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Sweet Dreams: National Stop Snoring Week

National Stop Snoring Week runs this week from April 20 – April 26. Snoring on its own is usually considered harmless – albeit disruptive! But for some people it can be a sign of a more serious underlying sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea. This is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes people to choke or gasp for air in their sleep.

Another sleep-related condition is bruxism, also known as teeth grinding or jaw clenching. The grinding noises can disturb not only the person suffering from bruxism but also their sleep partner. Sleep disturbances can lead to daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating and decreased productivity.

One of the primary challenges of bruxism lies in the potential damage it can cause to your oral health. The excessive grinding and clenching exert immense pressure on the teeth. This can lead to problems such as tooth wear, fractures and even tooth loss. The constant grinding can erode the tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity.

Another problem for sufferers is the increased risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). The constant strain on the jaw joint can lead to inflammation, muscle stiffness, and pain. This can make it difficult to chew, speak, or open the mouth fully.

When you see your dentist for a routine appointment, they will look for signs of any possible issues. While there is no definitive cure for bruxism, a variety of treatment options exist to ease your symptoms.

Occlusal splints – otherwise known as night/mouth guards – are the most common and effective treatment. These are designed to prevent inadvertent tooth movement. They also help to reduce the grinding noise and protect the teeth from premature wear.

There are also mandibular advancement devices, which are designed to bring the bottom jaw forward during sleep. They are usually advised when bruxism is caused by a sleep disorder (such as sleep apnoea or excessive snoring).

The bottom line is that sleep bruxism can have a massive impact on your quality and quantity of sleep. In turn, this affects several other aspects of your life. Don’t suffer in silence! Your trusted dental team can help you find a solution. As members of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), our dentists are also excellent at restoring your smile and can repair any damage that previous tooth grinding has caused.

Just give us a call to get started on your journey to a better night’s sleep!

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