Snoring and teeth grinding

relief to help you rest easy

At Pro Dental we can help with excessive snoring

Sleep apnoea and teeth grinding can be alleviated through the use of dental night guards. Custom-made using your dental impressions, a dental night guard is designed to be worn while you sleep, either to alleviate symptoms of teeth grinding and jaw clenching (bruxism), or to prevent excessive snoring.

Teeth grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is thought to affect about a third of the population, commonly in our sleep. A well as creating jaw and neck pain and headaches, bruxism can cause teeth to wear down, and fillings to crack and break. If you often wake in the morning with a sore, aching jaw – or perhaps your partner has heard you grinding your teeth in the night – come into the practice to discuss having a night guard or a custom splint made for you. As well as relieving the pain associated with bruxism and clenching, a custom night guard can prevent tooth damage.

Symptoms of teeth grinding

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Earache
  • Jaw pain and stiffness
  • Sleep problems
  • Worn-down, and therefore sensitive, teeth
  • Broken teeth or fillings

Teeth grinding problems

As well as the pain teeth grinding causes – known as TMD (temporomandibular disorder) – bruxism can also result in the gradual wearing down of the teeth, which can lead to a number of dental problems. Worn-down teeth are put at a much greater risk of decay because they grind away the protective layer of enamel. In addition, worn teeth can impact on the structure of the face, leading to facial sagging. Lastly, teeth grinding can cause a bad bite, which can affect all your other teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is another word for teeth grinding, which is something we do involuntarily during times of stress, while we’re concentrating on a task, or during our sleep. Bruxism can cause broken teeth, jaw pain, loss of fillings and severe wear of the tooth enamel.

What causes bruxism?

Stress is the number-one cause of teeth grinding and jaw pain, so in addition to having a night guard fitted, it may advisable to consult your GP about ways of reducing your stress levels.

How can a night guard help bruxism?

A night guard places a cushioning barrier between your teeth, alleviating the symptoms of bruxism.

Can I wear a sports guard instead of a night guard to alleviate bruxism?

No. Night guards and sports guards offer protection from different kinds of forces, and a sports guard is likely to feel extremely uncomfortable if worn at night.

What is the difference between snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder, characterised by abnormal pauses in breathing (apnoeas) or abnormally low breathing (hypopnoeas), during sleep. OSA symptoms always include loud snoring. Regular snoring, however, does not always indicate you have sleep apnoea. Your dentist will be able to identify how best to help you.

How does a night guard prevent snoring?

A bespoke dental night guard supports the lower jaw in a forward position, which keeps the airway open. This prevents the tongue falling back onto the soft palate, which in turn prevents snoring.

How is a night guard made?

You’ll need to sit for dental impressions, which will be sent to a dental lab to create your custom mouth guard. Once it’s ready, you’ll need to return to Pro Dental to collect your night guard, try it on and receive instructions on how to use it.

How long will my night guard last?

Typically, between five and 10 years, depending on the amount of stress it’s been under. Bring your night guard with you to your regular dental check-ups so that your dentist can assess its condition.

Snoring and sleep apnoea

Not much is as important as a good night’s sleep – it’s crucial to both your health and your mental wellbeing. If snoring has become a serious problem for you or your partner, then you may be a candidate for a high-quality, custom-made snoring appliance that is comfortable and easy to wear and won’t impact on your ability to talk or drink water during the night.

 

Sleep apnoea is the more serious side of snoring – and more common than many people realise. It means the person has temporarily stopped breathing during sleep. Some people wake up hearing themselves choking/gasping as they finally take a breath again, often called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), and find they are extremely tired and irritable during the day. If you’ve come to Pro Dental about your snoring problems, we’ll screen you for the possibility of OSA too.

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