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  • Clenching my jaw

    I constantly clench my jaw. I catch myself doing it throughout the day and have to make a conscious effort to stop. Any thoughts? I get plenty of exercise and eat reasonably well (primal 80 - 90 % of the time). This has been going on fr about 4 months...

  • #2
    Me, too. Always have. Unless I make a conscious effort not to, by making it part of my routine, I just automatically spend most of my day clenching my teeth. Is it a problem? IDK.
    Crohn's, doing SCD

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    • #3
      It is. I do it too, and it can cause tooth fractures.

      You jave to practice relaxing, and I use a wheat sack aroudn my neck when I go to sleep.
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
        Me, too. Always have. Unless I make a conscious effort not to, by making it part of my routine, I just automatically spend most of my day clenching my teeth. Is it a problem? IDK.
        I feel like it probably is a problem but I guess I'm not sure. I assume that it is because of the soreness I usually feel. Sometimes when I catch myself my jaw is clenching very very tight and it just seems like something I should address. Have you noticed anything negative associated with your clenching?

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        • #5
          I have the same problem, work stress make it occur more frequently. Sleeping on your back helps prevent you from doing while sleeping.

          Toothpicks work great during the day.

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          • #6
            I do it too and have for decades. It's eroded away some of my enamel. I have amalgams and heard that it releases more mercury due to the clenching. I'm actually going in a couple of weeks to get a treatment plan to remove the amalgams due to this mercury issue. It's with a mercury safe dentist.


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

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            • #7
              The grinding of teeth at night has already worn away all my enamel on one tooth. I got a mouth guard after that
              My chocolatey Primal journey

              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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              • #8
                It's stress related... I do it more if I'm stressed out.
                Meditation works well. Taking a round against a punching bag will alos do miracles.
                My story, My thought....

                It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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                • #9
                  I do have amalgam fillings but not sure about the mercury content. Next time I go to the dentist ill have to bring this up. It could be stress but I'm surprised my frequent exercise isn't more of a natural release.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by walker.alles View Post
                    I do have amalgam fillings but not sure about the mercury content. Next time I go to the dentist ill have to bring this up. It could be stress but I'm surprised my frequent exercise isn't more of a natural release.
                    The exercise might help but you might need more.
                    Pay attention to the days that it is worse than others and think about what might trigger it. For me it's worries and sugar...that's why since going primal it's been a lot less. for you it might be other things that causes your body stress.
                    If you just went primal, that might be a temporary stress trigger...
                    My story, My thought....

                    It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by walker.alles View Post
                      I constantly clench my jaw. I catch myself doing it throughout the day and have to make a conscious effort to stop. Any thoughts? I get plenty of exercise and eat reasonably well (primal 80 - 90 % of the time). This has been going on fr about 4 months...
                      I'd be inclined to think that it's a just a form of tension. Further, you may also be tensing up elsewhere but not be aware of the tension.


                      There's a Reichian view that there are specific muscular tensions and that they have specific psychological "causes". If it's in the buttocks it's "sexual" or whatever ... and so on and so forth. I find that kind of thing unpersuasive.

                      First, while it recognises "the body" (which Freud didn't), it seems to assume that mind (the psyche) has a kind of primacy and that the body expresses (or "stores") what's going on in (or what has been going on) in the mind. But whether you can even separate "mind" and "body" ... it seems doubtful. Maybe it's not that the one can act on the other -- or even both ways round -- but the truth may be simply that they are the same thing seen from different points of view.

                      Secondly, I doubt we should think of tension as being localised in that way: I think there can be specific patterns of tension ... but that's not quite the same thing. It's not static: in a connected system (a) an adjustment here provokes an adjustment there -- like knocking one draughts-piece (or coin) in a pile -- and (b) when the system is in movement, the whole thing gets even more complicated.

