Know The Medications & Supplements That Don’t Mix Well

posted: January 09, 2019

At each visit, we ask patients to update their medical status as well as check the list of all medications – those prescribed as well as taken as supplements. Although this may seem an insignificant part of your oral care, it is vital information.

To the surprise of many, there are a number of medications that contribute to oral problems. For instance, adults taking antidepressants and high blood pressure medications were found to have elevated levels of plaque and signs of gingivitis.

A a side effect of more than 400 medications is ‘dry mouth’, a condition that contributes to higher plaque levels and the development of periodontal (gum) disease. Without a sufficient flow of saliva, oral bacteria can accumulate. Hence, the formation of plaque, which is the sticky film of bacteria that coats teeth and gums.

If you have been prescribed medications that cause oral dryness, ask your physician if an alternative is available. Also, drink plenty of plain, filtered water throughout the day to support oral moisture. (Tea, coffee, and colas don’t count! They actually contribute to oral dryness even more!) Too, oral rinses are available OTC that can also help minimize the risks associated with dry mouth.

People are often surprised to learn just how much sugar exists in cough drops, medications in syrup form and antacids contain sugars that often leave a sticky residue on teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.

Oral contraceptives and blood pressure medications have been linked to mouth sores and inflammation. Certain antibiotics and ibuprofen can cause lesions or ulcers in the mouth. Tetracycline, typically used for treating acne, can discolor teeth as well as supporting bone.

And, the list of problems go on and on. For example, calcium channel blockers used to control high blood pressure can contribute to gum tissue overgrowth. Gingival enlargement, a condition that causes the gums to swell and grow over teeth, can lead to severe periodontal infection.

As more and more people turn to herbal supplements as a ‘safe’ alternative to synthetic medications, be aware that what is not known CAN hurt you. And, much is NOT known about many of the companies packaging these supplements or what they’re putting into the mix.

Too, it is important to know that some dental patients can have serious side effects these supplements. For example, Ginkgo Biloba and Vitamin E can act as blood thinners. When combined with aspirin, the combination may cause difficulties in blood clotting. For patients undergoing surgical procedures, this can be a serious problem.

Taking high dosages of vitamins before undergoing anesthesia can also put you at risk. For instance, high doses of Vitamin C can weaken the efficiency of anesthesia. On the flip side, supplements such as Kava and St. John’s Wort can accentuate anesthesia’s effectiveness. (Kava has actually been banned in the U.S. but still attainable through some online vendors.)

Especially concerning are the herbal supplements with a high risk of interfering with medications. In addition to Kava, Gingko, and St. John’s Wort, these include Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, Hawthorn, Evening Primrose Oil, and Yohimbe. Be sure, also, that your prescribing physician is aware you are taking these supplements.

It is also risky to ‘bargain hunt’ online for herbal supplements, lured by low cost with unknown manufacturers. Some unregulated distributors in foreign countries could be shipping you unsafe ingredients, including lead and mercury. It is best to shop U.S. based companies with familiar brand names.

As your Summerville dentist, it is important that we are aware of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. This way, we can help you avoid issues that can be risky or leave you vulnerable to undesirable reactions or future problems. Keep us informed of any new medications you are taking as well as those that have been eliminated from those listed in your file.

While not all side effects create high risk, we want to ensure each dental visit provides you with an individualized approach to your care. Working together, we can achieve this! Bring current medication information (including dosage) to every appointment.

Need an appointment to update your smile? Call 843-871-6351 or tap here to begin.

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Poor Sleep Quality Can Interfere With Sex Life

posted: April 12, 2017

Life happens. With busy schedules, pressures from the workplace, and unanticipated complications of everyday living, not feeling ‘up for’ sex some nights is common. However, for more than 12 million Americans who suffer with sleep apnea, disrupted sleep creates a much more complicated issue when it comes to a healthy sex life.

Feeling fatigued, sleepy and foggy during the day are common symptoms of sleep apnea. This comes from the body receiving insufficient oxygen during sleep, due to frequent pauses in breathing. When sleep disorders cause frequent loss of sleep, it can lead to weight gain and depression. However, as the amount of true REM sleep declines, so does the sex hormone that REM sleep is structured to boost.

