For decades we have blamed grinding and clenching of the teeth on 1. Stress and 2. Malocclusion. While certainly emotional stress and occlusal factors can play a role in the etiology of bruxism, particularly during a pandemic, it is clear that in many patients obstructive airway issues are a major driving factor.
In this inter-active presentation Dr. Spencer takes the audience on an evidence based journey, and makes a strong case that the so-called "parafunction" that wreaks havoc on our patient's teeth and on our best restorations may actually be "protective" in nature. This understanding may help with the diagnosis and actual treatment of the true underlying etiology of the bruxism.
With the case made that clenching and grinding may be the brain's way to protect itself from suffocation, the lecture will then focus on how to protect the patient, protect their teeth, protect their restorations and protect the dentist's practice.
1. Review the literature regarding possible connections between bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea.
2. Discuss use of night guards and oral appliances for sleep apnea and their effects on bruxism muscle activity.
3. How to screen your patients for possible sleep apnea related bruxism, and when to refer for a sleep evaluation.