What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a rather common but serious disorder when breathing is repeatedly interrupted as you sleep. A lot of people may have this disorder but are not aware, because these interruptions typically happen when they are asleep. The interruptions are short breathing pauses that can occur up to hundreds of times in a single night, jolting you out of your natural sleep each time.
Someone with this condition will either have a hypopnea (where their breathing is severely restricted) or apnea (where they completely stop breathing). Each hypopnea or apnea cycle limits the level of oxygen in the body and consequently increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. This signals the brain to wake the body so that it can breathe again. These incidences can happen hundreds of times each night leaving you tired and vulnerable to various types of chronic diseases.
What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Most people treat snoring as something to be embarrassed about or as a joke. However snoring, especially loud snoring accompanied by fatigue throughout the day, may be a telltale sign of an underlying sleeping disorder. This disorder is referred to as sleep apnea; it takes a huge toll on your health and quality of life. Fortunately, it is a manageable and treatable condition as long as you discover your symptoms and take necessary steps to treat it.
Types of Sleep Apnea
The most common type of this disorder is the Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where the upper wall of the airway including the tongue relaxes during sleep, often resulting to loud snores.
The other type is the central sleep apnea, which is less common. It is caused by a malfunction of the brain that controls the breathing system during sleep. As such, when one sleeps, the brains ‘forgets’ to tell the body to breath, resulting to total inability to breath. The third type is the complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of the central and obstructive sleep apnea. The final one is positional sleep apnea, which is a form of obstructive sleep apnea that is triggered by position of sleep –typically when someone sleeps on their back.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Snoring is the most recognizable of symptoms. However, snoring does not necessarily mean you have apnea, while some people with sleep apnea don’t snore. The best way to discern this disorder’s symptoms is by focusing on how you feel during the day.
Chronic sleep deprivation triggered by sleep apnea is likely to result to slow reflexes, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, irritability, moodiness, and depression. Such symptoms are also associated with a myriad of physical health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, liver problems, hypertension, and weight gain.
- Loud and chronic snoring
- Daytime fatigue sleepiness no matter how long you sleep
- Concentration problems and forgetfulness
- Having to frequently go to the bathroom
- Pauses in breathing
- Fitful sleep, nighttime awakenings or insomnia
- Shortness of breath at night
- Sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
- Uncharacteristic moodiness, depression, or irritability
- Morning headaches
- Snorting, choking or gasping during sleep
- Impotence/ erectile dysfunction
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Anyone can have this condition. However, you are more susceptible to obstructive sleep apnea if you are: male above the age of 50, overweight, thick neck (over 40 cm in circumference), having high blood pressure and a family history of sleep apnea. Moreover, Hispanics, African Americans, and Pacific Islanders are more at risk. On the other hand, central sleep apnea is often associated with chronic illness, such as stroke, heart disease, neurological disease, or brainstem or spinal injury.
Having established that sleep apnea can take a severe toll on your emotional and physical health, it is important to treat the condition as soon as possible. This is only possible if you can recognize the symptoms highlighted in this article. Fortunately, with the right self-help strategies coupled with having professional treatment, you can call 1-877-520-0044 to help you get your sleep back on track and help you lead a more healthy lifestyle free of sleep apnea symptoms. Some self-help strategies include:
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding alcohol, sedatives and sleeping pills particularly before bedtime
- Working out regularly: this will help you lose weight and strengthen body muscles to reduce sleep apnea symptoms
- Avoiding heavy meals and caffeine before going to bed
- Maintaining regular sleep hours
- Avoiding sleeping on your back; sleeping on your side is recommended
The bottom line is that there are many things you can do on your own (lifestyle modifications and home remedies) to treat this condition. However, they are not a substitute for medical treatment and evaluation.
If you think you show symptoms of sleep apnea, fill out our appointment form or give us a call to learn more about a sleep study and diagnosis.
As part of our commitment to the geriatric community, we partner with Medicaid, Medicare and other financial resource groups. Our unique medical and dental model can help answer many of the complex issues surrounding the elderly population. In addition, we also have geriatric specialists and programs at many of our locations throughout Austin. We also provide Insurance Benefit Consultants at many of our clinics to go over benefits and assist you in knowing what all is available to you through your insurance plan.
Fill out the appointment form or call us at 1-877-520-0044 for more information! You can also check out the American Sleep Apnea Association for more information.
What is IDD?
Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) is a mental and adaptive functioning disorder, this means that the affected people face challenges in their everyday life skills. Despite what many people might think, intellectual disability is not a mental illness or any other kind of disease; it is a developmental disability that brings about both mental and physical challenges.
These challenges and conditions sometimes include:
- difficulty thinking and communicating
- basic self-care and physical mobility challenges
- behavior challenges
- cerebral palsy
- visual impairments
- hearing loss and deafness
- eating disorders
How does this affect oral health?
