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Trouble Sleeping? Here's How to Manage Sleep Apnea

August 14th, 2019

Is sleep apnea taking a toll on your well-being? If you’re experiencing fatigue throughout the day and question whether or not you may have sleep apnea, your dentist can help! You may not have thought that your dentist could be the one helping you achieve a good night’s rest, but it’s true! In fact, many times dentists are the first medical professionals to observe the common signs and risk factors of sleep apnea in patients. These signs can include teeth grinding (also known as bruxism), dry mouth, sore throat, and jaw pain just to name a few.

Let’s take a look at the common methods of treating sleep apnea:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP):

This is the most popular method for treating obstructive sleep apnea. Oxygen is continuously supplied through a nose, mouth, or both nose and mouth mask that is connected to a machine. The device allows the airway to remain open via positive pressure. This has been proven to be highly effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea, but relies heavily on patient compliance to wear the mask throughout the night.

  • Oral appliance therapy (OAT):

Dentists can create a custom oral appliance that can help prevent your airway from collapsing during sleep. These appliances often help reposition the lower jaw and tongue from blocking the airway.

  • Surgery:

Surgery may be recommended in severe cases of sleep apnea to help eliminate airway obstruction. This may involve jaw surgery, or removing tonsils or throat tissues.

  • In addition, avoiding sleeping on your back, weight loss, and nasal decongestants can help some milder cases of sleep apnea.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, Wellesley Dental Group’s very own Dr. Emad Abdallah would love to help! Also, stay tuned to our social media accounts including FacebookLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter for more sleep-related posts!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sleep-apnea-and-snoring

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/is-sleep-apnea-or-snoring-robbing-you-from-your-sleep-0713

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Robbed of a Good Night's Rest?

August 10th, 2019

Sleep is an important part of each day, so much so that the effects of a restless night can change the entire productivity of our next day! Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleeping disorders. In fact, nearly 70 million adults in the United States have a sleeping disorder, the most common of which is sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a whopping 18 million adults in America have sleep apnea. So, what exactly is sleep apnea? There are two main types to know about:

  • The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition involving involuntary temporary interruptions in breaths for at least ten seconds at a time due to upper airway blockage. This causes a disrupted sleeping pattern and low blood oxygen levels, which can contribute to several health issues.
  • Central sleep apnea is much less common and is characterized by failure of the brain to signal the necessary muscles involved in breathing.

As a result of the interrupted breathing pattern, individuals with sleep apnea often produce snoring and choking sounds throughout the night. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal about having sleep apnea? Sleep apnea does not only just interrupt your night’s rest, it can also put you at a higher risk of developing many conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and worsening of ADHD.

Who does sleep apnea affect?

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact people of all ages and any gender, however, there are some factors that can place some people at higher risk. This includes people 40 years of age and older, smokers, heavy alcohol users, males, African Americans, those who have a family history of sleep apnea, and individuals suffering from obesity, sinus problems, or allergies. Your anatomy also plays a role in your risk of developing sleep apnea. People with nasal septum deviations, a thicker neck, narrow throat, large tongue, small jaw, or enlarged tonsils are at higher risk of sleep apnea.

If you think you have sleep apnea or have been told that you may have sleep apnea by your doctor, don’t worry! Sleep apnea can be treated, and Wellesley Dental Group’s very own Dr. Emad Abdallah can help you conquer sleep-disordered breathing!  Dr. Emad Abdallah received his doctorate, certificate in orthodontics, and Master of Science in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Don't be robbed of a good night's sleep, contact us today!

Stay tuned to our social media accounts including FacebookLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter for more sleep-related posts!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sleep-apnea-and-snoring

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/is-sleep-apnea-or-snoring-robbing-you-from-your-sleep-0713

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Why is my Tongue White?

August 6th, 2019

 

The human body is amazing in so many ways. Our bodies often try to tell us things about our health through triggering certain signs and signals. The oral cavity can be an easy spot to indicate signs of specific health conditions developing. For instance, the color and texture of your tongue could be a clue that something is going on within your body.

The normal anatomy of the tongue is comprised of tiny nodules known as papilla. The color is typically a shade of pink, although food debris may temporarily stain the tongue. An indicator of poor oral health or possibly an underlying health condition is the presence of a white tongue that remains for a prolonged period of time. A white tongue has been associated with mouth breathing, smoking, oral thrush (fungal candidiasis infection), infections, excessive alcohol use, medication side effects, and congenital heart disease.

Most frequently it is linked with dry mouth and dehydration, which increases the risk of developing tooth decay and infections. Saliva is crucial for helping us breakdown food and protecting our teeth due to the proteins and minerals found within it. Without it, the dry environment promotes bacteria and fungi growth and typically produces an odor.

Other conditions that have been known to cause white tongue include oral lichen planus, geographic tongue, oral cancer, and HIV/AIDs.

Although white tongue is typically harmless, if you notice any pain or persistence of white tongue for a prolonged time that does not respond to oral care, be sure to contact your dentist.

It is important to remember to brush your tongue with either a toothbrush or tongue scraper each day to remove all of the plaque and leftover food particles that become trapped between the papilla on the surface of the tongue. Also, staying hydrated is important, especially during these hot summer days!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319814.php

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/white-tongue/basics/causes/sym-20050676

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Lowering Liver Cancer Risk with Good Oral Hygiene

August 3rd, 2019

Why is it important to take care of your teeth? Some people may be wondering how their oral hygiene habits affect their overall well-being. There’s increasing awareness that poor oral health is linked to more than just issues found within the mouth. Research has consistently shown us that poor oral health can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, just to name a few associations. Now, a recent study conducted at Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom has found another possible link between oral health and gastrointestinal cancers, for instance, liver, colon, rectum and pancreatic cancer.

Just about 60,000 people each year in the European Union are killed by liver cancer. This is ranked as the 6thmost common cancer related death, with only an 11% five-year survival rate! The study looked at the oral health of about 469,000 people in the United Kingdom, noting conditions such as loose teeth, gingival and periodontal diseases, missing teeth, and tooth decay. Although the study did not find significant evidence between gastrointestinal cancers and poor oral hygiene, people with poor oral health may have a 75% increase in developing liver cancer according to the study. However, more research is needed to better establish the mechanisms behind this connection. Researchers are interested in investigating the role certain microbes found originally within the mouth, including Fusobacterium nucleatum, may have in liver cancer.

The good news is, with healthy lifestyle habits including diet, exercise, oral hygiene, and avoidance of behaviors including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, you can lower this risk!

It is important to schedule regular dental visits, and keep up with brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day to keep your mouth healthy. Keeping your oral health and liver in check also includes eating well and maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190617125124.htm

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050640619858043

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