Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Woman annoyed by the snoring of her partner in her bed

Sleep is essential for good health. When we sleep, our brains consolidate information and transfer short-term memories into long-term memories. Our bodies need sleep to synthesize hormones, repair tissues, and grow muscles. When we wake up, we should feel restored, refreshed, and rejuvenated. Unfortunately, about twelve million Americans suffer from a condition called sleep apnea, which interferes with their ability to breathe while unconscious and affects their quality of sleep. Our dentist in San Francisco offers treatments for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder. Untreated sleep apnea can cause your breathing to stop dozens or even hundreds of times a night. Each time your breathing stops, your sleep patterns are disrupted. Your brain has to wake your body, and you are prevented from getting the sleep you need. Your body also fails to get the oxygen it needs, which puts extreme strain on your cardiovascular system.

The condition can be easy to miss since the apnea episodes occur while you are asleep, but common daytime symptoms can include:

•    Loud snoring
•    Waking up feeling like you are choking or gasping
•    Daytime sleepiness
•    Morning headaches
•    Waking with a sore or dry throat
•    Falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day
•    Forgetfulness
•    Insomnia
•    Frequently waking to urinate

Do you have one or more of these common sleep apnea symptoms? Treatment can help you get the sleep you need. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco.

Do Braces Always Work?

happy friendsSome patients who are getting ready for braces may still wonder if treatment will work for them. Every patient is different, but all can count on receiving major improvements from orthodontics. Here is more about why this is true and some specifics on how well orthodontics will work for you.

Orthodontics Always Work

The efficacy of orthodontic treatment has been shown repeatedly over decades. Some patients have mild bite irregularities, while others have severe orthodontic problems, but bite correction works for all of them. No matter how crooked your teeth are right now, you can count on healthier, better-looking teeth after treatment.

How Will Your Teeth Look?

Preview images have reduced some of the uncertainty that many patients feel at the outset of orthodontic treatment, but there is still no way to know exactly how the teeth will look afterwards. While the basic proper positions of teeth are similar, the end results that patients enjoy remain unique to them.

The changes that orthodontics brings can be amazing. With straighter teeth, patients tend to gain greater confidence and lower dental costs. By scheduling a consultation with our dentists in San Fernando Valley, you can find out how well orthodontic treatments can address your goals.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

family having fun

Many patients do not realize how common dental cavities are. They are actually second to only the common cold in prevalence in both kids and adults in the U.S. The dentist’s top priority is to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, so no deep decay or cavities can develop. There are several ways this can be accomplished, including maintaining good hygiene at home and seeing our dentist in Los Angeles regularly. One treatment our dentist may recommend to help aid this goal is the application of dental sealants.

Dental sealants are made of a special plastic coating. This coating is carefully placed on the cusps, or chewing surfaces, of the molars and premolars. It protects these teeth from bacteria, plaque, and tartar, which are known to develop in the nooks and crannies of these teeth. These grooves and fissures can often be hard to reach with your tooth brush, which means they can require this extra layer of protection.

Sealants can be placed during a short appointment, typically only lasting about half an hour. The plastic coating is so thin, patients do not even notice it is there afterwards. We often recommend this option for kids who have recently received all of their adult teeth. Ask our dentist about this preventive treatment today.

Purpose of Orthodontics

dental bracesAfter completing dental school, orthodontists study for three additional years in the structural alignment of the mouth. As an orthodontist, a dental professional does smile design, but from the inside out. They know where your teeth should be, and they know how to get them there.

Orthodontic practice is mostly just braces, and trendier alternatives like Invisalign and lingual braces. But orthodontics also goes deep: for instance, our orthodontist in Van Nuys is an expert in malocclusion—or bad bite. Typically, malocclusion traces to a birth defect that left the jaw badly aligned, or in bad company with the teeth. In extreme circumstances, the jaw must be broken before any restructuring can happen.

The more superficial acts of cosmetic dentistry just deal with how the teeth look—their color and condition. Orthodontics plays a longer game—it is all about careful planning and slow movement.

Issues addressed by orthodontists include:

• Impacted teeth
• Overcrowded teeth
• Gapped or spaced teeth
• Crossbite, overbite, and underbite

Full health and functionality of the mouth are the objectives of orthodontists. If you or your child needs braces, you can call our Van Nuys cosmetic dentist today.

What Causes Gum Inflammation?

Happy patient

Everyone has plaque. It is a sticky biofilm full of bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth. These bacteria release toxins that irritate your gums, causing them to become swollen and inflamed. This inflammation is not always painful, but it can be. Gum inflammation associated with oral bacteria is called gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease. Left untreated, it can lead to more advanced stages and severe dental damage.

Inflamed gums tend to bleed easily, especially when you brush or floss your teeth. Although the most common cause of gum inflammation is gum disease, other factors can also cause it, including canker sores, irritation from braces, and ill-fitting dentures. Our periodontists can help you identify the cause of your inflamed gums and develop a treatment plan to address it.

A professional cleaning along with improved dental hygiene may be enough to manage and eliminate mild gum inflammation. For those with more severe inflammation, a deep cleaning and antimicrobial treatments can be necessary to control the infection and stop the progression of the disease. Call our expert in gum inflammation treatment in Los Angeles today to learn more about gum disease or to schedule your appointment.