A study of over 400 men revealed that nearly 70% of those with sleep apnea had erectile dysfunction compared with 34% for men without sleep apnea. In another study, 80 women with sleep apnea were compared to 240 women without sleep apnea (both groups being less than age 65). The findings showed dramatically higher rates of sexual dysfunction than for those who did not suffer with sleep apnea.

CPAP therapy is a commonly prescribed remedy for sleep apnea. The device includes a mask worn over the face that is attached to a fan that forces air into the throat. In addition to improving oxygen levels in the brain and heart, improved oxygen flow also helps the sex drive. For patients who begin CPAP therapy, an increase in sexual relationships is commonly reported.

However, when it comes to consistent use of CPAP devices, it is estimated that only 22% of those who have CPAPs are consistent users. Many users complain about discomfort, feeling claustrophobic, unable to move around in bed, bothered by the noise or embarrassed to wear them.

The solution for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea may be an FDA approved, comfortable oral appliance worn during sleep. In our office, we use Oravan, a small, custom-designed device that adjusts the position of the lower jaw so the airway is less constricted. Through this therapy, many who have mild to moderate sleep apnea are able to forego CPAP and enjoy restored, sound sleep.

Begin by calling for a free consultation, during which time I’ll answer your questions thoroughly. Call 1-877-966-9009 to schedule.

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Daylight Savings Time Is Here Again. Is The Time Adjustment Worth It?

posted: March 09, 2017

Again, most of the nation is preparing for Daylight Savings Time’s “spring forward,” which begins in 2017 at 2:00am on March 12th. If the transition of losing an hour’s sleep each Spring seems like an extended period of jet lag, you are not alone. Losing just one hour of sleep can alter one’s energy level, alertness, motivation and hunger.

Daylight Savings Times began during World War I as an effort to conserve energy. The time changed back to normal after the war ended but was reinstated when World War II began. After the second world war, the time changed back again, sparking the terms “War Time” and “Peace Time.”

For many reasons, these time switches back and forth became a dilemma. Thus, the Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966. However, individual states were allowed to opt out of daylight saving time, if desired.

Today, those passing on the time change include Arizona and Hawaii along with U.S. territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands. Residents of Utah may also drop Daylight Savings Time when it is brought to a vote in 2018. Across the globe, there is no Daylight Saving Time in South America, Africa and Australia or the majority of Asia.

The growing debate today is – Is there sufficient savings or other benefits to justify the mental and physical drag created by disrupting our sleep patterns?

Daylight Savings Time originated as an effort to make more efficient use of energy. When households set their clocks ahead in the spring, they found they could reduce awake time between sunset and bedtime. A century ago, it was felt that minimizing the awake hours after sunset would require fewer lights and a savings of energy needs per household.

Back then, light bulbs were the only thing that used electricity in most households. Today, think about the standard electricity-powered items that are ‘on’ at all hours of the day and night. For items such as televisions, computers, microwaves, refrigerators, heaters, air conditioners, hair dryers, and security systems, darkness has far less to do with usage. Light bulbs (which are also highly efficient today) are but a minute part of a home’s electrical consumption.

Some studies estimate the actual savings attributed to Daylight Savings Time is 1 or 2 percent. Is that worth it? If the transition of Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time seems to restore your internal clock to normal, you are not alone. Some studies question the need for DST for more reasons than its paltry savings.

Our internal body clock operates by circadian rhythms that coincide with the earth’s natural light-to-dark cycles and seasonal changes. When you set your clocks back each fall, your circadian rhythms instill an urge to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than the normal pattern of daylight and nightfall.

There are ways to ease into the DST transition, such as pre-adjusting your internal clock. A week before you ‘spring forward,’ get extra sunlight exposure in the morning. Before ‘falling back,’ absorb more late afternoon sun.

It’s not hard to feel the effects of getting too little sleep (or sleep of poor quality). Not enough sleep can cause daytime fatigue, feeling foggy, being more accident prone, nodding off easily and feeling less social. Even worse, sleep deprived drivers are said to be more deadly than drunk drivers.

Adequate, sound sleep is necessary to your health and supports your overall system Research has shown that REM sleep periods allow the brain to clean out toxins and regulate hormones. Without good sleep, you risk some pretty serious – and even deadly – health problems. Sleep disorders (such as Sleep Apnea) have been associated with heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, migraines and headaches, obesity, and impotency.

