When you sleep, you don’t just lie in place like a dead body. You move around to avoid bedsores, you switch between different sleep cycles to rest different parts of your brain and body, your breathing pattern changes as you start and stop dreaming. A lot goes on when you sleep, and some of it can go wrong. If you find yourself waking up with more problems than you had when you fell asleep, you should seek help, and in some cases you can find your solution at a place that practices general dentistry in Long Island.
Bruxism (Grinding Teeth)
People grind their teeth for many reasons. Stress, a bad habit picked up early, a medical condition, and more. Sometimes these reasons even extend into sleep, and people who grind their teeth overnight will wake up the next morning without knowing what they did but with a sore jaw, a headache, a toothache, or all of the above.
To deal with this, you can get a mouth guard that keeps your teeth from rubbing against each other. You can get a mouth guard from a pharmacy, but if you go to a place that practices general dentistry in Long Island or wherever you live you can get one custom fitted to your mouth. A mouth guard doesn’t fix the root of the problem, but it does give you a chance to address it without damaging your teeth any further. However, sleep apnea can sometimes cause bruxism, so you should first rule that out as a possibility or address the sleep apnea instead.
Sleep apnea is a fancy way of saying that your jaw relaxes so much when you sleep that it closes your airway. A relaxed jaw is why people snore when they sleep, but sleep apnea is when it gets so bad that you stop breathing for an instant, or even for several seconds. It makes it hard to sleep through the whole night, and it can even be life-threatening.
There are several practical solutions to sleep apnea, and one you can get through general dentistry in Long Island. In mild and moderate cases, you can wear a special dental appliance when you sleep that keeps the jawbone pushed forward so that the airway stays clear all night. It’s a cheap and simple alternative to the standard CPAP air pressure rig, and as a bonus it also prevents teeth grinding if your sleep apnea was causing bruxism.
These are just the two most obvious examples of how a dentist can give you an appliance that will help you sleep better at night. Neither one will end the root problem on its own, but they do keep your teeth safe and let you sleep so you have the chance to reach a more permanent solution.