Do snoring mouthpieces prevent teeth grinding
Snoring and bruxism (teeth grinding), are two completely different issues you may experience while sleeping. They affect two different areas in your mouth and lead to different potential side effects, yet treatments can overlap. Snoring happens when your airway narrows and the throat tissues vibrate. Treatment options help expand your airway so it stays clear. Grinding impacts your teeth, with the possibility of both short-term and long-term effects on your dental health. Treatment options often include a dental appliance that creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth so they can’t connect to grind.
Bruxism is when you constantly, unconsciously press or grind your upper and lower jaws together which puts extreme pressure on the teeth and wears the surface enamel. Placing a barrier between your top and bottom teeth can effectively address the issue, but choosing the proper device and making sure it is fitted properly is critical. Once you become aware you’re grinding, it’s important to consult a dental professional to closely check out your teeth and gums and address treatment options.
Effects of teeth grinding
Grinding can have both short-term and long-term effects if it continues unaddressed. It’s important to know what to look for since, often, short-term effects are ignored or blamed on another cause, leading to long-term effects which can greatly impact your well being.
Short-term effects can include:
- Pain, especially in the ear, jaw, and facial muscles
- Sleep disruption
- Swollen or receding gums
- Loose teeth
Long-term effects can include the above issues intensified as well as:
- Popping or clicking jaw joints
- Tooth loss
- Severe tooth wear
If you’re unsure of whether or not you grind your teeth at night, but are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your dentist. They’ll be able evaluate and recommend treatment to lessen any pain or discomfort.
Mouthpieces as treatment
Because different types of mouthpieces address snoring and bruxism, treatment options overlap. An anti-snoring mouthpiece, like ZQuiet, fits over both your top and bottom teeth in order to shift your jaw slightly forward. This helps expand your airway and combat snoring. It also creates the necessary barrier between your teeth to stop grinding. However, if you do not snore, but simply grind your teeth there’s no need to get a stop snoring mouthpiece. One that specifically addresses bruxism will work just as effectively and is often less costly.
Night guards are mouthpieces that treat bruxism. They differ from anti-snoring devices because they only fit over your top teeth. It’s sole purpose is to create a barrier between your upper and lower jaw to help stop grinding, so it won’t impact whether or not you snore. These can be purchased from local retailers or online, or you can have a customized night guard created by your dentist from an impression of your teeth.
Other treatments for teeth grinding
In addition to wearing a night guard to address teeth grinding, you may want to consider making a few lifestyle changes as well. Stress can frequently be at the center of why you’re grinding, so explore options to help reduce stress such as exercise, creating a wind-down routine before bed, meditation, or any other activity that works for you. Consider consulting a professional if the stress in your life feels unmanageable.
Adjusting your diet can also help. Staying away from caffeine and alcohol at night can decrease the intensity of your grinding. Additionally, if your jaw is already sore from grinding, just say no to chewy foods since they can increase soreness.
There are also some physical adjustments you can make with just a little extra attention to your jaw throughout the day. Check in regularly on how you’re positioning your mouth. Are you clenching your jaw? Do you feel a tightness in your face? Try to consciously keep your lips closed but your teeth apart when you’re not chewing for a more relaxed jaw position. If you notice you’re clenching, adjust. Also, try to keep non-food items out of your mouth. No gnawing on pens, pencils, or other hard objects.
If you grind and snore
There is a positive correlation between snoring and sleep apnea and bruxing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 in 4 people who are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea also grind their teeth. If you are a snorer who also grinds, an anti-snoring mouthpiece, like ZQuiet®, can help address both issues effectively by properly positioning your jaw to expand your airway while blocking your top teeth from connecting with the bottom.
Still, have more questions about stop snoring mouthpieces? Our thorough list of Frequently Asked Questions can help you find the information you need to make an informed choice on which stop-snoring mouthpiece is right for you.