Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
"Root canal" is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth's nerve lies within the root canal.
A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory -- to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth. 

Why Does Tooth Pulp Need to Be Removed?

When a tooth's nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
  • Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
  • Bone loss around the tip of the root
  • Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin.

What Damages a Tooth's Nerve and Pulp in the First Place?

A tooth's nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.

What Are the Signs That a Root Canal Is Needed?

Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, signs you may need a root canal include:
  • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
  • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
  • Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

What Happens During a Root Canal?

 A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends to some degree on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist's comfort level in working on your tooth. Your dentist will discuss who might be best suited to perform the work in your particular case.
The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in a surrounding bone. Your dentist or endodontist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. Anesthesia may not be necessary, since the nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.
Next, to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment, your dentist will place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth.
An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The pulp along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue and related debris is removed from the tooth. The cleaning out process is accomplished using root canal files. A series of these files of increasing diameter are each subsequently placed into the access hole and worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals. Water or sodium hypochlorite is used periodically to flush away the debris.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. Some dentists like to wait a week before sealing the tooth. For instance, if there is an infection, your dentist may put a medication inside the tooth to clear it up. Others may choose to seal the tooth the same day it is cleaned out. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep out contaminants like saliva and food between appointments.
At the next appointment, to fill the interior of the tooth, a sealer paste and a rubber compound called gutta percha is placed into the tooth's root canal. To fill the exterior access hole created at the beginning of treatment, a filling is placed.
The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth that needs a root canal often is one that has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a crown, crown and post, or other restoration often needs to be placed on the tooth to protect it, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to full function. Your dentist will discuss the need for any additional dental work with you.

How Painful Is a Root Canal?

 Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. 

What Should One Expect After the Root Canal?

For the first few days following the completion of a root canal, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This sensitivity or discomfort usually can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.
Until your root canal procedure is completely finished -- that is to say, the permanent filling is in place and/or the crown, it's wise to minimize chewing on the tooth under repair. This step will help avoid recontamination of the interior of the tooth and also may prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before the tooth can be fully restored.
As far as oral health care is concerned, brush and floss as you regularly would and see your dentist at normally scheduled intervals. 

How Successful Are Root Canals?

Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime.
Also, because the final step of the root canal procedure is application of a restoration such as a crown or a filling, it will not be obvious to onlookers that a root canal was performed. 

Complications of a Root Canal

Despite your dentist's best efforts to clean and seal a tooth, new infections might emerge after a root canal. Among the likely reasons for this include:
  • More than the normally anticipated number of root canals in a tooth (leaving one of them uncleaned)
  • An undetected crack in the root of a tooth
  • A defective or inadequate dental restoration that has allowed bacteria to get past the restoration into the inner aspects of the tooth and recontaminate the area
  • A breakdown of the inner sealing material over time, allowing bacteria to recontaminate the inner aspects of the tooth
Sometimes retreatment can be successful, other times endodontic surgery must be tried in order to save the tooth. The most common endodontic surgical procedure is an apicoectomy or root-end resection. This procedure relieves the inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of your tooth that continues after endodontic treatment. In this procedure, the gum tissue is opened, the infected tissue is removed, and sometimes the very end of the root is removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the root canal. 

Article via http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-root-canals?page=3

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mouthguards Provide Protection for Another Season of Sports

As spring is nearing in, bringing the sunny days with green grass and kicking off another season school and recreational activities. Athletes of all ages are ready to take the fields, Omni Dental Group want to stress the importance of wearing a mouthguard. 

Typically mouthguards are worn in contact sports, but oral injury also exists in non-contact sports as well. Here at Omni Dental we recommend wearing a motuhguard during all sports and activities that has the potential of creating an oral injury. 

Almost 1/3 of all dental injuries are sports related, with a properly fitted mouthguard, you are reducing you are significantly reducing your chances for oral injury.  A mouthgurad not only protects your teeth but it also protects your lips, tongue, cheeks and face as well as your jaw from all potential impact and injuries.
Ask your dentist about a mouthguard which would be best for your child. The cost of a mouthguard is less expensive than treatment of sports related dental injury.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How much sugar is in your drink?

