Snoring and teeth grinding are both very common problems. So, if you find you do one or both of them, you are not alone!
It is believed that approximately forty-five percent of the population snores occasionally and twenty-five percent snores regularly. And it is fairly easy to know whether you snore if you share a bed with someone else. It is a little harder if you sleep alone.
One of the signs of snoring can be frequent waking throughout the night. You may also wake with a dry or sore throat and feel a little fatigued during the day. Snoring on its own is not dangerous, but it can be a sign of a more dangerous condition called sleep apnea.
If you have sleep apnea, it means you stop breathing occasionally while sleeping. The momentary but repeated oxygen deprivation can cause damage to your body. So, it is very important, if you are a consistent snorer, to find out whether you have sleep apnea.
Teeth grinding is also common, but, unlike snoring, it is always damaging. Most estimates state that somewhere between twenty and thirty percent of the population grinds their teeth at night. Some more estimate much higher, but those may also include grinding or clenching the teeth during the day.
If you grind your teeth regularly, your teeth will get worn down over time due to the abrasion. You can even chip or crack your teeth due to the pressure and impact. In fact, you can irritate your gums in ways that contribute to gum disease over time. So, if you grind your teeth, you certainly want to do something about it.
So, Do the Two Go Together?
There is an association between snoring and teeth grinding. This is largely to do with the fact that the same underlying causes can lead to both of them.
The main cause of teeth grinding, which can also contribute to snoring, is stress. Stress can cause tension in the jaw. Then, jaw tension can cause clenching and grinding. Snoring can also arise more strongly in periods of stress, and snoring can contribute to stress on the body by interrupting sleep.
Things that put stress on the body, such as alcohol consumption and smoking, also increase the chances of snoring and teething grinding.
Aside from stress, TMJ and jaw misalignment can contribute to both snoring and teeth grinding. An over-, under-, or crossbite means that your teeth don’t meet perfectly when your mouth is closed, which keeps the area around the mouth from fully relaxing.
How to Tell If You Grind Your Teeth
Your dentist can help you spot signs that you are grinding your teeth by examining your teeth for wear. However, other things that indicate you might be grinding your teeth include headaches, tension in the jaw or sides of the neck, and tooth pain.
So, if you are experiencing any of these things regularly or find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, you should visit your dentist, who can take a closer look at your teeth for wear and tear.
Ways to Treat Teething Grinding and Snoring
One important part of treatment is addressing the underlying cause. This means addressing bite issues if you have them. But, most commonly, this means finding daily ways of decreasing stress and tension.
Oftentimes, however, stress reduction alone does not completely eliminate the problems. So, if you grind your teeth, you will want to protect them every night with a night guard (a mouth guard that goes over your teeth and insulates them from impact).
For snoring, if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea as a cause for your snoring, it is important you seek treatment as soon as possible. Wearing a CPAP machine at night is the most common treatment. You can get one that fits the mouth, the nostrils, or the whole face.
How to Wear a Night Guard and a CPAP Machine Together
If you wear both a night guard and a CPAP machine, it can be a challenge to make them comfortable together, but you can get around this problem by using a CPAP mask that fits your nostrils or your whole face instead of one with a mouthpiece. However, if you have to use a mouthpiece, you will want to get a slim-fitting, soft custom-made night guard that won’t move around easily or take up much room in your mouth.
A tTeethNightGuard, we specialize in making affordable, custom-built night guards in a range of densities. They bring our customers a perfect fit because we make them (here in the U.S.A.) based on molds our customers take of their own mouths with our easy-to-use kits.
Custom mouth guards always provide greater protection and more comfort than generic ones, but they can be expensive when ordered through a dentist. So, we are happy to bring you the option to order your own from the comfort of your home.
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