Constant clenching and grinding your teeth when you are tense is a condition called Bruxism. The continuous stress on your jaw can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), a painful condition that can cause neck, head and jaw pain and clicking of the jaw. Painful symptoms include head and neck aches, worn down teeth and enamel, jaw pain and tightness as well as swollen jaw muscles and facial pain. Treatments include reducing stress, using a mouthguard and making a special effort to relax your jaw and face throughout the day.
The following are some tips on how to alleviate the discomfort and soreness:
- Gentle stretching- Place your thumb and forefinger under your chin. Keep your thumb in place while opening and closing your mouth.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Open and close your mouth.
- A warm, wet washcloth on your TMJ (jaw joints) will feel so good!
- If pain persists see your dentist and consider a mouth guard.
- Avoid chewing gum or bagels- eat softer food!