Grinding Teeth & Sleep Apnea May Go Hand-In-Hand

added on: June 20, 2013

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can lead to worn teeth, pain in the jaw joints, headaches, and disrupt sleep that results in daytime fatigue. Bruxism is most often associated with bite misalignment, but researchers are finding that grinding one’s teeth during sleep can also be a symptom of sleep disordered breathing.

Sleep specialists are now working with neuro-muscular dentists (like myself) on behalf of their patients, and vice versa. Because teeth grinding and clenching can cause so much damage, we advise a custom made bite guard to wear during sleep. Custom designed versions are smaller and won’t interfere with your ability to be comfortable throughout the night. Additionally, the materials made from versions we provide won’t add to the urge to clench, like most boil-&-bite types.

Heavy snorers and sleep apnea sufferers can greatly benefit from oral appliances. Many individuals with sleep apnea find these far more comfortable that loud, bulky CPAP devices. Plus, patients are more compliant in wearing oral appliances. It is estimated that only 22% of individuals who have CPAP machines use them on a consistent basis.

If you are (or feel you may be) a grinder, call 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange an evaluation so we can determine if damage has occurred to your teeth. Once we correct bite issues, a more restful level of sleep should occur. If not, a sleep study may be warranted to pinpoint more severe issues.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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