Grinding your teeth at night, or sleep bruxism, is a common problem, and dentists have typically taken a teeth-protection first approach through night guards or TMJ splints. As research emerges around the topic of sleep bruxism, findings show that there is a link between sleep and nighttime grinding.
In today’s episode, Dr. B talks about why it is crucial to differentiate between daytime and nighttime grinding. Often healthy people are told that they do not have sleep disorders, something Dr. B and his wife experienced firsthand, so you have to advocate for your health and find a functional dentist who takes an airway-centric approach and helps you conduct a sleep study. Dr. B breaks down some of the sleep study details and makes a case for treating the root cause of sleep bruxism rather than the symptom.
Key Points From This Episode:
- A listener question asking for advice on how to stop nighttime teeth grinding.
- Why there is a differentiation between sleep bruxism and daytime bruxism.
- How dentists have typically approached sleep bruxism treatments.
- Why you should not get a night guard to prevent sleep bruxism.
- The importance of doing a sleep study to rule out a sleep disorder.
- Some of the benefits of treating the root cause of your sleep bruxism.
- Being healthy with no comorbidities does not mean you do not have a sleep disorder.
- Ways to track your sleep and how the information can help you.
- Night guards can alter your bite in a way that worsens your sleep.
How to Submit Your Question:
Record your question for Dr. B at speakpipe.com/askthedentist
“The reason we grind at night is different than the reason we grind in the day.” — @askthedentist [0:02:13]
“I would definitely recommend dealing with the sleep issue first and that will help you with not grinding anymore and protecting your teeth.” — @askthedentist [0:09:18]
“If your dentist jumps right on the bandwagon and wants to protect your teeth, be wary of that because he or she is not considering the root cause of what is causing you to grind at night and they could actually make it worse by trying to help you.” — @askthedentist [0:10:27]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Follow Dr. B on Instagram @askthedentist
Follow Dr. B on Twitter @askthedentist