Jaw clenching occurring subconsciously when sleeping or even during the day is a stress reaction. The clenching is characterized by unexplained pain in the face and jaw area, headaches, swelling in the gums, and tooth sensitivity due to enamel erosion and broken teeth, which may eventually result in tooth loss. You must not think treatments for tooth loss are readily available but must attempt to overcome the issue of jaw clenching, especially if it is related to stress.
In many cases, adequate self-care by restraining the jaw and reducing any underlying stress responsible for the issue proves beneficial. However, you may need professional medical care if the problem persists in leaving you with discomfort.
Stress causes you to clench your jaw during the day and night. You cannot let stress affect you all the time, thinking it is unavoidable. You must figure out ways to deal with the causes of stress and try to identify them.
Consider keeping a journal to note any incident that causes anxiety paying particular attention to the reasons of stress occurring immediately during daytime incidents of jaw clenching. Attempt to avoid stress triggers as possible. If you find it challenging, balance out the behaviors to help relax your mind. You can consider listening to music, having a warm bath, meditating, or settle your mind with aromatherapy.
Practicing a regular sleeping pattern not merely improves your quality of sleep but also helps to reduce jaw clenching during night time. Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night can reduce your overall stress making it easier for you to quit clenching during the day.
Try and get into bed at the same time every day regardless of your schedule and wake up similarly by trying to get the entire eight hours of sleep in between. Remaining in bed longer will not help you unless you attempt to improve your quality of sleep. Try to relax your mind and body before going to bed. Helpful methods you can use include avoiding caffeine and alcohol that after your body’s sleep cycle. Room temperatures at comfortable levels and turn off bright lights and any sources of noise.
Regular exercise is a stress buster, and it can also regulate your mood and immune system. The stress causing your jaw clenching reduces, and the muscles in your jaw become stronger and elastic. Strenuous exercises are not necessary to benefit from this option. You can use moderate methods of training for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Continue with this practice for at least two months, if not permanently.
Jaw clenching also results from teeth grinding, which leaves your jaw muscles sore. It will be helpful to have your dental health evaluated and seek bruxism treatment from your dentist if necessary. Your dentist may recommend a nightguard, similar to mouthguards worn by sports persons when involved in contact sports.
Your dentist may recommend dental splints made from soft acrylic and customized for your mouth. These appliances won’t stop the clenching of your jaw but will reduce the associated pain and prevent detention in your jaw from worsening.
Mouthguards and night splints are usually reserved for nighttime use. However, if you experience daytime clenching, you can use the appliances for relief, even during the daytime.
Muscle relaxants relax the muscles of your jaw to prevent jaw clenching. You can inquire with your doctor about getting muscle relaxants, either oral or injected.
Your doctor prescribes oral relaxants for use only for short periods. It is to avoid dependency on the medication because they relax the entire immune system of your body. They can make you drowsy and are best taken just before bedtime.
If you prefer the injected variety, your doctor describes Botox injections administered directly into the affected area. The injections merely relax the surrounding jaw muscles. However, these treatments last for extended periods and last resort when other conservative treatments have failed.
Jaw clenching is undoubtedly discomforting and leaves you concerned about whether you are affected by a life-threatening issue. However, use the methods suggested above to reduce stress and understand the underlying causes of the condition. You will not find it challenging to overcome the issue over a period.