As the economy worsens, dentists have noticed more of their patients are clenching and grinding their teeth while they sleep (and sometimes even when they’re awake). Clenching puts pressure on the jaw muscles and joints; grinding can crack or wear down your teeth, necessitating costly dental work. All this tension can contribute to headache, ear pain, facial pain and insomnia, and increase your risk of developing TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems.
Try this: Consciously focus on relaxing your face and jaw during the day. Talk with your dentist about using a custom-made or over-the-counter mouth guard at night to decrease teeth grinding and other secondary effects of grinding.