A woman with a towel on her head holds a whitening mouth guard for teeth. The girl aligns her teeth with the help of transparent night removable retainers. Orthodontic device for a perfect smileIt goes without saying that there are countless threats to your oral health that influence its integrity every day. After all, your oral health consists of everything included within your oral cavity, and nearly every factor has a negative influence. While dental decay and infection are common issues many individuals face, bear in mind that nontraditional concerns such as sleep apnea and chronic teeth-grinding can be just as concerning, if not worse without treatment. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist will take a look at the benefits that arise from a custom oral appliance, and how you can better manage your health.

Complications of Chronic Teeth-Grinding

A phenomenon that impacts your health more than you might expect involves chronic teeth-grinding. Also known as bruxism, this process involves clenching your teeth together and moving the lower jaw from side to side, creating friction.

When an individual grinds their teeth, the constant friction causes the surfaces of your structures to wear down and become weak with time. Without proper care, this process will lead to increased chances of bacterial infection as well as increased chances of chips and cracks.

While it may not seem like a major issue initially, ongoing bruxism can significantly impact your health. For instance, the weaker your structures are, the more likely you are to lose them to serious decay and infection. What’s more? Bruxism can be the result of an even bigger concern known as obstructive sleep apnea. For more information about this process, reach out to our team today.

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Whether you are aware of it or not, chronic teeth-grinding can often be the result of the inability to breathe. For some individuals, their throat muscles can relax while they slumber, restricting proper airflow in a process known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In response, less oxygen makes its way to your brain. Your brain then responds by sending signals to correct the issue. In some cases, this can result in bruxism, as the throat muscles tense up when one grinds their teeth.

Though restless sleep in and of itself is bothersome, the effects that arise from consistent OSA can potentially be life-threatening. In addition to immediate concerns like insomnia, difficulty paying attention, and irritability, lifelong concerns that arise include heart conditions and circulation problems.

Impacts on Your Health

To best address the effects of bruxism or OSA, your dentist may recommend the help of an oral appliance. These devices can help regulate your breathing as well as protect your natural teeth from consistent wear and tear.

Learn More Today

Contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 to learn more about the benefits of a custom oral appliance, or to schedule your next appointment with our team today.