Do you often wake up in the morning with a headache? If so, you may suffer from chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) or from a jaw disorder such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ disorder). TMJ disorder occurs when there is a problem with the the two jaw joints that allow your mouth to open and close, two necessary functions needed for talking and eating.
Bruxism affects about 10% of adults, and around 15% of kids and TMJ disorder affects millions of people, most people don’t know that they suffer from either one. Why? Severe teeth grinding usually occurs unconsciously during your sleep, and TMJ is a disorder that its sufferers don’t know much about.
So, what are some of the common signs associated with bruxism or TMJ?
- Unexplained damage to your teeth – From the wearing down of your tooth enamel to damage to restorations, like fillings or crowns.
- Tension type headaches – You suffer these particularly after waking up.
- You (and those around you) suffer from sleep disruption.
- You notice clicking and popping sounds when you open your mouth.
- You experience tooth pain or jaw soreness.
- You’re having difficulty chewing, as though your upper and lower teeth aren’t fitting together properly.
- There are signs of damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek.
Time for a Night Guard?
The damage to your teeth caused by unconscious nightly grinding, or the clenching of your teeth and jaws, can be costly to repair, and can also affect your sleep and your life.
If you are regularly experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, then it might be time to consider the benefits of using a night guard. Compared to the costs of restorative or cosmetic dental treatments, a night guard is a small investment to protect your teeth, and your overall health.
When you’re ready to learn more about how a night guard can work for you, just (206) 242-0066 to schedule an appointment with your friendly neighborhood Burien dentist.