How to tell if you need a Mouthguard

do i need a mouthguard

do i need a mouthguardServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

Waking up with chronic headaches or jaw pain could be a sign of a serious condition. It often is a sign of bruxism, or clenching and grinding your teeth at night. One treatment method most dentists use for managing these symptoms and protecting your teeth is a nightguard that is worn while sleeping. To learn more about this oral health condition, Greeneville dentists at Tusculum Dental Care are sharing information about potential causes of your headaches and jaw pain, and how to tell if you need a nightguard (also called a mouthguard).

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is an oral condition where your clench and grind your teeth while sleeping, causing extensive pressure on your teeth and jaw, often resulting in headaches, jaw pain, or damage to your teeth. The intensity of exerted pressure while sleeping could increase during times of stress. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware of the condition until they visit the dentist or are told by their partner or roommate that would hear the gnashing of their teeth. However, if bruxism is not treated promptly, the condition could cause extensive damage to your teeth, increase tooth sensitivity, or lead to decay.

How do I stop clenching my teeth during the day?

Bruxism occurs not only while sleeping, but during the day as well. Although the exact reason why bruxism occurs is unclear, it is often associated with intense emotions such as anger, anxiety, tension, frustration, or stress. Sometimes, bruxism is caused by untreated TMJ disorder. No matter if you experience the condition during the day or night, you could take steps to reduce the clenching and grinding. Tusculum Dental Care recommends that you cease smoking before bed, limit caffeine and alcoholic beverages, and using relaxing activities before bed such as reading, taking a hot bath, walking, or meditating could help reduce the intensity or condition of bruxism.

What is temporomandibular joint syndrome?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is complications resulting from problems with the functionality of the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the skull and jaw. Both bruxism and injuries to the jaw could cause TMJ. Some common symptoms are a pain in the neck, jaw, face, or shoulders, popping or clicking noises when opening or closing your mouth, swelling on the side of your face, difficulty chewing or opening your mouth wide, or chronic headaches after waking from sleep. If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact our TMJ dentists in Greeneville at Tusculum Dental Care to discuss immediate treatment options.

What is a custom mouthguard?

An oral appliance commonly referred to as a mouthguard covers the teeth and helps absorb the impact of the clenching and grinding to protect your teeth from damage. It also relieves pressure off your jaw joints. We may recommend wearing a mouthguard to reduce headaches, jaw pain, and potential damage to your teeth.

How does a custom mouthguard provide protection and relief?

Bruxism and TMJ conditions have multiple treatment options. As an effective and affordable treatment option, a custom-fitted mouthguard properly aligns the jaw and teeth, alleviating jaw tension, pain, and headaches. In the most severe cases, neuromuscular treatment could be recommended in addition to wearing a mouthguard. Professional custom-fitted mouthguards are recommended to provide the highest quality, most shock-resistant protection for your mouth. Unfortunately, over-the-counter mouthguards may not fully protect your teeth or fit properly, potentially causing more complications.

How do I get fitted for my mouthguard?

During a scheduled dental appointment at Tusculum Dental Care, an impression will be taken of your teeth, which will be used to create your mouthguard. Once the mouthguard returns from the lab, your dentist will check to ensure it fits properly with little opportunity to come off while sleeping.

Mouthguards in Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee

Bruxism and TMJ are serious conditions that need to be addressed as soon as possible by a licensed dental professional in Jonesborough at Tusculum Dental Care. By treating the condition and protecting your teeth from severe damage by wearing a mouthguard, you could save time and money. If you are experiencing symptoms and need to seek treatment, feel free to call our office at (423) 639-7575 or book an appointment online today.