Dental Tips Blog

Sep
19

Get a CPAP Alternative . . . at Your Dental Office?

Posted in Sleep Apnea

When was the last time you woke up feel well-rested? For many, chronic fatigue is a sign of sleep apnea.

Doctors often prescribe a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA happens when soft tissues around the neck and throat relax to the point that they block the airways.

The result? Loud snoring and periods of zero oxygen. This leads to noise that disturbs others and a condition that leaves you shortchanged on a good night’s rest. 

Another Option

While a CPAP effectively forces air through the throat, many patients find it bulky, inconvenient, and all around uncomfortable. The airflow can cause digestive problems and dry mouth. Many CPAP users want to have a less cumbersome alternative.

Would you?

Your dentist may actually be a great option for sleep apnea treatment. As an expert of structures in the mouth, a dentist can prescribe a small orthotic device for your jaw.

Such appliances generally work in two ways:

  • Securing tongue so that it doesn’t collapse into the throat
  • Stabilizing the jaw, even nudging it forward

OSA sufferers are often eager to try these alternatives because they are simple mouthpieces as opposed to a tube, machine, and headgear.

To get the right fit for a sleep apnea oral appliance, you’ll have to schedule a consultation with a dentist who offers it. It’s better to make sure that you’re getting a customized professional piece!

A full night’s rest could be just one dental appointment away. If you’re not happy with your CPAP machine, then it could be time to give one of the alternative methods a try.

Posted on behalf of:
Allen Dentistry
551 W McDermott Dr
Allen, TX 75013
(972)359-9950

Aug
30

Could Your Dentist Diagnose You With Sleep Apnea?

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Surprised to hear that your dentist or others are now treating patients for sleep apnea?

It’s actually a doctor who would make a diagnosis for sleep apnea. But many a dentist has alerted patients to the signs that they could have a sleeping disorder.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Dentistry – How Are They Related?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA for short) is a common and serious form of sleep apnea. It happens when structures within the throat relax and collapse, blocking air from passing through.

Sufferers tend to snore loudly and their sleep is disrupted when airflow gets completely blocked off for seconds at a time. But aside from the snoring, they may not realize any sign that they are experiencing this.

Your dentist may point out to you indications in your health and oral anatomy that can make you prone to OSA. One of the telltale signs, however, shows up in your teeth.

When your oxygen supply is cut down in your sleep, your brain goes into panic mode. It forces you awake to an extent so that you can draw a deep breath. The stress can make a lot of people clench and grind their teeth.

Signs of heavy wear on your tooth enamel could point to a sleeping problem.

What Can Your Dentist Do?

If your dentist notices the signs of sleep apnea, he or she will may send you home with a sleep study that you can perform in your own house. Your doctor may advise a CPAP machine, depending on how the results are interpreted.

As an alternative, your dentist may be able to custom design a small mouth guard that helps prop open your jaw and keep it from sliding back.

A better night’s sleep could start with your next dental checkup!

Posted on behalf of:
Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699

Jul
12

How is Your Sleep Affecting Your Smile?

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Although you might not be aware of it, the quality of your sleep impacts your life in many surprising ways.

If you aren’t sleeping well, that shows in your energy levels, your demeanor, and even in your smile.

How does your sleep affect your teeth?

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a real pain for many Americans. It just drains you of energy despite the fact that you are sleeping. The condition is caused when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen due to breathing interruptions while you rest.

There are two main types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive.

Neither of these conditions are easily detected during routine doctor visits. You usually find out when a family member or someone sleeping next to you lets you know.

Central sleep apnea is when your brain doesn’t send the right signals for you to breathe regularly.

Obstructive happens when your windpipe is blocked for anatomical reasons.

When your brain gets short on the oxygen it needs, it shocks your body into gasping for an emergency breath of air. In addition to gasping, snoring could also indicate that your airway is being blocked.

Effects On Your Smile

Your body tenses up in its fight to get air. This can cause your jaw to get tense, as well.

Because of all this, you may experience pain in your TMJ or even grind and clench your teeth in your sleep.

By examining your jaw and smile, your dentist may notice signs indicative of sleep apnea. Get help for your sleeping problem and take back your right to a good night’s rest by consulting your local dentist!

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Smiles
175 White St NW, #300
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 422-6521

Jun
9

Struggling to Get a Good Night’s Rest? Your Dentist Can Help!

Posted in Sleep Apnea

In view of all the demands we face in daily life, it’s not surprising that most Americans are under a lot of stress.

This tension unfortunately tends to manifest itself during the one time we can relax and unwind: bedtime.

A couple of common sleep disorders include sleep apnea and bruxism. 

