Do you grind your teeth? If so, do you do it during the day, night, or both? If you grind during the day you are more likely to grind worse at night.
I had this problem for years- grinding and clenching. But never was it any serious to look into with my previous dentist. Recently, I started clenching and grinding more that my jaw area was in pain and swelling.
After suffering painful and swollen jaws, I decided to look more into clenching and grinding teeth. Dentist say it’s due to stress. Just stress. That’s all I hear.
I have had an event that could trigger stress enough for my teeth to clench and grind as hard as they have been. Right now, I am trying to practice mindfulness. Being mindful of when my teeth come together are they clenching? Are they grinding? If so, I will try to separate them for a couple seconds then let them come together slowly. If it happens again, I repeat. Earlier I tried licking my teeth to see if that would help. I don’t know. Don’t ask. But it did help a little for me.
Anyways, while researching about clenching and grinding, I found that grinding is called Bruxism, which for the most part I’m sure you know.
One website I found goes even deeper into why we grind our teeth at night, rather than just blaming stress. Good old stress. How it’s easy to pick at you! Heh.
For further reading, click the above link to be directed to their site.
To summarize their site, your brain has different stages it goes through at night during your sleep- light to deep sleep. There are four stages for a good night sleep your brain needs.
When you approach deep sleep is when all the muscles relax. This causes problems in the jaw area because of its heaviness and blocking the airway. Not only does the jaw blog the airway, but when your tongue relaxes, it also expands to twice its size, which means it will block the airway as well.
When scientist studied this, they noticed it was the grinding of the teeth that reopened the airway and let the person be able to breathe again.
When the participants were given something such as a CPap or something that held the jaw in place, it kept their airway opened throughout the night; therefore leading to no loss of breathing.
Grinding usually is known to bad. If often done, you can damage your teeth, which will cause problems later. Also, grinding interrupts deep sleep due to movement when your body is supposed to relax. However, with this study, it shows that grinding is actually good. Grinding at night is what keeps you breathing. You need to breathe.
They also point out wearing mouth guards makes it worse. The mouth guard can reposition the jaw and when expanding can block further block the airway. I can understand this. Night guards are a bit big. If your airway is already blocked from an expanding jaw and tongue, a big night guard would make it even worse.
This site goes into Bruxism as the new sleep apnea and who can be affected by it, how can you tell if you’re grinding at night (afterall you’re obviously asleep, right?), and the new treatments for it.
Well that’s all for right now. Once again, thanks for your time reading this and my other blogs. Have a great night!
**The Rabbit and Its Tail is now available for preorder. It will be available starting July 8, 2016. Please click and visit: The Rabbit and Its Tail link. More information is posted on my blog as well as on Amazon Kindle.**