How Sleep Apnea Could Cause Teeth Grinding

houston teeth grinding

Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? In some cases, people with sleep apnea often grind their teeth as their body tries to breathe during the night. Over time, this could cause painful symptoms and damage your smile! In today’s blog, our team of sleep science experts in Houston, TX, talk about treating bruxism with an oral appliance.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

With obstructive sleep apnea, as you rest the soft tissues in the throat and the back of your mouth will collapse. This cuts off airflow, so you stop breathing briefly until the brain wakes you after registering the drop in oxygen. This interrupts your sleep cycle, even if you have no memory of it happening, and could occur hundreds of times in a single night. The result is sleep interruption, daytime exhaustion, irritability, and trouble focusing on tasks at work or school. You could suffer from chronic snoring, and the disorder could also strain both your immune and cardiovascular system, leaving you vulnerable to serious illnesses and complications. The disorder could also lead to chronic teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.


As your body struggles to breathe in the night after the collapse of soft tissues, this could lead to chronic teeth grinding and clenching, which then tightens throat and soft palate muscles, worsening your sleep apnea symptoms. Persistent grinding also wears down outer tooth structure, so your teeth appear shorter and could even crack or chip. The inner issues are then exposed to harmful bacteria, a complication linked to tooth decay and even dental infection. You risk painful symptoms and even the loss of your teeth!

Treatment Options

We often offer a non-CPAP solution for sleep apnea with an oral appliance. The device looks and fits like a night guard, but is custom-made for your smile based on detailed digital images we take of your smile. The device is worn when you sleep and gently shifts the tongue and jaw forward to prevent soft tissue collapse, so you breathe without interruption. This also prevents teeth grinding episodes, and places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage. Our team can also discuss procedures to repair any damage sustained from chronic grinding and clenching.

If you have any questions about how we help you sleep well at night and avoid teeth grinding, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help you sleep well!

Learn More About Treating Bruxism With Our Team In Houston, TX

Don’t let your bruxism impact your sleep and damage your smile, instead talk to our team about possible solutions. To learn more about oral appliance therapy, then give us a call at Houston SleepWell in Houston, TX at (713)796-9600.