Are you grinding your teeth during sleep?

Are you grinding your teeth during sleep? You could be stressed or have a sleeping disorder

Teeth grinding or jaw clenching is also known as bruxism. It often occurs at night during sleeping or unconsciously in the day. At times when you are having stress, your body will react to it by clenching your jaw or gnashing your teeth unknowingly.

In a PubMed article, in which 470 participants were surveyed, also noted that “individuals who grind their teeth tend to report more symptoms of anxiety and depression than non-bruxers”, with bruxism seemingly “more severe during periods of heightened stress and anxiety”.

Another form of bruxism you may want to take note is called ‘Sleep bruxism’. Sleep bruxism occurs when individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition when breathing is pause during sleeping or shallow breathing during sleep more than normal. The throat muscles relax during sleep and block the airway, which then breathing stops. When this happens, the body reacted by increasing heart and respiratory rate to get more oxygen. This stress responses increases muscle activity in the jaw, which in turn, leads to clenching or grinding during sleep.

What are the symptoms and treatments for bruxism?

Individuals with bruxism may experience pain of jaw in the morning, unable to open your mouth fully, misalignment of bite or teeth look shorter (due to long term grinding). If you  encountered these symptoms, it is important for you to consult a trained dentist for your bruxism.

The most common treatment for bruxism is to customize a mouth guard by a trained dentist. The mouthguard is to be worn during sleep as to prevent the wear and tear of teeth.  However, the root of bruxism may be linked to sleep – related breathing disorders. A trained dental sleep medicine practitioner is able to look out for these signs. Trained dental sleep medicine practitioners work with ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists and sleep physicians to treat sleep apnea. Individuals with mild – moderate sleep apnea may need an oral appliance therapy instead of a mouth guard. At Asia Pacific Dental Centre, we provide Dental Sleep medicine services for our patients.


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