sleep apnea in relation to teeth grinding

“Does My Sleep Apnea Also Make Me Grind My Teeth?”

“Does My Sleep Apnea Also Make Me Grind My Teeth?”

It’s only natural for most people to grind and clench their teeth once in a while. Occasional teeth clenching and grinding does not usually cause any lasting damage or harm. However, when teeth grinding occurs frequently, eventually the teeth can be damaged and other more serious oral health complications can arise. This teeth grinding disorder can sometimes be coupled with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding. What’s The Common Thread?

The disorder “bruxism” is sometimes triggered when people experience periods of being partially awoken from their sleep. For that reason, bruxism is often associated with sleep disorders that engage in breathing pauses during sleep, extreme movements and snoring, which are symptoms linked to the sleep apnea disorder.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
    • Snoring loudly

 

    • Feeling tired the next day

 

    • Morning headaches

 

    • Moody

 

    • Restless sleep

 

  • Sleep interruptions including choking or gagging

According to an article written for CNN.com, sleep apnea is a condition that affects an estimated one in 15 Americans but often goes undetected. Likewise, bruxing or night teeth grinding statistics are roughly the same numbers. People who have sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep, in some cases, hundreds of times. Individuals with untreated sleep-apnea are usually unaware they are suffering with the disorder. This is the same case with bruxism. Most people are completely unaware of their teeth grinding or clenching. Sleep apnea is a bit more serious as it means the brain and the body may be deprived of oxygen, all while the individual is asleep. The most common form of the sleep apnea disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. This particular sleep disorder is caused by an inadvertent blockage of the mouth by the soft tissues in the rear of the tongue and the mouth collapsing during sleep.

Evidence tells us that nighttime teeth grinding (otherwise known as bruxism) is a red flag for sleep apnea. Studies have shown people are more likely to grind their teeth while they’re asleep if they suffer from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.

sleep apnea and teeth grinding

You may be asking yourself, does having sleep apnea also make me grind my teeth?

In recent years; studies have indicated that airway instability during sleep, such as sleep apnea significantly causes nighttime bruxism. This makes sense. As we fall asleep, a shift in muscle tone regulation occurs with the parts of the mouth that are responsible for the breathing airway at night. Your brain repositions how the tongue, jaw and soft palette all interact at the toward the read of the mouth’s airway. This determines the way you are able to breathe and sleep at night, thus, affecting your sleeping ability.

As you sleep, the tongue in particular becomes less tense, naturally falling backwards towards the throat. This can lead to significant airway resistance or critical obstruction during sleep. Since the individual is sleeping, the only anticipated defense against this process is to continuously clench the teeth, i.e. grinding, to subsequently stimulate the muscles and soft tissues in the upper airway to hold the tongue in place and keep the airway more open.

These credible clinical researches have also shown that treating the obstructive breathing issues during sleep leads to significant improvement or complete resolution of nocturnal bruxism in many cases.

You certainly can’t die from grinding your teeth, but any breathing disorder can become life-threateningly serious.

sleep apnea & bruxism

Though there is no guaranteed cure for teeth grinding, this disorder may decrease in frequency and/or cease to exist if:

A: You are diagnosed with sleep apnea

B: Treat the sleep apnea disorder, as you will have possibly removed your body’s impulse to grind in the first place.

Keep in mind that if you grind or clench your teeth because of a separate reason (ex: stress) you may be able to resolve the sleep apnea but not the teeth grinding. In this case you will want to concentrate on tips to reduce your stress level.

How do I treat sleep apnea?

The most common treatment routes for sleep apnea are:

  • The use of a CPAP mask
  • Lifestyle changes (including exercise, diet, no smoking, no alcohol can significantly help)
  • Throat exercises
  • Treatment for an underlying medical condition
  • Keep regular sleep hours

Directly treating sleep apnea does not guarantee that your bruxism disorder will stop though if you have been diagnosed with both disorders you should seek treatment for sleep apnea. This may help resolve your bruxing as well. If you find you are still grinding/clenching and damaging your teeth you will need to wear a custom made dental night guard to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Note from our author*

We now have almost 50 separate articles written & almost all are addressing questions that have been asked by real customers. Take a look around our Sentinel Blog. If you have anything to add, questions or concerns please use the comments box below. We’d love to talk!

dental night guard

What is the Difference Between an Upper or Lower Night Guard?

