Have you found that you wake up with a sore jaw? Do you ever have tired or achy jaw muscles? If so, you might be clenching and grinding your teeth at night. Known as bruxism, teeth grinding can damage your teeth as well as your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your lower jaw to your skull.
When someone grinds their teeth, there is a solution: oral appliance therapy. The use of oral appliance therapy can help protect your teeth and TMJ while also helping to ease the pain. Let’s take a closer look at two types of oral appliances for jaw pain.
Over-the-counter mouth guards
For those experiencing jaw pain from teeth grinding, over-the-counter mouth guards might help. These are available in pharmacies and sporting goods stores, and are sold in small, medium and large to fit different mouth sizes.
However, many are referred to as “boil-and-bite.” For these, after warming them in hot water, you bite down into the softened material to mold the mouth guard to the size and shape of your mouth. While it can provide a better fit than the one-size-fits-most variety, it may not be what you need to find the best relief.
Custom-made oral appliances
In comes the custom-made oral appliance from our office. Dr. Mayoor Patel can create a customized oral appliance that fits the exact shape of your teeth and jaw. These oral appliances offer better fit and comfort. It is a win-win for you.
Additionally, it is important to note that over-the-counter mouth guards have limited use, which is to simply protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding. With custom oral appliances, though, your dentist can make adjustments as needed to create a good bite by helping your teeth come together more comfortably and naturally.
Contact us at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia to learn more about oral appliance therapy and to see if you are a candidate for this treatment option.