Waking up with a Sore Jaw could mean you have Bruxism

waking up with a sore jaw

waking up with a sore jawKnoxville and Maryville, TN

Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw? If you do, you are likely clenching and grinding your teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism occurs most often in adults, although children may suffer from it, too. The causes of Bruxism can be so far-reaching that actually stopping the issue can be difficult. Instead, your family dentists in Maryville at Crestview Dental Care can custom design a nightguard for you to wear that protects your teeth from total devastation.

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism is thought to be a disorder of the central nervous system. It can be caused by an array of factors including stress and anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, a result of taking anti-depressants, smoking, alcohol use, and heredity. If you fall under one of these risks factors, you could try to eliminate or reduce them from your life, but the most important thing is to protect your teeth right away.

What are signs that I may have bruxism?

If you experience any of these symptoms associated with bruxism, see your Maryville dentist for further evaluation.

Symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Clenching and grinding teeth loudly at night, enough to wake up partner
  • Teeth that have become loose, chipped, or flattened on the tops
  • Worn down tooth enamel
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw or face
  • Fatigued or tight jaw muscles
  • Frequent earaches
  • Headaches that originates at the temples
  • Indentions alongside your tongue
  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing your jaw

Since clenching and grinding your teeth adds an inordinate amount of pressure on your teeth and jaw joints you could develop TMJ disorder, which is a dysfunction of the jaw joints that can lead to chronic pain and discomfort. Bruxism also wears down your teeth, which is not only an aesthetic concern but also increases your risk of tooth sensitivity and tooth decay. In severe, untreated cases of bruxism, teeth can become ground down to tiny nubs, and even result in teeth needing to be extracted.

How can I curb my bruxism habit?

While finding a cure for your habit may be difficult, there are certain measures you can take to help reduce the effects of your bruxism habit.

For example:

  • Reduce consumption of caffeinated beverages
  • Give up alcohol and the use of tobacco
  • Avoid chewing on objects such as pens, pencils, and other objects that are not edible
  • Avoid chewing gum on a regular basis, as it can exacerbate your pain
  • Try sleeping on your back, avoid sleeping on your stomach or sleeping with your hand resting under your jaw

How can I protect my teeth from bruxism?

Since stopping bruxism can be difficult without knowing the root cause, the best approach is to protect your teeth while it occurs. Your dentists in Maryville at Crestview Dental Care can construct a custom-made nightguard that fits comfortably in your mouth. The purpose of the nightguard is to absorb the additional pressure exerted on your teeth when you clench and grind them.

Custom Nightguards in Maryville

Since you will wear your nightguard each night for your bruxism, it is important to bring it in with you to your regular dental checkups as the nightguard will eventually wear down. At this point, a new nightguard can be crafted to continue protecting your teeth.

If you have already suffered the devastating effects of bruxism, cosmetic dentists in Maryville at Crestview Dental Care can reconstruct your smile to provide you with one that makes you feel confident.

To learn more about custom-made nightguards, contact Crestview Dental Care today by calling (865) 982-1700. We welcome patients of Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee.