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Understanding the Connection Between Sleep Bruxism and Sleep Apnea: The Crucial Role of Screening

Understanding the link between sleep-related breathing disorders is crucial in providing personalised care to patients. One often overlooked relationship is between sleep bruxism (teeth grinding) and sleep apnea (obstructive sleep disorder). Despite appearing distinct, these conditions often overlap and significantly impact patient health and well-being. This blog will explore the importance of screening for sleep bruxism during sleep apnea assessments, focusing on its diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

The Link Between Sleep Bruxism and Sleep Apnea:

Research indicates a significant association between sleep bruxism—characterised by teeth grinding—and sleep apnea, with up to 50% of individuals experiencing both. This highlights the importance of screening for both disorders when assessing patients with suspected sleep apnea.

Impact on Oral Health:

Screening for sleep bruxism during sleep apnea assessments is crucial as teeth grinding and clenching can exert pressure on the jaw and surrounding structures, leading to other problems such as TMJ disorders (TMDs) and dental erosion.

Sunrise sleep test

Treatment Options:

Addressing sleep bruxism and sleep apnea concurrently can support more effective treatment strategies. Interventions such as mandibular advancement devices (MADs), commonly used for sleep bruxism, can also help to open the airway and reduce sleep apnea severity. Additionally, lifestyle modifications can support traditional treatments, offering patients a more tailored approach to managing their sleep disorders.

Patient-Centred Care:

Screening for sleep bruxism aligns with the principles of patient-centred care, emphasising a personalised approach to managing these co-existing conditions. Sleep medicine specialists and dentists trained in sleep medicine need to work collaboratively to provide the best treatment solution for their patients with both disorders.

Recognising the relationship between sleep bruxism and sleep apnea is essential for delivering comprehensive care. Screening for sleep bruxism during sleep apnea assessments enables healthcare providers to identify potential comorbidities, tailor treatment approaches, and improve patient outcomes. Discover more about dual screening for sleep apnea and sleep bruxism with the innovative Sunrise device. Follow this link to learn how the Sunrise sensor works.


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