Patients have been calling me because they seem to be having more headaches and jaw pain around the holidays. This could be the first symptom of stress clenching or bruxism. Holidays really can be stressful – there is so much shopping to do, so many gatherings to prepare for and so many people to see. And that clenching (along with the nighttime grinding you are probably doing) can cause some major damage to your teeth. I can make a night guard that you can actually wear anytime you feel stressed and clench your teeth. It not only protects your teeth from wearing, cracking, chipping and breaking, it also helps your jaw relax and stay in its optimal position. In the meantime, you can find relief by applying warm compresses or a heating pad to your neck and jaw or apply some arnica cream or gel to reduce inflammation. Don’t keep clenching, Houston! Call me, Dr. Randy Mitchmore, at 713- 592-9300, or visit the Life Smiles Website at .

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