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Stanford, CA
A 22-year-old female asked:

i clench my jaw often and am starting to have jaw pain. are there any over-the-counter muscle relaxants i can take to stop clenching?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Davis
Dentistry 36 years experience
TMJ: This is a common problem. See your dentist so he can fabricate a appliance for your teeth called a splint. Until then try warm compresses on and off your tmj(located just in front of ear) some people do better with cold too? Try two or three advil (ibuprofen) if you are not allergic. Relaxation and stress reduction help. The key is to let your dentist check your bite. It might not be balanced.
Dr. Eric Schwetschenau
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 25 years experience
Not really...: Drugs aren't really effective for this habit. Try google 'cognitive behavioral therapy' or 'biofeedback' for your best long term bets. Stress is a common cause. Mayo clinic has a great review of the problem: http://www.Mayoclinic.Com/health/bruxism/ds00337 good luck!
Dr. Keith Hudson
Dentistry 33 years experience
Dentist: Dental examination to check muscles of mastication and actual wear patterns on the teeth and radiographic views of the tempromandibular joint.
Dr. John DeWolf
Dentistry 40 years experience
Not pharmaceutical: There are many otc meds designed to relieve pain but specific muscle relaxers are prescription based. You can try a generic bite splint available at larger drugstores but with this caveat: it may make things worse. If wearing it helps and it stops your bruxing, then it would effectively be an otc muscle relaxer but if it doesn't help or makes things worse, see a dentist for further evaluation.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016
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