If sleep is alluding you, a simple FDA-approved oral appliance may be all you need to restore your sleep quality. These comfortable, custom-made mouth pieces can help to open air passages during sleep, restoring oxygen intake and restful, rejuvenating sleep. Heavy snorers also benefit greatly (as do their mates!) from these custom-made appliances.

Begin with a free consultation. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 to arrange a time to discuss the best options to help you overcome sleep problems affordably and effectively.

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Are Sex Life & Sleep Quality Related?

posted: November 14, 2016

All adults have periodic lulls in their libidos interspersed with spurts of “revved-up” mode. It’s natural that we are not “ready to go” all the time. However, new studies are showing just how much sleep disorders can zap the mood.

For example, a study published by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), found that young men who slept less than 5 hours per night for a week had 15% less testosterone than normal, or the loss of testosterone that results from aging 10 – 15 years. Naturally, the lower the testosterone level, the lower the libido.

Another study of college-aged females conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School showed that, for every extra hour of sleep, their liklihood of being in sexually active increased by 14%. Additionally, a 2009 study tested over 400 men who suspected they had sleep apnea. Of those who were actually diagnosed with the disorder, 70% also had erectile disfunction (ED).

Sleep Apnea is a a sleep disorder that causes breathing pauses during sleep. These pauses can last for up to a minute and occur hundreds of times per night. Typical symptoms of Sleep Apnea include: daytime fatigue, feeling less alert and more sluggish, nodding off easily during the day and being less motivated to be physically or socially active.

Health repercussions are worse. The oxygen deprivation in the blood (compromising heart and brain efficiency) contribute to weight gain and obesity, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, migraines and impotency. Drivers who suffer with Sleep Apnea have been said to be more deadly behind the wheel than drunk drivers.

It has been noted that patients who undergo surgery to correct abnormalities that contribute to apnea see improvements in intimacy. Those who start CPAP therapy also report an increase in sexual activity. These devices consists of a mask worn over the face during sleep that forces air into airway passages. However, it is estimated that only 22% of those prescribed with CPAP are consistent users. Why is this?

CPAP isn’t for everyone. Many users claim it makes them feel claustrophobic, unable to move around in bed, bothered by the noise and inconvenient (especially for those who travel). Fortunately, for adults with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, the solution may be a simple, FDA-approved oral appliance worn during sleep.

Oravan Sleep Appliances - Small, Comfortable & Affordable

Oravan Sleep Appliances – Small, Comfortable & Affordable

In our office, we use the Oravan system for those who can’t or don’t wish to wear CPAP. This is a custom-designed mouth piece created to fit the unique contours of each mouth. They are small and comfortable and won’t interfere with your ability to sleep. While effective for many levels of Sleep Apnea, they can also be used to treat heavy snoring, a common precursor of Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea is nothing to ignore, but it can be easily managed without surgery or wearing a bulky contraption over your face throughout the night. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 to learn more about overcoming Sleep Apnea or ask to schedule a no-cost, no obligation consultation. During this time, I’ll answer your questions so you can determine if this is right for you.

If you have Medicare, we are also Certified providers. If not, we have several easy payment plans that allow you to make affordable, monthly payments without interest and no down payment. Just ask to speak with our Financial Coordinator while you’re in our office or over the phone.

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Bacteria In The Gut Influenced By Quality Of Sleep

posted: September 13, 2016

Modern scientific research is amazing. I frequently read new findings on how the body works, how the brain functions and how unknown factors are emerging as playing a prominent role in our lives.

One of the reasons I decided to add oral sleep devices to my practice was based on findings surrounding the importance of restful sleep. The more I read into the severe (and even deadly) health repercussions of sleep disorders, the more I was determined to help heavy snorers and sleep apnea sufferers.

Over the past decade, there have been a number of studies that have shown a correlation between sleep and obesity. However, a recent study revealed that your sleep quality affects the mix of gut bacteria that impacts whether you are lean or obese.

Our bodies follow a particular circadian rhythm, which has peaks and lulls that determine certain functions, such as when to sleep. It has been found that your intestinal bacteria have a circadian rhythm, too. These help in the production of serotonin and neuro-transmitters that influence sleep.

