If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called bruxism. This can lead to TMD (Temporal Mandibular Disorder). Causes of bruxism are usually related to stressful situations at home, school, or work, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth. Many people do not even know that they grind or clench their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding cause over time. Custom-made by your dentist it can be a hard or soft nightguard depending on your preference or wear pattern. A nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.
Sleeping well at night is essential to maintaining your overall health. It is the best way to help you relax and unwind after a long day. Some people may not be getting their fair share of sleep due to sleep-related breathing disorders. Chronic loud snoring could be a symptom of sleep apnea which is a disorder caused due to blockage of the upper airway from the soft tissues near the back of the throat, leading to reduced airflow in the lungs.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious condition and could become a cause for heart issues and other health problems. One should watch out for the following symptoms:
- Excessive tiredness during the day
- Poor memory
- Morning headaches
- Night sweats
- Elevated blood pressure levels
You may be wondering how a dentist can help you get relief from this problem. Sleep apnea or snoring can sometimes be treated with the use of an oral appliance that has been designed to keep the lower jaw in a forward direction while you sleep. When the jaw is repositioned in this way, it causes the tongue to move away from the back of the throat and decreases the potential for obstruction of the airway. This dental treatment for sleep apnea is backed by scientific evidence and is an excellent remedy to try before more complex breathing devices or surgery.
Only an experienced dentist can fabricate, fit, adjust, treat and monitor conditions associated with Oral Appliance Therapy used in managing sleep apnea and snoring disorder. If you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea, please contact our office at 301-984-9646.