Why You’re Probably Suffering From Sleep Apnea — Mark Burhenne DDS With Ask The Dentist

Hi, Dr. Mark Burhenne here of AsktheDentist.com. So, one of my favorite current topics is sleep apnea. Dentists are becoming more involved in sleep apnea because we can screen quickly for it. And we’re also part of the treatment process now. But what I wanted to say —and we’re going to write a long article on this. And it’ll be on AsktheDentist.com very soon. There will be more information about it— what I do want to say in the next two minutes is that if you’re grinding your teeth (and most of us do to some point), if you’re grinding your teeth, you’re probably suffering from sleep apnea. So, the theory is —and this is now the current theory— grinding used to be caused by stress or occlusion, the way we bite. There was a genetic kind of predilection to it. But now, the theory is that when a dentist sees their patient with the effects of grinding, very flat and worn teeth, that person, that patient is struggling to keep their airway open at night. That’s what grinding tells us. Bruxism is the word. So, bruxism is a dental disease, a pathology. And it’s the description of this kind of nocturnal habit of grinding your teeth to the point where there’s abnormal wear. And again, if you see or know or you’ve been told that you grind, you should suspect that you’re suffering from sleep apnea. And sleep apnea is a very serious disease. It’s life-threatening. And it should be treated as early as possible. So that’s what I want to say about bruxism. I’ll explain more later, but you’ve heard it here perhaps for the first time. If you’re bruxing or grinding your teeth, you’re probably suffering from sleep apnea.

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