Bruxism & Night Guards
Dr. Robin and Dr. Matt Hildebrand and Dr. Mike Estivo feel that it is important that you understand exactly what Bruxism is and how it can affect your overall health.
Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. The condition affects both children and adults. Some people with Bruxism unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day, often when they feel anxious or tense. This is different from tooth grinding or clenching that occurs at night, which is called sleep Bruxism. Most children, who are bruxers, do so at night, while adults are either daytime or nighttime bruxers.
Bruxism may be mild and may not even require treatment. However, it can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. Unfortunately, people with sleep Bruxism usually aren’t aware of the habit, so they aren’t diagnosed with the condition until complications occur. That’s why it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of Bruxism and to communicate that you may have some of these problems that relate to Bruxism.
Bruxism is a functional activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives. In most people, Bruxism is mild enough not to be a health problem; however, 25% of people suffer from significant Bruxism that will become symptomatic. Nocturnal Bruxism causes the majority of health issues, and can even occur during short naps. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders as millions of people grind their teeth during sleep.
Many people suffer from Bruxism which can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. If you clench or grind your teeth, you should consider wearing a night guard when you sleep. It provides a barrier and cushion between your top and bottom teeth and alleviates most, if not all, of your symptoms!
At Hildebrand Dental, we are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning Bruxism and night guards.
Dr. Robin and Dr. Matt Hildebrand and Dr. Mike Estivo help many of our suffering patients, and their families to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring is the noise made when the airway is compromised during sleep. When you breathe normally, there is no noise. Air passes quietly through the nose and past the flexible structures in the back of the throat, such as the soft palate, uvula, tonsils and tongue. While you are awake, muscles hold the airway open. When you fall asleep, these muscles relax, but normally the airway stays open and there is no noise.
Snoring occurs when the throat structures are abnormally large and/or when the throat muscles relax enough during sleep to cause the airway to collapse and partially obstruct air flow. As the lungs try to suck and push air past these obstructions, the structures vibrate as the air rushes past, and the sound we know as snoring occurs. While snoring may be harmless, it can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition, which progresses from upper airway resistance syndrome to obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring interrupts that restful, quiet sleep which is so important to our good health. Usually, people do not hear themselves snore, but snoring can cause disrupted sleep for both the individual that snores and their sleeping partner! This is known as “second hand snoring”. It can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, which can affect the ability to function effectively at home and at work, and could lead to health problems. It is important to eliminate snoring so everyone can get a restful night’s sleep and maintain good health.
If you snore, you are not alone. Statistics indicate that approximately 40% of adults over the age of 40 snores some or all the time. That number will continue to grow, because the factors that cause snoring continue to be prevalent in our population. Normal, smooth, unobstructed breathing is a key to getting a restful night’s sleep!