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Why is My Jaw So Tense?

At some point, we experience stressed joints. In the US alone, an estimated 10 million people are suffering from jaw stiffness with jaw pain that interferes with normal eating.

Although it’s annoying, stressed joints can cause a lot of discomforts. But it often goes away without treatment. However, you shouldn’t take it for granted as jaw stiffness can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

One of the most common causes of jaw pain and discomfort is mental stress. A tense jaw can be your body’s stress response. Even if the stress is mild, it can still cause aches and pains that may not be related to emotions.

Stress can trigger cortisol release, adrenaline, and other hormones. These hormones prepare your body for action. But these hormones can also make your muscles become tense causing aches. It also irritates the nerves.

Jaw Pain

It can radiate to the head or neck. Jaw pain is usually a symptom of a temporomandibular joint disorder or commonly known as TMD. Most of the time, TMD is not the result of the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Rather, it is caused by a muscular tension because of teeth clenching while you’re under stress.

How to stop jaw pain and discomfort?

The best way to stop it is to wear a mouth guard at night while you sleep. This will prevent you from clenching when you’re asleep. If you have persistent anxiety, you can use a mouth guard that perfectly fits your mouth. It offers temporary relief.

It’s also ideal that you practice mindfulness technique. If you’re anxious about something, see how your mouth feels. If you notice that you’re clenching, you must stop. Doing so will help you train your brain in preventing the clenching automatically during a stressful situation.

But the key to alleviating stressed joints in your jaw is to stop stress altogether. It’s the only way to relieve tension around your facial area. You can try cognitive behavioral therapy, herbal remedies, and drugs. However, medicines aren’t always advisable.

Keeping Your Body Hydrated

Dehydration can sometimes cause muscle cramps in your shoulders, neck, and mandibular joints. That said, it’s vital that you keep your body hydrated. One of the leading causes of jaw related cramps is not drinking sufficient amount of water.

If you’re not hydrated, you should make sure that you increase your water intake. Drink a minimum of eight glasses a day. If you can, try drinking more. But don’t drink it in a short amount of time as it can cause hyperhydration.

The good rule of thumb here is to drink two glasses of water every two hours.


It’s also important that you provide your body with the right nutrients, especially calcium and magnesium. In some studies, they showed that supplementing your body with calcium and magnesium can provide relief from TMJ pain.

On the other hand, you can just apply a cold pack on your jaw to relieve pain and alleviate symptoms of TMJ.

Stressed joints can cause extreme discomfort to your jaw. It’s vital that you lower your stress so you can avoid experiencing tense jaw or jaw pain. Visit also your Dentist Southwest Oral Surgery regularly.

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