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Downtown Dental Excellence offers Night Guards for TMJ/TMD & Bruxism in Cleveland, TX

If you find that you often wake up with jaw pain, a headache or other painful or annoying symptoms, you may have an oral health ailment that can eventually cause serious damage to not only the jawbone, but also the teeth and even your hearing! In order to treat what is causing you to wake up in pain, it is important to understand what the root cause may be. Generally, jaw pain, headaches and other symptoms in the morning are caused by TMJ/TMD or bruxism.

What Is a Night Guard?

A night guard is a dental appliance that is placed in the mouth at night while a patient is sleeping. These custom mouth guards are specifically designed to stop damage caused by the grinding or clenching of the teeth at night.

Photo of a dental Xray w night guard

What is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ stands for “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder,” which is when the area where your lower jaw is connected to your skull becomes inflamed or injured. TMD is essentially the same, and stands for “Temporomandibular Disorder.” This disorder can be extremely painful, and can lead to a variety of health issues that include:

  • Swelling
  • Lockjaw
  • Trouble Chewing
  • Pain in the Face, Neck, Jaw and/or Shoulders
  • Jaw Fatigue

There are a few different reasons that a patient may be suffering from TMJ/TMD, which include:

  • The Cushioning Disc of the Joint Being Dislocated
  • Bruxism
  • Arthritis
  • Injury

If you have any of the above symptoms, it is extremely important to see a dentist as soon as possible. This will help to ensure your ongoing oral health.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for clenching or grinding your teeth at night. This can be a difficult issue to diagnose, as patients can’t actually hear themselves grinding their teeth. Often times, though, a spouse may complain about the teeth grinding. If you don’t sleep with a spouse, you may need to look for other signs of bruxism, such as:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Headaches
  • Worn Teeth
  • Hearing Loss
  • Loose or Fractures Teeth
  • TMJ/TMD

In order to treat the symptoms of bruxism, a night guard may be the best option. Still, the root cause of the bruxism should also be addressed. While you may not know initially what is causing the bruxism, there are a few changes that you can make to see if you can make the bruxism stop on your own. These include:

  • Cutting down on caffeine and not drinking it near bedtime.
  • Avoiding chewing on non-food items.
  • Utilizing different jaw relaxation techniques.
  • Cutting back on alcohol, especially late at night.
  • Reducing stress.

Even though patients can work towards solving the root causes of bruxism, it is still important to make sure that you are not doing more damage to your teeth and jaws while you try to uncover the reason behind your bruxism. In order to stop any further damage from occurring, you’ll want to see your dentist so they can provide you with a night guard to keep your jaw and teeth safe.

Call Downtown Dental Excellence Today! (281) 592-0597

Why a Night Guard?

There are a few different reasons why you may want to wear a night guard. The most obvious is to prevent damage from occurring to your teeth, jaw and oral health overall. Grinding an clenching can cause severe damage, that can be extremely costly to repair. If a tooth or teeth are cracked or chipped due to clenching or grinding, different tooth replacement options may need to be considered. These include dental bonding, veneers and even dental crowns. These procedures can be costly.

If you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night, you probably already know how much discomfort this causes. When you wake up, you may experience headaches, jaw pain and more. Throughout the day, you also may notice sensitivity. Because night guards help to keep your teeth and jaw safe while you are sleeping, you’ll eliminate the discomfort that you feel while you are awake that is caused by grinding and clenching.

Finally, night guards can be used to treat not only bruxism, but also TMJ/TMD. If you are suffering from this condition, you know how painful it can be. With a night guard, you can help with the treatment of TMJ/TMD.

Candidates for Night Guards

If you are noticing any of the symptoms of bruxism or TMJ/TMD, it is extremely important to visit your dentist and have them examine your teeth and jawbone. If they have determined that the issue is bruxism or TMJ/TMD, they will discuss treatment options—likely a night guard.

It is extremely important to make sure that you visit your dentist to have your night guard created. Sometimes patients will try to save money by ordering a night guard online, but this is a mistake. You’ll want to make sure that your night guard is created for your specific teeth and jaw, as well as your specific needs.

Contact your dentist if you are having jaw pain, headaches or other issues upon waking up in the morning. You can schedule an exam, and better determine what the issue may be. If your dentist determines that you have bruxism or TMJ/TMD, they will provide you with a night guard that will prevent further damage from occurring, and treat whichever ailment you may have. A night guard is an excellent solution for patients that are suffering from bruxism and TMJ/TMD.

Call Downtown Dental Excellence Today! (281) 592-0597