Sleep bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea are two of the most common sleep disorders. Many oral appliances are explored while trying to resolve the former, but custom-made mouthguards from our dentists at Frank Dunlap, DDS could be the best solution for your sleep problems.
Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth clenching or grinding, is a phenomenon that can take place during sleep or waking hours. The condition is linked to various causes, one of them being stress. It occurs when the jaw clenches and contracts intensely. When it starts happening more frequently, especially during night time, bruxism can create a distressing discomfort by depriving a person of good sleep while bringing serious damage to the teeth.
Bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea have a variety of symptoms such as pain and tooth damage, including flattened or chipped teeth and tattered tooth enamel. Patients can also feel tightness in the facial muscles and injury from a chewed inside cheek. Let our professionals know if you experience pain associated with the neck or face, or difficulty opening and closing the jaw completely since bruxism can also damage dental work.
How Mouthguards Help
Mouthguards or dental splints can be used to stop teeth from grinding. These mouthpieces are able to hold the jaw in a position to minimize the pressure on teeth and hence reduce the damage from clenching. Some night guards are able to hold the jaw in an open position, allowing chewing muscles to relax while you sleep. Mouthguards may sometimes cover a small section of the patient’s mouth but they can also cover a full set of top and bottom teeth if the situation calls for it.
Another type of mouthguard is called a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which helps stop chronic snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. Our experts fit an MAD by holding it in place by the teeth and positioning the lower jaw forward. This helps keep the airway open and limits teeth grinding as a result. The latter is used mostly when bruxism occurs with sleep apnea.
It is important to remember that mouthguards do not cure sleep apnea or bruxism. They are only responsible for reducing the impact of sleep disorders and improving sleep quality.
The Custom-Made Solution
Our dental experts would tell you that wearing a mouthguard at night can reduce bruxism and help in sleeping peacefully, especially if the mouthguard is custom-made. The process of designing and getting a custom-made mouthpiece begins with our team taking an impression of your teeth. The mold is then sent to the lab to create your customized guard out of acrylic. Our team of professionals will make sure it fits and ais djusted perfectly for your mouth.
Here to Help
Whether you have sleep apnea, bruxism, or both, our dental experts at Frank Dunlap, DDS can help you by diagnosing your condition and creating a custom device designed to fit your teeth. If you are ready to fight sleep disorders and finally sleep peacefully at night, give our office a call at (346) 576-4411 and book your appointment today.
Frank Dunlap, DDS
Dr. Frank Dunlap
11451 Katy Freeway, Suite 103
Houston, TX 77079