Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances

When you think about services your dentist can provide, you’ll typically think of cleanings, extractions and implants. But did you know your dentist also may be able to help you with sleep apnea? “Dental sleep medicine” is a rapidly evolving field. One of the most prominent areas of dental sleep medicine is sleep apnea treatment.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person’s breathing is disrupted during sleep, leading to pauses in their breathing or shallow breaths. This can cause them to wake up feeling unrested, and if untreated, can lead to long-term heart or respiratory complications. People with sleep apnea may be unaware they have it, as it can be difficult to detect. Treatment can help to reduce the effects of sleep apnea and improve quality of life.

How can your dentist help?

If you are familiar with sleep apnea, you may already be aware of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines. These machines are widely used to treat sleep apnea and are often very effective. However, these machines can be quite loud, uncomfortable and inconvenient to take with you when traveling.

An oral appliance is an effective way to treat sleep apnea. These appliances are custom-fitted to your teeth like a mouthguard, and comfortably hold your jaw forward to keep your airways open as you sleep. This method is often preferred over CPAP machines or other electronic breathing equipment, as it is silent, more comfortable, and more convenient. While it may not work for everyone, an oral appliance can be a great solution for those living with sleep apnea.

The right sleep apnea device for you.

When searching for an oral appliance to manage your sleep apnea, it is essential to select a high-quality device and have it properly fitted by your dentist. The fitting process can take as little as one visit or may need to be completed in a subsequent visit. Your dentist will take the necessary measurements and have the device ready for you when you return.

It is not recommended to purchase over-the-counter oral appliances to treat sleep apnea, as they are not FDA approved and may be uncomfortable and ineffective. In some cases, using an unapproved device could even make your symptoms worse. It is important to consult a dental professional for the most effective treatment.

If you are looking for a treatment option for sleep apnea, there are many available. From oral appliances to CPAP machines, breathing equipment, surgery, or weight loss, there is something that can work for you. Before making a decision, it is important to talk to your primary care physician to discuss the various options. If it looks like an oral device is the best fit, a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine can give you the information you need to make an informed decision, including the pros and cons of different types of oral appliances.

Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea and your doctor determines an oral appliance is a viable option for you, we can help. Give us a call at (509) 926-6261 to learn more about oral appliances for sleep apnea or any other dental concerns.

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Why Are My Teeth Stained?

To many people a morning coffee or afternoon glass of wine is a ritual that cannot be disturbed or broken, but as there are many joys that come with those drinks there are still many enamel straining prices. There are 3 different types of staining that can happen to your teeth and different causes. Learn more below. If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, Spokane Valley Dentistry in Spokane Valley can help!

Types of Stains:

Tooth discoloration can be caused by surface stains, material changes in your teeth, or a mix of the two. Tooth discoloration can be divided into three types, according to dentists:

    • Extrinsic Teeth Stains: These stains are a type of discoloration that affects the outer layer of your teeth. Extrinsic stains are not as permanent as the other types, these stains will not respond to simply brushing your teeth. If there are cracks on the teeth they can become deep-set and begin to be harder to remove.
    • Intrinsic Teeth Stains: This type of stain will be found on the inner layer of your teeth, or the dentin. Though dentin is beneath the tooth enamel, the darkened dentin can cause the whole tooth to appear discolored.
    • Age-Related Teeth Stains: Age-related teeth stains are a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. The core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, will naturally yellow over time causing your teeth to become discolored. Another factor that may cause your teeth to show discoloration is that the enamel of your teeth will become thinner allowing the dentin to show through.

Causes of Enamel Stains

There can be many causes when it comes to teeth stains. Certain drinks and foods can cause there to be stains on your teeth, but there can be a biological factor as well. Many times there can be ways to prevent these stains from appearing on your teeth and many that you can not control. This list can help you determine what the cause was behind the stains on your teeth.

  • Food & Drink: Coffee, dark sodas, red wine and some fruits and vegetables can be so acidic that they cause staining.
  • Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to discoloration
  • Oral Care: Tooth discoloration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, such as insufficient brushing or flossing.
  • Trauma or Disease: Discolored teeth can result from any trauma, illness, or disease that impairs enamel formation in children, whether in the womb or while teeth are developing (under the age of 8). Adult teeth can sometimes become stained as a result of trauma. Discolored teeth can be caused by a number of disorders and therapies, chemotherapy and radiation, for example, cause tooth discoloration.
  • Medical Treatments: There are times when some medical treatments can contribute to your teeth staining as well as some medications.

Ways to Help Clear Stains

There are a few remedies that can help lessen the impact of these causes. With help of some products, the coloration of your stains can become less apparent, but will not fully remove those stains.

  • Keeping a consistent healthy oral routine – brushing twice a day and daily flossing
  • Twice-yearly visit to your dentist
  • Limitation of teeth-staining beverages
  • At home remedies – brushing with baking soda products
  • Professional teeth whitening

 

If you are interested in getting your teeth back to pearly white, contact Spokane Valley Dentistry today for a professional teeth whitening session!

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Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?

One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.

Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Cons of Dental Implants

No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:

You have to meet a set of requirements

In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.

The cost of the procedure

While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.

The procedure can be lengthy

Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.

Pros of Dental Implants

While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

They look and feel like natural teeth

Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.

You can eat and chew with ease

Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.

Dental implants can last a lifetime

Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.

They’re easy to take care of

You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.

They prevent bone loss

Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.

You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so give us a call!

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