alcohol make my teeth grinding worse

Alcohol & Teeth Grinding

Does Drinking Alcohol Make My Teeth Grinding Habit Worse?

Carla noticed that her teeth and jaw hurt more after the nights that she would have a couple of drinks before bed.

“My teeth pain is definitely worse the next morning after drinking alcohol compared to nights when I don’t drink” she tells her dentist.

“Wearing my night guard helps a lot… when I remember to wear it.” she adds.
Carla confesses on the nights that she has imbibed, she is less likely to remember to wear the night guard before bed.
“I forget!” She tosses up her hands casually.

Her dentist gives her a look and again stresses the importance of wearing the night guard.

“Think of it like a protective case for your teeth. The power of your jaw is greater at night. Much greater. It can do a lot of damage over long periods of time. Your teeth have little micro cracks in them. Fracture lines. I can see them. Alcohol & teeth grinding are linked. The alcohol intake before bed disrupts sleep patterns and can intensify the teeth grinding.
And soon..you’ll experience far more than just a little pain and discomfort
(if you keep forgetting to wear your night guard that is).”

“Like what?” Carla asks.

Eventually your teeth can start chipping and breaking. The teeth pain and jaw pain will become greater. You may begin to experience tooth sensitivity.
Not to mention teeth flattening that will make your skin around the mouth appear saggy.
Carla’s eyes widen in alarm.

Her dentist smiles kindly. “It’s preventable Carla. Don’t drink before bed and WEAR YOUR NIGHT GUARD.”

Does Drinking Alcohol Make My Teeth Grinding Habit Worse? Really?

Recent research points to YES.

A series of over 800 studies were conducted on the link between sleep bruxism and alcohol consumption. Of these studies, the authors selected 7 to be included (samples ranging from 51 to over 10,000 participants).

The findings were published in The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Results showed that sleep bruxism was associated highly with alcohol and tobacco use. Even more than patients who drank 8 or more cups of coffee a day! It turns out that as far as nighttime teeth grinding goes, alcohol wreaks even more havoc on your teeth than an entire pot of coffee. Eek!

The study concluded by stating that while there is a positive correlation between alcohol & teeth grinding, more research is needed to further evaluate the effects of consuming alcohol, teeth grinding and the resulting damage that can occur.


Your Teeth Grinding Habit is Generally Linked to Stress.

As if carrying the weight of stress isn’t enough (sigh)? Now our teeth have to hurt too!

Most often, the stress in one’s life is how it begins. We hold tension in our upper back, neck and jaw. We clench our teeth together during the day and at night.

But the keyword here is “habit”. Once a habit is formed, it is hard to break.
Your stressful days may be long behind you but that pesky teeth grinding habit can hang in their like a hair in a biscuit!

Bruxism can be an incredibly difficult habit to break and one thing that does not help in the quest to stop nightly teeth grinding is the consumption of alcohol.

Things you can do to lessen the severity of teeth grinding or stop it all together

1.) Lower stress levels.

These are things you probably already know but are you implementing them?
Daily exercise reduces stress levels. It’s a known fact. Make good day to day decisions. Good decisions build self confidence.

Eat better. Be kinder to yourself and other people. Remember Newtons 3rd law of motion? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Be the best version of yourself. Stay away from negative people. Take control of your life or it will take control of you!

2.) Avoid alcohol, caffeine and any type of stimulant such as adderall, diet pills, etc.


Teeth grinding intensifies after consuming these things. Especially at night. Alcohol & teeth grinding are two habits that do not go together well. The end result can be damaged teeth and a whole lot of pain.

If you have a glass of wine, get it over with early in the evening and give yourself a few hours to wind down or better yet avoid it entirely!

Don’t drink coffee late in the day and for goodness sake how bout’ we put the cocaine and meth down shall we? For good!

3.) Wear a dental night guard.

Wearing a dental night guard for your teeth can greatly reduce and even eliminate the jaw pain and teeth pain that stems from grinding and clenching the teeth. It will 100% protect your teeth from further damage. It provides protection from the teeth so that there is no tooth on tooth contact. Make sure your night guard fits well and is comfortable in the mouth.

Avoid mass produced “one size fits all” dental night guards as the ill-fit and bulkiness can cause discomfort.

Signs that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth

Teeth pain/sensitivity

Jaw pain

Chipping or broken teeth

Your partner hears you grinding your teeth

Your dentist says you’re grinding your teeth.

alcohol stimulants and teeth grinding

You Are In Control.

If you believe you are suffering from teeth or jaw pain because of excessive teeth grinding aka Bruxism contact your dentist as he/she can evaluate the health of your teeth. Take control early. Wearing a dental night guard is PREVENTATIVE. It can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

Have questions or comments? We love to chat! Catch is via our LiveChat from 9am to 5pm Eastern Time or feel free to drop us a line at info@sentinelmouthguards.com


Will Dental Insurance Cover My Night Guard?

Has your dentist suggested you wear a dental night guard because you are grinding or clenching your teeth?

You may initially balk at the dental office price but you have good dental insurance and your custom night guard is surely covered right?