Suffer From Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen while you’re sleeping. It usually happens because soft tissues in the throat relax and close off the airways.

Lack of oxygen triggers another wave of stress in the body that quite often results in bruxism.

What Is Bruxism?

Also known as teeth grinding, this habit usually happens when you’re unconscious in sleep.

Whether you are under stress or your body is panicking over the lack of air, you may start clenching and grinding your teeth when you sleep. This is damaging to teeth and can cause problems with your TMJ.

How Your Dentist Helps

By taking a look at your mouth and asking some questions, your dentist might be able to help you figure out whether you have a sleep disorder.

He or she will let you know if your throat anatomy could contribute to sleep apnea. Signs that you’re clenching your teeth out of stress might include gum recession, worn enamel, and jaw issues.

What’s more, many offices can design a customized mouthguard that can protect your teeth from grinding forces. Others act as splints that support your jaw so that it can’t slide back and block your airway.

What sleep solutions can your dental office provide? Call today to find out.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

Jan
30

Let Your Dentist Help You Kick CPAP to the Curb!

Posted in Sleep Apnea

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you understand that snoring is more than just an annoying habit – it’s a sleep wrecker.

“CPAP” is an acronym for “continuous positive airway pressure.” It’s a system used to treat OSA by forcing air into the airways to keep them from collapsing in on themselves.

Unfortunately, about half of all individuals dependent on CPAP find it almost impossible to use. Not only is the machine bulky, but simply wearing it can ruin your sleep as badly as the snoring.

Have you felt similarly about your CPAP machine?

Consider talking with your dentist about your problem. You might be surprised at what you learn.

In fact, some dentist specialize in offering alternative methods for treating sleep apnea. One of these includes “OAT” – oral appliance therapy.

What is OAT?

An oral appliance is a customized device that works by keeping your jaw propped in a position that maintains an open airway at the back of your mouth. Different mouthpieces can either stabilize your jaw or move the position of your tongue.

It’s a little trial-and-error at first to find the one that suits your unique anatomy. Many patients feel it’s worth this effort because they prefer a retainer tray over the CPAP machine, any day.

The best part is that you’ve got 50 different FDA-approved devices to choose from.

Is an Oral Appliance Right for You?

Like CPAP, OAT is not for everyone. Other options include visiting an oral surgeon who can evaluate the cause of your snoring and recommend surgical and non-invasive treatments. Your dentist can give you the best recommendations.

Get started today by calling your dentist for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee GA 30024

Jan
6

Sleep Apnea Dangers

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Do you snore while you sleep at night?  If so, you may have a condition called Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea is a serious disorder in which breathing is disrupted during sleep. If this condition is left untreated, people with this disorder could stop breathing repeatedly throughout their sleep at night. The brain and the rest of the body may not be getting enough oxygen.  In addition, untreated Sleep Apnea can cause the following conditions:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Snoring

Who is at risk for Sleep Apnea?  People can get this condition at any age.  Some of the risk factors for Sleep Apnea include being over the age of 40, overweight, male, or having a large neck circumference.

Being overweight raises the risk for sleep apnea because fatty deposits in the neck can block the breathing airway at night.  Usually this happens when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses while sleeping.  If the overweight individual loses weight, the sleep apnea can often be cured.

Sleep Specialists recommend using a CPAP machine, which is a machine with a mask attached to a hose.  Sleep Apnea patients use this machine at night to help them breathe easier while they are sleeping.  The CPAP machine increases the air pressure in the throat so the airway doesn’t collapse when breathing in.

Once patients have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and have used the CPAP machine, they say they sleep better and feel better.  Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness among the public about sleep apnea and thus many patients are left undiagnosed and untreated.  It is important to be informed about this serious condition so patients can seek proper treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Sleep Better North Georgia
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee GA 30024

Dec
27

Oral Signs of Sleep Apnea

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can make you feel fatigued all day, impact your blood pressure, and cause a number of other health conditions. But did you know that it could also impact your smile? In fact, many people may not realize that they even have sleep apnea until their dentist notices the symptoms.

Here are a few things to have your dentist check for:

Worn, Flat Teeth

As you sleep, your body will be fighting to open the airway in order to improve oxygen flow. Studies have shown that sleep apnea patients often grind and clench their teeth together forcefully when oxygen levels are low. 

Dry Mouth / Sore Throat

Breathing (or trying to breathe) through your mouth will dry out your mucosal tissues. Mouth breathing generally makes your mouth feel very dry when you wake up. It can even contribute to bad breath. For the same reason, people with sleep apnea may also get sore throats regularly.

