El Paso Functional Medicine
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Jaw Clenching: EP Wellness and Functional Medicine Clinic


Bruxism is an abnormal jaw clenching or grinding of the teeth, either while awake or during sleep. This can cause neck and shoulder tension caused by excess pressure on the neck and jaw muscles. Individuals may not realize they have bruxism until a dentist notices excess wear and tear or a chiropractor examines their symptoms. Bruxism can play a role in temporomandibular disorders. Doctors and dentists agree that factors like stress increase the likelihood of jaw clenching. Dentists usually recommend a mouth guard to prevent grinding. Chiropractic care, massage, and decompression therapy can relieve symptoms, release and relax the muscles, realign the spine, and restore function.

Jaw Clenching: EP's Chiropractic Functional Medicine Team


There is awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. A tight jaw generates tension extending to the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles. Over time, that excess strain irritates the joints, causing inflammation. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding can lead to health issues like damaged teeth, neck, shoulder, and upper back pain symptoms, and tension headaches.


Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Face, jaw, neck, and upper back aches, tightness, and soreness.
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles.
  • Headaches that start in the temples.
  • What feels like earache pain symptoms.
  • Damage from clenching on the inside of the cheek.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Teeth that are loose, flattened, chipped, or fractured.
  • Sleep problems.

Risk Factors

  • Emotional tension – Stress, anxiety, frustration, and anger.
  • Sleep Disorders
  • An unhealthy lifestyle – smoking, excess drinking, caffeine, etc., disrupts brain and cardiovascular functions.
  • Medications

Chiropractic Care for Jaw Clenching

If there is a jaw clenching or grinding issue, it is recommended to see a dentist for a professional diagnosis. Then a chiropractor can develop a personalized treatment plan that utilizes massage and decompression therapy to re-position the jaw, stretch, release and relax the muscles. They will recommend exercises to strengthen and maintain the relaxed jaw muscles and awareness exercises to help identify triggers and prevent clenching.

Jaw Exercises


Capellini, Verena Kise, et al. “Massage therapy in managing myogenic TMD: a pilot study.” Journal of applied oral science: Revista FOB vol. 14,1 (2006): 21-6. doi:10.1590/s1678-77572006000100005

Kuhn, Monika, and Jens Christoph Türp. “Risk factors for bruxism.” Swiss dental journal vol. 128,2 (2018): 118-124.

Nishida, Norihiro et al. “Stress analysis of the cervical spinal cord: Impact of the morphology of spinal cord segments on stress.” The journal of spinal cord medicine vol. 39,3 (2016): 327-34. doi:10.1179/2045772315Y.0000000012

Ohayon, M M et al. “Risk factors for sleep bruxism in the general population.” Chest vol. 119,1 (2001): 53-61. doi:10.1378/chest.119.1.53

Santos Miotto Amorim, Cinthia, et al. “Effectiveness of two physical therapy interventions, relative to dental treatment in individuals with bruxism: study protocol of a randomized clinical trial.” Trials vol. 15 8. 7 Jan. 2014, doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-8

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Jaw Clenching: EP Wellness and Functional Medicine Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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