During sleep, the ‘good bacteria’ sweep away the build up of ‘bad bacteria.’ However, insufficient sleep can hamper the ability of the good bacteria to purge the bad kind. Researchers have noted that an imbalance of the two can contribute to anxiety, depression, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), ADD, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

It has been known for some time that insufficient sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity. This has to do with two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which help to regulate feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates the appetite while leptin sends the brain a message when you are full.

Lack of sleep suppresses the production of leptin, leaving you feeling less satisfied after eating. Too little sleep makes this worse by increasing ghrelin levels, which stimulates your appetite so you are hungry more often. When these two hormonal imbalances collide, the result is weight gain.

Now that scientists have found the additional complication of imbalanced intestinal bacteria, sleep is taking on a new prominence in our healthy living commitment. While the recommended amount of sleep is 7 hours each night, though, nearly 35% of American adults aren’t getting this.

Heavy snoring and sleep apnea are common sleep disorders that decrease sleep quality and open the door for a long list of health problems. Sleep apnea, in particular, has been associated with heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, migraines, depression and impotency in addition to weight gain and obesity.

Symptoms of sleep apnea are typically daytime fatigue, being more accident prone, nodding off easily during the day, poor attention span and alertness, and feeling cranky or unmotivated. It has been said that sleep apnea sufferers behind the wheel are more dangerous than drunk drivers.

While CPAP therapy is a common remedy for sleep apnea, many who have the devices are not consistent users, citing feeling confined, claustrophobic, embarrassed or being uncomfortable with the noise. For those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, we make custom-fitted oral devices that are small and comfortable so they do not interfere with sleep.

oravanIn our office, we use the Oravan system. And, for those who have Medicare benefits, we are certified providers. Begin with a free consultation to have your questions answered thoroughly. We can discuss costs, payment options and even put you in touch with patients who have opted for oral appliance therapy — and are now sleeping restfully every night!

Call toll free 1-877-966-9009.

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Losing Teeth Can Lead To Feeling Of ‘Loss.’

posted: July 07, 2016

Are feelings of depression overwhelming you? Is your self-esteem an issue? Having problems advancing in life or your career? Feel nervous or self-conscious in social settings?

According to a presentation at an Annual Meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), you may want to start by checking your smile.

Tooth loss may very well be the culprit, and apparently you are not alone. Nearly 20 million teeth are extracted each year, leaving scores of people to deal with the psychological affects of an “incomplete” smile.

As a presenter at the AGD Annual Meeting, Asuman Kiyak, PhD addressed the psychological issues affecting people who deal with tooth loss and discussed how this loss can affect one’s quality of life.

In Dr. Kiyak’s course, she covered the traumatic effects a patient endures after tooth loss, focusing on ways to help them cope with and understand their options for restoring their smile.

In fact, survey results from nearly 20,000 AGD members revealed that over 86% of dentists reported social embarrassment is one of the greatest problems their patients experience as a result of tooth loss and more than half of these patients avoid social interaction because of it.

In coping with tooth loss, Dr. Kiyak encourages patients to:
➺ Weigh the pros and cons for replacement teeth or even root canal therapy to save a tooth.
➺ Review videos or photos of others who have lost teeth and their current status with removable or implant-supported dentures.
➺ Read testimonials of others who have undergone tooth loss and replacement of teeth with removable or implant-supported dentures.

Helping our patients enjoy healthy, natural teeth for a lifetime is always our goal. However, for patients who must replace teeth, the look, feel, and function is no less important to their well-being. This is why so many adults are selecting dental implants.

Dental implants are an ideal replacement for missing teeth. It’s like getting your natural teeth back. With a natural function, they are also designed to last a lifetime, making them an excellent investment.

Begin with a no-cost, no obligation consultation. During this time, I’ll answer your questions thoroughly and discuss associated fees. If desired, we can also have our Financial Coordinator explain our financial plans. These can break your treatment fee into easy monthly payments. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009.

