Sleep Dentistry and Bruxism

Bruxism or teeth grinding has become quite common in today’s society. Previously, bruxism was associated with pain and stress, however recent studies have indicated that compromised airways could also promote teeth grinding in a person’s sleep. Teeth grinding causes upper and lower jaw to come in occlusion and grind front-back and side to side, wearing away your teeth and eventually causing jaw joint disorder, known as Tempero-mandibular joint dysfunction(TMD).

How do I know if I grind my teeth?

Approximately 5% of population will actually be aware of their night-time teeth grinding. Your dentist will advise you of signs of teeth grinding which include:

  • Wearing down of teeth (decreased height)
  • Worn and broken teeth
  • Cracks on teeth
  • Scalloping of tongue
  • Cheek biting
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are classified as a group of disorders that negatively impact sleep and overall health.

Sleep disorder which is most commonly associated with dentistry is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

OSA refers to partial of complete obstruction of airway during sleep, causing an individual to stop breathing for few seconds(apnea event). An individual suffering from OSA suffers upto 50 events per hour, hereby impacting the quality of sleep, social life and even causing sleep bruxism.

Sleep apnea screening

Our dentists are trained to assess risk factors that predispose a person currently suffering or who is likely to suffer from Sleep apnea./p>

Some risk factors associated with OSA include:

  • Obesity
  • Snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep or cessation of breathing during sleep for few seconds
  • Reflux
  • Headaches
  • Neck/back pain
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Bruxism
  • Fatigue/ Waking up tired
  • Poor memory
Treatments

Depending on severity of bruxism and/or Sleep apnea, your dentist may refer you to a Sleep physician or ENT for a polysomnography(PSG).

Sleep study will evaluate the night time teeth grinding and associated sleep disorder present (if any).

Occlusal splint

An Occlusal splint is a slim hard acrylic splint which custom fits onto your upper teeth and prevents teeth from occluding at night time. The splint is designed to be worn at night and it prevents further damage of teeth being worn overtime.

Mandibular Advancement Splint(MAS) or Oral appliance therapy

Following as assessment of your sleep disorder, x-rays and impressions for your teeth, the dentist will fit you with the MAS to take home.

Oral appliance works on keeping your airways open at night by:

  • Bringing lower jaw forward
  • Bringing the tongue forward
  • Raising the soft palate.

To enquire or make an appointment, please call 02 8599 9802 or contact us by email