13 Dec 2016

Sleep Apnea in Children

Kid_Sleep_ApneaYou may think being exhausted simply comes with the territory of being a parent (and it does), but there may also be a serious medical condition causing your child to wake up often throughout the night – sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is most commonly found in adults, but can also, in rare cases affect children. Dr. David Case, dentist at Family Dental Health in Portland cares about treating your little ones. Read below to learn more about how dentists can diagnose and treat sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea & Its Effects

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing becomes shallow or pauses completely while you’re asleep. It can be caused by your tongue or tonsils being too large and blocking your airway, the collapse of soft tissues in the back of the throat, or by your brain not sending the proper signals to keep breathing while you sleep.

Sleep apnea causes a lot of problems for children, the most obvious being restless sleep. Other problems can include failure to thrive, slower developmental milestones, excessive sleepiness in daytime, and attention or behavioral problems – all due to a lack of quality sleep. Sleep apnea is most common in children between two and eight years old.

About 2-4% of children have sleep apnea, but it is harder to diagnose in children than in adults. One major difference between sleep apnea in children and adults is that children with sleep apnea, unlike adults, often are not overweight. Since children spend half of their time asleep (a parent can dream), healthy sleep is hugely important for their health and development.

Physical Signs of Sleep Apnea:

  • Loud, frequent snoring
  • Frequent night waking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Excessive sweating at night
  • Headache in the morning

Dentistry for Sleep Apnea

Among all primary care doctors, dentists are the most likely to see clues your child might have sleep apnea. A dentist is a trained professional who spends a lot of time looking at your mouth. And by looking in your mouth, they can tell a lot about your overall health and how your body is functioning. Routine dental visits play an important role in preventing many health problems.

By the looks of your child’s mouth, gums, teeth, and throat, a dentist can easily tell if your child might have sleep apnea. Children with teeth, even as young as one-year-old, should regularly visit the dentist.

Dentists are experts in helping your entire mouth, face, and neck work together to be as healthy as possible. This goes for everything from good nutrition to good sleep. If your dentist believes your child may have sleep apnea, they will work with other doctors to confirm and treat the diagnosis.

In many cases, your dentist will be able to offer an oral appliance, or mouthpiece, as a non-surgical solution. While weight is rarely an issue for children with sleep apnea, in some cases, weight-loss will be recommended. Treating allergies may also improve your child’s breathing while he/she sleeps. In some serious cases, surgery will be recommended.

If you think your child may have sleep apnea, or if you’d like to learn more about caring for your child’s dental and oral health, call your Portland dentist, Dr. David Case today to make an appointment at Family Dental Health.

Sources

27 Nov 2016

Protect Yourself from Oral Cancer

10_YearsDr. David Case and all of us at Family Dental Health would like to take this opportunity to talk about oral cancer, the lives that are lost to it, and what it could mean for you and your family. Oral cancer is one of the only cancers that is actually becoming more common, and we want our Portland patients to know what it is, and how to protect themselves.

Oral cancer refers to mouth cancer, tongue cancer, throat cancer, tonsil cancer, and a number of others. This year alone, more than 5,000 people will lose the battle to some form of oral cancer. Dr. Case is teaming up with the entire healthcare community to beat this disease by teaching people everywhere about how to spot it and maintain low risk.

**This post is not intended to diagnose or treat oral cancer. Its purpose is simply to inform Portland residents. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have oral cancer, come see Dr. David Case as soon as possible.**

Oral cancer is a group of diseases that can affect your body in a number of different ways. In order to list all the symptoms and warning signs we would need an entire website, so we’ve simplified the list conveniently.

The most common ways oral cancer can affect you:READ MORE

13 Nov 2016

The Importance of Dental X-Rays

X_Rays (1)The technology of dental medicine is advancing by the minute. There are now sophisticated techniques for diagnosing and tracking oral cancer, correcting crooked teeth in less than a year, treating periodontitis (advanced gum disease) without surgery, and many more. Yet, when it comes down to diagnosing issues and creating an effective treatment plan, nothing beats a fresh set of X-rays. Dr. David Case uses dental X-rays to see the whole picture, in order to keep your teeth healthy, bright, and beautiful. If you are a Portland resident with questions about how X-rays work, read on, and don’t hesitate to call Family Dental Health with any concerns.

What are X-rays?

X-rays have been around since 1895, when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen first discovered that his cathode ray tube could penetrate black paper and cast shadows of solid objects. X-rays are on a shorter wavelength than visible light and pass through soft tissue in the human body, providing a detailed picture of what’s going on inside. Without X-Rays, the treatment of everything from cavities, to broken bones, to cancer, would be much more difficult. Beyond medicine and science, X-Rays have useful applications across many industries.

Why do I need X-Rays?READ MORE

27 Oct 2016

Teething Relief for Tots!

Teething_Crying (2)Well, if you’re reading this you have already made it through teething, but the same cannot be said for a newborn. We at Family Dental Health care about the health of our Portland patients and that’s why we want to provide you with useful knowledge about how to care for a baby that needs teething relief. It’s no secret that new parents have a lot on their plate, so Dr. David Case wants to remind you that amidst the chaos of a brand new child, it is important to take care of yourself as well. Your baby will benefit from it!

