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Jaw Pain/Night Guards

shutterstock_4416745My jaw often hurts to open in the morning, can you help?

This is a concern we encounter routinely. In many cases this can be caused by grinding of the teeth known as bruxism. Patients are often not aware that they are grinding until their jaw starts to hurt and they begin getting headaches. Usually, a custom made night guard can alleviate the problem. An exam and discussion of symptoms can determine if this is the case. We can also direct you to a specialist if the problem is more severe. Because there are additional causes of jaw pain it is important that we see you to address the problem properly.

TMJ – Temporal mandibular joint disorder

Your back teeth can produce up to 150 lbs of force per square inch when clenching or grinding. As a result, a variety of dental problems are the result of teeth grinding. Symptoms can include sensitive teeth, jaw pain, headaches and ear or neck aches. Teeth grinding can have serious long term effects such as broken or chipped teeth, severely worn teeth, gum recession and more. If you think you are grinding your teeth or experiencing any of these symptoms it is important you let us know. Our night guards are custom made for your mouth and teeth and your individual needs.

How is a night guard made?

Using impression material we will make a mold of your mouth. Using this mold we will make a custom soft night guard in our in-house lab or for those who have a severe grinding problem a hard acrylic guard with metal reinforcements made in a specialized lab will be required. The in-house guards typically take one week and the specialized lab guards take about three weeks. Once your guard is complete we will contact you to schedule a 15 minute appointment to custom fit the guard.

Night guard tips:

  • Wear nightly – or as Dr. Sperbeck directs
  • Clean with water and your tooth brush. There are also over the counter retainer cleaner tabs
  •  Keep away from Dogs and Cats – they like to eat them!
  •  Keep away from extremes in temperature

Bring your night guard in to your hygiene appointments where we will check it for any wear or damage, and professionally clean it for you.