If you wake up with jaw pain, tooth pain, sensitivity, headaches, a sore neck, or even a chipped tooth, then you could benefit from a nightguard to protect your teeth from damage while you sleep.
How Can My Teeth Be Damaged While I’m Sleeping?
Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth while you sleep puts a lot of extra wear and tear on your teeth. This nighttime dental concern is a sleep movement disorder called sleep bruxism.
Symptoms of Sleep Bruxism
Common signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism include:
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep (often loud enough for a partner to hear)
- Loose, chipped, broken, fractured, or flattened teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity or pain
- Sore, tired, or tender jaw muscles
- Locked jaw or trouble opening or closing your mouth
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Neck, jaw, or face pain and soreness
- Pain that feels like an earache
- Frequent headaches (especially in the morning)
- Damaged cheek tissues
- Disrupted sleep and daytime grogginess
Since sleep bruxism happens during sleep, many people don’t even realize they have it. As a result, it is often first diagnosed by our dentists when they observe signs of wear and tear on a patient’s tooth enamel that are characteristic of jaw clenching and teeth grinding at night.
What Causes Sleep Bruxism?
Although the exact cause of sleep bruxism is unknown, several factors appear to be related to sleep bruxism. Individuals with the following are at a higher risk of having sleep bruxism:
- Daytime stress and anxiety
- Poor posture
- Malocclusion (misaligned bite)
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
- Sleep apnea
- Family members with sleep bruxism
Sleep bruxism is more common in children, but people of all ages can suffer from sleep bruxism.
What Is a Nightguard?
A nightguard (also called a bite guard) is a type of mouthguard designed to be worn at night. In addition to taking steps to relieve stress before going to bed, a nightguard is the simplest and most commonly prescribed treatment for sleep bruxism.
Nightguards are molded from plastic and customized to fit your teeth comfortably. They are designed to protect your tooth enamel from grinding while also helping to prevent you from clenching your jaw while you sleep.
Nightguard Consultations at Eastgate Dental Excellence
If you often wake up with pain or tenderness in or around your jaw, then you might be suffering from sleep bruxism, and we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Daniel Kelley, Dr. Jodie Yildirim, or Dr. Mary Margaret Vaughan to confirm sleep bruxism and recommend a treatment.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment for a nightguard, we welcome you to contact Eastgate Dental Excellence today.
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3241 Mount Carmel Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244