Around 30 million people in the US struggle with sleep apnea, and many are undiagnosed because their symptoms aren’t that prominent. Sleep apnea leads to all kinds of fatigue, stress, and even bruxism. Using dental guards is one way to stop the symptoms of sleep apnea. Here’s all you need to know about the connection between sleep apnea and dental guards.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
In simple terms, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing stops several times during your sleep. While the causes of sleep apnea vary widely, some common ones are large tonsils, changes in hormone levels, obesity, and even nicotine dependence.
Sleep apnea prevents your brain from receiving signals that are needed to breathe. This is why your brain can’t properly control the breathing activity while you sleep and goes into a survival mode that jolts you awake.
Some widely known symptoms of sleep apnea include dry mouth, loud snoring, headaches, and jaw pain. While there’s no specific cure for sleep apnea, using custom dental guards and changing lifestyle habits has shown considerable progress in relieving symptoms of sleep apnea and preventing bruxism.
How Are Sleep Apnea And Bruxism Related?
While it may seem like bruxism and sleep apnea are two different things, they are pretty much interrelated to the point that if you have either condition, it can lead to the other. Usually, sleep apnea gives raise to teeth grinding. It happens when your mind and body are stressed out by constantly waking up and send stress signals to your brain.
As a result of these stress signals, your brain gets agitated, resulting in jaw clenching, which is a common response due to stress. Continuous jaw clenching over a period of time eventually leads to
How Can Night Guards Help You?
Reduce Constant Waking Up
Sleep apnea is characterized by constant waking up during the night. The more severe your sleep apnea is, the more you wake up each night. But by wearing a good quality dental guard, you can slowly reduce how often you wake up each night, allowing you to get better sleep. The more your sleep schedule improves, the less you have to deal with sleep apnea.
Help Reposition The Jaw And Tongue
Sleep apnea mainly happens due to blocked or reduced air passageways. Opening up the air passageway allows you to go into deep sleep without waking up constantly. By wearing a dental guard, you move your jaw slightly forward, which helps keep the passageway open, reduces air resistance, and allows you to breathe properly. The dental guard also helps keep the tongue in place so it doesn’t interfere with the airflow and allows you to sleep peacefully.
Prevent Teeth Damage
Bruxism combined with sleep apnea is bad for your teeth because it involves vigorous teeth grinding. With time, this constant teeth grinding leads to damaged enamel, chipped teeth, and increased sensitivity. In some cases, it can also lead to gum swelling and bleeding. But with a dental guard, you can prevent all this from happening as the mouthguards offer a cushioning layer between your teeth. This helps absorb any pressure you might feel that can damage your teeth.
Improve Sleep Cycle
Since custom dental guards maximize your comfort during your sleep, your brain is less stressed, which results in an improved sleep cycle. This happens because the night guards buffer the effects of teeth grinding and clenching that happens during your sleep. As a result, your brain can enter the REM sleep cycle, which is the deep sleep cycle responsible for reducing stress and reenergizing your body.
Prevent Jaw Pain And Headaches
Commonly sleep apnea is accompanied by bruxism, which is the act of grinding your teeth while you sleep. When you wake up periodically throughout the night, it stresses your mind, and this stress can turn into bruxism. Constant teeth grinding can stress your nerve endings, hurting your jaw muscles.
As a result, you develop jaw pain. This unchecked jaw pain sends stress signals to the brain, which results in headaches. Over time, these headaches become chronic and are much harder to get rid of, especially since there’s no specific treatment for bruxism.
Mouthguards, especially those for the lower jaw, prevent you from snoring by moving the jaw forward. This increases the size of your air passageway. A bigger passageway has little air resistance, which prevents air pressure buildup that leads to snoring. Reduced snoring prevents you from waking up frequently and developing sleep apnea.
Which Dental Guard Should You Get?
Custom Or Over The Counter
When it comes to picking a dental guard to reduce sleep apnea and, by extension, your bruxism, there’s no clear-cut way. However, dental guards are the cheapest and easiest available options that offer effective relief. But you get plenty of choices to pick from. The most common being custom night guards or over-the-counter ones.
While over-the-counter ones are cheaper and readily available, they don’t offer the sale results. This is mostly because they’re made for specific dental profiles and might not fit yours perfectly. They are also made from subpar materials to keep the price lower.
In some cases, these guards can elevate your dental pain instead of fixing it. On the other hand, you can opt for custom dental guards that offer a much better fit, are made from high-quality materials, and last long.
If you decide to go for custom dental guards, you should! You’ll need to decide which type of custom dental guard you should pick. Usually, for light sleep apnea, you can work with a soft dental guard, as it’s made from softer rubber-like material and isn’t noticeable during sleep. But you'll need some tougher options if you have severe sleep apnea and bruxism.
In that case, hard or ultra-hard dental guards are the best. They’re made from acrylic or copolyester material, which is quite sturdy, offers higher protection, and prevents jaw pain and headaches. So depending on the level of your sleep apnea, you can pick from a wide range of custom options.
Control Your Sleep Apnea With Our Custom Mouthguards
Customized dental guards are created for your particular teeth profile, and they provide a superior fit. They're also built with higher-quality materials and fit better. Clear Comfort Night Guards is a dental lab in California that provides its customers with high-quality mouthguards.
These custom night guards are built to order by dental technicians who use your unique jaw profile to ensure a flawless fit. When you place an order through the Clear Comfort Night Guard website, you will receive an impression kit that you can use to create a specific mold for your teeth. This mold allows technicians to create an exact model of your teeth.
We offer dental guards in a variety of options, including soft, hard, and ultra-hard. In addition, we offer lightweight, ultra-soft dental guards for awake bruxism. We also provide quick shipping, a money-back guarantee, and simple returns.
You can even take our helpful quiz to determine which night guard is best for you. Go through our collection and place your order today!