Snoring is more than a relationship killer. It can be a sign of a significant medical condition such as sleep apnea.

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP YOU CAN TAKE FOR SNORING?

Take this Self Assessment for Sleep Disorders:

  1.  Do you snore loudly?
  2. Is your snoring a problem for others?
  3.  Do you wake feeling unrefreshed?
  4. Are you somewhat sleepy during the day?
  5.  Has anyone seen any disturbances to your breathing during sleep such as pauses, gasping, or choking?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you may be suffering from more than just snoring, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.

It is recommended you contact us for further assessment so we can get you on track to a safer and snore-free sleep.  If you would like more information on how we can help please READ ON >>>

Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (the peak body in the field) recognise dental sleep appliances as a frontline treatment for snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. In severe cases of sleep apnea the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is the optimal treatment, in which air pressure of adjustable intensity is delivered through a nasal mask worn during sleep. However many people find it very difficult, or just cannot use CPAP.

This is where dental sleep appliances are an excellent alternative therapy – for people with severe sleep apnea when CPAP is not tolerated, or when having a machine is not possible i.e. travelling, camping, or no access to electricity.

Here are some answers to popular Frequently Asked Questions on how Dental Sleep Applicances and Jeremy Keating Dental Practice can support you on your way to a healthier sleep.

How does the dental sleep appliance work?
Dental sleep appliances work by comfortably holding the lower jaw slightly forward, which prevents the tongue and structures at the back of the throat from collapsing into the airway. This keeps the airway open.

What is the best treatment for snoring?
Dental sleep appliances are generally regarded as the most effective treatment for snoring, with the least side-effects. Studies demonstrate that dental sleep appliances are far more effective than surgical treatments. Surgery is only around 55% effective with significant potential side-effects including severe post-operative pain and regurgitation of food through the nose.

Comfortable, effective and easy to use
Dental sleep appliances are comfortable and easy to use with studies demonstrating 95% effectiveness in overcoming snoring. Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the peak body in the field, recognise dental sleep appliances as a frontline treatment for snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea.

Do you also have sleep apnea?
If you snore you also might have sleep apnea If you wake feeling somewhat unrefreshed and are sleepy during the day then your snoring may be more than just a noise – it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition called sleep apnea. Up to 70% of adults who regularly snore have sleep apnea, with most unaware they have this condition.

What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is caused by soft tissues in the throat, including the tongue, collapsing against the back of the throat. This obstructs the upper airway and air flow is reduced. This cycle of obstruction and then breathing can occur many times per hour disrupting the quality of sleep. Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, heart and health problems and is an important cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

***Important note: It is possible to have significant sleep apnea even if no one has seen you stop breathing. Often it is the more severe cases where breathing is halted completely for a period of time.

Benefits of Dental Sleep Appliances: • You and your partner can look forward to a quiet night of sleep. • Wake up feeling refreshed. • Improved quality of life with a better mood and greater vitality. • Decreased risk of fatigue-related vehicle and work accidents. • Improved work performance due to greater concentration and energy levels. • Decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and blood pressure problems.

Dental Sleep Appliances the best solution
Custom made, adjustable dental sleep appliances are scientifically proven and widely regarded by sleep physicians as the best available treatment for snoring and a frontline treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Book in today for a consult with one of our dentists at Jeremy Keating Dental Practice.

**Reference: Assessment of dental sleep appliance treatment’ August-October 2010Assoc. Professor G Kennedy PhD BBSc Grad Dip Mntl Hlth Sci (Clin Hypn) Dip Clin Hypn MAPS Victoria University Dr Harry Ball B.D.Sc. L.D.S.(Melb) M. Counsell.(Lat) Grad. Dip. Counsell. & H.S.(Lat)

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sleep apnea, sleep, snoring, bad sleep, wakeful sleep, stop breathing, Subiaco, sleeping appliance sleep dentistry, beautiful smile, cosmetic dentist Perth, #dentalhealthweek

Wisdom Teeth – The Good, The Bad, and The Impacted.

wisdomLet’s face it: Most of us are familiar with the coming and going of teeth, maybe even making a couple of dollars from the Tooth Fairy along the way.  The difference is that with these “wisdom” teeth they don’t fall out on their own.  Well they are certainly not supposed to at any rate….

  • WHAT: Wisdom teeth or third molars are one of the three molars per quadrant that make up the teeth in our mouth. If you have 3 molars (larger, flatter teeth) at the back of each side of your mouth, left and/ or right, top and/or bottom, congratulations, you have a wisdom tooth! Well sort of congratulations… (Wisdom tooth circled in red).

dental quadrants1

Wisdom teeth/third molars are often a source of problems and generally are the most commonly impacted of all the teeth in the mouth. When a tooth is impacted it means the teeth do not fully come through the gum into the mouth. Obstructions such as other teeth, tissue and bone can prohibit the teeth from exposing themselves. If the wisdom teeth do not surface completely in the mouth, and they remain even partially under the gum, then pain, inflammation and even damage to surrounding teeth is quite possible. Boooooooo!

