Can the Dentist Treat Bruxism & Sleep Apnea?

October 14, 2021 Jeffrey T. Baker, DDS PC

Dentists are known for providing teeth cleanings, root canals, filling cavities, and other common dental services, but did you know that our Shelby Township, MI, dentists can also help provide relief for bruxism and sleep apnea? It’s true and whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you.

Bruxism And Sleep Apnea Dentist In Shelby Township Mi

Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms (and solutions) relating to bruxism and sleep apnea.


Also known as excessive teeth grinding or clenching, bruxism is common amongst adults of all ages. It presents an issue because while teeth are incredibly strong (tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body), they aren’t designed to be ground against each other, especially over a long period of time.


  • Sensitive teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain while chewing
  • Headaches
  • Toothaches

One of the main problems with bruxism is you may not even know you’re grinding or clenching your teeth. It’s common for these types of behaviors to occur at night, and while patients may wake up with jaw pain and tooth sensitivity, they either ignore it or explain it away to a different cause.

Bruxism, if left untreated, may result in chipped or cracked teeth. In minor cases, a porcelain veneer should be enough to cover it up. However, in more severe cases you may want a dental crown or to talk with our dentists about other restorative options.

The Solution

So the question remains, if this is something people do in their sleep when they’re unaware they’re doing it, then how do we fix it? The answer is, wear a custom night guard created by our dentists. Night guards are oral appliances that prevent your teeth from grinding together, protecting them from getting damaged.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition where your airway narrows or closes entirely cutting off your oxygen supply which deprives the brain and builds up carbon dioxide. Relaxed muscles in your throat is the most common cause of sleep apnea but other causes include obesity, high blood pressure, and chronic nasal congestion.


Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Inconsistent breathing while asleep
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Short attention span (caused by fatigue)
  • Dry mouth

Similar to bruxism, you may not know you have some of these symptoms. Also, a lot of the symptoms can easily be attributed to other conditions such as high stress, malnutrition, and ADD/ADHD.

The Solution

Depending on the severity and causes of your sleep apnea, there are different solutions. Two of the most common are the use of a night guard and a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. A night guard can help your jaw stay aligned in an optimal position throughout the night, preventing the soft tissues of the mouth and throat from closing up.

A CPAP works by sending pressurized air through the mask into your airway. Since the air is pressurized it will go through your relaxed tissues and muscles. Other less common solutions are more invasive surgeries that deal with re-shaping or removing tissue that is blocking your airways. One example of this is tonsil removal, which happens most often for children.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have sleep apnea or grind your teeth at night, then an appliance like a night guard from our dentists in Shelby Township, MI, or a CPAP machine can help you sleep through the night comfortably. Call the dental office of Jeffrey T. Baker DDS PC at (586) 992-9222 to request an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.

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