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What's Sleep Apnea?

Many of us think of snoring as nothing more than a nuisance. We never think that regular and loud snoring could be a sign of a more serious problem. Loud and frequent snoring can be a sign of a breathing disorder known as sleep apnea.

 

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder exhibited by loud snoring and irregular breathing. In sleep apnea, breathing will repeatedly stop and start again as the person sleeps. The way the person breathes while sleeping is affected by sleep apnea. Breathing can stop for between 10 to 20 seconds at a time. These stops in breathing can occur more than a hundred times at night. They result in interruptions in normal sleep rhythm. As a result, people with sleep apnea will spend most of their night in a light sleep instead of deep restorative sleep that is needed for rejuvenation.

 

Most people with sleep apnea experience drowsiness during the day, poor concentration and have slow reflexes. They are therefore at a higher risk of being in an accident.

 

Symptoms and signs of sleep apnea

 

Identifying sleep apnea can be difficult. This is especially because it occurs when you’re sleeping. However, it can be identified with the help of a loved one who can record your habits while you’re sleeping.

 

The most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

 

  • Prolonged pauses in breathing while snoring followed by gasping or choking.
  • Drowsiness during the day after a full night’s sleep.
  • Headaches in the morning.
  • Problems with learning or memory. A general inability to concentrate.
  • Irritability, depression and mood swings. Some people exhibit complete personality changes as a result of the lack of sleep.
  • Frequently waking up to urinate.
  • Sore throat or dry mouth upon waking up.

 

Sleep apnea in children

 

Contrary to popular belief, sleep apnea is not restricted to adults. Children can also be affected by sleep apnea. The following are common symptoms of sleep apnea in children:

 

  • Loud snoring
  • Bizarre sleeping positions
  • Bedwetting especially in children who had already stopped bedwetting
  • Night terrors
  • Excessive perspiration while sleeping

 

Types of sleep apnea

 

  • Obstructive: Caused when the soft tissue at the back of the throat blocks the airway during sleep. It is the most common type of sleep apnea.
  • Central: Involves the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that are responsible for controlling breathing. This type of sleep apnea is seldom exhibited by snoring.
  • Complex: It is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea. 
Posted by: Admin Admin on 12/3/2014
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Ways Your Dentist Helps You Look Younger

Some of the dental challenges that come with old age are changes in the appearance of the teeth, gum diseases, tooth decay and a dry mouth. Oral cancer is also an all-time high in patients above the age of forty. Dental visits increase as you get older because of these challenges. No matter the challenge you face, it is important to see a dentist and look for a solution. This is because teeth aging will contribute to your appearance and make you look old.

 

No one ever wants to look old. In fact, aging individuals always feel like children. It would be disastrous if they feel so young and yet look old. When the elderly visit dentists, their main request is that they want to look and feel attractive. When your teeth and skin age, there is a shifting of the teeth in the mouth causing changes in your smile.  A dentist can assist you to get your beautiful smile and confidence back in the following ways:

 

Teeth cleaning

With aging, our teeth have a very high chance of having plaque. With the decrease of saliva, this can cause multiplication of bacteria. Bacteria cause inflammation and this affects the gums and tissues. The gums start to recede and this causes long teeth. A dentist will ensure that his patient does not suffer these problems by cleaning the teeth. There are patients that have their teeth cleaned once a week or a month depending on the condition.

 

Bleaching

Teeth enamel has tiny pores that soak in stains because of food, drinks and time. This causes the teeth to become dark. If you have dark teeth because of your genes, chances are that they will get darker with time. To solve this challenge, a dentist will make whitening trays to brighten teeth. Patients carry these trays home and use them to brighten their teeth. The best thing about these trays is that they are cost effective.

 

Bonding

Here, the dentist will solve problems of uneven teeth, spaces between teeth and chipping. Bonding is a filling material used to repair teeth. The material matches your tooth in color and restores your teeth to their original shape and size.