Sugar creates an acidic environment in your mouth, which persists for about two hours after it’s consumed. If you eat or drink a little bit of sugar every few hours, your teeth will be continuously bathed in the acid, which directly dissolves tooth enamel.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Are you one of the many who suffer from chronic, severe bad breath?

Are you one of the many who suffer from chronic, severe bad breath, also known as halitosis? If so it's important to identify the cause so you can determine an effective treatment.

Bad breath is only known when a person reports whether or not they think they have bad breath or not, so there are no statistics on what percentage of the population has bad breath.

Bad breath order mostly comes from food particles trapped in your mouth. When particles of food remain in the mouth, it becomes a bacteria breeding ground and normally causes bad breath. Studies show that about 80% of bad breath comes from Poor oral health like cavities or gum disease along with improper cleaning of dentures. Periodontal disease as well as smoking & tobacco products can increase bad breath. Additionally bad breath can also be a sign of medical condition of the stomach, lungs and bloodstream.

Dry mouth also known as Xerostomia can also cause bad breath. When the mouth is dry, saliva production decreases, leaving the mouth’s natural ability to clean itself impaired.

Visiting your dentist every six months for a cleaning can help with bad breath. The key to fighting bad breath is good oral hygiene. Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal to help reduce the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Mouthwash and mouth rinse can also help prevent cavities and reduce bacteria causing plaque, as well as fighting bad breath. Stick to an antiseptic or antibacterial rinse that kills bacteria, rather than a cosmetic rinse that just focuses on freshening the breath.

Here’s some tip on how to prevent bad breath:
  • Stay hydrated. Try to brush your teeth after every meal. If you can’t drinking a lot of water, it can help speed up the process of cleaning harmful bacteria and debris from between your teeth, avoid sugary drinks.
  • Cut down on coffee. Coffee can be a hard smell to get off the back of your tongue, try to limit as much coffee intake as possible.
  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Cigarettes, pipes, and snuff can foul your breath. "Smoking can give people horrible breath," Woodall says. "And some people carry this stuff worse than others."
  • Cut down on alcohol.  Try to limit the consumption of alcohol, not only does alcohol dry your mouth out, drinking too much alcohol can make your breath smell for up to 8-10 hours
  • Chew sugarless gum. Try to chew gum 20 minutes after you finish a meal. Gum increases saliva and saliva is a mouths natural cleaning system.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Did you know weight loss can benefit your smile?

Losing Weight has Surprising Benefits for Your Smile

837375_98129162SmThe health benefits of weight loss are many. Being overweight can contribute to heart disease, heart attack, joint pain, and diabetes. And now, research shows that being overweight can put you at risk for another type of health problem: gum disease. You may not connect your weight with your oral health, but the truth is that your smile can benefit from you maintaining a healthy weight.
How does your weight affect your risk of gum disease? Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums, and cytokines are proteins produced by the body that have inflammatory properties. Overweight individuals produce more cytokines, which can then cause gum disease. With a third of Americans suffering with weight problems and over half experiencing gum disease, getting a handle on these two health risks is a big goal for dentists and other health professionals.
How can you lower your risk of gum disease? Here are a few simple steps you can take that will make a big difference.

Brushing and Flossing

The single best thing you can do to lower your risk of gum disease is to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Many people skip the flossing, but this is an essential part of your gum disease prevention routine. Brushing alone cannot get below the gum line or between teeth, and it’s below the gum line that gum disease flourishes. When you floss, you can remove the plaque and bacteria that hides in the gum pockets and inflames the soft tissues of your mouth. Don’t skimp on the flossing; make sure to floss once every 24 hours.

Visiting the Dentist

The dentist can also help prevent gum disease with professional cleanings twice a year. Our team can remove hardened plaque and damaging tartar that you may have trouble clearing away, preventing these substances from causing both decay and gum disease. Your dentist can also spot the earliest warning signs of a problem and provide direction on how you can stop the problem from becoming worse.

