Mouth Guards San Carlos CA
Many people unconsciously bite or grind their teeth during sleep. For some these conditions are more severe. This condition is called sleep bruxism, a movement related disorder where you bite or clench your teeth during sleep. In the waking hours, you may notice a tightness or soreness in your jaw muscles. For more severe cases, you might experience tooth pain or tooth sensitivity.
During a dental exam, our dentist will determine if there are any symptoms of teeth grinding. You may be asked some questions so we can better understand the causes and conditions of your issue. If we determine you may be suffering from bruxism, a mouth guard may be recommended. It is important to understand that using an over-the-counter mouth guard for teeth grinding has its risks. At Frank Hsu, D.D.S. we can provide you with information on custom made mouth guard options and assess which is best for you.
Risks of not using a mouth guard during sleep
Using a poorly fitting night guard has significant risks, a guard that doesn't allow for draining of saliva can build up plaque and damage the teeth. Wearing a poorly fitting mouth guard can cause misalignment of your teeth over time, worsening the issue you were intending to treat in the first place. The risks of not wearing a protective night guard during sleep, and of not treating sleep bruxism can be severe.
Over time grinding can cause loss of tooth enamel, exposing the inner core of the tooth. This can make teeth sensitive to temperature, and you may experience severe tooth pain. Grinding of teeth can lead to cracked or fractured teeth, loss of teeth, and recession of the gums. Clenching or extended tension in the jaw muscles can lead to TMD or temporomandibular disorder. People with TMD report symptoms of jaw stiffness, muscle pain, jaw popping, and headaches.
The relation between sleep bruxism and sleep apnea
Findings support that a relationship between sleep bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea depends on the degree and severity of the obstructive sleep apnea. In a group of patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, there was an increase in sleep bruxism. Diabetes could be a new risk factor for sleep apnea.
The theory is that sleep apnea creates sleep bruxism as a means of getting more oxygen to the brain. Studies show that wearing a mouth guard can protect the teeth from sleep bruxism and potentially correct sleep apnea. It is important to remember that home remedies like an over-the-counter night guard, can be damaging to the teeth after long term use, causing misalignment of the teeth and jaw, and buildup of plaque.
Mouth Guards San Carlos CA
We produce removable dental prosthetics, mouth guards, and TMJ mouthguards for our patients at Frank Hsu, D.D.S. If you have issues with bruxism or sleep apnea, we hope that you reach out to our team and schedule an exam. During the exam our dentist will easily be able to assess if you have sleep bruxism. Contact our team at 650.262.1940 to schedule an appointment.