Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

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Sleep apnea is associated with out-of-control snoring. But that’s just one symptom, and it’s harmless. Multiple other symptoms could be more disruptive of your quality of life. Comparing your symptoms to a list won’t help you feel better, but it could put you on a path to a diagnosis.

 

Sleep apnea is a pattern of interrupted sleep, caused by the collapse of throat muscles. This condition can be either obstructive, when the cause is physical, or central—when the cause is neurological. Either one is bad for the business of your sleep. While it’s up to your sleeping partner to rate your snoring, there are signs you can notice yourself. These include:

 

Waking multiple times per night to urinate
Waking up with a headache, sore throat or dry mouth, or a sore jaw
Recurrent reawakening or insomnia
Persistent feelings of fatigue
Inability to concentrate or increased irritability during the day

 

In an apneic episode, the body ceases to breathe. In severe cases, it happens consistently throughout the night. Obviously, this can impact your health. Along with the pre-existing health patterns that may have led to sleep apnea in the first place—like obesity or alcoholism—you should treat your sleep apnea with urgency. This means getting a diagnosis, which often means getting a sleep study. Sleep physicians like our San Francisco dentist often recommend a sleep study both before and after diagnosis—one to determine a course of treatment, and the other to determine the effectiveness of that treatment.
Available treatments include CPAP—or continuous positive airway pressure—and OAT—or oral appliance therapy. CPAP is a machine that regulates airflow through a mask. OAT is for patients who do not respond to the invasiveness of CPAP, and uses a mouth guard to reposition the jaw for better breathing.

 

To find out if you have sleep apnea, contact our expert in sleep apnea in San Francisco.

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How Does Acceledent Work?

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Once you make the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment, you will be excited to see the results of your new smile. With Acceledent, that may happen sooner than you would expect. Acceledent is an FDA-approved device that can significantly speed orthodontic treatment. Our cosmetic dentist in San Francisco can help you decide if this treatment is right for you.

During orthodontic treatment, continuous pressure is applied to the teeth through braces or invisible aligners. Acceledent uses vibrations that can speed the bone remodeling process. You will wear the Acceledent mouthpiece for 20 minutes a day. During this time, you simply bite down on the appliance while you read, watch TV or relax. The gentle vibration will help the tissues adjust to treatment so that your teeth move more quickly. There is never any pain or discomfort associated with Acceledent, and the vibrations are mild enough that the system can even be used for patients with low pain tolerance.

If you want to unveil your new smile faster or simply speed your orthodontic treatment, Acceledent might be an appropriate solution for you. Call to schedule your consultation today to learn more about Acceledent in San Francisco.

Teeth Whitening Process

Friends having funOur teeth are supposed to be bright and white. Unfortunately, they can quickly become darkened and yellowed over time. This is often due to certain diet staples, such as berries, red sauce, tea, and coffee. It can also be caused by some lifestyle habits, such as smoking. Our dentist in San Francisco can perform a teeth whitening treatment in order to remove these extrinsic stains.

There are many different types of teeth whitening treatments, however most of them work very similarly. It will begin with a teeth cleaning, in order to remove any plaque, tartar, and food debris. Then they will apply a rubber block in order to protect the gums and other soft tissue of the mouth.

A whitening liquid or gel is then applied directly on to the teeth. It will be activated with a special dental light or laser. For most types of treatments, the liquid and light will stay in place between a few minutes and fifteen minutes. It will then be removed and reapplied one to two more times.

If an in-office treatment is not what you are looking for, we can also offer take-home kits. These provide you with the tools, materials, and instructions you need to brighten your teeth at home.

Endodontic Treatments

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Are you experiencing a tooth ache? If so, you are likely in a lot of pain right now, and wishing for something that can magically take it away quickly. Fortunately, there’s a special dentist specifically for this purpose. Endodontists can perform root canal and other types of treatments in order to save your tooth and eliminate all pain.