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Losing Weight Difficult? Sleep Quality May Be Major Obstacle.

posted: June 13, 2016

Americans are fat and getting moreso. The obesity rate (those who are beyond fat) stands at 35% of the U.S. adult population. That’s more than a third of the population. While excess sugar consumption and leading more sedentary lives are partly to blame, new studies are revealing that trying to lose weight may be made more complicated by sleep disorders.Fat Stickman

Sticking with a consistently healthy diet and exercise regimen can be a challenge as adults juggle busy work schedules, parental duties, maintaining a home and dealing with day-to-day stress. For those who have sleep disorders, lack of willpower is not the biggest obstacle they face.

Dieters seem to ‘beat themselves up’ for lack of willpower as weight loss becomes an overwhelming challenge. It seems so easy to gain, yet, seems so difficult to take weight off. Although the aging process naturally slows metabolism, the bigger challenge of Sleep Apnea alters the brain so it is actually working against us.

Sleep Apnea is an oxygen-depleting sleep disorder that robs the heart and brain of sufficient oxygen during sleep. This creates an enormous health risk while also altering the brain’s ability to regulate hunger controls.

While sleep disorders zap energy levels, not getting good sleep can also create a reaction in the brain that revs up cravings. If you’ve ever noticed the boost you get after consuming sweets and carbohydrates, the brain knows this is a quick fix to help perk you up when sleep deprivation drags you down.

Sleep deprivation and lack of oxygen during sleep leave you feeling fatigued and run-down throughout the day. When intense carb cravings are added to the mix, weight gain is the natural result. For those trying to lose weight under these conditions, they are fighting an uphill battle. Your body, including your brain, is simply working against your goals.

During sleep, the brain is anything but inactive. This is a period when the brain is removing toxins and other roadblocks that have accumulated during the day. As this is done, the brain is restored to peak efficiency so it can properly regulate hormones and other functions that support your overall system.

Receiving adequate oxygen during sleep enables the brain to do it’s nightly ‘housekeeping’ to keep you operating at peak capacity throughout the next day. When you wake up and feel refreshed, your brain is also functioning effectively so it’s not triggering carbohydrate cravings to compensate for sluggishness.

In addition to weight gain and obesity, Sleep Apnea has been associated with a number of serious health problems. Research has found it to be a contributing factor to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, and impotency.

A typical treatment for many Sleep Apnea sufferers is CPAP therapy. This is an apparatus designed to supply an ample amount of oxygen to the body during sleep. Although effective in its task, an overwhelming percentage of CPAP users cite inconsistent use of the devices. Many claim they are unable to get comfortable in bed with the mask, find the devices noisy, feel claustrophobic, find them inconvenient and even feel embarrassed to wear them.

For individuals who have mild to moderate levels of Sleep Apnea, there is an alternative. We offer a simple way to help oxygen intake be more efficient without the bulk, noise, confinement and awkwardness. This is often possible through a small, custom-designed oral appliance that eliminates the need for having to wear a CPAP.

These mouth pieces are FDA-approved and designed for comfort so they won’t interfere with your ability to sleep restfully. They are effective for many who suffer with Sleep Apnea or those who are heavy snorers (a common precursor of Sleep Apnea).

If your weight loss pursuit seems to be ‘one step forward, two steps back,’ lack of willpower may be only a small part of the problem. Common symptoms of Sleep Apnea are daytime fatigue, nodding off easily, lack of alertness or motivation, and feeling foggy. These problems will not go away until your sleep quality is restored and you are taking in sufficient oxygen.

Begin with a no-cost Consultation to discuss the comfortable appliances we create. Too, we can put you in touch with patients who have these simple mouth pieces and now sleep restfully and awaken feeling refreshed and ready to tackle a new day.

Call 1-877-966-9009 to schedule or to learn more.

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Daylight Savings Time – Is It Really Beneficial?

posted: November 18, 2015

Can you imagine getting ready for bed one night and hoping to experience a sort of jet lag when you awaken? Daylight Savings Time is getting quite a rumble these days for imposing that very kind of mental and physical drag. 4096

Daylight Savings Time originated about a hundred years ago in Germany’s post war era. In an effort to make more efficient use of energy, they decided to set their clocks ahead in the spring to reduce awake time between sunset and bedtime. However, this was based on one’s bedtime remaining at the same hour each night regardless of the hour the sun set. They felt that minimizing the hours after sunset would result in fewer lights required per household. Thus, there would be less money required for energy needs.