Many people assume that all dental insurance would likely cover their night guard for teeth grinding. Especially since it has been recommended by the dentist! Surprisingly enough, oftentimes dental insurance will not cover any costs or they offer to cover a large or small percentage. If your dental insurance has decided not to cover any part, it could be because insurance companies argue that this condition is caused by preexisting conditions that have been slowly damaging your teeth and by the time it gets the attention of a dentist the damage has been done. But this is simply untrue. The damage can worsen (to the point of very costly dental repairs down the road) if a dental night guard is not worn as a preventative measure. Anyone who has dealt with subpar dental insurance coverage can attest- what and how much they cover can be a finicky issue.

will dental insurance cover my night guard?Our teeth are one of the most important body parts because they assist in two major functions of the body; chewing and talking.

Taking care of the teeth is not just an option but a priority. So when a certain problem that could potentially put the health of your beloved teeth at risk occurs, it would be wise do your best to  prevent damages before long term problems occur as the cost for restorative dental work can be thousands of dollars.

 

Teeth grinding leads to the destruction of ones’ dental anatomy because of the continuous clenching and grinding of the teeth. People who suffer from this problem usually experience it at night when sleeping. Once you discover this, you need to visit a dentist who will most likely prescribe a nigh guard for you.

 

What Is a Dental Night Guard

Before we go further, let us first find out what a night guard is. In simple terms, a dental night guard or bite guard is a small appliance made of either soft, hybrid, or hard material whose main function is to protect the teeth against clenching and grinding which may cause permanent damage to dental anatomy and surrounding components (like the gums and jaw muscles). This tooth grinding and clenching condition is also known as bruxism. It can be caused by stress and anxiety, use of psychoactive substances or abnormal sleeping disorders which push one to grind or clench their teeth together as a way of stress relief.

Why Won’t My Dental Insurance Cover My Night Guard? What Are My Options for Obtaining a Night Guard? Are there other options available?

Night guard alternatives

“My dental insurance will not cover my night guard and I am in pain from grinding and clenching my teeth. I cannot wear over the counter/ store bought night guards. Are there any alternatives?”

Yes! You can absolutely skip the dentist and purchase online with few exceptions. If your bruxism is a result of other conditions like misaligned teeth you will need to go through your dentist to get a more complex night guard made that will actually move your jaw back into postition. Most insurance will typically cover the cost of treatment to correct the misaligned jaw. If you have braces you will need to have a dentist fabricate your custom appliance. If you simply need a non-complex, non-specific night guard you can purchase online. This at-home process allows you purchase the night guard kit (impression kit includes plastic tray(s) + dental putty to take your own dental impression). You would then mail your dental impression in to the lab and have a custom night guard made for you.

Sentinel Mouthguard Co. offers this online solution at a fraction of the cost.

Pricing ranges from $98-$130 (compared to $600+ in dental offices).

The material used is Proform by Keystone Industries which is a dentist-grade night guard material available in splint (hard) version or soft. The material is BPA, latex and silicon free. The night guards are made using a Drufomat Scan which is equal to or superior than most dental office machines/equipment. Trained lab technicians will construct, trim and polish the custom night guard. A stone mold check is performed several times throughout the process to ensure the best fit possible. This involves placing the newly constructed appliances onto the stone cast of your teeth and removing. The process is repeated until the night guard fits snug on the teeth but not too tight. Sentinel Mouthguard Co.

crooked teeth
Crooked teeth? No problem. Sentinel Mouthguards are made to fit your existing dental anatomy. Whatever that may be!

night guard for crooked teeth

There is no sure fix or solution for stopping nighttime grinding and or jaw clenching.

Stress seems to be the #1 reason or cause sited by dental professionals. Since curing this disorder is unfortunately not to be relied on, the best option would be to wear a night guard. This will alleviate the damages associated with teeth grinding or jaw clenching (including teeth wear/breakage, teeth flattening, headaches, jaw pain).

How Can I Benefit Using My Insurance?

Every dental insurance coverage varies in terms of the extent of services provided.

There are those that provide full coverage for bruxism treatment. Some offer partial coverage. Some offer bruxism treatment coverage but not the night guard dental kits or lab fees while others do not make any payments on your behalf for any procedures in regards to bruxism. Some insurances that partially cover the cost of bruxism treatment will fully pay for the treatment of tempo-mandibular joint disorders also known as TMJ syndrome. It truly depends on which insurance provider you have and what their policy is.

Pain is a side effect of bruxism. The symptoms also include headaches, jaw clicking, pain in the ears, jaw joint pain, sore and stiff jaw muscles as well as pain in the temple among others. Some individuals self medicate or drink alcohol to lessen their pain but pain pills and alcohol cal exacerbate the disorder. Let’s be clear: If you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night you should be wearing a well fitted, professionally made custom night guard to prevent further pain and damage.

Is there anything I can do to just stop it all together?

Another option to take hold of the situation and save your teeth is to look at the factors that are causing this condition like stress, anxiety and sleeping disorders.

Before any cure is found for a disease, doctors will look at the root cause. Once you establish what is causing you to grind your teeth, you can explore ways of dealing with the main cause first rather than treating the problem that is birthed after.

Ex: If your bruxism is caused by taking tea, coffee, smoking cigarettes and/or using other psychoactive substances, then the first option would be to address that. Your doctor can prescribe nicotine patches or recommend alternative drinks to indulge in that will eventually lead to a stop to the bruxism.

If stress and anxiety are leading to the teeth clenching and grinding, then you should  explore healthy lifestyle changes to relieve stress that is healthy. Once you find another place to channel your stress, you will give your teeth a break.

