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Re: Grinding Teeth (Bruxism) problems probably stress

Posted by Larry Hoover on March 31, 2003, at 18:54:02

In reply to Grinding Teeth (Bruxism) problems probably stress , posted by GregCo on March 31, 2003, at 13:11:28

> I grind my teeth every night and use a mouth guard to prevent me from ruining my teeth anymore than I already have. I think it probably is stress(possibly slight depression too?) related.
> I think I started about 7 years ago when a girlfriend of mine broke up with and has been continuing ever since. Has anyone had this problem and figured out a way to solve it? Possibly a certain medication my help?

This may seem like a trivial exercise, but I assure you it has had a great and lasting impact for me. I am a life-long bruxist, and it runs in my family (so I suspect there's a genetic component). There are behavioural correlates as well, though.

Most bruxists tend to hold measurable tension in their jaw muscles during the day. You're probably not aware of it, but there's a tendency to clench the teeth a little bit. If you can break that habit, you'll also reduce the tendency to clench at night.

All you need to do is consciously create a slight gap between your teeth. This requires you to loosen the tension in the jaw muscles. Then, widen your tongue a bit, enough that it slightly extends between your teeth on both sides. It'll feel weird, but you're not likely to bite your tongue or anything. Do this any time in the day that you think of it, and especially when you're in bed waiting to go to sleep. Some bruxists stop bruxing altogether with this technique. I seldom brux any more.

Another thing is, don't chew gum. It undoes all the relaxation created by the above technique.





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