Can a Mouthguard Help with Teeth Grinding and Sleep Apnea

When it comes to mouthguards, people often think of sports as many athletes do wear them to avoid damaging their teeth during rough plays. However, mouthguards can also be used to help treat certain conditions. In particular, mouthguards can help people who often grind their teeth at night or suffer from sleep apnea.

What Is Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding is actually quite a serious thing. Constant teeth grinding can result in long-term effects such as worn out, loose, or fractured teeth. 

However, the problem with teeth grinding is that people aren’t often aware when they’re doing it. Teeth grinding often becomes a subconscious habit. And while it can be caught and corrected during the day, it is much more difficult to stop yourself from grinding your teeth at night. And a lot of people who do grind their teeth at night aren’t aware of it. However, there are some indications of nighttime teeth grinding, such as jaw pain, headaches, and soreness in the face upon waking up.

How Can Mouthguards Help with Teeth Grinding?

Since you can’t really stop yourself from grinding your teeth at night, what are you supposed to do? Well, mouthguards can help prevent damage caused by teeth grinding. While they may not stop you from clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, mouthguards can provide a softer surface that your teeth can grind against. All you need to do is get the right mouthguard for your teeth and wear it before going to sleep.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is another condition that mouthguards can help treat. This is a common sleep disorder that affects approximately 18 million Americans. Sleep apnea essentially causes a person to stop breathing for a brief period during sleep. 

It can have many forms, but the most common one is obstructive sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in the throat relax, which closes off the airways. This can result in snoring and brief periods in which you stop breathing while asleep.

Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea. This one is less common, and it happens when the brain fails to send signals to the throat muscles to breathe. And so, breathing is stopped for a moment. When a person experiences both obstructive and central sleep apnea, they have a condition called complex sleep apnea syndrome.

Since sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing in their sleep, it is crucial to see a doctor to have it treated. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious complications, such as memory trouble, fatigue, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and more.

How Can Mouthguards Help with Sleep Apnea?

Mouthguards are often used to help a person suffering from sleep apnea. The mouthguards essentially exert force on the lower jaw. By doing this, it pushes the jaw and tongue forward, which in turn stops the throat muscles from closing. This then helps people with sleep apnea breathe easier at night. 

Final Thoughts

Mouthguards aren’t just meant for protecting your teeth when playing sports. They can also help treat conditions such as teeth grinding and sleep apnea. Mouthguards can help prevent damages caused by nighttime teeth grinding and can help people breathe easier while sleeping.

Get custom mouthguards for your teeth from Ivy Rose Family Dentistry. We are a family dentist that provides a wide range of dental services in Mansfield, Texas. Our office prides itself in putting the care and comfort of our patients first. Request an appointment now!