Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Snoring man, frustrated woman

We frequently see patients with various kinds of jaw problems as well as worn or cracked teeth. While our patients may not be aware of it, our dentist in North Hollywood knows immediately that sleep apnea is the most likely culprit behind these symptoms.

Dentists are nearly always the first members of the medical community to notice sleep apnea symptoms and refer patients to doctors for a formal diagnosis. The referral is necessary because only a doctor specializing in sleep disorders can “officially” diagnose the problem.

For many years, sleep apnea was believed to be a mere inconvenience, loud snoring disrupting sleep. Our sleep apnea dentist in North Hollywood will tell you that the disorder is more than an annoyance. Over ten million people suffer from sleep apnea; many do not know they have the problem. Not every sufferer experiences life-threatening complications because of sleep apnea, but the disorder ties to serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Additionally, those with sleep apnea must endure multiple medical problems such as oxygen deprivation and significant sleep deprivation.

The oral problems frequently caused by sleep apnea are not widely publicized. Although through patient education, more people are learning about the link between sleep apnea and dental issues.

Here are some symptoms of sleep apnea we frequently see.

• Tooth grinding (also called bruxism)-We see many patients who show signs of tooth grinding such as worn teeth. Patients with bruxism often also have chipped or cracked teeth because of the tremendous pressure the jaw exerts. Researchers tell us that the link between bruxism and sleep apnea is that a patient begins grinding their teeth as a way to wake the body and breathe.

• Temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ)- Sleep apnea and TMJ relate to each other through tooth grinding and jaw clenching. It is very common for a patient with sleep apnea to wake with extreme headaches radiating from their jaws.

• Dry mouth- Patients who complain of dry mouth, especially upon waking, tend to be apnea patients who mouth- breathe during the night.

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact our office. There are many types of treatments our dentist can suggest that can make a huge difference in your sleep and your life.

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Dental Care after Root Canal

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Our root canal patients are generally feeling much better soon after the procedure. Removing the dead and decaying material inside the tooth gives patients great relief. It is important for patients to remember that even if they feel much better, the tooth experienced a trauma, so proper care is necessary.

After your root canal procedure is complete, one of our dentists in North Hollywood will provide instructions for you to follow once you are home. It is important for you to follow these directions as this will bring you the quickest and least complicated recovery possible.

In addition to specific instructions from our dentist, here are several helpful tips to make recovering from your root canal comfortable.

• Plan to rest as much as you can on the day of your root canal; a day or two is preferable if you have that option. If possible, prepare a comfortable spot to recuperate after you are home and stock up on soft foods to eat after the root canal.

• Do not eat until the numbness wears off and you can feel the inside of your mouth and tongue. You run a risk of a painful bite if you try to eat too soon.

• Follow medication instructions carefully, especially if our dentist prescribed painkillers. Take your medication as directed to stay ahead of the pain.

• Eat soft foods until the dentist puts a crown on your tooth. This is important for patients who have temporary crowns as well as those who have no cover on the tooth.

• Brush and floss your teeth and make sure to keep the area around the root canal clean so you will not get an infection.

While a root canal is not on any lists of fun ways to spend a day, with proper attention and a little time you will be happy you took care of your tooth. Should you have any post-op concerns, feel free to call our office. We can give you the information you need and, if necessary, put you in touch with our dentist.

How Invisalign Corrects Teeth

dispositivo ortodontico bite

Throughout our many years in dentistry, new procedures and ideas have come and gone. The most sought-after treatment, by far, is the Invisalign system. Our patients are pleased with their results as well as with the way Invisalign works.

To begin your Invisalign treatment, our cosmetic dentist in North Hollywood takes a digital scan of your teeth. The image goes to the Invisalign dental lab. At the lab technicians use the information to plan the movement of your teeth during your treatment. After planning the future tooth adjustments, a technician makes a series of 20 to 25 clear plastic alignment trays. These clear trays are thin, lightweight, and slide over your top and bottom teeth.

Invisalign works by using the alignment trays to guide your teeth into the optimal position in your mouth. This process happens gradually, and your Invisalign treatment usually is finished in 18 months. The process is faster than regular wire braces. Occasionally, wired braces can take three years to straighten teeth completely. Because there are no wires to tighten, our Invisalign dentist in North Hollywood provides new aligners about every two weeks. Each alignment tray is slightly different than the other aligners and will guide your teeth a little more towards the correct position.

While taking part in your Invisalign treatment, it is essential to wear the alignment trays 22 hours a day. However, you should not wear the trays while eating or drinking. Be sure to clean the aligners before you put them back into your mouth after eating and brushing your teeth. As your Invisalign treatment moves forward, our dentist will see you periodically to check your progress.

Our patients love the discreet and comfortable alignment trays as well as the fact that the removable trays mean they have no food restrictions. The thing patients enjoy the most is the brilliant smile courtesy of Invisalign.

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Adults and Orthodontic Treatments

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More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatments to improve their smile. Fortunately, there are advances in orthodontics that allow individuals to get braces that are more convenient than traditional methods. We understand that getting braces as an adult can be inconvenient, as adults (unlike children), are busy and may not want braces on for a lengthy period of time.

