Sleep Apnoea and TMD

If you find yourself waking in the morning and not feeling refreshed after sleeping all night, you could be suffering from sleep apnoea. If you have jaw, neck and shoulder pain, you might be grinding your teeth while you sleep; this is called bruxism and is a temporomandibular joint disorder.

Both sleep apnoea and TMJ disorders can seriously impact the quality of your life. Poor sleep quality can increase drowsiness and fatigue during the day, which can interfere with your day-to-day activities. Pain from teeth grinding can make it difficult to concentrate and focus on daily tasks.

At Trembath Dental, we have options to help ease your pain and discomfort so you can live life fully again.

Snoring Versus Sleep Apnoea?

Airway and breathing disorders occur when your airway is obstructed or congested in some way. There can be many reasons for these causes, including a deviated septum, mouth breathing, misaligned bites or a narrow throat. Not all people who snore have sleep apnoea, but severe snoring—usually noticed by a sleep partner—and gasping for breath many times during the night could point to the presence of sleep apnoea.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea?

If you’re a habitual snorer, you may be at risk of developing obstructive sleep apnoea which causes:

  • The interruption of breathing caused by a blockage of the airway, lasting anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes.
  • Poor sleep quality results because sufferers spend more time in light sleep, missing out on deep restorative sleep, which provides the body and mind with well-needed rest. Not sleeping well at night can lead to drowsiness during the day, disrupting day-to-day activities.
  • Long-time sufferers of sleep apnoea can develop increased blood pressure and enlargement of the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Treatment for Sleep Apnoea

One common treatment for sleep apnoea is the CPAP machine, which is worn while sleeping. Many people find the machine noisy and cumbersome, however, so they don’t use it, which defeats its purpose.

At Trembath Dental, we may be able to help with an oral device. Custom-made snore-guards mould to the exact shape of your mouth, offering maximum comfort whilst you sleep. These snore-guards separate the vibrating elements of the mouth and the throat, preventing snoring.

Patients find these more comfortable and easier to fit into their regular sleeping routine.

Are You Experiencing Unexplained Jaw, Neck Or Shoulder Pain?

The temporomandibular joints are found on either side of your jaw, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Like any of the joints in the body, this joint can become inflamed and sore. As a result of this pain, those with temporomandibular joint disorder tend to clench or grind their teeth.

Many people who grind their teeth whilst sleeping are unaware they are doing it. Often a sleep partner will notice, or your dentist might see unusual wear on your teeth and dental restorations.

Symptoms of teeth clenching and grinding can include:

  • Aching jaws and teeth in the morning or during the day
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Tension headaches and stress in the temple region
  • Inflamed jaw joint (temporomandibular joint)
  • Severely worn teeth
  • Broken, chipped or cracked teeth

Treatment for TMD

Our Mount Gravatt, QLD dental team sometimes recommends an occlusal splint (also known as a bite splint, bite plane or nightguard), which is a removable dental appliance that is custom-made for each patient. It is predominantly used at night when most people unconsciously clench or grind their teeth. The splints help offer relief from pain and protect the teeth.

Customised Dentistry for Individuals

At Trembath Dental, we don’t want pain to keep you from living your best life. We invite you to call our dental clinic to find out more.