Bruxism or teeth clenching and grinding can be seen commonly in people, especially during sleep. The leading cause for this is stress and anxiety, and most individuals grind or clench their teeth as an involuntary action. Dentists state that the problem is linked to sleep-related issues such as obstructive sleep apnea, hyperventilation, and hypoxemia. This article will look further into the connection between the two conditions.
What Is Bruxism?
People with bruxism often grind, clench, or gnash their teeth unconsciously while awake or during sleep. Sleep disruption, tooth sensitivity, and having chipped, flattened, and worn enamel are a few common symptoms seen in this condition.
Bruxism can lead to TMD (temporomandibular disorders) and can lead to tired and tight jaw muscles. Stress, age, genetics, and personality types are a few risk factors that can cause bruxism in individuals. Severe bruxism can lead to teeth damages, severe facial and jaw pains, and chronic headaches.
Sleep-Related Respiratory Problems
The condition is related to the unusual respiration that occurs during sleep. Sleep-related respiratory problems are grouped into obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, sleep-related hypoxemia disorder, and sleep-related hypoventilation.
OSA is the most common and significant sleep-related breathing disorder where the airway repeatedly collapses during sleep, causing lapses in breathing. Snoring, gasping, excessive daytime sleepiness, and choking are the main symptoms of OSA.
Link Between Bruxism And Sleep-Related Respiratory Problems
Multiple researchers have identified the relation between bruxism and sleep-related respiratory problems. Dentists state that many people with OSA are also prone to teeth grinding. Several hypotheses have been formulated explaining the correlation between these two conditions. Researchers have found the following links between bruxism and OSA:
- OSA as a risk factor for bruxism
- Sleep bruxism as a risk factor for OSA
- OSA and sleep bruxism occur independently
- A multi-faceted relationship between OSA and sleep bruxism
One of these holds that sleep apnea gives rise to bruxism and occurs as a response to pauses in breath. Sleep scientists also argue that through OSA, the airway becomes constricted, and muscle movements in the mouth and jaw area help reopen the condition leading to tooth grinding.
OSA is a complicated disorder that involves many systems in the body, like the cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems. Experts state that bruxism and sleep disorders can have a multi-faceted relationship that manifests in distinct ways.
Until the exact link between the two conditions is identified, it is crucial to understand that if you have one of these conditions, you have a higher chance of developing the other one. You can look out for symptoms and go for an early diagnosis to treat the condition.
Mouthguards and mouth splints, addressing existing dental problems, treating stress and anxiety conditions can help cure the bruxism condition. Once you visit the dental clinic, your dentist will identify whether your teeth grinding occurs along with OSA.
If you are experiencing disrupted sleeping habits or have teeth grinding and clenching issues, visit us at German Dental Clinic. Consult our German dentist to manage the problem for a relaxed sleep and improved quality of life. Call us now to reserve your next dental appointment.