Bruxism: 6 Exercises That Help You Reduce It

Few things are more annoying than grinding your teeth at night. These six very simple exercises will help you relax the tension that leads to bruxism.
Bruxism: 6 exercises that help you reduce it

Bruxism is a disease related to the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. This stress-induced problem occurs with the patient grinding their teeth at night. Therefore, exercises to reduce bruxism will focus on this area.

Specifically, bruxism occurs when there are high levels of stress. Therefore, the exercises will aim to loosen, relax and stretch the jaw and its adjacent structures. Let’s see some of them.

General relaxation techniques

To begin with, we can use techniques to relieve tension in general. We refer to meditation, in which we close our eyes and “clear our minds”, or to relaxing breathing exercises, such as taking in air for four seconds, holding it for seven and exhaling for another eight seconds.

You can also choose to spend 15 minutes sitting comfortably on the sofa with your eyes closed, trying to perceive only the stimuli of the surrounding environment. In all three cases, the goal is to prevent the brain from thinking about something, especially worrying, to focus on breathing and other elements.

Localized massage for bruxism

This is the first of the exercises to reduce bruxism. The goal is to provide a relaxing massage to muscles that are tense due to stress and cause the patient to contract the jaw during the night, which causes damage to the teeth.

Therefore, one should try to massage the jaw muscles and chew. We will start with movements from the cheek to the temples, then we will draw straight lines from the cheek to the nose, lips and chin.

Massage for bruxism.

Next, we need to go from under the nose to the lower corner of the jaw. We can also draw a kind of “U” from the chin towards the base of the ear.

All of these movements will be performed 5 to 10 times each. They must be performed slowly and with some pressure, that is, we must note that we are reaching the facial muscles.

Anti bruxism jaw relaxation exercise

A useful exercise to relax the tension in this area is as follows: vigorously clench the teeth for about 10 seconds and then release the tension by moving the jaw from side to side. Performing this exercise several times will immediately make us feel some relaxation.

General relaxation exercises of the jaw

In addition to the previous one, there are a series of movements that are used by speech therapists to relax most of the affected muscles. These can also be used as exercises for bruxism.

We are talking about opening the mouth to the maximum and then closing it again; open the mouth a little and move the jaw from side to side; draw circles; or open, pull out the tongue as far as it will go and put it back. Everything should be done calmly and without haste.

Pull the ears

This technique, typical of cranial osteopathy, is very often used to decompress the temporal bone of the skull. This bone is one of those that form the temporomandibular joint and, therefore, is directly related to bruxism.

To do this, we need to lie on our back and take both earlobes between the thumb and forefinger of the hands. Applying some pressure, we will gently pull the lobes downwards.

When we notice some physical resistance, we must maintain the position and, after a few seconds, check if we can still maintain it. If there is still resistance, return to the original position and if not, pull a little more.

Stretch the muscles

As part of the exercises for bruxism, we can also include stretching the other muscles. We are talking specifically about the neck muscles. These three stretches help to relax all the cervical muscles, which tend to suffer in cases of bruxism.

Neck stretch exercises.
Neck stretching exercises are very helpful in reducing bruxism.

First we can look to both sides as much as possible. Then look at the ceiling and then down and finally tilt your head from side to side, supporting it on your shoulders.

Exercises for bruxism: we can do them at home

As we have seen, all the exercises that help reduce bruxism can be done comfortably at home. You don’t need any accessories or even extensive knowledge of anatomy or physiology.

So, if you suffer from bruxism, try to do all the exercises that we have explained in this article every day: you will immediately notice a marked improvement. If the discomfort persists, do not hesitate to consult a specialist.

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