Mouthguards and Nightguards


Mouthguards at Raptou Family Dental, Columbus, OHIf you wake up in the mornings with a sore jaw, you may be living with a condition known as bruxism. Along with significant pain every morning, bruxism can also affect your daily life as well. Performing tasks like eating and speaking become more challenging. Even simply opening your mouth can be excruciating. Most bruxism occurs at night when you have no control over your muscle movements. At Raptou Family Dental, we can help to alleviate your pain and restore your quality of life with a nightguard.

What Exactly Is Bruxism?


Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. While this can happen at any time of day, it is most common at night. This is because during the day you have control over the muscles in your face and mouth and can stop grinding and clenching. While you are sleeping, you do not have this same control. The muscles in your mouth contract, placing excessive pressure on your teeth, your jaw, and your temporomandibular joints. Your jaw and facial muscles may also tire in addition to becoming sore.

What Causes Bruxism?


There are several issues that can lead to bruxism. One of the most common causes is stress. When you are under a great deal of stress, your muscles contract, including the muscles in your face and jaw. While you can control this tension during the day, stress can still affect you while you sleep. Other common causes of bruxism include:
•  Misalignment of your teeth or your jaws.
•  Excessive alcohol consumption.
•  Caffeine.
•  Certain types of medications.

Symptoms of Bruxism


There are several different symptoms that are associated with bruxism. These symptoms do not start all at once. Instead, they come on gradually, increasing in intensity over time. Some symptoms may not even appear to have anything at all to do with your jaw, which can often lead you to believe that you have an entirely different issue. Symptoms of bruxism include:
•  Uneven wear on your tooth enamel. In some cases, the wear can be excessive, which can then increase your risk of developing cavities or tooth damage.
•  Severe jaw and temporomandibular joint pain.
•  Facial pain.
•  Gum recession.
•  Your teeth may become loose. In severe cases, they may even fall out.
•  Chronic headaches or earaches, which are caused by radiating pain.

How a Custom Nightguard Can Help


At Raptou Family Dental, we can provide you with a custom fit nightguard to help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. While there are different types of nightguards widely available at most drug stores, these types of mouthguards are not recommended. In many cases, they do not fit your mouth properly, and can increase your risk for complications, including trouble breathing. We create your custom fit nightguard from digital impressions of your mouth. There are two types of nightguards available.

One nightguard covers your entire top arch of teeth, similar to a sports mouthguard. The other type covers only your front teeth. Both types of nightguards are designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment and cushion the impact from the pressures of grinding and clenching. This takes the pressure off your jaw and your temporomandibular joints. While nightguards cannot fix bruxism, they can help to alleviate the symptoms, finally providing you with some relief.

If severe jaw pain is interfering with your life, we can help. Call Raptou Family Dental to schedule your appointment and find out if a nightguard is a right solution for you at (614) 427-0449.

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