Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

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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Preventing Wisdom Teeth Growth

May 12th, 2014

no-wisdom-teeth-1

Wisdom teeth extraction is a complicated oral surgery procedure.  Many people fear the surgery and the time-consuming recovery process.  What if you could avoid the complicated process altogether by eliminating your wisdom teen as a child?

Researchers at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine have found that a significant number of children between the ages of 2 and 6 that received injections of local dental anesthesia never developed wisdom teeth.  Based on this epidemiological research, the researchers hypothesize that the local dental anesthesia is responsible for the interruption of lower wisdom teeth growth.

Dr. Anthony R. Silvestry, DMD who is a clinical professor of the Department of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine said, “It is intriguing to think that something as routine as local anesthesia could stop wisdom teeth from developing.  This is the first study in humans showing an association between a routinely administered, minimally-invasive clinical procedure and arrested third molar growth.”

Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, begin to grow as four small tooth buds during the time a child is between the ages of 2 and 6.  Specifically, on the lower jaw, the tooth buds are very close in proximity to the spot where dentists insert dental anesthesia injections.  The needle is capable of disrupting wisdom teeth growth by penetrating the growing tooth buds and ultimately, stop it from growing.

Although this hypothesized theory needs further study before it becomes practiced, these new studies shed light on a possible preventative approach when it comes to wisdom teeth rather than a technique strictly involving oral surgery.

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 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Sources:

http://now.tufts.edu/articles/nipping-wisdom-teeth-bud

http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/dental-anesthesia-may-interrupt-development-w

Image credit: http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/no-wisdom-teeth-1.jpg

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