                      Thirdly, the notion of seeing psychological, or emotional, life as always what's at the root seems doubtful to me. The psycho-physical system is also impacted by bad furniture, bad learning of "physical" tasks (such as being forced to write as a child when not physiologically ready), acquired "physical habits" ... and all manner of other things.

                      What's going on with one's teeth and jaw could also be impacted by how they've grown -- sub-optimally in modern society when the important minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins, might not be available in the diet, and when the attempts of orthodontists to correct problems might introduce further complications.

                      Then there's the effect of schooling and so on in a modern Western society. Children are always told to try harder and to make an effort. It's curious when you think about it. Most of the time, we really need to think smarter, to see what we haven't seen, and to be led to the point where we can do that by an observant, sympathetic, and intelligent teacher. But, all too frequently, learning is moralised and understood as a matter of effort. A familiar comment in school reports was always "must try harder".

                      But how do we understand "effort" and "trying" -- as a matter of applying muscular force.

                      Hence kids clench up -- set their jaws and necks and buttocks and so on in order to read better or do a sum better and so on -- whereas muscular tension here does not help and is only a distraction and a waste of energy.


                      The Alexander people, who just address tension practically, seem more interesting, and potentially more useful, than the Reichians to me.

                      You're experiencing tension. Why I don't know. Why over the past four months I don't know. Gently let it go whenever you become aware of it is a good start at any rate.

                      Yeah, you could try meditation, as someone said. You could also try something like Alexander Technique or Feldenkrais.

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                      • #12
                        I've had good luck recently with magnesium supplementation with a product called Natural Calm. Search amazon.

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                        • #13
                          How could I have missed this?

                          My clenching started in April.

                          So bad that when I went to eat something super soft the next day, it sounded
                          as though my jaw just cracked right off and it hurt really bad!

                          After that, it was pretty painful for a month (good weight loss strategy, heh).

                          Finally figured out that I was clenching at night, and even though I don't clench during
                          the day (my teeth are apart as I type), I *DO* contract the jaw MUSCLES, as if I *AM*
                          clenching.

                          I have absolutely ZERO (and I mean ZERO) stress in my life. Did I mention ZERO?

                          I find myself doing it when I'm concentrating on anything: working in my child's class, folding
                          laundry, picking at the cuticles around my nails, cutting up vegetables and fruits, and
                          even freaking typing this I catch myself.

                          What I have finally deduced to help, is to have a VERY SMALL piece of gum in my mouth to
                          remind me to chew every so often.

                          Not a big ol' honkin' wad of Big League Chew, but like half a piece of Trident or something.

                          Figured this out last week and OMG, helped SO MUCH.

                          No tensing, and just random bouts of chewing actually *relaxed* the jaw.

                          I don't know about you, but I don't "chew" gum like a pitbull holding onto someone's
                          ass. So no 300lbs of pressure, just light little chews here and there.

                          I still haven't figured out anything for night time though, and last night really sucked.

                          Woke up with a headache as usual and my jaw felt as though it'd been to the gym.

                          Anyway, try the little piece of gum during the day if you can chew it without looking like
                          some white trash cow chewing its cud. It helped loads.

                          Julia

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                            It is. I do it too, and it can cause tooth fractures.

                            You jave to practice relaxing, and I use a wheat sack aroudn my neck when I go to sleep.
                            Yep i agree with MM on this one. Chillax, deep breaths, breath in, breath out and RELAX...........and repeat 20 times if you have to. Tomorrow it might only be 19 x, ntil one day, you just aint doing it!!!!!!
                            Good luck
                            G
                            "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                            ...small steps....

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                            • #15
                              I try to catch when I'm clenching my jaw so that I can relax it; but i'm also trying to sort out my TMJ issues. It was going well for a while until I started forgetting to do certain things, including watching my head/neck posture. There was a MobilityWOD video that really helped me out.

                              The gum trick does the opposite for me, I can only chew it for a few minutes at a time before my muscles start to tense but I like having one after my coffee.

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