When you have sleep apnea, it means that you temporarily stop breathing while you sleep. While it is a serious medical condition that can occur as often as 30 times in a single hour, people are often unaware that they have it.
Sleep apnea can cause you to wake from a sound sleep in a panic because it feels like you are choking or gasping for air. Since this may only last a few seconds, you may forget all about it in the morning. However, the interruption in breathing can last up to two to three minutes in some people. When this happens often enough, sleep apnea changes from a mild annoyance to an emergency that could threaten your life. The reason for this is that sleep apnea disrupts the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen present in your bloodstream.
Categories and Symptoms of Different Types of Sleep Apnea
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 20 percent of people with this medical condition have a type known as central sleep apnea. This type usually occurs due to faulty brain signaling. Basically, your brain forgets to send the message to breathe as you sleep. The result is an interruption in breathing that can happens several times per night but typically only lasts for a few seconds each time.
People with central sleep apnea often have an underlying health condition that causes it. The most common ones include:
- Arthritis of the cervical spine
- Cheyne-Stokes breathing pattern, which means you already have weak breathing
- Congestive heart failure
- Encephalitis, which means brain inflammation
- Heart attack
- Parkinson’s disease
- Surgery or radiation on the spine
Obstructive sleep apnea is the far more common of the two subtypes. This condition occurs because of a partial or complete block in your upper airways. The blockage means that your chest muscles and diaphragm must work extra hard to take air into your lungs. When your breathing resumes, you typically make a grunting, snorting, or gasping sound in your sleep although you probably won’t be aware of this. Unfortunately, untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to an irregular heartbeat because it reduces the flow of oxygen to your heart.
Even though shortness of breath while you sleep might not wake you up, pay attention to how you feel during the day for clues that could indicate obstructive sleep apnea. Feeling restless during your sleep for several nights in a row could be a symptom as well. Some other common symptoms associated with it include:
- Concentration difficulty, depression, forgetfulness, or irritability
- Daytime fatigue
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Dry mouth upon waking
- Night sweats
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sore throat upon waking
If you sleep with someone else, it’s likely that he or she will notice symptoms of either type of sleep apnea before you do.
How We Treat Sleep Apnea at Oasis Prosthodontics
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marina Funtik as soon as possible if you recognize any of the symptoms of sleep apnea listed above. It’s possible that changing some lifestyle habits could help reduce your symptoms. Quitting smoking, losing weight if you’re overweight, and reducing the amount of tranquilizers or alcohol you consume are all things you can do to increase the likelihood of successful treatment.
In addition to her many dental credentials, Dr. Funtik is a certified Airway Prosthodontist. She has received extensive training from leading sleep apnea experts across the country. This makes her uniquely qualified to recognize even subtle signs of abnormal breathing. She will complete a comprehensive evaluation of your condition and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.
Wearing a sleep mask or a special dental appliance during sleep is the first step in treating sleep apnea for many patients. The sleep mask forces your airways to remain open while you’re sleeping so you don’t stop breathing. If you find it uncomfortable to wear a sleep mask, a dental device that applies gentle pressure to push your jaw forward might be a more appropriate form of treatment. The appliance also works to keep your tongue from blocking any of your airway passages.
People who fail to find relief from either of these treatments may wish to consider corrective surgery that forces the tongue to remain in place. Of course, every patient is unique and these are just some of the possible treatment methods used by Dr. Funtik. Please contact Oasis Prosthodontics today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.
Have you always wanted to have the perfect smile but cringe at the preceived pain and cost that you assume it comes with? You may be surprised that, even as an adult, perfecting your smile doesn’t have to involve braces or retainers, and it doesn't have to hurt, or cost a fortune.
Invisalign are clear aligners made of polyurethane plastic that you can use—and remove. Millions of people have benefited from the use of this technology, and they have received improved smiles, and it was all relatively quick, easy, and painless. Below are ten of the most common benefits that people find when choosing to use this method.
- Invisalign treatment takes less time. With weekly adjustments to your aligners, you can have a better smile in less time—up to 50 percent less. That means you can get back to life and to being your normal self quicker.
- It works for many different types of patients. You may think your teeth can’t be helped by Invisalign, but with Invisalign trays created from innovative material like SmartTrack, even complex cases can be helped, including crossbites. So don’t assume anything, no matter what your situation is you should schedule a consultation to see if this technology can give you a better smile.
- Clear aligners are much more comfortable. One major pain of using other methods of teeth straightening is the irritation they cause to the mouth and gums. The thing about Invisalign is that there are no broken wires or brackets that can cause discomfort to your mouth. The aligner trays are smoother and more flexible, leaving your mouth in much better shape.
- Invisalign is convenient. Unlike braces which are cemented onto your teeth, Invisalign aligners can be removed, which makes brushing and flossing your teeth a lot easier. In fact people who get traditional braces take a lot longer to brush, taking up to half an hour. With Invisalign, you’ll be able to clean your teeth much more easily. You’ll also be better able to keep the aligners clean since you can simply take them out of your mouth and wash them.
- You can eat what you want. Getting food stuck in your teeth and braces can be quite a hassle, but you can eat whatever you want with Invisalign, since the aligners are removable. Simply take out the aligners, eat, and if you need to floss, then you can do so before placing the aligners back in.
