The profession of dentistry has experienced an amazing evolution over its lifetime. References to tooth decay can be found in various ancient texts. At one time, a local barber would provide haircuts and pull troublesome teeth in the same shop. Dentistry evolved from these humble beginnings to what we know today: a structured medical discipline where patients benefit from evidenced-
On the list of common reasons people avoid the dentist, cost is usually near the top. It is a fact — some dental treatments are expensive. However, you have some control in working to avoid pricey dental procedures. Two of the best ways to avoid needing expensive dental treatments are to visit a dentist regularly for an exam and cleaning and following proper dental hygiene advice every day.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates over 18 million adults in the United States, or about one in every 15 people, suffer from sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that interrupts breathing, resulting in disruptive sleep. Individuals suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will experience a repetitive (partial or complete) airway collapse throughout their sleep, which prevents air from reaching the lungs.
Have you ever experienced tenderness in your jaw area? Facial pain is a rather common issue in the general population, with 15 percent to 20 percent of people reporting symptoms. While some only suffer temporarily, others find their discomfort lingers for a longer period or reaches a level that significantly diminishes their quality of life. This type of pain can greatly affect chewing, biting and even speech. When the discomfort lingers or reaches severe levels, it will often prompt a doctor visit to address the issue.
According to the American Cancer Society, 51,540 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2018. During the same period, a total of 10,030 deaths are expected. These statistics are even more important for Kentucky residents, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted upon reviewing data from 2015 that Kentucky has the second highest rate of oral and pharyngeal cancer in the country, with 13.4 new cases per 100,000 people.
Recent studies show periodontal disease – more commonly known as gum disease – is much more common than previously thought, with almost half of the adults in the United States suffering from it. The prevalence of periodontal disease is even worse when looking at the male population: 60 percent of men over age 30 years suffer from gum disease.
It has been over a year since Andrea Crookston made the decision to make her oral health a top priority and partner with University of Kentucky Dentistry. Prior to starting the journey, Crookston would hide her smile when taking photos. Fear and anxiety kept her from going to the dentist every six months as recommended. Instead, she would only go when the pain was too much for her to tolerate.
Many people think of orthodontic treatment when they have concerns about crowded or misplaced teeth. While metal braces are often considered a rite of passage for teenagers, there are a number of issues orthodontic treatment can help address for individuals without age limits. These issues include not only teeth and occlusion (the position of the teeth when the jaws are closed) but also facial balance and aesthetics.
Many people may be aware of adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder of breathing during sleep, but few realize children can also suffer from this condition. During an apnea event, a child may only be able to take a small amount of air – or none at all – into his or her lungs. A child with OSA can breathe normally during some portions of the night, but during an obstructive episode, the ribcage moves, trying to fill the lungs with air, but the airway is obstructed in....
Although the concept of digital dentistry began decades ago, advancements aided by the computerization of many tasks continue to be introduced to the marketplace and dental practices. These changes allow dental care providers to offer new options in patient care, helping to increase both the accuracy and effectiveness of care solutions, which ultimately supports greater patient satisfaction. If you’ve been putting visiting the dentist off, you may want to take a moment to see if....
It only takes something as quick as one soccer ball or basketball hitting a face to affect a smile forever. All sporting activities have an associated risk of dental trauma due to falls, collisions and contact with hard surfaces or sports-
There is no shortage of things to think about when you’re pregnant, from prepping for baby’s arrival to squeezing in enough rest. Unfortunately, some areas such as oral health are overlooked during pregnancy. Hormonal changes as well as behavioral changes occur for many women during pregnancy, both of which can directly affect the mouth. As the baby’s wellbeing can be impacted by the oral health of the expectant mother, special attention should be placed on oral health and any....
When Lexington resident Hannah Andrews started suffering from pain in her jaw that migrated toward her ear, she visited an urgent care clinic to confirm whether she had an ear infection. Ear infections may require an antibiotic for treatment. But when she was checked, Hannah was told her ears looked fine. Instead, clinic personnel thought the real culprit could be linked to an issue with her temporomandibular joint – a small joint located on each side of the jaw responsible for....
Did you know tooth decay in children is four times more common than asthma? In fact, one of the most prevalent childhood diseases is dental caries, a process where the presence of bacteria in the mouth leads to the weakening of protective tooth enamel, which in turn can lead to tooth decay.
