Fatigue, a “foggy” mind, and irritability are all signs you’re not getting enough sleep—and neither might your sleeping partner from your continuous snoring. You might have a common form of sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes obstructed (usually by the tongue), resulting in a lack of oxygen. The body rouses from sleep just enough to correct the obstruction. This can occur and interrupt deep sleep several times a night, causing the aforementioned problems as well as personality changes, high blood pressure or increased stomach acid reflux. If the problem persists, sleep apnea could also become a long-term factor in the development of heart disease, diabetes or other serious conditions.
Fortunately, we can do something about it. While some may require more invasive intervention, most cases of sleep apnea can be alleviated through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. In this therapy, an electrical pump supplies pressurized air into a face mask worn while sleeping. The increased air pressure helps to keep the airway open.
For some patients, however, CPAP can cause discomfort like claustrophobia, nasal congestion and dryness. If that’s a concern for you, you might want to consider an oral appliance provided by your dentist.
Customized to your own individual mouth contours, this appliance is usually a two-part hinged device that draws the lower jaw and the tongue forward to open the airway. Easily adjustable, these appliances are usually more comfortable to wear than a CPAP and don’t require electricity or have the attendant noise of a CPAP pump.
They do, however, have a few drawbacks: they can disrupt saliva flow, causing either too much or too little; they may result in some morning soreness; and they can stimulate unnecessary tooth or jaw movements. For most, though, these side effects are minor compared to a better night’s sleep.
If you suspect you may have some form of SRBD, you’ll need to have it confirmed through a physical examination and possibly sleep lab testing. If it is sleep apnea, your physician and dentist can work together to help you find the right therapy to regain the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
If you would like more information on sleep apnea, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”
Are you in need of a dental cleaning? Well, look no further. Your Virginia Beach, VA, dentist can help you with all of your family dentistry needs.
More on Oral Hygiene
An unhealthy oral regimen can breakdown enamel allowing cavities to form. If you don't brush your teeth and floss, the result is the accumulation of plaque, which contains an acid-producing bacteria that breaks down the enamel. This exposes the sensitive layers of the tooth and allows bacteria to infect the pulp, unless the cavity is dealt with immediately.
- Root Canals: If your tooth develops an infection and the pulp of the tooth is infected, you may experience severe pain. The only way to treat this issue is for your doctor to clean out the canal and seal it.
- Sealants: Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth, then apply an acid gel on the surface of the tooth, the chewing surface will become rougher. Your doctor will then remove the gel, dry the tooth and apply sealant onto the grooves and expose it to a special blue light to make the sealant hard. This will prevent bacteria from entering grooves and cracks in your teeth and deteriorating your teeth.
- Dental Implants: If cavities have deteriorated your tooth, a dental implant may help you. Dental implants consist of replacing the tooth root with a titanium post and placing an abutment and crown on top. This will strengthen your teeth and improve the appearance of your smile.
Your Virginia Beach dentist will examine your teeth, diagnose any disease you may have, such as gum disease, then your dentist or hygienist will perform a regular cleaning. If there's gum disease, then your doctor will deep clean your teeth to help resolve the issue and induce healing.
Dental and Oral Care
- Receiving fluoride treatment and using fluoride-containing products like toothpaste and mouthwash
- Flossing at least once before bed
- Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, at least, while holding the brush at a 40-degree angle to clean hard-to-reach areas
- Avoiding tobacco, smoking, and drinking too much coffee and tea
- Drinking fluoride-containing water, to prevent issues like gum disease and tooth decay
- Getting professional dental cleanings and checkups every six months to remove hardened plaque
If you have any questions and/or concerns about any family dentistry procedure, or would simply like to ask a question about dental cleaning, just call your Virginia Beach, VA, dentist today!
You may be able to slow the aging process with healthy habits but you can’t stop it. Every part of your body will change, including your teeth and gums. And even with great dental hygiene and care, there are at least two aging outcomes you may not be able to avoid: discoloration and tooth wear.
Fortunately though, we have ways to counteract these effects and help you enjoy a much younger-looking smile. These techniques range in complexity and cost, but when tailored to your individual situation they can make a world of difference and restore your confidence in your smile.
Brightening teeth that have yellowed with age can be as simple as undergoing teeth whitening. The bleaching solution in this procedure (performed in the office or at home with a prescribed kit) can minimize enamel staining built up over the years. It can even be performed with some control over the level of desired brightness. Although whitening isn’t permanent, with proper care and regular touch-ups you can keep your youthful, dazzling smile for some time.
