According to recent studies, bruxism or nocturnal teeth grinding is indicative of obstructive sleep apnoea. A simple visit to the dentist can help you overcome this problem, improve your quality of sleep at night, or even save your life. Evidence suggests that treating sleep apnoea can help address or alleviate nocturnal teeth grinding.
While occasional teeth grinding may not be harmful, frequent bruxism can disrupt your quality of sleep. It may cause moderate to severe dental damage, facial pain, or even sleepless nights. Apart from sleep apnoea, bruxism is also associated with snoring and other sleep movement disorders.
Sparkle Dental Joondalup discusses the relationship between bruxism and apnoea.
Grinding, Snoring, and Apnoea
Bruxism is a condition characterised by teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw, and normally indicates that a person is suffering from sleep apnoea. In most cases, those with this condition don’t even know it. Many only seek diagnosis once confronted by a significant other, roommate, or family member about their snoring. The condition ranges from mild to severe, and many cases of sleep apnoea are left undiagnosed.
Researchers believe that the link between sleep apnoea and bruxism is because of a stimulation response. When sleep apnoea ends, the mouth may respond by snoring, gasping, or grinding the teeth. In most cases, men have more severe sleep apnoea than women. Men may also experience more of these responses as a result. This explains why there are a larger number of men with bruxism.
Benefits of Dental Appliances
Your dentist will require you to wear a dental appliance that looks like a mouthguard. This can keep the jaw and base of the tongue forward and stops collapse of the airway. Dental appliances can also eliminate snoring and reduce risks of adverse medical consequences.
It is important to get screened for teeth grinding on your next dental check-up. Your dentist can easily tell if you grind your teeth at night. Asking your dentist for confirmation of bruxism can help address your sleep apnoea and improve the quality of your sleep.