Dental Tips Blog


Sleep Apnea and Your Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

A lack of good sleep can increase stress, blood pressure and the likelihood that you’ll begin to exhibit symptoms of teeth grinding or clenching in your sleep. Teeth can become severely worn or broken down while also being more susceptible to periodontal disease. When teeth wear abnormally, the jaws no longer bite together the way they are supposed to, which can further complicate your ability to breath properly when you sleep.

You may wake up with:

  • Tired jaws
  • Sore neck and shoulders
  • Pain around the ear or TMJ area
  • Excessive sleepiness

Oral appliances such as bite guards can be effective in the elimination or reduction of symptoms associated with sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing, and teeth grinding, providing you with quieter, deeper sleep.  Your dentist can fit you with a comfortable, customized mouth guard that guides your teeth into the proper resting position. Some people find that wearing a dental device even eliminates their need for equipment such as CPAP machines. They also prevent excessive wear of the teeth, an activity that can cause irreversible, broken enamel.

The appliance also places your jaw and soft tissues into a position that prevents collapse of the soft palate, reducing gasping or blockage of air flow. By keeping the jaw in a location similar to that used in CPR, a person is able to have better success at improved breathing during their sleep. That’s what oral appliances do for sleep apnea patients.

If you’ve tried other types of treatments and still aren’t seeing results, or your partner complains of the noises you make when you’re trying to sleep, then you may want to consider an oral device. Each device is custom fitted for maximum comfort and stability, so it will stay in place no matter how much you toss and turn.

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