How Can a Dentist Help Treat Your Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your quality of life – not only does it leave you exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, but if left untreated, sleep apnea can cause serious, long-term health problems.
Your doctor’s solution to the problem might involve loud, bulky machines, or possibly even surgery. But depending on your situation, your dentist might be able to offer a simpler, less-intrusive solution.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Most people are more familiar with the side effects of sleep apnea than the condition itself: exhaustion, snoring, headaches, irritability, and even depression. But rather than not getting enough sleep, the reason these symptoms occur is that the body stops breathing intermittently while asleep.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is usually caused when the soft tissues of the throat collapse due to muscle relaxation, blocking the airway. When this happens, you wake up briefly throughout the night (some people believe they are choking), and the body’s oxygen levels are reduced.
Airways can also be blocked by swollen tonsils and glands, swelling or misalignment of the jawbone, obesity, alcohol use before sleeping, or nasal issues such as deviated septum or allergies.
Why Sleep Apnea Should be Taken Seriously
Sleep apnea can result in more than just snoring and exhaustion. If left untreated, it can cause profound health issues, including:
High blood pressure
Chronic acid reflux
How Revercomb Dental Group Diagnoses and Treats Sleep Apnea
Revercomb Dental Group offers a gentle, non-invasive approach to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. To first determine whether you suffer from the condition, we start with a free in-office pharyngometer test, which accurately maps the size and collapsibility of your airways. This simple test usually takes only about two to five minutes to complete.
If the test suggests you may have obstructive sleep apnea, you will next undergo a take-home sleep study, which records your body’s biological conditions while sleeping. Dr. Revercomb will go over the study’s results with you, and if they indicate you are suffering from OSA, the next step is crafting a dental appliance for you to wear.
Some dentists or doctors prescribe a CPAP machine to treat obstructive sleep apnea, which forces air through the oral and nasal passages to keep soft tissues from collapsing. CPAP machines can be noisy, bulky and uncomfortable, which can also affect your sleep. Instead, Dr. Revercomb will design a custom mouth device that will help to comfortably open your airways.
This mouth piece is individually shaped to guide your jaw forward while sleeping, to position the soft tissues in your airways (tongue, soft palate, tonsils, and the back of the mouth) so that they don’t block airflow. With an unobstructed airway, you should experience a good night’s sleep starting with the first use.
Sleep apnea can have severe effects on your health and quality of life, but it is also easily treatable. To learn more about Revercomb Dental Group's services or to schedule an appointment, call 315-682-8400
Training Your Kids To Brush Better
By: Michelle Kielbasinski
All parents know the struggle of getting their kids to do something that they are not interested in. Make your bed, do your homework, eat your veggies and brushing their teeth is no different. Here are a few ways you can encourage health brushing habits in your children:
Give them an understanding of why brushing is important. Try reading some kid friendly stories at bedtime.
Often times when you let kids chose their own toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, they are more excited about using them!
The ADA recommends visiting a dentist six months after your child's first tooth appears. Have your kids visit the dentist with you. Take a ride in the chair, count their teeth and work their way up to a cleaning by 3 years old.
If you equip your child with the tools and information to help care properly for their teeth, you will set them up for a lifetime of good oral health!
How Coffee Affects Your Mouth
By: Michelle Kielbasinski
Coffee is a staple in most morning routines. Most people are aware of the fact that coffee is a notorious teeth-stainer, but there are many other ways it can affect the overall health of your mouth. Here are just some of the ways your coffee may be affecting you:
Stains your teeth
Staining is probably the most visible impact of coffee. Your teeth's enamel is very porous, therefore dark colored foods and drinks can penetrate the surface and cause staining. One simple way to combat staining is to visit your dentist for regular cleanings.
Coffee is very acidic, it is because of this that drinking coffee over time can erosion to your enamel. Avoid using straws, this creates a direct contact with your teeth. One way to help minimize the affect of the acidity is to rinse your mouth with water after finishing your coffee.
Coffee breath is often bad breath! This happens because the caffeine in coffee can dry out the saliva in your mouth. Without saliva, bacteria can go in your mouth, resulting in bad breath. Consider chewing sugar-free gum after your coffee.
