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Would a Night Guard Relieve Your Morning Jaw Pain?

Posted on 6/13/2017 by Office
A dentist holding a night guard.
If your jaw hurts in the morning, you could be suffering from temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) pain. The joint at which your upper and lower jaws meet has become irritated and is therefore causing pain.

A likely cause of this TMJ is bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth at night. While you sleep, your facial muscles tighten and cause your teeth to put unnecessary force on one another.

This also puts unnecessary stress on your joint. If your jaw hurts, you should contact your dentist, and you may be recommended a night guard.

What Causes Bruxism?

There are a few different factors than can lead you to clench and grind your teeth:

•  Stress.
•  Alcohol.
•  Caffeine.
•  Certain drugs or medications.
•  Sleep apnea.

Why a Night Guard?

Bruxism occurs most frequently at night, when you have no control over what your muscles are doing. A night guard, also referred to as a splint or occlusal device, is a small plastic device that is made to mold to your upper teeth.

You place it on your teeth and it acts as a cushion between your upper and lower sets of teeth. It also helps to keep the natural space between the two sets of teeth, thus providing a cushion while preventing teeth from rubbing together.

Can a Night Guard Solve Bruxism and TMJ?

A night guard alleviates the symptoms of bruxism and TMJ, but it is not a cure. The guard only provides cushion and allows your jaw muscles to relax while you sleep.

However, there are ways to help treat the cause of bruxism, and therefore helps to cure it:

•  Stress management techniques - breathing, yoga, exercise.
•  Limit alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
•  Avoid illegal drugs.
•  Check side effects of medications.
•  Address health issues.

Waking up every morning with jaw pain can make you miserable. If your jaw hurts every time you get up, talk with your dentist contact our office about the benefits of a night guard.

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1524 Commercial St S.E.
Salem, OR 97302

p: (503) 362-8364

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8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

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