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Sleep Disorders: Sleep Apnea and Snoring | Palm Springs DentistrySleep apnea and snoring are common sleep disorders. While snoring is common among sleep apnea patients, the converse is not always true. Dr. Rob Strain is an experienced general and cosmetic dentist providing oral health treatments to address sleep disorders for patients in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and surrounding locations.

 

Sleep Apnea

Solutions for sleep apnea may be available in advanced dentistry for certain types of patients. The common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the airflow is blocked during sleep. This usually happens when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses.

Men are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea, particularly after the age of 40. Other risk factors include obesity, large tongue, large tonsils, small jaw, family history of sleep apnea, allergies or sinus, or a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum.

 

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP)

This device is designed to improve breathing as a patient sleeps. It supplies air through the nasal passages and the air pressure keeps the airway open during sleep.

 

Oral Appliances

Certain oral devices are designed to support and shift the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. In case of mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliances have shown to very successful in addressing this condition.

 

Surgery

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine suggests that upper airway surgery may be performed when other treatment options have failed to eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea. The extent of surgery will depend on the nature and location of the airway obstruction.

Dr. Strain’s dental office receives patients from Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and nearby areas for various dental solutions, including treatments for sleep apnea and snoring.

 

Snoring

Snoring occurs due to the vibration of the soft tissue in the neck and head as a patient breathes in. Snoring can affect the nasal passages, soft palate, base of tongue, tonsils, and uvula. Snoring is likely to worsen over time if it is left untreated. The vibrations produced in this condition may gradually damage blood vessels that supply muscles in the head and neck.

This will cause the muscles to weaken over years. As a result, the patient’s ability to keep the airway open will be adversely affected, making them more likely to snore loudly and frequently. Obesity, drinking alcohol, and use of sedatives may increase the risk of snoring.

 

Treatments for Snoring

Lifestyle Changes

The treatment provider may recommend lifestyle changes as a first step to treat snoring. These may include losing weight, avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and following a balanced diet.

In some cases, the patient’s existing medications may be contributing to the snoring problem. The physician may be able to prescribe alternatives to address the problem.

 

Anti-Snoring Devices

Several oral and nasal anti-snoring devices are available today, which may help to prevent snoring. The treatment provider will examine the patient’s condition in order to recommend the most appropriate devices. Nasal strips, nasal dilators, chin strips, and vestibular shields may be applied to resolve the issues of snoring where lifestyle changes do not help.

 

If you would like to learn more about the dental procedures and treatments performed by cosmetic dentists Dr. Rob Strain, DDS and Dr. Laura Wittenauer, DDS please call us at 760.568.9494 or click here. Serving new patients in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and surrounding areas.

Sleep Disorders: Teeth Grinding Causes and Solutions | Palm DesertTeeth grinding during sleep may be result in unhealthy sleep as well as compromise the strength of the teeth in the long run. Dr. Rob Strain is a dedicated general and cosmetic dentist providing treatments for a variety of oral health issues to patients in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and surrounding locations.

 

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is a common problem in dentistry, but its causes are not always known. Some of the factors that are linked to teeth grinding include:

 

Anxiety and Stress

Some studies have shown that in as many as 70 percent of the case of teeth grinding, the patient may be suffering from some form of stress and anxiety, which affects them while they are asleep. Clenching of jaws or grinding of teeth can also occur when a person is stressed or anxious while awake.

 

Sleep Disorders

Individuals who have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or have a problem of snoring are more likely to grind their teeth while they are sleep. Patients who talk or mumble during sleep, behave aggressively in sleep, suffer from sleep paralysis, or experience hallucinations in sleep are also more likely grind their teeth.

 

After-effect of Medications

Certain types of psychotropic drugs that alter the mood, such as antipsychotics and antidepressants may sometimes cause the side effect of teeth grinding.

 

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol or caffeinated drinks, and use of recreational drugs may increase the chances of developing the problem of teeth grinding.

 

Oral Health Factors

In case of adults, stress is often a cause of teeth grinding. But in case of children, this problem may occur due to oral health issues such as irritation in the gums, allergies and misaligned teeth.

Dr. Strain’s dental office receives patients from Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and nearby areas for various oral health issues.

 

Solutions

Recommended treatments for teeth grinding include the use of mouth guards or mouth splints, behavioral therapy, muscle relaxation exercises, and sleep hygiene measures.

 

Mouth Guards and Mouth Splints

Wearing a mouth guard or a mouth splint at night can even out the pressure across the jaw and provide a barrier between the lower and upper teeth to prevent grinding. Mouth guards are usually made from bendy rubber or plastic and can be custom made by the dentist.

A mouth splint is made of harder plastic and fits well over the lower or upper teeth. Mouth splints will last for much longer than a mouth guard. Both these appliances can help to reduce muscle activity in the jaw at night, but they cannot cure the problem.

 

Treating the Underlying Cause

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to treat anxiety and stress that may be causing the patient to grind teeth in sleep. Breathing exercises, yoga, massage, and nature walks can support in the fight against stress. In some cases, habit reversal techniques may also be applied by a trained therapist with a goal to break the habit of teeth grinding.

 

If you would like to learn more about the dental procedures and treatments performed by cosmetic dentists Dr. Rob Strain, DDS and Dr. Laura Wittenauer, DDS please call us at 760.568.9494 or click here. Serving new patients in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and surrounding areas.

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