Once jaw tension starts, it can build up quickly and cause headaches, neck pain, dental sensitivity, and other problems. Jaw discomfort can impact your sleep, work, and life when you don’t know how to find relief. Here are 5 ways to stop jaw discomfort that actually work.
1. Notice When You Clench
Many times, jaw discomfort begins by clenching or grinding your teeth. People often don’t recognize when they are clenching their teeth, so it’s important to learn how to recognize the signs. If your top and bottom teeth are touching when you are at rest or if your tongue has imprints from your teeth along the edges, these are signs of clenching.
You can change this by being conscious of the tension in your jaw and mindfully releasing it. To do this, try to relax your jaw muscles so that your top and bottom teeth don’t touch. If the edges of your tongue are smooth when you stick your tongue out, that’s a good sign your jaw has been relaxed!
2. Practice Meditation
One of the best ways to stop jaw discomfort is to relieve stress. This is because jaw discomfort is often caused by tension that can be exacerbated by stress. Practicing meditation can be a great way to relax your mind and body. If meditation doesn’t seem to work for you, try doing whatever helps to calm your mind and body and lower your stress levels, whether it’s yoga, a hot bath, a walk in nature, or a nap!
3. Avoid Excessive Chewing
Chewing gum or eating foods that are especially chewy, such as bagels or caramels, can tire your jaw out and lead to extra discomfort. If your jaw is feeling especially tender, see if it helps to give it a rest for a few days by eating soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing.
4. Try a Mouthguard
A mouthguard can be helpful if your jaw tends to tense up when you’re sleeping, driving, or at other times when you may be unable to consciously keep your jaw relaxed. A mouthguard can help to retrain your jaw to not tense up and provide relief from the symptoms of teeth clenching and grinding.
5. Visit Your Dentist
If you’ve tried various ways to stop jaw discomfort and you are still not finding relief, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist! Your dentist may prescribe a custom-fitted mouthguard or therapy exercises for your jaw to help relieve jaw discomfort that hasn’t gone away on its own. You shouldn’t have to suffer through discomfort and your dentist is here to help.
Call our Provo, UT, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.