Posts for: July, 2016
Sleep — you'll spend a third of your life in its blissful embrace. But it isn't a luxury: you need it as much as nutrition and exercise. An occasional bad night's sleep leaves you irritable and drowsy; a bad night's sleep every night could endanger your health.
One of the most common causes for chronic poor sleep is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the airway becomes blocked and you stop breathing temporarily. The blockage may be due to an oversized tongue, tonsils or uvula, an abnormal jaw or chin structure, or nasal polyps and congestion. When your brain notices you're not breathing, it rouses you just enough to relieve the blockage. These incidents can occur and end in seconds several times a night without you being aware of it.
This interrupts your normal sleep patterns, including the critical rapid eye movement (REM) of deep sleep that occurs at different times during the night. The results of not getting enough REM sleep are quite unhealthy: besides irritability and reduced concentration, poor REM sleep is linked to depression, headaches, decreased sex drive, acid reflux, high blood pressure or the onset of diabetes. Your night time experience — as well as your sleep partner's — won't be pleasant either as you may experience night time sweating and snoring.
Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated. Our first considered treatment is a custom-fitted night guard you wear while you sleep that holds the tongue back from the airway. If your apnea is more severe, you may need to consider continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which uses a machine to pump pressurized air through a mask you wear while sleeping to force the airway open. You might also benefit from surgery to remove excess soft tissue obstructing the airway.
If you or your family has noticed any of these symptoms mentioned, make an appointment to see us — we're trained to look for oral signs in the mouth that may indicate sleep apnea. The sooner we can implement a treatment strategy, the sooner you'll begin experiencing a good night's sleep and better health.
If you would like more information on sleep apnea and what to do about it, 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.”
Dentures are usually thought of as a last resort when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Traditionally associated with older patients and a less than ideal fit, dentures have evolved with the times to offer a comfortable, natural looking, and stable smile restoration option for all patients, regardless of whether they identify as a Baby Boomer or Gen Xer.
Get a New Smile With Dentures in Macon
Although traditionally thought of as a disease of aging, periodontal (gum) disease, one of the most common causes of tooth loss, can (and does) affect men and women of all ages. In fact, gum disease and the resulting tooth loss in the absence of proper oral hygiene care can strike people as young as the 30s and 40s. Another common cause of tooth loss is traumatic impact from a car accident, fall, or sports injury, which can also happen at any age and tends to be common among younger patients.
The dentists at Macon, GA-based Northside Family Dentistry recommend dentures for a number of situations:
- As a temporary solution after sudden tooth loss or extractions until the gums heal and are ready to transition to a permanent procedure like dental implants
- As an alternative to bridgework to replace a few missing teeth
- To replace an entire row of missing teeth on the upper or lower jaw
- When all teeth need to be replaced
Just like every face and set of teeth are unique, dentures are custom made to match the look and feel of the natural teeth as closely as possible, and there are different types of dentures for every situation. Northside Family Dentistry in Macon offers several varieties of full and partial dentures including:
- Immediate dentures
- Conventional full dentures
- Implant-supported overdentures
- Transitional partial dentures
- Removable partial dentures
Find a Dentist in Macon, GA
Tooth loss is sometimes inevitable, but living with missing teeth and an incomplete smile is optional. For more information on modern dentures and to find the style that is right for you, contact Northside Family Dentistry by calling (478) 475-1976 to schedule an appointment today.
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into caviÂties. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.Â Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”