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Got Sleep Apnea? Talk to A Dentist

You’ve probably heard before that your dental health can have an impact on your overall health, sometimes in surprising ways. For sufferers of sleep apnea, dental care can take the form of devices designed to cut down on this nightly problem. Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last several seconds and even upwards of a minute. The sufferer often does not even realize that he or she has the condition. There are three types of sleep apnea – central, obstructive, and mixed. Central sleep apnea is a disruption in breathing due to lack of respiratory effort, whereas obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a physical blockage that impedes air flow, and snoring is often a result. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both other forms of the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the neck relax and the tongue falls back into the throat, constricting the airway. When this happens, the soft palate may vibrate, causing snoring. If the airway becomes completely obstructed, breathing can stop entirely. Snoring and sleep apnea can have an impact on sleep quality and result in fatigue during the day. Sleep apnea can also lead to more serious conditions such as severe insomnia and sleep paralysis, and even cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. In severe cases, some individuals have died when their airways become completely blocked. Fortunately, there is help for those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea in the form of oral appliances that your dentist may suggest. Historically, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices have been used to treat many sleep apnea patients. These devices consist of a plastic face mask connected to a machine that supplies pressurized air to keep the airway open. CPAP masks are available in different models, and they have been used as a traditional approach to treating sleep apnea. However, dentists have pioneered simpler, less invasive oral appliances that are more comfortable and compact than a traditional CPAP device. This new type of oral appliance treatment has yielded effective results and has proven easier to adopt than traditional CPAP therapy. Since oral appliances must be custom fit to achieve maximum efficacy, they may need to be adjusted over time. A dentist who is educated in dental sleep medicine can work with a sleep physician to create a solution that works best for each sleep apnea patient. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it might be worth a conversation with your dentist to learn about your treatment options. Nothing compares to the worth of a good night’s sleep. Tags:dental healthsleep ... Read more
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:01

Fight Against Mouth Cancer

icki Rowland, Practice Manager at Perfect 32 Dental Practice in Beverley, was invited to be a consultant for the Mouth Cancer Foundation in light of her work to raise public awareness of mouth cancer and the mouth cancer screening service offered at ... Read more

BPA Exposure Possibly Suppresses Brain Development…

URHAM, N.C., USA: A new study has found that bisphenol A (BPA), a widely used industrial chemical found in hard-plastic bottles and dental resins, affects the development of the central nervous system by disrupting regulation of gene expression. The ... Read more
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:44

Office Desk ‘Grazers’ Risk Oral Health…

cid attacks caused by food are more frequent and prolonged.UK dentists and hygienists have revealed that people who snack throughout the day are a key group at risk of developing oral health problems. In a recent survey, 42% of dentists and ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:33

Research Shows the Potential Dental Health Risk of …

A new laboratory study of the erosive potential of fruit smoothies on teeth has been published in the latest issue of the British Dental Journal (BDJ). The authors of the BDJ report,In vitro investigation of the erosive potential of smoothies, maintain that encouraging healthier eating habits, including five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, could inadvertently promote damage to teeth if beverages such as fruit smoothies are regularly consumed as fruit and veg substitutes outside of mealtimes. The ethically approved laboratory study, which has been undertaken to provide more scientifically robust patient education, found that the majority of fruit smoothies investigated had a pH acidity level below the critical 5.5 pH of enamel, at and below which erosion occurs. Some fruit smoothie combinations proved more erosive than others and double the erosive capacity of fresh orange juice.  Those containing kiwi, apple and lime produced over 28 per cent surface loss in a tooth immersed in the drink for 60 minutes compared to strawberry and banana combinations which produced less than two per cent surface loss. The report’s authors suggest the success of national initiatives such as five-a-day has contributed to a rise in consumption of shop-bought smoothies from 6.3 million liters in 2001 to 34 million liters in 2006, with consumption projected to treble over the next five years, while the public remain largely unaware of the potential risk to their teeth. Dental erosion can range from minimal tooth surface loss leading to sensitivity and pain, to excessive loss of tooth enamel and poor dental aesthetics where restorative treatment can be time-consuming and expensive. Commenting on the findings, the British Dental Association’s Scientific Adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, said:“This study adds to the growing body of evidence linking dental erosion with the consumption of popular fruit beverages with a typical pH below 5.5 (acidity), such as fruit smoothies, particularly if they are regularly consumed as snacks, outside of mealtimes. “It is important that the public is aware of this link so fruit juices and smoothies in particular, are consumed as part of a balanced diet and preferably through a straw to minimize the impact to dental health.” Tags:dental health ... Read more
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 08:14

Mouthrinse Reduces Plaque More Than Toothbrushing Alone…

ew research published in the January/February 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), indicates that the use of a germ-killing mouth-rinse in addition to regular tooth brushing ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 12:05

Dental X-rays Increase Risk of Benign…

b>Taiwan: Prior studies have suggested that frequent dental and medical screening is associated with an up to five-fold increase in the risk of benign brain tumors. However, Chinese researchers have found that no such association may exist ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 12:12

New Help for Dental Phobics

dental clinic plans to link up with a hospital to help dental patient who fear the dentist. Queensway Dental Clinic in Billingham, Teesside, has announced a new partnership with the University Hospital of Hartlepool which will enable the clinic to ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 12:49

Carotid Plaques and Rheumatoid Arthritis…

img style="float: right;" alt="dental plaque formation" src="images/stories/images/stories/dental-plaque-formation.gif" width="300" />A recent article posted to the Musculoskeletal Network, written by Anne ... Read more
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 08:26

Patients are more Afraid of Tooth Loss than of Root …

lthough it is generally believed that root-canal treatment is considered one of the most unpleasant medical procedures by the majority of patients, a recent survey has revealed that most people are more afraid of losing their permanent teeth than ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 13:04

