Are you waking in the morning with sore cheek muscles, loose or temperature-sensitive teeth, a headache, earache, or jaw pain? If so, you may be grinding your teeth or habitually clenching your jaw in your sleep (or even during waking hours). Known as bruxism, this is a fairly common problem caused by a misaligned bite (malocclusion) or nervous tension or suppressed anger. Left untreated, bruxism can eventually wear down your teeth.
If your dentist has found your bite to be normal, you may be stressed out or internalizing your anger. There are a number of ways to relieve stress or rage: Biofeedback training specifically aimed at reducing jaw muscle tension can be helpful. Breathing exercises are a must: they are an effective stress-reliever. Daily physical activity, such as a brisk 20-minute walk or practicing tai chi or yoga can also make a big difference. In addition, avoid consuming alcohol late at night. It has been shown to make people clench their jaw more frequently.