Are You Suffering From Sleep Apnea?

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A poor night’s sleep can leave you feeling exhausted and cranky, but long-term sleep disruption can actually lead to serious health conditions. Not only is Sleep Apnea a leading cause of disrupted sleep and daytime sleepiness, but this disease is also a contributing factor to a host of medical problems.

According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This breathing disorder causes you to snore loudly and stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from 10 seconds to more than a minute.

Despite the prevalence of Sleep Apnea, many don’t realize they have it. Others are unable to tolerate a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and mask, which is the most common treatment for Sleep Apnea. However, an effective alternative treatment for Sleep Apnea is a custom-fit oral appliance provided by a dentist. Treating Sleep Apnea can lead to better rest and ease your risk of developing these five serious health complications:

1. High Blood Pressure – Sleep Apnea is common among patients with high blood pressure, and even more so among patients who have treatment-resistant high blood pressure. In medical studies, oral appliance therapy has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure. This treatment uses a custom-fitted, mouth guard-like device to move the jaw slightly forward and keep the airway open, without the need for a constantly running machine and face mask.

2. Heart Disease – Heart disease is a common affliction for those with Sleep Apnea, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin. The same study showed that the risk of dying from heart disease may increase by as much as five times among those who have untreated, severe Sleep Apnea.

3. Depression – Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that women suffering from untreated Sleep Apnea have a five times greater risk for depression symptoms, while men who have untreated Sleep Apnea are more than twice as likely to exhibit signs of clinical depression.

4. Diabetes – Up to 83% of Type 2 diabetes patients have Sleep Apnea and are not even aware of it, according to research published on “Frontiers in Neurology.” Recent medical research suggests that glucose control weakens as the severity of a patient’s Sleep Apnea increases.

5. Stroke – The risk for stroke also rises with untreated Sleep Apnea, according to research published in “The American Journal of Medicine.” The study shows that the risk rises even if the patient has no other stroke risk factors. Obstructive Sleep Apnea also is frequently found among those who have already suffered a stroke.

 

Four Reasons Why You Should Reconsider Going to the Dentist

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I don’t have any reason to visit a dentist, my teeth are perfect and healthy!

That is what everyone says when being asked to visit a dentist. But really, it is not until you start having serious pains in your teeth before you consider visiting a dentist.

Here are four reasons why you should consider visiting a dental care clinic now:

#1 Correction of Wrong Dentition

Most of us grew up with having more than enough teeth in the mouth and we see it as a normal thing even though they overlap each other.

A dentist will help find corrective measures in helping your teeth have the best dentition you never thought you could have.

#2 Mouth Cleaning and Cleansing

Most people have tartar (an incrustation that forms on the teeth and gum) formed underneath their teeth and close to the gums.

These harbor lots of microorganisms that later affect the oral health. A dentist would notice the tartar and carry out what is called scaling and polishing to remove every traces of the tartar before it gets to its worse stage.

A dentist will help you to remove food remnants that hides between the teeth. Food remnants that hide in the teeth include remnants of meat, fish, vegetables and they keep decaying in between the tooth.

You don’t have to wait till it decays and destroy your oral health, visit a dentist who will help you floss the teeth with a waxy thread.

#3 Prevention and Control of Oral Diseases

A dentist takes note of everything that might lead to a chronic disease and takes care of before it gets out of the primary stage.

It is advisable to visit a dentist at least once in every three months. Being busy is not an excuse anymore, so just make time within that three months to see a dentist.

#4 Placing Fillings or Administering Anesthetics

Dental fillings or restoration are used to fill in the cavities caused by tooth decay. Instead of removing the tooth after suffering a tooth decay, your dentist will help check what the possible solution to it might be so you get relieved of the pain as soon as possible.

It is either placed with fillings if the tooth is not decayed to a bad extent and might be extracted if the condition of the tooth is bad.

Is that all a dentist can do? Of course not.

A dentist can also help in diagnosing oral diseases, creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of patients, interpreting x-rays and diagnostic health, monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws.

If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our dentist, please call our office at (650) 938-8127.

You can check out our reviews online on Yelp and Google+.

