Ever woke up in the middle of the night clenching your teeth and having jaw pain? Or find yourself tightening your jaw when you are feeling stressed? If you have any of these experiences, you should learn some jaw relaxation techniques before the damage gets worse. Waiting too long can cause you to need various forms of dental treatment to control pain and repair broken and chipped teeth.
Grinding and clenching can cause headaches, joint pain and lead to TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction). If left untreated, TMD can lead to tooth decay, sore muscles, headaches, and nerve pain. TMD can become so severe that it disrupts the ability to chew and open the jaw normally.
We have listed a few jaw relaxation techniques to prevent chronic headaches and TMD caused by grinding and clenching:
• Jaw stretching: Using small, circular motions, gently massage your jaw with your fingertips. After massaging, open your mouth as wide as you can and hold there for a few seconds and gently close. Repeat 10 times. This exercise promotes blood flow to the jaw and relaxes the face and jaw muscles.
• Focal Visualization: Sit in a comfortable and quiet space. Begin slow, deep inhale and exhale exercises. Keep your focus on relaxing the entire face, mouth and jaw. Scrunch your face tightly and pull open widely then relax and repeat. Focal visualization is a powerful jaw relaxation technique.
• Yawning: Yawning on purpose is another way to get your jaw to relax. Open your jaw wide and take a deep breath then exhale and repeat. This exercise relaxes the muscles of your face and jaw.
If you have tried these techniques and are still experience pain associated with grinding or clenching your teeth, contact Palm Harbor Premier Dental at (727) 349-3615 today for your TMD consultation!