Research also indicates that people with intellectual disability have a higher chance of developing gingivitis, and other periodontal conditions than the general population. This is because ordinary daily living activities such as brushing teeth and basic hygiene can be a major struggle to people living with IDD. When it comes to dental care for people living with IDD, making sure they see a dentist with extensive experience and the right temperament to better serve them.
Access Dental Can Help!
At Access Dental we understand that IDD patients need special attention. Before you schedule an appointment at one of our clinics, Access Dental will obtain and review your medical history. They will then consult physicians, family members, caregivers, and other relevant parties to assemble an accurate medical history. This also enables your providers to legally obtain informed consent from the relevant person for treatment.
Sedation Dentistry for IDD Patients
We are happy to be able to offer a solution to some common worries of IDD patients. Our clinics provide various sedation dentistry options that offer comfortable, less anxiety and safer visits. We focus on patient relaxation and comfort, enabling patients to put their dentistry worries behind them to achieve the healthy smile they deserve. IDD patients are the perfect candidates for sedation dentistry because they are more prone to anxiety, fear of pain and often experience bad physical reaction such as extreme gag reflex.
There are various types of levels of sedation offered at our clinics. For instance, minor procedures such as teeth cleaning, may require sedation through the use of nitrous oxide gas, also known as laughing gas, to make the patient more relaxed. Other dental work may call for use of both localized pain medication and laughing gas. The advantage of localized medication is that it will only numb the specific area being treated. Those who need a more extensive procedure such as dental surgery, total sedation may be administered.
Our greatest strength is the understanding of the unique needs of IDD patients and the ability to be flexible enough to accommodate these needs. The benefits of sedation dentistry have enabled Access Dental to effectively restore the oral health of both IDD and non IDD patients.
For more information on how we can help restore the oral health of someone you know who is living with IDD fill out the appointment form or give us a call at 1-877-520-0044.
People become more vulnerable to several dental problems as they age. However, old age is not always the major cause of these issues. In fact, the major causes of dental problems for the elderly are cancer and diabetes. And to make matters worse, the use of certain medications to treat certain diseases contributes to the deterioration of oral health. Overuse of certain medications can lead to a dry mouth in addition to cavities and periodontitis.
Below are four major dental problems to stay aware of when getting older.
If you or a loved one is in need of Geriatric dental care (dental care for seniors), please call us at 1-877-520-0044 to see what we can do for you.
Dry mouth is one of the most common issues that elderly patients report to their dentists. The problem is not age related, but it’s the medication such patients use to treat certain diseases. Did you know more than 500 prescription medications have listed dry mouth as a side effect? Most of these medications are prescribed for allergies, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and asthma. One of the worst things about dry mouth is that it can lead to cavities. You can alleviate some symptoms of dry mouth by doing the following:
- Taking sugar-free candy or chewing gum, doing so facilitates the production of saliva
- Use mouthwash or moisturizers
- Keeping your mouth lubricated by consuming a good amount of water
- Requesting for a change in your medication
- Avoiding coffee, carbonated drinks, coffee, acidic fruit juices, and alcohol
Tooth decay is common among the elderly for many reasons. Over time, gums can recede, exposing the roots of the tooth. This, along with changes in tooth density can lead to vulnerability to cavities as the barriers of the tooth are broken down. You can minimize your chances of developing cavities by reducing your intake of sugary foods. Additionally, ensure that you brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. Be sure to ask your dental professional which fluoride gel is right for you.
You can also give us a call at 1-877-520-0044 to schedule an appointment and we’ll be happy to suggest fluoride gel that would be best for you.
The tissues around certain areas of your mouth may experience saliva pooling resulting to cracking, fungal infections, and bacterial infections. If you are experiencing this, ask your dental professional which gel is right for you.
To avoid denture problems, clean your dentures regularly and scrub them vigorously using a toothbrush. Do not wear them at night. Instead, soak them overnight in a suitable denture cleanser to prevent fungal infections.
Gum diseases are responsible for causing irritation, redness, and swelling in your mouth. It is hard to realize you have this problem until it is at an advanced stage because it is often painless as it advances. Gum diseases may lead to the spacing of the teeth if left untreated. Food particles and plaque can find room in these spaces. Eventually, gum diseases destroy your gums and the bones supporting your teeth leading to tooth loss. You can prevent these diseases by adhering to the right oral practices.
Ask your dental professional if you suspect you or a loved one may have gum disease or give us a call at 1-877-520-0044.
Oral Practices to Prevent Elderly Dental Problems
Fortunately, you can treat most elderly dental problems by calling 1-877-520-0044 and scheduling an appointment and by doing the following:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice daily
- Ensuring you fit your dentures regularly
- Flossing your teeth regularly
- Making regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings at least twice a year
- Replacing your toothbrush every three months
As part of our commitment to the geriatric community, we partner with Medicaid, Medicare and other financial resource groups. Our unique medical and dental model can help answer many of the complex issues surrounding the elderly population. In addition, we also have a geriatric specialist and programs at many of our locations throughout Austin.
Fill out an appointment request form or call us at 1-877-520-0044 for more information!