Sleep apnea, or OSA, is a disorder that may interrupt your sleep at night due to the muscles in your throat blocking your airway. This can make you feel tired all the time because you are never getting a good night’s sleep.
Associated with this sleep disorder is a separate dental issue called bruxism, chronic grinding of the teeth and/or clenching of the jaw. Many times these two disorders accompany one another and together they are a negative duo of detriments to your health. Sleep apnea is widely known because it affects many people. What you probably didn’t know is that one out of every four people who have sleep apnea condition also have bruxism.
If OSA is the only reason for the bruxism, you can find relief simply by controlling your sleep apnea. Of course, there are other potential concerns, such as stress, that may be the cause. If this is true, then other healthy changes to your lifestyle like weight-loss and controlling allergies can also help. Another thing you can do is wear an oral appliance at night to keep from damaging teeth by grinding, gnashing and clenching.
A forced air breathing machine known as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure machine) can be used if your sleep apnea is severe. This device uses a mask and pressurized air to keep the airway passages open. This prevents the problem outright, including the eradication of snoring, which always accompanies the disorder. Research has confirmed that when a person with both sleep apnea and bruxism uses a CPAP, both conditions are improved or end entirely.
If you are worried about your pattern of sleep, feel exhausted all the time, or have neck or jaw pain, come and see Dr. Bushong and Dr. Schneiss for an evaluation. Please contact Green Bay Smiles to make an appointment at: 920-339-9013, or come by our office in Green Bay, Wisconsin.