Many things can lead to stress and the impacts can be far reaching. Stress can impact our bodies in a lot of ways and cause a lot of discomfort. Our dental health is no exception, as stress is a common cause for jaw clenching. Here’s how to stop clenching your jaw and find relief from the effects.
Am I Clenching My Teeth?
Most people who suffer from jaw clenching don’t know they are doing it. Jaw clenching usually causes symptoms and problems, but many people don’t know that the reason behind it is tension in their jaw.
If you experience headaches, tooth sensitivity to cold foods or sweets, sensitivity when chewing or biting down, or discomfort or stiffness in your jaw, these could be signs of jaw clenching.
You can also check how relaxed your jaw is by sticking your tongue out and noticing if the sides of it are indented from your teeth or by paying attention to if your top and bottom teeth are touching each other while you are at rest or during various activities. If your jaw is relaxed your teeth should not be touching and the edges of your tongue should appear smooth.
Causes of Jaw Clenching
One of the most important steps towards finding out how to stop clenching your jaw is to find out what’s causing the jaw clenching. Many things can lead to jaw clenching, such as stress, emotions like anger or sadness, trauma to the jaw, and insomnia or inconsistent sleep habits. Stimulants like caffeine can also exacerbate jaw clenching.
How to Find Relief
If you are experiencing symptoms that point to jaw clenching and you want to know how to stop clenching your jaw, we’re here to help. It’s a good idea to start by calling your dentist to make an appointment. Your dentist can help by ruling out more serious causes behind your discomfort. Once your dentist narrows down what’s causing the jaw clenching, they can help to guide you towards the best treatment option for your needs.
Treatment options your dentist may recommend can include lifestyle changes to reduce stress, relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing exercises or therapy, or a mouthguard to wear at times when your jaw tends to hold extra tension.
Early intervention can help prevent long term effects and habits from setting in that can become more complicated to treat. If you’re experiencing discomfort in your teeth or jaw, don’t wait to get treatment. Seek relief today.
Call our Shreveport Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.