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 dentists can also help provide relief to your bruxism and sleep apnea? You can call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey T Baker or Dr. Evan Castille.

Veneers Dentist In Shelby Township Mi

Bruxism

Also known as teeth grinding, this is a serious 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. 

Symptoms

Symptoms include sensitive teeth, jaw pain, pain while chewing, headaches, and toothaches. One of the main problems of bruxism is you may not even know you’re doing it. It’s common for people to grind their teeth at night, and while they 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 chipping or cracking your teeth. In minor cases, a porcelain veneer should be enough to cover it up. However, in more severe cases you may want a crown or to talk with your dentist 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 night guard. 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.

Symptoms

Symptoms include loud snoring, inconsistent breathing while asleep, irritability, fatigue, trouble staying asleep, short attention span, and more. 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 using 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 or a CPAP machine can help you sleep through the night so you’re not fatigued and irritable the next day. Also, night guards can help prevent you from grinding your teeth. To make an appointment, give our office in Shelby Township, MI a call at (586) 992-9222.

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