When you wake from sleeping and feel tired and irritated, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. This condition affects your sleep pattern and can contribute to a host of health problems. It can also interrupt your bed partner’s sleep.
Sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax and block or partially block your airway. When the airway is completely blocked, you cannot breathe. After a few seconds, when the brain is starved for oxygen, it signals the nerves to wake you up and take a breath. This process can happen a few times during sleep or hundreds of times. You may not even be aware that you are waking up several times. However, if your partner listens to your breathing, he or she may be acutely aware of the irregularity.
Partial blockage of the airway can cause the vibration of the soft tissues in the back of the throat. This leads to snoring. Sleeping on your side may help, but additional intervention may be required to prevent the blockage. Dental devices can help the airway remain open.
A dental nightguard is a device that fits over the teeth and holds the jaw in a position that prevents the airway from collapsing. These are used to help with sleep apnea and snoring. While they are available over-the-counter, the best results are achieved with custom-made nightguards that fit your unique bite and hold your jaw in the correct position.
Relief from Snoring and Teeth Grinding
Dental nightguards are used to prevent snoring and teeth grinding, or bruxism. Teeth grinding can cause damage to your teeth and create problems with your temporomandibular joint. The added pressure caused by this activity fatigues the jaw joint and can lead to headaches, jaw, neck and shoulder pain. It also wears down the enamel of your teeth and could cause breakage. A dental nightguard protects your teeth.
The nightguard cushions the upper and lower arch so the teeth do not rub together. It can also hold the jaw in the correct position to prevent collapsing of the airway, so it eliminates snoring. Both you and your bed partner can get a restful night’s sleep with a custom-made dental nightguard.
Sleep well and wake up refreshed. Contact Family Smiles Dental to schedule an appointment for the diagnosis and treatment of your sleep disorder.