Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Clenching Teeth

About 10 years ago my dentist told me I was grinding my teeth at night. He could tell by the pattern on my teeth. I had a hard time believing this was true since no other dentist had ever brought this to my attention. I also couldn't believe it since I thought I should be aware of it, but was told that grinders are rarely aware of it since they are asleep.

Recently, I've had terrible jaw problems, where my teeth and jaw ache day and night. I awoke this morning at 4:35 with a very sore jaw, and the thought came to me that I could be clenching or grinding my teeth. I got on the web and put clenching teeth in quotations. As usual when I get on the web, I found many interesting articles.

One good piece of advice is totally free since it's an exercise. You clench tightly for a slow count of 20 seconds, then totally relax for another 20 seconds, and repeat 10 times. I did it, and my jaw is more relaxed already.

Clenching and grinding teeth is attributed to stress and anxiety. Well, we've had more than our share of that in the last few months!

P.S. This note is written 7/7/07, good date huh? It took me five months to figure out that eating wheat is what causes me to clench my jaw. I am gluten intolerant and have to avoid many other foods. When I eat those foods my whole body tenses up. And I get cramps in my calves, feet and toes. It was a good thing to figure out. I have been miserable!