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How to relieve Tooth Pain from Clenching

Tooth pain
Tooth loss chronic pain

Clenching your jaw throughout the day is a common habit, but the consequences for your teeth can be a pain (literally). Tooth pain resulting from clenching, often referred to as bruxism, can be both uncomfortable and detrimental to your overall oral health. Clenching typically occurs subconsciously, especially during sleep, and can lead to various issues including tooth pain, jaw discomfort, and even temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Understanding how to alleviate this pain and address the underlying cause is essential for maintaining a healthy and pain-free mouth.


Understand Bruxism and its Effect

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and clenching. It can happen during the day (awake bruxism) or at night (sleep bruxism). The continuous pressure and friction from clenching can cause tooth wear, fractures, and sensitivity. It also places stress on the jaw muscles and joints, leading to pain and discomfort.

Tips to Relieve Tooth Pain from Clenching

Use a Mouthguard

One of the most effective ways to protect your teeth from the effects of clenching is to use a mouthguard. These devices, often custom-made by a dentist, create a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other.


  1. Reduces tooth wear and damage
  2. Alleviates pressure on the jaw
  3. Helps to prevent jaw pain and TMD

Practice Jaw Exercises

Jaw exercises can help to strengthen and relax the muscles involved in clenching. Regularly performing these exercises can reduce the frequency and intensity of clenching.

Example Exercise:

  1. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  2. Open and close your mouth slowly.
  3. Repeat several times a day.
teeth grinding bruxism

Apply Heat or Cold Packs

Apply heat or cold packs to the jaw can help to relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.


  1. For a heat pack, use a warm towel or a microwavable heat pad. Apply to the jaw area for 15-20 minutes.
  2. For a cold pack, use a cloth-wrapped ice pack. Apply to the jaw area for 10-15 minutes.

Manage Stress

Stress is a major contributing factor to bruxism. Learning to manage stress can significantly reduce the occurrence of clenching.

Stress-Reduction Techniques:

  1. Practice mindfulness and meditation.
  2. Engage in regular physical activity.
  3. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  4. Consider speaking with a therapist or counsellor.

Maintain Good Posture

Poor posture can exacerbate jaw tension and clenching. Ensure that you maintain good posture throughout the day, especially if you work at a desk.

Posture Tips:

  1. Keep your head aligned with your spine.
  2. Avoid slouching.
  3. Take regular breaks to stretch and move around.
night grinding
case study bruxism

Avoid Chewy and Hard Foods

Chewy and hard foods can increase the strain on your jaw muscles, exacerbating clenching and pain. Opt for softer foods and avoid gum chewing to reduce stress on your teeth and jaw.

Ensure Adequate Sleep

Lack of sleep can increase stress and the likelihood of nighttime clenching. Ensure you get enough restful sleep each night.

Sleep Tips:

  1. Establish a regular sleep schedule.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime environment.
  3. Avoid screens before bedtime.

When to See a Dentist?

If tooth pain from clenching persists despite trying these home remedies, it is important to consult with a dentist. They can provide a thorough examination, identify any underlying issues, and recommend further treatments such as:

  1. Custom-made mouthguards
  2. Dental corrections for misaligned teeth
  3. Professional stress management resources


Relieving tooth pain from clenching involves a combination of protective measures, exercises, stress management, and lifestyle adjustments. By taking these steps, you can alleviate discomfort, protect your teeth from further damage, and improve your overall oral health. Regular dental check-ups are also crucial to monitor your condition and receive professional guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can a mouthguard help with tooth pain from clenching?

A mouthguard creates a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. This reduces tooth wear and damage alleviates pressure on the jaw, and helps prevent jaw pain and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).

Q. Can jaw exercises really help reduce clenching and tooth pain?

Yes, regular jaw exercises can help strengthen and relax the muscles involved in clenching. This can reduce the frequency and intensity of clenching, thereby alleviating tooth pain and jaw discomfort.

Q. What role does stress play in tooth clenching and pain?

Stress is a major contributing factor to bruxism. Increased stress levels can lead to more frequent and intense clenching. Managing stress through techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and regular exercise can help reduce clenching and associated tooth pain.

Q. Why should I avoid chewy and hard foods if I clench my teeth?

Chewy and hard foods increase the strain on your jaw muscles, which can exacerbate clenching and tooth pain. Opting for softer foods and avoiding gum chewing can help reduce this strain.

Q. How does getting enough sleep help with clenching and tooth pain?

Adequate sleep helps reduce stress levels, which can decrease the likelihood of nighttime clenching. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can improve sleep quality and reduce clenching.

Q. What type of mouthguard should I use for clenching?

Custom-made mouthguards provided by a dentist are the most effective. They are specifically designed to fit your teeth and provide optimal protection and comfort compared to over-the-counter options. If you have a doubt or need consultation call +91 9820012621 to get an expert consultation from Dr. Chirag Chamria at Royal Dental Clinics.

Q. When should I see a dentist about my tooth pain from clenching?

If your tooth pain persists despite trying home remedies, it’s important to consult with a dentist. They can provide a thorough examination, identify underlying issues, and recommend further treatments such as custom-made mouthguards or dental corrections for misaligned teeth.

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