Jaw clenching and teeth grinding is a common unwanted effect of the use of stimulants. Heavy users can experience wearing down, cracking or the breaking of teeth. Amphetamine type substances also dry out the mouth resulting in a lack of protection of teeth and gums that saliva provides. Repeated use can lead to deterioration in oral health. There are a number of strategies that you can utilise to help protect your teeth and lessen jaw tension.
Some of us have found that just drinking water can help reduce tension. Drinking tap water rather than bottled water may also provide an extra benefit as tap water in many areas is fluoridated. Fluoride can aid in protecting the teeth from decay. It’s cheaper too!
If you're not in favour of fluoridated water then regularly brushing your teeth will also help.
Having something soft but resilient to hold between the teeth to keep them from grinding can help. Dentists prescribe "night guards" which are similar to sports plastic mouth guards. These are extremely effective at stopping tooth wear from heavy jaw tension, but somewhat awkward for parties. Chew Toys can be as simple as a piece of thick leather on a string, the cord on a hoodie, or the edge of a thick piece of clothing. Pencils, pens, and many other items are not ideal because they can splinter or leave residue in the mouth.
Using (sugar free) gum as a way to keep the jaw moving and loose and keeping the teeth from grinding is a long standing and functional technique. Chewing or sucking on something also promotes production of saliva which can help protect your teeth and gums; we suggest sugar free especially if concerned about tooth decay. Some people find that sucking on a hard lolly helps reduce teeth grinding. Try to resist the urge to bite through the lolly as this can damage teeth.
Massaging the point where the cheek muscles attach to the jaw just in front of the ear can help relieve accumulated tension.
Muscle relaxation exercises
Simple muscle relaxation exercises can prove beneficial for some people in reducing the intensity of muscle tension in the jaw. Some simple exercises for reducing muscle tension are listed in the relaxation entry on this site.
This is pretty obvious, if you use more you'll get more problems. Many side effects from stimulants become worse with increased dosage. Lower dosages or refraining from use of stimulants will reduce jaw tension.
We also recommend trying certain essential oils (Lavender Oil) dabbed on your jaw. The scent does seem to relax the muscles.
Some of us have also found significant reduction in muscle tension and jaw clenching when Magnesium or Calcium supplements are taken in combination with MDMA, or methamphetamine.