 

Getting adult braces does not have to be a daunting process. Now there are many options available to older individuals who want to speed up this process and make it more suitable to their lifestyles. If you choose to go the inexpensive route, you can opt for traditional braces, which include metal brackets and wiring. While they don’t look very glamorous, they are now lighter than ever before and very effective in correcting most orthodontic issues that plague adults.

 

There are also options that look less visible on the teeth such as lingual and ceramic braces. Lingual braces are worn on the back of the teeth so they are not seen from the front. However, this option isn’t the best for everyone. Often lingual braces are for people with more minor corrections. Ceramic braces are much like the traditional option except they are lighter in weight and the color of enamel. This is great because they are less visible than traditional methods.

 

There is also another orthodontic treatment options called Invisalign. This method is very popular for improving the smile because they are not braces at all. Instead, our experts can fit you with clear plastic aligners that can be removed at any time. They are virtually invisible so you can smile with confidence. This is also very convenient because they can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing and sleeping. As your teeth move and shift into place, the aligners are switched out (usually every week). Often, the length of time these are worn is much shorter than the other methods listed above.

 

The length of time for any orthodontic treatment will depend on your case. It could be as little as six months up to a couple years before treatment is complete. If you have crooked teeth, crowding, overbite, underbite, or misaligned teeth, talk to our dentist in North Hollywood. We can discuss the best orthodontic options available to you so that you can improve your smile. Schedule a consultation with us to get started.

Keeping Up with Your Periodontal Health

Group of friendsPeriodontal disease affects the majority of Americans over 35, but it is not inevitable. Keeping up with your periodontal health can help you keep your gums healthy and avoid this common dental problem. Our North Hollywood dentist can help you design a preventive periodontal strategy to protect your gums and your smile.

1. Use the right tools.
Many people use a toothbrush that is too rough. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal because bristles that are hard or stiff can injure your gums and leave them vulnerable to infection.

2. Brush properly each time you brush.
Technique matters as much as frequency. Clean your teeth using small tooth-length strokes with your brush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums, and spend about two minutes at a time brushing.

3. Clean between your teeth.
The toothbrush cannot reach between each set of teeth, so you do need to use a special tool to clean in this area. Floss is perhaps the most common tool of choice, but you can also use floss picks, dental flossers or interdental cleaners to clean between your teeth. Whatever you choose, just remember to clean between your teeth at least once a day.

4. Eat a healthy diet.
What you eat matters, too. Brushing and flossing perfectly is not going to help your teeth very much if you eat a starchy, processed diet low in nutrients. You have to feed your teeth and gums plenty of healthy foods to keep them strong.

5. Visit us.
Regular dental cleanings and checkups on a recommended schedule will always be important because they help us monitor your teeth and gums for early signs of problems and give you important advice on how to improve your dental routine.

Call our periodontist in North Hollywood to schedule your next appointment.

How to Know if You Have Gum Disease

Closeup portrait of a successful business team laughing togetherThere are several warning signs that may point to gum disease. For many patients, bleeding gums trigger a wave of concern. Our dentists in North Hollywood are experts in detecting signs of gum disease and combating symptoms before they progress.

There are numerous factors that can contribute to the development of gum disease. For example, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and menstruation are known to increase gum sensitivity, allowing for gingivitis to develop. Patients with illnesses such as cancer, HPV, and diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease. Any of these factors paired with poor oral hygiene, smoking, or a family history of gum disease are cause for concern. If gingivitis occurs and is left untreated, it can develop into gum disease. Several periodontal treatments are available to those suffering from gingivitis, and should be sought out promptly at the sign of infection. In order to prevent and reverse gingivitis, one should practice plaque control through daily brushing and flossing. However, this is not enough. Patients must receive a professional cleaning every six months to ensure their gums are healthy. Another step would be to maintain a well-balanced diet to promote a strong immune system. Vitamins E and C are incredibly effective in repairing damaged body tissue.

When is a Dental Bridge Recommended?

Smart businesswoman

Bridges are a slightly more conservative restoration than implants, which not all patients qualify for anyway—implants require lots of healthy bone, for example. As an alternative to implants, bridges also cost a lot less. Our expert in dental bridges in North Hollywood recommends dental bridges for anyone looking to save both money and time, while maintaining a high standard of replacement.

There are three kinds of bridges. First, there’s the standard bridge that uses crowns and a pontic. The crowns are for the supporting teeth, to either side of the lost tooth, and require the supporting teeth to be modified slightly. The pontic connects to the crowns and is inserted where the natural tooth was.

Second, there’s a cantilever bridge. You need this kind of bridge if your lost tooth was on an edge and so has only one abutment tooth. The abutment tooth will still need to be modified and crowned.

Third, there’s a Maryland bridge. This is considered the most conservative bridge, and involves bonding the pontic to the abutment teeth with resin or metal clips. This eliminates the need for tooth modification, but is obviously less secure.

For more about dental bridges, contact our North Hollywood dentist.