In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s common for people to find outlets for their stress and tension. Unfortunately, some individuals unknowingly channel their stress into a harmful habit – clenching their jaw muscles. Whether it’s during the day or at night, clenching can have serious consequences for your oral health and overall well-being. Given such, let’s explore why clenching is bad and how it can lead to worn teeth, increased muscle strain, and even jaw pain.

Effects of Clenching

Many people are unaware that they clench their teeth until they see the physical evidence – worn-down teeth. This often occurs when the bottom front teeth rub against the backside of the upper teeth during clenching episodes, whether this happens at night and/or throughout the day. This wear and tear can affect the appearance of your smile and increased vulnerability to dental issues.

Additionally, clenching can put increased strain on the muscles of mastication (muscles that close the mouth), which includes the masseters, temporalis, and medial pterygoid muscles, as well as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This increased strain can cause discomfort, pain, and stiffness in the jaw, leading to headaches and overall facial discomfort.

Awareness is Key: Introducing the Jaw Wiggle

Whether you’re clenching during the day or night, it’s crucial to become aware of this harmful habit. At North 49, we recommend a simple yet effective technique called the “Jaw Wiggle.” By performing this simple and discreet exercise frequently throughout the day, individuals can gain insight into their clenching patterns and identify potential triggers. In addition to this, the jaw wiggle can also help reduce the frequency of clenching.

To learn how to perform the Jaw Wiggle, check out this 1.5 min video tutorial.


If you suspect that you clench and that it is causing issues with your jaw, teeth, or overall well-being, it’s essential to seek professional help. Local physiotherapists, like those at North 49, can work alongside your other health care providers like your dentist to provide valuable insights, as well as offer other options to address your clenching.

Feel free to contact North 49 at 306.343.7776 or book a Temporomandibular Initial Assessment online through our website at your convenience 24/7. Taking proactive steps and addressing the issue early can make a significant difference in your oral health and overall quality of life.