Why do I have grinded teeth?
A lot of factors may precipitate grinded teeth. Excessive stress and anxiety, TMJ disorder and sleep disorders could all lead to grinded teeth. The concept of teeth grinding remained inexplicable in the medical world until recently. It was thought that teeth grinding was exclusively caused by stress, but the fact that teeth grinding has been observed in some fetuses in utero negates this theory. The good news is that the mystery has been solved by a powerful research and new ways of treating grinding and diagnosing sleep apnea. The better news is that TMJ dentist in Houston, TX can help with grinded teeth.
Why You Grind Your Teeth at Night
During sleep, the brain alternates between light and deep stages of sleep. As the brain approaches the deep stages, muscles in the body are stimulated to relax. This could cause trouble for the airways as the jaw can easily block the airways due to its weight and the tongue could expand to as much twice its original size, contributing to the airway blockage. A research studying the brain waves of people with airway blockage during sleep was conducted and it was concluded that the grinding of the teeth is the body’s way of re-opening the airways so that breathing isn’t interrupted.
The participants were assisted in keeping their airways open all night long through the use of a CPAP machine or a dental appliance that kept the jaw in place, teeth grinding and sleep apnea stopped.
The Real Consequences of Grinding
Perhaps grinding is a saving grace to us what could be wrong with it?
From the explanation above, it may be easy to conclude that grinding is beneficial since it helps maintain the respiratory process. This reasoning holds true but grinding also comes with some negative consequences.
Teeth grinding indicates disturbed sleep as even light apnea could cause a significant interruption in normal sleep process. Muscles contract during grinding, as opposed to the relaxation that is expected in deep sleep. This affects the integrity of the deep sleep stage and the numerous health benefits associated with sleep come from deep sleep. Human growth hormone is released to reverse the process of aging and toxic waste is also eliminated from the brain. Improving memory, burning fat, building muscle and possible prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s are some of the functions of deep sleep that may be compromised due to apnea resulting from grinding. Sleep apnea could also result in potentially serious side effects such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, depression, anxiety, weight gain etc. To derive all the benefits associated with adequate sleep, not only the duration of the sleep but also the quality of the sleep need to be monitored and a TMJ dentist in Houston, TX can help you achieve quality sleep.
Damages our teeth and jaw joint. Time To Speak to TMJ Dentist.
Chronic teeth grinding and clenching could result in tooth decay and tooth sensitivity as well as permanent damage to the teeth and jaws and consequently, development or worsening of a TMJ disorder. The help of a TMJ dentist in Houston, TX should be sought to correct this.
Using a regular mouth guard could lead to an exact opposite of the desired effect. A regular mouth guard is employed to protect the teeth but it could lead to a re-positioning of the jaw which could worsen airway obstruction. A special TMJ night guard which can be provided by a TMJ dentist in Houston, TX should be used.