Jaw Clenching

  1. I've always had a pretty big problem with clenching my jaw when I was angry. I still do that if I'm mad or stressed, to me it's better than yelling or makinga seen (kind of an intense person :cursing:). I also noticed that when I was falling asleep I would begin clenching my teeth together. I've since tried to make a concious effert to keep my teeth apart ie. stick my tongue between my teeth or blow air in my cheeks. When I woke up today, I had a huge headache and my teeth are really sore. I'm using a heating pad to soften the muscles in my jaw right now. Does anyone know any other way to keep from doing this short of using a mouth guard, which I would really rather not do.
  2. I started clenching my jaw after I purchased my condo in 1999, and I still do it today! Once you start, I don't think you can stop. I started having the same symptoms you're having and I talked to my dentist about it. He said that if you don't use a mouth guard you can do some serious damage to your teeth. I use one often now, although not every night.

    I'd talk to your dentist, I know mouth guards aren't pretty but they will keep your teeth from getting damaged.
  3. :-/...mm that's not what I want to hear lol I've also had a lot of sinus pressure today, but my nose isn't runny or anything. Is that related?
  4. Lorihmatthews is right - mouthguards are the way to go, especially at night, when you can't control the clenching. I've also heard of this thing (can't remeber the name) that is like a flat stick that you can put between your teeth at night. It's not a mouthguard but has the same effect. It's soft and cushions the clenching.

    It's true that you can damage your teeth and jaw, which can lead to root canals etc later on. See your dentist - it's relatively to solve!
  5. Mouth guards.....

    Else some people have their teeth crack.
  6. Definitely talk to your dentist. Sounds like it could be TMJ (or on its way to be there). As someone who has had a really nasty flare up of it, trust me when I say, you DO NOT want it to go that far. I was on a soft food diet for over a month to get things back to normal.
  7. I'm a big fan of the mouthguard. Granted, it's not sexy AT ALL, but so much better than being in pain. and it keeps you from destroying your teeth!

    Throughout the day, try to "stretch" your jaw by shaking it out (i don't quite know how to explain it, but move your bottom jaw from side to side). Also, massaging along your jaw line can really help.

    I agree with lori that once you start, you really don't ever stop. i picked up the nasty habit during my senior year of college (stupid thesis!). it's still with me... and i'm now two years out of law school.
  8. I suffer from teeth grinding and tongue thrusting. It is caused from stress. I have totally ruined any dental work I had done when I was younger. The night guard doesn't work for me because I always find them out of my mouth when I wake up.
  9. I've had the same problem with grinding my teeth at night and daytime too when I'm tense. Honestly the best treatment is a splint(mouth guard). I wore it nightly till symptoms were gone, and the dentist told me I could experiment with it less often until I found what worked to keep it under control. some people can use it a couple times a week, or even less and the symptoms still don't come back.
  10. Well...looks like I'll be going to the local Dick's sporting goods to get a mouth guard. I noticed when I woke up a few times this week that I was biting down so hard that I looked like a dog about to bite..anywho..It stinks, but I guess I'll go get one..Thanks everyone!
  11. I agree with boxermom, when I first got my mouth guard I had to wear it every day. Now I don't wear it nearly as often.

    When I first got it, though, I was in rough shape -- I couldn't even chew on one side of my mouth because it hurt so much. So those mouth guards are definitely a lifesaver!
  12. ScienceNerd---your local pharmacy should have a mouthguard suitable for sleeping (as opposed to athletics, which is what Dick's would have). You can also get one from your dentist. My night guard is nothing like the mouthguard I use for sports---much more comfortable and easier to breathe with.
  13. You probably want to have your mouth guard made for you. They take a mold of your teeth and custom make them so that they're comfortable inside your mouth. You only have to wear it when sleeping.

    People clench more when stressed, so try to calm down. Yoga/breathing/etc.
  14. When the guard is made from an impression of your teeth, it will fit so it doesn't come out accidentally at night. It won't hamper breathing either, although when I have a really bad head cold, I don't wear it. If you have insurance, it may cover the cost. The athletic ones aren't meant to be worn for 8 hours, and it may not take the stress off your jaw. They are meant more to protect your teeth during activity.

    I expected it to bother me much more than it does. Once you're used to it, it's not a big deal at all.
  15. I have to wear a night guard at night too.. I clench my jaw & grind my teeth unknowingly... (so I've been told..hehe :shrugs:) My nickname.. that my Dh has given me.. is "Chompers" hahah. I can't believe I just disclosed that :sweatdrop:.. but it's not that bad after a few weeks of use.

    Like what Boxermm mentioned above.. I recommend the one from the dentists.. its custom fit for your mouth & feels a LOT more comfortable than the store bought ones. g:huh:d luck~!