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Teeth Clenching

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Health > Teeth Clenching



Night time jaw clenching...Hypno Therapy?

Dec 2007

I have been clenching my jaw while I sleep and I wake up with my teeth and jaw hurting. I wear a night guard for grinding and I have recently been going for cranial sacral sessions, but the effect only lasts a few days. Now I am wondering if hypno-therapy would be useful. Any ideas? Any referrals for a good hypno therapist in the East Bay/SF? Afraid of cracking all my teeth


I found it useful to stop sleeping on my tummy, though I hated giving up that sleep position. Once I learned to sleep on my side or on my back, the jaw clenching subsided. My husband, also afflicted with this involuntary habit, got some help from sleeping wired up with a bio-feedback device. After a while, he abandoned it when my arm got entangled in his wires, waking him as the machine's beeps went off the chart. Sweet dreams
I recommend Greg Harper. He is a hypnotherapist who also has other tools in his kit, like EFT. He's a total sweetie. http://www.theinnervoyage.com/ 510-530-3802 Laura
I recommend you see Dr. Nathan Becker in San Francisco. I understand he has treated many ''hard to treat'' cases of hypothyroidism. I know two people whose symptoms were out of control, and thankfully found great relief thanks to him. anon
I am a dentist and I used Hypno Therapy for childbirth and really thought it worked. I don't know someone who specializes in that for jaw clenching but I am sure you can find someone who is willing to work with you on this. There are some great guided imagery CDs on the internet, too. The reason for my posting is that I wanted to share with you things that work for my patients: teeth shouldn't touch during the day unless you are chewing or swallowing. Try to go through the day noticing how much tension builds in your jaw and releasing it. If you chew gum or have any other habit that has you chewing(nail/cheek biting etc) try to stop. Make sure your neck is supported while you sleep. There are muscle relaxants that help but the thing that works the best is ICE. Using ice (not frozen vegetables but an ice pack that maintains cold) for no less than 20 minutes right before bedtime shuts down the muscle of closing (the masseter muscle). You mention that you have a nightguard. If it is a soft pliable nightguard it might be making things worse. It can become a ''chew toy'' for some people and you would be better off in a hard splint. Hope this helps you. Anonymous

I'd really like to stop clenching my jaw

June 2007

I clench my jaw at night (and might grind, don't know) and would REALLY like to stop. I have a night guard from my dentist which helps with the pain and hopefully minimizes negative effects on my teeth and gums. I tend to clench more/harder when I'm stressed. I want to get at the problem (ie. stress, not relaxing, etc), not the symptom (ie clenching my teeth). What can I do to stop? I'd be interested to hear if anyone has experience with hypnotherapy, acupuncture or other therapies. enough already


Saying positive affirmations can be very helpful, for example, ''My jaw is relaxed'', ''I am relaxed and peaceful.'' Saying them at the beginning of your day is helpful and if you notice yourself grinding, take a moment, center yourself and say the affirmation. Just by saying it in the morning and at night before going to bed is beneficial. You generally don't have to give it any more thought than that. I use affirmations to relax my jaw and it has helped greatly. You can do it! :-) sue

Teeth clenching and swollen gland?

May 2006

I wanted to know if anyone else has experienced swollen glands in the neck as a result of stress induced jaw clenching. My life became quite stressful last year when my youngest child was born and suffered a stroke 3 days later. She is one year old now and perfectly fine, thank God, but I am still dealing with facial pain and swollen gland issues that I noticed when she was about 4 months old. At this time I had a filling put in on the right side and soon after noticed the swollen gland and face pain. I believe part of the pain is from stress on the joint from the procedure and having to hold my mouth open, but I still have at least one slightly swollen gland in my neck on that side eight months later. I do notice that I hold that side of my face tight and have to remind myself to let it go. I sometimes wake up with pain in my ear on that side and pain in the gland right under it. I am willing to accept the idea of TMJ and clenching but am unsure about the persitently swollen gland in my neck. I wanted to know if anyone else had these problems as well. Thanks


I think the swollen glands are more likely because of effects the stress is having on your immune system, which is way more common. I'm a cronic teeth clencher/grinder and have never had the sort of issue you're describing. I can't recommend highly enough that you get fitted for a mouth guard to wear at night (some times when I get really bad I even wear it for a bit in the day). It has done wonders for me - no more headaches from the grinding, and my teeth aren't showing the same wear and tear. anon
My husband is a dentist and read your post. He suggested you would be a good candidate for a nightguard. I have teeth clenching issues also, and I must admit, when I wear my nightguard for a few nights (I'm supposed to wear it every night!), my neck ache relaxes and my jaw feels much better. Fellow Clencher

I clench my teeth while I sleep

August 2003

I clench my teeth while I sleep, and I know this is bad! My dentist has recommended getting a night guard, which I might do, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience getting themselves to stop doing this? Has anyone tried acupuncture for this? If so, how long did it last before you started clenching again? I would be interested to learn any success stories, or horror stories that might convince me to get the night guard.


I know exactly what you're going through! Several years ago I was told that I needed a night guard because I was clenching and my teeth were wearing down. But the hygenist at my dentist's office gave me a tip: try biting (gently) on your tongue before you go to sleep. If you start to clench, you wake yourself up. But honestly, I don't remember ever waking up.. it just stopped me from clenching! I would generally notice myself start to clench when I slept on my side (which was most of the time), so when I'd roll onto my side, I'd put my tongue between my molars on that side, and go to sleep. It took a little practice, but I've had no problems - and no need for a night guard - since.. good luck! anon
Please keep in mind that any good voice teacher--for either the speaking or singing voice--will have a broad range of approaches to handling TMJ and related matters. People who use their voices professionally have a particular need to release the jaw and their teachers are usually prepared to deal with even serious cases. You can stop grinding your teeth and learn to use your voice better at the same time.

A tip to save you a lot of trouble: the side teeth should never touch. They may touch without harm when you swallow, but even then it's not really necessary. In a relaxed mouth, the teeth hang apart--they do not rest together as you see that set in your dentist's office doing. Let your teeth rest apart--that is, you can stop grinding your teeth, use your voice better and save yourself a face lift all at the same time. L. T. R.


I clenched my teeth at night very badly (chronically tense jaw, headaches, molars wearing down, etc). Since I got my night guard 10 years ago, I have experienced almost none of these symptoms. They work very well in my experience. It is difficult to get used to wearing it, but once you do, it's easy and routine. They are expensive, but last forever and it really pays off! Monique
When I was clenching my teeth and grinding them at night, my dentist taught me to do the following 3 times a day, so that when you clench your teeth, the body memory will automatically release them for you when you sleep.

clench your teeth as hard as you can for a slow count of 20. Then completely loosen and drop your jaw for a second slow count of 20. Repeat 10 times

I think I did it for five days, and the problem disappeared for me. nancy


I clench my teeth, too, and after reading some other posts here on the list about it, decided it was caused by stress and I made a conscious effort to stop being the news junkie I had become. No more news on TV every night before I go to sleep, for example. And only scanning the newspaper. It seems to have had a positive effect! no more pain
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