Understanding Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders affect up to 30% of Australians, and one of the biggest sleep-related disorders is teeth grinding.
People often think of grinding or clenching teeth while asleep (bruxism) is a dental disorder. In fact, it is regarded as a sleep–related movement disorder or one type of sleep disorder.
Causes of Bruxism
Worn, uneven teeth, cracked fillings and teeth, gum recession, a clicking jaw, waking up with a headache, ear pain and a sore jaw are all signs you may have sleep bruxism.
Your partner may also tell you if you are grinding your teeth and keeping them awake at night.
Clenching your teeth while asleep is a more severe form of bruxism than grinding teeth.
Bruxism can be caused by genetic factors, psychological factors, stress, smoking, alcohol, and certain drugs.
The Effects of Bruxism
Lack of restful, undisturbed sleep impacts your quality of life and life expectancy.
Good, undisturbed sleep is essential for physical and mental restoration, and to enable you to move through the day without feeling tired and groggy.
Your teeth will also suffer from lack of sleep, as the constant clenching and grinding can crack or loosen them, and they will eventually start to break and fall out.
If not treated, bruxism can lead to potentially devastating health diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, diabetes and neurological disorders.
Treatment for Bruxism
Dentists have the opportunity to assess and examine the airway of every patient they see.
Your dentist’s role is:
- To recognise the signs of sleep bruxism and manage it appropriately.
- To optimise the physiology and provide support for the airway while you are asleep.
- To construct an oral night appliance such as a custom mouthguard that suits your needs.
Your dentist should liaise with your GP, as general health issues are best managed by your doctor.
Your dentist can also treat existing damage to your teeth caused by grinding and clenching, and you may benefit from learning some relaxation techniques or stress management therapy.
They will determine if you have bruxism and provide you with the appropriate professional care that you deserve, which will greatly improve conditions for your general and dental health.
Premium Dental Care
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Discover that excellence in everything we do by calling us on 07 5591 2262 or contacting us online and one of our friendly, professional team members will connect with you to discuss your dental challenges and goals.