Diet and Exercise

Lastly, maintain healthy diet and exercise habits to keep your weight at an optimal level. The more we learn about the body, the more we know that various factors affect every area of your health, and with the new research showing that being overweight puts you at increased risk of gum disease, we want to make sure that you’re doing all you can for every part of your body, including your smile!
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Article via:  http://bestdentistnews.com/2013/02/lose-weight-has-surprising-benefits-for-your-smile/#more-922

Call Omni Dental Group today to schedule an appointment 512-250-5012

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oral Hygeine and your overall health

Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD
How well you care for your teeth and gums has a powerful effect on your overall health. Neglecting your oral health lead to more than just sore teeth and bad breath — it can open the door to all sorts of health problems, including some pretty nasty diseases like oral cancer. Researchers have found possible connections between gum problems and heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, stroke, and even problem pregnancies.
“You cannot be healthy with an unhealthy mouth any more than one can be healthy with an infected foot,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA) and a former clinical instructor at the Boston University Dental School.
The Role of Diet and Lifestyle in Oral Health
A number of dietary habits and lifestyle factors can affect oral health, including:
Sugar consumption. “Having a sugar-laden diet will contribute to tooth decay and gum problems, as the bacteria in the mouth thrive in this environment,” producing tooth and gum-destroying enzymes and acids, says Dr. Price, who retired after 35 years as a dentist in Newton, Mass.
  • Smoking. Dental care experts have long known that smoking cigarettes and cigars and using tobacco products can cause periodontal disease (gum disease), tooth decay, and oral cancer. Cigars can also cause periodontal disease and throat, or pharyngeal, cancer. “The smoke from tobacco has a toxic effect on gum tissue, and can interfere with blood flow,” Price explains. “Smoking also stains the heck out of teeth, is a direct cause of oral cancer, and can contribute to bad breath.”
  • Drinking alcohol. “Drinking can contribute to oral problems indirectly by resulting in a dehydrated mouth, which can allow bacteria to run rampant,” Price says. In addition, people who have alcohol addiction issues are probably less likely to consistently follow good dental care habits, he says.
  • Changes in weight. For those who wear dentures, changes in body weight tend to affect the way dentures fit, Price says. “Just as weight gain or loss affects the way clothes fit, that gain or loss also affects the gum pads on which dentures rest,” he says. To help maintain a healthy weight and fight tooth decay, the ADA advises people to eat a diet rich in high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
  • Medication. “Some medications, for example, some antibiotics, can cause internal staining of teeth, such as tetracycline staining, depending on the age at which you take them,” says Price. Also, “there are 200 to 400 medications, prescribed or over-the-counter, that have the side effect of drying up saliva. A dry mouth is more prone to gum disease and tooth decay, as well as bad breath.”
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
To maintain your oral health — and overall good health — Price says you should see your dentist regularly to head off any problems early. You should also practice good oral hygiene at home by carefully brushing and flossing your teeth regularly in order to prevent plaque from accumulating and causing problems. There is nothing a dentist can do that a patient can’t undo by neglecting their dental care, says Price.

Article via Everyday Health

Friday, April 19, 2013

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is simply inflammation of the gum tissue in the mouth. It is a reversible, non-destructive form of periodontal disease. While there are many causes of gingivitis, the
Gingivitis Marielaina Perrone DDS
Gingivitis Can be Prevented!
number one cause is poor dental hygiene.
Gingivitis can arise as -a side effect to medication, surges in hormones, mouth breathing, dry mouth,poor nutrition, disease state, tobacco use, or poor oral hygiene. When hygiene is insufficient, bacteria in dental plaque release acids that stimulate the inflammatory response by the body. This in turn cause the gums to appear puffy, red, and bleed easily upon brushing. It takes some work to restore the gums back to a healthy state. Frequent professional cleaning along with regular tooth brushing and flossing can help to remove plaque and keep it from building up on the teeth and gums.

