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How To Stop Clenching Teeth When Sleeping – Guide On Symptoms and Remedies

stop clenching teeth when sleeping

Many people have an issue when they try to stop clenching teeth when sleeping. Most times, it happens without the person experiencing the problem, not knowing they have a problem.

Some people even lose the desire to smile when their teeth go beyond repair. Save your mouth and your smile before it is too late.

What Is Teeth Clenching

Teeth clenching is when a person is grinding their teeth. It is also known as sleep bruxism. The exact cause of teeth clenching is not known but many dentists deduce that it can because of stress, anxiety, smoking, or caffeine use.

Clues That You Are Clenching Teeth At Night

  • Waking up with headaches
  • Teeth are flattened or fractured
  • Deep layers of the tooth are exposed
  • Jaw muscles are constantly tired
  • Face, jaw or neck pain
  • Damage to the inside of your cheeks
  • Sleep is disturbed
  • Tongue damage

Stop Clenching Teeth When Sleeping

Although the best thing you can do when clenching teeth at night is to see a dentist. But until then, you can be proactive in preventing nighttime teeth clenching. As I said earlier, most teeth clenching or grinding is done due to stressful situations in your life; there are few steps you can take to prevent that from happening:

Release anxiety/stress – Anxiety that follows you from daytime into nighttime sleeping can bring quite a bit of harm to your teeth. Many times when we are dealing with stressful situations during the day, those situations then become nightmares.

It’s during those nightmares that the anxiety of being unable to deal with the situation pops up. If you know that stressful situations are what’s causing your anxiety, then read my last on how to release anxiety with the bubble technique.

Exercise – Exercise is another way to reduce anxiety or stress. When we exercise, our body releases feel-good exercise to release stressendorphins.

Just remember when you do start exercising, start off slow. Taking it one day at a time will help you be more successful at reducing stress than trying to jump into it suddenly. As a personal trainer in my previous career, my recommendation to my clients was to do 20 minutes of exercise every second day.

This way, my clients didn’t burn themselves out but were able to release the feel-good endorphins. These endorphins help them to get to sleep at night without worrying about anything.

Release all negative thoughts – I learned that the best way to release negative thoughts was by jotting them down. Most thoughts will only interrupt you until you address the thought.

Once the thought has been addressed, it will not bother you anymore. Read my post on how to deal with the inner critic; you will learn how to deal with negative thoughts effectively.

Be mindfully aware – Sometimes, when we go to bed, if we are one of those individuals who clench our teeth, as soon as our head hits the pillow, our jaw immediately goes to work to start clenching.

If you are consciously aware that this is happening, then you can tell your jaws to relax. Practicing relaxation while being mindfully aware at night will help your jaw to remain stress-free.

Practice yoga  – Yoga is another stress reducer. Individuals who practice yoga 90 minutes each week are known to carry less stress and anxiety than those who don’t. Read my post on yoga by Zoe Bray cotton, to get an idea of how yoga can help you.

Botox – Botox can help to neutralize the jaw muscle. It will not cure your teeth clenching, but the treatment can last for several months.

Not everyone will benefit from Botox. But those who do will find relief when they go to bed at night.

EFT tapping – Tapping can help you to disrupt thoughts. Many of us have thoughts, which lead to anxiety or stress, then this becomes the cause of clenching our teeth at night.

When you practice tapping, you will have your mind focus on more relaxing thoughts while waving away unhealthy thoughts. My EFT tapping post can help you to learn this technique quickly and effectively.

Exercise your tongue and jaw muscles – By exercising your tongue and jaw muscles, your face muscles relax and maintain proper alignment of your jaw.

How can you exercise your tongue and  jaw muscles:

  • Smile as wide as you can and press your tongue to the back of your teeth. This will help to relax your jaw.
  • Say the letter N out loud. This will prevent your teeth from touching and clenching.

Practice this daily; eventually, your jaw will begin to relax. There will come a time where you will only have to think of the exercise, and you’ll notice your total face muscles relaxing.

Consider getting a mouthguard – If the above solutions don’t work, then a mouthguard will help for sure. What a mouthguard does is it will prevent you from bringing your teeth together, which will then stop you from clenching or grinding. Before you get a custom-made one, why not try one out to see if it is what you need.