Final Verdict 

Will Dental Insurance Cover My Night Guard?

Check to see if your dental insurance plan will cover the cost of your dental night guard. Also, many of our customers have used their HSA/FSA accounts to purchase the Sentinel Night Guard. You may need to provide them with a detailed Sentinel receipt as proof of medical purchase.

If you cannot receive dental insurance benefits for your dental night guard don’t despair. There are less expensive options.

Please avoid over the counter or store bought guards.

These cheaply made, mass produced guards can sometimes cause more harm than good.

It will be more costly if you decide to have one that is custom made to fit your dental formula perfectly but the perks will be beyond what you expected since it will fit perfectly.

Do you have dental insurance stories? Please share below! We would love to feature your experience in our blog!

why am I clenching my teeth?

Why am I Clenching my Jaw?

The Effects of Teeth Clenching and How to Prevent It

It is very easy to imagine that your oral health especially the condition of your teeth ends with good diet and mouth cleaning habits. Unfortunately, there are other habits like teeth clenching which can easily cause destruction to your teeth. Teeth clenching, whether during the day or at night is a common condition affecting millions of both adults and children. So, why am I clenching my jaw?

How do you define teeth clenching?

Teeth clenching is one of the manifestations of a bigger problem known as bruxism.

It’s unfortunate counterpart is teeth grinding and they could occur together or one can act alone. Teeth clenching is the static and sustained contact of both your sets of teeth using the jaw muscles responsible for closing the mouth. It is a para-function meaning it is dysfunctional and not the intended purpose of the jaws.

Why is teeth clenching harmful top your dental health?

Teeth clenching is a major problem because it wears out your chewing system.

If you have ever asked yourself “why do my teeth hurt from clenching my jaw?”, the simple answer is because you are straining them. The human chewing system, known as the masticatory system is designed to work for just 45 minutes every day. This is usually enough time for you to have your three meals a day.

However, teeth clenching whether done in the day or night can easily add up the minutes to even five hours which is more than 500% the duration the system is designed to be functioning at. This leads to overworking of the teeth and other parts of the system, making them weak and wearing them out. This leads to a number of disorders and can create an environment in which other problematic dental conditions thrive.

Causes of teeth clenching 

While scientists are yet to pinpoint exactly what causes teeth clenching, research shows the leading factor could be stress. According to research, jaw clenching is a body’s way to fight stress. This happens because teeth clenching causes the brain to produce chemicals that help to fight stress. In this self-preservation mechanism, teeth clenching helps protect vital body organs like reducing overproduction of acid in the stomach which leads to ulcers. The chemicals also help control blood pressure and increase nutrient absorption in the small intestines. There are other causes of teeth clenching too and they include;

Sleep disorders such as hallucinations, talking while in sleep and apnea can all lead to the development of bruxism of which teeth clenching is part of.
• Poor lifestyle habits like smoking, alcoholism along with the use of other recreational drugs also contribute to the development of teeth clenching as a side effect or to deal with the strain caused.
• Some types of medication especially those belonging to the group which selectively inhibits the reuptake of serotonin (SSRI’s) largely used for the treatment of depression. These drugs like the recreational drugs and other substances above, cause teeth clenching as a side effect of their use.

symptoms of teeth clenching

Symptoms of teeth clenching

At times, it may be hard to know whether you are suffering from teeth clenching especially if it happens when you are asleep.

For this reason, it is always recommended that you consult a dentist for a comprehensive dental evaluation. Some of the symptoms of the condition include:

• Waking up in the morning with pain in the jaws or the jaws are tight

• Morning headaches that are caused by the prolonged tension of the jaw muscles which are placed under a lot of strain.

• Increased tooth sensitivity because the protective enamel layer of the teeth becomes gradually worn out and the nerves inside the teeth become exposed.

• Pain in the area surrounding your ears when yawning or chewing food. It can also result in the development of sinus pain.

• Swelling occasionally on the lower side of the jaw caused by the clenching

• For those using dentures, they start having dysfunctions and you need to keep adjusting them or even replace them.

• Chronic pain in the neck and surrounding area and when treated you have relief only for a short period.

If you observe these symptoms it is better to consult your doctor to rule out any other possible causes and advise you on the best method to combat the condition depending on the severity of your case.

The damage of teeth clenching to your dental health

Besides the symptoms, teeth clenching can lead to severe dental damage of it is not checked early. Some of the effects of this condition include:

• Cracked and crooked – the excessive pressure placed on the teeth leads to the development of small cracks in the teeth. These in gradually grow to bigger ones which cause cavities and allow the bacteria room to get inside the teeth. The teeth can also become misaligned because of the constant excessive pressure.

• Masseter hypertrophy – this is a term that refers to the enlargement of the jaws over time. This happens because teeth clenching acts as a workout for jaw muscles and make them increase. This affects your appearance

• The overworking of the jaw muscles can also lead to bone and gum loss which further lead to increased tooth root sensitivity

• It can lead to adrenal stress syndrome since a dysfunctioning masticatory system has been shown to increase the cortisol levels in the blood.

Prevention and treatment of teeth clenching to prevent pain and dental damage

There are several practices and therapies you can use to prevent teeth clenching and some of them include;

1. Use of mouth guards and splints– this is effective when one is asleep and while they do not stop the clenching, they redistribute the force of the clenching preventing it being exerted on the teeth.

