My 21-year-old son grinds his teeth a lot while asleep — a habit that is irking his roommates at the hostel. Please help.

Grinding or clenching teeth unconsciously while awake is termed ‘awake bruxism’ and teeth grinding while sleeping is termed ‘sleep bruxism’. Awake bruxism may be due to anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension. Or it may be a habit during deep concentration.

Teeth grinding during sleep is more likely to involve sleep disorders, such as snoring and sleep apnoea. It is common in young children, but it goes away with adulthood.

Teeth grinding may be associated with gastroesophageal reflux disorder (Gerd) and other Vata Pitta imbalances. In most cases, bruxism doesn’t cause complications. But severe bruxism may lead to damage to teeth, tension headaches, jaw pains etc. Schedule an appointment with his dentist to evaluate any dental abnormalities.

[The cause of acid reflux and an Ayurvedic cure]

In an Ayurveda approach, there are a few preparations that are found to be effective in clinical practice. An ayurveda practitioner would be able to prescribe the right ones after a detailed consultation.

Application of a few drops of ghee on the crown and drinking warm milk at bedtime can be tried as home remedies. Include complex carbohydrates, almonds, raisins, cherry, eggs, ghee in his diet. Ensure timely sleep, timely food, sun exposure and physical activity in day time. Reduce coffee, refined carbs like pasta, breads and pastries, and avoid exercise after sunset.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to