Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding: The Oral Source

December 01, 2012
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Do you snore, grind your teeth or have sleep apnea? If so, this can be a sign that your mouth is not working for the health of your whole body. Dr. Felix treats many patients with these symptoms. Follow two of his patients to learn more about Holistic Mouth Solutions and how they can help you with whole body health.

Dr. Felix’s patient, BRH is a federal agent in his late 40s. He tells Dr. Felix; “I have been sleeping with a CPAP machine for the past 3 years after a sleep test showed I had sleep apnea. CPAP does help my daytime fatigue, but the noise is awful and the mask bothers my sleep. Now that I have a new girl friend, I would like to try oral appliance as an alternative.”

CHR is 17 and a rising star in competitive junior tennis circuits. Her mother told Dr. Felix during her visit the following; “Our chiropractor referred us to you because my daughter used to win a lot, but recently she falls apart in the third set. She grinds her teeth, and her teeth are bunching up again after 3 years of braces.” CHR mentions, “I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m running out of breath as the match goes on.”

Both BRH and CHR have straight white teeth and perfect dental checkups by their dentists for years. They have no cavities and no gum disease. In addition, both have bad stuffy noses and malocclusions (bad bites). Their jaws are too small, receded (crowding the airway), or both.

If the tongue is forced into the throat, it can result in many symptoms, including sleep apnea, teeth grinding, neck pain, and moodiness.

You can tell if your tongue is blocking your airway at home. Look into your bathroom mirror with your mouth opened wide. You are a high risk for sleep apnea if you cannot see most of the “tail” at the end of your soft palate called uvula.

So what can be done? Dr Felix suggests an oral appliance. An oral appliance is a mouth piece used to change your bite. It can also be used to expand your jaw(s) if needed. Undersized jaws with crowded teeth and flat facial profile can be corrected painlessly by oral appliances, even in adults.

Oral appliance therapy is part of a holistic wellness program that includes healthy diet, exercise, relaxation, weight loss, and habit changes in eating, sleeping, and lifestyle at the Whole Health Dental Center. No health improvement is possible without changing harmful lifestyle habits.

Both BRH and CHR chose to have oral appliance therapy after their initial evaluation visit. BRH started going to bed before 11 PM as suggested and wore his oral appliance each night between dinner and breakfast. He shares his experience of replacing CPAP mask with oral appliance on Dr. Felix’s YouTube Channel.

CHR also wore her oral appliance each night and went on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet as recommended for her body needs. She came back smiling a month later, “I am winning my matches again. I have tons of energy, and my neck pain is gone.” Her mom added, “Her chiropractic adjustments are holding, and she does not grind her teeth any more. We are all very happy.” View CHR’s video on our channel also to hear first hand about her experiences.

Good health needs a holistic mouth. Oral Appliance Therapy can help older and younger adults where standard dental and medical care have fallen short.

Contact us for more information or if we can answer any questions.

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