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Bruxism (teeth grinding) and gluten sensitivity

Commented on March 05, 2016
Created January 08, 2013 at 3:01 PM

On Christmas vacation I ate quite a bit of gluten-containing foods. After a few days back and off gluten, I woke up in the middle of the night with a really nasty headache from teeth grinding for a few nights, and had it even in the evenings for a few days. Today I'm back to normal, I hope.

I didn't even know I grind my teeth. I had an, umm, female acquaintance note to me that I grind my teeth in my sleep. This was also during a period when I was eating some gluten. I'm sure part of it is stress, but I have now two data points suggesting gluten or otherwise non-paleo eating might be the culprit, or at least a contributing factor.

I'm quite gluten tolerant, as my gluten sensitivity is limited to minor constipation and bloating. But perhaps I'm more sensitive than I thought.

Is bruxism something others have had or heard with gluten?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 08, 2013
at 09:16 PM

lol I don't get stressed about holidays.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 08, 2013
at 05:30 PM

I'd prefer to treat the cause, rather than alleviate the symptom.

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8 Answers

1
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on January 10, 2013
at 09:09 PM

The causes of bruxism aren't well understood. Stress is believed to be a part of it, as it is with just about everything else. Other suspects include malocclusion, posture, mouth breathing, sleep disorders (sleep apnea, dry mouth, etc), and nervous system disorders. Bruxism is normal and we all do it at various points in our lives. It's not clear why some do it more than others or why it happens at some points but not others. I wouldn't read into it too much. If your teeth are showing wear, then I'd suggest trying a nightguard.

1
5236a3d5d4daf6304da5e50d19a96e56

on January 08, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Stress is a more likely cause than gluten. Visiting people you haven't seen in a long time for the holidays can be awkward and stressful, I also often get issues with bruxism while traveling on the holidays... which typically go away afterwards.

Meditation, getting enough sleep, and relaxing in a natural hot spring all seem to help a bit for me.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 08, 2013
at 09:16 PM

lol I don't get stressed about holidays.

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:16 PM

I grind my teeth so I wear a mouthguard which reduces headaches and the wear and tear on my teeth. I am not aware of a connection with gluten. Stress and pain are big factors for me. Interested in what others have to say.

Medium avatar

on March 05, 2016
at 06:34 PM

adressing low D levels adress the actual cause of the bruxism, its not a bandage or a patch on the illness. a grinding guard works to protect the teeth, which is great.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 08, 2013
at 05:30 PM

I'd prefer to treat the cause, rather than alleviate the symptom.

0
Medium avatar

on March 05, 2016
at 06:32 PM

Bruxism is actually caused by a vitamin D deficiency. This happens as a result of lower D levels that affect the brainstems's system of paralysis in sleep. The primitive brainstem is the same in all animals, and it is highly vitamin D dependant for normal funtioning. This area of the brainstem controls the "bulbar muscles" which are the muscles of the tongue jaws and throat. these muscles need to be coordinated in sleep to allow for proper paralysis, without choking.  Bruxism during sleep is a symptom of low D levels, and sleep apnea (also caused by a D deficiency in young otherwise healthy people).  Daytime bruxism, is what I am calling "bleedthrough bruxing" because the D levels have dropped so low that the person begins to clench and grind during the day. Bruxism has been linked to "stress" but its often  the stress  caused in a person who has been D deficient for a long time, that has allowed anxiety and depression to take holdt. Reduced levels of seratonon and dopamine, (to name a few ) which are your feel good brain chemicals are often caused by a chronic D deficiency. taking THERAPUTIC doses of D will end bruxism in almost all cases within 2-3 weeks.

0
7a777966a2b7f30251c358b6fe35936f

on May 08, 2014
at 06:16 AM

I guess this can be the case of Celiac disease the disorder due to immune reaction to gluten. Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin - a gluten protein found in rye, barley, wheat, and sometimes oats. Celiac disease is caused by an allergic reaction to gluten in the diet.

0
De7aafde172289ab942f17f0d271d8ff

on May 07, 2014
at 08:49 PM

I used to have a terrible problem with teeth grinding. For me, the answer was to ditch caffeine. As etyrnal mentioned above, coffee and gluten are cross-reactive, and I'm sensitive to gluten, too, so I don't know whether it was related to the caffeine itself or the coffee I was consuming. Either way, stopping caffeine intake made a major difference for me.

0
8b278a0747b04ad2c363a74e514a25c5

on May 05, 2014
at 03:20 PM

Read up on gluten sensitivity... on of the primary ways gluten affects people with the sensitivity is by triggering an auto-immune (against one's own tissues) reaction against nerves and brain... so, now ask yourself, if gluten can trigger your own immune system to attack YOUR OWN nerves and BRAIN tissues due to misidentification by the antibodies, between the proteins in your own brain tissues, and gluten proteins... would that be considered 'STRESS' in the BRAIN? An intangible attack on one's own brain tissues by one's own antibodies -- how's that NOT stress? The cross-reactivity that gluten sensitivity can be triggered by other things which contain no gluten as well. Google gluten cross-reactive foods. Coffee is one, dairy, eggs, soy, rice, corn. It's because the immune system doesn't check the entire protein. So it can misidentify other proteins as invaders as long as enough of the protein is similar. A gluten sensitive person's auto-immune reaction can be triggered by other proteins which are similar.

0
4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on January 11, 2013
at 12:53 AM

I still have bruxism after months like 6 months of being gluten free. If gluten is a cause, there are probably other possible triggers as well. I think Ray Peat thinks it's due to an intestinal issue.

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