Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Treating Teeth Grinding and Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances


Oral appliances custom-made by dentists with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can actually benefit people who suffer from two common disorders that may share a link: bruxism (teeth grinding) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Bruxism is characterized by the grinding, clenching or gnashing of teeth, typically during sleep. Although bruxism can lead to severe dental problems, as well as jaw and facial pain, many people are unaware they suffer from this condition.

Likewise sleep apnea, which is most commonly associated with loud, chronic snoring, but also results in symptoms including daytime fatigue, morning headaches and difficulty focusing. If not treated, obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to a heightened risk for health problems including hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

The results of a 2009 study included demonstrating a high rate of bruxism in patients diagnosed with OSAA; the prevalence was especially high among men and Caucasians compared with other groups. Other research has demonstrated similar association between bruxism and sleep apnea.

If you, your partner or your child experiences bruxism, it’s advisable to undergo an exam by a physician with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Often, a custom-made oral appliance similar to a sports mouthguard can provide comfortable and effective treatment for both teeth grinding and sleep apnea.

If you have questions about sleep disorder assessment and treatment or would like to find a doctor near you, please contact IHateCPAP.com.

posted by Steve at 2:04 PM