Since your baby won’t need to see Dr. Case until most of their tiny new teeth have erupted (around three years old), they are counting on you to maintain their dental care. However, you don’t have to go it alone! Family Dental Health wants all Portland babies to have healthy mouths, so please call us, and Dr. Case will help you with any questions or concerns.

Teething ExplainedREAD MORE

13 Oct 2016

4 Facts about Dental Implants

Dental_Implants (1)Most Portland residents will lose a tooth at some point in their lives, but that doesn’t mean your smile has to suffer. There are numerous ways to fix a lost tooth, but today, Dr. David Case would like to educate you about the best option for a healthy smile that will last a lifetime: dental implants. Here are some facts about dental implants. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to give us at Family Dental Health a call.

Implants function just like real teeth

If you are looking for a solution that will preserve and improve the health of your mouth, implants are the way to go. Although dentures and bridges can help simulate the function of real teeth, they do not stimulate the jawbone. Implants are placed directly in the jawbone, just like the root of a tooth. As a result, they can put a stop to painful, damaging reabsorption, so that you never have to deal with that “sunken in” look. On top of that, implants are sturdier than any other form of dental appliance.

Implants stabilize other appliances

READ MORE

27 Sep 2016

The Dental Health Diet – Foods for Healthy Gums

Food___Dental_Health (2)Keep Your Mouth Healthy with These Foods

Hello Portland residents! As you know, Dr. David Case and Family Dental Health are committed to helping you maintain the best oral health and we’ve got some tips for you. It is common to hear about what not to eat, but today we are going to tell you about a few foods that will keep your mouth in top shape and how they do it.

Fruits and Vegetables are Your Teeth’s Best Friends

We’ve all heard about the dangers of plaque, bacteria, cavities, and stains, but did you know that some of our favorite fruit and veggie friends can help fight them off?

READ MORE

13 Sep 2016

Dental Insurance FAQ: The Basics

Insurance_FAQWe at Family Dental Health understand that dental insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate. Evaluating dental plans and considering deductibles, benefits, which treatments are covered, and the mountain of other information insurance companies provide can be a headache in and of itself. Dr. David Case wants every Portland resident to have the power to control their own health, so here’s a simplified guide to the basics of dental health insurance. As always, if you have a question, don’t be afraid to give us a call!

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is an excellent investment that helps Portland residents ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. However, in order to get the best value from your dental insurance, there are a few things you need to know. Here are the answers to the most common questions we hear at Family Dental Health:

What is dental insurance?READ MORE

13 Aug 2016

The Story of Caries Prevention

Caries (1)If we told you that your mouth is the site of a constant battle between teeth and bacteria, would you believe us? Alright, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but the fact that Portland teeth are always at risk of developing dental caries is no exaggeration. In case you’ve never heard about caries, Dr. David Case is going to take this opportunity to shed some light on what it is, how to stop it, and what Family Dental Health can do to help.

Dental Caries, Tooth Decay, and Cavities

What do dental caries and tooth decay have in common? A lot – actually, they are the exact same thing. When bacteria interact with carbohydrates as they are broken down in the mouth, they ferment and produce lactic acid, which eats away at the structures of the teeth. Considered the most prevalent chronic disease among adults and children, this condition is called dental caries, or tooth decay. Without proper care and regular dental appointments, the acid from bacteria will eat away the surface layer of the tooth, creating a hole, or cavity. In other words, dental caries (tooth decay) is the cause of cavities.

Caries PreventionREAD MORE

27 Jul 2016

Having Jaw Pain? The Importance of Teeth Alignment

AlignmentWhy Do My Teeth Need To Be Aligned?

The only reason people get braces is to improve their smile, right? Wrong! Occlusion, or the alignment of your teeth, is a crucial factor in the health and functionality of your entire mouth. It may not seem like anything more than a cosmetic issue, but malocclusion (misaligned teeth) can cause jaw pain, difficulty eating, jaw popping and more. Your mouth is a finely tuned digestive organ and even the slightest issue with teeth alignment could cause big problems.READ MORE

13 Jun 2016

Gentle Dental Care in Portland

10 YearsWhat if You Haven’t Been to the Dentist for Several Years?

Life is busy and we all have a long list of priorities to take care of, so it’s not hard to imagine that any number of things can get in the way of your regular dental hygiene routine, checkups and cleanings with Dr. David Case. You might just wake up one day and realize that you haven’t been to the dentist in years! That’s why we want to tell all our Portland patients about the gentle dental care we provide and why regular visits to Family Dental Health are so important.

What happens over many years of dental neglect? Do your teeth turn black and fall out of your head? What if you are really good about flossing and brushing, but don’t go to the dentist? What are the consequences of putting your dental health on the back burner?

The most important thing to remember is that your dental health is in your hands. Dr. Case wants all the folks in Portland to enjoy healthy mouths and proud smiles, but only you have the power to make it happen for your family. Going a couple months longer than you should between appointments won’t ruin your smile, but waiting years to get cleanings and treatment can have major effects on your dental health.

Here’s why:

Dental Hygiene, Tooth Decay, and Gum Disease

There’s a good reason Dr. Case encourages Portland patients to stay on top of their dental hygiene. Flossing and brushing every morning and night helps keep plaque from causing tooth decay, gum disease, and the painful, expensive complications that follow. Giving up on your toothbrush is certain to take a major toll on your dental health, and after a few years’ time, it will likely mean the loss of one or more teeth.

READ MORE