Grinding, TMJ, Sleep Apnea, and Snoring

Because your oral health has a direct effect on your overall health, Dr. Boulos conducts a thorough examination to help maintain your smile and your health with a wide range of services. We will evaluate the effects of grinding, snoring, and sleep apnea. We want to make sure that our families in Torrance and the greater South Bay cities can keep their teeth and their smile for a lifetime as well as maintain their overall health.

What Causes Bruxism?

Grinding causes the enamel on your teeth to wear down, leading to fractured teeth. Chronic grinding and clenching (or bruxism) are habits that have different causes, such as:

  • Chronic Stress - You may grind your teeth during periods of stress. It may be that you clench your jaw while you are working, or you might wake up in the morning feeling tenderness and an ache in your jaws because your teeth have been bumping against each other all night long.
  • Sleep Apnea - Certain types of sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea can also cause bruxism as oxygen deprivation will cause your jaw muscles to tighten.

Grinding can also inflame the area within your jaw joint, leading to pain and other symptoms that we refer to as TMJ syndrome. Symptoms of TMJ syndrome include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches, ringing in the ears, or even hearing loss
  • Pain or soreness in and around the jaw joints
  • Unable to open or close jaw
  • Clicking in your jaw upon opening or closing
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Teeth may feel loose and sore 

What Can You Do About Bruxism, Sleep Apnea, and Snoring?

Dr. Boulos and the team of South Bay Infinite Smiles monitor your oral health with the utmost care and precision, and we can customize an oral appliance to help protect your teeth from the damage caused by clenching and grinding your teeth.

  • Protective bite splints — We will take impressions of your teeth to make a nightguard that would protect your teeth from the damage caused by teeth grinding against each other
  • Oral sleep appliances —These appliances slightly reposition the lower jaw so that the airway is opened, and the teeth do not touch one another.
  • Snore guard - A mouthpiece that will allow your teeth to fit in such a way as to expand your airway. One-third of the population snores! Family members are sometimes the ones who will encourage the patient to seek this treatment. In most cases, a simple appliance, called a snore guard, can be fitted and used to stop snoring.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from bruxism, call us today at 310-792-0049 to make an appointment for an evaluation.