Can I Wear a Night Guard For Grinding and Oral Device For Apnea?

I already have a night guard for grinding.

Will I still be able to wear an oral device for apnea?

The answer: absolutely YES!

Patients that wear or have worn a night guard for teeth grinding are often excellent candidates for professional oral devices that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

This question is often asked not only by patients but also by physicians wanting to prescribe oral devices for their apnea patients.

Oral appliances if successful, can treat the apnea and manage the bruxing (teeth grinding) at the same time eliminating the patient wearing a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device) simultaneously with a night guard. Wearing both at the same time can add more difficulty to CPAP compliance.

As a side note, many dentists are not aware that if a patient has untreated apnea, the apnea may worsen in approximately 40% of the cases by wearing a nightguard. It may be wise for an individual who needs to have a night guard made to be 1st evaluated for a sleep disorder such as apnea if they have symptoms of snoring, poor sleep quality or daytime sleepiness.

There is also research suggesting that teeth grinding is a response during an apnea event to help open the airway. Bruxing or teeth grinding are quite common in apnea individuals.

This article was last updated February 18, 2024.

To help find a dentist knowledgeable not-only in dental conditions but also qualified in sleep disorders, see Not All Sleep Dentists Are Created Equally: Where to Find a Qualified Snoring- Sleep Apnea Trained Dentist. 

This article is general in nature and for educational purposes only. Please consult with your sleep health provider before starting any treatment option for snoring and apnea.