2. Avoid stress and anxiety wherever you can and where it is not possible to practice better ways of combating it like exercises and if necessary counseling. Ignoring your stressful moments makes the body look for self-preservation alternatives.

3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which affect the quality of your sleep leading to clenching at night since your body becomes physically depressed

4. In cases of severe teeth clenching a muscle relaxant can be used to prevent the jaw muscles from clenching while asleep.

5. You can train yourself to be self-aware especially during the day. This can be done by keeping your lips together and teeth apart with the tongue in between.

It’s not a guaranteed fix but if stress seems to be the main trigger for clenching and/or grinding it would make sense to take strides to lower your stress. How can we do this? You are at your best when you’re optimal and when are you optimal? When you’re working out, eating healthy, taking charge of your life. Keep your body healthy. Keep your mind healthy. Stay away from all the things that taste so glorious going down and don’t define yourself by your current state. You can be better. You will be better. Remember two things: We operate on momentum and we set our own standards. Raise your standards. Get going. Live your best life and see if this begins to ease your jaw tension and stop your bruxism all together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

reventing gum recession

Why Are My Gums Receding? Common Causes and Prevention

When the margin of your gum tissue starts pulling back, your teeth are exposed.

This process is known as gum recession. It is not something that can be easily noticed since the process is gradual and the early symptoms are usually ignored. Gum recession is a serious dental condition which could lead to loss of teeth if left untreated. This is usually because the bone structure of teeth is damaged thus preventing teeth from being firmly held. If you have gum recession, you will be glad to know there are treatment methods available and steps you can take to prevent it from progressing.

Why Do Gums Recede?
1. Poor Dental Health
Brushing and flossing your teeth is mandatory. Failure to do these as required results in formation and accumulation of plaque which later turns to tartar.

2. Poor Brushing Methods
Brushing should be done gently. When done aggressively, it makes the enamel wear away thus leading to gum recession.

3. Periodontal Disease
This is a gum infection which destroys the gum and supporting bone tissue thus leading to loss of teeth. In many cases, gum recession occurs due to gum disease

4. Bruxism
This is the grinding of teeth. When a lot of force is exerted on teeth, the gums recede.

5. Tongue or Lip Piercings
As cool as these piercings look, they can cause damage. The piercings irritate the gum causing it to wear away gradually.

3 ways to prevent gum recessionHow Can I Prevent Gum Recession?
It has been repeatedly said that prevention is better than cure and this is true in this case. There are various things you can do to make sure you are not a victim of gum recession. The most common 3 ways to prevent gum recession include:

1. Wearing a Mouth Guard
A mouth guard is a covering worn over the teeth. Its purpose is to protect your teeth from harm that may be caused by grinding or any other harmful thing.

There are different kinds of mouth guards. In order for them to work effectively, you need to know which type to use. The various kinds of mouth guards include:
a) Stock Mouth Guards
These guards come ready made and they can be easily found in various stores. Many people opt for this type of mouth guards because they are cheap. In the long run, they are expensive due to the oral damage they can cause. Most of us have different dental structures and needs hence, a mouth guard may need to be adjusted to meet those needs. Stock mouth guards can rarely be adjusted and this makes it difficult for you to talk or breathe normally.

b) Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
They are also commonly found in various stores. The boil and bite mouth protector works by boiling it to soften it and then placing it in your mouth. Once it is in your mouth, you can shape it using your finger or tongue by applying pressure around it. They provide more protection than stock mouth guards since their structure can be altered to fit your needs.

c) Custom mouth Guards
These are the best mouth guards to use. The guards are usually designed by your dentist or available for order online and fitted in your mouth after being molded. Unlike stock mouth guards, custom guards are comfortable to wear and offer maximum protection. Some people avoid using custom guards due to their expensive nature but a person can now purchase custom dental night guards online bypassing the dentist and saving hundreds of dollars.

different types of dental night guards

buy mouth guard onlineThe type of custom mouth guard prescribed by your dentist will depend on how severe your teeth grinding is. The main types of custom night guards include:

i) Soft Night Guard
It is suitable for mild cases of teeth grinding. They are made using soft material which makes it comfortable for you to wear it.

ii) Dual Laminate Night Guard
It is made of soft material on the inside and hard material on the outside. This type of night guard lasts longer and is suitable for severe cases of teeth grinding.

iii) Hard Night Guard
This is the hardest type of night guard and is suitable in cases of heavy teeth grinding. It can last up to 5 years.

2 Proper Brushing Methods
Brush your teeth gently preferably 3 times a day. Avoid being aggressive while bushing and also avoid brushing your teeth multiple times a day. This may make the enamel of your teeth wear off which results in gum recession.

Something most people do wrong is brushing their teeth for 30 seconds and then rinse their mouths and go. Proper brushing should be done for about 2 minutes so that you can remove as much residue as possible from your teeth.

If the toothbrush you are currently using is almost a year old, you need to throw it out immediately. Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush after every 3 months of use. Yes, even if it still looks new, it may not be effective in removing plaque compared to new brushes. You should also change your brush each time you have a flu or cold to make sure the germs that stick to your toothbrush do not cause a re-infection.

3 Treating Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your gums and bone tissues. The type of treatment you will require depends on how advanced the periodontal disease is.