  • WHEN can we expect this (delightful) happening: Wisdom teeth generally emerge from the gum in a person’s early twenties. Generally, adults have 4 wisdom teeth (a third molar in each of the four quadrants), but it is possible to have fewer or more.
  • WHY then do we have them?  Back when our human ancestors wandered this glorious earth, human skulls had larger jaws with more teeth. Neanderthal vs cro magnum, skullIt is generally thought this may be due to the fact they had to chew certain foods more as their digestive systems weren’t as refined as our gluten-free-lactose-sensitive-selves 😉 As our diets changed, so did our mouths, getting smaller and therefore less room for all those teeth! The “wisdom teeth” however, still commonly develop in our now smaller, human mouths. So, just as Bart and the rest of the Simpson family have evolved to have only 4 fingers (cartoons, they are sooooo advanced) scientists reckon that we will eventually stop growing these often-bothersome, not-so-useful, molars.
  • HOW: to know if your wisdom teeth are growing in healthy, or if the pain in your mouth is a wisdom tooth trying to erupt:

Just like any type of toothache you should book in to see your dentist. It is often hard to identify if the pain is coming from an un-erupted wisdom tooth, or another, neighbouring tooth. However, to relieve the discomfort, warm saltwater rinses and taking an appropriate painkiller/anti-inflammatory is a good temporary fix.  (Check with your doctor for what medicine is right for you).

So, alas, these congratulatory “welcome to adulthood” phenomena aka wisdom teeth do not necessarily make you smarter. The good news however, is that reading this article likely does 🙂

APRIL IS ORAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Did you know head and neck cancer is 1 of the 10 most common cancers in both men and women in Australia?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month so I thought it fitting to talk about it since it is something that most people know very little about, but is actually more common than we think.

“Every day, at least three Australians are being diagnosed with oral cancer. Survival rates for oral cancer remain low despite advances in treatment and this can be attributed to late detection. Recognising the risk factors and signs of oral cancer is vital to better prognosis and outcomes,” says Chairman of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, Dr Peter Alldritt.

What is it?

Oral cancers, otherwise known as head and neck cancers, happen when there is an uncontrolled reproduction of abnormal cells. These cells become cancers that can form on the throat, tongue and various places inside the mouth and neck.
As a non-smoker I thought I would be free and clear of the mouth cancer category, didn’t you?  Nope.
According to research (and also in our own personal experience) there is concern over the rates of which non-smokers are being diagnosed with oral cancers.

What do we do about it?

Upon early detection most oral cancers can be treated. It is when we disregard tell tale signs or neglect our mouths and do not attend regular check ups that we can run in to some trouble.

With rates of oral cancer on the rise it’s important to be in the know of what can cause this often terminal disease, how to prevent it, and how to detect it……

The 3 D’s ( I call it)

(Firstly, and possibly the most important)
 1. DETECTION – This is something that as dentists and hygienists we look out for every time you come and see us for your regular exam and cleaning. Dentists and hygienists are trained to examine the neck, gums, lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, throat and probe for any possible abnormalities. An oral cancer screening is standard in our exam and is conducted thoroughly at each visit. Any changes from visit to visit within our practice are noted and action taken if and when required. *As of 1st April 2016 the Australian Dental Association has recognised this as a specific procedure consisting of a comprehensive exam for the head and neck as well as for the mouth. We have been doing this all along but it is encouraging to know that this will become more routine and therefore detection will likely be at earlier stages.

2. DRINKING ALCOHOL, LESS OF IT – lower your intake of alcoholic beverages. Drink a glass of antioxidant rich red wine (glass, not bottle) as your beverage of choice. Drinking more water and natural fruit juices are both healthier alternatives.

3. DIET– Increase you consumption of  fruits and vegetables and avoid highly saturated fats.

What are some of the other risk factors for oral cancer?

According to the ADA (Australian Dental Association) Risk factors for oral cancer include:

  • Smoking – more than 80% of oral cancers in Australia occur in people who smoke
  • Extended exposure of lips to sun
  • Exposure to HPV.

The Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) has been strongly advocating a campaign aimed at educating people on what they can do with regards to lowering their risk of oral cancers.

“Early detection of oral cancer can save lives, so it’s important to know what you should be looking out for in your mouth. Ulcers or lumps in the mouth which do not heal within two weeks should be treated with suspicion. Smoking, alcohol, poor diet, sun exposure and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) all contribute to a person’s risk of presenting with oral cancer,” says Dr Alldritt.

As experienced clinicians and because of our diligence, we have actually been able to refer our own patients with suspicious sores or lumps in their mouths off to get a thorough diagnosis. The early detection of these irregularities in the mouth can lead to early treatment and therefore rates of survival increase dramatically.

leukoplakia
Leukoplakia – white spots on the tongue

For more information check out the following links.

http://head-neck-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/