Jaw Clenching ReliefStop clenching now
A dentist’s own story…
If you are concerned about your clenching and are having trouble controlling it you are not alone.
I, too, am a
A great deal of my post-doctoral studies have focused on the jaw (TMJ), the bite (occlusion), and the muscles [of the head and neck]; that are related to jaw movements. There is a lot we can do to control bruxism (grinding) but not for clenching; It’s pretty much a neurological mystery left to those stuck with the problem.
I’ve tried biofeedback, night guards, orthotics, NTI’s, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, chiropractic, and medications with minimal results. Actually, the NTI helped me survive although it caused my teeth to shift so that I developed an “anterior open bite”. I could no longer touch my front teeth together. Talk about embarrassing when eating. Forget Sushi because I couldn’t cut through anything with my front teeth. Even worse for a
Most clenchers don’t realize they
Recognizing some he the signs and symptoms:
I clench while concentrating on my work, driving, or engrossed in a task. It’s as if the muscles have lost their ability to relax.
Every time we close our teeth together the movement is done/directed by 2 very powerful muscles: the Masseter and the Temporalis. These are the main clenching muscles that drive the lower jaw shut.
The Masseter is a thick muscle that runs from the cheekbone and wraps around the angle of the lower jaw. It exerts more pressure than any other muscle in the body so the back molars suffer damage from continuous overload that teeth were not designed to handle. This is what caused me to fracture an upper molar and ended up losing my tooth. When overdeveloped it accentuates a widened jaw in appearance.
The Temporalis is a broad fan-shaped muscle on the side of the head and down the temples and cheekbones before attaching to the lower jaw. Patients point to their temples as an area of discomfort and this muscle also can cause tension headaches.
A few years ago I took a course in Miami to study the benefits of “therapeutic Botox”. Clearly, I had been clenching all day during this lecture. By the end of the
Signs and Symptoms include:
- Tight shoulder muscles
- neck discomfort
- Tight and uncomfortable jaw muscles
- Jaw pain
- headaches – especially temples and side of the head
- Sore teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Tooth loss
- Joint (TMJ) compression
I now have a working solution for my patients who experience pain associated with clenching. One of my patients recently called his treatment “life-changing.”
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at my dental office at (415) 576-9800. It will be my sincere pleasure to help you.
Dorothy Gogol-Mach, DDS