If you wake up in the morning with severe jaw pain, dread chewing because it hurts, and have chronic headaches that just don’t seem to dissipate, even with the help of over the counter pain relievers, you could be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism can occur at any time, but it usually happens while you sleep, when you have no control over the muscles in your jaw. At South Main Dental, we can help to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism with a night guard.
Bruxism is a condition in which you clench and grind your teeth. It can happen at any time. During the daytime, you are more aware of the situation and can put an end to it. However, at night, you have no control. Clenching and grinding put an enormous amount of stress on your jaw and your teeth.
What Happens When You Have Bruxism?
Your oral health and quality of life suffer greatly when you have bruxism. Some of the issues you experience are noticeable right away. Others occur over time. Moreover, many of these issues are often mistaken as symptoms for other health issues. Bruxism leads to:
Causes of Bruxism
The most common cause of bruxism is stress. When you are stressed, your muscles tense and tighten. This includes the muscles in your face and jaw. Stress can continue to affect you while you sleep. Your jaw muscles force your teeth together with extreme force. Other causes of bruxism include:
Why a Night Guard?
When lifestyle changes aren’t enough, night guards are extremely helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with bruxism. Also, referred to as an occlusal guard or an occlusal splint, a night guard is a simple device that provides cushion and alleviates the pressures exerted by your jaw.
There are two main types of night guards. One resembles a sports mouth guard, but only covers the top teeth. It is made from a mold of your mouth to ensure proper fit. The other common type of night guard is smaller and only covers your top two teeth. This, too, is custom created. Night guards are designed to cushion your teeth, and your jaw, from the pressures of your jaw. It also keeps your jaw in proper alignment. While night guards cannot put an end to your bruxism issues, they can go a long way in easing the pain and discomfort, along with the dental issues, the condition causes.
With a custom fit night guard, your teeth and jaw have support and cushion against the pressure exerted by your jaw. Worn regularly, you will start to notice a significant improvement in the pain associated with bruxism. If jaw pain, facial pain, and chronic headaches are making your life miserable, contact South Main Dental and find out if a night guard is right for you.