Dear Dr. Ellie:
Hi, What causes clenching teeth? Every morning I wake up to painful molars/teeth its seems like a few hours before I wake up I had my teeth clenched together applying pressure. What can I do to stop the clenching, I’ve read mouth guard cause more clenching? would massage of the jaw muscles help? On the label of zellies fruit gum lists flavors tutti frutti, tropica, menthol. Does the fruit gum contain menthol, or is it just in the mint flavor?
Tooth clenching and grinding is usually connected with stress in your life. Anything that helps diffuse stress would be useful. Massage seems to work for some people.
Healthy tooth enamel is strong enough to resist the pressure of grinding. The ligaments and bone that hold teeth in the jaws can even strengthen under pressure. This means that clenching does not have to be a bad thing for teeth.
Damage happens if tooth enamel is too weak to sustain the pressure. It is soft enamel that fractures and chips away under the pressure of clenching. Unfortunately stress (the thing that can cause us to clench our teeth) often changes the acidity of saliva in our mouth and this weakens tooth enamel.
Acidic saliva dissolves minerals out of teeth and leaves them vulnerable to the damage of clenching. Dry mouth will also leave teeth vulnerable since it leaves you with no protection for teeth. To protect your teeth, you can use xylitol that will fight acidity and help build minerals back into teeth to strengthen them.
I also recommend my Complete Mouth Care System designed to build extra strength into weak, damaged or vulnerable teeth. I am sure that with the use of this system, your teeth will suffer less clenching damage and help you avoid broken fillings and chipped teeth.
Here is the link;
As for the menthol it is just a flavor.
Hope this helps,