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Mouthguard / Bruxism

Close up of person placing a soft plastic mouthguard into their mouth.Pain is how your body lets you know that something is wrong. If you wake up each morning with a sore jaw, it can be indicative of a condition known as bruxism. When you have bruxism, not only do you face chronic jaw pain, you may also find basic oral functions like eating speaking difficult. At Mid Valley Family Dental, we can help to alleviate your pain, restoring the functions of your mouth, with a mouthguard.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. These actions put excessive pressure on your teeth, your jaws, your jaw muscles, and your temporomandibular joints. Over time, this excessive pressure can begin to cause significant pain in your jaw and temporomandibular joints, as well as interfere with the normal functioning of your mouth.

Bruxism can affect you at any time. It is more common at night, however. When you grind and clench during the day, you are aware that it is happening and can take action to stop it. As you sleep, however, you are unaware that you are grinding and clenching. This means that the issue can continue uninterrupted.

What Causes Bruxism?

There are several different issues that can lead to bruxism. These include:
•  Stress. Stress is one of the leading causes of bruxism. When you feel stressed, your muscles become tense. This tension can then cause your jaws to clench.
•  Misaligned teeth or jaws.
•  Certain medications.
•  Caffeine consumption.
•  Alcohol or tobacco use.

What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?

When bruxism first begins, the symptoms are barely noticeable. You may not even know that there is anything wrong. Over time, however, the symptoms can worsen, significantly interfering with the functions of your mouth and your quality of life. Common symptoms of bruxism include:
•  Pain in your jaws and temporomandibular joints. You may also notice pain in your face.
•  Your jaw muscles may feel tired.
•  Trouble or pain moving your mouth. This can make functions like eating or speaking difficult.
•  Excessive, uneven wear on your teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and increase your risk for cavities or tooth damage.
•  Gum recession. The constant pressure on your teeth can cause your gums to recede, which can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
•  Loose teeth.

How Can a Mouthguard Help?

One of the most common treatments for bruxism is a mouthguard. Also referred to as a night guard, a mouthguard is a device that is worn over your teeth while you sleep. It resembles a sports mouthguard in appearance, covering your top teeth. The device functions to absorb the impact of grinding and clenching pressure. This takes the pressure off of your teeth, your jaw, and your temporomandibular joints. This helps to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, restoring the functions of your mouth and your quality of life. Your mouthguard is created in our office from impressions of your mouth. This ensures a proper fit for the best possible results.

With a custom mouthguard, we can help to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, restoring the functions of your mouth and your overall quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Mid Valley Family Dental today at (503) 902-1622.

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