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!

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Sentinel Mouth Guard Company is a digital 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!

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.

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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.

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  • Easy online ordering
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