Do you wake up experiencing jaw pain, soreness in your face or a headache? If so, night guards can be the solution to help you feel more comfortable. For many people, teeth grinding at night is involuntary and the leading cause of pain in the jaw on a daily basis.
What is causing the jaw pain?
The first thing we need to determine is the main cause of the jaw pain in the first place. Overuse is one of the leading causes of jaw pain, among other possibilities. For example, anyone who chews gum for a couple of hours may notice that their jaw begins to feel sore. However, waking up with a sore jaw is typically not from overuse. In this case, the most likely scenario is that the teeth are either grinding or clenching at night.
It is impossible for people to control what they do in their sleep and teeth grinding is one result. Very often, people will clench or grind while sleeping without ever being aware of it and being unable to control it. The grinding can result in headaches, muscle tension, soreness and discomfort. Sometimes, the pain can become so bad that it is difficult for people to even chew or open their mouth all the way.
What happens at night?
To help ease the tension and to prevent this problem, we recommend that patients use night guards. We can customize night guards to the exact measurements of the patient’s mouth. This ensures that they fit snugly and securely, will not slip out of place at night and are easy to wear when sleeping. All a patient needs to do is slip the guard in place and go to sleep.
The guard prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching. This way, it is impossible for the teeth to clench or grind. The guard essentially prevents any damaging activity during sleep.
There are additional benefits to wearing night guards. Primarily, they can protect the teeth from damage. This is important whether teeth are natural or a patient has some restorations like a dental bridge or dental implants. Since grinding teeth at night can lead to the erosion of enamel, chips and cracks, it can be rather inconvenient and expensive to restore teeth that have suffered damage during the night.
While it is unlikely that the occasional grinding will cause the tooth to crack or chip, over time, it may. If this is a concern, we will probably see some signs of damage during a dental examination. If at that point, we recommend wearing night guards, it is wise to heed the warning and have one created right away to prevent further damage and the need for more costly procedures.
It is easy to create the necessary night guards. New patients only need to visit our clinic for us to measure the teeth and mouth to determine the exact size necessary. The process is relatively fast and affordable but the outcomes are worth the effort. To learn more, we invite you to call our clinic and schedule an appointment. We can provide the assistance that you need to protect your teeth and feel better.
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