Oral appliances are custom-designed devices your dentist can require you to insert into your mouth to cover your teeth. Tukwila oral appliances are an effective and less costly way of addressing some common oral and sleep conditions. These health issues can cause unusually loud snoring, excessive sleepiness during the day, and pain in the jaw and face.
Sleep and oral conditions can also cause an aching ear, headaches during the morning, and gradual loss of the tooth or tooth’s surface. Below are common conditions your doctor can help treat if you wear oral appliances.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that almost 9% of adults in America suffer from chronic teeth gnashing.
Generally, teeth grinding occurs when you are sleeping. However, the behavior can also occur when you are not sleeping and may not still notice it.
When stressed or anxious, you may excessively clench your jaw and teeth. Moreover, the use of recreational drugs or regular intake of alcoholic or caffeinated drinks can trigger teeth gnashing.
Tobacco smoking and medications that treat symptoms of anxiety and depression can also cause bruxism.
Oral appliance therapy, especially involving mouth guards, can help reduce the potential damage of teeth grinding. Damaged teeth will be susceptible to infections and can get dislodged from the jawbone. Wearing a mouthguard will protect your teeth from directly grinding against each other.
- Sleep-disordered breathing
The Sleep Health Organization reports that over 23% of adults in the U.S. are affected by sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea can immensely limit the time you take to sleep deeply. It is stimulated when muscles linked to the soft tissues at the end of your mouth loosen momentarily.
As a result, your nasal airways are narrowed. That interferes with inhalation and exhalation for several seconds regularly as you sleep at night.
The interruption in air passage through your nasal airway will reduce the oxygen available to your blood. The level of harmful gasses in your body can also increase.
Your brain will recognize the blocking of breathing and the threat it brings and cause you to wake up for a few seconds. By waking up briefly, your nasal airways are reopened to allow you to breathe in more air.
An oral appliance in your mouth will keep your lower jaw pulled or pushed ahead. As a result, your tongue rests in a position that cannot obstruct your airways while sleeping.
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
The temporomandibular joints operate similarly to sliding hinges, allowing the connection of your jawbones to your skull.
Teeth grinding or an injury to your jaw joints or masticatory muscles can cause TMJ dysfunction. When you open or close your mouth, the affected jaw joint will make a painful sound. The jaw also becomes stiff, making it difficult to chew.
Intraoral appliances such as interocclusal splints, mouthguards, or nightguards can help improve TMJ pain. These devices you fit over your teeth can reduce the stress on your jaw or prevent an injury to your jawbone.
Contact Addie Chang, DMD, today to book an appointment with a dentist offering oral appliance services.