We all know that snoring and insomnia can leave us — and our loved ones — physically and mentally exhausted. However, not many of us realize that sleep disturbances can be related to dental health. With this in mind, here are just some of the possible underlying causes of sleeplessness and snoring.
Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding during sleep not only causes jaw pain and tooth damage but can also affect the quality of our sleep. More specifically, involuntary jaw movement can erode, crack or chip teeth and lead to headaches and muscular pain. It can also lead to a dry throat, mouth and lips.
Luckily, your dentist can easily detect the signs of tooth grinding and fit you with a snore guard to minimize snoring and protect your teeth from damage.
Wisdom teeth can be a royal pain as they often emerge only partially or come through at an odd angle. If not removed in time, they can cause swelling, gum tenderness and even snoring. The swollen gyms, in turn, can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to pericoronitis, an annoying infection that can result in sleeping with the mouth open and snoring.
If you have tender gums at the back of your mouth or suffer from bad breath, consult your dentist. They will be able to tell you whether your wisdom teeth require extraction.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on the sides of the face, just in front of the ears, connect the upper jaw to the lower jaw. They are what lets us talk and chew. Often caused by stress, trauma or arthritis, temporomandibular disorder (TMD) — or a change in the normal position of the jaw — can lead to inflammation, pain and snoring. This is because TMD pushes the tongue to the back of the mouth, which can obstruct the airways. A misaligned jaw can also lead to tooth grinding.
If you are suffering from symptoms of TMD, your dentist will be able to detect any jaw alignment issues and suggest an appropriate course of treatment.
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