Clenching and Grinding Can Lead to Throat Ailments
Posted Apr 06 2009 9:24pm
Need another good reason to make every effort to stop clenching and grinding your teeth? More than just your teeth and jaws are affected! Clenching and grinding can also lead to serious throat and swallowing problems.
The damage done to teeth because of clenching and grinding often causes irreversible damage which can cost a lot of money and time a dental chair to repair. Equally as bad, however, (maybe worse) is the injury and trauma to one's throat that one can ultimately experience because of clenching and grinding. If tender throat muscles aren't scary enough for you, think about the horrible swallowing difficulties, risk of choking and other myofascial problems which can often ensue because of this insidious habit.
If you are already experiencing difficulty with swallowing, even if it's only occasional, or if you are prone to choking, you need to pay particular attention here. Stressing the jaw joints creates stress on the throat muscles as well. These things do not work in isolation. If you are already having difficulties with your throat, it is imperative that you take every action possible to stop the clenching/grinding that you are most likely doing at night while you're sleeping.
Often eliminating this habit goes hand in hand with eliminating stress. It's time to do some serious reflection here. Stress is going to do much more harm over the long haul to your body than cause TMJ Disorder, myofascial problems and swallowing/throat difficulties. These may just be the beginning of a long slide downhill.
Clenching and grinding is a very complex problem, however, and being under stress may not be the cause of this problem. There are many factors that can contribute to clenching, grinding and TMJD, from whip lash, head/neck injury, spinal misalignment, hyper-extension of the jaw, exposure to toxic substances and on and on. It can also be something as simple as a childhood habit that was never outgrown.
Take the time to analyze what could be causing this problem. Don't brush this off with a simple, "Oh well." Worse problems will come if clenching and grinding are not brought under control.