Even though complications that arise from sleeping disorders may seem more of a minor inconvenience at best, their prolonged exposure can result in seriously complex issues down the line. In fact, they can transcend affecting your oral health alone and impact your overall health, including causing heart concerns and complications with medicine and surgeries. Indeed, the ideal way to prevent these concerns from occurring in the first place is to have an active role in your own preventive routine, but sometimes the signs may not be that obvious. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX dentist discusses the implications of awaking with a sore jaw, and how our office can help.
It’s Probably Bruxism
More often than not, the primary cause of your sore or tired jaw when you awake in the morning is bruxism. This is the formal name given to chronic teeth-grinding, and occurs when an individual clenches his or her teeth tightly while moving the lower mandible from side-to-side. Indeed, bruxism can cause a variety of complications, including weakened or worn-down teeth, increased chances of infection, breakage, and chipping, and even a dangerous and painful jaw dysfunction.
Chronic teeth-grinding can be the result of a number of causes. For instance, outside or environmental stressors can trigger the function of grinding, just as internal stress and anxiety might play a role. What’s more, bruxism can even be the natural response given by the body in an effort to survive. If you suspect you are experiencing bruxism or any of its symptoms, please do not hesitate to call our office and learn more about your options today.
Could Sleep Apnea be the Cause?
Believe it or not, teeth-grinding has been linked to the body’s attempt at survival. Take, for example, the concept of obstructive sleep apnea. This process occurs when the airway is restricted and not enough air is making its way to the brain. In response, the brain sends signals to the muscles in your throat so that the problem can be corrected. In response to this, you may begin to grind and the clenching that results help to tighten the throat muscles, thus opening your air passage.
Facing Dangerous Jaw Dysfunction
Regardless of the cause, bruxism will inevitably lead to TMJ disorder if it is not properly treated or managed. This phenomenon occurs when your lower jaw becomes misaligned with one or more of the two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) at which it hinges to your cranium. Immediate side effects include pain, the inability to open your mouth wide, and incessant popping or clicking as your jaw attempts to correct the concern.
Learn More Today
A sore jaw can mean much more than you might think, making it important to seek assistance before it is too late. Contact SleepWell Houston in Houston, TX by calling 713-796-9600 to learn more or schedule your next appointment with our team today.