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Sleep Affects Your Oral Health

At the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence, Dr. Charles Schof specializes in bruxism, TMJ treatments, and other sleep issues.

Sleep Affects Your Oral Health

Sleep is important for physical and mental health. In fact, it’s so important, we spend almost a third of our lives doing it. So we should understand how different sleep conditions can affect our health – and in particular, dental health.

There are many sleep habits and conditions that go undiagnosed, but can have serious implications on oral health. Issues like teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause jaw pain, and sleep apnea can cause snoring, high blood pressure, or even increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.

To help you understand the common causes and symptoms of such issues, Dr. Charles Schof and the team at Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence have put together this simple guide.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Studies suggest that 8-33% of the population suffers from some level of bruxism. With this condition, your jaw muscles repetitively clench and unclench during sleep, which can result in serious jaw pain, damage to your teeth, and even the development of other conditions like jaw misalignment and TMJ.

Common symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Fractured or damaged teeth
  • Inexplicable jaw or tooth pain upon waking
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Tired neck or jaw muscles
  • Headaches in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on your cheek

If you have noticed one or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from bruxism. Fortunately, there’s a simple treatment.

A mouthguard, worn at night, will help distribute pressure more evenly throughout the mouth, and prevent damage and dental injuries from nighttime teeth grinding. Other treatments to help relieve symptoms include jaw massages, jaw exercises, and lifestyle changes like reducing levels of stress.

Sleep Apnea

More than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. In this condition, breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, usually around ten seconds at a time.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. With this condition, the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, or excess tissue blocks the air from entering.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Interrupted sleep
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Snoring
  • Choking or gasping at night
  • Morning headaches
  • Feelings of lethargy and laziness
  • Waking up with a sore or dry throat

Mild cases of sleep apnea are usually treated with an oral appliance, like a mouthguard. This treatment helps promote a healthy resting jaw and mouth position to keep your airway clear. More severe cases of sleep apnea may require the use of a CPAP machine or oral surgery to remove excessive tissue, though this is somewhat rare.

Do You Have Bruxism or Sleep Apnea? Come to the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence!

At the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence, Dr. Charles Schof specializes in bruxism, TMJ treatments, and other sleep issues that can affect your overall oral health. Dr. Schof has studied at both the Dawson Institute and the Piper Education & Research Center, two respected and advanced TMJ centers in the US.

Whether you suspect you have bruxism, sleep apnea, TMJ, or any other nighttime dental issue, come to the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence today. Dr. Schof will examine you and devise a comprehensive treatment plan that will restore your mouth and help you sleep more soundly!

Call to schedule an appointment now at (985) 626-4401. If you’re already in Mandeville, you can visit our offices at 240 Dalwill Dr, Mandeville, LA, 70471. We look forward to seeing you and helping you overcome your nighttime oral health issues.

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