesium intake reduces your stress response system from red and yellow alert to green, relaxes your body overall, and maintains healthy muscle function. Each of these effects can reduce your bruxing.

How Can You Increase Your Magnesium Intake?

Ensuring you’re getting enough magnesium can be a challenge unless you manage your micronutrients and evaluate your food regularly. There are plenty of apps to help you do this, but you don’t have to be a helicopter foodie.

Instead, use these simple tips to keep the magnesium you eat in your system and increase your intake:

  • Reduce your alcohol, caffeine, and fizzy drink consumption, as these ingredients quickly deplete electrolytes in your body.
  • Skip the refined sugars. Processing these unhelpful intruders takes up too much magnesium.
  • Focus on optimal gut health with probiotics and a healthy diet to promote maximum magnesium absorption.
  • Avoid relying on magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate for indigestion and stomach problems. These are found in laxatives, but your body can’t absorb them well. They shouldn’t be used repeatedly.
  • Be aware of aluminum in products such as deodorant, medications, baking powder, and cookware. This metal can reduce magnesium absorption.
  • Take multivitamins with magnesium and other essential nutrients for optimal body fuel, such as Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.

Yes, you can take magnesium supplements (after talking to your doctor) if your levels are low. Tablets and powders are the best form of magnesium to ensure the mineral is absorbed into your body. 

Are There Other Natural Ways to Reduce Bruxing Symptoms?

Managing your diet is one thing, but adding extra magnesium puts you on a precarious balance between too much and too little. 

If your levels are at the coveted just right range, how can you reduce your bruxing without playing around with physiology?

First, it’s vital to recognize that bruxism itself is not the main problem. It’s always caused by an underlying condition, whether it’s a dental issue, TMJ disorder, stress, or something else. 

Bruxism is frequently linked with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which, left untreated, can be deadly. Getting a grip on bruxing when you have OSA is often like the chicken or the egg situation — you don’t always know which one came first, but you need to address both to move forward. Your doctor may prescribe a dedicated sleep apnea mouth guard (splint).

No matter what’s causing it, to manage the impact of bruxism, you need to figure out the root of your problem. In the meantime, there are ways to reduce the symptoms by addressing the most common causes.

At-Home Ways to Minimize the Effects of Bruxing 

Since bruxism is often caused by stress, you can work on some daily habit changes to lower your chances of grinding at night.

Adjust Your Daily Habits

Stress-relieving techniques lower your cortisol levels naturally, similarly to magnesium intake. What makes you feel calm before bedtime?

For many people, it could be something as simple as:

  • Taking a bath
  • Journaling
  • Practicing breathing techniques
  • Engaging in yoga or meditation

Avoid Stimulants in the Evening

Finding ways to avoid stimulants in the evening, such as caffeine, energy drinks, and chocolate, helps.

Some people use alcohol before bed to make them drowsy, but keep in mind that this beverage is a diuretic, so it often comes with the side effect of interrupted sleep.


Exercise is a wonderful way to reduce stress, but try to move your workout to before dinner to give your body time to release the dopamine and adrenaline you build up. 

Eat Dinner Earlier

Speaking of dinner, eat your last meal a few hours before you lay down to give your digestive system time to do its work.

Otherwise, your body is hard at work while you sleep, reducing your restful slumber and increasing your grinding and clenching.

Order A Custom Night Guard

If you can’t stop the bruxing actions entirely, you can at least minimize their effects with a custom-made night guard from professionals like JS Dental Lab.

Our high-quality appliances are designed to seamlessly slide over all the nooks and crannies of your upper or lower arch. This protection keeps your teeth from touching and giving your jaw muscles a much-needed overnight rest.

Over time, those issues like tooth sensitivity and overworked muscle contractions are minimized, helping you feel and sleep better.


When your sleep quality and overall health are at risk because of your teeth clenching and grinding, addressing the symptoms of bruxism becomes a high priority.

But rather than taking muscle relaxants for your jaw pain or antidepressants for your stress levels, you want a more natural solution. Figuring out what’s causing the problem is necessary, and it very well could be your magnesium levels. 

If you think you have a magnesium deficiency, talk to your doctor about getting your levels checked. 

While waiting for your appointment, head to JS Dental Lab today and learn about the benefits of a custom-made night guard to protect your body from grinding damage!

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