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Clenched teeth, TMJ

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by untangledweb, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. untangledweb

    untangledweb Peer Supporter

    Does anyone have any tips for getting my jaws to unclench at night?
    I probably have been clenching my jaw‘s at night for about 50 years. I use a mouth guard so that I don’t hurt my teeth. But I can’t seem to get my jaws to relax so that I don’t wake up in pain. I’ve tried mindful relaxation before sleep. I’ve tapped on it. I even take muscle relaxers at night to try to help me just to relax and they don’t appear to be phasing me. I know clenched jaw’s are associated with anger and maybe me having to force myself to keep my mouth shut a lot of the times, LOL. The last four nights in a row I have dreamt that someone is after me, or chasing me and I’ve been hiding? What is up with that? I’d sure appreciate any suggestions.
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hi Untangledweb,

    I have clenched my jaws for almost as long as you. Before I started wearing a mouth guard I even broke a couple teeth! My dentist says he's never seen anyone as hard on their mouth guard as I am.

    Having pain has never been a symptom of my clenching. Ever. In fact, because of this I spent years believing I didn't clench because it causes pain, and I had none. My poor long-suffering dentist! Lol, one broken tooth should have been enough, but oh no, I could deny anger with the best of them, no clenched jaw here.

    It would be great if you could stop clenching, it isn't good for your teeth, however I suggest you do tms work regarding the pain. Hopefully the clenching will stop (for both of us) when we are further along in soothing our systems. You don't have to have pain while you wait.

    Best of recovery to you!
    Lainey and untangledweb like this.
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    A former clenching, mouth-guard munching poppet here!

    The two things I have found that reliably help are first, physically reducing tension by pleasurably using and moving your body thereby letting stuff go while saturating yourself with endorphins, and second quite simply laughter. Smiling and laughter completely rid the face and jaw of all that nasty energy.

    However these two things are not a one-time gigs. They need to become threads in the fabric of your day and of your life. They have to replace the stress and anger deep down to your soul.

    I spent years being angry, overwhelmed and unhappy. I couldn't exercise and my pain was relentless. Once I learned how to release tension and stop taking everything so seriously I started to heal.

    As Lizzy says it's all about soothing...and singing and expressing yourself. It's said that mouth problems derive from not speaking our truths or being true to ourselves and this certainly fits the modus operandi of your average people-pleaser.

    Watch some comedians on YouTube, sing in the car and inject a massive dose of fun into your life. Or scream. Sometimes you just have to.

    As for the dreams, I was dogged by "predator" dreams for years. They intensified and escalated until one night I experienced the most terrifying nightmare of my life. And then they stopped for good. For me they tracked an underlying naivete and gullibility that saw me repeatedly become involved with shady characters and people just out for themselves. I was seduced by more than one narcissist and my night-time self tried to warn my day-time other.

    An integral part of my TMS healing was unknotting all this stuff, learning to become assertive and to create and maintain strong boundaries. As Gabor Maté so beautifully stated, the body says NO.

    Plum x
    Lainey, Lizzy, Nzombro and 1 other person like this.
  4. Artmuzz

    Artmuzz Well known member

    I suffer from dental pain too due to clenching my teeth at night in my sleep. I sometimes use a dental splint but there are times I take it out in my sleep unaware and I wake up with no splint in my mouth.

    The advice mentioned here is very helpful for me as well as the OP. I have a lot of repressed anger in me as well as emotional stress and I notice I even clench my teeth sometimes during the day and I am unaware of it. One thing I use to reduce the pain is oil pulling where I swish coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes and spit it out. This seems to give me some relief.

    However, I know this is all TMS related.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  5. untangledweb

    untangledweb Peer Supporter

    Thanks you guys for responding! I’ve started taking some really deep breaths with an audible sigh as an exhale. It seems to be helping so far
    Lizzy likes this.

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