17 Aug Exercises for Tooth Clenching or Grinding
Jaw pain can be caused from the muscles that move your jaw and one thing to check is whether you are overusing these muscles by CLENCHING or GRINDING your teeth…
Ideally your upper and lower teeth should only be in contact when chewing and swallowing. The rest of the time they should not be touching and the muscles around the jaw and mouth should be relaxed.
Involuntary clenching and grinding (technically known as bruxism) can happen during sleep, but can also happen during the day and is often associated with feeling tense or anxious or when you are concentrating.
The first thing to do to help daytime clenching is to bring it more into your awareness, so that when you are doing it you can consciously relax your jaw muscles.
Start by setting reminders on your phone to check if you are clenching/grinding (ask yourself “How are my teeth positioned? How do my muscles feel?”) Stop what you are doing, place your lips together and drop your teeth are apart. Visualise the space between your upper and lower teeth and hold this position for at least 10 seconds at a time. There is an app called the BruxApp that gives you these reminders and prompts to help you manage this.
Check out my earlier post on Jaw pain (click here), and for more exercises you can try to help reduce pain and tension in your jaw muscles click here. To find a physio in your area of Australia or New Zealand click here.