 

Teeth Implants

As soon as you lose your teeth, the bone on the sockets start sagging. This can cause tilting of other teeth surrounding it. Empty spaces in the mouth also change your appearance. Your cheeks can sag and the lips become thinner than they normally are. This is when you can get teeth implants to maintain your facial tone. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/27/2014
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Most Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry has gained popularity with numerous consumers over the years. Cosmetic dental procedures can enhance your self-esteem and appearance dramatically. Some people hesitate to inquire about these procedures because of the anticipated cost. It is important to seek consultation from your dentist to establish which procedure suits your needs. From subtle modifications to major repairs, dentists can carry out various procedures to enhance your smile. Common procedures include teeth whitening, tooth bonding, and dental implants.

 

Teeth Whitening

This procedure commonly takes place in your dentist's clinic; however, you can purchase whitening products in retail stores. While some whiten their teeth to eradicate stains, others do so to obtain a whiter shade. Numerous people prefer to conduct this procedure at home due to convenience.

 

Tooth Bonding

Bonding is a procedure where your dentist attaches materials directly to your teeth. This procedure requires one office visit and lasts numerous years. This form of restoration is more prone to chipping or staining. Your dentist could use this procedure to cover your tooth's external surface completely to change its shape and color. 

 

Dental Implants

In case of tooth loss, implants help restore your roots. This procedure is better than conventional dentures because it gives you teeth that appear natural. However, the implants tend to be costly. This procedure is permanent and can last several years.

 

Veneers

These are typically porcelain-made to achieve white and shiny teeth.  Dentists frequently recommend them if you have tooth discoloration or staining. Veneers could also rectify damaged teeth originating from other causes. They could also change your appearance effectively. Veneers help recreate the normal appearance of your teeth. Simultaneously, they provide resilience and strength comparable to your enamel. Since they are custom-made, it is difficult to differentiate between your natural tooth and a veneer.

 

Reshaping and Contouring

Tooth contouring and reshaping is a procedure that rectifies irregularly shaped, chipped, or crooked teeth in one session. Dentists commonly use this procedure to modify the length, position, or shape of your teeth. Contouring may also help with bite problems.  It is common for dentists to combine reshaping with bonding. This process is best if you have ordinary, healthy teeth but desire subtle changes to your smile.

 

Dental Bridge

This helps to eliminate the flat appearance or effect originating from missing teeth. Your dentist will place a denture on the site of your missing tooth and connect it with a crown. This procedure could restore your natural smile. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/6/2014
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How To Floss Properly

The most common advice that a dentist will give his patient is brushing and flossing the teeth. Brushing your teeth is simple and easy for most people. There are people who still struggle with flossing and come up with different excuses as to why they are not flossing. Flossing is easy when you know how to do it correctly. When flossing is done correctly, the action removes plaque and remaining food particles that toothbrushes cannot access. Plaque causes tooth decay. This is disastrous to your oral health.

 

There are two floss materials that are available in the market. Nylon floss is available in different flavors. This floss has strands of nylon put together and is soft and great to use on your teeth. Single filament floss is also popular because it is gentle to the teeth and does not break even when used in very tight spaces on the teeth.

 

Flossing is the best technique for prevention of gum diseases. It cleans the gum line and in between the teeth. It is therefore important to learn how to floss properly as this will save you from toothaches and costly dental procedures in the future. Here are rules to follow when flossing:

 

  • Use floss that is more than 18 inches. You will need at least eighteen inches that you will wind on your fingers with two inches apart for flossing.
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  • Hold the floss tightly between the thumb and index finger on both hands. You then slide the floss gently between the teeth.
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  • Begin with the lower teeth. The thumbs will guide so that you can move gently from tooth to tooth.
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  • Curve the floss on the base of the tooth. It is important to floss on the gum line to remove food particles that the toothbrush could not reach. Do this gently so that you do not injure the gum tissues. Make sure you do not snap the floss as you will injure your gums.
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  • When the floss comes into contact with the gum, use a C motion to reach the lines or contours of the gums.
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  • As you clean one tooth at a time or the spaces between, make sure you use clean floss as you move around.
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  • Maintain the back and forth motion. This brings the floss up and down the teeth. Removing it from the tooth is easier as it will move away from the teeth
Posted by: Admin Admin on 10/26/2014
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Are Dental X-rays Necessary?

