In simple terms our jaws consist of an upper level and a moveable bottom section which are attached together with a hinge joint. This enables the bottom section to move up and down and from side to side, so we can bite and chew our food for digestion, and also to speak. In short, it’s one of the most important joints we have.
It’s a bit of a mystery why we clench our jaw when we’re stressed, but we often do this. Perhaps subconsciously we are trying to hold on to something, seeking stability when things around us seem unsettled. The reasons will be complex.
Tensing our jaw leads to tenderness to the hinge joint itself and also to the surrounding ligaments and muscles. You can feel this by pressing with a finger deep into your cheeks either side of your face. And because muscles and nerves are interconnected, it can also cause headaches and migraines, as inflammation builds, often from the back of the neck and shoulder area.
A connected aspect to this is teeth grinding which some people find themselves doing while they are asleep. This puts pressure on the jaw hinge and of course to the detriment of the teeth themselves.
Hypnotherapy works very well in counteracting anxiety and stress, helping the client to relax properly and adopt a more positive way of looking at things, so life becomes easier. Sleep then tends to improve and the jaw can then become looser and more relaxed.