Mild cases of the disease will require deep cleaning to remove plaque. A laser may be used at times to remove tartar and plaque. It results in less inflammation, less bleeding, and less discomfort. In addition to this treatment method, antibiotics may be prescribed to kill the remaining bacteria and reduce the size of periodontal pockets.

In severe cases, surgery is necessary. If deep cleaning and antibiotics do not work, surgery is unavoidable. In this case, the gums are lifted to remove tartar and they are sutured back so that they can be firm around the tooth. This procedure is known as flap surgery.

Grafting is another procedure performed to regenerate tissue of the bone or gum which was lost due to the disease. The graft used can be either synthetic or natural. The type of graft used will depend on your situation since each case is different. You should always ask your dentist about the level of success of the graft he chooses to use.

why are my teeth sensitive to hot and cold?

“Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Hot and Cold?” | Sentinel Mouthguards

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

“Why are My Teeth Sensitive to Hot and Cold?”

Tooth sensitivity is the simple term commonly used to refer to root sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity. Having sensitive teeth means cold, hot, sweet, highly acidic drinks and foods or even breathing cold air will cause your teeth to feel painful or sensitive. This problem is very common but fortunately it is treatable.

Tooth sensitivity develops when the enamel, which protects our teeth, becomes thinner or when our gums recede. This exposes dentin, which is the underlying surface-therefore weakening the protection that the gums and the enamel give to the root and tooth. Dentin, the material found in the inner tooth, is composed of tiny tubules which contain microscopic nerve endings.

A hard outer coating of enamel covers the dentine in the crown section of the tooth.

The dentine in the root of the tooth is protected by a layer of thin bony material called the cementum. Nerve irritation or dentin hypersensitivity is the result when dentin loses this protective coating of cementum or enamel. As a result the stimulated hypersensitive nerve endings become inflamed, painful and sensitive when exposed to cold, hot, sticky, acidic foods and drinks or even cold air making your teeth sensitive to hot and cold.

Below are some causes of tooth sensitivity:

Toothbrush abrasion-refers to brushing teeth too hard, especially when using side to side motion. This leads to wearing away of the enamel particularly in the sections where teeth and gums meet. The newly exposed dentine becomes sensitive.
Dental erosion– this refers to degradation of the tooth enamel due to acid attacks from acidic drinks and food.The worn enamel leads to dentine exposure, resulting in teeth sensitivity.
Natural gum recession-this is when our gums recede or shrink back naturally, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed. The roots are therefore left with no protection, resulting in teeth sensitivity.
Gum disease– Accumulation of tartar or plaque can result in the gum receding downward and this may even damage the bony material that supports the tooth. Pockets may also develop in the gums surrounding the tooth,rendering such sections hard to clean properly and worsening the problem.Occasionally heat sensitivity may indicate that the tooth is infected by bacteria inside.These bacteria may enter through a cavity, a crack or a leaking dental crown or filling.Bacteria emit gas as part of their natural processes.Exposing such a tooth to heat makes the gas which is trapped inside the hollow tooth interior to heat up. Expansion of this heated gas applies pressure to the hypersensitive nerve tissue, causing sensitivity and pain

gum disease
Tooth grinding– This habit involves grinding and clenching teeth together.This leads to the wearing down of the tooth enamel which causes the sensitive nerves in the dentin to be inflamed,leading to tooth sensitivity. The answer to this problem is to wear a dental night guard. You can wear a daytime and/or nighttime guard. For more information on dental night guards and online ordering click here
A filling or cracked tooth-a cracked tooth is one which is broken. A crack may begin from the biting area of the tooth and continue downwards to the root. Severe temperatures, particularly cold may bring immense discomfort.
Tooth bleaching– There are people who briefly experience tooth sensitivity during or after the bleaching procedure.

“How can I make my teeth less sensitive to hot and cold?”

Tooth sensitivity can be reduced in several ways.

• Brushing thoroughly with low-abrasion toothpaste is one way

•Flossing daily is another way since this will eliminate plaque between gums and teeth

•Reducing intake of highly acidic food and drinks will also prevent this problem.

sleep apnea in relation to teeth grinding

“Does My Sleep Apnea Also Make Me Grind My Teeth?”

“Does My Sleep Apnea Also Make Me Grind My Teeth?”

It’s only natural for most people to grind and clench their teeth once in a while. Occasional teeth clenching and grinding does not usually cause any lasting damage or harm. However, when teeth grinding occurs frequently, eventually the teeth can be damaged and other more serious oral health complications can arise. This teeth grinding disorder can sometimes be coupled with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding. What’s The Common Thread?

The disorder “bruxism” is sometimes triggered when people experience periods of being partially awoken from their sleep. For that reason, bruxism is often associated with sleep disorders that engage in breathing pauses during sleep, extreme movements and snoring, which are symptoms linked to the sleep apnea disorder.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
    • Snoring loudly

 

    • Feeling tired the next day

 

    • Morning headaches

 

    • Moody

 

    • Restless sleep

 

  • Sleep interruptions including choking or gagging

According to an article written for CNN.com, sleep apnea is a condition that affects an estimated one in 15 Americans but often goes undetected. Likewise, bruxing or night teeth grinding statistics are roughly the same numbers. People who have sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep, in some cases, hundreds of times. Individuals with untreated sleep-apnea are usually unaware they are suffering with the disorder. This is the same case with bruxism. Most people are completely unaware of their teeth grinding or clenching. Sleep apnea is a bit more serious as it means the brain and the body may be deprived of oxygen, all while the individual is asleep. The most common form of the sleep apnea disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. This particular sleep disorder is caused by an inadvertent blockage of the mouth by the soft tissues in the rear of the tongue and the mouth collapsing during sleep.

