As a sleep apnea dentist, we are compassionate towards those that struggle to get a good nights sleep. Being overly fatigued can negatively impact all areas of life including physical health and areas such a blood pressure. Often, difficulty sleeping is actually caused by obstructive sleep apnea, a major health condition impacting around 18 million Americans each year. Obstructive sleep apnea takes place when the jaw slips backwards at night. As it does so, the tongue falls backwards as well, and the airways are blocked. With this obstruction, people struggle to capture breath and end up spending the night gasping for air. This is often what causes snoring sounds.
A Solution to Difficulty Sleeping
In order to solve the problem, we can create a removable oral appliance that can be worn at night. This device is as small as a full retainer would be, covering both the upper and lower teeth. It surrounds the teeth entirely then hooks together in order to hold the jaw in place. As a result, the jaw is unable to move, and the tongue is also forced to stay forward. Unable to fall backwards, the tongue cannot block the airways, and our patients are able to breathe clearly, some for the first time in years.
Compared to a CPAP Machine
As a sleep apnea dentist in Tucson, we take joy in improving our patient’s quality of life. The ability to sleep soundly while breathing appropriately is all possible when using a removable oral appliance and given how small they are, the device is also comfortable. When comparing our solution to a CPAP machine (another solution for obstructive sleep apnea), it is abundantly clear how much more convenient a removable oral appliance can be. A CPAP machine can be noisy, bulky and uncomfortable, leading many people to forgo using it in favor for sleeping with less air, but sleeping comfortably. This is not recommended because, without oxygen, people can suffer from high blood pressure and heart problems.
The National Highway Safety Administration provides another reason to ensure a good night’s sleep. They estimate that approximately 100,000 car accidents are caused on an annual basis by drivers that were tired or drowsy. Some police officers have compared the effects of driving while tired with driving while intoxicated – the effects are that significant. Those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, are at a distinct risk for being exhausted and driving while drowsy, thereby increasing their risk of getting into a car accident. By simply wearing a removable oral appliance and getting restful sleep, patients can wake up feeling rested and reduce or eliminate the risk of getting into a car wreck due to fatigue.
In our Tucson sleep apnea dentist office, we are frequently asked whether or not treating sleep apnea is important. We are confident that it is incredibly important to have the condition treated due to the risk that it poses to a person’s health during sleep and during the day. In addition to increasing the risk of getting into a car wreck, raising blood pressure, and contributing to heart problems, a lack of sleep can also make it difficult to engage in normal social activities, creating an all-encompassing need to seek a solution – one that we provide.
Have you ever been told that you may grind your teeth at night or snore? Do you wake in the morning with sore jaw muscles, sensitive teeth, or a headache? You could be suffering from bruxism (nighttime grind) or another TMJ-related disorder. What you may not know is your dentist can help. TMJ disorders can cause discomfort, difficulty chewing, anxiety, tension, and a lack of sleep. You dentist can alleviate these symptoms and give you and your spouse a more restful night’s sleep. Continue reading to learn more about TMJ disorders and how Dental Care on Golf Links in Tucson can help.
TMJ stands for "temporomandibular joint," the sliding hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull. If you have TMJ disorders, you may notice discomfort in your jaw joint and/or the muscles that surround it and control your jaw movement. There are many causes of TMJ disorders. Your discomfort could be caused by arthritis, jaw injury, or clenching or grinding teeth at night.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders vary depending on the cause of the individual’s disorder. Many people experience neck, shoulder, and jaw pain. Some people experience restlessness at night and wake up feeling exhausted. Many patients deal with chronic headaches. These symptoms are only a few of the many reasons you should seek out TMJ treatment.
Sleep Apnea and TMJ
TMJ disorders and sleep apnea often go hand in hand. Many of the symptoms are the same, and the result of fatigue in the morning is also common. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that inhibits your body from receiving adequate oxygen during sleep. Muscle fatigue and jaw soreness is often a side effect due to increased muscle exertion needed to open your airway and breathe after long pauses without breath.
TMJ Treatment in Tucson
The dentists at Dental Care on Golf Links can treat both your TMJ disorder and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. A wide variety of appliances exist and can be selected by your dentist based on your particular needs. These appliances are custom-fabricated to fit your teeth, which maximizes comfort and the alleviation of symptoms. TMJ and sleep apnea appliances work to give you a better night of rest.
