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Teeth Grinding Prevention For Sleep Apnea



If you wake up with tired, tight jaw muscles and/or sensitive teeth, it could likely be a sign that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth during the night, a condition also known as bruxism. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to severe headaches, TMJ, tooth loss and wear – and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Studies show that nearly one in four people with sleep apnea grind their teeth at night, with men more likely to be affected.

What causes teeth grinding?

There are several causes of teeth grinding, many of which are also symptoms and side effects of sleep apnea. In fact, teeth grinding and sleep apnea are commonly intertwined in that teeth grinding can contribute to sleep apnea – and vice versa. According to the Bruxism Association, sleep apnea events (pauses in breathing) are often accompanied by a variety of issues such as snoring, gasps, and teeth grinding. In addition to sleep apnea, additional causes of bruxism may include lifestyle factors such as smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption. Stress, anxiety and other psychological components are also significantly related to teeth grinding. Studies reveal that nearly 70% of bruxism occurs as a result of stress or anxiety.

What in-office procedures are offered for teeth grinding prevention?

At NYC SleepWell, we offer a variety of options for both teeth grinding prevention and sleep apnea. For sleep apnea, we offer the CPAP machine, custom oral appliance and surgical treatments. However, if you suffer from teeth grinding and sleep apnea, the CPAP machine isn’t necessarily the answer. The primary purpose of CPAP therapy is to deliver pressurized air into the throat in order to keep your airway open. Subsequently, CPAP may help improve breathing, but it will not prevent teeth grinding. With that in mind, following are two in-office procedures we offer at NYC SleepWell that may very well be effective for the prevention of teeth grinding for you.

  • The custom oral appliance. While the custom oral appliance is primarily designed to treat sleep apnea, it also prevents grinding, just like a night guard. So, for patients with sleep apnea and bruxism, the custom oral appliance is an ideal preventative measure. It truly offers the best of both worlds.
  • Botox. Really more of a treatment than preventative measure, Botox has proven to be an excellent option for targeting and treating excessive muscle activity and spasticity (tight or stiff muscles). Treatment with Botox can provide tremendous relief from jaw soreness, headaches, and other problems associated with bruxism.

Depending on what we see during the physical examination of your jaw and facial structure, there may be minimally invasive surgical treatments we recommend that will also be effective for you.

Why choose NYC SleepWell for teeth grinding prevention?

Led by Dr. Ruben Cohen, a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, our skilled team of sleep specialists, dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, ENT surgeons, and anaesthesiologists have extensive experience in teeth grinding prevention — in addition to other in-office procedures for a wide array of conditions related to sleep apnea. For your added peace-of-mind, our facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Gold Standard in Accreditation. Our goal at NYC SleepWell, plain and simple, is to help you sleep well – and be healthy!


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