Westchase Dentist Explains Parasomnia and Dental Health

Parasomnia is the name for sleep disorders that occur during arousals from both REM and non-REM sleep cycles. There are multiple conditions that fall under the umbrella of parasomnias, including nightmares, sleepwalking, and irregular heartbeats. Bruxism (teeth grinding) is also a parasomnia condition which directly relates to your dental health. You might think teeth grinding seems somewhat benign, if not annoying, but the wear and tear on your teeth can be severe if the condition is chronic. Furthermore, as Westchase dentist, Dr. Loryn Merril can attest, teeth grinding can be a sign of a more serious condition called sleep apnea.

Downfalls of Poor Sleep
Sleep is an extremely valuable part of a balanced life. When your sleep cycles are on track, your energy levels will be restored. Surprisingly, even though we see sleep as rest, snoozing is actually an active state. Rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) are the two basic stages of sleeping. When you dream, this state generally occurs during the REM cycle, due to heightened brain activity. When your quality or amount of sleep is deficient, factors such as stress, anxiety, or health issues can be side effects. With fatigue often comes depression, memory impairment, and decreased immune response.

Fixing the Grind
Teeth grinding occurs during sleep for many people. Grinding and sawing upper and lower teeth together can mean muscle discomfort in your temporomandibular joints. You are liable to wear down your tooth enamel, which does not bode well for your dental health. Tooth enamel protects your teeth from cavities. Excessive teeth grinding is often a precursor to the need for dental work such as fillings, crowns, and root canal procedures. Occasionally, bruxism is an arousal response to someone gasping for breath when their airways are blocked by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Those who suffer from OSA are likely to have hundreds of breathing disruptions throughout any given night. Customized mouthguards from Dr. Merrill can be a solution for bruxism as well as OSA.

Westchase Dentist Provides Teeth Grinding Help
Your Westchase dentist provides a variety of comprehensive dental care services, including mouthguards. Contact our 33626 dental office today by calling (813) 854-1933 or e-mail westchase@thesmiledesign.com to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve patients in Westchase, Westpark Village, the 33626 zip code, and the greater Tampa area.

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