Snoring, Sleep Apnea & Teeth Grinding in Hershey PA
What do snoring, sleep apnea, and teeth grinding have in common? All of these potential oral and general health problems can often be solved by using a customized oral appliance available at the office of Wesley R. Davis, DDS.
Why You Snore
If you’re snoring so loudly that you’re disturbing your partner’s sleep or waking up and struggling to catch your breath, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This is a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. The two most common adverse health effects believed to be linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction and heart disease. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that about 50 percent of severe snorers suffer with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
During sleep, the muscles of your throat soften and your tongue relaxes, narrowing the airway. When you breathe in, the walls of the throat begin to vibrate leading to the sound we know as snoring. The narrower this passageway gets, the greater the vibration and the louder you snore. In some cases, the walls of the throat collapse, completely blocking the airway and creating a condition we refer to as apnea, or cessation of breathing.
How Snore Guards Work
A customized snore guard is effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This appliance is similar to a sports mouth guard and is worn while you sleep. It is customized to position your jaw slightly forward, keeping the airway open and preventing the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from collapsing and blocking the airway. Our snore guards are FDA approved for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
The Problem with Teeth Grinding
Chronic grinding and clenching of your jaw during sleep can create serious oral health problems, including misalignment of your dental bite; chipped, cracked or eroded teeth; and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Signs of grinding your teeth while you sleep are headaches upon waking, shoulder and neck pain, or the feeling that your jaw locks up when you open and close your mouth.
There are several reasons you may grind or clench your teeth (also referred to as bruxing or bruxism):
- Misaligned dental bite
- Injury or trauma to the temporomandibular joint.
- Muscle tension
In many cases, Dr. Davis can create a simple custom appliance called a night guard that will reduce this uneven force on your teeth. However, a thorough exam is the best way to assess your situation and determine the underlying cause and best treatment for your teeth grinding and clenching.
Take the Next Step and Call for an Appointment
Are you bothered by snoring or teeth grinding but not sure what to do next? Please give our Hershey dental office a call, and we’ll be happy to guide you through the next steps.
Dr. Davis will discuss your symptoms, evaluate your condition, and make the recommendation that is suitable for you. If snoring and sleep apnea are your concerns, we will recommend that you contact your physician. He or she may recommend a sleep study to determine if you do have sleep apnea and decide which type of treatment is most appropriate.