Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software Can Grinding Your Teeth Affect Your Sleep?Sleep Source

Can Grinding Your Teeth Affect Your Sleep?

Posted On January 4, 2014
January 04, 2014

If you have ever heard someone gnashing or grinding their teeth, it might be akin to the sound that a nail would make on a blackboard. It could set off your last nerve or else send you off the deep end. Statistics for the incidence of teeth grinding are varied but it is estimated that at some point in time in one’s life you will clench your teeth. Problems arise when it becomes chronic. This behavioral habit can occur during the day and night and is more commonly referred to as bruxism. In addition to the sound effect, grinding one’s teeth can cause headaches, pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), broken teeth and enamel damage.

If a person grinds his or her teeth at night, studies have shown it can affect more than just the jaw and teeth. Teeth grinding has been shown to be connected to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a condition whereby an obstruction in the airway causes the sufferer to stop breathing a number of times in each hour of sleep. In most cases, the tongue is the culprit. As we drift off into slumber, our muscles relax including the tongue, which in OSA slips back and blocks the airway. To combat this, some individuals clench and grind their teeth in attempt to keep their airway open. According to a 2009 presentation at the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), one in four patients with OSA also grind their teeth at night.

Based on studies, including one from over a decade ago, it has been a long-held belief that treating sleep apnea will decrease the issues that appear when a person grinds his or her teeth. Published in Sleep Medicine, a group in Israel performed an epidemiological analysis of bruxism incidence and discovered that this occurrence rarely occurs in isolation. The results of their findings suggested that when sleep bruxism is related to OSA, treatment may actually  stop teeth grinding at night. These findings were later confirmed and presented at an annual SLEEP meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. With 25% of the OSA patients in the study also found to grind their teeth at night, the researchers found that treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) resolved bruxism in most of these individuals.

Take away message? Don’t let your sleep apnea also affect your teeth and TMJ joint. With the link between the two conditions, treatment of sleep apnea can decrease the grinding of your teeth.

If you or a loved one has OSA, find out what your treatment options, both non-surgical and surgical might be. Contact one of our medical concierges today at  to schedule a free consultation.


About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
  • Make Sleep a Priority in 2016

    Dec 30, 2015
    You say you want to bring in the New Year with a positive life change that will benefit you and your health. One of the most beneficial resolutions to your overall health is changing your sleep habits. For years you have heard that sleep is important, but have you really executed a plan to make […]

    Living With Panic Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Dec 17, 2015
    The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Keeping the top down on your convertible is a foregone conclusion. But wait, your palms become clammy, your heart starts to race, you can’t quite catch your breath and you have a sense of unexplainable danger. What is wrong? You might have just experienced a panic […]

    Somniphobia: Can People be Too Scared to Sleep?

    Nov 04, 2015
    You are addicted. You admit it. You can’t seem to get enough of the hit TV shows American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. After binge watching for 6 hours, you have finally unlocked somniphobia. But somniphobia isn’t just about getting to the end of a new series. Somniphobia is something real to people who […]

    Incidence of Gout Double for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

    Oct 29, 2015
    A recent study out of the UK has shown risk of developing gout was up to 60% higher among patients with sleep apnea versus individuals without sleep apnea. Gout is a complex form of arthritis that causes the body to make an excess of uric acid causing pain at the base of the joints. Sleep […]
  • About Us

    Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America was founded for the sole purpose of providing superior sleep solutions for our patients to improve their overall quality of life.

    We seek to gain a thorough understanding of each patient’s sleep disorder and individual medical needs in order to provide the best care and treatment solutions available to effectively treat their sleep condition.
  • What We Do

    We offer a unique and comprehensive form of sleep apnea treatment that effectively seeks to cure sleep apnea over the course of an average of 6 treatments.

    Having the ability to significantly impact our patients’ lives for the better through improved sleep and minimizing health risks is something that we take great pride in. Please take a look at what our patients are saying and view some of our Sleep Apnea success stories.
  • Contact Us


    Email (required)


Copyright © 2013 Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America | Website | Powered by AHP