Let’s move forward to modern day. When Daylight Savings Time was developed, light bulbs were about all a household used that required electricity. Today, a household is constantly buzzing with televisions, computers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, heaters, air conditioners, hair dryers, and so on. Light bulbs (which are also more efficient these days) are but a minor part of a home’s electrical consumption.

And the plugged-in items that are used today are often used day and night — darkness is not always a factor. As a matter of fact, some studies estimate the actual savings attributed to Daylight Savings Time is only 1 or 2 percent.

If getting that ‘saved’ hour back on each transition of Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time seems to be a long overdue blessing, you are not alone. Losing an hour of sleep on any day can alter one’s energy level, alertness, motivation and even hunger urges.

Rebellion against DST exists, and is growing. Daylight saving time isn’t recognized in South America nor much of Asia, Africa and Australia. While Hawaii, Arizona and U.S. territories of Guam and Virgin Islands ignore the time change, Utah is in contention to drop it. Even where it is practiced, the time often changes on different dates based on regional influences. For example, countries in the Southern hemisphere reverse the ‘Spring Forward’ and ‘Fall Back’ protocol since their summer months are November to March.

What a mess this has become, making one wonder if all this inconvenience is really worth it. Recent studies question the validity of DST for more reasons than the paltry amount of money saved.

Our bodies have an internal clock that operates by circadian rhythms. These follow the earth’s natural light-to-dark cycles that change with each season. When you set your clocks back each fall, your circadian rhythms typically create an urge to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than the normal pattern of daylight and nightfall.

One way to smooth the DST transition is to prepare your own internal clock for the adjustment. For instance, before ‘falling back,’ get more late afternoon sun exposure a few days before the time changes. To ease the ‘spring forward’ process, absorb more morning sunlight.

Sufficient and sound sleep is not a luxury. It is necessary to your overall health. Sleep disorders have been associated with heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, migraines and headaches, obesity and weight gain, and even impotency. Daytime symptoms include fatigue, feeling foggy, being accident prone, nodding off to sleep easily and feeling less social. Sleep deprived drivers are said to be more deadly than drunk drivers.

If sleep is alluding you, going through a lengthy, expensive process of diagnosis and treatment may not be necessary. For many who have mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, a simple FDA-approved oral appliance can help to open air passages. This facilitates oxygen intake during sleep and restores restful, rejuvenating sleep. Heavy snorers also benefit greatly (as do their mates!) from these custom-made appliances.

Begin with a free consultation by calling toll free 1-877-966-9009. During this time, we can discuss your sleep frustrations and the best options to help you overcome them affordably and effectively.

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Sleep – Restore This Necessity Of Life

posted: November 12, 2015

If you are a regular user of sleeping pills, there is probably a deeper problem than a pill can solve. Occasional disruptions to sound sleep, such as stress, a new environment or travel can be temporary obstacles to the ability to get a good night’s sleep. Without sound sleep, feeling rested and alert the next day is highly unlikely.

Sleeping pills are certainly no solution to regular sleep disorders. If you take them nightly, it may be wiser to get to the root of the problem rather than medicate your way through it. A surprising source for your sleep problems could be Sleep Apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last up to a minute and occur hundreds of times during the night. While poor sleep quality can obviously result in daytime fatigue and feeling less alert and energetic, Interruptions in oxygen intake deprive the brain, which creates problems you may not realize.

During sleep, your brain undergoes a nightly repair session. During this period, your brain is doing its ‘housekeeping,’ sweeping out unhealthy accumulations and regulating hormones that keep the body functioning properly.

For example, sleep gives the brain a period to regulate hormones that affect feelings of hunger and fullness. Without sound sleep, a hormonal imbalance results that makes you want to eat more. Naturally, this can result in weight gain, a common side effect of sleep apnea. Weight gain is just one side effect, however. Others include heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and impotency.

Typical treatment for sleep apnea has been the C-PAP device. This is a machine that pushes air through a hose that is worn over the mouth and nose. As it pushes oxygen into the air passages, it supplies the user with sufficient oxygen during sleep. Unfortunately, many of those who have the device are not always compliant. Some complain that C-PAP devices are bulky, noisy, uncomfortable and inconvenient or even embarrassing.