Evidence tells us that nighttime teeth grinding (otherwise known as bruxism) is a red flag for sleep apnea. Studies have shown people are more likely to grind their teeth while they’re asleep if they suffer from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.

sleep apnea and teeth grinding

You may be asking yourself, does having sleep apnea also make me grind my teeth?

In recent years; studies have indicated that airway instability during sleep, such as sleep apnea significantly causes nighttime bruxism. This makes sense. As we fall asleep, a shift in muscle tone regulation occurs with the parts of the mouth that are responsible for the breathing airway at night. Your brain repositions how the tongue, jaw and soft palette all interact at the toward the read of the mouth’s airway. This determines the way you are able to breathe and sleep at night, thus, affecting your sleeping ability.

As you sleep, the tongue in particular becomes less tense, naturally falling backwards towards the throat. This can lead to significant airway resistance or critical obstruction during sleep. Since the individual is sleeping, the only anticipated defense against this process is to continuously clench the teeth, i.e. grinding, to subsequently stimulate the muscles and soft tissues in the upper airway to hold the tongue in place and keep the airway more open.

These credible clinical researches have also shown that treating the obstructive breathing issues during sleep leads to significant improvement or complete resolution of nocturnal bruxism in many cases.

You certainly can’t die from grinding your teeth, but any breathing disorder can become life-threateningly serious.

sleep apnea & bruxism

Though there is no guaranteed cure for teeth grinding, this disorder may decrease in frequency and/or cease to exist if:

A: You are diagnosed with sleep apnea

B: Treat the sleep apnea disorder, as you will have possibly removed your body’s impulse to grind in the first place.

Keep in mind that if you grind or clench your teeth because of a separate reason (ex: stress) you may be able to resolve the sleep apnea but not the teeth grinding. In this case you will want to concentrate on tips to reduce your stress level.

How do I treat sleep apnea?

The most common treatment routes for sleep apnea are:

  • The use of a CPAP mask
  • Lifestyle changes (including exercise, diet, no smoking, no alcohol can significantly help)
  • Throat exercises
  • Treatment for an underlying medical condition
  • Keep regular sleep hours

Directly treating sleep apnea does not guarantee that your bruxism disorder will stop though if you have been diagnosed with both disorders you should seek treatment for sleep apnea. This may help resolve your bruxing as well. If you find you are still grinding/clenching and damaging your teeth you will need to wear a custom made dental night guard to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Note from our author*

We now have almost 50 separate articles written & almost all are addressing questions that have been asked by real customers. Take a look around our Sentinel Blog. If you have anything to add, questions or concerns please use the comments box below. We’d love to talk!

What Age Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

The short answer: Ask your dentist. Recommended use for children varies greatly.

As parents we deal with miniature crisis’ all the time–scraped knees, growing pains, hunger pains, sick days and everything in between. These common issues have aided us in becoming pretty proficient in what to do when unexpected situations arise, but when faced with child teeth grinding, there seems to be a lack of clarity, understanding and call to action.
Here we attempt to answer the most common questions regarding teeth grinding or jaw clenching in children under 12.

What causes teeth grinding in children?
As of today, dentists, academics and researchers alike still can’t fully agree on the reason we grind our teeth. It is generally agreed upon ,however, that stress & anxiety are contributing factors.

Is there anything I can do to lower the chances of my child grinding his/her teeth?
There could be some things in your childs environment that trigger instances of teeth grinding. Some tips to create a calmer environment include:

It sounds cliche but!

  • Minimize everyday stress. Plan ahead. Make lunches the night before school. Lay out clothes ahead of time. Get up on time in the morning. Understand the needs of your children and meet them.
  • Parents! Get control of your own anxiety. Your kids are “mini-you’s”. Lead by example.
  • Create a calm and soothing bedroom. Listen to your child and let them have a hand in decorating their own bedroom. Choose their favorite colors and consider low lighting.
  • Exercise every day and healthy eating. Less sugar.
  • Positive reinforcement instead of negative.
  • Read books before bed

Is there perhaps another reason my child is grinding (or clenching) his/her teeth?

One of the more common possibilities that are being explored has to deal with the growth phases of a child’s teeth and jaw. During the nascent stages of development, a child’s top and bottom set of teeth do not fit together comfortably. The instinctive response that some children have because of this fact is to grind their teeth to provide a respite from the discomfort that they may be experiencing. Some children tend to outgrow the habit of teeth grinding. Other children may develop an attachment to the habit and carry it well into adulthood.

Ok. So how do I stop his/her teeth grinding?

You should know that there is no known cure for teeth grinding. Many children will outgrow the habit by age 12. Your first step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The dentist may suggest your child wear a custom night guard. There seems to be a lot of contradictory information as far as what age is acceptable for a child to wear a night guard to bed. Ask your dentist to see what he/she recommends.

 

Is there a choking risk?

There does not appear to be any choking risk from wearing a dental night guard.

