Sleeping couple

We don’t always want to admit it, but we all have habits that we do in our sleep. While some habits can be annoying to your bed partner, there are other habits that can compromise your health. Snoring and teeth grinding are two of the most prevalent sleep habits for adults. These are oral habits that disrupt your sleep but can also be rooted in the same sleep disorder. Did you know that your snoring and/or teeth grinding during the night could be caused by sleep apnea?

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Snoring and Teeth Grinding?

Sleep apnea is a very serious and very common sleep disorder. Nearly 20% of American adults are diagnosed with some form of sleep apnea. This condition is marked by several pauses in breathing through the night as the airway gets closed. Patients wake up gasping for air, and they often snore loudly through the night. But what about teeth grinding? How does bruxism relate to sleep apnea?

There is a counterintuitive response that occurs when your body is trying to get more air. Instead of opening your jaw to let more air in your lungs, the lack of oxygen causes the jaws and teeth to tighten together. As you’re trying to inhale air, your mouth, teeth and soft tissues are contracting at your upper airway. As you can imagine, these episodes disrupt your sleep cycle in a major way, but they can also compromise your overall health.

The Toll of Sleep Apnea on Your Dental Health

Untreated sleep apnea is associated with fatigue, depression and even heart conditions. However, if your sleep apnea is accompanied by habits like bruxism and snoring, your dental health is at risk too. Even though your enamel is highly durable, it can still wear down and break over time, especially with the forces of teeth clenching and grinding. You may experience flattened teeth or broken fillings and crowns. One of the most telltale signs that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep is a sore jaw or morning headache due to the strain on your TMJ (jaw joint).

More Reasons to Seek Sleep Apnea Treatment from a Dentist

At North Virginia Sleep Solutions, we recognize the remarkable impact that sleep apnea can have on your health. When it comes to your dental health, we are keenly aware of the habits associated with sleep apnea that can wreak even more damage. You can trust that our dentists understand how to effectively treat sleep apnea in a way that also prevent teeth grinding and snoring. Call today to learn more about custom oral appliance therapy for better nighttime sleep in Alexandria.

Posted on behalf of Northern Virginia Sleep Solutions

1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: (571) 290-7977

Monday, Friday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday - Thursday 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM