Category : Sleep Apnea Southlake TX

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Prosthodontists vs. Cosmetic Dentists

 

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This week is National Prosthodontics Awareness Week! Ever wondered about the difference between prosthodontists and general, or cosmetic dentists?

Everyone’s heard of the term “cosmetic dentist,” but prosthodontists undergo more rigorous and advanced training to specialize in the restoration of teeth, and they are also fully trained in general dentistry as well. They are recognized as a specialist by the American Dental Association, and as of last year, there were only 3200 prosthodontists in the US, compared to some 170,000 cosmetic, or general dentists.

Some of the services that prosthodontists offer are dental implants, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, and jaw treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. These services require a great deal of skill, and we are so happy that our very own Dr. Khal Ajlouni is an award-winning prosthodontist! You can feel secure and comfortable that you are in great hands.

At DaVinci Dentistry, we are here to answer any questions you may have about any of our prosthodontic services. We are conveniently located in Southlake, and serve patients in Grapevine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills, Keller, and the HEB corridor. Call us at 817-251-9333.

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2 Ways Sleep Apnea is Harmful

Sleep apnea can cause car accidents, as this photo of a man sleeping in a car illustrates. More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And for those individuals suffering from the condition, in which the muscles in your throat relax during sleep and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, the resulting lack of oxygen has a trickle-down effect, in more ways than one.

Here are just a couple ways in which sleep apnea is harmful to you:

  1. Drowsiness – While the disturbances in breathing cause by sleep apnea may be imperceptible to you — despite the fact that bedmates often deal with snoring — the condition actually causes you to wake briefly. This pause in breathing followed by a split-second waking can occur up to 30 times an hour, cutting into crucial sleep cycles. Drowsiness in and of itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, but get behind the wheel of a car, or try to operate heavy machinery on the job, and accidents can and do occur.
  2. Heart disease – When sleep apnea disrupts the body’s oxygen levels, the brain can have a hard time regulating the flow of blood through the arteries, which can contribute to heart attack risk. In fact, a 2013 Mayo Clinic study revealed that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk for sudden cardiac death during sleep. This risk doubles when the sleep apnea patient experiences more than 20 breathing disruptions per hour, coupled with drastic falls in oxygen saturation levels, the amount of air flowing through your lungs.

As awareness about obstructive sleep apnea continues to grow, and with it, the knowledge base on ways to treat it, patients have more options at their disposal. Since sleep apnea involves the mouth and throat, the team at Southlake’s DaVinci Dentistry can fabricate an oral appliance designed to prop the mouth open at night, customized specifically for you. Drs. Khal and Raed Ajlouni are experienced in dental sleep medicine, and they can combine an accurate diagnosis coupled with oral appliance therapy to help treat your condition, decrease risks and improve your quality of life. Contact us by calling 817-251-9333, filling out our online appointment request or connecting with us on Facebook.

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Sleep apnea treatment: Maintaining your oral appliance

Illustration showing areas impacted by sleep apnea treatmentSleep apnea is a big deal. The more people begin to understand the impact of this chronic sleep disorder, the more they seek solutions for the condition. In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, patients are often pleasantly surprised to learn of a simple form of sleep apnea treatment: a custom-fitted oral appliance.

Oral appliances — similar in appearance to a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer — work by gently holding the jaw forward, which keeps the airway open during sleep when soft tissues could otherwise relax and block the airway.

The benefits of an oral appliance compared with a CPAP machine or even surgery are numerous and include:

  • comfort;
  • quiet;
  • portability; and
  • convenience.

Oral appliances must be maintained, however, to ensure their effectiveness with sleep apnea treatment. This includes not only cleaning your appliance but coming in for follow-up appointments (at least once every year). During this appointment, the dentists and team members at DaVinci in Southlake will assess whether the appliance needs to be adjusted.

Maintaining an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea is pretty simple; it just requires a bit of initiative on the part of the patient. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we’ll go over the details of what to expect and what to do to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your night’s rest. Have questions? Feel free to contact us at 817-251-9333.

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5 Ways Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Change Your Life

Group of people standing and jumping at sunset demonstrating the positive effects of sleep apnea treatmentJust as it’s quite common that those with sleep apnea don’t know they have it, it’s also just as likely to not understand all the ways it’s impacting your life. That is, until you seek sleep apnea treatment for this condition, in which the muscles in your throat relax during sleep, with the tongue often falling black and blocking the airway. The result: waking hundreds of times in the night, even if for only split seconds at a time, imperceptible to the sleeper.

One method of treatment is an oral appliance that helps prop the mouth open during sleep, preventing this phenomenon.

Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment

With adequate sleep comes a whole host of benefits including:

  • Improved concentration and alertness
  • Change in mood
  • Lower medical bills (sleep apnea can lead to more health problems – think stroke, heart disease, diabetes – which means more doctor visits and with it, health care costs)
  • Reduced snoring (good for everyone involved, including your bedmate)
  • Increased safety for you and those around you (people with obstructive sleep apnea are 10 times more likely to have a car accident)

Best of all, treatment for sleep apnea with an oral appliance is becoming increasingly more common. Since as dentists we are experts where the mouth is concerned, we can customize your appliance to your specific bite and teeth. With training in dental sleep medicine, we can talk to you about your symptoms, and coordinate a sleep test to work toward a diagnosis and solution. Contact us at 817-251-9333. DaVinci Dentistry is in Southlake and here to serve patients in the entire area, including Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, Trophy Club, North Richland Hills, and the HEB Corridor.

