If you wake up in the mornings with a sore jaw, you may be living with a condition known as bruxism. Along with significant pain every morning, bruxism can also affect your daily life as well. Performing tasks like eating and speaking become more challenging. Even simply opening your mouth can be excruciating. Most bruxism occurs at night when you have no control over your muscle movements. At Raptou Family Dental, we can help to alleviate your pain and restore your quality of life with a nightguard.
What Exactly Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. While this can happen at any time of day, it is most common at night. This is because during the day you have control over the muscles in your face and mouth and can stop grinding and clenching. While you are sleeping, you do not have this same control. The muscles in your mouth contract, placing excessive pressure on your teeth, your jaw, and your temporomandibular joints. Your jaw and facial muscles may also tire in addition to becoming sore.
What Causes Bruxism?
There are several issues that can lead to bruxism. One of the most common causes is stress. When you are under a great deal of stress, your muscles contract, including the muscles in your face and jaw. While you can control this tension during the day, stress can still affect you while you sleep. Other common causes of bruxism include:
Symptoms of Bruxism
There are several different symptoms that are associated with bruxism. These symptoms do not start all at once. Instead, they come on gradually, increasing in intensity over time. Some symptoms may not even appear to have anything at all to do with your jaw, which can often lead you to believe that you have an entirely different issue. Symptoms of bruxism include:
How a Custom Nightguard Can Help
At Raptou Family Dental, we can provide you with a custom fit nightguard to help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. While there are different types of nightguards widely available at most drug stores, these types of mouthguards are not recommended. In many cases, they do not fit your mouth properly, and can increase your risk for complications, including trouble breathing. We create your custom fit nightguard from digital impressions of your mouth. There are two types of nightguards available.
One nightguard covers your entire top arch of teeth, similar to a sports mouthguard. The other type covers only your front teeth. Both types of nightguards are designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment and cushion the impact from the pressures of grinding and clenching. This takes the pressure off your jaw and your temporomandibular joints. While nightguards cannot fix bruxism, they can help to alleviate the symptoms, finally providing you with some relief.
Dental injuries can occur anytime. It might happen when sleeping or performing high-impact activities. For instance, teeth grinding mostly occurs at night and can lead to loss of enamel, which can later result in teeth sensitivity.
Luckily, you can protect your teeth by putting on a mouth guard. You can wear a mouthguard during contact sports, sleeping, or when performing activities such as biking. Mouth guards at Raptou Family Dental provide the highest level of protection.
What is a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard is a dental covering worn over the teeth. Its main purpose is to protect the gums, tongue, and teeth from trauma caused by dental injuries or teeth grinding. For instance, if you participate in contact sports like football, you will likely suffer from a chipped or cracked tooth. However, with a properly fitting mouth guard, you’ll prevent injuries in case of high impact.
Our dentists may recommend a mouth guard to address conditions such as bruxism. Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism can lead to soreness in the mouth, gum recession, tooth damage, or issues with the jaw joints. A mouth guard works by limiting contact between the lower and upper jaw. This means less damage to the teeth.
What is the Difference Between a Mouthguard and a Night Guard?
A mouth guard and a night guard are designed to protect the teeth. However, they differ in the purpose they serve and the materials used. A mouth guard is usually used by athletes to protect their teeth from injury. A mouth guard features a thick, soft material. This helps to absorb high-intensity impacts during contact sports.
On the other hand, a night guard prevents teeth from grinding at night. It features a thin, strong material to protect the teeth while allowing you to get undisturbed sleep.
Do Mouth Guards Help With TMJ?
Mouthguards can help with TMJ. The first way mouthguards can help with temporomandibular joint disorder is by correcting the mouth position. When sleeping, you may place your mouth in a position that strains the temporomandibular joints, causing pain. Luckily, mouth guards will allow the structures of TMJ to rest, thus, reducing inflammation and pain.
Another way mouth guards help to alleviate TMJ pain is by preventing teeth from grinding and clenching. Grinding and clenching mean that the jaws will not rest. This places strains on the structures of temporomandibular joints, which can cause inflammation and pain. Wearing a mouth guard discourages such behaviors, making the facial muscles and jaw joints relax while preventing teeth damage.
Don’t settle for discomfort. By owning a mouth guard, you’ll make a worthwhile investment toward preventing oral pain and discomfort. With proper cleaning and care, your mouth guard can last a long time. All you need is to follow instructions on how to clean your night guard. A custom-made mouth guard can fix oral issues such as teeth grinding, sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint disorder, and snoring.
At Raptou Family Dental, we offer different types of mouthguards. For your custom mouth guard call us today at (614) 427-0449.
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