Having a sore jaw can make things difficult. It can cause headaches, interfere with sleep, and keep you from enjoying the food and activities you love. When you’re looking for relief from jaw stiffness, you want solutions that actually work. Here are 5 ways to relax a stiff jaw and help relieve discomfort with proven results.
1. Notice if You Clench or Grind Your Teeth
Jaw stiffness can often be caused by a buildup of tension. Simply being conscious of teeth clenching or grinding can go a long way towards helping to resolve jaw discomfort.
One easy way to figure out if you’re clenching is to notice if your top and bottom teeth are touching when you’re at rest (they shouldn’t be if your jaw is relaxed). You can also stick your tongue out and check if the sides show imprints from your teeth. If your jaw has been relaxed, the edges of your tongue should be smooth.
2. Avoid Chewy Foods or Gum
Sometimes your jaw can develop stiffness from overuse. If your jaw is feeling stiff or sore, try to avoid chewing gum or eating foods that require an excessive amount of chewing for a few days to see if it helps provide some relief.
3. Practice Stress Relief
Stress is commonly the root of the cause behind jaw stiffness. That’s why, when you’re looking for ways to relax a stiff jaw, your dentist may recommend lifestyle changes that involve stress relief activities. These may include practicing meditation, yoga, daily exercise, or limiting your exposure to high-stress activities and situations.
4. Get Fitted for a Mouthguard
If you tend to clench or grind your teeth when you sleep or if your jaw simply needs a little extra assistance relaxing, a mouthguard may be helpful. Your dentist can custom-fit one to your jaw to help ensure optimum comfort and effectiveness.
5. Visit Your Dentist
When you’re suffering from jaw discomfort, visiting your dentist is your best resource for fast and effective relief. Your dentist can examine your jaw and pinpoint the source of the problem to help you find the best ways to relax a stiff jaw that will provide you with true relief that lasts.
Call our Traverse City Dental Office, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.