At Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii, Dr. Dennis Nagata provides bruxism treatment for patients suffering from teeth grinding. Our dentist can help protect your teeth from wearing down and help you get a good night sleep. If you suffer from bruxism in Honolulu, Hawaii, and would like to receive treatment at Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii, call 808-946-6326!
Bruxism involves the grinding and clenching of your teeth and happens more commonly at night when you sleep. Bruxism is one of the leading contributors to tooth damage, but it can be misdiagnosed since there are many other contributing factors to tooth loss. Bruxism can also produce other symptoms besides oral wear, including:
- Jaw pain and tightness
- Broken, worn or chipped teeth
- Tension in the head neck and shoulder muscles
- Headaches and migraines
- Pain and ringing in your ears
Studies have shown that one of the main risk factors for bruxism is obstructive sleep apnea, and vice versa. A surprisingly large number of people have both, suggesting that there is a direct connection, though doctors are still unsure how the two are connected or whether one is the cause of the other. Even so, a pattern has emerged across certain studies showing a correlation between bruxism and sleep apnea, and people with sleep apnea are prone to teeth grinding. These are one of the many factors that can be monitored by Dr. Nagata when you come in for a sleep study for your initial sleep apnea diagnosis.
Many hypotheses have been argued that sleep apnea causes bruxism, that bruxism causes sleep apnea, that they are independent factors or that they are interlaced conditions that affect each other. The main thing that Dr. Nagata and our team agree on is that both cause lack of sleep and are harmful to your health.
For some patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, bruxism is believed to be the body’s defense against lack of oxygen — the body’s natural reaction to an obstructed airway is to activate the muscles of the mouth to open it up, thereby causing automatic teeth grinding. Some also believe that this activation of the mouth muscles is also to lubricate the soft tissue in the back of the throat that becomes dried from labored breathing. Either way, your teeth pay the price by grinding and wearing down while causing joint pain that can affect oral functions.
There are different treatments for bruxism, the most common being facial exercises and night guards. Night guards can be customized to your mouth so that they fit comfortably and protect your teeth while you sleep. We also offer special oral appliances that help open up your airway by pulling your jaw forward.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, we will be happy to treat you at Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii. Dr. Nagata can help diagnose and treat your bruxism and sleep apnea, making it easier for you to get the good night’s sleep that you deserve. Give us a call to schedule your sleep study today, and we can help you combat whatever prevents you from sleeping restfully.