A good night’s sleep is essential for the body to rest and rejuvenate. Without it, the risk of suffering from serious health problems can increase. Common issues that can disrupt sleep include sleep apnoea and teeth grinding and clenching, a problem called bruxism.
If you or a loved one is suffering from disrupted sleep and may have sleep apnoea or bruxism, Icon Dental can help.
The most common form of sleep apnoea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where people will often snore loudly but will stop breathing for several seconds multiple times a night. When they do start breathing again, it is frequently with a loud snort or gasp. These pauses in breathing aren’t enough to awaken the sufferer completely, but they rouse them briefly and prevent proper restorative sleep. Loud snoring is also very disruptive for those close by and can lead to them becoming sleep deprived.
The best way to diagnose sleep apnoea is with a sleep study. Your sleep is monitored overnight to identify if you have OSA, and if so, its severity. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnoea, it can be treatable with a custom oral appliance that we can make for you here at Icon Dental, helping you and those close by to enjoy a restful and unbroken night’s sleep. The oral appliance helps to hold open the airway by repositioning your lower jaw so you can breathe more freely.
Usually, more severe sleep apnoea is treated with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP). You wear a small mask during sleep and breathe in pressurised air to help hold open the airway. However, some people find this device very tricky to use, and an oral appliance might not be so effective but could be an alternative for someone who has tried and failed to use a CPAP machine successfully.
Teeth grinding and clenching can occur during the day or night but is often a nocturnal habit. It can be extremely destructive, damaging teeth and the gums, as well as the jaw joints. In addition to waking up with aching teeth and jaws, people with bruxism can often develop chronic morning headaches, earache and tinnitus.
Our dentists at Icon Dental can gently examine your teeth and jaws to determine if you have signs of bruxism. It is a condition that is often successfully treated with a custom made night splint. This plastic device prevents the teeth from contacting, placing the jaw into a more relaxed position. At the same time, we can also provide suitable restorative treatment to repair teeth already damaged by bruxism.