Signs Of Gingivitis

-swollen, shiny, and tender gums
-blood on toothbrush while brushing
- pink toothpaste when spitting out
-pus around teeth
-bad breath
-gum redness
-visible tartar deposits
-bad taste in mouth
-gums bleed easily
-gum ulcers

Other Causes Of Gingivitis

-Medications. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications come with the side effect causing dry mouth or xerostomia, and sometimes gum overgrowth. Saliva is important to help keep your teeth clean by controlling the growth of bacteria as well as maintaining a neutral environment to prevent tooth decay. That means that the less saliva you have, the greater your risk for gingivitis (and tooth decay!). Many common medications including antidepressants, blood pressure meds,  asthma inhalers, and cold medications can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. Seizure medications, and some blood pressure medications can cause the gum tissue to grow. This extra tissue, makes it more difficult to keep clean. It is important you always read the side effects for any medications you are taking to ensure you take the proper steps like drinking more water and brushing more often following meals.
-Infection/ Disease: Various types of viral infections or fungal infections can cause periodontal disease. Oral Thrush is an example. Thrush occurs when a type of fungus that occurs normally in the mouth gets out of control and forms lesions that can infect the tongue and gums. Also, an infection caused by the herpes virus can cause
Gingivitis Marielaina Perrone DDS
periodontal disease. It is important to get these infections under control as soon as possible as they are quite treatable in most cases. There are also other diseases that can effect the oral tissue, such as oral cancer, and diabetes.
-Nutrition: If you follow a fad diet or a diet that is severely lacking in calcium and vitamins B and C, you may be at increased risk for periodontal disease.
-Mouth Breathing: leaving the mouth open to breathe while awake or sleeping, dries the mouth substantially. Oral dryness  allows gingivitis to occur more readily.making healing more difficult
-Tobacco use: Smoking directly effects the gums by decreasing blood circulation and thereby increasing inflammation. Smokeless tobacco cause irritation in direct response to the product eroding the tissue.
-Hormone surges: Hormonal imbalance during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can cause gingivitis. The drastic hormone changes allow gum tissues to become inflamed quite readily.

Possible Complications From Gingivitis

In most cases, if gingivitis is properly treated and the patient follows good dental hygiene there will be no complications. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and develop into a more advanced version of periodontal disease called periodontitis. This form of periodontal disease is quite destructive and will cause loss of bone and eventually loss of teeth.
Possible complications from gingivitis can include:
-Abscess in the gum tissues.
-Abscess in the jaw bones.
-Infection in the jaw bone or gum tissues.
-increased susceptibility to heart disease.
-Loss of esthetic gum contours. The points of gum tissue between the teeth disappear, leaving behind a “black triangle”. Red, jelly-roll margins at the gum line of the tooth. Pink stippling disappears.
-Recurrent gingivitis.
-Trench mouth, or ANUG.  Ulcerations of the gums caused by bacterial infection.
Gingivitis can cause damage in other areas of the body if allowed to remain untreated. The bacteria from the gums can enter the bloodstream and cause infections elsewhere. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke and erectile dysfunction. It may also cause the delivery of premature infants as well as low birth weight infants to gingivitis-infected mothers. Those with diabetes may have problems controlling blood sugar levels if they also suffer from gingivitis.

Prevention of Gingivitis

Gingivitis may be prevented or cured by following some simple preventative measures:
-Brush teeth, gum line, and tongue daily. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day. Both morning and night and after meals when possible.Gingivitis Marielaina Perrone DDS
-Use a soft bristled toothbrush, which is less likely to damage teeth or gums. Replace toothbrush every three months or sooner if needed.
-Use a fluoride toothpaste.
- Do not snack in the middle of the night. Chew gum after daytime snacks.
-Floss at least once a day.
-Rinse with an effective mouthwash, such as listerine.
-Visit the dentist at least once every six months for cleaning and examination to keep gingivitis away.
-Avoid sugary foods, tobacco and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.


Gingivitis is very treatable. The first step, is understanding what is making it occur. Following a regular dental hygiene regimen will keep gingivitis at bay and not allow it to progress to periodontal disease. A few minutes a day is all it takes to maintain a healthy teeth and gums. Remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to avoid the onset of gingivitis
Article via  http://drperrone.com/blog/what-causes-gingivitis/

If you need to schedule an appointment, call Omni Dental Group today. 512-250-5012

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our thought and hearts go out to everyone affected by the Fertilizer Plant Explosion in West, Texas.

