sleep apnea

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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The-Diabetes-Sleep-Apnea-Link.jpg

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

trouble-falling-asleep.jpg

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September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 5th, 2018

What is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?

Did you know that over 23 million children are obese or overweight in the United States? National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is a yearly campaign with the goal of letting individuals know the health hazards of obesity, particularly for children. Approximately one third of children in the U.S. are at risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. But, with the knowledge and proper resources, we can make these statistics and the health of our children better. Several organizations and professionals will be joining together especially this month to raise money, conduct research, and provide treatment to help battle childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem that can have a lifelong impact on the overall health. Chronic conditions such as asthma, joint issues, Type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea may develop at higher rates due to childhood obesity. Also, it has been found that children with obesity often are more likely to experience depression and lower self-esteem. Surprisingly, obesity is also linked with an increased risk of developing periodontal disease due to the body's inflammatory response.

Several factors play a role in childhood obesity, such as genetics, metabolism, your child's home and community environment, as well as eating behavior and level of physical activity. It is important to encourage your child to stay active, get regular sleep, and to have a tooth-friendly healthy diet. When your child's energy is balanced it allows for healthier growth.

Some ways to help prevent obesity include measuring your child's Body Mass Index (BMI). This can be done using the CDC’s Child and Teen BMI Calculator to help identify your child's risk for obesity. Most importantly, make sure your child is provided with nutritious meals that include fruits and vegetables. Now that school is starting up, make sure to pack healthy lunches, which will not only keep your teeth healthy, but also your body! Have your child avoid sugary foods and beverages. Allow a certain amount of time for your child to be involved in physical activity each day. Not to mention, be a role model by following the same guidelines!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/ada-09-september-is-national-childhood-obesity-awareness-month

https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

tips-on-childhood-obesity-awareness.jpg

1_Lunchbots_.jpg

Are You At Risk For Sleep Apnea?

January 23rd, 2017

It's common knowledge that sleep is important for learning and your overall health, but did you know that your sleeping habits are also linked to your tongue and tonsils?

According to a recent study published in the Saudi Medical Journal, tonsil size, tongue indentations, and tongue teeth imprints may be indicators for obstructive sleep apnea risk. This condition, which affects over 18 million adults in the US, stops and restarts your breathing due to blocked upper airways while you sleep. Common symptoms include interrupted sleep, sleep loss, fatigue, irritability, and a lack of focus.

OSA can also result in learning and memory problems, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, or depression in severe cases. Obese individuals over 40 years old with large tonsils and tongue indentations are most at risk for OSA.

If you have enlarged tongue or tonsils, we recommend that you visit a sleep specialist.

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

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sleep-apnea-dentist-tongue-tonsil_us_56e04e17e4b0b25c91804c4c?utm_hp_ref=dental-health

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

http://yourbodychanging.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Does-Sleeping-Make-You-Taller.jpg

Do you wake up breathless?

July 13th, 2016

sleep-apnea

Do you often feel sleepy or fatigued throughout the day for no reason? Or snore loudly and wake up short of breath in the middle of the night? Then you may experience sleep apnea, a condition that stops your breathing periodically while you sleep (up to 20-30 times per hour).

When you stop breathing, your brain wakes you up due to the lack of oxygen in order to restart your breathing. Many people don't remember waking up in the middle of the night, so they think they're getting enough sleep but end up feeling drowsy during the day.

Sleep apnea, a serious medical problem, can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart failure and stroke. The drowsiness during the day can be dangerous for driving or cause complications with medications or surgery.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • loud snoring
  • waking up breathless
  • snorting or choking sounds
  • headaches when waking up
  • falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  •  extreme drowsiness throughout the day

The three types of sleep apnea are:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (due to collapsing of soft tissue in the back of the throat)
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) (muscles don't receive proper brain signal)
  3. "Mixed" or "complex" sleep apnea (combination of obstructive and central)

Risk factors include:

  • OSA is more common in males and in older adults (40+)
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • using tranquilizers/sedatives
  • family history
  • heart disorders
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • strokes
  • brain tumors

Treatment options:

  • losing weight
  • stop smoking
  • sleep on side instead of on back
  • oral devices
  • surgery (if severe)

Please contact our office so we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if you suspect that someone you know suffers from this medical problem.

