If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!

We are in an unprecedented moment. 

Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time where taking care of normal, routine things like oral health may just have fallen to the wayside. 
Many dental associations around the world are advising their region or their country to suspend regular dental services and only provide emergency dental care.
There will likely not be any non-emergency dental treatment available in most places for quite some time.
And so, in some ways, we really are on our own.
That makes this a great time to bring natural oral health into the mainstream conversation about how we care for our teeth.

Your mouth is a vulnerable place.

The mouth is very vulnerable to infection, and it is part of our immune system.
The complex system of our mouth – the saliva, gums, mucous membranes, teeth and jaw – all of that is within itself an immune system, which is connected to the bigger immune system of our body. It’s very close to our nose.
Our mouths are one of the vectors where we can potentially inhale little droplets of virus that might stay in the air for up to three hours, so we really do need to be taking good care of our mouth.
This means being extra careful with brushing and flossing.  It means not causing bleeding if you can avoid it. 
It helps if you can keep the jaw relaxed so that you’re not risking cracking or chipping a tooth, or even losing a filling because of tension.

Stress and tension is markedly high.

On top of the limitations for professional dental care, stress may be at an all-time high for us.
We may be taking on the stress of others as well as our own.  Did you know that we sometimes actually store stress in our jaws and teeth?!
All of this fear around the pandemic may lead to people clenching their jaw even more than usual, which can cause cracks, chips, and toothache nerve pressure.
Jaw tension is then being exacerbated.  With conventional dental care unavailable to handle non-emergency situations, it becomes even more important to do some jaw self-care.

You’re not powerless in this.

Fortunately, there are some simple, basic things we can do on our own at home to reduce the need for dental intervention.
A fabulous way of mitigating both our oral health needs, as well as the intensified stress we may be under, is to practice jaw massage and relaxation.

You can relax your jaw every evening with jaw massage.

I recommend that you go slowly, mindfully and gently. Pay attention to your breath.
Notice how your jaw, and your psyche, are feeling as you go.  Think of this as a loving act of self-care, as well as prime support for your oral health and well-being.
As you proceed through the steps below, imagine that there’s a healing light coming out through your fingertips like a spotlight shining through the tissue of your cheeks, into your jaw and into your gums.
Here are the steps involved:
1. Massage the TMJ joint (the hinge between your upper and lower jaw, in front of your ear)
2. Massage along the upper jaw line
3. Massage along the lower jaw line
4. Massage underneath the lower jaw line
5. Massage around the eye sockets and temples
6. Massage over the ears, and follow base of skull to the occipital bone where the spine enters the skull, and extend the massage to your scalp, neck and shoulders as desired.
(For full step-by-step instructions on jaw relaxation, have a peek at my video on this)

This is truly self-care at its best.

If you practice this jaw relaxation daily, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of clenching and grinding.  You can avoid the potential risk of unnecessary damage to your teeth and jaw.
And this practice helps to center you.  When you add in your own healing intentions, it connects you more deeply to your body and overall sense of well-being.
Not only does this help stop the clenching and grinding, but can even support cracks in the teeth to heal whilst avoiding chipping in general.
It’s so lovely to do just before you go to sleep at night. You can relax the jaw for the night so that you don’t clench or grind in your sleep.  It allows you to release the tension of the day.
Jaw relaxation another tool for you in your dental health self help regimen.  Combine this with a dental nutritional protocol and overall dental hygiene, and you can reap the benefits afforded by better oral health.
You can physically reduce stress and tension to help foster greater relaxation, which we all need a bit more of at the moment, don’t we!

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

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