Now, the development of FDA-approved oral appliances has emerged for those who have mild to moderate sleep apnea. I have chosen AirReStart as the beairestart-logost option for our patients. It is about the size of a mouth guard and custom-fitted to the contours of each mouth so it does not interfere with sleep. Rather than force air into your throat, oral appliances make air intake, on your own, easy.

Don’t let fatigue, daytime fogginess, weight gain, or feeling dragged out interfere with your life. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for interested persons. During this time, you can ask questions and have your options explained fully. Call 1-877-966-9009 to discuss this option to restore your quality of sleep (and maybe even prevent serious health problems).

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Snoring Statistics – Are You One?

posted: September 14, 2015

Snoring is not pretty. It can be an embarrassment to many who suddenly wake up on a plane or movie, realizing the people around them have been subjected to this irritating and intrusive noise.

For spouses who endure a snoring partner, the sleep loss can interfere with their ability to be alert and energetic during the day. It can even force them to sleep in another bedroom in order to get sufficient rest.

The Statistic Brain Research Institute shared some interesting numbers on snoring from 2014 research. Age is one factor, obviously. As muscles and tissues weaken and sag, blockages in airway passages can occur. While 30% of adults age 30 and over are snorers, 40% of those over 40 snore.

Although women find snoring more embarrassing than men, 19% of females snore. And, almost 60% of adults claim their partner snores.

The most disturbing statistic, however, is that 28% of people who snore also suffer with Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea occurs during sleep and causes pauses in breathing that can last for up to one minute. These pauses can occur hundreds of times per night.

These lapses in oxygen intake affect the function of the heart and brain. Research has associated Sleep Apnea with a number of serious health issues, everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s Disease. The long list includes high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, headaches, depression and being accident prone. Sleep Apnea is said to be more deadly for those behind the wheel than drunk driving.

The typical treatment protocol for most Sleep Apnea sufferers has been a C-PAP device. This consists of a fan that is attached to a hose. The hose is connected to a mask that is worn over the face during sleep. Although effective in supplying the body with adequate oxygen, many people cannot tolerate C-PAP therapy.

Common complaints about C-PAP include feeling claustrophobic, not being able to move around in bed, noise, inconvenience (especially during travel) and embarrassment. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 22% of those with C-PAP devices wear them on a consistent basis.

A practical alternative for many individuals has been an FDA-approved oral appliance. These are custom-designed for each person and are comfortable to wear. They are similar to a mouthguard but designed to move the jaw forward slightly to overcome air obstruction.

The material that our oral appliances are made from is durable and feels comfortable in the mouth. They are easy to maintain and have exceptional durability. And, they are highly effective for most with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea.

Medicare and some insurances typically cover some or most costs for oral appliance therapy to treat heavy snoring and Sleep Apnea. Our practice, who has selected AiReStart as the ideal for our patients, is Medicare Certified and experienced in filing claims for qualified individuals.

Heavy snoring is often a precursor of Sleep Apnea. If you are experiencing symptoms, including daytime fatigue and fogginess, your overall health is at risk. Don’t delay treatment. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your individual needs.

Sleep is a necessary part of your life. Oxygen is, too. A small, oral appliance may be your best way to achieve restful sleep and better health. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009.

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Your Quality Of Sleep May Improve With This Simple Mouthpiece

posted: July 06, 2015

Heavy snorer? You may have sleep apnea. Heaving snoring is often a precursor to sleep apnea.

When the airway becomes blocked during sleep, it restricts the intake of sufficient oxygen. This can last for up to a minute and occur hundreds of time per night. In addition to fatigue, weight gain and having an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, research has determined that sleep apnea sufferers have an higher risk of depression.

Through a study of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, women with sleep apnea were found to be 5 times more likely to develop depression, with men being twice as likely. The study also showed that 80% of participants listed common sleep apnea symptoms but had never been diagnosed with it.

The brain requires a consistent pattern of sound sleep. Previous research has found that breathing interruptions associated with sleep apnea affect mood. Periodic declines in oxygen intake during sleep can lead to brain changes, which triggers stress or inflammation. Through the findings, the researchers felt that sleep apnea could be a direct cause of depression.