The Importance of Sport Mouth Guards

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Youth and adolescent sports participation has grown steadily over the years. It is estimated that 20 to 25 million youths participate in competitive sports. As a result of this growth in participation levels, incidence of injury has also increased. Some have reported sports to account for approximately 36% of all unintentional injuries to children and adolescents. Of those injuries, 10-20% of all sports related injuries are maxillofacial injuries according to the American Dental Association.

The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports dental injuries as the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. They contend that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouth guard. Often times these injuries will result in permanent damage to oral structures which require medical intervention.

Types of Dental Injuries

Injuries to the teeth can be grouped in three different categories with care specific to each type.

Fracture – can be classified as a root fracture, broken tooth or chipped tooth
– if possible, stabilize portion of tooth still in mouth by gently biting on towel to control bleeding
– athlete and tooth fragments should be transported immediately to a dentist
– best methods of transport of the tooth are in Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, milk, saline soaked gauze, or under the athlete’s tongue
Avulsion – entire tooth, including root, knocked out
– do not handle tooth by the root (tooth should be handled by the crown)
– do not brush, scrub, or sterilize tooth
– if tooth is dirty, gently rinse with water
– if possible, place tooth back in socket and have athlete gently bite down on towel
– if unable to reimplant tooth, transport tooth with the athlete as described above to the dentist immediately
Luxation – tooth in socket, but in wrong position
– Extruded Tooth – tooth appears longer than surrounding teeth
– Lateral Displacement – tooth pushed back or pulled forward

It is important to remember time is critical when handling dental injuries. Do not allow the athlete to wait until the end of the game to seek treatment for a dental injury. If your athlete has extruded or laterally displaced teeth, transport them to our office within 2 hours for the best outcomes.

Prevention of Dental Injuries

Dental injuries are easily prevented. It has been suggested that a properly fitted custom mouth guard may reduce the rate of concussion as well as dental injuries.

Some experts recommend that mouth guards be worn by athletes in competitive and recreational sports in which impact, contact and collision are likely to occur. The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. Other experts include baseball and softball infielders on that list. They further recommend the mouth guard to be worn during all practices and competition.

Selecting a Mouth Guard

There are three types of mouth guards:

  • Ready-made or stock mouth guard
  • Mouth-formed “boil and bite” mouth guard
  • Custom-made mouth guard made at our dentist office

These mouth guards vary in price and comfort, yet all provide some protection. According to the American Dental Association, the most effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resistant to tearing, and resilient. A mouth guard should fit properly, be durable, easily cleaned, and not restrict speech or breathing.

It is important to remember damaged teeth do not grow back. Protect that perfect smile – wear a mouth guard.

If you’re interested in a custom fitted mouth guard, contact our office at (650) 938-8127.

You can check out our reviews online on Yelp and Google+.

School Lunch Tips for a Healthier Smile

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From the cafeteria to bagged lunches to vending machines, your child has a plethora of options for mid-day meals, and they’re not all good for them. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, children aren’t getting the nutrition they need at school to maintain their oral health. Rather than promoting a healthy smile, school lunches may be contributing to dental caries, or cavities, the most common childhood disease.

A Cavity-Packed Lunch

Cavities are caused when the sugar we eat combines with the bacteria found in our mouths to form an acid that attacks teeth. Eventually, these acid attacks can lead to tooth decay or cavities. Frequently eating a sugar-filled lunch, especially when we’re not able to brush after meals, can wreak havoc on our teeth. Consuming vending machine sweets, packing candy in bagged lunches, and buying sugary desserts from the cafeteria all contribute to the possibility of cavities.

You can’t watch your children while they’re away at school, but you can set them up to make good decisions regarding their oral health. Whether your children are eating a school or bagged lunch, you can help them make healthy choices for a lifetime of dental health.

Types of Lunches:

School Lunches

Many cafeterias and vending machines offer a variety of options, and your child’s choice of food can make or break their oral health. Unfortunately, the sugary snacks and sodas found in many school vending machines can lead to cavities and kids can often purchase desserts in the cafeteria that aren’t good for their dental health, or for their overall health for that matter. In recent years, there’s been an ongoing debate over school vending machines, but you can start your own campaign towards excellent dental care by investigating your school’s choices in food supplies.