Here is a great forum about dental night guard use from real users with personal experience

 

Custom Made Dental Night Guards

Upside:

Far superior to athletic mouth guards or OTC (over the counter or mass produced)

Guaranteed proper fit

Downside:

Dental anatomy is constantly changing

Will need to replace frequently in children

Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?

So what to do now?
Being a parent, you would immediately want to acquire a clear cut solution to the teeth grinding challenges that your child is currently facing. The first thing that you should do is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. An initial consultation with an established dental practitioner may yield a few solutions for this specific occurrence. So, can a child wear a dental night guard? The most common solution that dentists may prescribe is to have your child use a dental night guard while he / she sleeps. The decision to employ a dental night guard can prevent your child from forming permanent damage from grinding his / her teeth. Remember: teeth don’t grow back.

Risks

While a dental night guard may seem like an ideal solution for your child’s teeth grinding problems, there are still a few caveats that you must take into account. Some children may not feel comfortable using a mouth guard at night. The sense of discomfort that they experience could interfere with their sleeping patterns. Even if your child doesn’t have any issues with using a dental night guard, there are still a few things that you need to watch out for. Once you spot that the form of the dental night guard has become irregular, stop using the device and acquire a replacement as soon as possible. Some children may experience oral irritation because of frequent utilization of a dental night guard. Before you have your child use the device in question, make sure that you get to check his / her gums for any mouth sores or other oral lesions. Given the nature of appliance, dental night guards tend to accumulate a considerable amount of bacteria over a period of time. You must be rigorous when it comes to sanitizing the dental night guard that your child uses on a daily basis. Over the course of using the night guard, make sure that you get to schedule regular oral exams with your child’s dentist in order to assess the progress that has been made or whether adjustments need to be executed.

Final Thoughts: Can a Child Wear a Dental Night Guard?
It is essential for you to acquire a dental night guard from a reputable dentist or online dental night guard lab. There are a variety of mouth guards that are available on the market and you may be tempted to acquire one but you run the risk of compromising your child’s safety. While going to a dentist may require you to keep up with a specific amount of cost, you can guarantee that your child will be able to use a well fitted dental night guard that addresses all of his / her needs and preferences.

does my teeth grinding make me look older?

“Why Are My Teeth Flat?” Flat Teeth and Chipping | Sentinel Mouthguards

“Why Are My Teeth Flat?”

Flat Teeth and Chipping are common signs of long term teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

“Is My Teeth Grinding Habit Making Me Look Older?”

When Glamour magazine ran an article last month about preventative aging & the benefits of wearing a night guard, many became enlightened to one of the sneakiest signs of aging. Teeth grinding and (as a result) teeth shortening.

Our Skin Is Nothing Without Good Bones, Muscles and Teeth Structure

Sometimes we forget that our skin is just an envelope for our bones and muscles. If a person undergoes changes to the teeth, whether they have them removed (and replace with dentures) or if the teeth have become much shorter over time,  it is common to notice sagging skin around the mouth and chin.

Physically, teeth grinding can have some long lasting effects. After years of wearing the teeth down, the face can develop a noticeable sagging appearance that cannot be fixed with anything less than expensive cosmetic work.

So why are my teeth flat?

The Problem With Short Teeth teeth grinding can shorten your teeth learn how

It’s no secret that teeth play a big role in the overall appearance of the face. The wearing down of teeth because of grinding and or clenching is a tell-tale sign of aging. Teeth that are too short age you. Other notable characteristics that can occur from teeth grinding are an enlarged jaw muscle (protrusion), and stress lines around the mouth.

Check to see if your teeth are too short

Stand in front of a mirror with your lips slightly apart in a relaxed position. If you relax your mouth and just leave it agape slightly, there should be between 1-3mm of tooth exposure. Do you see a little bit of your front teeth? If you do not, your teeth may be too short. This is not always a result of teeth grinding. This can simply be your natural dental anatomy. If you wish to have your teeth extended you can opt for direct bonding or porcelain veneers.

The Good News

It’s preventative.

A night guard acts as a preventative to the effects of teeth grinding and teeth aging. Think of it as putting your teeth in a perfectly fitting case each night before bed so that they remain safe and protected against well…yourself.

Simply wearing a night guard at night will prevent your teeth from wearing down. 1 in 10 people grind their teeth at night. A custom made dental guard is far less expensive than restorative cosmetic work. Preserve your teeth & face the natural way. It’s just as important and routine as putting face moisturizer on at night  to prevent dryness and excess wrinkles.

You’ve Decided To Wear A Night Guard? Great!

Now Keep It Clean

As you probably well know, wet and dark places are a great breeding ground for bacteria. Your night guard can go from a nice clear to yellow and smelly in a matter of months. Make sure you store your night guard in its original case. Clean with a soft toothbrush and a little toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly and store DRY. Dry is the secret to a clean long lasting night guard. You do not want water sitting in your guard night after night. Additionally, Efferdent makes a really great denture/retainer cleaner you can use once a week to preserve the life of your guard.

Additional Ways To Keep Yourself Young

Take Care of Yourself In A Natural Way 

Consumers will spend 290 billion  dollars this year (globally) on anti-aging products. There is always a latest and greatest product that claims reverse aging results. We think the best way to keep that healthy young look can be achieved spending as little money as possible.

