Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health. Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene. Dr. Case from Family Dental Health in Portland helps you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness.
You 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.
Dr. 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
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
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.