Waking up day after day with a sore mouth and jaw can be irritating. If this sounds like your mornings, you may be living with a condition known as bruxism. Not only does this condition cause your mouth to feel a sore first thing in the morning, but it can also interfere with your normal daily functioning. Those with bruxism most likely experience it at night, when they do not have any control over the movements of their muscles. If you have bruxism, Noreen Goldwire, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry can help with a custom fit nightguard.
Bruxism is a condition that causes you to grind and clench your teeth. Grinding and clenching happen when the muscles in your face and jaw contract, forcing excessive pressure on your teeth, your jawbone, and your joints. While bruxism can occur at any time, it is most common at night. While you sleep, you do not have the same control over your muscle movements that you have when you are awake. The excessive pressure can cause significant pain in your jaw and can also tire out your muscles.
What Causes Bruxism?
There is no one specific cause of bruxism. It can be caused by one of many different issues. One of the most common causes of bruxism is stress. When you feel stressed, your muscles tense, including the muscles in your face and mouth. During the day, you often notice this tension and are therefore able to take steps to alleviate it. Stress can also affect you when you sleep. However, you do not have control over the muscle contractions. Other causes of bruxism may include:
How Do I Know if I Have Bruxism?
There are several different symptoms that accompany bruxism. However, these symptoms do not often appear all at once. In fact, they often start barely noticeable and gradually worsen over time. Common symptoms of bruxism include:
Nightguards for Bruxism
A nightguard is an oral appliance that is worn in your mouth while you sleep. Some patients need to wear their nightguard day and night. It is designed to alleviate the symptoms that accompany mild to moderate bruxism. It provides a cushion for your teeth against the pressures exerted by your jaw muscles.
While there are nightguards for sale at most drugstores, we recommend a professionally fitted nightguard. Over the counter, nightguards may not fit your mouth properly. They may either fall out while you sleep or make it difficult to breathe. These nightguards also do not take your bite into account and can often cause symptoms to become worse.
We can provide you with a custom fit nightguard. This oral appliance is made from an impression of your teeth, which allows us to design a guard that will fit perfectly in your mouth. There are two styles. One type sits over all of your top teeth similar to a sports mouthguard. The other covers only your top front teeth. These devices hold your jaw in proper alignment and provide cushioning, helping to alleviate pain and other issues.
While a nightguard may not put a stop to your grinding and clenching, it can greatly alleviate the pressures from grinding and clenching, allowing your muscles to relax while you sleep. Call Noreen Goldwire, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today at (425) 230-4510 to schedule your consultation.