How To Stop Clenching Your Jaw And Teeth From Stress
According to the American Dental Association, clenching and grinding your teeth is often a sign that you're stressed. In fact, Bruxism, which is the medical term for this condition, affects about 10 percent of Americans.
For many people, stress manifests in physical ways - like a headache or an upset stomach. For others, it might manifest in teeth grinding or clenching. This can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and even TMJ.
If you're someone who clenches or grinds their teeth from stress, the article covers a few things that might help you stop clenching your jaws and grinding your teeth.
A study has found a link between clenching your jaws and anxiety.
For the study, researchers asked participants to rate their levels of anxiety on a scale of 1 to 10. They also asked them to rate how often they clenched their jaws during the day. The results showed that people who reported higher levels of anxiety were also more likely to report higher levels of jaw clenching.
The study's findings suggest that jaw clenching may be a physical manifestation of anxiety. It says that people who are anxious may be more likely to clench their jaws as a way to release some of their pent-up energy.
✅ Reasons Behind Teeth Clenching
Most people are unaware that they clench their jaws until they experience pain in the jaw or headaches. Many times, people will clench their jaws when they are under stress. Here are four reasons why your jaw might be clenching:
📌 Stress and Anxiety
You’re stressed out - when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, it’s a common cause to hold tension in your jaw. It can lead to clenching or grinding teeth (signs of bruxism), which can cause pain and damage to your teeth over time.
When we have anxiety disorders, our bodies tend to tense up, and one of the places that tension manifests is in the jaw - temporomandibular joint. Clenching our jaws is a way of releasing some of that built-up tension and much stress.
From stress to serenity: Try the mindfulness meditation script for stress.
📌 You’re Concentrating
Have you ever noticed that you clench your lower jaw when you’re focused on a task? Whether you’re trying to solve a difficult problem at work or studying for an exam, concentrating can lead to tension in the jaw which can cause symptoms of bruxism.
📌 Misaligned Teeth Grinding
This is a habit that many people are unaware of, but it can cause serious tooth damage and tooth loss over time. It usually happens at night when you're asleep, but it can also happen during the day if you're feeling anxious or stressed.
📌 Misaligned Bite
If your teeth are not properly aligned, it can put undue stress on your jaw muscles, leading to clenching or grinding. This can often be resolved with orthodontic treatment.
✅ Stop Clenching Your Jaws - Some Tips
There are many reasons why people clench their jaws. Some people clench their jaws when they are feeling stressed or anxious, while others may do it unconsciously. Whatever the reason, clenching your jaws can lead to pain and other problems. Here are some tips and ways to stop jaw tightness and clenching teeth:
📌 Jaw Exercise
Be aware of when you are clenching your jaws. If you can catch yourself doing it, you can start to train yourself to stop. Relax muscles of the face and jaw muscles. It is done by massaging your face and jaw or by placing a warm washcloth on your face.
If you find tight jaws, there are some exercises you can do to help stop tightness in jaws and excessive jaw clenching. First, try to be aware of when you clench or grind your teeth and consciously relax your tight jaw.
If you're still having trouble, try this exercise: Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and push up while opening your mouth wide. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. You can also massage the muscles in your jaw by putting your fingers just under your cheekbones and moving them around in a circular motion.
📌 Hypnosis to stop teeth Grinding
If you're one of the many people who suffer from teeth grinding or clenching, you may be searching for relief. Hypnosis is emerging as a promising treatment option for bruxism, with a number of studies demonstrating its efficacy.
A study found that 70% of participants who underwent hypnosis experienced a reduction in teeth grinding and tightness in the jaw. Another study found that hypnosis was more effective than botulinum toxin injections in reducing bruxism symptoms.
Hypnosis works by relaxing jaw and facial muscles. Try to place a gap between your upper and lower teeth while your mouth is closed. Also place the tip of your tongue to your front teeth. It will help you protect your teeth from clenching.
📌 Avoid Chewing Gums
Avoid chewing gum or eating hard foods that require a lot of chewing. These can make jaw clenching and teeth grinding worse. They also lead to dental problems and poor symptoms of teeth, thus leading to damage your teeth.
📌 Improve Quality of Sleep
If you're struggling with grinding your teeth at night, improving your sleep quality is worth a try. Talk to your doctor or a certified therapist to learn more about the treatment option for a sleep disorder and sleep apnea.
📌 Massage As Relaxation Technique
When it comes to finding ways to relax, massage is one of the most popular options. And for good reason! Massage can help to improve circulation, ease muscle tension, and promote relaxation.
But did you know that massage can also help to stop clenching jaws?
For people who tend to clench their jaws or grind their teeth, massaging the jaw muscles can be a helpful way to relax them. Start by placing your fingers on either side of your jaw and gently massaging in a circular motion. You can also try opening and closing your mouth while applying pressure with your fingers.
If you find that you're still clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth after trying these self-massage techniques, it may be time to seek help from a professional physical therapist or massage therapist.
How essential oils can help you relax your jaw muscles, essential oils for mindfulness.
📌 Limit Caffeine
If you're someone who clenches their jaw, you know how much of a pain it can be both figuratively and literally. A lot of people try to find solutions to this problem by stretching their jaw or massaging their temples, but the real solution may be simpler than that. Caffeine is a known trigger for clenching jaws and painful jaws, so avoiding it may be the key to stopping your clenching habits.
It's not just coffee that contains caffeine either- tea, soda, and even chocolate can have high levels of caffeine. So if you're someone who regularly clenches their jaw, it's important to be aware of your caffeine intake. While cutting out caffeine completely may not be realistic or desirable for some people, reducing your intake could make a big difference in terms of reducing jaw clenching.
The best treatment option is to practice stress-relieving activities such as yoga or meditation. Use a nighttime tooth guard for overcoming jaw tension and clenching your teeth during sleep.
Which one will help you achieve stopping teeth grinding and jaw clenching? meditation vs hypnosis.
📌 Clinical Treatment For Jaw Clenching
There are a few things you can do at home to try to ease the tension, but if you're looking for a more long-term solution, professional treatment by clinical psychologist may be the way to go.
There are other a few different types of professional treatments that can help with jaw clenching. One option is to see a dentist or orthodontist for a custom-made mouthguard. This mouth guard will help keep your teeth from grinding against each other and will also help keep your jaw in alignment.
Dentists may recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to release tension and stress that has built-in people grinding their teeth.
Another option is to see a craniofacial pain specialist. These specialists are trained in treating conditions that cause pain in the head and face, like TMJ disorders.
✅ Bottom Line
Clenching your jaw and teeth from stress can have many negative consequences. It leads to headaches, migraines, and TMJ disorders. To stop clenching your jaw and teeth, you should find healthy coping mechanisms for your stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or journaling. You should also avoid foods and drinks that trigger your stress, such as caffeine or sugar.
By Fiza Ali