Some tips to prolonging life spans and living well include:

  • Drinking purified water
  • Taking Vitamins
  • Wearing sunscreen
  • Exercising daily
  • Keeping stresses down
  • Eating raw fruits and vegetables

 

Other Reasons To Wear A Dental Night Guard At Night

Wearing a night guard has so many benefits! It prevents cracking and breaking of natural teeth and dental work. It will protect a new set of porcelain veneers, bonding, crowns & bridge work. If you wake up in the morning with jaw soreness, tension or pain this can be a sign that you’re either clenching your teeth at night or grinding them together.

Have questions or you would like to add to this article?

Please feel free to comment, share and/or like below!

 

 

 

Mouth Guards – The Bad, the Good, and the Best Mouth Guard

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]So you’ve decided that you need a mouth guard. Not just any mouth guard. You’re looking for the best mouth guard!

Maybe you’re an athlete or maybe you grind your teeth at night, or maybe both. Maybe you already use a mouth guard, and you want an upgrade or a replacement. Whatever your circumstances, you’ve made a good choice. Take care of your teeth, and they’ll take care of you.

But where to begin? Worry not. Sentinel Mouthguards is happy to lay it all out for you and demystify the process of finding the best mouth guard for you.

We understand your need for the best mouth guard. If you’re an athlete or just trying to get a good nights’ rest wearing a night mouth guard, you need to be able to do what you do without being worried about a mouth guard that is too big for you or too thick or just plain uncomfortable.

In essence, there are three types of mouth guards: bad, good, and great. If those labels seem a bit judgmental, that’s because they are. When it comes to the health and well-being of your most precious bodily aperture (your mouth), we think you should get only the straight dope. And just like Roy Jones Jr., we don’t pull any punches.

While you may find some of the popular information on mouth guards to be obscure, irrelevant, or even contradictory, you can rest assured that the key factor that determines the quality of your mouth guard is actually pretty simple (even obvious): fit.

Below is a rundown of your main quality and fit options.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]43237-default-xl-1[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Bad.” alignment=”left” spacer=”icon_only” spacer_position=”top” line_style=”solid” line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-thumbs-down” icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″]Also known as “stock” mouthguards. Sometimes, you can “customize” these by cutting them with scissors if they’re too big… Ugh. They generally don’t fit very well, they’re usually uncomfortable, and they’re pretty much useless. It’s best to avoid this type of mouth guard.

In a nutshell:[/ultimate_heading][info_list position=”left” style=”hexagon” icon_border_style=”none” border_color=”#333333″ connector_color=”#333333″ icon_bg_color=”#89be25″ icon_color=”#ffffff”][info_list_item list_title=”Buy it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-dollar” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Take it out of the package.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-share” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Stuff it in your mouth.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-user” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Try not to choke.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-remove” animation=”fadeInUp”][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]images[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Good.” alignment=”left” spacer=”icon_only” spacer_position=”top” line_style=”solid” line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-ok” icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″]You may have heard these described as “boil-and-bite”. These aren’t bad for certain uses and budgets. They do offer some degree of customization over “stock” guards, and they’re generally inexpensive. They’re made of a thermoplastic material, which is a fancy way of saying that they change shape when heated. This type of guard provides a level of customization, though limited when compared to custom-built mouth guards (see below).

new sensor-laden boil & bite mouthguard

In a nutshell:[/ultimate_heading][info_list position=”left” style=”hexagon” icon_border_style=”none” border_color=”#333333″ connector_color=”#333333″ icon_bg_color=”#89be25″ icon_color=”#ffff”][info_list_item list_title=”Buy it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-dollar” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Take it out of the package.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-share” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Boil it. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-fire” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Bite it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-cogs” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Cool it. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-tint” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Wear it.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-user” animation=”fadeInUp”][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Great.” alignment=”left” spacer=”icon_only” spacer_position=”top” line_style=”solid” line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-thumbs-up” icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″]This is where Sentinel Mouthguards comes in. Again, it’s all about customization. Where Good mouth guards provide some degree of personal fit, Great mouth guards are handmade specifically for you. In a laboratory. Pretty cool, right? This type also has more options for materials and thickness, to guarantee that they’re spot-on for your individual needs. And the kicker is that while this kind of mouth guard is usually crafted by a dentist with a hefty price tag to cover overhead, dental school loans, and who know what else, it doesn’t have to be that way.

best mouth guard

In a nutshell:[/ultimate_heading][info_list position=”left” style=”hexagon” icon_border_style=”none” border_color=”#333333″ connector_color=”#333333″ icon_bg_color=”#89be25″ icon_color=”#ffffff”][info_list_item list_title=”Receive your materials in the mail.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-truck” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Make your own mouth impression. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-cogs” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Send the impression to Sentinel Mouthguards.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-envelope” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”We build a custom mold of your mouth.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-cogs” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”We use the custom mold to build a custom mouthguard. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-truck” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”We mail it back to you. ” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-user” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”You get a one-year guarantee that your mouthguard woes are a thing of the past.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-ok” animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”You rejoice.” icon_type=”selector” list_icon=”Defaults-smile” animation=”fadeInUp”][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]We hope this article has helped you decide what kind of mouthguard is right for you. If you’re still unsure, get in touch with Sentinel Mouthguards and we’ll be glad to talk you through it. The bottom line: “Boil-and-bite” mouthguards aren’t bad, but custom-built mouth guards are better. In fact, they’re the best mouth guard. Oh! And when you’re finished here check out this article on custom mouthguards & their superior protective qualities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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