Upper Or Lower Dental Night Guard

Upper or lower dental night guard? Which one do I choose?

Many people grind or clench their teeth at night during sleep. This is a condition known as nocturnal bruxism. Over time, bruxism can lead to the wearing away of the teeth’s enamel, as well as a host of other problems such as cracked teeth or jaw pain. After the enamel is worn, this also opens up the opportunity for cavities to form in the teeth. Although nocturnal bruxism typically can’t be “cured”, there is an easy solution for those who grind or clench at night in the form of wearing an upper or lower dental night guard. While there are some dental night guards that can be purchased from the pharmacy, a patient’s best bet is to have one custom made by your dentist or an online dental night guard lab. This ensures a proper fit that will be effective and also provide comfort while preventing slipping. The dental night guard acts as a cushioned barrier between the upper and lower teeth, so that while your jaw may still in fact be going through the motions of grinding or clenching, the teeth are not making contact with each other, which prevents further damage to them.

Custom Night Guard

Protect Your Teeth

Shop Now

“Should I Buy an Upper Or Lower Dental Night Guard?”

Dental night guards can be made for either the upper teeth or the lower teeth, but usually not both.

Many people wish to know “what is the difference between an upper or lower night guard?”. They also wish to know if one type of guard is better than the other and which one they should choose. For common cases of bruxism, most find that either teeth arch will provide the same results. The upper dental night guard is still the most common type made but this may be due to a slow progression towards the acceptance & use of lower night guards within the industry. In other words, it may simply be that because the dental night guard was originally made for the upper teeth, dentists/lab technicians are still commonly fabricating the upper teeth guard out of habit or preference for no real or substantiated reason. Though you will always find varying opinions such as dentists who favor lower guards for their patients who grind their teeth.

Most people will first learn of their bruxing disorder through their dentist & so naturally they make a follow-up appointment in order to have impressions made for a custom dental night guard.

An alternative and cost effective option for creating a great fitting custom night guard is to contact us here at Sentinel Mouthguard Co. & we will mail out a dental impression kit where you can take your own impressions at home and mail them back to our lab to have the custom guard made for you. We provide a cost saving solution without ever having to leave your home! More about this can be found in our FAQ. Either way, a custom made guard provides you with a much better fit than one of the boil and bite versions you might buy in the local pharmacy or retail outlet.

Most mouth guards are made from materials such as acetate, rubber, acrylic, or vinyl. You should check to make sure your night guard is BPA, Silicon & Latex free. When either an upper or lower dental night guard fits properly, the wearer should not experience slipping or moving of the guard. They also should not be able to “spit” the guard out during sleep. The guard should be comfortable and mold itself to your teeth while keeping the teeth in place. This is another reason why an upper or lower dental night guard made by a dental professional or lab is far superior to those found in stores.

Sentinel Mouthguards are made from BPA, Silicon & Latex FREE material.

EVA (Ethylene – Vinyl Copolymer) is the material used for the Sentinel Soft Dental Night Guard. This product contains no HAP’s or ODS & does not contain any chemicals listed under the U. S. Clean Water Act Priority Pollutant and Hazardous Substance List. This product is not considered to be hazardous under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and is regulated under Section 311-312 (40 CFR 370). It is safe to use in the mouth on a nightly basis and will not irritate the oral area or skin.  The Sentinel Hard Dental Night Guard is made of a copolyester material. Prolonged contact is non-irritating to the oral cavity or skin. This product also contains no HAP’s or ODS, does not contain any chemicals listed under the U. S. Clean Water Act Priority Pollutant and Hazardous Substance List & is not considered to be hazardous under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. The Sentinel Dual Laminated Night Guard is a combination of both materials stated above and meets all likewise requirements.

Taking your dental impression on the upper teeth and lower teeth

When taking your lower dental impression you will receive trays that look slightly different than the upper teeth impression trays. The lower teeth impression tray has a “cut out” for your tongue. Follow the instructions exactly as written and you will be sure to get a great impression no matter which teeth arch you choose ensuring that your upper or lower dental night guard fits like a glove.

lower teeth impression tray
Lower teeth impression tray. Slightly different than an upper impression tray. Note the cutout for the tongue
upper teeth dental impression tray
Upper teeth impression tray
sentinel mouthguards dental impression instructions
Your Sentinel Mouthguard dental impression instructions will come with directions for taking the upper teeth impression. Please note it is the same exact process for the lower teeth.

sentinel mouthguards impression instructions with photos
What are the dentists saying?