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

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.wellesleydentalgroup.com/sleep-apnea

Sleep Apnea and Permanent Tooth Extraction

April 12th, 2016

sleep

Sleep apnea is common condition that can lead to trouble sleeping and cause tiredness throughout the day even after a full night's rest. Individuals with sleep apnea experience one or more pauses in breathing during their sleep that can last from seconds to minutes. Aside from excessive daytime sleepiness, signs of sleep apnea also include dry mouth, headache, and snoring, just to name a few.

Research has found that sleep apnea may increase the risk of of high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, obesity, and diabetes, and the chance of getting into a car accident.

So, you may be wondering how this condition plays a role in dentistry. Some studies suggest that getting teeth extracted for braces can increase one's risk for developing sleep apnea.Orthodontic treatment is the perfect solution to correcting crowded teeth, protruding teeth, gapped teeth, and jaw problems. For well over 50 years and still today, dentists have debated the treatment of extracting permanent teeth for orthodontic treatment. Some dentists extract permanent teeth because it's easier to create more space between teeth, while others use alternative methods, such as palate expansion or headgear to correct one's smile.

Some argue that pre-orthodontic tooth extraction makes the jaw narrower and forces the tongue to lay further back into the mouth and restrict the airway. Also, some believe that extractions can lead to changes in one's facial appearance and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a condition that results in oral issues including chewing problems and jaw pain. However, further research is needed because it is unclear whether these notions are actually the case.

Others counter these arguments and claim that the jaw doesn't necessarily become narrowed and can even become widened depending on various factors. In addition, some argue that extractions can be beneficial for individuals with lip strain or thin gums.

Studies observing patients who've had teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment are inclusive in their findings. These studies often only offer a limited assessment of the patient's airway to see what's actually occurring.  Two studies of patients found no change in the pharyngeal airway as well as a third study.  However, three other studies found a reduction in the airway size of some patients. Researchers believe that the difference in findings could be due to racial differences in the response of the airway to movement of the teeth.

Overall, its unclear whether or not extractions lead to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a complex condition and further research is needed to explain its association with permanent tooth extractions. If you feel that you are excessively sleepy during the day you may want to contact a sleep specialist so that they can conduct a sleep study. If you are in need of any orthodontic treatment or have questions regarding permanent tooth extractions,  Dr. Emad is happy to help. Dr. Emad Abdallah is a faculty member at Tufts Craniofacial Pain Center.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group 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. Van. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea

http://www.naturalhealingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/iStock_000002751438Medium.jpg

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963245

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20677956

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963245

 

Don't Bite into Bruxism

September 17th, 2015

bruxism

 

At some point in time, you've probably experienced grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition is known as bruxism. Most of the time, individuals don't even know when they're doing it! When teeth grinding becomes a habit, it can result in severe dental damage, discomfort, and even an interrupted sleep pattern.

Teeth grinding can happen during the day, but in many cases it happens during sleep. Do you often get up in the morning with a headache, sore mouth or jaw? Have you ever been told by a loved one that you're grinding your teeth at night? If so, it's important to visit your dentist before more dental problems arise, including abnormal bite or crooked teeth.

Clenching or grinding teeth during sleep is medically termed sleep bruxism. According to a study, 8% of adults grind their teeth during the night and more than 1/3rd of parents indicate to the dentist that their children are experiencing symptoms of bruxism. Children who still have all their baby teeth or are starting to grow in their permanent teeth can even experience bruxism. Many people typically learn that they grind their teeth by a loved one who can hear the grinding at night.

The causes of bruxism are still not clear, although many studies commonly associate it with stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, certain medications, cigarette smoking, sleep problems, and snoring. It's possible that treating sleep apnea can help alleviate sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding may not seem like a big deal, however, it can lead to fracturing, misalignment, or tooth loss. It can also affect the dental appliances within your mouth, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, implants, and dentures. Bruxism also affect your jaws, which can result in TMD/TMJ issues, hearing loss, and a change in the appearance of your face. Your dentist may suggest wearing mouth guards to avoid the damage caused by tooth grinding. If severe, your dentist may even recommend braces or oral surgery.

