Do you need a night guard for teeth grinding or something more? Two sleep problems nobody talks about…
When we sleep, we may have things going on with our bodies that we are not aware of. Sleep apnea and teeth grinding are two concerns that get little attention but can cause major concerns if left untreated. Sleep apnea can be treated and help you get the restful sleep you require and lessen your chances for major health concerns down the road. Teeth grinding can be caused by a number of factors, but the most effective treatment is a night guard for teeth grinding. A night guard for teeth grinding will protect your teeth from the wear and tear caused by grinding, give your jaw some relief, and hopefully give you a more restful night of sleep. A night guard for teeth grinding or a CPAP machine could be the answer you have been looking for to get the rest your body needs. Learning more about each condition can help you determine whether you need a night guard for teeth grinding or when a sleep apnea machine may be necessary instead.
Sleep Problem #1: Are you “sawing logs” every night?
You know the saying, “it sounds like he’s sawing logs in there!”. Unfortunately there is more to snoring than just an annoying sound that sends your partner to the couch. Those sounds mean that your airway is actually narrowing. Because of this, you may wake up during the night with shortness of breath, but it is very possible it will be so brief that you do not fully wake up. This brief shortness of breath or lack of breathing can happen as often as every hour, or multiple times within an hour depending on severity. This condition called sleep apnea is not just a minor annoyance, it can increase the chances of developing heart disease and stroke as well as osteoporosis.
Studies have shown that these disruptions would be like getting pinched every couple of minutes all throughout the night. You obviously would not feel very rested if this were happening. The same essentially happens to your body when you have sleep apnea, you just do not remember every waking, yet feel tired the next morning. You ay think you have gotten the recommended eight hours of sleep, but with multiple night waking, those hours are significantly reduced. If you are consistently waking up in the morning and still feel groggy or tired, you may need to seek the help of a specialist to determine if you have sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is used to treat sleep apnea by opening your airway with a steady air stream. While wearing the mask you should benefit from a much more restful sleep. A tip in addition to the CPAP machine to help with snoring is to lay on your side instead of your back. Lying on your back can cause your pharynx to collapse, yet again narrowing or cutting off your airway briefly.
Sleep Problem #2: Teeth Grinding
Are headaches or a sore jaw more of a problem for you? Do you notice it especially when you wake up in the morning? If this is the case for you, you may grind or clench your teeth at night. Teeth grinding can be an involuntary habit or be a direct result of anxiety or stress. Some may think snoring is the only annoying sound to be heard at night, but some patients grind their teeth so loudly it can be heard down the hall!
Teeth grinding interferes with your sleep and damages your teeth in the process. Some patients are unaware they grind, but come in to the office with “short teeth”. In reality they are grinding in their sleep and are wearing their teeth down, damaging healthy enamel and tooth structure in the process.
The best solution is a night guard for teeth grinding. A night guard for teeth grinding is a custom fit guard that is molded to your teeth and protects them from the damages that grinding causes. While it is called a night guard for teeth grinding, the guard can be worn at any time day or night. One of our doctors will take a mold of your teeth and have our dental lab make a custom fit night guard. While a night guard for teeth grinding can be purchased at your local pharmacy, the material is extremely thin and does little to protect your teeth, especially if you are a heavy grinder. Many patients end up grinding through the store bought night guard in a short period of time. To help lessen your chances of grinding, make sure you take plenty of time to ease yourself into bed. Have a relaxing bedtime routine and try to leave your stress at the workplace.
Wishing you health and happiness,