Is it stress or something more?

March 18, 2014

Stress can cause a lot of adverse reactions in our bodies. The most common reaction is a headache. Did you know stress can also cause us to grind our teeth or clench our jaws at night? These can also cause headaches. If you find yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, try these 5 tips:

  1. Avoid foods that require a lot of chewing.
  2. Avoid activities that involve intense jaw movement such as singing or yelling.
  3. Massage the muscles at the base of your skull and around your jawbone when they start to hurt.
  4. Apply ice packs to sooth the muscles at the base of your skull and around your jawbone.
  5. Practice relaxation and stress reducing techniques.

If the problem persists or gets worse, visit your dentist because you may be at risk of developing painful jaw disorders.

The most common jaw disorder is temporomandibular jaw disorder, or TMJ. TMJ causes problems with the chewing muscles which connect your lower jaw to your skull. Signs you may be developing a jaw disorder include:

  • Clicking or popping sounds when you move your mouth
  • Headaches, neck pain, or earaches

Your dentist can diagnose TMJ and recommend treatments for you.

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