"An earth-rattling explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant killed at least 5 to 15 people, wounded more than 160 and destroyed dozens of homes and businesses, including a nursing home, officials said."  - NBCNEWS.COM

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 Most Healthy Foods for Teeth

We eat and we think that food affects our teeth badly.
And we are right. But, are there any foods that help keeping our teeth healthy? Is there anything that not only keeps but makes our teeth look and be better? Of course there are such products, and this article is made to describe them.

1. Healthy drink for teeth — Green tea
It contains polyphenols, antioxidant plant compounds that prevent plaque from adhering to your teeth and help reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. Tea also has potential for reducing bad breath because it inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause the odor. Many green teas also contain fluoride (from the leaves and the water it’s steeped in), which helps protect tooth enamel from decay and promotes healthy teeth.

2. Healthy drink and food for teeth — Milk and yogurt
Unsweetened yogurt and milk are good for your teeth. They have a low acidity. It means that the gradual wearing away of the teeth, also called dental erosion, is less. In addition they are low in sugar, that means less dental decay, too. Milk also is a good source of calcium, that keeps our teeth healthy. Calcium is the main component of teeth and bones, as we know.

3. Healthy food for teeth — Cheese
It is low carbohydrate and has a high calcium and phosphate content that provides important benefits for your healthy teeth. It helps balance your mouth’s pH, preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, produces saliva, kills the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Cheese contains calcium, too.

4. Healthy food for teeth — Fruits
Different fruits like apples, strawberries, citrus fruits, specially kiwis, contain a lot of vitamin C. It is considered the cement that holds all of your cells together, so just as it’s vital for your skin, it’s important for the health of your gum tissue. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, researches show that the collagen network in your gums can break down, making your gums tender and more susceptible to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

5. Healthy food for teeth — Vegetables
Pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli are full of vitamin A. This vitamin is absolutely necessary for the formation of tooth enamel. Apart form that, crunchy vegetables cleanse and stimulate your gums, making them healthy.

6. Healthy food for teeth — Onions
This vegetable contains powerful antibacterial sulfur compounds. Tests showed that onions kill various types of bacteria. Researches indicate that they are most powerful when eaten freshly peeled and raw. It may be not so tasty but good teeth are guaranteed.

7. Healthy food for teeth — Celery
This food protects your teeth while extra chewing. It produces plenty of saliva, which neutralizes different bacteria that causes cavities. Additionally, celery massages gums and cleans between teeth keeping them healthy and clean.

8. Healthy food for teeth — Sesame seeds
Good teeth can be a result of combining white bread, especially for small kids, and sesame seeds. It sloughs off plaque and helps build tooth enamel. Sesame seeds are also high in calcium, which helps preserve the bone around your teeth and gums. But firstly, it is very delicious.

9. Healthy food for teeth — Animal food
Beef, chicken, turkey, eggs – all of them contain phosphorous. Calcium, with the help of vitamin D and phosphorous, creates our bones system. These elements keep teeth stronger and healthier by protecting them from teeth decay.

10. Healthy drink for teeth — Water
Healthy water not only purer, but it cleanses the mouth, allowing the saliva to work wonders depositing essential minerals back into the weakened teeth. Drinking water keeps gums hydrated and helps wash away trapped food particles that decompose in the mouth and cause bad breath.
Every time when you feel that a piece of advice in keeping your teeth healthy is needed remember these 10 foods. They will help you to permanently protect your mouth and gums, earning their names of foods for healthy teeth.

Article via  http://worldental.org/nutrition/10-most-healthy-foods-for-teeth/665/

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dental screening that could save your life

