People may unconsciously clench or grind their teeth while asleep, a condition called sleep bruxism. Bruxism is a movement-related disorder that causes frequent gnashing, grinding, or teeth clenching. Most cases of bruxism are mild, and treatment might be unnecessary. Those who suffer from severe bruxism can develop jaw disorders, tooth damage, migraines, and other dental issues. Mouthguards can prevent damage to the teeth of a person who clenches or grinds their teeth during sleep.
Mouthguards can vary in quality depending on the material. If you suffer from bruxism, it is important that it is treated properly, with a prescribed mouthguard. Visit the dentist for a properly fitted mouthguard. Over-the-counter mouth guards can be poorly fitting and make symptoms worse. They can potentially lead to orthodontic issues and eroded teeth enamel due to saliva building up in the guard. Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Masci & Hale Advanced Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry, they can recommend what type of mouthguard is right for you after a thorough dental examination.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A two-year study was published in 2019, researching the relation between sleep bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea. The results are mild to moderate sleep apnea is associated with sleep bruxism in the group of patients with increased risk for sleep apnea, also diabetes could be a new risk factor for sleep bruxism.
In theory, sleep bruxism can be triggered by sleep apnea as the brain's means of getting more oxygen during sleep. Studies show that wearing a night guard can potentially correct sleep apnea and sleep bruxism. Over-the-counter mouth guards and homemade mouth guards can be damaging in the long term. These guards are not designed to drain saliva properly and are poorly fitting, potentially leading to misalignment of the teeth and jaw, and buildup of plaque.
Effects Of Sleep Bruxism
Avoiding your sleep bruxism can lead to permanent damage to the layers of your teeth, wearing them down and flattening them. At its most severe, the grinding can expose the pulp and nerve of the tooth. This causes severe tooth pain and sensitivity to temperature. Teeth grinding and clenching can crack teeth, making tooth decay more rapid. Loss of teeth and recession of the gums are also common side effects. Clenching your teeth while you sleep can cause pain in the jaw muscles. You may feel soreness in the temples or tightness in your jaw. Prolonged 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.
Knowing If You Have Sleep Bruxism
If you are questioning whether or not you have sleep bruxism consider visiting Masci & Hale Advanced Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry for a dental exam. By consulting a dentist, any signs of clenching or grinding will be visibly noticeable to a dentist. There are also at-home sleep apnea tests that you can receive from your doctor. After a dental exam, the dentist can better recommend the appropriate type of mouthguard for your bruxism. Call us today to schedule a consultation 845-769-0160 or to schedule a dental exam.