If you have jaw pain that you can’t explain, or your jaw pops in out when you chew or open your mouth to yawn, you may have bruxism, a disorder that causes you to grind and clench your teeth at night or during the day. Some symptoms are very painful, depending on how long this problem has been going on.
We will always attempt to identify the cause of bruxism in the first place and attempt to treat the problem at the source. If we are unable to stop bruxism, we can at least keep the teeth protected with a night guard and bruxism counseling for daytime clenching and grinding.
The good news that at Covington Family Dental, we provide several alternatives to improve your symptoms, including the use of mouthguards for sleeping.
How do Mouthguards Work at Night?The reasons for conditions like bruxism are not yet fully understood. Many experts believe the clenching and grinding of the teeth are related to stress and anxiety of daily life, but other things can contribute to this condition.
More importantly, bruxism can cause severe pain in some patients, and this can affect their quality of life. Living with constant pain can be extremely difficult and could result in mental health problems such as depression, according to some scientific studies.
Using a mouthguard at night helps relax your jaw and is an effective treatment method for patients who suffer from things like bruxism. The mouthguard will also protect the surface of your teeth from getting damaged by the pressure of constant grinding and clenching.
Types of Night MouthguardsThere are two types of mouthguards you can use for sleeping:
Using a mouthguard at night, you could improve the quality of your sleep. It can also improve pain in the jaw or other symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMJ).
Symptoms of TMJIf you are not sure whether you need to use a mouthguard at night, here are some of the most common symptoms of TMJ which may be causing your problems:
TMJ can cause mild to severe pain, and sometimes the symptoms go away on their own. Bruxism is problematic, however, because of the damage the clenching and grinding can do to your teeth, and even when there’s no pain, we recommend using a mouthguard at night.
Signs of bruxism are apparent during a dental exam and include chipped teeth, worn enamel, missing fillings, and uneven teeth surfaces.
It is essential you let us know if you suspect you have bruxism or a TMJ that is causing you pain and discomfort so that we can get to the cause of the problem. While we can generally spot the signs, sometimes we won’t know unless you tell us something is wrong during your next routine dental exam.
Please call Covington Family Dental at 253.499.6155 to ask any questions you may have about using a mouthguard at night.