Night Guards & Sleep Apnea Appliances

Night Guards (Bruxing)
Sleep Apnea Appliances

Bruxing is when a person clenches and grinds their teeth. It has been estimated that over 30% of all adults grind their teeth at night while they sleep. This subconscious action is a way of dealing with daily stress and anxiety. As a patient wears down their enamel, the teeth become flat, allowing them to grind more easily. A person who grinds at night may awake with discomfort in the muscles of the jaw and face, but left unguarded, bruxing can cause a variety of problems including cracked or broken teeth, abfractions, gum recession, sensitivity to temperatures, headaches, and Temporal-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain.

Night Guards do not stop night time grinding, rather they are designed to act as a buffer between the upper and lower teeth. Dr G can take impressions of the patient’s upper and lower arches. A bite impression is also required. These impressions are poured in stone and used to fabricate the guard by either a Dental Lab Technician or in the Dental Office. Guards which are custom made fit better and last longer than those which are bought over-the-counter. At delivery, we will make sure that the guard fits properly and the occlusion (bite) is balanced. A muscle relaxer may be prescribed for use at night during the first week of wear.

Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder in which the patient stops breathing multiple times during the night, often waking themselves by snorting and gasping for air. Sleep Apnea patients may have from 10 to 100 or more episodes per night due to a constricted air way. This leaves the patient tired and drained, often falling asleep during the day while doing mundane tasks such as watching television and driving. Years of disrupted sleep has been proven to reduce a person’s life expectancy.

For many patients, an intra-oral appliance is recommended. Several appliances have been developed, but all are based on the same concept — to increase the airway space by opening the mouth and bringing the jaw forward into an extended, but comfortable, position.

If you have a need for a night guard or sleep apnea appliance please call our office at 414-258-6330.