Tight Jaw Causes, How to Relieve, Prevent, and Treat

Anyone experiencing symptoms of anxiety, jaw tension, or both may wish to speak with a doctor. There is not much medical research into treatments for relieving jaw tension. Additionally, it may be possible for people to relieve anxiety or jaw tension in the following ways. These might include avoidance behaviors, which arise when a person finds ways to avoid anxiety triggers. They could also include restlessness, hyperventilation, and the seeking of reassurance.

How to relieve TMJ pain

That repetitive gnashing can lead to imbalance, misalignment and added stress while pulling on your TMJ. But if you have or suspect that you have obstructive sleep apnea , sleeping on your back may not be the best choice. The position forces your jaw to fall back, which can make your airway smaller and snoring worse. Certain medications, alcohol use, smoking and stress can increase your chances of TMJ issues. As with any medical treatment, be sure you weigh the pros and cons before moving forward.

When to See a Dentist or Doctor

Try jaw exercises to stretch, strengthen, and relax your jaw muscles. When you notice you’re clenching your jaw, pause for a moment and do one of the following exercises for several repetitions. Follow up with a jaw massage to stay relaxed and reduce the chance of tightening up later.

Add a jaw stretch using a pencil to your nightly routine. Clamp a pencil, paintbrush, or similar object between your front teeth, securely but not forcefully. Slowly glide your lower jaw forward as far as you comfortably can, without letting the object fall out of your mouth.

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Tetanus is a potentially fatal infection, also referred to as lockjaw. It can cause involuntary spasms in the neck, jaw, abdominal, and other muscles. These painful contractions can cause breathing difficulties.