As per the National Sleep Foundation, almost one in four individuals with obstructive sleep apnea also grinds their teeth at night.
Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder in which the muscles of your throat obstruct the airways, causing you to stop breathing for a certain duration of time while sleeping. Undiagnosed sleep apnea can cause teeth grinding or bruxism. If you are often waking up at night with earaches, headaches, and tight jaw muscles, you are most likely suffering from teeth grinding.
Some common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause serious medical conditions like type 2 diabetes, poor immune function, acid reflux, memory loss, mental health issues, and increased risk of heart failure or stroke. It can also loosen up and wear down your teeth, causing damage to your tooth enamel, fillings, and crowns over time. However, if treated properly, both these conditions can be cured and your sleep quality can be improved.
Most of the symptoms that impair your sleep quality can be relieved through simple lifestyle changes listed below.
Apart from making these lifestyle changes, also make sure to improve your sleep hygiene, such as:
If none of the above methods help with your bruxism and sleep apnea, you may need medication, surgery, or use of oral night guards to ensure that your airway remains open while you sleep. You can find a Dentist in Des Moines to discuss your options to treat bruxism and get started on a path to better sleep.