Jaw pain or frequent headaches could be a result of grinding your teeth while you sleep. Luckily, nightguards offered by your dentists in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Susan Hockaday and Dr. Jim Baucom of Dr. Susan A. Hockaday Family Dental Practice, can help you protect your teeth and gums with nightguards.
How to tell if you might need a nightguard
Teeth grinding increases your risk of several types of oral health problems. A nightguard, a device worn over your teeth while you sleep, absorbs pressure generated by grinding, preventing damage to your teeth and gums.
Unfortunately, many people who grind their teeth aren't aware that they have a problem. If you've noticed any of these signs or symptoms, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep:
- Cracks in Teeth or Restorations: Grinding places tremendous pressure on your teeth and can crack teeth, fillings, crowns and veneers. If you've experienced more than your share of cracks, grinding may be to blame.
- Receding Gums: Grinding may also be a factor in receding gums and could increase your risk of gum disease.
- Headaches: Do you wake up most mornings with a nagging headache? The muscles in your face and head tense when you grind, which can lead to headaches. Nightguards offered by the Charlotte, NC, dental office decrease pressure and stop headaches.
- Facial Pain: Grinding may also inflame muscles and tissues in your face leading to facial pain or earaches.
- Clicking and Popping: You may notice clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth if you grind your teeth.
- Toothaches: In addition to cracking teeth, grinding may wear away the protective enamel layer, exposing the sensitive dentin layer. When the dentin is exposed, eating hot or cold foods and drinks can lead to tooth pain.
- Jaw Stiffness: Grinding can cause your jaw to stiffen painfully and may also trigger muscle spasms in your jaw muscles. If you don't begin wearing a mouthguard, you may be more likely to develop temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). The painful disorder affects the hinge joints in your jaw.
Keep your smile healthy with nightguards! Call your Charlotte, NC, dentists, Dr. Hockaday and Dr. Baucom of Dr. Susan A. Hockaday Family Dental Practice, at (704) 553-2348 to schedule your appointment.