Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
Jaw clenching and teeth grinding can be very destructive to your teeth and contribute to significant pain. Teeth grinding is also referred to as bruxism. Most jaw clenching and teeth grinding takes place during the night, when you are not even aware of it. While sleeping, your chewing muscles in your jaw can generate a consider amount of force. As a result, this can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear down as well as contribute to TMJ disorder and discomfort. The effort of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can be habitual. The activity of doing this over years can make a significant impact on our well-being.
In addition to TMJ disorders, jaw clenching and teeth grinding can promote facial pain, headaches, and migraines. After an extended period of jaw clenching and teeth grinding, pain, discomfort and even spasms can cascade to your head, neck, and shoulders.
Jaw clenching and teeth is often attributed to stress and anxiety. This is especially true for jaw clenching and teeth grinding at night. While we sleep, we process the events of the day and subconsciously worry about any number of issues in our life. Unfortunately, while sleeping, we’re not even aware that we are clenching our jaw. Although a partner may hear you grinding your teeth while you are sleeping.
Symptoms of Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding
- Waking up with or having a frequent headache or migraine
- Soreness or pain in the jaw
- Jaw joint clicking or popping
- Jaw catching or locking
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Pain in your temple
- Ear pain
- Ringing in your ear
- Ear stuffiness or fullness
- Neck and shoulder stiffness or pain
How to stop clenching jaw and grinding teeth
Since we are asleep during our most active jaw clenching and teeth grinding, it’s difficult to stop. So, what do you do as the pain and discomfort continues? Relief can be found. A custom orthotic device is made specifically for your teeth and jaw structure to provide relief from your symptoms. It is referred to as an oral appliance. The appliance repositions your lower jaw at night to relax the jaw muscles and place the jaw joints in the correct position. The strength in the human jaw is incredible. The appliance limits the amount of force your closed jaw and muscles can generate.
When we remove the opportunity to clench our jaw and grind out teeth, we significantly reduce or eliminate the propensity of headaches and migraines as well as jaw, muscle, TMJ, neck and shoulder pain.
If you are experiencing symptoms from jaw clenching and teeth grinding, you don’t need to suffer anymore. Contact Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center today for a comprehensive evaluation.