Do you wake up feeling tired every morning, despite spending the recommended 7-9 hours in bed? Well, the hours you spend in bed don’t necessarily correlate to the hours you spend asleep — and they definitely don’t correlate to the hours you spend in deep sleep, the most restorative part of your sleep cycle.
If you grind your teeth and snore at night, you may spend more time awake than you realize. Dr. Brian LaBombard at Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas, offers custom night guards to combat teeth grinding and snoring and, as such, to combat sleeplessness.
Why do I grind my teeth at night?
Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding, has several possible causes. You may grind your teeth at night because:
- You experience anxiety and stress, even during sleep
- You have bad dreams or night terrors
- Your teeth are misaligned or otherwise asymmetrical
- You have a family history of bruxism
- There’s pressure on your teeth because of your sleep position
- You have another medical condition, such as Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or epilepsy
- You have a sleep-related disorder, such as sleep apnea
Are grinding and snoring related?
Teeth grinding and snoring aren’t always related, but if you experience both, there’s a chance you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you experience short pauses in your breathing during sleep. It’s often caused by over-relaxation of throat muscles, jaw displacement, or your tongue blocking your airways.
Sometimes, your brain might tell your body to clench your jaw in order to keep structures in place and airways open. Some people grind their teeth in addition to the clenching.
How to stop grinding your teeth and snoring at night
If you experience both teeth grinding and snoring at night, you should consider getting fitted for a night guard. Dr. LaBombard offers expert fitting of custom night guards that can help with teeth grinding, snoring, and related medical conditions.
If your teeth grinding is stress or anxiety related, you may benefit from implementing self-care strategies into your daily routine, such as exercise, massage or self-massage (such as with a foam roller), stretching and yoga, walking, spending time in nature, and meditating. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the evenings can also help with stress-related teeth grinding.
If you have an underlying medical condition that may contribute to teeth grinding and snoring, treatment of that underlying issue may improve or eliminate your symptoms.
Benefits of wearing a night guard
A properly fitted night guard can help with teeth grinding and snoring in several ways. A night guard can:
- Lighten tension and cushion the muscles in your jaw when you clench your jaw
- Reduce the risk of tooth erosion
- Prevent face and jaw pain
- Prevent tooth sensitivity
- Reduce snoring
- Keep your jaw in place so your airway stays open
All of those benefits allow you to slip into deep sleep, which may eliminate any symptoms of sleeplessness you experience. Symptoms of sleeplessness include daytime fatigue, headaches, irritability, mood swings, difficulty focusing, and poor productivity.
To get fitted for a custom night guard, get in touch with Dr. LaBombard today. Call our office in Austin, Texas, at 512-668-9912 or book your appointment online.