Every day we use our jaw in multiple ways without even thinking about it. That is until we experience jaw pain and may require a nigth guard. Our jawbone connects to our skull at a pair of joints close to the ear canals known as the temporomandibular joints or TMJ. What might be some of the reasons for our jaw pain? Besides chewing food, our teeth should not be in contact with each other. If that takes place, it is called parafunctional contact. These are some examples of it:
Not wearing My Sports Guard
A sports guard keeps your teeth safe during contact sports and is often mandatory equipment in many team sports. The guard material of the sports guard helps absorb impacts and spreads the force of such impact over a larger area, often preventing concussion. If you or your child is a keen sports player, investing in a custom-fabricated mouth guard is a necessary and highly recommended expense.
Grinding or Clenching My Teeth at Night
If you unconsciously grind, gnash or clench your teeth at night, you have a condition called Bruxism. This condition is generally stress-related, besides possibly causing damage to your teeth it can, in addition, be the cause of jaw pain. Wearing a night guard, therefore, becomes a must. A night guard is worn at night, and not only protects your teeth but also separates the upper and lower jaw, promoting relief of muscle spasm, TMJ pain and reducing wear and breakage of teeth.
Having Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Pain at our temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) is one of the most common reasons for jaw pain. It is more common among women and is often felt after an illness, jaw injury or an episode of acute stress. It can also be due to arthritis or other conditions that attack the cartilage that projects the joints. Of all these causes, stress may be the largest contributor. Some TMJ disorder symptoms include:
- A popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth,
- Headaches, and/or
- Soreness and stiffness in your jaw or neck area.
- Restricted jaw opening
- Difficulty chewing
If you need a sports or night guard or require temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment for whatever reason, it is best to contact your local Peterborough dentist, Dr. Ralph Bastian. For more information on how we can relieve your jaw pain with a teeth guard, do not hesitate to get in touch.