What is the relationship between sleep apnea and teeth grinding? Do you know? In this article, let’s see if sleep apnea and teeth grinding connect. We will reveal the facts if bruxism is a symptom of sleep apnea or the other way around. Aside from this article, you can go to www.sleepclinicmelbourne.com.au/sleep-apnoea-melbourne to read more details about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Furthermore, they can offer services to treat your sleep apnea and teeth grinding as well.


Teeth grinding

A woman with not a good sleep due to teeth grindingThe medical term for teeth grinding or clenching is bruxism. This oral condition can happen at any time of the day. On the other hand, the majority experiences it at night. In effect, an individual will wake up feeling unrefreshed, tired, or sometimes with a headache or pain in the neck and jaw.

In general, this oral issue is often not brought up to seek medical attention. That can only happen when the partner or another family member complains about the loud noise coming with it. However, if the patient is active with dental check-ups, the dentist has a higher chance to determine this condition.

During check-ups, the dentist might see tooth surfaces’ erosion, loosen teeth, cracks or chippings, and entirely broken teeth. These are typical conditions if the patient is teeth grinding. Fortunately, this identification will help patients to receive treatment as soon as possible. For this reason, their oral issue will not progress anymore.

On the other hand, the patient’s oral health can be in serious condition if they don’t receive any treatment. Additionally, sleep bruxism can also associate with other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, let us find out if there is a connection between sleep apnea and teeth grinding.


Sleep apnea and teeth grinding

What could be their possible connection with each other? According to researchers, many people have both obstructive sleep apnea and sleep bruxism. A person suffering from sleep apnea is more likely to develop the risk of teeth grinding.

According to studies, when there is a blockage in the air passages, the body releases stress signals and travel in the bloodstream. In effect, the jaw muscles tend to seize up as well. Additionally, it causes friction between the upper and lower teeth. This friction is the result of teeth grinding.

Sleep apnea can also cause bruxism the moment the upper respiratory airways encounter disruption. During the episodes of sleep apnea, the patient will wake up numerous times during the night. In this case, how do dentists make their diagnosis to know the exact condition of the patient? Answers provided in the next paragraph.



Overall, the best action to do to determine any health concern is through consultation. As for our topic today, the medical professional we will need here is a dentist. First and foremost, the patient should work with a dentist having the exact expertise necessary.

During the appointment, the dentist will ask the patient’s status, such as symptoms, frequency, and medical history. Additionally, the dentist will perform series of examinations to determine the exact oral issue. Usually, the dentist will test the patient using a home sleep test to measure whether they have sleep apnea or not.

Aside from that, they will also check data on how much the patient is grinding their teeth. The results will determine if the two conditions are related. As for the typical test outcomes, there is a relationship between the two most of the time.


Treatment option for sleep apnea

A woman using CPAP machine to address sleep apneaSleep disorders vary in severity. For this reason, treatment options will differ as well. In this case, wherein the patient’s sleep bruxism is relative to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), therapies apply. Usually, the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may eliminate bruxism during sleep.

This therapy helps the airways to remain open during sleep. The instrument for CPAP therapy includes a mask, which can either cover both the mouth and nose, the nose only or prongs that fit the patient’s nose.

Additionally, the machine also includes a tube connecting the mask to the CPAP’s machine monitor. Lastly, a motor is also available to enable the device to blow air into the tube towards you while asleep. The machine assures that you are receiving a sufficient amount of air into your lungs.

On the other hand, before using any machine, the result of diagnosis is highly essential. This way, the sleep technologist will know the settings to use based on your condition. The sleep technologist cannot program the machine without knowing the right prescription.

Moreover, you can also be open with them to which device you are most comfortable with. It’s you who will be receiving the treatment in the first place. Your comfort and progress are always their utmost priority. Once you are progressing, adjustments in the machine settings are also in line.

However, there could be a big difference with the adjustment process for every patient. Some cases take months before adjusting, while others take a  few days only. By all means, treatment length will still depend on the current oral issue and its severity. On the other hand, if the condition has no relation to sleep apnea, a different treatment option applies for sleep bruxism.


Addressing sleep bruxism

Sleep bruxism can entirely affect someone’s quality of life. For this reason, immediate treatment is necessary to address the issue. Usually, the dentists recommend the use of a nightguard to protect the teeth from damage during grinding. Dentists suggest opting for special mouth guards according to your needs.

Mouth nightguards come in several variations. Your dentist will know which one is applicable for you. On the other hand, not all mouth nightguards are suitable for everyone. For this reason, consulting the dentist is necessary. This way, both of you will find out the direct causes of sleep bruxism and come up with various treatment options.


Sleep apnea and teeth grinding relationship

According to the details we have mentioned above, we can say that there is a connection between sleep apnea and teeth grinding. In this case, if patients have sleep apnea, the higher the possibility that they also experience teeth grinding.

For this reason, it would be best to seek medical attention immediately. Otherwise, the condition can worsen. There could be frequent mornings the patient would feel tired. Aside from that, the side effect to the sleep partner as well are definite.

Furthermore, lack of proper sleep can even affect the overall health condition. It is during our sleep that the body regenerates. However, if we do not achieve an excellent sleep at night due to sleep apnea or teeth grinding, the rest of the day will never be productive. In the final analysis, addressing the condition is essential to work out the direct cause.