What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening sleep disorder. It affects approximately 18 million Americans. It owes its name to the Greek word apnea, meaning “want of breath”, and it refers to episodes in which a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more during sleep. With each episode, the sleeper’s brain briefly wakes up in order to resume breathing, resulting in extremely fragmented and poor-quality sleep.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
People with sleep apnea usually do not remember waking up during the night. Indications of the problem may include the following:
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Irritability and impaired mental or emotional functioning
- Excessive snoring, choking, or gasping during sleep
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
What is the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?
Both fall into the category of sleep-disordered breathing. Simple snoring represents a mild disorder in which breathing becomes very loud, but the upper airway is only partially obstructed during sleep.
Snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. However, unlike mild snoring, sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder that occurs because the airway is totally obstructed during sleep, and the patient stops breathing completely for 10 seconds or more. In one night, a sleep apnea patient may experience hundreds of “apneic events” (or involuntary breathing pauses). If your partner hears loud snoring punctuated by silences and then a snort or choking sound as you resume breathing, this pattern could signal sleep apnea.
What treatment options are available?
Oral appliance therapy is one way to effectively manage snoring and sleep apnea, and it may be used in conjunction with other therapies. Mandibular repositioning appliances reposition and maintain the lower jaw (mandible) in a protruded position during sleep. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system delivers pressurized air through a mask that fits over the nose during sleep, keeping the airway open. Therapy may last for several weeks or months, and it does require follow-up visits.
If you experience any symptoms associated with snoring or sleep apnea, consult with Dr. Stephen Huber so he can properly diagnose your condition or, if necessary, refer you to a specialist. If our dentist suspects that you suffer from sleep apnea, he may refer you to a physician or a sleep specialist. It is important to keep an open and honest dialog with health care professionals to ensure that conditions such as sleep apnea can be identified and properly treated.
If you have any questions or concerns about sleep apnea or our sleep apnea treatment in Leawood, Kansas, we invite you to contact us at 913-543-3751. Our team is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and we want you to have the information you need regarding your dental and overall health.
Why are my teeth sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp), which results in nerve irritation. When the hard enamel is worn down or gums have receded, causing the tiny tube surfaces to be exposed, pain can be caused when eating food, drinking hot or cold beverages, touching your teeth, or exposing them to cold air.
Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking, and breathing habits. Taking a spoonful of ice cream, for example, can be a painful experience for people with sensitive teeth. The excessive consumption of acid-containing foods and beverages, such as citrus juices and fruits and soft drinks, can also put you at risk for tooth sensitivity. Bulimia and acid reflux can also result in erosion of the hard enamel and increased sensitivity, due to acid in the mouth.
Is tooth sensitivity a common condition?
Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. At least 40 million adults in the United States suffer, at some time, from sensitive teeth.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
Tooth sensitivity can be reduced by using a desensitizing toothpaste or applying sealants and other desensitizing and filling materials, including fluoride, which Dr. Stephen Huber can provide. You can also decrease the intake of acid-containing foods. Tartar-control toothpastes will sometimes cause teeth to be sensitive, as well as drinking soft drinks throughout the day, so these habits should be avoided.
Avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes and brushing your teeth too hard, which can wear down the tooth’s surface and expose sensitive spots. The way to find out if you are brushing your teeth too hard is to take a good look at your toothbrush. If the bristles are pointing in multiple directions, you are brushing too hard.
How do I know when it is time to see a dentist?
If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it is best to get a diagnostic evaluation from our dentist to determine the extent of the problem. Before taking the situation into your own hands, an accurate diagnosis of tooth sensitivity is essential for effective treatment to eliminate pain. Because pain symptoms can be similar, some people might think that a tooth is sensitive, when instead, they actually have a cavity or abscess that is not yet visible.
What can the dentist do for my sensitive teeth?
Dr. Stephen Huber has a variety of regimens to manage tooth hypersensitivity, including both in-office treatments and patient-applied products for home use. If you are diagnosed with dentin hypersensitivity, our dentist may apply a desensitizing agent or a protective coating. You may be prescribed a stannous fluoride gel or an over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste that contains fluoride and either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These ingredients help block the transmission of sensation from the tooth to the nerve.
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity in Leawood, Kansas, we invite you to call our practice today at 913-543-3751 and schedule your appointment with our caring dentist. We want to help you have a healthy smile!