Struggling with Jaw Pain? You May Want to Consider a Mouth Guard

If you’re struggling with chronic jaw pain, teeth grinding is probably the reason. While occasional grinding isn’t a cause for concern, for about one-third of Americans, it can lead to chronic jaw pain and serious dental concerns.  

As part of our commitment to your overall health, Amanda Darling, DDS, and our team of care providers at Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin, Missouri, offer customized mouth guards to help treat different dental conditions, like teeth grinding.

What is teeth grinding?

Bruxism is the official name for teeth grinding, and it occurs when you grind, clench, or gnash your teeth — usually at night while you sleep. In fact, you may not realize you grind your teeth until someone asks you about it or you begin to struggle with chronic jaw pain. 

In addition to jaw pain, other symptoms of bruxism include chronic headaches, a sore or “tight” face, having a stiff or sore neck, and chronic earaches. 

Teeth grinding can also have serious side effects. For example, bruxism during sleep increases your risk for other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or snoring. And it can create long-term effects, such as:

One of the most significant side effects of bruxism is the development or worsening of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. When not treated, TMJ disorders impact your ability to chew and swallow food, speak, and make facial expressions. In severe cases, TMJ can affect your ability to breathe.

How can a mouth guard help my jaw pain?

Mouth guards are oral appliances you wear over your teeth while you sleep at night. There are soft and rigid mouth guards, and Dr. Darling makes a recommendation on which type is best for you based on your symptoms and dental history.

A mouth guard from Legacy Dental Care helps ease your jaw pain by stopping you from grinding or clenching your teeth. It works by keeping your teeth separated when you’re asleep, so even if you have the impulse to grind, you grind the softer surface of the guard rather than your teeth.

For patients with TMJ, Dr. Darling recommends a rigid mouth guard, which keeps your jaw in place. This reduces the pressure and stress on the joints, alleviating your pain.  

At Legacy Dental Care, we custom design your mouth guard to fit your teeth. Dr. Darling takes an impression of your teeth using a dental mold, and the design lab fabricates a guard that fits your mouth and teeth comfortably. 

At Legacy Dental Care, our team is committed to ensuring your optimal oral health. If you’re struggling with jaw pain, don’t wait. Book an appointment contacting Dr. Darling by calling 623-203-7519 and say goodbye to jaw pain for good. 

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