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Could a trip to the dentist ease your sleep troubles?

If you have trouble sleeping, your first port of call is probably your GP, but have you thought about seeing your dentist?

There are myriad reasons why you might be finding it tough to snooze soundly, and some have dental connections. If you regularly wake with headaches, you live with a snorer, or you’re prone to grinding your teeth, for example, you may find that seeing a dentist could solve your problems.

Bruxism, the medical name for tooth grinding, is a common problem that tends to be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. If you grind your teeth, you may find that you suffer from jaw pain and headaches, which affect your sleep quality. If bruxism is an issue, your dentist can help. In cases where there is no clear underlying reason for grinding the teeth, dentists may recommend using a bite guard. This is a custom-made appliance, which is worn at night to prevent the teeth from clashing together. It protects the teeth, and also lowers the risk of jaw stiffness and pain, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

Snoring is another issue that you may not think your dentist can help you out with. The truth is that many dental clinics offer help with snoring. Snoring is often a result of struggling to get enough oxygen when you sleep. To combat this issue, dentists can provide an appliance known as a mandibular advancement device. This helps to open up the airway by pushing the lower jaw forward slightly while you sleep. The result is a peaceful night for all members of the household.

Next time you’re having difficulty sleeping or you’re lying awake listening to your partner snoring away in the early hours, why not see if your dentist can help?

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