If you are always tired, or feel exhausted even after a full night of sleep, you may want to find out if you have a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is interrupted at night because lax neck muscles block your airway passage.
Closely connected to this disorder is the separate dental issue of bruxism, chronic grinding of the teeth and/or clenching of the jaw. Many times these two disorders accompany one another.
No doubt, you’ve probably heard of sleep apnea before because it affects many people these days. What you probably didn’t know is that one out of every four people who have sleep apnea also grind their teeth at night.
You can forever be rid of teeth grinding by managing sleep apnea, if OSA is the only reason for the disorder. If there are other concerns, such as stress, healthy changes to your lifestyle like weight-loss and controlling allergies can also help. Another thing you can do is wear a mouthguard at night to keep from grinding, gnashing and clenching.
A forced air breathing machine known as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure machine) can be used if your sleep apnea is severe. This device uses a mask and pressurized air to keep the airway passages open. This prevents the problem outright, including the eradication of snoring, which always accompanies the disorder. Research has confirmed that when a person with both sleep apnea and bruxism use a CPAP, both conditions are improved or end entirely.
If you are worried about your pattern of sleep, feel exhausted all the time, or have neck or jaw pain, come and see Dr. Grant Brough for an evaluation. Please contact us to make an appointment at: 801.773.5285, or come by our office in Layton, Utah.