Do you wake up during the night or in the morning with jaw pain or tension?
One study reported that 8.6% of the population grinds their teeth at night and 47.6% of this group have sleep problems.
Teeth grinding at night leads to a variety of problems. It creates wear and tear on your teeth. Your jaw muscles become strained. This can cause tension, pain, and trouble sleeping.
The good news is that these problems can improve with the use of a night guard. Continue reading to learn more about night guards.
What is Sleep Bruxism?
Sleep bruxism refers to a pattern of grinding your teeth at night. This can cause tooth damage and disrupted sleep. This condition may occur due to daytime stress, anxiety, caffeine consumption, and/or sleep apnea.
Your teeth grinding can even disrupt your partner’s sleep due to the noise.
Following is a list of strategies to decrease sleep bruxism:
- Try relaxing in the pre-sleep hours and bring your stress level down
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
- Try sleeping in a cool, comfortable, quiet, and dark environment
- Try different sleeping positions or a new pillow
If none of these suggestions improve your symptoms, you need to talk to your dentist.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular muscle joint (TMJ) describes the jaw joint. This is a hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull and allows your mouth to open and close.
When you experience pain in and around the TMJ or even into the ear, it’s time to talk to your dentist. As discussed, sleep bruxism may be the issue. Other causes include stress, jaw injury, misaligned teeth, infection, and autoimmune disease.
TMJ problems can interfere with speaking, eating, chewing, swallow, and making facial expressions. The pain can even interfere with your daily activities.
How Can a Night Guard Help Improve Your Sleep?
A night guard is often used to treat sleep bruxism and TMJ problems. A night guard helps protect your teeth and your TMJ. Your night will be custom made for you by the dentist.
- First, an impression of your teeth is created
- The night guard is then either made at the dentist’s office or sent to a laboratory
- When the night guard is ready, you will return to the dentist office to check that it fits properly
- The office staff will tell you how to properly care for your night guard
It‘s important that you wear this every night as ordered to see results.
Do You Need to Find a Dentist Near You?
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