Snoring, Sleep Apnea & Teeth Grinding in Hershey PA
We offer comprehensive treatment for snoring, sleep apnea, and bruxism in Hershey, PA. Would you like to schedule a consultation?
What do snoring, sleep apnea, and teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) have in common? All three of these oral and general health problems may be solved by using a customized oral appliance available at the dental office of Wesley R. Davis, DDS, your dentist in Hershey, PA. Additionally, these problems can be related and are often treated successfully by trained dentists.
If you would like to schedule an evaluation for snoring, sleep apnea, or bruxism, contact a member of our dental team today.
Continue reading to learn more about these health conditions and their treatments. And get in touch with us if you have any questions or if you would like further information about snoring, sleep apnea, or bruxism.
- Intermittent Snoring Compared with Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Apnea Causes and Risk Factors
- How Custom Snore Guards Work
- Teeth Grinding and Clenching
- Paying for Dental Therapy Appliances
Intermittent Snoring Compared with Sleep Apnea
Intermittent snoring may not be cause for concern. Snoring occasionally may mean you have a cold or sinus issue, and it can even result from alcohol consumption. However, if you’re snoring so often and 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 severe medical condition that requires immediate attention.
The two most common adverse health effects linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction (fatigue, confusion, and irritability) and heart disease. Untreated sleep apnea may also contribute to a sudden heart attack or stroke. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that about 50 percent of severe snorers suffer from sleep apnea.
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 higher 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. If you have sleep apnea, you typically stop breathing several times during the night, putting your health at risk.
Sleep Apnea Causes and Risk Factors
There are several potential causes for sleep apnea, including:
- Thick neck
- Anatomical airway abnormalities
- Smoking and tobacco use
Sleep apnea may also contribute to bruxism, and the condition is more common in men than in women.
To lower your risk factors for sleep apnea, your dentist in Hershey recommends quitting smoking, losing weight if applicable, and reducing stress. If you’re concerned that you have sleep apnea, it is also critical to schedule an exam and sleep study to rule out the condition.
When it comes to sleep apnea, the sooner you’re diagnosed and can begin treatment, the better.
How Custom Snore Guards Work
A customized snore guard is effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.
This custom appliance is similar to a sports mouthguard and worn while you sleep. It is made from a direct impression of your mouth for optimal fit. The goal is to position your jaw slightly forward, keeping the airway open, and preventing the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from collapsing and blocking your breathing.
Our snore guards in Hershey are FDA approved for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are having difficulty with your CPAP machine—a treatment that pushes positive air into your lungs as you sleep—a dental appliance may be the solution. Not everyone, after all, can tolerate the bulkier CPAP machine.
At Wesley R. Davis, DDS, it is our goal to treat your sleep apnea with a comfortable appliance that restores your health and provides you and your partner with restful and snore-free sleep.
The risks associated with sleep apnea are such that we want you to seek treatment sooner rather than later!
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Chronic grinding and clenching of your jaw during sleep can create serious oral health problems, including the 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
- Untreated sleep apnea
When left untreated, bruxism can cause tooth fractures, cavities, and even tooth loss.
In many cases, Dr. Davis can create a simple custom appliance called a nightguard 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.
Paying for Dental Therapy Appliances
Grinding and clenching your teeth may lead to fractures, cavities, and even tooth loss. Untreated sleep apnea may increase your risk for sudden heart attack or stroke. When you consider the financial and emotional costs associated with foregoing treatment, dental appliances are not expensive.
However, cost considerations include the type of appliance you need and any pre-diagnostic dental appointments or treatments that figure into your therapy. A member of our clinical team will always provide a breakdown of costs for you prior to treatment and provide you with a close estimate of your final price. Also, your Hershey dentist will not begin work until you agree on the service and the price.
It’s important to remember that your insurance company may reimburse you for some or all of your therapy, depending on the details of your policy.
Aside from insurance reimbursement—we file claims on your behalf—we also accept CareCredit. This healthcare credit card allows for easy financing and interest-free plans to help you get the dental treatments you need and the services you want. This card works for both medical and dental services. If you would like to apply for CareCredit, a member of our team can help you with the details. Decisions typically take only minutes.
Finally, we accept cash, major credit cards, debit cards, and personal checks.
If you have any questions about payments or finances, contact a member of our team today.
Schedule Your Exam for Snoring, Sleep Apnea, or Bruxism in Hershey, PA
Are you bothered by snoring or teeth grinding but not sure what to do next? Are you concerned about the consequence of untreated sleep apnea and teeth clenching?
Please give our Hershey dental office a call, and we’ll be happy to guide you through the next steps. It is our goal to gently and successfully restore your sleep and protect your health.
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 prescribe a sleep study to determine if you do have sleep apnea, and then decide which type of treatment is most appropriate to restore your sleep health.