Clenching your jaw is a habit that a lot of people tend to develop, especially when they are constantly under stress and experience anxiety often. It can become a habit that is very hard to break; that may end up injuring your jaw and developing complications. People do not think much about it. However, it happens much more often than you think, especially at night, and may cause you to have regular trips to the doctor’s office if you do not pay it any attention.
Why Is It Bad?
Clenching teeth while awake by itself is not exactly immediately harmful or will cause you to get rushed to the emergency unit. However, it can cause complications that would be inconvenient, expensive to cure and could get progressively worse. First of all, given that your teeth will be under much more duress than usual, you can expect them to get much more worn out easily. You will start to see chips on your teeth, and they will probably become a lot more sensitive.
Clenching your jaw will also strain your jaw muscles to a point where it starts aching and may cause lockjaw disorder– a disorder where you will not be able to fully open or close your mouth. The nerve in the jaw area is connected to a lot of other places such as your shoulders, your eyes, and your ears, so if it gets much worse, you will be in for some hard times unless you treat it.
Finally, it could become a habit, which makes everything that much worse. When you are constantly clenching teeth while awake, it makes it difficult to stop and hard to avoid the complications that will inevitably come after.
It Is Still Bad Even When You Are Not Awake
Clenching your teeth is bad, in general, regardless of your current state of activity. In fact, there is a big chance that you do this while you are sleeping, which is a very bad situation by itself. For those who suffer from this, they will often hear from people who sleep in the same room that they grind their teeth intensely enough that it is audible. Once your body continues doing this without your being conscious, that is when your teeth and jaw will start to suffer, and the habit will only get worse from there.
How Can I Stop It?
While going to a GP (General Practitioner) will always be a safe and sure bet, there are easy and quick ways to stop yourself from clenching your jaw.
The easiest trick is to make it a habit to rest your tongue between your teeth whenever you get the urge to clench. This very conscious effort will keep you from biting harder and may help you practice not biting altogether.
The more common treatment for this, especially if it happens a lot during the night time, is having a doctor prescribe a mouth guard or splint that will actively keep you from doing it. You are supposedly going to wear it all the time though some patients only wear it while sleeping.