Best Rx: What Causes Jaw Pain?

One Best Self reader asked “When I wake up in the mornings, my jaw muscles are very sore. Is this normal and what can I do to stop the discomfort?”

Marianna Kovitch, DMD of Atlanta Smiles and Wellness has the answer.

“More than likely you are grinding or clenching your teeth while you are sleeping, which tends to be painful in the mornings. Grinding and clenching may result in one or more of the following: headaches in the morning, wearing down the enamel of your teeth, fractured teeth and pain in the supporting muscles.  I recommend a night guard which is worn throughout your sleep. It protects your teeth and keeps the muscles of the jaw in a resting position so they are not activated throughout the night, causing pain the next day. Occlusal guards work best when they are custom fitted for your teeth and mouth. Ask your dentist to see if you may need a night guard during your next exam.”

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