|We have implemented new protocols for our patient's and staff's safety. Please see our updated covid protocols for when you visit us.|
Posted on 2/17/2016 by Dr. Michael Allard
|Clenching your teeth is a bad habit, so like any bad habit that needs to be broken, you can just teach yourself to stop - right? There are certainly a lot of people out there who will like to try and convince you that you can, suggesting that by using techniques like mindfulness and meditation, you can avoid jaw pain from clenching your teeth.
Unfortunately, this isn't a good solution for TMD, and while your chronic pain may result from holding your jaw in the incorrect position, it really isn't possible to learn to hold it differently to avoid this discomfort.
There are a lot of self-help articles out there when it comes to TMD and associated pain. These publications promote that TMD occurs as a result of stress. While it is certainly true that TMD pain and stress are closely related, there are a variety of other factors that can contribute to the start and continuation of TMD.
Many people believe that they can control the movement of their jaw in order to stop clenching. After all, when you are chewing or talking you will likely be keenly aware of what your jaw is doing, giving you the illusion that you can just concentrate on your behaviors in order to alter them.
However, what people don't always realize is that the jaw is in constant movement, as even a simple swallow to rid your mouth of excess saliva will involve your jaw. Even more subtly, holding your head upright even requires some jaw muscle help.
If you are suffering the damaging results and side effects of clenching your teeth, please call our office is really the best course of action. You might be fitted with a custom mouth guard to help reduce the effects of your grinding and clenching. Likewise, if you need more advanced treatments for your TMD, a referral may be made to your oral surgeon.
Mon - Tue: 8:00am–5:00pm
Wed - Thu: 7:00am–4:00pm