What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. These actions are caused by the contraction of the muscles in your jaw. While it can happen at any time, it is more prevalent at night. During the daytime, you are aware that your jaw muscles are tensing, and can, therefore, stop it. As you sleep, however, you do not have this control. When the muscles contract, it puts excessive amounts of stress on your teeth, your jaw, and your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Symptoms of Bruxism
Bruxism has a major impact on your overall quality of life. Some symptoms are noticeable right away, while others happen gradually. Some symptoms can often lead you to believe you have an entirely unrelated issue, which means that your bruxism can go undiagnosed for some time. Symptoms include:
What Causes Bruxism?
Bruxism can be caused by a few different things. One of the biggest contributing factors to bruxism, however, is stress. Stress can affect you during the daytime, and even while you sleep. When you are stressed, all of your muscles tense, including the muscles in your mouth and jaw. Bruxism can also be caused by misaligned teeth (or a misaligned jaw) or by stimulants (alcohol, medications, caffeine).
Why Use a Night Guard?
If you have bruxism, we may be able to help alleviate the symptoms with a night guard. A night guard is often recommended when lifestyle changes are not enough. Also called an occlusal guard or an occlusal splint, a night guard, is an oral device that is made to cushion the impact exerted by your jaw on your teeth.
A night guard is made from a mold of your mouth. There are two types. One looks similar to a sports mouth guard and fits over your top teeth. The other type of night guard covers only your top front teeth. Both types of night guards cushion the impact of your jaw and hold your jaw in proper alignment. Night guards cannot put an end to your bruxism issues, but they can greatly assist in alleviating your pain.
When you have bruxism, every function your mouth performs becomes painful. Call Kenneth G. Wallis DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today at (408) 248-6777 to schedule your consultation today and get the relief you are looking for.