What is the treatment for sleep apnea?

If you suffer from Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) or sleep apnea, you may have symptoms that should never be ignored. Many patients have repeated interrupted sleep where they snore loudly or even gasp for air while breathing. Seeing professional help is always a good idea and highly recommended.
Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, the tissue in your throat relaxes and causes your airway to be blocked.
Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) is very similar to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With UARS, the soft tissue in the throat relaxes and reduces the size of the airway, causing problems with breathing. UARS is not as severe as obstructive sleep apnea, but still does affect a patient’s breathing and sleep.
Treatment for sleep apnea:

  • A CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure device may be recommended. This device fits over the patient’s nose and mouth, and gently blows air into their airway. This helps keep the airway open during sleep. This method can be cumbersome, but it is effective.
  • If your condition is severe, surgery may be recommended. The surgery would eliminate any extra tissue in the patient’s throat, and prevent the throat from collapsing during sleep.
  • Changing your lifestyle habits including how often you exercise and what you eat can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. Also, we recommend avoiding smoking and alcohol as this can contribute to OSA.
  • Changing the position while you sleep may be recommended, and can help with symptoms of sleep apnea.

Treatment for Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS):

  • A CPAP machine can also be used to treat UARS and help patients sleep and breathe more easily at night.
  • Treating allergies can help alleviate symptoms of UARS.
  • Changing your lifestyle habits and losing weight can help treat UARS.
  • If a child has been diagnosed with UARS, surgery may be recommended to remove the tonsils and/or adenoids. This helps with breathing and allows the child to sleep throughout the night.

If you are interested in finding out more about treatment for sleep apnea or UARS, contact Smile Design Family and Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule your appointment.

How Do Dental Checkups Impact Your Oral Health?

We learn at a young age that brushing and flossing are vital to keeping your smile healthy. We need to continue these daily habits in our ongoing quest to maintain healthy smiles for strong teeth and gums. Seeing your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups at least twice a year is another habit you should incorporate. Together with our dental team, you are creating an optimal oral environment for a lifetime of smiles in great condition.

Professional dental cleanings are typically recommended twice a year, but if you are in treatment for dental illnesses or are at high risk for disease – such as gum disease – you may need to come in more frequently. Of course, dental cleanings are just one aspect of these visits. Our dentist will also conduct an oral exam, which may include taking dental X-rays to assess the condition of your teeth, jaw and gums.

We will be looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer. If this is your first visit, we will want to know about your health history, what medications you take, current allergies or adverse reactions you have had to medications in the past. And if you have dental anxiety that kept you from seeing your dentist before, please let us know so we can discuss ways to minimize your discomfort and help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your time with us. We are happy to work with you to make your experience safe, relaxing and convenient for you.

Professional Dental Cleanings

Regular professional dental cleanings remove calcified plaque, known as tartar, that accumulates in the hard-to-clean areas of the mouth. These are not easily accessible by your daily brushing and flossing efforts. To do this, our dentist or hygienist may use a special dental instrument – either a hand scaler or ultrasonic dental instrument – to remove tartar from around and below the gum line. Once this calcified plaque has been removed, your teeth will be polished with a mildly abrasive paste to clear away leftover plaque and tooth stains. After a final floss and evaluation from our experienced team, we will send you on your way.

If you run your tongue along your tooth surfaces, you should be able to feel the clean, smooth surface of the enamel. When the surface is smooth, it is harder for plaque to attach. We will also be happy to review whatever hygiene issues you may be experiencing as well as go over brushing and flossing techniques to help you better care for your teeth at home. We will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have concerning your oral care.

If you would like to know more about how dental checkups can help your oral health, feel free to give us a call or schedule to come into our office for your next exam! Our goal is to help you attain your best smile and have a great dental experience, so call us today to set up an appointment.

Does mild sleep apnea require treatment?

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea this condition is classified by severity. To measure the severity of the condition an index is used. This index is called the Apnea-Hypopnea Index or AHI, and this represents the number of apnea or hypopnea events per hour of a patient’s sleep. Typically mild apnea has an AHI between the ranges of 5-15.
Mild apnea does not normally require treatment, but in certain cases oral appliances may be recommended. These oral devices help to reduce sleepiness and improve quality of life.
Other ways to treat mild sleep apnea include losing weight. This will help to reduce the amount of tissue that blocks the airway. Changing your sleeping position and increasing your daily amount of exercise can also help.
If you are interested in finding out more about the treatment for mild obstructive sleep apnea and how we can help, contact Smile Design Family and Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule your appointment.