By Dr. Mark Burhenne, Special to CNN

updated 7:18 AM EDT, Tue April 16, 2013
Getting a poor night's sleep? Ask your dentist if you grind your teeth -- a red flag for sleep apnea.
Getting a poor night's sleep? Ask your dentist if you grind your teeth -- a red flag for sleep apnea.
  • Sleep apnea affects an estimated one in 15 Americans
  • Teeth grinding during sleep is a major indicator for the condition
  • Those with sleep apnea never benefit from the deepest stages of sleep
  • You may be exhausted and anxious or stressed during the day
Editor's note: Mark Burhenne is a practicing family and cosmetic dentist of 25 years and founder of AsktheDentist.com. He is dedicated to empowering people to take control of their dental health, stop managing symptoms and prevent chronic illnesses in the mouth. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter.
(CNN) -- We all know about the importance of sleep, and we know we should be getting more of it. When we wake up exhausted, drag ourselves to work or hit that afternoon slump, we blame ourselves: "Should have gotten more sleep last night."
But instead of "Did I get eight hours?" we should be asking ourselves, "How well did I sleep?" We tolerate feeling exhausted during the day, but it's actually not normal to feel tired or sleepy when you wake up.
You can't ask yourself how well you're sleeping without considering sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects an estimated one in 15 Americans but often goes undetected.
Dr. Mark Burhenne
Dr. Mark Burhenne
Most people who suffer from sleep apnea don't know it -- they often seek out a diagnosis only if their partner can't sleep through the snoring. Since sleep apnea ranges from mild to severe, lots of cases of sleep apnea aren't noticed by sleeping partners, and people live their whole lives undiagnosed.
Sleep apnea can't usually be detected by doctors during routine office visits, but a screening from your dentist may help.
Recent studies have shown that teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a major indicator for obstructive sleep apnea. The simple dental health screening that can improve the quality of your sleep and -- because almost everything boils down to a good night's sleep -- even save your life, begins with asking your dentist, "Do I grind my teeth?"
Tips to help you sleep
The risk of sleepless nights
Q: What is obstructive sleep apnea?
A: The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. The key word is "obstructive" -- the thing "obstructing" the airway being the jaw, which falls back as the brain approaches the deepest stages of sleep and the muscles of the airway fully relax.
When the airway collapses like this, breathing becomes compromised. This is where you get snoring, which is just the sound that's made when air is getting forced through a partially obstructed airway.
Once the brain senses that breathing is dangerously compromised, it gets out of the deepest stage of sleep to regain control of the jaw muscles and reopen the airway, and keep you alive and breathing. These sleep apnea cycles can occur from five to up to 70 times per hour while you sleep -- preventing you from entering the deepest stages of sleep where the brain and body tissues can repair themselves from the wear and tear of the day.
Sufferers of sleep apnea never get the benefits of the deepest stages of sleep, which is what reverses the aging process and repairs tissue damage. After just one night of the lack of deep sleep that the body craves, you awake in a damaged state. Cumulative damage could lead to expression of the Alzheimer's gene, high blood pressure, depression, mood disorders, suppression of the immune system, diabetes, cancer and weight gain.
Q: What are the symptoms of untreated sleep apnea?
A: You feel sleepy or tired during waking hours. For every sleep apnea cycle, or apneic episode, the body goes into fight-or-flight mode with an adrenaline response to "wake up" the brain to reopen the airway. That response evolved to keep humans alive in the short term, but on a nightly basis puts extraordinary wear and tear on the body.
You're anxious or stressed during the day. What's missing from the sleep apnea discussion is the emotional toll of going into fight-or-flight mode several times each night. This stress manifests itself not only physically but also emotionally -- the exhaustion that sufferers of severe sleep apnea feel during the day is partially due to emotional stress at night as they struggle to breathe.
You grind your teeth. One of the ways the brain tries to reopen the airway in an unconscious state is by grinding and clenching the teeth. People who grind their teeth at night often have sore or clicking jaws or flat, worn-down teeth. Many times, symptoms of teeth grinding can be far less obvious -- such as earaches or sensitive teeth.
Snoring. The key here is that not everyone who has sleep apnea snores and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring can go undetected if you don't have a bed partner or if you have a bed partner who is a heavy sleeper. Everyone, however, can ask their dentist if they grind their teeth at their next checkup.
Q: I might have sleep apnea. What should I do?
A: See your dentist. Get screened at your next dental checkup for teeth grinding. Your dentist can tell you definitively if you grind your teeth at night or not. Teeth grinding is a major indicator that you are struggling to keep your airway open at night and might suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Also, see a medical sleep specialist. These specialists are the only ones who can officially diagnose sleep apnea. Make sure to discuss all of your options and let your doctor know if you're grinding your teeth.
"Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can lead to many secondary health conditions," said Dr. Kalpalatha Guntupalli, president of the American College of Chest Physicians. "When treating sleep apnea, clinicians must also recognize and address secondary health conditions, such as bruxism, in order to fully manage a patient's sleep disorder."
People who are diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea often report that the process has "given them their life back." Quality of sleep affects most of the things that help us enjoy life: appearance, well-being, outlook on life, energy level, patience, ability to cope with stress and how we interact with loved ones.
Many of us tolerate this anxiety and exhaustion every day of our lives and never get the chance to repair our bodies with the deepest stages of sleep. Asking your dentist if you grind your teeth will hopefully make the sleep apnea diagnosis a little less daunting for the millions of people who suffer from it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dr. Edward Zuckerberg visits with Dr. Marc Amsili