Here are some varying opinions from dentists on whether to choose an upper or lower night guard:

“Both the upper or lower dental night guard serves the same function . They provide a gliding surface for teeth to rub against rather than a direct impact on teeth to teeth. If someone has a gag reflex we may recommend a lower night guard .”  Mark Bishara, DDS

 

Source: https://doctorbase.com/ask-a-doctor/29165/which-is-better-for-a-nightguard-grinding-clenching-upper-or-lower

Bottom Line
Consult your dentist as to whether they feel your individual case would benefit most from an upper or lower night guard. In most cases, it’s simply a matter of getting a well fitting guard that does its job of keeping the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact with each other.

night guard for teeth grinding

Affordable Night Guard For Teeth Grinding + Free Shipping

affordable night guards online

Looking for an affordable night guard for teeth grinding? You have come to the right place! Oh and there’s more good news:

You don’t have to leave your house.

  • Direct from the lab
  • Easy online ordering
  • Easy do-it-yourself dental impression kit
  • Affordable custom night guard same as dentist

buy night guard online

Meet Sentinel Mouth Guard Company

Sentinel Mouth Guard Company is an eCommerce dental mouth guard company located in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area distributing custom night guard products worldwide. We specialize in custom made mouth guards for persons suffering from bruxism (the habit of excessive teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching) and athletes involved in contact sports.

An affordable solution for teeth grinders available online

When you want to protect your teeth against the irreversible effects of involuntary teeth grinding, the only true option that is available is to protect your teeth with the use of a dental night guard. A dental night guard is for those who want to preserve their teeth, and perhaps, save on huge dental bills they will likely incur in the future. Instead of paying dental office prices, check out our direct lab services. We send out a DIY teeth impression kit with everything you need to take a nice cast of your teeth. Simply mail it back in to us using the prepaid mailer and never leave your home!

what does a night guard look like?

If you live in Tampa, Idaho, Montreal or even Singapore we can help! It’s time to shield your teeth from the  effects of jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Don’t waste your money on some other store-bought night guard product. The reason behind the high dissatisfaction rate amongst most of the night guards available is because these are not designed from a mold of your teeth, hence they become extremely uncomfortable at night.

With that in mind, you should be looking for a custom-made dental night guard that will fit your teeth like a glove and not add stress on your jaws.

Affordable Night Guard For Teeth Grinding Lab in Tampa, FL

Our low-cost dental night guards are customized for you and able to fully protect your teeth.  The Sentinel Night Guard is made by experienced, professional lab technicians & designed with the unique dental contours of the patient in mind.

Types of night guards offered

These include the hard dental night guard, dual laminated night guard, and the soft dental night guard. Each one of these come in varying thicknesses & material unique to patients who order them.

Which do I choose?

The decision to choose a particular night guard over the other depends on your dentist’s prescription and whether you’re an intense or moderate clencher/grinder.

How it works

The mechanism behind the Sentinel Night Guard is very straight forward. The oral piece simply creates a small space between your upper and lower arch. This way, your teeth will not come into contact with one another.

These customized night guards are made out of the mold of your teeth with the best material money can buy and because they are designed to follow the impression of your teeth, they will fit snugly and comfortably, whether you’re using them for sleeping at night or athletics purposes. The correct dental impression will include your teeth and also extend towards the gum tissues on the upper or lower part of the teeth.

affordable night guard for teeth grinding

Why these night guards for teeth grinding are different from others

Customers in Tampa/ St. Petersburg and those buying from other parts of the world can enjoy the fact that these night guards are more superior than boil & bite models. They’re the highest tier in mouth protection and outperform over the counter or stock mouth guards. What’s more: they’re thin, and this makes talking, breathing or even swallowing easier for the wearer.

Sentinel mouth guards can be bought online, plus our Live Chat experts are readily available for your questions. The company is situated in St. Petersburg/ Tampa Florida area (available online only), though it serves customers across the globe. Therefore, it only makes sense to protect your teeth using this low-cost solution rather than visiting your dentist for a costly tooth job in the future.

  • Direct from the lab
  • Easy online ordering
  • Easy do-it-yourself dental impression kit
  • Same as dentists at an affordable price.