Do you ever wake up after sleeping a full eight hours, only to feel exhausted all day? Do you ever feel like, despite maintaining healthy sleep habits, you’re not getting the quality of sleep you need? Have you ever considered your sleep problems might be originating in your jaw?
A misaligned bite – when the jaw doesn’t quite rest correctly against the top teeth – can cause a number of conditions, and if you think you’re in pain or losing sleep because of a bad bite, you don’t have to suffer quietly.
How Do I Know If I Have a Misaligned Bite?
A misaligned bite looks different for everyone. Common misalignments include overbite, when your jaw is pulled back toward your throat; and underbite, when your jaw pushes forward, often causing your bottom teeth to appear in front of your top teeth. But an uneven jaw can also be the result of crooked teeth, preventing your jaw from resting where it should.
Most patients don’t know they have a misaligned jaw. Most come in for unexplained pain. Your symptoms might include headaches, inflammation or irritation of the jaw and surrounding joints, soreness in the bottom third of the face, and even tightness in the neck and shoulders. But some patients’ symptoms just include drowsiness during the day and a general feeling that they didn’t get enough sleep, even if they were in bed for a full eight hours.
No matter your symptoms, we can treat them and get you feeling better than ever.
So How Does Sleep Come In?
Not sure how sleep plays a role in all of this? Your misaligned bite may be blocking your airway while you sleep, preventing you from going into the critical deep stages of sleep.
Especially for patients who sleep on their backs or have an overbite, a blocked airway is worth paying attention to. If you’re not getting enough oxygen while you sleep, not only are you not getting into those critical stages of sleep, you’re also increasing your risk for tons of other disorders. Sleep apnea is the most common condition, which can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, stroke and more. It is closely linked to loud snoring, so if people are complaining about your snoring, it is likely that you have sleep apnea.
A misaligned bite can also increase your risk of clenching or grinding while you sleep, which means your body isn’t totally relaxed at night.
Get Your Jaw Back in Alignment
If you believe your jaw is misaligned and it’s affecting the way you eat or sleep, it’s time to make a change. Whether your treatment includes braces or Invisalign to straighten crooked teeth or a relaxation technique like NuCalm to relax the muscles around your jaw and encourage deeper sleep, our goal isn’t just to get your smile looking more beautiful, it’s to get you feeling and functioning better throughout the day, too.
If you have questions about your oral health, need to consult one of our expert dentists about your jaw alignment or you’re ready to improve your sleep through better oral health, please call Anchorage Smiles today at (907) 349-0022 or send us an email.