Jaw Pain

Snap, Crackle, Pop! Great for Cereal… Bad for Jaws!

Are you waking up with pain in your teeth, face or jaw?  Are you waking up your significant other from grinding and clenching your teeth?  If you answered yes to either of these, Dr. Katie Hicks and her team can help!

Nearly 80% of patients who grind their teeth do this subconsciously during sleep.   It’s usually associated with contributing factors, such as stress or anxiety. Bruxism also affects people when they’re awake, characterized by excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching.

Grinding and clenching your teeth can wear your teeth down, causing sensitivity in the teeth as well as an unsightly appearance. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems may also result, including clicking and popping in the TMJ, pain the face and neck muscles, as well as an earache due to the close proximity of the TMJ to the ear canal.

Many parents report their children grinding their teeth at night as well…Dr. Hicks can attest to this first hand!  This usually occurs because the upper and lower teeth aren’t aligned properly, but can also occur as a response to pain, such as from an earache or teething.  Fortunately, most children will outgrow grinding their teeth….until the stress of a being an adult hits them later in life!

For our adult patients, the first line of recommended treatment is an occlusal guard, or a night guard.  Dr. Katie Hicks recommends the ClearSPLINT or the “comfort splint,” a premium heat cured night guard using BPA free composite material.  The splint is self adjusting when added to warm water and extremely comfortable for extended use.  The material will never yellow and is the most allergy friendly material currently available on the market.

 

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