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

1

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.

2

Massage Gently

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.

3

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.

4

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

5

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.

6

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

Consultation with the dental healthcare provider is important if the bruxism gets severe or chronic. This is mainly because poorly managed bruxism can damage the teeth permanently and may increase the requirement of specific treatments including partial or complete dentures or root canals.
1

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.

2

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.

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  • Stuart RyanJan.14 01:25
    Most bruxism or night time clenching is caused by sleep position. I was a side sleeper for the longest time. Then I read an article on how sleeping on your side at night causes a huge static load on your jaw for hours on end. This is what causes you to clench. Train yourself to sleep on your back. You will notice you will have vivid dreams from deep sleep. Plus it will give you less wrinkles. Also if your upper cervical area is not in place, this will lead to clenching. My C2 was misaligned for the longest time. It was facing to the right. Ironically, I only clench on the right side of my jaw. It took many yrs to discover this about my body. I hope it can help you all.
  • leeJan.8 16:04
    Was told by an old african woman. scream silently with your mouth wide open to the maximum for a good minute. it relaxes jaws. or say Aaaaaaaaaaamen till your jaws cant stand it.....it works. The headache s go away
  • PamJan.7 11:51
    I bought a mouth guard, very pricey and of course insurance does not cover any of the price which is crazy due to the nature of the problem. Although I hate wearing it, I figure I'm going to wake up with a sore jaw and headache regardless so why not protect my teeth. I finally caved into getting one after having to get a crown due to a cracked molar from clenching my teeth.
  • VeraJan.6 13:21
    Acupuncture has worked wonders for me. A few successive treatments and I can go up to a year or more before I need another round of sessions.
  • DeeJan.3 18:58
    Has anyone tried Botox
  • Margy WeinbergDec.22 16:57
    While I have worn a night guard from the dentist for years and notice that I still tend to clench my teeth at night, it has actually saved me from wearing out teeth. Without the surface between my teeth I would have completely worn out my teeth. I am trying to do meditative music before I go to sleep to start my sleep without clenching. Also putting my tongue between my teeth and remembering to keep my lips parted throughout the day helps. Also massaging jaws before going to sleep will be added into my routine. Margy
  • Garth KeeleyDec.6 20:16
    I have recently been diagnosed with this problem and getting a mouth guard has made it worse. Stay away from a mouth guard its not the answer
  • MarkDec.4 02:05
    I too suffer from nighttime clenching. I had a mouthguard, but it was more like a doggy chew toy in my mouth and I would wake up with a sore jaw in the morning. Really ineffectual. The cause of this is work related stress, but unless I hit the jackpot in the lottery, I am stuck. I now have a the gum above the top molar swollen and tender. No tooth pain, but general pain on the top left teeth and a few of the left bottom. Would really like to find a real fix for this. The swelling might be an abscessed tooth, but there is no tooth pain or discomfort.
  • KMNov.3 15:48
    It all started when I went to see my dentist for a broken tooth. I was diagnosed with night bruxism and was prescribed with an expensive mouth guard. I have been sincerely using it for a year and a half now. I am still breaking teeth and I have developed host of other dental issues with it including difficulty chewing on the right side. For my dismay, I was told that when taking the impression for the mouth guard, my dentist forgot to include the wisdom tooth on the top left jaw. Over the time, due to lack of support, the wisdom tooth started receding. And that caused severe open bite problem. As a solution to this problem, and as per my dentist's advice, I got my wisdom tooth removed two weeks ago. It has only seeming to worsen the situation. now, I can only hope that there is a solution for this issue.
  • LoriOct.29 19:41
    My clenching has gotten so bad my cheek Noam's hurt. I am afraid I may break something more than a tooth. Caffeine no caffeine, relaxed or not, stressed or not, It doesn't seem to mater. Maybe I should create a tension realving training device. Yep I will do that!
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