Mouthguards are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for those who wear orthodontic appliances.
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Dr. Edington warns that prolonged grinding or clenching may cause soreness of the jaw. Other signs you should watch out for are the partial or full locking of the jaw, clicking in the jaw area, earaches that are not caused by infections and pain surrounding the temples. If your discomfort is more intense when you wake up in the morning, you may be clenching while sleeping. If your jaw hurts at the end of the day, you may be clenching at work. Pay attention to where the pain is located and follow these simple tips:
"Find where your stress is coming from, reduce and even eliminate it. It will save your teeth from wear and stop headaches," says Dr. Edington.
Updated: November 2008
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