Clenching your jaw is a common condition associated with teeth grinding, and is medically known as bruxism. This condition typically occurs at night. While it can cause little to no harm if you experience bruxism occasionally, more prolonged jaw clenching or teeth grinding can have serious effects on your oral health. While there is no one specific cause of bruxism, the following are a few suggested causes of clenching your jaw.
- Sleep apnea
- Abnormal bite
- Missing or crooked teeth
Once you are aware of your bruxism, there are several ways in which you can stop clenching your jaw. The following outline 8 ways to stop clenching your jaw
- See your Dentist
Book an appointment with your dentist for them to assist you with your bruxism. Often times, a dentist can fit you with a mouth guard or splint to sleep which will help to protect your mouth. In addition, there are other medical procedures that can help, such as muscle relaxant agents, crowns, or rebuilding damaged teeth.
- Reduce Stress
If high stress levels are the cause of your jaw clenching or teeth grinding, you may want to explore your options which will reduce your stress. Exercise, counseling, hobbies, meditating, or seeking a prescription may be ways to help you keep your stress levels low.
- Treat any Disorders
If you suffer from a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, you may want to treat this disorder to help reduce the symptoms of teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
- Be Wary of What you Eat and Drink
Consider avoiding or reducing foods that contain caffeine. In addition, it is suggested to avoid alcohol. Other items to avoid include carbonated drinks, chocolate, and gum.
- Use a Warm Compress
A warm compress applied to your jaw can assist in muscle relaxation. Use a cloth or soft towel in hot water and hold it over your jaw for ten minutes, twice daily.
Massage the area around your mouth and jaw to help in releasing tension. In addition, full body massages are suggested in order to relieve overall stress that can contribute to bruxism.
Before you go to sleep, spend time relaxing. This could include listening to soothing music, reading, or taking a bath before you head to bed. Be sure to eliminate bright lighting to ensure optimal relaxation time.
- Get your Nutrients
Adding certain vitamins and nutrients to your diet may help to alleviate bruxism. Try to consume supplements or foods rich in vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
Be sure to try these tips to help stop clenching your jaw. If symptoms continue to persist, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for assistance.