You wake up in the morning feeling anything but rested. Your face hurts. Your teeth hurt. You take some ibuprofen and go about your day, but you never really shake the tense feeling in your jaw. It’s not the first time you’ve had this happen, not even the first time this week!
Jaw pain is not an uncommon problem. At times it’s caused by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Other times it’s due to grinding your teeth. Jaw pain can also be part of migraine pain! It is even possible for all of these things to be rolled up into one big problem. But did you know jaw pain can also be related to sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that limits the amount of air you breathe while you sleep. The muscles in your airway collapse while you sleep and prevent breathing. Your brain, in an effort to remain alive, sends messages through your nerves causing muscle contractions to wake you up. In some people, these contractions cause them to kick in their sleep. In others it causes bruxism, or grinding the teeth. The incessant clenching and grinding is what leads to your jaw aching so badly.
Custom Made Help
While you may need additional diagnoses to determine the exact cause of your bruxism, help is available. At Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry, we can fit you with a night guard to alleviate the pressure to your teeth and jaws caused by clenching. It will prevent excessive wear and tear to your teeth and keeps your jaw from being locked too tightly in place overnight. Call our West Columbia office to schedule your appointment today!
Posted on Behalf of Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry