Jaw Clenching: A Habit Leading To Disorder


Every individual had experienced different emotions. Some people had experienced happiness, sadness, or even anger. Clenching of jaws is sometimes associated with a negative emotion such as anger or when somebody is controlling annoyance over someone or something.

  • Jaw clenching is a result of teeth grinding. This happens when a person clench or tightly holds his top and bottom teeth are together causing him to grind or slide his teeth back and forth over each other. Some do this, again and again, making it a habit.
  • This may happen during daytime or sleeping time. Most cases of teeth grinding and clenching occurs subconsciously during sleep. Unaware of the situation, this habit may cause the problem. ¬†Some people who grind are usually aware of their habits, too. They wake up with a stiff or tired jaw, or their spouse hears the noise during the night. There are many contributing factors that may cause clenching of jaws.
  • One of those is stress. It can arise from any situation or thought that makes a person feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or even anxious while anxiety is a result of stress that continues after that stressor is gone. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress a person feels. Aside from stress and anxiety, posture, ability to relax, diet, and sleeping habits may also cause jaw clenching.

From Mild To Severe

Although there are some cases wherein the situation is not related to any medical condition, but it is important to know when to seek medical help. Some symptoms of jaw clenching are rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles; noise created by the teeth grinding sound at night that cause disturbance to other people sleeping in the same room; a morning headache and painful jaw muscles.

Mild clenching may not be a threat, but once a person experiences severe painful jaw muscles, it should not be ignored. Severe jaw clenching may lead to Bruxism and needs medical help from a dentist. Aside from the fact that severe teeth grinding and jaw clenching may lead to tooth loss, an effect on the jaws are the main concern resulting in hearing loss or worst is to suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ). There are treatments that will reduce pain and prevent damage to the teeth as well as reduce the clenching as much as possible.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

There are self-care steps that can help a person who suffers from severe jaw clenching. A person can apply ice or wet heat to sore jaw muscles. Eating nuts, candies and steak should be avoided to prevent aggravation of jaw injury. Drinking plenty of water every day and having enough hours of sleep will help to have a healthy body.

Eat a well-balanced diet. This will help a person to be less irritable. Massage the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and face and make sure to relax the face and jaw muscles throughout the day. To prevent damage to the teeth, mouth guards (splints) are used to treat teeth grinding, clenching, and TMJ disorders.