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Why Do I Clench My Teeth? Kelowna Dentists Explore Causes, Solutions, and Tips for Prevention

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Why am I clenching my teeth?

Stress and anxiety – Kelowna dentists believe stress is the number one reason why people clench their teeth. Most of the time, teeth clenching is completely involuntary, and the clencher isn’t even aware it’s happening.  Stress has also been linked to bleeding gums.

Anger and frustration – If you find yourself angry or frustrated when you’re awake, check to see if your teeth are clamped. A lot of people respond to difficult situations with clenched teeth.

Sleep patterns – Some teeth clenchers wake up in the morning with sore jaw muscles and headaches after clenching their teeth throughout the night.

How can I stop clenching and prevent it from happening in the future?

Awareness – When at rest, focus on keeping your lips sealed, but your teeth apart. Concentrating on keeping your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth and relaxing your jaw muscles will keep you from clenching your teeth together. The more you relax your jaw muscles, the more natural it will become.

Exercise – Working out at the gym or taking a walk will help alleviate stress. No stress equals no clenching.

Bathing – Taking a hot shower or bath before bed will also help reduce stress and relax the muscles in your body.

Heat – Applying a heating pad or a hot, wet facecloth to your neck and jaw can also relax muscles and alleviate pain from clenching.

Massage – Relax your jaw by gently rubbing the sore muscles yourself, or visit a massage therapist and let them massage the pain away for you.

Mouthguard – Stop in at your local Kelowna dental clinic and have them fit you for a mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard to bed at night can alleviate the pain, discomfort and damage that results from clenching teeth while you sleep.

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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