Many people grind their teeth as they sleep. Night guards are helpful in preventing long term damage to the teeth. Sleep bruxism is a movement-related disorder causing one to frequently grind or clench their teeth as they sleep. If you unconsciously clench or grind your teeth when awake you may have bruxism. In mild cases, treatment may not be necessary, those who suffer from severe and frequent bruxism can develop jaw disorders, tooth damage, and other issues.
During a dental exam, your dentist will notice the symptoms of teeth grinding. You may be asked some questions so they can better understand the causes and conditions of your issue. If they determine you may be suffering from bruxism, a night guard may be recommended. It is important to understand that using an over-the-counter mouthguard for teeth grinding has its risks. At Schnierow Dental Care we’ll find you a night guard that is as comfortable as it is functional.
The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Sleep Bruxism
According to a two-year study published in 2019 researching the relation between sleep bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea, findings support that the relationship between sleep bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea depends on the degree and severity of the obstructive sleep apnea. In a group of patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, there was an increase in sleep bruxism. Diabetes could be a new risk factor for sleep apnea.
The theory is that sleep apnea creates sleep bruxism as a means of getting more oxygen to the brain. Studies show that wearing a night guard can protect the teeth from sleep bruxism and potentially correct sleep apnea. It is important to remember that home remedies like an over-the-counter mouth guard, can be damaging to the teeth after long term use, causing misalignment of the teeth and jaw, and buildup of plaque.
If You Have Sleep Bruxism Wear a Night Guard
Sleep bruxism left untreated can lead to permanent damage to the layers of the teeth wearing them down and flattening them. In severe cases, grinding can expose the nerve of the tooth causing sensitivity to temperature, and severe tooth pain. Grinding can also lead to cracked teeth, loss of teeth, and recession of the gums. Clenching during sleep can cause pain in the jaw. The day after you may feel soreness in the temples or tightness in the jaw. Over time, clenching or extended tension in the jaw can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). People who experience TMJ report symptoms of jaw pain, jaw popping, headaches, or face and neck pain.
Get Yourself a Nightguard
If you have concerns about bruxism for yourself or your child visit us at Schnierow Dental Care to consult one of our dentists. If you are clenching or grinding, awake or asleep, your dentist will be able to tell. The signs of wear from clenching or grinding will be evident to the dentist during a dental exam. Our dentists will use information gathered from their assessment to recommend the appropriate type of mouthguard for the risk areas related to your specific bruxism. Call us today to schedule a consultation: (424) 383-5005.