It’s understandable that children may be temped by the sweet treats offered in their school’s cafeteria or vending machines, but you have the power to steer them in the right direction. Discuss the importance of oral health with your child, and talk about appropriate food choices for lunch. When your children come home from school, review what they ate that day. Routinely discussing the importance of a good diet can help your children make correct choices in the future.

Bagged Lunches

Preparing your child’s lunch is a great way to avoid cavity-causing foods. If you do, here are several ways to promote a tooth-healthy meal:

– Pack the right amount of food to meet their nutritional needs. That means including fruit, vegetables, grains and calcium-fortified dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and milk on a daily basis.

– Don’t include sticky foods that can’t easily be washed away, especially if your children aren’t able to brush their teeth after lunch.

– Encourage your children to drink beverages that are low in sugar. Drinking water and other low-sugar liquids can help wash away food particles that might get stuck between teeth.

– You may want to include a travel toothbrush with your child’s lunch. Speak with our dentists about how often your children should be brushing their teeth, and whether lunchtime brushing is appropriate for them.

When you review your child’s day at school, be sure to include what they ate. Ensuring that your child is making the right choices will not only improve his or her dental health but will also help control another childhood epidemic.

We know you want the best for your children, and oral health is no exception! Lunch is an important subject, and you’re getting an A+ by taking the time to study up on your children’s food choices! If you need more guidance, give our office a call at (650) 938-8127 to schedule a time to talk to one of our dentists.

You can check out our reviews online on Yelp and Google+.

Five Important Dental Care Tips for Kids

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Today marks International Youth Day! To celebrate, here are 5 dental tips for kids!

1. Use fluoride toothpaste from the start

The American Dental Association recently changed its long-standing guidelines and now recommends that parents use fluoridated toothpaste as soon as a baby gets her first tooth. Just use a tiny grain-of-rice-size smear at first, then go with a dollop the size of a pea starting at age 3. Why? Tooth decay in young kids is an epidemic these days. On average, one in four preschoolers in the United States has already had a cavity and that number grows to 55 percent by the time they’re old enough for kindergarten. Fluoride toothpaste can block cavities by helping to re-mineralize areas of teeth that have been bombarded by bacterial acids.

2. Get to a dentist early and often (enough)

Most adults need a dental checkup and cleaning two times a year. The same goes for kids, but how soon should that start? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says you should take your child to the dentist by his first birthday. In addition to conducting a thorough oral exam, the dentist will obtain a dental history, guide parents on proper brushing habits and cavity prevention and establish how often a child should visit, among other things. If you’re worried about the cost, know that pediatric dental care is now required to be covered by most health-insurance plans, as well as Medicaid. A recent study in Pediatrics found that kids who saw a dentist before age 1 have overall dental costs in their first five years that are 40 percent lower than those of kids who don’t.

3. Clean right away, with the right tools

You can “brush” even before your child’s teeth erupt by using infant tooth and gum wipes once a day. You can delay the bacteria from getting in your child’s mouth by avoiding saliva-sharing behaviors: Don’t share spoons or cups and don’t clean their pacifier with your mouth. Once your child gets at least one tooth, graduate to brushing with a soft-bristled kids’ toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. However, a child younger than 3 won’t know to spit so they may need your assistance. Up until age 6, when their 6-year molars come in, make sure you’re either doing it for them or brushing after they do it themselves because it’s tough for kids to get all the back of their mouths.

4. Use good technique

The most important thing to remember is not to brush back and forth vigorously. That can damage their teeth and gums. Tilt the bristles a bit toward the gums and gently brush in tiny little circles, touching every surface of each tooth. The general recommendation is to brush kids’ teeth for two minutes, 30 seconds in each quadrant of the mouth.

5. Floss daily. This isn’t optional, even for kids

You want to start as soon as the teeth are touching each other. No matter how well you brush your child’s teeth, if they are touching, you’re not going to be able to get all the food or plaque out. Technique is important here too. Those disposable toddler flossers are fine as long as you can still pull the floss firmly against the sides of each tooth.

If you have any questions about your child’s dental care or want to make an appointment, please call our office at (650) 938-8127.

You can check out our reviews online on Yelp and Google+.