Clenching your teeth and jaw can be extremely damaging to your oral health. Not only does it
put stress on the jaw muscles, it also puts an undue amount of stress on your teeth. Your teeth
were meant for chewing, not for clenching!
You can take simple steps to stop clenching your teeth and prevent damage to your gum tissue
and tooth enamel with the help of your dentist. Here’s how.
Step One: Visit Your Dentist
Although you may want to jump right into the lifestyle changes, take time to visit your dentist.
Your dentist is going to be your most valuable asset when it comes to curbing your teeth
clenching habit. Trying to fix the problem on your own is not going to be worth ruining your
A dentist can assess the damage and provide some immediate help. A custom-made
mouthguard can help you protect your smile from further damage while you take active steps
to stop the problem. Although a mouthguard can help tremendously, it won’t stop your jaw
clenching habit on its own. It will, however, stop your teeth from taking the full impact of the
Your dentist can also evaluate your teeth for any alignment problems that could be contributing
to your jaw clenching. For this, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist to properly
address the problem.
Step Two: Minimize Stress
Stress is often the primary cause of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The good news is that you
can take steps to reduce your stress. Your dentist and primary care physician can help, but here
are a few good starting points:
Exercise regularly. Exercising can help release tension and majorly cut down on stress.
Take on less at work. If you’re logging in many hours and not getting enough rest, you
can take on less at work to better manage your stress and improve your health!
Meditate. Meditation has been shown to help people manage stress, chronic pain, and
much more. Take a few minutes every day to simply pay attention to your breathing.
Get professional help. Know when to seek professional help for your stress
Doing whatever is necessary to minimize stress is so important, as stress has other unhealthy
effects on the body and is suspected to be the cause of many illnesses.
Step 3: Adjust Your Bedtime Routine
Getting enough rest isn’t only an excellent way to help manage your stress, it can also help stop
your jaw clenching, especially if you do it while you sleep and don’t realize it.
To help wind down before bed, stay off all electronics for at least one hour before you go to
sleep. You can also avoid caffeine, coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate. All of these substances act
as stimulants and can impact your quality of sleep to prevent you from getting the proper rest
you need. Alcohol is another beverage that can disrupt your sleep!
If you clench your jaw and are noticing headaches, sore neck, face, or jaw muscles, it’s time to
make an appointment with your dentist. These are all signs that your jaw clenching is impacting
your life and you need to get help before it gets worse. Call your dentist today to get help
stopping your jaw clenching once and for all!