Once thought to only affect sleeping partners, snoring is now known as not only an annoyance, but also a potentially serious medical condition called “sleep apnea.” Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses in breathing can vary from seconds to minutes and can happen up to 30 times an hour. When your breathing is disrupted in this way it causes an imbalance between the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the bloodstream. This imbalance will cause you to wake up to restart you’re breathing. This is accompanied by loud snoring or choking sounds as you awake slightly and struggle to breathe. Because sleep apnea doesn’t always cause a person to awaken completely, they are often unaware they have a sleeping disorder. This makes it difficult to diagnose.
There are two main types of sleep apnea, “central sleep apnea,” which occurs when the brain does not send important signals to breathing muscles and “obstructive sleep apnea,” which is far more treatable by dentists and occurs when airflow is blocked through the nose or mouth. Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea can include early morning headaches, drowsiness during the day and insomnia.
Sleep apnea does not always require a surgical procedure to be treated; often, a dental device can be fabricated to open the airways. These dental devices are gentle, easy to wear and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries. If you think this may be a condition you could be experiencing please contact us to set up a consultation in order to evaluate your condition and recommend treatment options.
TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint Dysfunction)
Tempromandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition that is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth and an intermittent ringing in the ears. Many TMJ sufferers are not aware that a dentist can often treat this condition. Common causes of TMJ are misaligned teeth, stress and teeth grinding. Depending on your specific TMJ needs there are several treatment options available. These include realignments to improve your bite, use of a custom bite guard and we can also recommend tips on relaxation. These will be carefully considered prior to any surgical options. If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Generally appearing between the ages of 17 to 25, wisdom teeth are usually your last four of 32 teeth to grow in. In most cases, wisdom teeth have a detrimental effect on the spacing of your teeth as they can cause “impaction,” wherein the tooth becomes lodged in an undesirable position. If this impacted tooth is not removed it can potentially cause damage to other teeth, increase crowding, and cause infection, cysts or tumours. In some cases where there is adequate space your dentist may still recommend extraction as the location of the molars can make it extremely difficult to keep clean and prevent tooth decay. It is recommended to begin monitoring the growth of these teeth from 16-17 years old as a preventative measure.
The best way for our dentists to determine the location and growth of your wisdom teeth is through a panoramic x-ray. This will determine if there is a current problem with the location and/or growth of your wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth are analyzed to see if the surgery can be carried out in our office. Some impacted teeth can require a more extensive surgical procedure, which we will recommend you to see a dental surgeon.
The removal of wisdom teeth is a very common procedure and in most cases can be performed in our office with a local anaesthetic. For some patients there is also the option of an oral sedative to be taken prior to their appointment. Other anaesthetics are available but only in an oral surgeon’s office such as IV sedation or general anaesthesia.
For additional information on oral and maxillofacial surgery options, please contact Cloverdale Dental Centre today!