I am clenching my teeth at night and can't control it. It can get pretty bad where my neck muscles are cramped, feeling like whiplash where it hurts to move my head. I take Amitriptaline to help me sleep better (fibro) but it and other anti inflammatories are not keeping me from spasming. I also cramp up & twitch in other muscles but the neck muscle pain & teeth are getting beaten up (cracking teath). I think I have a SCM & temporal trigger points.
Could anyone make any recommendations? I don't know what else to do. I have been taking supplaments, mag/cal, multivitamin, quinine water, omega-3, potassium (salt subs), stay away from vegy oils, no aspartame diet. I use a nightguard that does not help the clenching.
I don't know what else to do. The only thing I can think of is a muscle relaxer or antispasmotic or something along those lines. I also grind my teeth, have history of tmj and have had swelling in the r/tmj area. The clenching (I think) is causeing the headaches, temporal pains, ear & eye aches.
Who treats this? Is there effective treatment out there that has worked for you? Any insight would be very appreciated.
This has been discussed on the TMJ Board - you might try there. I would search for NTI which helps some with clenching. I am getting a nightguard to help protect my teeth from cracking. Sometimes this helps with clenching but not always. A TMJ specialist could probably help with this.
I clenched for many, many years - and tried 2 types of mouthguards with no luck... until I got the NTI appliance 2 months ago. For me it has been a Godsend! I have heard that it doesn't work for everybody, especially if you have an overbite and grinding problems (moving your mouth side to side). My problem was biting down hard and clenching my teeth together, and the NTI has really helped me out.
I took it home with me the very same day they fitted me for it, and it only cost $160, which insurance partially covered. Maybe this could also work for you.
Would you elaborate a little more on your head and neck symptoms?
I have clenched my teeth, on and off, for many years. But recently, I believe I must be clenching very hard while I sleep because most mornings, all my teeth/gums will feel a "release" as if they've been very tense and tight. I've been having bad neck pain, headaches, a kind of tingling/numb feeling around my nose and cheeks, blurrier eyesight, and a general feeling that my head and neck are "full" - do you experience these things?? I'd really like to know.
I have mild cervical arthritis, chronic sinusitis, have recently had sinus infections (don't want to take antibiotics), and I have the 40+ eyesight, but it's gotten more blurry and I know that all of these things can affect eyesight. Just trying to find the right eyeglass prescription is not so easy. But add to that mix, the fact that I clench my teeth, so it would seem logical that that kind of pressure on the jaw muscle could cause problems and pain in the neck and head. If you would, let me know about all your symptoms.
Would you elaborate a little more on your head and neck symptoms?
I clench and grinding my teeth at night and sometimes wake up with a stiff & painful spasmed neck (feels like whiplash). Recently, I had two occassions of stinging in the back of the neck that woke me up. I've had episodes of facial paralysis, assorted headaches; migraine, Deeply felt inner ear pain and pain by mastoid. Eye pain behind the globe of the eye or a tension felt in the eye. The muscles of the face twitch, recent esotropia in one eye, twitches in the neck, left and right of the windpipe, brief spasm of the neck on the right that spasmed so much it hurt to swallow. This may have looked like tmj years ago but because of the spasms bodywide doubt that is the primary cause.
These things are not limited to the face and neck. The twitching muscles turn into painful spasms with waves of pain. Last night was agony. This year its been happening too often and interferes with normal function. It's more then an occluded bite and refered pains. If it were limited to the head and neck maybe but it's not. It's systemic, so mentioning what's happening in the head and neck only is like a doctor looking in one eye at exam.
Take Care, Gemi
ps; This is turning me into a real pill.
Last edited by Gemi; 12-16-2003 at 09:36 AM.
Reason: Attempting to get specific
Hi Gemi -
Wow, you sure have been dealing with some issues, haven't you? I hope that you can find some helpful answers and feel better soon.
Your original question was about teeth clenching, and that's a difficult issue because so many different factors can cause it. Certainly stress is a factor, but so are things like TMJ, neck problems, headaches, sinusitis, ear infections, and so on. Because all of these things are so interwoven, it's often difficult to know what is causing what. There are times when I'm sure that what I'm feeling is sinus related, other times I'll think it must be the teeth clenching; other times I'm sure it's my neck because it's been hurting more recently and gets very stiff and crackles. I am very prone to anxiety and so when the anxiety/stress increases, that will naturally emphasize other things; likewise, if my sinuses flare or my neck hurts, etc. that causes me to stress, and so it's a circle - one thing compounds another.
I can tell you this about anxiety from years of experience: It is very, very difficult to manage - even when you seem to feel relatively calm, subconsciously or subliminally, you may be anxious and stressed. Me, I'm a worrier - always worrying about something; even when I'm busy and focused on something, I'm worrying. Always been that way, more so with age. I'm currently trying some alternative stuff, including an exercise regime to help with the anxiety and hopefully that will help with other issues.
I wish I had some answers about how to ease the clenching; there are things like herbs, supplements, homeopathy (some people swear by these things, others say they don't help), prescriptions muscle relaxers (the problem with these is that if I take them at night to help me relax, they make me groggy the next day; don't know how they'd affect you), anti-anxiety meds (which can help, but can also be very addictive), exercise, relaxation techniques, dental splints (which, from what I've read, don't help everyone), and more extreme things like lifestyle change, which is often impossible for people. I guess each person just has to try to find what works best for them as best they can.