The American Cancer Society estimates roughly 53,000 people in the United States will develop oral cancer in 2019. That’s about 145 new cases confirmed each day. More troubling still, Kentucky has one of the nation’s highest incidences of oral cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health.
What started as a way for cigarette smokers to kick the habit is shaping into another health challenge. Increasingly, a growing percentage of youth are discovering e-
The food we eat affects not only our teeth but also our health overall. Webster’s Dictionary defines diet as the kinds of foods a person, animal or community habitually eats. “Diet” can mistakenly be associated with food restriction and often carries a bad connotation. However, a healthy approach to eating results in benefits that may include improved sleep, more energy, clearer skin and fat loss, as well as strong teeth and bones.
There are a variety of reasons you may develop a sore or lesion in your mouth. These include everything from simply biting your tongue, cheek or lip to wearing poor-
Snoring is a very common condition that affects roughly 90 million adults in the United States. While more prevalent among men, women also snore, and although snoring affects individuals of all ages, it tends to become more common as we get older. Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues in the throat when the muscles relax while an individual is asleep. This vibration during breathing can cause a loud noise that varies in intensity. It may occur occasionally or regularly.
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muscles relax during sleep, it may not only lead to the tissue vibration that produces snoring, but also to the partial or complete closing of the airway, preventing air from reaching the lungs. As a result, the snoring can be followed by a pause in breathing that may sound like the person is gasping or choking. Intermittent collapse of the airway that occurs during sleep is known as obstructive sleep apnea. It is estimated that about half of loud snorers may also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can cause daytime drowsiness, which can lead to a number of issues such as trouble concentrating and memory problems, mood changes such as irritability or depression and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. Moreover, there is a higher risk of cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and stroke.
Consult with your doctor if, in addition to frequent snoring, you experience some of the following symptoms: excessive daytime tiredness, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability and unrefreshing sleep. Your doctor or sleep physician will ask you and your bed partner more specific questions about your symptoms and may order a sleep study to investigate any potential sleep breathing disorder.
Different conservative treatment options are available for managing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The first line of treatment will always include lifestyle modifications that can help mitigate some of the symptoms or even resolve the problem completely. These include weight loss in the case of obesity; avoidance of alcohol, muscle relaxants or other sedatives at bedtime; and smoking cessation to reduce the inflammation of the airway that cigarettes cause. In patients whose symptoms are related to sleep position, different positional therapies can be tried, including the use of specialized pillows or even self-
When lifestyle modifications are not enough to manage sleep symptoms, other conservative treatment options are available. The first line of treatment has traditionally been the use of positive airway pressure, also known as PAP therapy, which may include C-
For patients who cannot tolerate PAP therapy, an alternative treatment is a dental device (oral appliance) custom made by a dentist experienced in treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These custom dental devices fit over the teeth and help bring the lower jaw forward, opening the space between the back of the tongue and throat and thus preventing the collapse of the airway. These devices also help protect the teeth from other harmful habits, such as bruxism or teeth clenching or grinding.
Patients tend to prefer the devices in almost 95 percent of cases, in contrast to PAP therapy, because they are easier to tolerate, present minimum side effects and are more convenient while travelling.
Consult with your doctor and specialized dentist to discuss if you are a good candidate for using an oral appliance to manage snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Isabel Moreno Hay is an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and the program director and interim Division Chief of Orofacial Pain located in the Kentucky Clinic. She is board certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and by the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. Dr. Moreno Hay’s practice includes the dental management of sleep-
Snoring is a very common condition that affects roughly 90 million adults in the United States. While more prevalent among men, women also snore, and although snoring affects individuals of all ages, it tends to become more common as we get older.
Snoring is caused by the vibration of tissues in the throat when the muscles relax while an individual is asleep. This vibration during breathing can cause a loud noise that varies in intensity. It may occur occasionally or regularly. The loudest snoring recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records was equivalent to heavy traffic, a noise level that will definitively affect the sleep quality of anyone sharing the room with that snorer.
In addition to aging, other potential contributing factors for snoring are weight gain and anatomical factors such as a deviated septum or enlarged tonsils. Inflammation of the nose and throat due to allergies or infections can also play an important role. Other factors include alcohol use or taking muscle relaxers before bedtime. Lastly, the position in which a person sleeps can matter. Some people may snore more loudly or only snore while sleeping on their backs compared to sleeping on their side.
Snoring Versus Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It is important to always take in consideration that for some people, snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition. When the throat