Remember, Don't use your teeth as tools. For example, chewing on pencils, ice, and other hard objects can cause serious wear on your teeth. Try to manage your stress and train yourself not to grind your teeth by relaxing your jaw muscles.

Keep a stiff upper lip and make sure that you are practicing the necessary oral habits in order to prevent the wear and tear to your teeth!

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 and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/basics/treatment/con-20029395

http://beautifulsmilesrgv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bruxism.png

http://www.medicinenet.com/habits_that_wreck_your_teeth_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/bruxism-and-sleep

Snoring is a Culprit to Oral Health Issues

April 23rd, 2014

Stop-SnoringAre you often told that you snore in your sleep? If so, you are not alone! Snoring is a common problem that can be caused by many factors. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 30 to 50 percent of individuals within the United States snore during their lifetime. Snoring not only affects your physical health, but also your oral health!

Snoring happens when air struggles to move freely through the nose and mouth during sleep. Snoring is often a result of abnormalities of the soft tissues in the mouth. Narrowing of the airway during sleep could cause tissues at the top of the airway to hit each other, resulting in a vibration and a loud noise. This noise can range from a soft wheezing to loud whistling sounds and can suggest breathing problems that interrupt sleep.

Dry mouth is a direct result of snoring. Snoring causes a lack of salivary flow, which is essential for coating the oral tissues. According to the American Dental Association, A lack of saliva due to snoring can lead to several other oral health problems, including bad breath, burning mouth syndrome, infections, mouth sores, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Saliva acts as a buffer by neutralizing the acids produced by plaque. Saliva helps wash away food particles, cleanse the oral cavity of dead cells that create odors, and eliminate bacteria within the mouth. Snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, which has damaging effects on the body. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that involves short breaks of breathing during sleep.

Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Gasping for air that causes a break in sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Attention problems

To avoid such problems, dentists can be a good source of help! Snoring and sleep apnea can be treated by using dental devices. The mandibular advancement device, also referred to as oral appliance therapy, is widely used to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Resembling a sports mouth guard, it helps keep the lower jaw down, which helps to keep the breathing airway open. Dentists can perform a polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study, which analyzes your sleeping patterns throughout the night. Also, a tongue-retraining device helps to treat sleep apnea by positioning the tongue in order to keep the breathing airway open. Orthodontic treatments, including rapid maxillary expansion, can provide additional help, especially for those with a narrow upper jaw. This nonsurgical treatment will reduce nasal pressure by tightening the upper teeth with the application of a screw device on the upper jaw. These oral devices can be useful in reducing the frequency of snoring, thereby improving your sleep patterns and oral health.

It is important to practice good oral hygiene in order to reduce your risk of developing these oral health problems. With the support of a dental professional,  the issue of snoring issue and sleep problems can be resolved!

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 and consultation.

References:

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Community/2013/June/article/SW-281474979163102.cvsp

http://finallyasleepco.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Stop-Snoring.jpg

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Personal/2013/July/article/SW-281474979158441.cvsp

http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2013/11/using-oral-and-dental-devices-to-treat-snoring-and-sleep-apnea.html

Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding

July 10th, 2012

Research is showing  a correlation between sleep apnea and teeth grinding. It was discovered that 1 in 4 patients suffering from sleep apnea also grind their teeth while sleeping.

It is believed that around 8 percent of Americans suffer from teeth grinding.

Shyam Subramanian, a doctor in Texas from Baylor College of Medicine, said:

"The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and sleep bruxism is usually related to an arousal response. The ending of an apneic event may be accompanied by a number of mouth phenomena, such as snoring, gasps, mumbles, and teeth grinding."

More men than women report symptoms of sleep apnea than women. Also, caffiene use and anxiety are thought to be factors that can lead to developing the condition.

You can learn more and read the article in full here. Be sure to contact Dr. Ali with any questions about teeth grinding, or bruxism, at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

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