Waking Up With a Sore Jaw? You May Need a Night Guard

There are different kinds of mouth guards to protect your oral health.

Getting a good night’s sleep is an important factor for both your mental and physical health. While you sleep, your muscles recover from that long hike you took and the memories and the things you learned that day are filed away. 

When you get restful sleep, you wake up the next day ready to take on your day filled with energy. However, when your sleep is anything but restful, it greatly impacts your ability to concentrate or to fully engage. Your mood may change; over time, your nocturnal tossing and turning affect your quality of life and your overall health. If you wake up with a sore jaw or headaches, there’s a good chance you’ve spent the night clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth.

Robert Berger, DDS, and the highly-trained team at Berger Family Dental in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, offer their insights on night guards and how they can assist with common sleep issues.

Night guards prevent tooth grinding and clenching

An estimated 30 million to 40 million Americans suffer from tooth grinding and clenching, sometimes referred to as bruxism. Like snoring, tooth grinding is definitely annoying to the person sleeping next to you, but it also has dental and overall health implications. If left untreated, tooth grinding can result in:

So how can you stop yourself from tooth grinding when you’re asleep and likely unaware you’re doing it? You can get a night guard.

Dr. Berger recommends a custom-made night guard, which we create by taking an impression of your mouth. Before you go to sleep, you can put your tailor-made night guard in your mouth, and it fits comfortably and protects your teeth and jaw.

A properly fit night guard creates a barrier between your top and bottom teeth that prevents tooth grinding and reduces pressure from clenching. All you really have to do is sleep. A night guard allows you, and your partner, to enjoy restorative sleep.

Night guards address sleep apnea 

When it comes to interrupted sleep, the common joke often surrounds loud snoring. It may be the bud of many funny stories between couples, but snoring is anything but funny when it comes to your health. Untreated sleep apnea — a condition in which your breathing stops several times a night — puts you at a higher risk of developing severe medical issues such as:

If you’re familiar with sleep apnea, you know a CPAP breathing device is often prescribed. However, many patients don’t like it or have trouble using it. Did you know you could use a special dental appliance or “snore guard”?

A snore guard is basically a night guard that your dentist specially designs for you. The device fits over your upper and lower dental arches and features hinges that ease your lower jaw forward. Snore guards can help patients with mild or moderate sleep apnea by working to keep your airway open for better breathing and less snoring.

Wake up rested and refreshed

Tossing, turning, grinding your teeth, and snoring — ruining restful, restorative sleep for yourself and your partner — don’t have to be part of your nightly routine. Through the use of night guards, you can wake up refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws at you.


If you’re waking up with jaw pain or if you think you may have sleep apnea, contact the highly experienced team at Berger Family Dental, serving patients from all over the Columbus metropolitan area. We can help find out what’s going on and get you back to sleeping well and maintaining good oral health. Click “Request appointment” or call for a consultation.

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