Tooth clenching and grinding

If you clench or grind your teeth, your spouse or your dentist might tell you; but you’re usually the last to know! STRESS is ever present in our day to day activities. One way we use to release it is by grinding and clenching our teeth.

Unfortunately, this unconscious habit, combined with a less than perfect bite, can create muscle tension, migraines, headaches, earaches, sensitive teeth; it can fracture teeth and even make your bite collapse.

Physical therapy and wearing a nightguard or splint to improve the bite can help. But behavior modification is also essential to find comfort again. Even if you don’t have jaw joint problems, the technique described here will help you prevent them.


Because the patient caused the problem, he/she should equally be successful in curing it!

You must learn to stop contracting your jaw muscles uselessly; it’s that simple! And here’s a technique that works.


The teeth should not touch ever – except when swallowing. This comes as a big surprise to most people. When not chewing or swallowing, the tip of the tongue should rest gently on the tip and back of the lower incisors. The soft fleshy part of the lower lip sits slightly over the tip of the lower front teeth and is gently sucked back in a relaxed posture. The top of the tongue rests against the roof of the mouth not the teeth.

This is the proper jaw position. It is the new position your mouth should be held in to create comfort and health.


Jaw posture is learned; it can be unlearned and re-learned if you create the right command in your mind. The fastest way to create the command is through self-hypnosis. It’s not magic. It is the process that a person goes through while awake, in order to concentrate on only one subject at a time. You have already practiced self-hypnosis every time you’ve studied for an exam at school.

Preparation takes only a few minutes. On a half-dozen “Stickynotes” draw a smile and stick them in different places so that you will see them regularly throughout the day: your handbag, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, car, at work, etc. as reminders.

Every time you see one, ask yourself: “Are my teeth touching? Where is my tongue?” If you have the proper jaw posture – great! If you don’t have the proper posture, repeat to yourself three times: “When my teeth touch, I open slightly”. After a week of success, you graduate!

After a while, your sub-conscious will be trained to open your mouth as soon as the teeth touch. You will feel more relaxed and comfortable all day long.

After a while, your sub-conscious will be trained to open your mouth as soon as the teeth touch. You will feel more relaxed and comfortable all day long.


By now you’re probably asking: “I mostly grind or clench at night. How will I possibly remember to keep my teeth apart then? The truth of the matter is you are already remembering a lot of things while you sleep.

When is the last time you accidentally rolled out of bed while asleep? Or wet your bed? You don’t do it because you remember not to. Even if you are in the deepest sleep, you wake up when you have to go. I do too! We do this because it is important, very deep in our mind, to wake up if we have to go to the bathroom.

It is your responsibility to place the command of “not touching your teeth together” right beside the “don’t wet the bed” command. It must be of the same importance because of the damage your habit is doing to your body and your mind. Here’s how.


Every night, before going to sleep, relax every part of your body sequentially starting with your toes, feet, legs, etc. After relaxing each part of your body, repeat your self-hypnotic suggestion for jaw posture. For example: “I feel my toes are warm and relaxed – when by teeth touch, I open by mouth slightly” until you fall asleep. If your mind wanders off, bring it back gently to the exercise.

You are a very powerful and important person when you use this technique to help yourself. You will find you sleep like a baby and will wake up feeling great – full of positive energy for the day ahead!

Oh! One last thing: no chewing gum – ever! Don’t make your jaw joints work overtime uselessly again.

Success is the result of knowledge and proper action. We can’t do it for you – but we’ll sure coach you as best we can.


  1. Take mineral supplements at bed time.Magnesium taurate or glycinate works well.
  2. Never sleep on you stomach.
  3. Walk on your tip-toes for 10 seconds before going to bed in order to relax your jaw.
  4. Stretch your jaw muscles by saying ohh – hisss… 10 times in the morning.
  5. And especially… express your anger in a civilized manner!

And if all this doesn't work, ask your dentist to make you a custom acrylic nightguard. Similar to a sports mouthguard but rigid, it prevents the back teeth from touching in stressful positions and therefore relaxes the face and neck muscles, your jaw joints - it will even prevent tooth wear and fractures!