 Dr. Edward Zuckerberg ( Mark Zuckerberg's Father) a dentist in New York, visits with Dr. Marc Amsili of Omni Dental Group at the Stars of the South Dental Meeting in Houston, March 7 & 8th.
The Star of the South Dental Meeting, the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Greater Houston Dental Society. 
The mission of the Star of the South Dental Meeting is to provide an outstanding forum for camaraderie, personal growth, and professional development.

Sensitive Teeth:

Call Omni Dental Group today to schedule and appointment  512-250-5012.

How Good Dental Hygiene Depends on Eating Habits

Many people assume that dental hygiene is about visiting the dentist for regular checkups, brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. While these are important for your oral hygiene, there is more to it. The health of your teeth and gums begin with what you put into your mouth. By eating healthy, you will ensure that your teeth and gums get the vitamins and minerals that they require. This can avert many oral health issues. You need to consume a diet that lays a solid foundation for the health of your teeth and gums. This means consuming food that is considered to be tooth-friendly.

Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits, like apples and pears, stimulate your salivary glands to produce saliva. This helps to reduce acidity in the mouth and also flushes away food particles that remain in your mouth. Saliva can reduce the number of bacteria that cause cavities. Furthermore, fresh fruits contain natural sugars, which are not as harmful as sucrose, which is present in granulated sugar that is a major cause of tooth decay.

Food Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for maintaining the health of your gums and teeth. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant and protects your body from the adverse effects of free radicals. It also helps to clean the cavity causing bacteria from your mouth, so that you have healthy teeth and gums. One of the first signs of Vitamin C deficiency is bleeding gums and this should prove its importance.

Food Rich in Calcium
Calcium is important for oral health. It can protect teeth against decay and treat gum disease. Calcium is found in milk, cheese, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, yogurt, sardines and shellfish. Eating food rich in calcium will maintain the density of your teeth and keep them strong.

About the Author
Dr. Vu Le is the Owner of Vu Le, DDS Inc. Dr. Vu Le is an experienced Foothill Ranch Dentist, specializing in family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, teeth capping and dental fillings. He is certified, prides himself in building strong relationships with each of his patients and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dental community. Google+

Article via  http://www.webdental.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2887309%3ABlogPost%3A38510

Friday, April 12, 2013

What is a prosthodontist?

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April is Oral Cancer awareness month

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral Cancer can occur in any part of the mouth; the lips, on the surface of the tongue, inside of the cheeks, in the tonsils, in the salivary glands, and the roof or bottom of the mouth. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that over 42,000 people are diagnosed with Oral Cancer every year and 8,000 die annually, that is roughly 1 person per hour in a 24 hour day.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer:

• Sores in the mouth that do not heal
• Jaw pain and jaw stiffness
• Numbness, pain or tenderness
• Teeth loosening and change in the way the teeth fit together.
• Dentures not fitting properly
• Pain while swallowing
• Crusted or rough areas in the mouth
• Lumps or hard spots in the mouth

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis can improve the chances of suspicious changes in your oral health.
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.
If you need to see a dentist or need a check up call Omni Dental Group today to make an appointment 512-250-5012

Causes of Oral Cancer

• Age (most cases are patients over the age of 40)
• Tobacco use (cigarettes or chewing tobacco)
• Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
• HPV16
• Low consumption of fruits and vegetables

Oral Cancer is 6 times greater to appear in men than in women and more often seen in African Americans than any other ethnic group. There has been no identified genetic links to identify the higher cases in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the cause.

