Clenching jaw is a condition that is characterized by persistent grinding or teeth clenching. This condition is also called as bruxism in sophisticated medical terms. Bruxism or clenching teeth may occur during the day time (while you are at work) or may appear at night while sleeping (also referred to as sleep bruxism). If this condition is mild and does not interfere with daily life activities, then no treatment is generally required. However, in severe cases of bruxism, which usually presents with recurrent headaches and significant teeth damage, optimal treatment and management is needed to minimize the risk of complications. In this article we will learn how to stop clenching jaws easily.
How to Stop Clenching Jaw with Home Remedies
Apply Warm Compresses
Application of warm compress over the jaws helps in relaxing the muscles. Soak a piece of cloth in hot water, drain the extra water and place this cloth over the jaw region for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure twice daily.
By using fingers gently massage your head-mouth-jaw area. This gentle massage helps in releasing the tension of masticatory muscles present in jaws which ultimately reduces the clenching of teeth. Full body massage can also be taken to reduce overall body stress leading to teeth clenching.
Relax Before Sleep
A person is less likely to grind his teeth during the sleep if he relaxes himself completely before going to sleep. Following are some helpful strategies to relax the mind and body before bed-time.
● Soak a cloth piece in warm water then place it opposite to cheek bone. This will relax the jaws.
● Read a good book for half an hour before going to bed.
● Chewing mint flavored gum helps in keeping a mind relaxed.
● Keep the brain in a calm state by listening to soothing music.
● Before sleep turn off or dim all the sources of bright lights including television, bedroom lamps etc.
Alleviate Your Stress
Depression and stress are one of the most common causes of bruxism or clenching teeth while awake. Elimination of stress can help in controlling this problem significantly without needing any other intervention.
● Try to remain calm. Identify the reasons which are causing stress and eliminate them.
● Maintain a proper sleep-wake cycle. Try to take a good night sleep as it helps in relaxing your mind and improving overall quality of life.
● Stay with friends and engage yourself in healthy and productive activities.
● Maintain an organic and balanced diet and avoid intake stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine after dinner
Add Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin C into Diet
Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium supplements are essential for maintaining normal muscle activity and increasing the muscle strength.
● Take calcium and magnesium in a ratio of 2:1 i.e. 600mg of calcium and 300 mg of magnesium. Dissolve both of the powder supplements in acidic medium (grapefruit or orange juice). Take this daily remedy for 2 consecutive months.
● Vitamin C also serves in maintaining the dopamine levels in the body which regulates the mood. This kind of supplements available in the market can be used after consulting with physician.
Other Natural Ways of Getting Rid of Clenching Jaw
● Reduce the intake of fizzy drinks and chocolates.
● Alcohol intake before bed is strongly associated with jaw clenching. So reduce or eliminate.
● Relax the jaw by simply placing the tip of the tongue in between the teeth; this will help in preventing and stopping jaw clenching.
● Exercising 3 days a week is essential to maintain fit and a functional immune system. You can go for a light walk after having dinner; especially walking on grass.
How to Stop Clenching Jaw with Medical Treatment
Wear Mouth Guard
Wearing of mouth guards helps in preventing the damage to temporomandibular joint from teeth clenching
● Mouth guards are available as over-the-counter agents but can be customized according to patient needs and desires. However the price of customized mouth guard is much higher than that of an OTC mouth guard.
● Another type of mouth guards is self-adjusting mouth guards. They can be placed in hot water and can be molded according to type of teeth damage. They are made up of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate).
● The last type is called as dental splints. They are made up of acrylic polymers and are made to be fitted over the teeth at night time only.
Other Medical Procedures for Clenching Jaw
How to stop clenching jaw? Never forget about the following methods:
● Muscle relaxant agents: agents that relax the muscles of jaw are prescribed to decrease the force of contraction. It includes Botox injections.
● Crowns: the dentist may ask to you apply crown on the teeth in order to maintain the alignment pattern of teeth.
● Rebuilding of the damaged tooth (complete or partially) can be done by cosmetic dentist who can reshape the damaged part of crown.