Top 6 Teeth Grinding Prevention Exercises

Top 6 Teeth Grinding Prevention Exercises

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

In addition to wearing a night guard to prevent damage from teeth grinding, you can also take steps to address the underlying tension that might be causing the issue.

Here are six of the best exercises you can do to address teeth grinding.

1. Yawning

Let yourself yawn repeatedly, ideally five to ten times in a row. Yawning can stretch and relax the muscles of the jaw more effectively than just opening the jaw wide—or forcing it open wide. Your eyes may begin to tear up as you finish, which is just fine. This happens when the lacrimal glands near the eye get squeezed.

You can try different positions for your head and neck while yawning to see how this affects the sense of stretching and relaxation. You can also bring your lips together mid-yawn. This can feel strange or difficult at first, but you will feel its effect on the base of the tongue as the back of your mouth continues to open wide.

Why humans yawn is a subject of much research. And it’s currently believed that it’s a reflex the body has when it wants to move more oxygen to the brain (which is why you may yawn when tired—your brain is trying to wake up). It’s also been found that yawning relieves stress and often occurs naturally during stressful situations. So, in addition to stretching the muscles that contribute to teeth grinding, you’ll also be addressing one of the most common underlying causes of grind: stress.

2. Stretching jaw muscles diagonally

For this, you will be manipulating your jaw position with your hands or with the help of someone you trust. Begin by opening the jaw as wide as you can. Then, keeping it wide, press it to the left downward. Stay there for ten seconds. Then, return to center, rest for a moment, and repeat on the right side.

Try not to fight against the stretch. You might need to keep one hand on your forehead or the top of your head to ensure that your whole head doesn’t move as well.

3. Progressive muscle relaxation

The jaw is likely not the only place where you are carrying tension in your body, and tension can travel through muscle groups, contributing to pain in other areas. So, it is good to address your body as a whole, and progressive muscle relaxation can do this.

In a relaxing space with calm lighting, find a comfortable position sitting or lying down. Then, starting with your toes, tense a single muscle group while inhaling for five to ten seconds. Release tension completely on the exhale and let it stay relaxed for a few seconds before inhaling and tensing again.

You should tense and then relax each muscle group three times before moving on to the next. The whole process should only take 10 to 20 minutes.

4. Stretching your neck

Neck tension is a common issue and often contributes to or goes hand-in-hand with jaw tension. You can create a nice routine by mixing and matching some common neck stretches, such as:

Turn your head all the way to the left or right. Then, keeping your shoulder straight and back, drop your chin towards the shoulder it’s facing.

Drop your chin towards your chest and let the weight of your head create the stretch in the back of your neck. To increase the stretch. You can clasp your fingers and lay them across the back of your head to add gentle pressure.

With your shoulders back and down in a position of good posture, drop your head to one side, sending your ear towards your shoulder. You can increase this stretch by adding light pressure from the arm of the same shoulder or by extending your opposing arm downwards and reaching with your fingers towards the ground.

Hold each of these stretches for ten to twenty seconds before allowing yourself to relax and switch sides.

5. Shoulder mobility stretches or exercises

The shoulder also comes into play in neck and jaw tension. If you find yourself stiff or achy in this area of the body, it is important you regain flexibility and decrease tension. The pectoralis muscles in the front of the shoulder and chest are frequently over tight because of the amount of work we now do at computers.

You can stretch these muscles by using a doorway. With your feet shoulder-width apart for stability, raise your arm to the side so that your elbow is at a ninety-degree angle. Then, place the palm and forearm on the doorway and rotate your upper body away from that side of the door frame, going as far as is comfortable. Hold this for twenty to thirty seconds.

6. Chin tucks

Often, the trapezius muscles take on too much work and tension when some underlying muscle groups are weak, and that can lead to neck tension and jaw pain. You can target strengthening some of these other neck muscles by doing chin tucks.

While standing or sitting straight, place two fingers on your chin. Then, pull the whole head backward, away from the fingers. Hold for five seconds. Then, relax and repeat as able up to ten times.

Visit the TeethNightGuard blog for more information on addressing teeth grinding.



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