The Oral Cancer Foundation. (2012). Oral Cancer Facts. Retrieved from http://oralcancerfoundation.org/.

Baby boomers may boost dental economy - American Dental Association - ADA.org

Baby boomers may boost dental economy 

As a whole, Americans aren't spending any more on dental care than they were five years ago but baby boomers may alter that.
After decades of steady growth, national dental expenditures began to slow in the early 2000s, years before the economy soured. Once the Great Recession hit in 2008, national dental expenditures leveled off and has remained flat ever since. These changes are being driven by fewer adults visiting the dentist.
This is according to the ADA Health Policy Resources Center, which published the research brief "National Dental Expenditure Flat Since 2008, Began to Slow in 2002." But a subsequent brief shows that between 2000 and 2010, spending among those who visited the dentist increased among the elderly and those in higher income brackets.

"As a result of the aging baby boomers, the elderly population is projected to increase from 48 million in 2015 to 92 million in 2060," according to the brief "Per-patient Dental Expenditure Rising, Driven by Baby Boomers." "The rising proportion of those over 65 years old combined with relatively high per-patient dental expenditures among the elderly could significantly increase the dental expenditures among adults with a visit, buoying up the dental economy for years to come." As outlined in previous research briefs, as a whole, fewer adults are visiting the dentist—a trend that started well before the recession. But because fewer seniors are requiring dentures and retaining their teeth, they remain subject to oral diseases and disorders.
"In general, retired boomers will require more dental services than previous senior cohorts and purchase more intensive services than younger patients," according to the brief, which was authored by Tom Wall, Kamyar Nasseh, Ph.D., and Marko Vujicic, Ph.D.

Dr. Vujicic is the managing vice president of HPRC. Dr. Nasseh, a health economist in HPRC, is leading the effort to model the impact of population aging on dental spending through 2040. Among adults 65 and older, real annual dental expenditures in the 2000s increased from $655 to $796 per person. For adults 21 to 64 in that same time period, the per-patient expense rose from $557 to $664. Average real per-patient dental expenditures rose from $600 in 2000 to $653 in 2010, according to HPRC.
While there was an increase in individual dental spending among older patients, nationwide, the average remained flat. In 2011, national dental expenditure was $108 billion, slightly up from $107 billion in 2010 (in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars). In 2011, dental expenditures accounted for 4 percent of overall national health care spending, down from 4.5 percent of national health expenditure in 2000.
There are a number of factors that may have contributed to a slowness in dental spending but the main one is declining dental care utilization among adults, according to HPRC.
On the flip side, on average, more children, particularly low-income children, are visiting the dentist, but their care is typically less costly, according to HPRC. Combine those facts with statistics on fewer adults visiting the dentist and it explains why national dental expenditures have remained flat the past five years.
In 2013, HPRC has published a series of research briefs related to utilization rates, dentists' income and expenditures. All promote the same idea that the recession is not the cause of the decline in spending and utilization—something shifted years before the economic downturn.
"Taken together, our results suggest very strongly that the dental economy is in a major transition. Dental spending has not rebounded since the end of the Great Recession and has been stagnant, on a per capita basis, since 2008," wrote Dr. Vujicic, managing vice president of HPRC, in the brief "National Dental Expenditure Flat Since 2008, Began to Slow in 2002." "More importantly, in our view, our analysis shows convincingly that the dental economy began to slow well before the onset of the recent economic downturn. While overall health spending also began to slow in the early 2000s, the slowdown in dentistry is far more pronounced."
Dentists have entered a new reality in their profession. ADA leaders are trying to make sense of the data and figure out how to help dentists adjust.
"What this research shows is how dramatically dental care utilization and spending are shifting in the United States," Dr. Vujicic said. "HPRC is taking a hard look at this data to help the ADA get a sense of the big picture moving forward. The intent is for the ADA to be guided by reliable data and evidence in its strategic discussions about how we can help ensure the success of our members in a changing environment."
Read the full research briefs here.

Baby boomers may boost dental economy - American Dental Association - ADA.org

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