If you wake up morning after morning with a sore jaw, it can take a toll on your quality of life. It can also be indicative of an oral health issue known as bruxism. Along with severe jaw pain, you may be faced with difficulties eating, speaking, or even just opening your mouth in general. At the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS, we can help to alleviate these symptoms, and your pain, with a bite guard.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which your grind and clench your teeth, which is the result of muscle contractions in your jaw. While bruxism can occur at any time of the day, it is most common at night, when you have no control over those muscle contractions. When the muscles contract, this puts excessive pressure on your teeth, your jaw, and your temporomandibular joints. Your muscles can also grow tired of the constant pressure. All of these factors contribute to excessive pain.
What Causes Bruxism?
Bruxism can be caused by any one of many different issues. One of the most common causes is from stress. When you are stressed, all of the muscles in your body, including the ones in your mouth, tense, and contract. During the day, you can control your muscles and relax them. Stress can affect you while you sleep, however, and you cannot control this tension. Other issues that can cause bruxism include:
Are There Other Symptoms?
Experiencing severe pain when you wake up in the morning is one of the most obvious indications that something just is not right. There are other symptoms that occur as well. These symptoms do not occur all at once. In fact, they start gradually, becoming worse over time. Some symptoms you may experience may seemingly have nothing to do with your mouth and jaw at all, which can sometimes lead to seeking medical rather than dental help, and a misdiagnosis. These symptoms include:
How Bite Guards Help
A bite guard also called a night guard, and an occlusal splint or an occlusal guard is an oral device that is worn at night to alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate bruxism. It essentially acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact that your oral muscles exert on your teeth and your jaws.
While it is possible to get a bite guard over the counter at most pharmacies, we provide you with professionally fit bite guards. A bite guard that you buy over the counter do not often provide you with the relief you need. Some guards can actually make the situation worse, or can affect your breathing while you sleep. We custom create a bite guard for you based on digital impressions of your mouth. This ensures an accurate fit to provide you with the best results. There are two different types of bite guards. One is an oral device fits over your top arch of teeth similar to a sports mouth guard. The other is a small oral device that just fits over the front teeth. Both guards work to hold your jaws in proper alignment as well as absorb the impact of the pressures your muscles put on your teeth and jaws. While bite guards cannot solve bruxism, they can provide you with great relief.
With a bite guard, we can help you to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, which can then restore your quality of life. Call the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS today for more information and to schedule your consultation at (818) 570-8525.