Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, affects many adults. In fact, it’s estimated that one in three adults grind their teeth. If left untreated, bruxism can cause tooth damage, headaches and, eventually, painful disorders of your jaw’s temporomandibular joint, or TMJ.
There are several ways you can alleviate the painful symptoms of bruxism — including a wearing a night guard, or by applying a warm compress to your jaw line. However, they only relieve the symptoms; they don’t not stop teeth grinding from happening.
The best thing to do to stop grinding your teeth is to retrain you tongue and jaw muscles so they learn to stay relaxed (even in stressful situations.)
Here are some of our favorite exercises to help curb bruxism long term.
Progressive Muscular Relaxation
Practicing progressive muscular relaxation (PRM) techniques can help you manage anxiety, decrease stress and relieve the consequent muscle tension that may be causing your bruxism. When you experience stress, your muscles — including your jaw muscles — tense up, often leading to teeth grinding. To practice PRM, find a quiet location with low lighting, tense up each muscle in your body, one at a time, and then relax it. Tense and relax each muscle three times before moving on to the next one. Start from your toes and work your way up to your facial muscles (or vice versa).
Chin tucks can help strengthen your jaw and may help correct TMJ issues. To perform chin tucks, tuck your head down, bringing your chin close to your chest. While keeping your top and bottom teeth apart, push your chin back so your head returns to its normal position. Repeat this motion 15 times, three times a day.
Retrain Yourself to Maintain a Neutral Tongue and Jaw Position
To start, close your lips but open your jaw slightly so it is in a relaxed position. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, holding this tongue position for several minutes while you take slow, deep breaths. Do this several times a day. The objective is to retrain your tongue and jaw to remain in this neutral position automatically.
Relaxing your tongue may also help you maintain a neutral tongue and jaw position throughout the day. To do this exercise, move your tongue as far back in your mouth as possible. Leave your tongue in this position while slowly opening the mouth as much as possible. Then close your mouth. Repeat this 20 times, as often as needed throughout the day.
Treatment For Teeth Grinding in Pasadena CA
If the above exercises don’t provide you relief, it’s time to contact our office.
Here are Pasadena Pain Management, using TruDenta technology, we offer thorough bruxism treatment that also provides fast, effective pain relief.
TruDenta treatments last about 50 minutes and include the use of several proven, FDA cleared technologies. Depending upon the severity of the diagnosis, patients require from one to twelve treatments completed weekly. In other words, a patient with the most severe diagnosis could achieve lasting relief from their symptoms in about three months.
To get a full detailed analysis of the TruDenta treatment plan, contact Pasadena Pain Management and request a FREE CONSULTATION.