Almost everyone at one point or another throughout their lives has experienced a restless night of sleep, whether it was brought on by stress, slumbering too much during the day, or some other means. For most, this is a once-in-awhile occurrence that serves a minor inconvenience at most. For others, however, this can be indicative of a bigger concern that may affect your health. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX dentist takes a look at common causes that hinders the quality of your sleep and what steps you can take to remedy them.
How Bruxism Affects Your Health
Have you ever awoken with a sore or tense jaw? If so, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Teeth-grinding – also known as bruxism – occurs when the body is actively making an effort to breathe accurately. You might not be aware of this initially, but it essentially occurs so that the muscles of the back of the throat tighten and pulls the back of the tongue forward so as to maximize effective airflow. In other words, it is a natural occurrence based on survival needs.
Bruxism can also occur due to outside environmental stressors or internal stress and anxiety, resulting in the clenching and subsequent moving of the lower mandible from side-to-side. Bear in mind, however, that if this phenomenon continues without proper treatment, you may develop complications down the line such as jaw dysfunction and soreness. For more information about this process, reach out to our team today.
Chronic Snoring as a Warning Sign
Another factor that may disrupt your quality of rest includes chronic snoring. Most do not think twice about the phenomenon, as everyone knows someone that snores. The problem arises, however, when chronic snoring results in a number of side effects, including insomnia at night and fatigue or hypersomnia during the day. In fact, this could be indicative of an even bigger concern such as a sleeping disorder. Reach out to your dentist today if you are experiencing any of these warning signs.
Potentially a Sleep Disorder
The symptoms listed above could be indicative of a sleeping disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This occurs when the throat muscles relax while you rest, restricting the airway and preventing oxygen from reaching the brain. In response, the brain sends signals to briefly rouse you from your slumber to correct the issue. As you slumber, your muscles begin to relax and the process repeats itself.
OSA can cause a number of immediate effects, including daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating, awaking with a headache or a dry mouth, and overall irritability and restlessness. Without proper treatment, it can begin to affect your physical health and cause complications such as heart issues, complications with surgeries and medications, liver concerns, and more. Indeed, it can be a potentially life-threatening concern, which means it is better to seek help sooner rather than later.
Learn More Today
Contact Houston SleepWell in Houston, TX by calling 713-796-9600 today to learn more about what you can do regarding the quality of your rest, and schedule your visit today.