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What Is Sleep Apnea Dentistry?

sleep apneaIt’s a fact that many people have trouble sleeping. But did you know it can be life-threatening when the reason for sleeping troubles is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)? People with OSA have a disorder that causes them to stop breathing during their sleep. This could happen anywhere from few times to a hundred times, and can last as long as 10 seconds, making OSA extremely dangerous.

According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Fortunately, dentists can actually help these people thanks to sleep apnea dentistry.  But it starts with a diagnosis.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

One of the biggest problems of OSA is that the majority of people don’t even know they have it. That’s because they brush off the symptoms as normal. Here are some of them:

•           Snoring

•           Daytime drowsiness

•           Memory loss and headaches

•           Chronic fatigue

•           Depression and irritability

•           Loss of focus at work

A consultation with Lebowitz Dental will help identify whether these problems may be related to obstructive sleep apnea. The dentist can then treat OSA via a variety of oral appliances.

Sleep Apnea Dentistry

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Dr. Lebowitz can fit you in a sleep apnea appliance such as this one to get you sleeping again.

Sleep apnea dentistry involves oral appliances designed to be worn during sleep to improve airflow. There are two main types of oral appliances, but both help open the airway:

            •           Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) – The most common device used, this is similar to a mouthguard and adjusts the jaw to keep the airway open.

            •           Tongue Retraining Device (TRD) – This device keeps the airway open by holding the tongue in place.

To get one of these devices, our office will perform an examination and consultation, determine which device is the most appropriate for the specific patient, customize the device for proper fit and provide follow-up care and advice.

Sleep Apnea Dentistry has become the best solution to OSA. If you think you might be at risk, schedule a visit with us today.

 

 

Facial Trauma – What You Need to Know

Any injury involves some level of trauma. When it comes to your face and mouth, however, it’s different. Dental trauma (or facial trauma) can be anything from a tooth fracture or broken tooth to teeth that are completely knocked out of the mouth. Athletes and people in the military tend to be at the highest risk for facial trauma. Although car wrecks and high-risk employment can often lead to dental trauma to the facial area.

Watch how one patient recovered from facial trauma with Dr. Lebowitz’s help:

Often, a trip to the emergency room is required for facial trauma and there is a lot of pain. But there are certain ways to treat (and even prevent) facial trauma so you have as little pain and/or problems as possible.

Treating Facial Trauma
Facial trauma can be the result of a one-time event like an accident, or could develop over time from something like a cavity. Either way, if your tooth is fractured, broken or lost, it’s important to act quickly. Here are some steps you should take when dealing with facial trauma:
1. Determine whether you or the person with facial trauma is light-headed, dizzy or unconscious. This may mean the injury is more severe and you should call 911 immediately.
2. Identify the type of facial trauma.
3. For lost teeth, rinse them with water and immediately re-plant them in their original socket by holding them in place until you get to the dentist or emergency room.
The general consensus is that you have 40 minutes or less to successfully re-plant a healthy permanent tooth. But the best way to treat facial trauma is to prevent it completely.
Preventing Facial Trauma
As mentioned before, sports are the riskiest area for facial trauma. That’s why organizations like the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) urge athletes to “always wear protective head gear for sports.” This includes helmets, masks, mouthguards and more. The latter is actually very easy for Dr. Lebowitz to customize so you get the best protection.
Automobile accidents are another risky area, so preventing facial trauma should be another reason you always wear your seatbelt. Finally, maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding chewing hard objects will help your teeth stay strong and reduce the risk of tooth fractures.
Knowing how to treat and prevent facial trauma is invaluable. If you have any additional questions about dental trauma, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lebowitz today!

Sleep Apnea: A Life-Threatening Disorder

sleep apneaIs your partner snoring and keeping you awake? Have you ever gotten more than eight hours of sleep and still felt tired? It can be frustrating, especially when that exhausted feeling lingers throughout the day. But what if you focused on improving the quality of your sleep instead of increasing the length of it? Sleep apnea is a disorder that hinders your ability to sleep soundly, but many don’t know they have it until they’re examined by a dentist.

The most common type of sleep apnea – and the one your dentist can help with – is obstructive sleep apnea. This involves something blocking your airway during deep stages of sleep and can happen up to 70 times per minute. This means you can never truly get a deep sleep, which causes tiredness and even puts your life at risk.

Risks of Sleep Apnea
Your body repairs itself when you sleep, so you basically wake up in a damaged state if you don’t get quality sleep. That puts you at higher risk for common life-threatening issues like these:

  • Heart failure – since your oxygen level drops frequently with sleep apnea, it causes your body to release more stress hormones and increase your heart rate. This can lead to heart problems like high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats or even a heart attack or stroke.
  • Obesity/diabetes – about half of people with sleep apnea tend to be overweight, as disrupted sleep changes how your body uses energy properly.
  • Mental/emotional issues – those with sleep apnea are at higher risk for mental or emotional issues like mood disorders, Alzheimer’s and depression.
  • Treatment for Sleep Apnea
    Believe it or not, one person who can diagnose and treat your sleep apnea (and possibly save your life) is your dentist. With a simple examination, they can identify signs of sleep apnea – such as evidence of teeth grinding – and prescribe treatment.
    The most common treatments dentists use for sleep apnea are oral appliances. These custom-fit devices adjust your jaw to keep your airway open and prevent blockage. They’re also adjustable, so you can rest assured yours will be comfortable and effective.
    Stop tolerating exhaustion (and risking your life) and start breathing regularly again at night. Schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Lebowitz Dental Associates today at 602-264-2905.

    Causes of TMJ

    Causes of TMJ
    If you’ve heard anything about a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you likely know it involves your jaw and it involves a lot of pain. It’s actually a bit more complex than that, as there are a wide variety of common TMJ problems. And while the disorder can develop naturally over time, did you know the vast majority of TMJ disorders are caused by trauma?
    There are two basic forms of trauma that contribute to TMJ disorders: minor trauma that happens repeatedly over time and major trauma that is usually the result of an accident or injury. If you’re aware of these types of trauma that can cause TMJ, you can seek treatment earlier or even avoid it altogether.
    Minor Trauma Causes of TMJ
    TMJ disorders can develop by themselves due to certain habits or natural degeneration.

    Here are some examples of minor trauma that may contribute to TMJ disorders:

    • Habitually clenching or grinding your teeth
    • Participating in contact sports such as football, basketball or hockey
    •  Developing a form of arthritis
    • Tension due to stress

    Many of these forms of minor trauma involve a lot of tightening and clenching of the muscles, which leads to fatigue and overworking them. All increase the possibility of TMJ disc erosion or dislocation, which leads to a TMJ disorder.

    Major Trauma Causes of TMJ

    Major trauma is the more unexpected cause of TMJ disorders and isn’t as preventable. But recognizing it can help you seek treatment as early as possible.

    Here are some examples of major trauma that may contribute to TMJ disorders:

    • Sports injuries, such as a tackle to the head in football or an elbow to the face in basketball
    • Automobile accidents, specifically ones that involve an impact to the head
    • Some roller coasters or other activities with sudden changes in speed that cause whiplash
    • Anything else involving a strong blow to the head

    There is likely more than one factor involved in developing a TMJ disorder, so your risk may be higher if you’ve experienced multiple forms of minor or major trauma.

    If you’d like suggestions on how to avoid TMJ disorder causes – or if you think you might have already developed it and would like treatment – schedule a consultation with Lebowitz Dental today.