Ever been knee deep in the rave with your jaw going ten to the dozen? Or maybe you’ve seen others sporting facial contortions worthy of the World Gurning Championships?
To be frank, it’s a common sight in the clubs as ravers get on it and indulge in various party favours.
If you’re curious as to why this occurs, read on and wonder no more…
STRESS, TENSION AND STIMULATION
The tension that occurs in your jaw when you’re intoxicated is related to bruxism, a syndrome that typically occurs when someone is asleep. One of the main triggers here is the release of serotonin and dopamine, caused by the most commonly used substances.
Their stimulant effect inhibits the jaw’s normal opening reflex and, combined with another neurotransmitter called noradrenaline, the result is clenching. Simultaneously, the effect of these substances on the central nervous system is also to stimulate muscle activity.
Long-term effects include headaches and jaw ache from prolonged tension in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Damage to the teeth from grinding them together too much is also a concern. In extreme cases people have been known to bite into their tongue or severely chew the insides of their mouth.
HOW TO AVOID?
Besides avoiding party favours altogether, there is little you can do to fully prevent the gurn. Anecdotal testimonies claim magnesium can be useful in preempting a wobbly jaw, while scientific evidence demonstrates that it helps relieve muscle tension and spasms.
Magnesium relaxes muscles and controls their contractions, also helping to reduce the build-up of lactic acid, which can cause muscular tension. Another widely acknowledged method is to chew sugar-free gum or suck on a lollipop.
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