Do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth? If so, you may have a condition known as bruxism. While it can happen during the day, it most often occurs at night causing a patient to wake up in the morning with a number of symptoms including jaw pain, headaches, and sore teeth that can feel loose. While stress and anxiety are the most common causes of bruxism, there may be other contributing factors such as a sleep disorder, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or poorly aligned.
One solution for bruxism is to wear a night guard while sleeping. This dental appliance is designed to fit over the teeth and keep the jaws slightly apart. Wearing a night guard can help prevent a number of damaging consequences such as muscle strain, excessive pressure on the jaw joint (the TMJ), and dental damage such as chipped or cracked teeth resulting from the teeth grinding against each other.
A custom night guard can also prevent damage to the soft and hard tissues surrounding the orofacial cavity. This appliance is custom made at the dental office to help discourage a bruxism habit and give the patient a better night’s sleep.