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Bruxism (teeth grinding) and damage to the teeth

bruxismTeeth grinding or otherwise known as Bruxism, is thought to be associated with a sleep-related disorder. Many who suffer from bruxism also suffer from sleeping disorders such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).

There could be numerous reasons that cause bruxism (be it nightly or daily). Doctors are still not completely sure what the causes are, but they do know that intense emotions like anxiety, stress, anger, frustration and tension could be the root causes of the problem. In other words the higher the stress level, the higher the risk of bruxism.

Nervous tension, anger and frustration often cause people to start grinding their teeth without them even realising they are doing it.

Bruxism is most often associated with anxiety and stress, also some anger management issues. Anger management treatment includes learning some essential stress management techniques which can also help those who suffer with bruxism.

If your stress is the cause of bruxism, then you have to find a way to relax. This could be anything from medication, counselling and exercise. Other examples are listening to music, taking a warm relaxing bath, and exercising. Avoid any stimulating substances such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine especially in the evenings. Any technology should also be avoided at least 30 minutes before bed time.

Sleep Apnea

This condition is caused when the muscles at the back of the throat relax while sleeping which causes the soft palate to block a person’s airways and affects the breathing. When this happens it can cause snoring, interrupted breathing, dry mouth, the lack of a good night’s sleep, a sore throat and other problems. Dentists play a very important role in identifying obstructive sleep apnea.

A dentist is usually the first to pick up on this problem because they see the person more often that their general doctors do. The dentist will be able to recommend a specialist once he has picked up on sleep apnea.

A dry mouth is more often than not associated with sleep apnea and will cause extreme bad breath in the morning. Saliva production slows down during sleep add a dry mouth to this and you have a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive in and breed in. Luckily sleep apnea is treatable through surgery, special sleeping equipment or a dental appliance. The dental appliance is the less invasive of the fixes, and is worthwhile talking to your dentist about it.

Snoring

Snoring is considered to be part of sleep apnea, but can also be brought on by other things. At some or other point in a person’s life, they have snored. This is due to the sleeping position or the nasal passages that are obstructed. Obstruction in the nasal passages are caused from mucus or swollen passageways. There are those rare incidents where snoring actually is from a dental issue. This happens when a person’s mouth has developed in a certain way, or the orientation of the teeth. Snoring causes problems like dry mouth, sore throats and lack of sleep. In a few cases, realigning the teeth has solved this problem, in other cases a dental appliance (same one used for sleep apnea) has also been known to help. It is a good idea to consult your dentist if snoring is causing problems for you.

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Please send us a message or call us on 010 492 7370 or 076 422 5456 in an emergency.

Please send us a message or call us on 010 492 7370 or 076 422 5456 in an emergency.

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