Sleep apnea is not something to ignore. If you snore loudly or drag through the day, sleep apnea may be the problem. For those who’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, CPAP isn’t comfortable for everyone. This often causes inconsistent use in using the device.

Using a small, custom-made appliance, we can effectively treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. The FDA-approved mouthpiece is worn at night and doesn’t interfere with your ability to be comfortable in bed and sleep soundly. For a free consultation, call toll free 1-877-966-9009. Or, read more about this simple solution to heavy snoring and sleep apnea:

https://www.smilesbyandrews.com/snoring-sleep-apnea-therapy/

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New Study On Heart Disease-Gum Disease Connection

posted: June 01, 2015

As a dentist, it comes as no surprise that numerous studies have shown the bacteria from gum disease is related to diseases elsewhere in the body, such as cardiovascular disease.

Think about it – say you cut your foot and didn’t tend to the cut. You continued to walk around without applying an antiseptic or bandage. In most cases, the cut would become infected. However, say you continued to ignore it, assuming it will get better on its own. The result could be a severe infection that spreads into the body and bloodstream with life-threatening risks.

That would be absurd, though. Of course, you’d clean and protect a cut. Yet, nearly 75% of American adults have some level of periodontal (gum) disease. Bleeding, sore gums are ignored. Gum recession and tooth loss as adults age is assumed to be normal.

What the American population doesn’t know could very well be affecting the prevalence of serious diseases, such as heart disease. Largely unknown, the bacteria of gum disease can create inflammation elsewhere in the body. This bacteria has been associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, preterm babies, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and even impotency.

One of the latest studies on periodontal disorders included more than 15,000 adults. Their dental health was monitored to determine if the condition of one’s oral health could be a potential risk marker for cardiovascular disease.

Of the 15,828 participants (all with chronic coronary heart disease), 16% had no teeth and 41% had less than 15 remaining teeth. Over one-fourth reported gums that bled when brushing.
Results showed that as the number of remaining natural teeth declined, the higher the levels for heart disease and diabetes in addition to higher glucose and cholesterol levels.

This is the largest study of its kind to show the correlation between dental disease and heart disease patients, even after adjustments for age, smoking, diabetes and education. As indicated in previous studies, both smoking and lower levels of education were strongly associated with periodontal disease. In this study, nearly 70% of participants were current or former smokers.

While the exact link between oral bacteria and serious diseases elsewhere in the body has yet to be pinpointed, the evidence of an association has been overwhelming, thus far. The jury is still out on whether periodontal disease is “the trigger” for coronary heart disease. However, it is known, at this point, that oral bacteria is a definite part of the gun when it comes to heart disease, if not the bullet. While age and smoking are known risk factors common to both periodontal and cardiovascular disease, further research will continue to find the link of one to the other.

In the meantime, protect your smile, your oral health, and your overall health through a committed program of oral home care and regular dental check-ups. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 if you suspect gum disease or are behind on your regular dental visits.

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Link Between Sleep Apnea & Depression

posted: January 13, 2015

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, restricting an intake of sufficient oxygen. Research now suggests that people with sleep apnea also have an increased risk of depression.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) found that women with sleep apnea are 5 times more likely to develop clinical depression. Men with sleep apnea are twice as likely. While over 80% who listed classic symptoms of sleep apnea had never been ‘officially’ diagnosed, the participants averaged a threefold higher risk of depression compared to adults who have no breathing troubles during sleep.

Sleep interruptions that characterize the disorder have been shown in previous research to affect mood. The periodic declines in oxygen during sleep can lead to brain changes by triggering stress or inflammation. Although this study shows an association, rather than cause-&-effect, the researchers feel it’s plausible that sleep apnea could directly cause depression. The findings clearly indicate that the brain requires a pattern of steady sleep.

If you (or someone you know) display symptoms of sleep apnea or if you wear a CPAP but can’t tolerate it, please contact us. For mild to moderate sleep apnea, a small, comfortable oral appliance worn at night may be all that’s needed for peaceful sleep and better days! Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 for a free consultation. Or, download a screen test at:
https://www.smilesbyandrews.com/snoring-sleep-apnea-therapy/

and fax to: (843) 871-7558.

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