If you wake up the morning after morning with a sore jaw, you may be living with a condition called bruxism. Bruxism does more than just cause jaw pain. It can also begin to affect your overall quality of life, making once simple tasks like eating, speaking, or even just opening your mouth excruciating. The thing about bruxism, however, is that it usually happens at night, when you have no control over your muscle movements. At Olson Family Dental, we can help to ease your bruxism symptoms with a night guard.
What Exactly Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. This grinding and clenching occur when the muscles in your mouth contract, causing your jaws to clench together. While it can happen at any time, it is usually most at night. This is because you are aware of your muscle movements during the day. If your jaws clench during your waking hours, you can take action to stop it. At night, you do not have this same control over your muscles, which allows the condition to cause significant issues. The forces that your muscles exert put an excessive amount of pressure on your teeth, your jaw, and your temporomandibular joints.
What Causes Bruxism?
There is no one cause for bruxism. There are actually several different things that can cause it to occur. One of the biggest causes is stress. When you are stressed, all of the muscles in your body, including those in your face and mouth, become tense. Even while you sleep, stress can affect you, causing your muscles to tense even though you are not conscious. There are several other causes of bruxism as well. These causes include:
Symptoms Associated with Bruxism
There are several symptoms that are associated with bruxism. However, not all of them occur at once. Some are immediate, but others begin gradually and grow more severe over time. Symptoms include:
Night Guards for Bruxism
A common treatment for bruxism is a night guard. While you can find night guards for sale at just about any pharmacy, these guards are not the best option. They may not fit properly in your mouth. They may fall out while you sleep. Others may interfere with your breathing, causing more problems than they solve. You may end up spending a significant amount of money just trying to find a night guard that works for you. We can provide you with a custom fit night guard. There are two types. One covers your entire upper arch of teeth, almost like a sports mouth guard. The other just covers the front few teeth. We create your night guard for you from impressions taken of your mouth.
We are also able to take your bite pattern into account to create a comfortable, perfectly fitting guard. The appliance is designed to prevent your upper and lower teeth from making contact and absorbing the impact of the forces exerted by the muscles in your mouth when they contract. While a night guard cannot correct bruxism, it can provide you with significant relief, alleviating the pain and discomfort that bruxism causes and greatly improving your quality of life. A custom night guard can help to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, enabling you to have a better sleep. Please call Olson Family Dental today at (203) 663-3316 to schedule your consultation and find out if a night guard is right for you.