Root canal treatments involve using a drill to create a hole in the tooth. This gives our expert in endodontics access to the pulp, which has become infected. All of the infected tissue is removed and replaced with a special dental packing material. The tooth is then restored with a crown or filling.

Endodontic retreatment is sometimes necessary after root canal therapy. This is needed when some infected tissue has been missed and not removed, typically from deep in the bottom of the canals. Our endodontist can go back into the tooth and ensure any infected tissue is gone. Endodontic treatment is also sometimes necessary after a physical accident in which a tooth has been broken, or the pulp otherwise affected.

If you are suffering from a tooth ache, do not ignore the pain – it will not go away on its own. You will need the help of our experienced dentist in San Francisco as soon as possible.

Periodontal Treatments

Senior man giving woman piggyback ride

Periodontists are dentists that specialize in the gums. Many patients can do an acceptable job taking care of their teeth, but completely ignore their gum health. This leads to varying levels of gum disease.

A mild level of gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms include excessive tenderness, redness, and bleeding. At this stage, increased dental care and oral hygiene may be enough to reverse the process. This includes improved brushing and flossing, as well as more frequent visits to our cosmetic dentist in San Francisco.

If the condition has become more progressed, our periodontist can perform a scaling and root planing, or SRP. This involves using a special tool to remove the plaque and tartar from just above and just below the gum line. If this is not successful, a gum flap surgery is typically attempted next, wherein incisions are made in the gums in order to better access and clean the tooth roots.

Other periodontal treatments include gum tissue and bone grafting. Failure to seek treatment for gum disease can lead to deep decay, abscessed teeth, and even tooth loss. If you have recognized any of the above symptoms in your gums, schedule an appointment with our dentist today.

Do Self-Ligating Braces Work for Anyone?

Attractive Young Woman

Patients of our San Francisco orthodontists are always excited to learn that there are several appliances available to them. Self-litigating braces are one of these options. Though they work much like traditional braces, they feature a unique design that offers several benefits.

Self-litigating braces are made of brackets and wires, just like their more traditional alternatives. The main difference is that the brackets are able to contain the wires without additional material. The wires are therefore able to move as the teeth align. This means that the brackets are smaller than the bulky ones many are used to, as is much appreciated by out appearance-focused patients. The brackets can also be made out of a different material, so they are more tooth-colored and less visible.

Candidates for self-litigating braces are typically the same ones as traditional braces. This means they can address crooked, gapped, and crowded teeth, as well as a variety of bite issues. Some patients and former patients may argue that they are not able to fix certain issues, but as always, every set of teeth are different, and the results of one may not be the same as for another. It is best to listen to our expert in self-litigating braces in San Francisco and their advice about which appliance will be best for you.

What You Should Know about Tooth Roots

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Tooth roots are the lower parts of the teeth, situated below the crowns and taking up about twice as much space. Anchored in the jaw bones, tooth roots stabilize teeth throughout life. Here are some more things to know about the roots of teeth.

Tooth Roots Can Become Exposed

Because tooth roots are buried inside of the gums, they are not covered with protective enamel. This means that sensitivity and decay are significant risks if the tooth roots become exposed, such as after gum recession.

Loss of Tooth Roots Affects the Jaw Bones

When tooth loss occurs, a space is left in the jaw bone where the root was before. Leaving this hole open can result in the jaw bone shrinking and the nearby teeth shifting. By promptly replacing the root with a dental implant, these problems can be prevented.

Tissues Inside Tooth Roots Can Become Infected

Canals inside of tooth roots contain tissues that can be attacked by bacteria after trauma or severe decay. Root canal therapy, a common endodontic procedure, eliminates the infection so that the tooth and its natural roots can remain in the mouth.

Our office is fully equipped to care for tooth roots with a full range of endodontic care. To learn more about the tooth roots and available endodontic procedures, patients can schedule a consultation with our endodontist in San Francisco.