Bruxism is the pain associated with excessive grinding of the teeth and TMJ dysfunction. Some patients get such severe pain that their jaw can lock and some also experience headaches and neck pain with it.
Why does it happen?
Excessive grinding of the teeth is usually stress related and often occurs at night. With time, the masseter muscle on the sides of your jaw gets larger with excessive use, perpetuating the problem.
NB. It is important to see a dentist to get a mouth guard to protect your teeth if you have this.
This can relax the masseter muscle, which is the largest and most important muscle involved in the excessive grinding. Whilst this will not stop all movement and clenching, it will relax the muscle and break the cycle. In addition, the muscle will not be as strong so there is far less pain associated with clenching.