Bruxism in People Who Snore
Snoring and teeth clenching (bruxism) are two sleep disorders that commonly coexist, often without anyone realizing they do either one until either their bed partner complains or symptoms such as sore jaw muscles in the morning appear. Though closely linked, each disorder has distinct causes and treatments available. Snoring is an annoying disorder that affects many adults. This sound made when airways narrow while sleeping and may be caused by relaxation of throat muscles, congestion in the nose or mouth or sleeping position issues. Snoring typically poses no major health concerns but some individuals may experience jaw pain, headaches or tinnitus from this disorder. Most snorers grind their teeth or clench their jaw while sleeping, a condition known as bruxism. Clenching and grinding of jaw during sleep often occurs as a response to stress or anxiety, or may be related to issues in their Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), teeth issues, or problems with their dental structures. Bruxism may lead to tooth damage as well as lead to jaw pain or headaches. Bruxism can affect both men and women equally, and often runs in families. It usually begins shortly after upper and lower teeth erupt through gums, and can continue through life. Most frequently found among children, its impact can be minimized by restricting how often children place their teeth into their mouths. Researchers agree that snoring and sleep apnea are connected, yet its cause remains elusive. One theory suggests that the disruption caused by snoring could cause tissue in the airway to collapse resulting in the development of bruxism. Other research points out a shared risk factor such as body's natural reaction to lack of sleep deprivation as contributing factors. No matter the cause, snoring and bruxism should both be addressed for their negative effects on oral health and wellbeing. The first step should be identifying its root cause. Factors that could include stress levels, medications used pre-bedtime or alcohol consumption can all have an effect. After this step is completed, treatment options should be selected to address bruxism and its related side effects, such as swollen jaw muscles, TMJ disorder (a type of temporomandibular disorder), headaches and fatigue. An effective dental appliance or mouth guard are often the best solutions, although botox injections and natural remedies such as magnesium, vitamin B5, calcium and vitamin D could also prove helpful. Sleep apnea can be addressed by taking measures to decrease risk factors, including weight loss, changing sleeping positions or refraining from using alcohol or sedatives before going to bed. Seeking assistance from an experienced sleep specialist or The Air Station for a sleep study and sleep apnea treatment with CPAP machines (continuous positive airway pressure machines), such as ResMed AirMini and AirSense 10 Autoset.