Have you ever heard of teeth grinding? It’s more common than you think. Bruxism is the more technical term, referring to the habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Surprisingly enough, bruxism affects millions of Americans, both adults and children, whether they know it or not. Many people with this condition do not find out they have it until the dental damage is already done, since they are usually grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw as they sleep. Thus, bruxism is often an act that is entirely subconscious.
Does your beloved sleep partner have a problem with snoring? Perhaps you are the snoring partner. Rest assured, snoring is not intentional. Snorers may not even know they do it. In fact, loud snorers may have a more serious condition, known as sleep apnea. Negatively affecting quality REM-sleep, sleep apnea can impact work performance, cognitive ability, frame of mind, and quality of life.
What is the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is the sound created when soft oral tissues vibrate as a person breathes. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft oral tissues completely block airflow, causing an apnea, or lapse of breath. Sleep apnea episodes can last 10-20 seconds or longer and may occur hundreds of time in one night.
What causes snoring?
The soft tissues in your mouth and throat make the snoring noise as they vibrate when you breathe. Snoring does not necessarily indicate sleep apnea, though it is a symptom.
Why do I snore?
Smoking, drinking alcohol, as well as age and weight, can contribute to snoring. Also, health problems, such as a deviated septum or hypothyroidism, can place you at higher risk for snoring. Sinus problems and enlarged oral structures may make you snore, as well.