Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, causing a pause in breathing. The brain senses the lack of oxygen and sends a signal to wake up the sleeper, which restarts breathing. This can happen repeatedly during the night. In most cases, patients don’t realize they’re waking up so frequently. Doctors recommend CPAP devices to treat sleep apnea, but patients tend to find these uncomfortable. Instead, consider visiting a dentist near Renton, WA for effective sleep apnea solutions .
The Importance of Sleep Apnea Treatment
Heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes are just a few of the medical problems that people with untreated sleep apnea are at risk of. If you aren’t receiving the proper care, you could also be at a higher risk of stroke, depression, and car crashes caused by daytime fatigue.
The Problems with CPAP Treatment
A CPAP device consists of a mask that fits over your face. This is connected to a tube, which extends to the machine placed by your bedside. The device introduces continuous air pressure to force the airway to stay open during sleep. Although CPAP treatment is effective, it’s also problematic for many patients. It can be difficult to fall asleep with a mask on your face, and many people find it difficult to breathe comfortably. CPAP devices can be noisy, and they can cause dry mouth and throat, irritated eyes, skin sores, and even stomach bloating.
The Alternative Treatment Available from Your Dentist
If the idea of using a CPAP device doesn’t appeal to you, talk to your dentist about alternative options. He or she may suggest an oral appliance, such as the Moses. An oral appliance will be fitted to your mouth for your comfort. You’ll wear it each night when you go to bed. The oral appliance will gently position your tongue and lower jaw forward a little to keep your airway open. This effectively eliminates the cyclical cessation of breathing that is characteristic of sleep apnea. By wearing the device every night, you’ll get a good night’s rest and you’ll enjoy better health. Plus, your partner won’t have to suffer through any more sleepless nights due to your snoring.
Dental check-ups at 6-month intervals are essential for good oral health, but it’s not uncommon for a person’s fear of the dentist’s chair to keep him or her away from the office. People with dental anxieties and phobias are more likely to suffer from gum disease, tooth decay, and frequent toothaches because they don’t get the preventive care they need. Don’t let your dental anxieties ruin your beautiful smile. During an appointment at a dentist’s office in Renton, WA, speak up about your concerns. The staff can work with you to find an approach that helps you.
Consider Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry, such as the use of intravenous (IV) conscious sedation, is appropriate for many patients with anxiety. The FDA-approved medications will not force you to fall asleep, but you will be deeply relaxed. Time will seem to pass much more quickly, and you might not remember much of the appointment. With dental sedation, you can get extensive treatments done in just one visit, instead of having to go back to the office for multiple appointments.
Use Relaxation Techniques
When anxiety takes over, a person’s heart rate quickens and breathing becomes abnormal. The muscles tense up, too, which is why some people get up out of the dentist’s chair feeling as though they’ve just been to the gym. Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that can be particularly helpful during a dental cleaning. Try to divert your focus away from what the dental hygienist is doing and toward your muscles. Starting with your toes, squeeze one muscle group at a time, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Feel the tension drain away from your muscles as you work your way upward. After you’ve completed this, lift one foot at a time and move it in slow circles. Stretch out your legs and try to relax your breathing.
See a Mental Health Counselor
For some people, dental phobias are born of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you just can’t bring yourself to make a dentist appointment, consider talking with a mental health counselor. Treating the underlying mental health issue may allow you to get the oral healthcare you need.
Pain while brushing and flossing is common, but it’s not normal. Talk to a dentist located near Renton WA to find out what could be causing your discomfort. It’s possible that you have gingivitis. This is an early stage of gum disease that also causes bleeding of the gums while brushing or flossing. For more information on what could be causing your toothache, listen to the dentist featured in this video.
She explains that the wearing away of the tooth’s enamel is a common culprit of tooth sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel. You could also use an ADA-approved desensitizing toothpaste for toothache relief, but this isn’t a substitute for any dental treatments you might need.
Everyone deserves a beautiful and healthy smile, but not everyone is willing to go to a dentist’s office to get it. Quite often, dental-related anxieties prevent people from taking care of their oral health. But dental check-ups and treatments don’t have to be uncomfortable or anxiety-inducing. Look for a dentist in Renton, WA who is committed to providing a comfortable, pain-free experience for patients, such as through the use of sedation dentistry .
Understanding Sedation Dentistry
Dentists can use FDA-approved medications that allow patients to fully relax in the treatment room. In some cases, this medicine is administered intravenously. Although the patient will become very relaxed—and probably won’t remember much of the appointment—this medicine does not induce unconsciousness. In other words, if you choose to be sedated, you won’t be forced to fall asleep, although you may become sleepy. This medication does not take the place of an anesthetic. Your dentist will still apply localized numbing medications to the area that is being treated.
Deciding If Sedation Dentistry Is Right for You
Many people are good candidates for comfortable dentistry with sedation, but it’s always best to disclose your full medical history before you have it. This helps prevent any medical problems. For instance, you should inform the technician if you:
- Have any allergies
- Are pregnant or might be pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have liver or kidney disease
- Have respiratory disorders
- Have diabetes
- Are taking any medications, both prescribed and otherwise
If a dentist agrees that it’s safe for you to have oral conscious sedation, you can look forward to getting a beautiful, healthy smile without any discomfort or anxiety. Every patient should be free to access comfortable dentistry services, without experiencing the anxiety associated with:
- The noise of drills and other equipment
- The discomfort of needles and injections
- The odors and tastes that accompany dental work
Getting Ready for Your Appointment
In addition to discussing your medical history with the dentist, there are a few things you should do to prepare for your appointment. Since the effects of sedation can linger for hours, you’ll need to have a responsible adult bring you to the office and take you back home. This person should also plan to stay with you for the rest of the day. If you’re having extensive dental treatment, it’s a good idea to ask about the recovery process.
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