If your jaw is frequently sore, the recurrences of pain may be frustrating to you. However, in many cases, jaw pain is only a symptom of a larger problem. According to your Mansfield TX dentists, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris, bruxism (teeth grinding), while damaging to teeth, also frequently results in a sore jaw. Therefore, if you frequently experience soreness in your jaw, the culprit could be a teeth grinding habit that you have been unaware of until now.

Dangers of Bruxism

Bruxism can result in numerous problems. First, the wear that teeth experience as they are forced against one another can strip them of enamel, weakening them and making them more vulnerable to attack from bacteria. In addition, as teeth weaken, they risk that they will suffer structural damage, such as cracking, chipping, or breaking, grows. However, the damage created by bruxism extends beyond teeth and even the mouth, and as mentioned above, strains the jaw. The real trouble with jaw pain is that when the jaw joints (TMJs) experience stress, a debilitating condition known as a TMJ disorder can develop. TMJ disorders have numerous symptoms including jaw pain, frequent headaches, a locked jaw, facial pain, earaches, and migraines. Eliminating these symptoms means relieving strain on the TMJs, which oftentimes, means finding a solution to bruxism.

Solutions to Bruxism

In responding to your symptoms, your Mansfield TX dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, will take x-rays of your teeth and jawbone in order to diagnose the cause of the problems you are experiencing. If bruxism is the culprit, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, may suggest a sleep guard (an oral appliance similar to an athletic mouth guard) for nighttime use. The function of the sleep guard is to protect your teeth from suffering any further damage as a result of bruxism. In addition, wearing the sleep guard can discourage bruxism and relieve strain on the TMJs to alleviate the symptoms of a TMJ disorder. Lastly, as bruxism is often a manifestation of stress and anxiety, your Mansfield TX dentists may discuss some lifestyle changes or stress relieving therapies.

About Mansfield Dental Associates: At Mansfield Dental Associates, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris share the same vision and philosophy when it comes to patient care. Each seeks to build relationships based on trust and communication and strives to offer the latest technology for the best possible dental care. Patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling 817-473-6227.