There has been some buzz about dental X-Rays. Are they really necessary, why do we need them, how are they useful to diagnosis and treatment plan? Well, we’re going to attempt to address some of these concerns.

 

Dental X-Rays are essential to a dentist’s diagnostic and treatment procedures, since they are able to detect underlying oral issues which physical examinations cannot detect. Through dental X-Rays, a dentist can find out whether you have cavities, issues in the jaw bones and surrounding ligaments, tumors and gum diseases and infections.

 

How often?

 

How often you should have an X-ray done however differs from one patient to the next. Your dentist should consider such factors as your age, levels of risk and your overall health before deciding to recommend dental X-rays for you.

 

What needs to be dispelled is the notion that everyone should have dental X-rays taken every time they go for annual dental check-ups. Instead, they should be tailored on individual basis. The ADA determined that barring arising issues requiring X-Ray diagnosis, healthy children may have dental X-rays taken every year or two and healthy adults do so every two to three years.

 

What’s the risk?

 

We are all continually being exposed to radiation we can do little about, phones, microwaves and other electronics, so definitely we want to limit any further exposure owing to the risks associated with radiation. There was a study released and published in April’s issue of Cancer that linked frequent dental X-rays to greater risk for brain tumors and meningioma’s, particularly if they are done in childhood.

 

From 1989, the American Dental Association recommended that dental X-Rays be taken only when necessary for diagnosis or treatment of a patient. The ADA also published some guidelines to assist dentists to limit the exposure to radiation to the lowest levels possible. Such guidelines include having on protective aprons and acquiring X-ray machines with lower radiation emissions.

 

Final Word

 

There is a lot of information being released and a lot of studies are being conducted to try and pin down the risks versus gains of dental X-Rays, which is a good thing. However, it’s important not to get carried away amid the mountains of contradicting information. What you need to know is that you should probably allow your dentist to carry out dental X-Rays only if a problem is detected or suspected and needs to be looked into.

 

For your annual or bi-annual routine check-ups, try to find out why the dentist wants to take the x- ray, and if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, ask the dentist to forego the procedure. This is especially true for children, whose tissues are not as yet fully developed and therefore more susceptible to damage. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/14/2014
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Am I Happy With My Smile?

A perfect smile is important. It creates the perfect first impression that you need in an interview or any social interaction. However, the perfect smile is an investment. You need to give proper care to your teeth to be happy with your smile. There are fundamentals in oral health that you have to consider when you need that perfect smile. Some of the things that you must do include:

  1. Follow proper oral hygiene- brushing your teeth regularly is a something that has been reinforced at an early age. Most people simply brush their teeth as a routine that they do every day. However, this routine is extremely important to have the perfect set of pearly whites that will stand out when you smile. When brushing your teeth, you need to ensure that you brush using the right procedure. You also need to use the right brush. Dentists recommend that you should brush your teeth at least twice in a day for two minutes.
  2. Schedule regular visits to the dentist – dentists are expert in teeth. They will offer you advice on the best way to take care of your teeth. They will also be able to tell you when your teeth are developing any problems. Early intervention is the best way to prevent serious tooth conditions that might affect the quality of your smile.
  3. It is also important to note the different factors that affect the health of your teeth. Some of the things that affect the quality of your teeth include habits like smoking that might affect your gums, breath and teeth. Your diet is also important. How you eat will affect the condition of your teeth. Some foods are good for your teeth and some require caution when taking them.
  4. If you are not happy with your smile, it is not the end of the road. You can see dentists who will be able to recommend corrective procedures that will rectify your smile. Most of the procedures are categorised as cosmetic dentistry. Some of the procedures that you can get to improve your smile include teeth bleaching and veneers. Cosmetic dentistry does not just aim at getting your teeth to look healthy; they also want them to look nice.

It is possible to have a smile that looks and feels good. Giving your teeth proper care and getting necessary corrective procedures when needed is the only way to guarantee success.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/11/2014
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