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Effects of sleep apnea: How much sleep do you need each night?

 

For anyone who has ever suffered from sleep apnea, insomnia or other disruptions in sleep, the adage that we all “need a good night’s rest” is probably one you understand well. Even so, the amount of time recommended to devote to sleeping each day, per the National Sleep Foundation, may surprise you.

Recommended hours of sleep per night

Here’s a closer look:

  • Newborn (0-3 months) – 14 to 17 hours
  • Infant (4-11 months) – 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddler (1-2 years) – 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschool (3-5 years) – 10 to 13 hours
  • School age (6-13 years) – 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenager (14-17 years) – 8 to 10 hours
  • Young adult (18-25 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Adult (26-64 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adult (65+ years) – 7 to 8 hours

When sleep apnea is to blame

Three sheep jumping over the fence. Count them to sleep.Even if you allot enough time for sleep, conditions like obstructive sleep apnea — when the muscles in your throat relax and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway as you sleep — could be robbing you of the rest your body needs, as well as vital oxygen for all of your organs, including your heart and brain. Unless you have a spouse or bedmate who tells you about persistent snoring (snoring can be but is not always symptomatic of sleep apnea), you may not even know anything is wrong. Other indicators such as waking up frequently in the night, waking up with headaches and excessive daytime drowsiness might be all you experience.

Taking action

If this is the case, and you are allotting the recommended hours of sleep per night, talk to us at DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake about your concerns. Dental as well as medical practices can assist you with diagnosis through take-home sleep studies. And if all signs point toward sleep apnea, dental solutions such as oral appliances can help. By comfortably propping open the mouth, these devices help prevent the tongue and soft tissues from obstructing your airway during sleep. If you still have questions about sleep apnea solutions, don’t hesitate to call our office at 817-251-9333 to schedule an appointment.

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Sleep apnea by age

Couple smiling Sleep apnea has become incredibly common in the U.S. Taken from the Greek word “apnea,” which means “without breath,” this condition occurs when you involuntarily stop breathing during sleep. Approximately 80 percent of people affected by sleep apnea have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the muscles in the throat relax, and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to your heart, organs and brain.

It’s estimated to affect upward of 30 million Americans.

So does age make you more vulnerable or less susceptible to this sleep-related breathing disorder? It depends. While most diagnoses of sleep apnea occur in adults age 40 or older, numbers published on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine site pointing to an American Journal of Epidemiology Study reveal that 26 percent of adults ages 30 to 70 have sleep apnea.

It’s not something that just affects adults, either. For nonobese children ages 8 and younger, the rate of sleep apnea can be as high as 5 percent.

Regardless of age, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, memory problems, headaches, job impairment and much more. As the obesity epidemic in the U.S. increases, so too, does incidence of sleep apnea, although it can occur in people who are not overweight.

If you have concerns about sleep apnea, we can talk to you about next steps to get the relief you need. Often, we can order a sleep study and fabricate an oral appliance that will address your symptoms. For sleep apnea relief, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here. Call 817-251-9333.

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Who is more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea – men or women?

Sleep Apnea Word CloudAs awareness of obstructive sleep apnea grows, chances are you have heard about this serious health concern. And if you snore or someone in your household snores, you may even wonder if you’re at risk for this condition.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, men are more likely than women to have obstructive sleep apnea. But that doesn’t mean if you’re female that you are completely in the free and clear. Risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic, potentially life-threatening medical disorder that is characterized by interruptions of breathing during sleep, increases with age. But in some instances, even overweight children are at risk.

Other sleep apnea risk factors include:

  • family history of sleep apnea;
  • obesity; and
  • people with small airways (noses, throats, mouths).

While not necessarily a risk factor in and of itself, sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and heart problems.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be at risk for sleep apnea, talk to the team at DaVinci Dentistry. The field of dental sleep medicine has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and we can discuss options to diagnose and manage obstructive sleep apnea. Oftentimes, the solution is as simple as an oral appliance. Talk to us today: 817-251-9333.

 

 

 

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Snoring versus sleep apnea

Annoyed woman covering her ears with pillows to block out snorinWhen it comes to snoring and sleep apnea, some people may struggle to figure out the difference between the two. Snoring is extremely common, and it affects 90 million Americans. It may occur nightly or intermittently.

So what causes it, and how is it different than obstructive sleep apnea?

Snoring occurs when the collapsible part of the airway — where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula — strike each other when breathing, creating a vibration. In this situation, the airway is partially closed.

Some of the most common causes of snoring include:

  • obstructed nasal passageways;
  • excessively bulky throat tissue; and
  • poor tongue and throat muscle tone.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused when the airway completely closes. The tongue falls against the soft palate, and the soft palate and uvula fall against the back of the throat, so when your chest rises to inhale, no air comes in. This can occur hundreds of times throughout one night, and each episode may last mere seconds to more than a minute. Sometimes those with this condition may snore; other times not. In either case, daytime drowsiness is a hallmark symptom.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition, because not only does it prevent you from getting adequate sleep, it can increase the likelihood that you will experience a host of other problems ranging from depression and headaches to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and even stroke.

In Texas, dentists in addition to sleep physicians may treat patients for this disorder. The first step is to talk with us. If you are experiencing frequent snoring, we can order a sleep study, and depending on the results, fit you for a custom oral appliance designed to prop the airway open at night. Whether your snoring is simply that — snoring — or an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, we’ll help you get the answers you are looking for, to get the rest you need. Scheduling an appointment with DaVinci Dentistry is the first step. Call 817-251-8333.