Bruxism is an abnormal jaw clenching or grinding of the teeth, either while awake or during sleep. This can cause neck and shoulder tension caused by excess pressure on the neck and jaw muscles. Individuals may not realize they have bruxism until a dentist notices excess wear and tear or a chiropractor examines their symptoms. Bruxism can play a role in temporomandibular disorders. Doctors and dentists agree that factors like stress increase the likelihood of jaw clenching. Dentists usually recommend a mouth guard to prevent grinding. Chiropractic care, massage, and decompression therapy can relieve symptoms, release and relax the muscles, realign the spine, and restore function.

Jaw Clenching: EP's Chiropractic Functional Medicine Team


There is awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. A tight jaw generates tension extending to the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles. Over time, that excess strain irritates the joints, causing inflammation. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding can lead to health issues like damaged teeth, neck, shoulder, and upper back pain symptoms, and tension headaches.


Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Face, jaw, neck, and upper back aches, tightness, and soreness.
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles.
  • Headaches that start in the temples.
  • What feels like earache pain symptoms.
  • Damage from clenching on the inside of the cheek.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Teeth that are loose, flattened, chipped, or fractured.
  • Sleep problems.

Risk Factors

  • Emotional tension – Stress, anxiety, frustration, and anger.
  • Sleep Disorders
  • An unhealthy lifestyle – smoking, excess drinking, caffeine, etc., disrupts brain and cardiovascular functions.
  • Medications

Chiropractic Care for Jaw Clenching

If there is a jaw clenching or grinding issue, it is recommended to see a dentist for a professional diagnosis. Then a chiropractor can develop a personalized treatment plan that utilizes massage and decompression therapy to re-position the jaw, stretch, release and relax the muscles. They will recommend exercises to strengthen and maintain the relaxed jaw muscles and awareness exercises to help identify triggers and prevent clenching.

Jaw Exercises


Capellini, Verena Kise, et al. “Massage therapy in managing myogenic TMD: a pilot study.” Journal of applied oral science: Revista FOB vol. 14,1 (2006): 21-6. doi:10.1590/s1678-77572006000100005

Kuhn, Monika, and Jens Christoph Türp. “Risk factors for bruxism.” Swiss dental journal vol. 128,2 (2018): 118-124.

Nishida, Norihiro et al. “Stress analysis of the cervical spinal cord: Impact of the morphology of spinal cord segments on stress.” The journal of spinal cord medicine vol. 39,3 (2016): 327-34. doi:10.1179/2045772315Y.0000000012

Ohayon, M M et al. “Risk factors for sleep bruxism in the general population.” Chest vol. 119,1 (2001): 53-61. doi:10.1378/chest.119.1.53

Santos Miotto Amorim, Cinthia, et al. “Effectiveness of two physical therapy interventions, relative to dental treatment in individuals with bruxism: study protocol of a randomized clinical trial.” Trials vol. 15 8. 7 Jan. 2014, doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-8

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Jaw Clenching: Chiropractic Functional Wellness Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.