Final Thoughts On Teeth Clenching

Grinding or clenching your teeth occasionally is considered normal; this will not cause damage to your teeth. But when it becomes a regular occurrence, then the harm to your teeth can become irreversible.l. You may also suffer other oral health issues.

You may want to have a dentist take a further look into your mouth to see what the cause of your teeth clenching could be.

Share in the comments below what works for you to stop clenching teeth when sleeping.

jagi

Reading is my favorite thing to do. But other than reading, I enjoy discovering new techniques on how to do something in simpler methods. My daughter likes to call me the Renaissance woman. So I do have to live up to the name. One of my main issues is sleeping, so I'm always searching for new ways to get a good night sleep, I'm more than happy to share them with you. My posts are either geared towards pain or self-help. Pain posts because I suffer from ongoing cancer pain. In the past 6 years of my fight with cancer, I have learned many ways to deal with pain, especially when going to bed. The self-help posts come from my work as a mental health counselor for over 15+ years. My background in counseling training is from UFV and RRU. I also have personal trainer certification from IFA, so I might throw in some exercise posts as well.

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12 thoughts on “How To Stop Clenching Teeth When Sleeping – Guide On Symptoms and Remedies

  1. Irin Ahmed says:

    Hi Jagi, Thanks for your very useful post. I have never heard this term Teeth Clenching! I am really amazed to see that teeth clenching would be a problem and should aware of this. I think I faced this problem but didn’t consider it’s an issue. I have a high temper problem. I get tempered easily of any issue that goes against me. By reviewing your post I have come to know that anxiety and stress could be the cause of this problem. You share eight clues that would be the reason of teeth clenching. That I don’t know before, its really help for me. As well as you narrate wonderfully the exercise process that could help to prevent this silent problem. Your tounge and jaw muscle exercise would really help. And I do practise this for sure from tomorrow. 

    Thumbs up to you for your nice effort to put together such as useful information.

    1. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. PeterMinea says:

    Hello Jagi!

    Clenching teeth happened to me too, fortunately this occurred very rarely. I was aware of it when I was getting up in the middle of the night and noticed that I was just clenching my teeth, right while getting up.

    But I repeat, it happened very seldom. Other people who have this habit need to take care of it immediately, because the risk of destroying their teeth increases, besides facing other oral injuries. In my opinion, this issue may be related to stress and negative thoughts, and people need to “train” their mind to stop triggering undesirable grindings.

    So let’s not clench our teeth!

    Best regards,

    Peter

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience and your words of motivation.

  3. CalTravos says:

    I used to have a big problem with clenching my teeth while I slept, so I can say from experience that relieving stress really does help with the problem, and also helps with a lot of issues in your waking life as well. Thanks for the great post. Hope to see more helpful stuff on here.

    1. Stress is huge cause of teeth clenching, one the stressor is reduced so are the issues that come along with it. 

  4. Hi there,

    This is actually a very useful article! A family member of mine often clenches his teeth. Waking up with headaches is something that’s often the case for him. He’s quite stressed and erratic, and since this article provides detailed information on how to possible eradicate these problems, I will be referring him to your website. Thanks again!

    Cheers!

    1. Thanks for the share. 

  5. Teeth grinding can become an issue if its done on a regular basis. I know one of my friend who got effected by it. The issue was that he wasn’t aware why he constantly feeling mild headache on a daily basis when he wake up in the morning. He then undergone various health checkups but all was normal.

    Later he realized that he is getting jaw tenderness. With that issue, he went to the dentist who examined his jaw and found that he is having teeth clenching issue.

    After reading this post, I suddenly remember that friend of mine who faced the same issue. 

    I didn’t knew that there are so many ways to stop teeth clenching that I found reading this post.

    Thanks,

    Neha

    1. I know a few people who wake up with headaches, I’ve mentioned teeth clenching to them. One of the individuals got the help and no longer has headaches, while the other one is still dragging their feet on teeth clenching. Good thing when one realizes this and then can get the help they need. 

  6. I have this problem before and I don’t know how it stopped. After reading this article, I learned that this problem is mainly an emotional problem and that someone who is experiencing this may need counseling from the experts. Or, if they can get professional counseling, at least try these methods or solutions that you shared. 

    By the way, I’d like to ask about Botox. Does someone need a prescription from a physician to be able to buy this medicine from pharmacies?

    1. Yes, botox will require a prescription. Thanks for stopping by. 

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