East Building 3 Oracle Boulevarde,
Broadbeach, Gold Coast 4218
Splints and sleep appliances
Night time grinding or clenching (bruxism), snoring and sleep apnoea all affect the quantity and quality of our sleep. Fortunately, there are a range of oral appliances (that can be made by a trained dentist) that are very effective in reducing the impact of these conditions.
People spend approximately 1/3 of their lives sleeping. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and repair. Memory and brain function, our immune system and systemic health are directly dependent on our sleep. However, many of us do not sleep as long or as well as we should.
Sleep Bruxism is characterised by grinding or clenching of the teeth during sleep. It is estimated that the forces that can be applied to your teeth during sleep can be 3-10x stronger than when you clench while awake. Bruxism can lead to: worn teeth, sensitive teeth, cracked or chipped teeth and fillings, headaches, facial muscle pain, clicking or sore jaw and ringing in the ears.
A night guard or bite splint can be worn to treat bruxism. A bite splint can absorb the forces of grinding/clenching to protect your teeth from damage. In addition, the splint encourages jaw muscles to relax and can help to cease the habit all together.
Sleep Disordered Breathing includes snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Snoring is a sign of partial obstruction of the airway by the soft tissues such as the tongue, soft palate, uvula and tonsils. While most of us snore at some time, intensive snoring on a permanent basis significantly disrupts sleep and can be a sign of the more serious condition of OSA.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea occurs when the soft tissues completely obstruct airflow, preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs. When oxygen in the blood falls below a certain level your sleep is interrupted and you will arouse or wake up trying to breathe, sometimes choking or gasping for air. OSA can lead to: daytime sleepiness, trouble concentrating, weight gain, headaches, high blood pressure and heartburn. The anatomy of your jaws and soft tissues and the wear patterns of your teeth can be a strong indicator for these conditions and as such, a trained dentist may be the first person to notice the signs and symptoms of bruxism and sleep disordered breathing. After careful assessment, an oral appliance may be suitable to treat these conditions and improve your sleep and overall wellbeing.
If you suffer from any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism or sleep disordered breathing, make an appointment for assessment at Gold Coast dentist, Oracle Dental Broadbeach. Treatment can change your life!
See our blog article: Are you sleeping well enough?