Snoring and grinding teeth? Bad combination!
Patients who grind their teeth may be officially diagnosed with bruxism. This condition is often a challenge because it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of grinding and clenching. Fortunately, it isn't mandatory that a cause be found in order for treatment to be rendered. Dental care focuses primarily on minimizing the effects of nightly grinding in order to prevent damage and wear of the teeth.
But there's more . . .
Some studies suggest that there is a link between bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea, and this can be a big deal. Sleep apnea is a disorder that mimics snoring to some degree. However, there are other characteristics of sleep apnea that set it apart; namely, the marked pauses in breathing. An apnea episode, during which air flow is completely blocked by the soft tissues around the throat, prevents oxygen from reaching the brain. There is then a physiological domino effect in which adrenaline is released into the body and deeper sleep patterns are disrupted.
Why Treatment Matters
Snoring is a frustrating problem, but it is not a health concern. Sleep apnea is. The episodes of non-breathing can occur several dozen times in a given night. It does not take long for the consequences of these disruptions to develop. People with sleep apnea may experience uncomfortable side effects of their secondary bruxism habit, which could be chronic pain in the jaw, face, or head. There are also long-term effects if sleep apnea is not treated, such as decreased daytime energy and focus, mood swings, depression, "microsleeps," and more.
We treat patients of our Pasadena office with thoroughness and personal attention. If the signs of grinding and clenching are observed, we look beyond the obvious and investigate whether or not sleep apnea may be an underlying cause.
Sleep apnea can be treated conservatively with custom-made orthotic devices that fits comfortably over the teeth. This device, which several of our Pasadena area patients use, achieves the ideal jaw position through which airflow is sustained throughout all stages of sleep.
We are happy to speak with you about teeth grinding, sleep apnea, and your other dental concerns. Call (626) 577-2017 for friendly service.
Location: 1060 E Green St #203, Pasadena, CA 91106
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