The sun streams in the window, your alarm goes off, and you swing out of bed, ready to take on the day … except for that dull pounding in your head. It’s the same ache that was there yesterday and the day before that, and just about every day lately.
Before you jump to a worst-case scenario, consider this: If you’re waking up in the morning with unexplained headaches that just won’t stop, you may be grinding your teeth at night.
If this is the case, the solution to your headaches may be as simple as a night guard. Dr. Juan M. Carrillo and our team of dental professionals in Richmond, Virginia, can provide expert night guard treatment to reduce your headaches and allow you to function normally again.
A night guard is a plastic or rubber device that you wear between your teeth at night to keep from grinding them together. Similar to an athletic mouthpiece, a night guard usually fits over your top teeth so there’s a layer of protection between your teeth. The best night guards are custom-made to fit your mouth. This helps it stay in place at night and keep your teeth in their proper alignment. Don’t settle for an off-the-shelf version. These can cause pain and might actually damage your teeth and make your clenching worse.
Bruxism is the medical term for grinding or clenching your teeth. This can cause pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles surrounding that joint in your jaw. It can also give you headaches and pain in your ear, neck, and back. You can try reducing your stress to keep the grinding to a minimum at night, but there’s no good method to actually stop the grinding. Most people don’t even know they’re grinding their teeth until the pain starts or their partner lets them know. The best option is to wear a night guard to protect your teeth while you’re sleeping.
A night guard is a simple, convenient solution to bruxism that won’t disrupt your sleep. Once you begin using your custom night guard, it’s likely you’ll sleep better, your morning headaches will go away, and that dull ache in your jaw will disappear as well.
The night guard also helps protect your teeth from chipping or cracking and the enamel from wearing away. It also protects any dental restorations you’ve had, including crowns and fillings.
If you’re experiencing tension in your jaw and headaches when you wake up, Dr. Carrillo and our team can help relieve your discomfort. Give us a call today or book an appointment online right away!