Destroying plaque bacteria
There is an upside to coffee, according to study coffee high in caffeine may actually help destroy bacteria that cause dental plaque. There's a catch, sugar and creamer can cancel this benefit out. Next time, enjoy your coffee black!
3 Simple Ways To Stop Grinding Your Teeth At Night
By: Michelle Kielbasinski
If you are waking up in the morning with a sore jaw or a constant dull headache you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night!
Teeth grinding can cause serious damage to your teeth. If it happens on a consistent basis, it can erode tooth enamel and cause damage to dental work. There are many things that contribute to teeth grinding, stress and anxiety are a few, but it is most commonly caused by an abnormal bite, crocked or missing teeth. If this sounds familiar, it is important to visit your dentist for an examination ASAP! In the meantime consider trying these helpful hints:
Your dentist can fit you with a custom night guard. A night guard will help protect your enamel when you grind your teeth.
If you notice that you are grinding your teeth during the day, stay aware of it, relax your jaw as soon as you notice you are doing it. See your dentist so that they can exam your mouth for the signs and recommend a course of action.
If your jaw is sore, try to relax by giving yourself mini jaw massages. Also try not to chew on non-food items such as gum, pencils & finger nails. Give your jaw a break!
Side Effects Of Soda
Dentists have a name for the condition they see in kids who drink too much Mountain Dew. They wind up with a "Mountain Dew Mouth," full of cavities caused by the drink's excessive sugar levels. "Mountain Dew Mind" may be the next medical condition that gets named after the stuff. An ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink, is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Researchers also suspect that, like brominated flame retardants used in furniture foam, the chemical builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time.
Automated External Defibrillator
Dentists are seeing an increasing number of elderly patients, which means the likelihood of an emergency is much greater, including sudden cardiac arrest. In such a critical situation, an automated external defibrillator can be the difference between life and death. It's now law in New York State. Effective January 1,2012 all dental facilities must have an automated external defibrillator (AED) in their offices. This public health legislation, supported by NYSDA, ensures that the dental community is protecting the health and well-being of its patients so a patient can be treated promptly if he or she goes into cardiac arrest. At Revercomb Dental Professionals, we purchased our automated external defibrillator in the fall of 2009. After careful research our doctors purchased the lifeguard heartstart defibrillator. The staff at our dental practice has been trained through the American Heart Association. Our staff stays current in CPR and automated external defibrillator training to ensure the health and safety of our valued patients.
Dr. Jacob Revercomb Achieves Diplomate Status In Implantology
Dr. Jacob Revercomb earned Diplomate status within the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) on February 17, 2012 in San Diego,CA. The awarding of Diplomate status is the highest honor a professional society such as ICOI can bestow on a dental professional involved in implantology. The ICOI conducts a Diplomate program in which active members are encouraged to achieve Diplomate status through their efforts in education, research and actual clinical experience. Advance Credential Committee interviews and testing are required. Shown on the left is Dr. Revercomb with Dr. Carl E. Misch, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ICOI and founder of Misch International Implant Institute.
Dr. Jake Revercomb attended an advanced CEREC course in Scottsdale, Arizona over Martin Luther King weekend. He participated in several seminars, updating advanced design techniques in CEREC crown and bridge restorations. This allows us to efficiently restore full quadrants of the mouth, as well as final restoration of dental implants. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge with our patients.
Utilizing Your Insurance Benefit
As you know, the year is winding down and the snow will be flying soon. This is a good time to think about any dental work that you may have been putting off. If you are a patient with dental insurance, please remember that your insurance benefit does not carry over from year to year. In other words, "use it or lose it". Most people who carry dental insurance have a yearly maximum of $1,000 to $2,000. If you have neglected to have your teeth cleaned and examined, or if you have put off having your restorative work completed, please look into your insurance benefits and utilize what you have left for the year, or it will go unused. Our office will be happy to file any pre-determinations to the insurance companies to determine what your benefit will be. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office to speak with Tammy, Mary Lou, or Colleen and they will be happy to guide you!! We look forward to hearing from you! -Drs. Gary & Jacob Revercomb