Tooth whitening, however, may not be enough in some cases of discoloration. If so, you can gain a bright new smile with porcelain veneers or crowns. A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored material bonded to the front of a tooth; a porcelain crown completely covers a tooth and is usually cemented onto it.
Normal tooth wearing can also affect the appearance of older teeth, making them look shorter and with less rounded edges than younger teeth. Veneers and crowns can be utilized for this problem too, as well as enamel shaping with a dental drill to minimize those sharp edges and project a softer, younger appearance. In extreme cases, surgically reshaping the gums can give teeth a longer and a more natural look.
These are just a few of the ways we can address these two aging problems, as well as others like receding gums. Depending on your situation, it’s quite possible we can help you take years off your smile.
Although a variety of foods provide energy-producing carbohydrates, sugar is among the most popular. It’s believed we universally crave sugar because of the quick energy boost after eating it, or that it also causes a release in our brains of serotonin endorphins, chemicals which relax us and make us feel good.
But there is a downside to refined sugars like table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup: too much in our diets contributes to conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dental disease. On the latter, sugar is a primary food source for oral bacteria; the more sugar available in the mouth the higher the levels of bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Moderating your intake of refined sugars and other carbohydrates can be hard to do, given that many processed foods contain various forms of refined sugar. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables helps control sugar intake as well as contribute to overall health. Many people also turn to a variety of sugar substitutes: one study found roughly 85% of Americans use some form of it in place of sugar. They’re also being added to many processed foods: unless you’re checking ingredients labels, you may be consuming them unknowingly.
Sugar substitutes are generally either artificial, manufactured products like saccharin or aspartame or extractions from natural substances like stevia or sorbitol. The good news concerning your teeth and gums is that all the major sugar substitutes don’t encourage bacterial growth. Still, while they’re generally safe for consumption, each has varying properties and may have side-effects for certain people. For example, people with phenylketonuria, a rare genetic condition, can’t process aspartame properly and should avoid it.
One alcohol-based sweetener in particular is of interest in oral care. A number of studies indicate xylitol may actually inhibit bacterial growth and thus reduce the risk of tooth decay. You can find xylitol in a variety of gum and mint products.
When considering what sugar substitutes to use, be sure you’re up to date on their potential health effects for certain individuals, as well as check the ingredients labels of processed foods for added sweeteners. As your dentist, we’ll also be glad to advise you on strategies to reduce sugar in your diet and promote better dental health.
If you would like more information on your best options for sweeteners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artificial Sweeteners.”
Dental crowns, also called dental caps, are a type of dental restoration that restore damaged teeth while improving their appearance. Dental crowns are permanently mounted over existing teeth by a dentist. Seaside Dentistry, which is located in Virginia Beach, VA, offers a complete range of dental services. Dr. Jason Campbell is one of the top dentists in Virginia Beach, VA. Here's everything you need to know about dental crowns.
What are dental crowns?
A crown is a cap placed over a damaged tooth or weakened tooth. A dental crown restores the tooth's strength, size and shape. Crowns are cemented into place. Once placed, the dental crown becomes the tooth's outer surface. The crown functions and is cared for like a natural tooth.
What are they made of?
The gold standard for the repair of damaged teeth has been all-porcelain crowns. All-porcelain crowns are popular because they resemble natural teeth. Dental crowns are also made from stainless steel (metal) and porcelain-fused-to-metal. Metal crowns are the strongest type of crowns. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are made out of porcelain and metal. These crowns are very strong and natural-looking.
Why are they placed?
Dentists use dental crowns to repair and strengthen damaged and weakened teeth and improve tooth appearance. They're used to repair badly decayed, chipped, cracked, worn-down and broken teeth. Dental crowns are also used to protect teeth following root canal therapy.
What are their benefits?
Dental crowns will strengthen your damaged and weakened teeth. They also offer numerous cosmetic benefits. Since they fit over the teeth, they can instantly correct staining, crookedness, cracks, chips, fractures and more. Dental crowns typically last for many years. With proper care, these prostheses can last many years.
Dental crowns will do you and your smile a world of good. Dental crowns can enhance your smile, boost your self-confidence, and improve your quality of life. Don't wait another minute- call Seaside Dentistry at (757) 689-4363 today to schedule an appointment in Virginia Beach, VA. Remember, it's never too late to improve your smile.
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