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Sep 19

Ever noticed that familiar scene at the movies when the camera goes in for a close-up on the gangster’s face during a tense moment in the film and you can see him clenching and his jaw muscles throbbing?

He probably has headaches!

You may not know that the action of biting down on your teeth (other than chewing and swallowing) is called "clenching" or "grinding your teeth" and can cause TMJ problems and headaches.
[Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) - causes, symptoms headaches, sore jaw, ear clicking, facial pain]

A high percentage of the headache sufferers are also ''clinchers'' but most are not even aware they had the habit. You may know you grind your teeth if your partner wakes you up when they hear you grind your teeth at night, you experience jaw pain and/or headaches, or the dentist has pointed out that you have cracked teeth or excessive tooth wear.

How do you know when you are clenching and what do you do?

You pay attention. Here are some clues to look for if you think you don’t think you are clenching but have headaches.

1) You sometimes wake up with sore teeth or jaw muscles
2) When you relax your jaw and let you chin drop, it feels more uncomfortable than when your mouth is shut.
3) You can’t open your mouth as wide as you should be able to.
4) You chew gum everyday.
5) Just touching your teeth together without biting down is enough pressure to be a problem.

If you think you are having problems with TMJ, ask us about TMJ splints.

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