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Night Guard, Jaw Clenching & Neck Pain



May 21, 2014
I won't go into too much history, most of it you can find on here for me. 5 years ago around June 2015 I was given a night guard because I noted I started to clench my jaw in my sleep after I've had dental work done (I never used to before dental work with crowns, by the way). I was fairly religious with the night guard. My dental work was on the bottom but the night guard was made for the top. Dentist took impressions with the goop, sent it out, had one custom made for me.... and I still felt it was sort of tight but he said I'd have to get used to it.

For about a year and a half, I was very religious with it and then stopped doing it every night for a bit. The last 2 years, I have not used it AT ALL but recently I noted my jaw has been clenching harder and harder at night. I've also been having neck problems which I think is due to the clenching. So the past 2 weeks, I've been using the night guard again and it seems to help but again just a little too tight. One of my options I will probably expect to be presented with at my upcoming appointment with a new dentist is at least a night guard, but I also feel my jaw has shifted over since then too. This office takes digital impressions.

Anyway, I've been doing fairly ok with this one until this morning. I woke up with extreme pain on my neck (same side as dental work) and also on the side of the head. Is it possible there is a connection here? Is this night guard at a point where it's time to throw it away? Could it be the cause of my extreme pain this morning?

Just looking for some expertise here. I'll find out more on Tuesday with an appointment, but curious to know if there are any other folks who have had similar or dentists who can answer and suggest something different. Thanks!
I think you'd be better waiting for your appointment, it would be pretty uninformed speculation to try to diagnose anything from here. It's only a couple of days away.
Yes, jaw/tmj issues can cause some neck pain and stiffness, I wouldn't expect extreme pain from it though, unless you were having some major joint issues, which would be rather obvious.