Advice for Teeth / Jaw Clenching? [day… 4?]

I’ve pretty much given up on the no talking thing. Lots of friends have texted and emailed asking about my jaw so here’s an update… :)

It’s not better yet. *sad face*
I made it through 1.5 days of no talking
then work got crazier and it became almost impossible
so I started talking a little
then my jaw started hurting a LOT.

and now I’m here. :P Chiropractor appointment in the am, so hopefully that will go well.

BUT THE BIG QUESTION:

Does anyone have advice for how to avoid teeth / jaw clenching?

That’s my main problem. I don’t think it’s the talking, though that is wearing it out right now. People have said night guards, but I think I’m mostly doing it during the day. This sounds crazy, but I get tense and clench my jaw when I’m typing urgent emails. Which in a disaster relief org, is like 90% of all emails. :D and i love it!!

BUT – how do I keep my jaw relaxed during the day?

Any pointers??? 

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5 thoughts on “Advice for Teeth / Jaw Clenching? [day… 4?]

  1. I am a singer who struggles a lot with TMJ pain (jaw pain) and some things that help me are:
    -some vocal warm-ups that help loosen my jaw and muscles around it (such as “thuh, thuh, thuh” or lip trills and tongue rolling).
    -A homeopathic gel called arnica gel that helps with muscle relaxing that I use in the morning and at night
    -back/neck rubs during choir warm-ups (daily) to help them relax
    -ice/heat daily… though usually ice feels better to me because it numbs the pain and reduces the inflammation (even though ice/cold usually causes muscles to tighten a little)
    -MSM — this helps with joint movement
    -chiropractic adjustment – this helps loosen the tight muscles that are compensating for the jaw issues
    -consciously thinking about keeping your teeth APART (or putting your tongue between your teeth) when you are not talking or doing anything else. This really helps with the clenching that can happen during the day.
    -A splint (thick night guard) that my orthodontist made for me to wear at night
    -little magnets that I wear on my TMJ (both sides) during the day. This may sound really weird, but when I wear them I notice a big difference in how tight my TMJ feels.

    Hope some or all of these are helpful! I know how painful TMJ issues can be and I hope this helps you to find some relief like I have!!

  2. When taking my speech class in college, we had an actor teach the course so he did a lot more unconventional stuff than my other friends’ classes. But one of the things we practiced was loosening our jar (which was SO HARD to get the hang of because I didn’t realize my jaw was tight much). The key thing I remember was a lot of deep breathing and actually massaging the muscles between your cheek bone and jaw bone (it feels weird at first but it actually feels good). The other thing our teacher would do (which I wasn’t good at) was literally grabbing your own chin with your hands and practicing lowering your jaw up and down manually.

    Have you tried yoga or pilates? Those can definitely help teach you effective deep breathing technics

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