What is the link between sleep apnoea and teeth grinding?
Snoring and sleep apnoea remain the most common cause of teeth grinding. It is important to understand snoring is when tissues in the airway relax enough to partially block the airway while sleep apnoea is the physical blockage of the airway leading to pauses in breathing. When someone is
snoring or experiencing sleep apnoea, the act of moving the jaw forward and teeth grinding is the body’s response to reopening the airway.
How is sleep apnoea and teeth grinding treated?
Step 1: A quick airway assessment in the chair will determine the need to refer you for a consult and possible sleep study with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.
Step 2: Restore lost tooth structure with tooth fillings and dental crowns.
Step 3: Depending on the ENT’s report, you may be deemed fit for a splint night-guard designed to reduce your laboured breathing and protect your teeth. This is known as a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) and works to posture your lower jaw forward during sleep and purposely opens your airway.
Step 4: Monitor progress with both your dentist at Midway Dental Clinic and ENT as well as response to the MAS appliance.
Midway Dental Clinic also houses state-of-the-art airway radiography so a comprehensive airway assessment can be made on site.
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