If you recognize these signs or symptoms as something you or a loved one experience, we can help. Don’t allow TMJ disorders to ruin your night of rest. By preventing the symptoms of TMJ disorders and sleep apnea, you and your bed partner will be happier, healthier, and well-rested.
What exactly are veneers?Many people have heard of veneers, but do not know exactly what they do. A veneer is a thin shell of ceramic material placed onto the front surfaces of teeth. The veneers are bonded into place with a dental adhesive for a permanent, secure enhancement. Since the veneers are so thin, they require very little modification to your natural teeth. They fit into place over your teeth and provide immediate improvement.
Can veneers fix crooked teeth?Since veneers only cover the fronts and sides of your teeth to improve appearances, rather than moving your teeth into a new position, they do not technically “fix” crooked teeth. If you are looking for a way to make your teeth look perfectly straight, whiter, and more beautiful, however, veneers take care of these wants easily without the extra hassle of keeping up with orthodontic appointments and being in constant discomfort from braces adjustments. Veneers can improve the appearance of crooked teeth without causing discomfort or sensitivity following the procedure. Once your veneers are in place, you can go about your normal lifestyle without having to visit our office to check progress.
Can veneers improve my social and work life?Yes, veneers are a great option to consider when you want to make a better impression on others. Since your appearance is critical to how others perceive you, crooked, stained, or misaligned teeth give off the impression you do not properly care for your teeth, even if you do. Others will think you are more approachable, more hygienic, and more attractive once you get veneers that cover imperfections.
How long do veneers cover imperfections?Statistically, veneers last for 15 to 20 years. If you care for your veneers properly and do not engage in harmful habits like biting your fingernails, veneers can last longer. Your veneers can give you a beautiful smile for at least two decades, and possibly more, with a simple visit to our office. If veneers begin to show wear, they can easily be fixed or replaced.If you have ever asked yourself or your dentist, “Can veneers fix crooked teeth?” we hope we have successfully answered this question and others concerning how convenient and helpful dental veneers are. If you find you have other pressing questions regarding the veneers procedure or how veneers can improve crooked or stained teeth, we have the answers.
All people need to practice preventative dental care in Tucson. Preventative care starts at home, but it should also include regular visits to our office for check-ups and treatments. Preventative dental care can keep dentist visit costs lower and your oral health in top condition. Preventative dental care includes a list of ways you can better your chances of avoiding cavities and gum infections, which is laid out below.
Brush and Floss
Daily brushing and flossing are your first steps to having a healthier mouth. You can avoid cavities, gum disease, and enamel wear all by just brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once, as a minimum. These practices remove plaque that builds up on your teeth, and they give your teeth time to rebuild their strong enamel. Brushing and flossing also keep bacteria and plaque from building up on and under your gum line, leading to painful and harmful gum diseases. The toothpaste you use at home should be a fluoride paste approved by the American Dental Association. You should also remember to replace your toothbrush at least three times a year. If flossing proves challenging for you, you can purchase a different type of floss that is created in a pick-type form, so you can just push it between each tooth without worrying about the long string.
Visiting our office for annual dental cleanings is also an important step you should take to keep dental caries and infection at bay. Some plaque can get too hard for you to remove without help from a dentist. When we remove the plaque, your teeth will stay clean and strong longer and look whiter after your appointment. At these dental cleaning visits, we can examine your teeth and identify any potential problems or results of improper care. We can also provide you with other techniques of preventative dental care in Tucson, like dental sealants and fluoride treatments, both of which add an extra layer of protection to your teeth.
This tip is a given, but it's easy to forget about. You should eat a balanced diet that consists of dairy (if you tolerate it), whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. These will keep your body in the best working condition and provide your teeth with the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to rebuild enamel daily. Try to avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks when possible, and if you ingest them, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth out afterward. The bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth feeds on sugar and can grow stronger if you eat or drink too many sweet items, leading to infection and decay.
Don’t Chew on Non-Food Items
Another form of preventative care is avoiding chewing on non-food items like nails, plastic, pens, and pencils. Also, avoid opening things with your teeth or grinding your teeth. These habits lead to weaker teeth and can cause gum recession. If you think you have a problem with teeth grinding, notify our office so we can provide you with protection that will help limit grinding.
These are the basics of preventative dental care. Make it a point to practice these habits daily in order to maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile. For more information, visit our preventative dental care office.