Tooth damage on CPAP

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Tooth damage on CPAP

Post by Restlessdave » Fri May 08, 2009 4:14 am

A week after getting my CPAP machine and struggling to get used to my Swift LT nasal pillow mask I noticed the pain under my nose was getting worse. Saturday a chunk of a top front tooth broke off causing tooth ache and an emergency visit to the dentist showed I had a split up the tooth causing an abcess. The pain when I put the mask on was caused by the nasal pillow holder pushing on the root of the tooth. I have to go for root canal work next week once the antibiotics sort out the abcess. Must be working as I have been able to cut back on the painkillers. The dentist asked me if I had bit down on anything hard with the tooth and the only thing I can think off is that I automatically keep my mouth clamped tight when I am wearing the nasal pillow mask to stop air coming out of my mouth. I wonder if I am clenching my teeth when I am asleep which may have caused the tooth damage. Anyone else had any problems? Thanks Dave


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Re: Tooth damage on CPAP

Post by dowen » Fri May 08, 2009 12:57 pm


I think it would be difficult to clench your teeth so hard you would fracture a front tooth. And if you were clenching that hard, your dentist would probably see evidence of bruxism on other teeth besides the one.

I've had a little bit of experience with bruxism and I can usually tell when its been happening. My jaw will be a little sore. Some of my teeth will be sensitive. And sometimes I'll even catch myself when I am half asleep in the act of clenching my jaw. But, I have not had any problem with bruxism since I started PAP therapy a few weeks.

I too use a nasal pillow and it does not cause me to clamp or clench my mouth. My mouth stays shut effortlessly. In fact it requires effort to open my mouth when I have my gear on.

Sorry to hear about your issue. Good luck.
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Re: Tooth damage on CPAP

Post by Catnap » Fri May 08, 2009 1:05 pm

Actually, if you clench your teeth hard enough, long enough, you can cause fractures that will eventually cause teeth to break off. This is the voice of experience, believe me. I've got crowns on almost all of my teeth except my incisors, and have had four root canals, due to this. According to what the dentist sees (and my own experience and feedback from bed partners), there is no evidence that I grind my teeth, just that I clench them all night. I now wear a dental splint at night to keep me from being able to do this. I don't feel particularly stressed out or anything, so I don't know what causes me to do this, but it's been going on for years.

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Re: Tooth damage on CPAP

Post by DyannaK » Fri May 08, 2009 1:07 pm

I don't have any words of wisdom for you... I just wanted to say I hope you get this all sorted out soon, it sounds very painful...
I dont suffer from insanity.... I enjoy every minute of it!

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Re: Tooth damage on CPAP

Post by Snorebert » Fri May 08, 2009 1:58 pm

Boy is this ever timely.
I was a teeth-grinder from way back. I went through a number of dental appliances and ended up with over $10,000 of crown work three years ago plus a new acrylic guard. Went On CPAP 6 months back and was using the guard but when I switched to a nasal pillow mask, I stopped using the guard to avoid mouth breathing. That worked for a while but I began to notice the telltail evidence of grinding - stiff or sore jaw muscles - a feeling like I had been chewing five pieces of bubblegum for hours.

My brain must have recognized this (sometimes my brain is smarter than me ) and two nights ago - evidence of mouth breathing started up. Tonight is dental guard and blue tape for me.

Not sure if you could damage a tooth in such a short time but I suppose that if it were already cracked or damaged, it could have been just enough. Ow!

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