- They look better. We all know how important it is to look good, even as adults. Because of their almost invisible appearance, Invisalign is a much better look than metal braces or retainers. If you have teens they will appreciate this benefit, but really, don’t we all? When speaking to people you’ll feel a lot more confident and a lot less self-conscious.
- Teeth grinders will have better protection. Teeth grinding is often caused by stress, or by a sleep disorder, because it usually occurs during sleep. Grinding on a regular basis can cause damage to your teeth, and make your jaw sore when you wake up. In this instance, Invisalign can act as nightguards, helping to protect your teeth.
- You’ll spend less time in the dentist office. Going to the dentist office for braces adjustments can be a difficult, both to your mouth and to your schedule. With Invisalign, you’ll only need to come in to see the dentist once every four to six weeks. That allows you to spend less time driving to and from the dentist office, as well as sitting in the dentist’s chair.
- You can speak more easily with Invisalign. With traditional braces, it can take a little bit of time to get used to speaking properly again. The adjustment period for Invisalign is much shorter—many times, it takes less than a week. If you’re still adjusting to the aligners and have a special occasion, you can remove them you’re done with your event.
- Invisalign works! Because of SmartTrack material, which provides gentle yet constant control of tooth movement, and SmartForce features, Invisalign has provided millions of people with a beautiful smile. That kind of data is not available with any other clear dental aligner.
Invisalign is usually covered by orthodontic insurance plans, so not only do you get all the above benefits but it’s more than likely that your insurance plan will cover them. It’s always best to check with your insurance provider first. If you’re interested in learning more if Invisalign contact Oasis Prosthodontics in Colorado Springs for an appointment at (719) 574-2417. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
If it seems like no part of your body remains unaffected by pregnancy, you’re right. From the earliest days of conception, your body’s hormones undergo significant changes. You’re probably familiar with several of these changes already, such as a heightened sense of smell, nausea, and fatigue. What many women don’t realize is that pregnancy hormones affect their oral health as well. The most significant change to oral health for pregnant women is the condition of their gums.
Pregnancy and the Increased Risk of Gum Disease
According to the American Dental Association, approximately half of all pregnant women develop gingivitis before they give birth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It normally goes away after delivery, but not always. Some women who develop gingivitis during pregnancy go on to develop more advanced gum disease. This can happen when they don’t make a special effort to brush and floss their teeth twice a day and continue receiving regular professional check-ups.
The production of estrogen and progesterone, two essential hormones in the female body, significantly increases during pregnancy. This causes more blood flow to the gums, which in turn causes greater sensitivity and an overreaction to bacteria and plaque already present in the mouth. The higher than usual amount of estrogen and progesterone cause inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums. Eventually, this can lead to the loss of bone and teeth. It’s no reason to become alarmed, but we encourage you to pay close attention to your oral health during pregnancy and to report any concerns as soon as possible.
How Morning Sickness Can Affect the Health of Your Teeth
Nausea and vomiting are a fact of life for many pregnant women and either symptom can strike you at any time of day. The stomach acid present in vomit can damage your teeth, particularly if you’re unfortunate enough to struggle with persistent vomiting during pregnancy. You can help to prevent acid erosion of your teeth by rinsing your mouth out with water, a diluted mouthwash, or a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda and one cup of water. For the most effective results, swish and spit first and then brush your teeth approximately half an hour later.
What to Do When Brushing Your Teeth Makes Your Gag
It may feel disheartening to read that pregnancy can increase oral health issues when the very thought of brushing your teeth makes you feel nauseated. You will need to try different approaches to see what works best for you. Perhaps using a different flavor of toothpaste will decrease gagging sensations. You could also try brushing at times of day when you tend to feel less nauseated or using a toothbrush with a smaller sized head. Stay persistent until you find something that works for you to decrease the likelihood of developing gum disease or tooth decay during your pregnancy.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
You already know that a healthy diet that includes ample amounts of fruits, vegetables, and protein and few sweets is essential for the proper development of your growing baby. However, it’s just as important for your own oral health. Although it can be challenging to resist sweets when your body is sending you strange food cravings, do your best not to give in to them. If you find that you must have something sweet, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible afterwards to prevent the sugar from turning into bacteria in your mouth.
Dental Check-Ups and Treatment Are Safe During Pregnancy
If you normally visit the dentist every six months, you would be due for at least one check-up before you give birth. It’s important to keep this appointment so your teeth and gums can remain as healthy as possible for the duration of your pregnancy. The American Dental Association also states that pregnant women don’t need to delay necessary dental procedures such as crowns and fillings because these restorations can help to prevent gum disease and infections that can cause additional problems later. However, it’s probably best to wait to schedule any cosmetic procedures until after you have the baby.
Request Your Free Consultation Today
Dr. Marina Funtik of Oasis Prosthodontics is happy to provide guidance and treatment to maximize your oral health during pregnancy. You may complete a contact form or call her office at 719-574-2417 to request an appointment. Our entire staff looks forward to meeting you and providing you with exceptional care during your pregnancy and beyond.
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