Achy Jaw in the AM?

Achy Jaw in the AM?

Bruxism, or grinding one's teeth, is extremely common in the US. It is estimated that at least half of the population, including children, gnash their teeth at some point in their lives. About 10% of adults grind their teeth. This is a significant problem that ages the teeth and can be extremely painful and costly in the long run. Consider this: teeth meet on a daily basis during meals, totaling about 8 minutes of actual contact. An aggressive grinder will proceed to gnash for as long as 80 minutes.

The inconvenient results of bruxism range from: disturbing one and/or one's partner's sleep; headaches, jaw discomfort, and more significant jaw pain called temporomandibular disorder or TMD. Ironically, often the pain from TMD causes more grinding of teeth.

The underlying causes of bruxism are not well understood, partly because people do not grind consistently, making diagnosis more challenging. Overall, dentists agree that stress is the greatest cause of the problem. Therefore reducing stress in anyway possible is highly recommended.

In order to protect teeth, many dentists will take impressions of the mouth and construct a night guard made of either soft or hard plastic-like material. The guard serves as a buffer, protecting the top and bottom teeth from meeting and therefore protecting enamel.

We can typically tell when a patient suffers from bruxism, however, do not be shy about calling us should you experience jaw discomfort or jaw pain. We're here to help.

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We love to hear from our patients. Please contact us at either 908.236.9650 or use the form below to send us an e-mail.

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