If you’re experiencing jaw pain, you may be suffering from bruxism, the clinical name for teeth grinding or clenching often associated with TMJ disorder. The acronym TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint that connects your lower jaw bone (the mandible) to the skull.
The TMJ is located in front of your ears and is responsible for allowing the jaw to close and open when you need to chew, speak, or yawn. If you have a TMJ disorder, you may experience pain and difficulty speaking clearly and eating. Sleep bruxism can cause problems with your TMJ.
Most people occasionally clench their jaw or teeth when they’re awake. However, sleep bruxism is different, and it’s more worrisome for several reasons. When you’re sleeping, you’re unaware of your teeth clenching or grinding, and you risk increased damage to your teeth and jaw.
Here are some of the adverse effects of nighttime bruxism.
For treating bruxism, a bite guard (nightguard) can be used to decrease your problem. Your dentist makes the nightguard from your personalized jaw and teeth impressions, and it’s made from strong transparent plastic.
These nightguards have precise fits, and they’re super thin. This means that they’re not uncomfortable at all. Moreover, wearing a nightguard protects your teeth from the debilitating vertical forces of grinding and clenching your teeth and jaw.
Here are some of the benefits of nightguards for TMJ.
Are you ready to find relief from TMJ pain? Dr. Ann Kelley and the team at Kingsgate Dental in Kirkland, Washington, are here to answer your questions and serve you. Give us a call at (425) 385-0080 today or request an appointment online.
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