Study Demonstrates that Shift to Modern Diet Affected …

new study of human teeth over the last 7,500 years has revealed that oral bacteria diversity dropped markedly with the introduction of farming and manufactured food, and processed sugar in particular. The scientists believe that this contributed ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 13:13

Dentists Develop Restorative Crowns for Children…

wo dentists-turned-entrepreneurs say they’re part of the most revolutionary development in children’s dental care “since fluoride.” Jeffrey Fisher and John Hansen of Sacramento started EZ-Pedo Inc. in 2010, and today their relatively small ... Read more
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 08:02

Graham's Fluoride Vote Raises Eyebrows in Mebane…

MEBANE — A vote last week by Graham City Council to quit adding fluoride to the city’s water has caused a stir in Mebane and elsewhere around the county. Graham’s vote to discontinue fluoridation was contingent on members of the Mebane City Council doing likewise. Should both boards agree, fluoride will no longer be added to the Graham-Mebane Lake water supply. If Mebane votes to continue the use of fluoride — or simply doesn't take action on the matter — the water will continue being treated as it has for decades. Members of the Mebane City Council meet March 4. The agenda for that meeting hasn't been set, so it’s unclear if the issue concerning fluoride will be discussed. Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephenson said he’s received numerous emails — from area dentists, from citizens and from state health officials — about fluoridation since Graham’s vote. “Ninety-five percent are saying, ‘Please don’t change,’” Stephenson said. “That’s the overwhelming opinion.” He said he was surprised Graham voted on the matter before discussing it with Mebane leaders. “We’re in a partnership,” Stephenson said. “Why make a decision like that without first communicating with the other partner? Why would you bring up something so much a public matter at a council meeting without (getting) a lot of background and make a decision? Graham’s vote came after council members heard a presentation from the city’s utilities director, Victor Quick. He recommended the action after telling council members fluoride has been linked to some cancers and other health ills, “according to the research you believe.” Stephenson said the feedback he’s received indicates those who oppose fluoridated water are basing their stances on flawed research. He noted that almost anything used in improper measures can prove harmful. Arsenic, Stephenson noted, is used in some medications. Chlorine is used to clean pipes at water plants. Use either at the wrong levels, he said, and they’re deadly. “You can’t put in 5 percent (fluoride),” Stephenson said. “It’d kill us all.” Stephenson cited an email he received from N.C. Health Director Dr. Laura Gerald, who referred to fluoride as, “Both a safe and cost-preventive means of preventing tooth decay.”  An email from Rebecca King, the state’s dental director, said fluoride was proclaimed by the Centers for Disease Control “one of the top 10 health advancements of the 20th century.” Stephenson isn't the only one receiving those emails. Mebane Councilman Ed Hooks said he and other council members have all been on the receiving end of correspondence about fluoridation. He said only one email he’s received asks that fluoride be removed from the drinking water. The remainder, Hooks said, have been overwhelmingly in support of keeping it ,I don’t think any of us will support getting rid of fluoride in the water,” Hooks said of council members. “I know I’m leaning toward keeping it.” Members of the Alamance County Board of Health won’t be specifically addressing the Graham/Mebane matter when they meet Tuesday, but on their agenda is a vote on a resolution in support of fluoridated water. Kent Tapscott, the board’s chairman, said he and other health board members have received numerous letters and emails from individuals and state leaders in support of fluoridation. “Fluoride is really important for all the citizens,” Tapscott said. He said the information he’s read indicates removing fluoride from water would have the greatest negative impact on lower income families, whose children don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. Tapscott said he’s read studies that indicate the need for professional dental care increases as much as 25 percent when an individual’s water is not treated with fluoride. “I’m not sure we’d have enough dentists in the area to take care of everyone if we removed fluoride,” Tapscott said. Barry Bass, director of the Alamance County Health Department, said the vote concerning the fluoride resolution will come shortly after the board opens its monthly meeting – scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Alamance County Human Services Center (the former Alamance County Hospital). BASS SAID THE cities of Graham and Mebane aren’t the only ones addressing the matter of fluoridation. “This issue appears to be popping up across the state,” he said. Graham Mayor Jerry Peterman said the fact the city’s board was going to address the issue of fluoridation was advertised in numerous media outlets prior to its Feb. 5 meeting. “When we had the meeting, no one spoke,” he said. A lack of feedback hasn’t been the case since news accounts of the board’s decision were made. Council members have been inundated, Peterman said. “We’re getting a lot of information,” he said. “After the article came out in the paper, people started coming out. ”Peterman said he doesn't regret the board’s vote. “We were doing right with the information we had,” he said. Peterman said he doesn't think members of the Graham board would readdress the issue, but said he plans to attend Mebane’s March 4 meeting and speak if permitted. He said going into Graham’s vote, board members knew their action would hinge on Mebane voting in a like sense. Peterman said he won’t be disappointed if members of the Mebane Council don’t follow Graham’s lead. He said he’s heard from several local dentists who were upset by Graham’s vote. Peterman said he’s also heard from officials with the Alamance-Burlington School System who told him his board erred. Peterman said board members decided to address the matter about six months ago when it was learned the supply of fluoride at the water plant was running low. He said they’ve got a supply of about two months remaining. Discontinuing the fluoridation program would result in an operational savings of about $12,000 to $14,000 per year. But at last month’s meeting in Graham, Quick emphasized his recommendation to discontinue the use of fluoride was not a money-saving move, but one of health. “The plant staff believes the addition of fluoride to our public water supply is unnecessary,” Quick said at the time. “Staff believes fluoride should be applied directly to the teeth as opposed to ingestion” from the water. “Fluoride toothpaste is a much safer and cost-effective way to reduce tooth decay.”   Tags:dental health ... Read more
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 13:18

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