Persistent pain in your jaw and mouth may be a sign that you clench or grind your teeth at night. Also known as bruxism, grinding your teeth at night can be a miserable condition that may greatly impair your quality of life. Bruxism is quite common, affecting approximately one-third of all Americans, both adults, and children. While the exact cause of this condition is not very well understood, you do not have to suffer any longer from this painful condition. If you grind your teeth at night, then we here at Cane Bay Family Dentistry help you achieve lasting relief from this problem with the aid of a night guard.
Signs of Bruxism
Bruxism is quite common, affecting up to 30 million Americans. This condition can be very unpleasant, leading to painful symptoms and discomfort in those who suffer from it. While many adults have bruxism, it is more common in younger individuals and affects up to one-third of all children.
The symptoms of bruxism include pain your jaw that can radiate up to your ears or down to your shoulders, tenderness in your face and facial muscles, a jaw that tends to lock up on you, and a headache that seems to be primarily in your temples. Earaches also can indicate that you may have bruxism. Other indications that you may have bruxism can include your teeth starting to appear eroded or worn down, the presence of chips or cracks on your teeth, and teeth that are starting to get loose. Some patients do not even realize they are grinding or clenching at night until they are told about it from a significant other!
Causes of Bruxism
While the causes of bruxism are not very well known, one very common trigger for this condition can be stressful. If you have been working late nights or are a stereotypical “Type A” personality, you may be more prone to having bruxism. Bruxism can also be caused by certain types of medications, such as some types of antidepressants. Alcohol and tobacco use may also lead to problems with bruxism. Genetics can play a role, and so can certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and even sleep apnea.
How a Night Guard Can Help
While a night guard may not stop you from grinding your teeth that night, they can act as a much-needed barrier to prevent damage from clenching and grinding. By cushioning your teeth, the damage from grinding can be prevented. Some types of night guards can also realign the position of your jaw, making it less likely that you will clench or grind in your sleep. Night guards can be very beneficial in allowing your jaw to relax at night when you are sleeping. Some patients do report that they do need to learn how to adapt to wearing their night guard, but after trying it out for a few days, it becomes comfortable and like second nature to sleep with it.
A night guard can be a valuable asset when trying to relieve the pain of bruxism. If you would like to learn more about night guards, or you are ready to set up an appointment with us for a consultation for one, please give us here at Cane Bay Family Dentistry a call at (843) 352-4454 today!
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