We have focused this week on St Augustine tooth sensitivity in our article, Tooth Sensitivity: How Your World Golf Village Dentist Can Help. But how did you sleep last night? Are you feeling rested and ready for the day today? Or did you not sleep so well? Have you had headaches or migraines recently? How about back or neck pain? These can all be caused by your sleep in conjunction with your grinding.
I mentioned in our last blog that grinding of teeth is something called a parasomnia. A parasomnia is any movement done that can impair your sleep, done while you are sleeping. This can be sleep walking (potentially very dangerous for obvious reasons), restless leg syndrome, and teeth grinding. All of these parasomnias have a root cause, we can help with some, but others require help from a St Augustine sleep doctor.
We often see grinding in conjunction with bigger sleep disorders, namely obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is completely closed off while you sleep. You literally periodically suffocate while you sleep. Snoring on the other hand is when your airway is only partially covered. These are known as sleeping disorders. Your body reflexively begins to grind its teeth together when your airway is impaired for a couple of reasons. One of them is to increase the surfactant, a lubricant that decreases surface tension, in your lungs. This allows your lungs to take in more oxygen more easily. Your body is also trying to simply remove the obstruction from your airway to so you live!
So grinding is a big indicator that someone may have obstructive sleep apnea. We then look for others like I mentioned at the beginning; headaches, backaches, toothaches. Lots of aches in there! Aches come from unhappy muscles and nerves. Make them happy and you will be happy. If you are experiencing these signs and symptoms, see your World Golf Village dentist. The only way to know if you have obstructive sleep apnea is to have what is called a sleep test. We can help you with an at home sleep test. You will not have to go to a stuffy lab and sleep in an uncomfortable bed. You can sleep in your own room.
There is a connection between grinding and obstructive sleep apnea. In fact, grinding plus anyone of the other signs and symptoms I have mentioned actually will have close to a 75% correlation with obstructive sleep apnea. But the only way to know is to have a sleep test performed. Its painless, and easy to do, so let’s get started tonight. This is another step in treating your tooth sensitivity. Toothpaste is not going to treat a sleeping disorder. So let’s rule out sleeping disorders before simply using a band-aid. Tomorrow’s blog will focus on how your World Golf Village dentist can CURE clenching and grinding.
How Can My World Golf Village Dentist Start to Fix Tooth Sensitivity?
A Night Guard.
You can get a more thorough answer in our blog, Tooth Sensitivity: Sleep, Grinding and Your World Golf Village Dentist 1. But a simple answer is, it’s a clear plastic tray that slips over the top of your teeth. You wear it at night so that while you grind at night you do the damage to the plastic versus your actual teeth. This does not CURE the grinding, it simply starts the process of healing. You can learn how to fix the problem in this blog, Tooth Sensitivity: Sleep Grinding and Your World Golf Village Dentist 3.