Periodontitis

Dry mouth and poor circulation can make your smile more susceptible to gum disease. If you already have good oral hygiene and are experiencing unexpected gum health problems, it could be that you are not sleeping well enough at night.

TMJ Problems

Forcefully moving your jaw open or closed as you sleep (due to an attempt gain oxygen) could make the muscles around the TMJ feel fatigued. The stress of the condition causes muscle tension, creating pain or even headaches that radiate from the TMJ into the face.

If your dentist spots any of these problems or you are experiencing oral symptoms of sleep apnea – ask if an oral sleep apnea appliance can help!

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Sep
8

Do I Have Sleep Apnea? Can My Dentist Help?

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can go undiagnosed until the symptoms are so significant that they interfere with everything in your day-to-day life. How can you know whether or not sleep apnea is something that you’re suffering from?

Symptoms of sleep apnea often include:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw Pain
  • Worn Teeth
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Snoring
  • Sleepiness

The condition of sleep apnea may develop over time, with or without snoring. As you are stressed during your sleep, you may tend to clench your jaws tightly together. This creates complications associated with TMJ disorder; such has headaches and muscle pain that radiates through the neck, shoulders and back. Constant waking throughout the night is caused by lack of oxygen flow, which results in excessive tiredness throughout the day. While your dentist can screen for sleep apnea, you will need to see a sleep physician and have a sleep study completed before your dentist can help.

How can my dentist help?

Once you’ve officially been diagnosed with sleep apnea or have had a sleep study performed, your dentist can take steps to manage the condition. Many people find that wearing a custom fitted oral sleep apnea appliance can improve their sleep as soon as the first night. You may even be able to eliminate the use of CPAP equipment.

A custom oral prosthesis will naturally open your airway by sliding the lower jaw forward. This prevents the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and back of the throat from sealing themselves against one another.

Are you ready to get the quality of sleep that you and your loved one deserves? Call your dentist today to find out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872

Dec
28

Why Dental Sleep Appliances Really Work

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Is it true that dental sleep apnea appliances actually work? Yes. It’s not just a gimmick; it’s science!

Oral sleep appliances help to naturally open your airway by preventing the collapse of soft tissues in the back of your mouth. Normal anatomy like your tongue, soft palate and your esophagus can collapse together and seal off the airway causing apnea or simply chronic snoring. Using methods that mirror rescue breathing used by first responders, an oral sleep apnea appliance guides the lower jaw forward to prevent these tissues from sealing against one another. This function produces tremendous results!

See Results the Very First Night 

Wearing these oral devices can provide you with immediate benefits. Most people see a difference during their very first night. Depending on your type of sleep apnea, an oral sleep appliance can completely eliminate all symptoms of your condition. Not only that, but there aren’t any loud noises like other types of sleep therapy equipment. When you wear an oral sleep apnea appliance, you can sleep in any position that is comfortable – on your side or on your stomach – because there are no bulky pieces of equipment.  Just a smooth, form-fitting guard that stays put all night long.

If you’ve seen a sleep disorder doctor and are looking for options to treat your sleep apnea or snoring, then just ask your dentist! Many people find that they are able to eliminate the need for CPAP machines by simply wearing these small, non-invasive oral appliances at night. Talk to your dental provider to find out if they are a sleep-dentistry dentist!

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

May
8

How Your Dentist Can Correct Sleep Apnea

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Are you and your sleep partner losing a good night’s rest due to sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing? Have you tried everything, and become frustrated with CPAP equipment that seems invasive and is loud? There’s an alternative to traditional sleep apnea treatments, and it’s no further than your dental office.

Dentists can effectively treat and manage their patient’s sleep apnea symptoms by using a small, non-invasive dental prosthesis. It may sound too good to be true, but this prosthesis works in a natural way that opens the airway similar to the method used for rescue breathing during CPR. A dental sleep apnea prosthesis guides the jaw forward, opening the area between the tissues in the back of the mouth. This clears the airway and allows oxygen to flow freely without being blocked by the tongue, soft palate, tonsils, or back of the throat.

Many people get instant results from their sleep apnea prosthesis, and some are able to completely eliminate their need for equipment like CPAP machines. Making the dental prosthesis is very easy, and all that is needed is an impression of the upper and lower teeth. Within 1-2 weeks, your dental sleep apnea prosthesis is ready for pick-up. You deserve a night of great sleep, no snoring, and the ability to turn whichever direction you like, without worrying about invasive equipment. No matter how severe your sleep disordered breathing is, it’s time to talk to your dentist about a simple, quick, effective way to manage your condition. You’ll find that better sleep will help you live a healthier life each and every day, and it all starts with your mouth!

Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental

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