Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth are usually caused by stress, anxiety, and anger, and if ignored, can turn into a persistent habit. It may seem like a harmless habit, but it may cause headaches, broken teeth, jaw pain, and earache over time. If you’ve noticed you are jaw clenching or teeth grinding, here are some ways to help stop it in its tracks.
Use a Mouthguard
Many people find they grind their teeth more often throughout the night, and because you are asleep, it is virtually impossible to stop yourself. To combat this, place a mouthguard in your mouth before bed, as it will prevent you from biting down hard.
If the pain from teeth grinding is particularly bad, purchase a healing kit that provides help for people hurting from jaw pain. Not only does this include a night guard, but you’ll also find breath training videos, a four-week care plan, and a hot/cold face wrap to reduce the pain.
Work on De-Stressing
One of the best ways to stop something is to target the root cause. In this case, the problem is usually stress, so try to work on de-stressing your mind. There are several ways to do this, including:
Meditation isn’t something solely used by monks and Buddhists; in fact, spending ten minutes a day morning clearing your mind and focusing on your breath can have a huge impact on your brain. While meditating, make sure to relax each muscle in your body, focusing closely on your jaw muscles. De-stressing before bedtime is particularly crucial, so try fitting in ten to twenty minutes of meditation before you sleep – have a look online for some guided meditations to kickstart your relaxation.
Exercising is a natural de-stressor, so fit a workout routine into your life. From hiking to swimming, any form of exercise is good, and you’ll have a much easier time relaxing once the workout’s over.
Time to Yourself
Stress often comes from overworking, so if you feel yourself starting to burn out, take some time for yourself. Take a bath, take a walk in nature, or sink into a good book now and again to let your responsibilities sink away and your jaw unclench.
If your stresses don’t go away easily, you might consider looking into counseling. Counseling is for anyone struggling mentally, so don’t worry if you don’t think your problems are big enough. If you don’t have much time on your hands, you can find counselors online, where you can message any time of day.
To target your jaw specifically, try some jaw exercises. It will help loosen your jaw, letting your muscles let go of any tension held there. When exercising your jaw, focus on stretching, relaxing, and massaging to get the most out of it and feel the relief.
Like any habit, stopping jaw clenching and teeth grinding isn’t easy. It is more than worth it, though – by stopping, you’ll prevent tooth damage and pain.