Teeth grinding and jaw clenching (also called bruxism) is often related to stress or anxiety. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but some people get facial pain and headaches, and it can wear down your teeth over time. Most people who grind their teeth and clench their jaw aren’t aware they’re doing it. It often happens during sleep or while concentrating or under stress.
I have seen many people in clinic over the years, complaining of teeth grinding and jaw clenching and it seems to be on the increase, perhaps as a result of society getting busier, feeling more stressed and having an overload of screen time.
Symptoms of teeth grinding:
Facial pain, headaches, earache, pain and stiffness around the jaw, disturbed sleep, worn down and/or broken teeth
Stress and anxiety – Teeth grinding is most often caused by stress, or anxiety, and many people aren’t aware they do it. It often happens during sleep.
Medication – Teeth grinding can sometimes be a side effect of taking certain types of medication. In particular, teeth grinding is sometimes linked to a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
I have found that deep tissue massage around the head, neck, shoulders, face and jaw, blended with craniosacral bodywork to the same area, has been helpful in reducing, or eliminating, the tension that accumulates around these areas and thus discomfort.
Regular massage also helps to initiate the relaxation response, so easing stress and enabling you to get a good nights sleep.
If you recognise teeth grinding as an issue for you, please let me know and we can included the face and jaw massage work at your next appointment.