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Do you awaken with a sore jaw, head, and neck? Do you feel overly tired, regardless of how much sleep you get? Are you having problems pinpointing what might be going on?
Dental problems can often be traced back to other health issues. For example, there is a clear connection between the two conditions of sleep apnea and bruxism. If you are struggling with one of these problems, it's essential to understand the link between the two and how they may be impacting your oral health. By coming to see us at Summercrest Dental to address both conditions, you can improve your overall dental health and reduce your risk of developing more severe problems down the road.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These interruptions in breathing can last for a few seconds to minutes and can occur multiple times throughout the night.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism refers to the habitual grinding or clenching of teeth, most often occurring during sleep.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea and Bruxism
If you are struggling with sleep apnea and bruxism, it is crucial to seek treatment from a qualified professional. There are a few different ways to treat these conditions.
For bruxism, we may use orthodontic appliances to prevent teeth grinding and tooth clenching. These devices fit over your teeth and use gentle pressure to keep your jaw in a relaxed position. If you are experiencing pain from bruxism, our dentist may also prescribe a mouth guard or night guard to wear while you sleep. Patients that suffer from bruxism usually have nighttime bruxism, so they only clench and grind their teeth while they are sleeping. It is possible, however, to also have daytime bruxism, in which patients clench and grind their teeth while they are awake as well. Stress is the most common factor for daytime bruxism.
Bruxism and TMD
TMD is short for a condition known as temporomandibular disorder, which stems from a problem originating from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The symptoms of TMD will always include pain in the jaw as well as trouble with chewing.
The most frequent cause of TMD is excessive pressure on the jaw joints or muscles involved in eating, talking, or swallowing. TMD may be caused by bruxism, teeth clenching, or involuntary teeth grinding, which causes damage to the jaw, neck, or head, leading to TMD pain. TMD pain may be caused by a dislocated jaw or arthritis. Other medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome, may also induce TMD.
SummerCrest Dental Can Help with Bruxism
If you are struggling with sleep apnea or sleep bruxism, it is important to come to see us Summercrest Dental for a consultation. We can perform an oral examination of your teeth, mouth, and jaw and determine what is going on and help you treat the condition. We can help you relieve your symptoms and improve your overall dental health.
Call us today at (503) 649-7701. Remember, early detection is key!