Portale Dental April 2019

The Stress Connection


Stress affects us in many different ways, such as physically and emotionally, but it can also take a significant toll on our teeth. When you experience stress, your muscles respond. This includes the muscles in your head, neck, and jaw. The muscles tense up, and it can lead to clenching or grinding, otherwise known as bruxism. In many cases, bruxism occurs without you realizing it. While most instances of bruxism occur during sleep, many people also clench their jaw during the day. They may do it as they work, run errands, or any number of daily activities.

If you are dealing with tension through your neck, shoulders, and jaw, there are initial steps you can take to ease that tension. Here are two examples. Jaw Exercise Open your mouth as wide as you can without causing any discomfort. With your mouth open, touch the tip of your tongue to the back of your front upper teeth. Hold for five seconds and repeat several times. Neck Massage Request a massage specifically for your neck and shoulders from a massage therapist. This will help you ease your stress overall while also loosening the muscles that cause your jaw to tighten, leading to clenching or grinding.

Symptoms of bruxism manifest in several ways. You may wake up

with a headache, with tension in your neck, shoulders, jaw, or all of the above. You may also experience discomfort in your teeth, particularly if you are grinding. Over time, this will wear down your enamel and this can lead to tooth sensitivity if not addressed quickly.

If these steps do not work — or you find the aches or pains in your jaw and neck difficult to manage — let us know. We can help you determine the next steps you can take to reduce discomfort and restore your peace of mind.

Hate your CPAP? Read this! Testimonial to the Positive Results Achieved With a Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea by Jack’s Personal Friend & Caretaker

Jack was scheduled for an overnight at-home sleep test for sleep apnea. Several years ago, he was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was prescribed a CPAP. After three nights, he gave up. Jack is currently diagnosed with dementia, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and depression. He decided to try the oral device. His at-home sleep study test showed 137 apnea episodes per hour with his oxygen rate going down to the low 70s. After being fitted with the device, Jack wore it every night. He found it very easy to wear. Four weeks later, he had lost 15 pounds, and his numbers for glaucoma and blood pressure were down to normal. After eight weeks, Jack had lost a total of 25 pounds, mostly in the belly area. His primary care physician stated he appeared much better, his color improved, and, most importantly, he was more engaged in the present. Relatives and friends all commented on howmuch his memory had improved and that he was engaging

in lucid conversation, both on the phone and in person. Presently, Jack is off his blood pressure medication. His spirits are high, and he is more confident in social settings. There is no question these improvements are attributable to his improved sleep and increased oxygen intake from using the oral device designed by Dr. Portale. He is very grateful and sees that the device has helped him in many ways. He rarely forgets to wear it!

Call to meet the doctor and discuss treatment options.




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