Do you wake up with headaches or sore jaw muscles? Does your partner complain that you grind or gnash your teeth as you sleep? If so, you might have bruxism. According to the Mayo Clinic, bruxism is a chronic condition characterized by grinding or clenching teeth. Grinding is the act of rubbing teeth forcefully against each other. Clenching is an intense biting or tightening of the jaw. Often the symptoms of bruxism take place during sleep, and sufferers are unaware that they have the disorder.
Symptoms of Bruxism
People with bruxism suffer from a variety of symptoms. They may have broken or chipped teeth. Often the layer of enamel protecting the teeth is worn away, leading to more tooth damage and tooth sensitivity. Gum recession, also a bruxism symptom, causes the roots of the teeth to be exposed to bacteria. Bruxism sufferers also may experience neck pain, jaw pain, headaches, and cuts and sores inside the mouth from biting the inner cheek. Severe bruxism can lead to disrupted sleep, leaving sufferers tired and less able to focus during the day.
Treatment for Bruxism
Luckily, bruxism is easily treated with a custom-fitted nightguard. A nightguard provides a protective barrier between the upper and lower jaw and absorbs the force of tooth grinding and clenching. To custom-fit your nightguard, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. The nightguard is then molded over your unique model to provide comfort and protection. An effective nightguard does not restrict breathing or speech, is comfortable, durable, and prevents tooth damage. With a custom-fitted night guard, you can rest easy knowing that your smile is protected. You will wake up ready for the day without headaches or jaw pain.