Dental Bonding and Its Uses

Dental assistant smiling at camera

If you are not happy with the way one or more of your teeth look, you might be a candidate for dental bonding. Bonding is a special procedure in which tooth-colored composite resin is used to repair damaged teeth and conceal cosmetic imperfections. Composite resin is a pliable, putty-like material that is easy to manipulate on the tooth, and when it has been shaped and contoured, it can be cured with a light, making it strong and durable.

Our cosmetic dentist in Agoura Hills may recommend bonding if you have:

• A chipped or cracked tooth that affects the way your smile looks
• A receding gum line or exposed roots, especially if your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold foods or drinks
• Stains or discolorations that do not respond to conventional teeth whitening treatments
• Abnormally short or misshapen teeth
• Worn teeth
• Gaps or slightly misaligned teeth

Bonding is not necessarily the right choice for every patient or every smile, but for the right candidates, it can be a great way to brighten and improve a smile. It is affordable, fast, and highly effective. Call our dental office today to learn more about bonding or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Junge Frau setzt lächelnd Zahnspange in den MundInvisalign treatment is the most preferred orthodontic option of patients today. It updates the process of straightening the teeth and correcting the bite by eliminating the problems involved with more traditional methods, such as metal braces. If you are interested in Invisalign, it can be helpful to understand how it works.

Your process will begin with one of our LA orthodontists taking impressions and pictures of your teeth. This will be used to create a 3D image of your teeth and their projected progression, and sent to the Invisalign lab so your aligners can be made.

Experts have found that the teeth are best moved very slowly. This is why all orthodontic treatments take from months to years. Invisalign Full usually takes an average of twelve to eighteen months to achieve the desired results. Whereas braces work by pulling the teeth into place, Invisalign aligners push them into position.

Each aligner will get closer and closer to the final result aimed for. They will apply pressure to the teeth consistently in order to slightly straighten and align them. After the main orthodontic process is complete, our orthodontist will supply you with a retainer, which should be worn to keep the teeth in their new, healthier places.

When to See a Doctor for Sleep Apnea

Young happy couple in bedWatching out for sleep apnea can involve a buddy system. Since you probably don’t know if you snore, you and your bedmate can alert each other. One in two adults snore, and one in four have sleep apnea.

On its face, sleep apnea does not have to be life-ruining. It affects mostly obese smokers, so there are dietary and other habits you can try to break. Left untended however, sleep apnea can lead to slowed cellular growth due to constant oxygen depletion. You should see a doctor, or call one for your sleeping partner, if your nights are dramatic with wakeups and struggles to breathe.

A few different doctors may get involved in your treatment. While you will probably start with your primary care physician, they may refer you to an otolaryngologist if the problem is due to a malformation like an enlarged soft palate. A sleep specialist may want to put you in a sleep study. And for a less common form of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea—as opposed to the more prevalent form, obstructive sleep apnea—a neurologist may need to take a look at you. Central sleep apnea is a failure largely of neurological sensors that tell the body to breathe or not.

If someone you love has sleep apnea symptoms, call our Los Angeles sleep apnea doctors today.

How Successful are Veneers in Improving Tooth Appearance

beauty woman

Veneers are one of the most effective cosmetic restorations available today. These thin customized layers of porcelain are bonded over the fronts of teeth to improve their aesthetics and protect them from damage. Most veneers are made to improve the shape, size, color, and length of teeth to improve the overall look of a smile. In order to ensure a comfortable fit, a small part of the tooth must be trimmed, which means that veneers are a permanent restoration.

Because veneers are permanent, many people are concerned about their effectiveness. If you choose porcelain veneers, you can be confident in your choice. Veneers are made to look just like natural teeth, and can cover many flaws, including:

• Worn enamel
• Stains and discolorations
• Chips and fractures
• Enamel flaws
• Misshapen teeth
• Crooked and gapped teeth

We can design, create, and bond veneers to teeth in just two to three dental visits. Once the veneers are in place on your teeth, they can last for fifteen or more years. Good dental care is essential for maximizing the lifespan of your new smile. Call our Los Angeles veneer expert today to learn more about a smile makeover with veneers or to schedule your consultation with our team.

Process of Getting a Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea

Gum Guard PerspectiveWe do a lot in our sleep that we are unaware of. We move around, sometimes sleep talk, and unfortunately, also snore without knowing it. While the first two examples are fairly normal, snoring is not. It is actually a sign that you have sleep apnea, a condition wherein the muscles in your air passageway relax, disabling you from breathing properly. If someone has told you that you snore every night, you might benefit from a dental appliance.

There are several different types of dental appliances, but all are designed to help you breathe properly while you sleep. You might benefit most from an appliance that repositions your jaw forward, creating more space in the throat, or one that moves both your jaw and tongue out of the way.

The process of getting an oral appliance is relatively simple. Our Los Angeles sleep apnea dentist will first take impressions of your teeth. These will be used to create mouth guard that will fit you perfectly while comfortably forcing a modified bite. Once our dentist has the final product, you can return to our office so we can make sure it fits properly, and make any adjustments, if needed. Patients should keep in mind that they will receive the most from it if it is worn every night.

Contact our office to learn more about a sleep apnea oral appliance that can help you get a good night’s sleep.