Snoring
Teeth Grinding
Sleep Apnea

“Take care of your teeth and your teeth will take care of you.”

Snoring
Teeth Grinding
Sleep Apnea

“Take care of your teeth and your teeth will take care of you.”

How do you know if you have Sleep Apnea?

If you often wake up with headaches or feel tired throughout the day despite seemingly adequate hours of sleep, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing during sleep for a moment or longer. Your brain continually receives signals that you need air to breathe and your sleep becomes interrupted. This can happen a few times or hundreds of times during the night. You may not be aware that you suffer from sleep apnea, but you may feel the effects in the form of fatigue, headaches, or a foggy mind in the morning.

Sleep apnea can severely reduce your quality of life, even if you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle. At Newlife Dental, we actively screen for sleep apnea during our examination and hygiene visits with the aim of helping you achieve an early diagnosis, and we will work with you to manage your sleep apnea and improve the quality of your night’s rest.

While the gold standard for the management of sleep apnea is the usage of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP), many patients benefit from the use of a custom made oral appliance, which helps position and stabilise your jaw to keep your airway open at night.

Snoring and Teeth Grinding

Why are night guards useful in the management of snoring, teeth grinding and sleep apnea? 

One of the most common causes of snoring and sleep apnea is the collapse of the soft palate muscles during sleep. This collapse results in a blockage of the airway. In order to breathe (and survive), your body has to overcompensate and force your muscles to contract in order to breathe in and expel air.

This overcompensation can result in audible snoring or snorting, and in the case of sleep apnea, the complete pause or halt in breathing can trigger your brain to bring you from a deep sleep into a shallow sleep, or become fully awake. This disruptive sleeping pattern can have negative effects on your quality of life such as contributing to sensations of daytime lethargy or fatigue. A customised oral appliance can help alleviate these symptoms by positioning the jaw in such a way that it keeps the airway open and prevents muscle collapse while you sleep.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is often thought to be caused by stress or anxiety but it is also a potential indicator of sleep apnea. Teeth grinding will result in the wearing down of your teeth over time and can also be the cause of painful sensations throughout the jaw and neck. Wearing down and chipping of your teeth from teeth grinding can also negatively affect the overall appearance of your smile. The benefit of a custom mouthguard is that it protects your teeth by preventing your upper and lower teeth from grinding against each other. By taking the pressure off your jaw and supporting your oral structures, a well designed mouthguard can also support your airway and allow for better sleep at night.

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