Teeth grinding (known technically as bruxism) is involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth, which generally occurs in one's sleep. It's estimated that around 1 in 2 people experience bruxism, and around five percent are habitual and forceful tooth grinders.

Most people don't realise they are grinding their teeth when they are sleeping, so the problem is often first noticed by a spouse or partner who shares the same bed (or by the parent of a child). As a common sign of physical stress, bruxism is can be experienced by individuals who are highly susceptible to stress, anxiety or anger.

Common symptoms of teeth grinding:

  • Teeth grinding sounds during sleep
  • Aching teeth and/or stiffness of the jaw (especially upon waking)
  • Cracked or chipped tooth enamel
  • Headache, jaw joint and/or ear pain

Why is teeth grinding a problem?
Constant grinding of teeth can cause a range of dental problems from damaging tooth enamel, breaking or wearing down teeth, and straining the joints and soft tissue of the jaw joint.

If you think you might be grinding your teeth, we recommend seeing your dentist as soon as possible. At MC Dental, we can examine your teeth and use x-rays to diagnose the severity of the damage done to your teeth and bone.
 

 

Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat come together during sleep, blocking off the upper airway & stopping breathing for a period of time. It generally lasts for a few seconds or up to one minute, until the brain registers the lack of breathing or drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake-up call. The sleeper rouses slightly, opens the upper airway, typically snorts and gasps, then drifts back to sleep almost immediately.

Symptoms
Some of the associated symptoms of sleep apnoea include:

  • Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and tiredness
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability and noticeable mood changes
  • Impotence and reduced sex drive
  • Frequently going to the bathroom at nighttime.

Causes of sleep apnoea
Obesity is one of the most common causes of sleep apnoea, with other contributors being:

  • Alcohol (especially in the evening as it relaxes the throat muscles & hampers the brains reaction to breathing)
  • Sleeping tablets and sedatives (or similar medications)
  • Nasal congestion and obstruction
  • Facial bone shape and muscle size (such as an undershot jaw)
  • Certain illnesses such as reduced thyroid production or an enlarged goitre.
  • Large tonsils (especially in children)

MC Dental can assist with the treatment of sleep apnoea. Call us today on (03) 8608 8968 to book an appointment.
 

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