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Health Effects of Missing Teeth

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3 health effects of missing teeth

health effects of missing teeth, edmontonIf you are dealing with missing or lost teeth, you may have brushed it aside, especially if it is not causing any discomfort. However, missing teeth can actually have serious consequences.

In addition to leaving you with unsightly gaps, especially if you’ve lost any of your front teeth, you could deal with health problems down the line.

Pay attention to three health effects of missing teeth so you can head trouble off at the pass.

1. Missing teeth can result in bone loss

Believe it or not, but your teeth actually stimulate the underlying bone in your jaw, ensuring that bone cells continue to regenerate and keeping the jaw healthy. When you lose a tooth, that stimulation will no longer occur.

Over time, bone loss will occur. This can begin to make the teeth that are nearby become unstable, resulting in more lost teeth. The shape of your jaw could be effected as well.

2. Gum disease is a risk with missing teeth

The gaps and spaces left by missing teeth can be difficult to keep clean. If bacteria and plaque are left to build up in teeth, gum disease can set in.

The best way to avoid gum disease in this case is to have missing teeth replaced. If you choose not to, be sure to schedule regular professional cleaning and be diligent about that the extra time to clean gaps well.

3. Your bite can become unbalanced

When you lose one or more teeth, your bite can become unbalanced. A misaligned bite can trigger problems with the temporomandibular joint, the hinge that acts as a connection between both portions of the jaw.

When it’s not functioning properly, a condition commonly known as TMJ, the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint  and become inflamed and strained potentially causing pain in the jaw, head, eyes, eyes, face or neck.

Replace missing teeth with dental implants

If you are dealing with missing teeth, consider dental implants. Talk to your dentist about how implants can help you to restore balance in your mouth. It’s an investment that will pay off in the future, keeping your jaw healthy and strong. You’ll also have the added benefit of a beautiful smile.

Let your dentist provide you with a thorough evaluation in order to determine the best way to deal with the gaps that have been left behind by your missing teeth. Implants can help you improve your dental health and the appearance of your teeth.

The post Health Effects of Missing Teeth appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Can TMJ affect hearing?

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Can TMJ affect your hearing?

tmj ear pain edmontonYour hearing problems and jaw pain could go hand in hand. If you find yourself troubled by chronic pain in your jaw and issues with your ears, your problems could be connected, as these symptoms are both related to a TMJ disorder.

When you suffer from a TMJ issue, it means there is a problem with your temporomandibular joint, the connection between your upper and lower jaw. When everything is in order with your jaw, it will work smoothly, flowing perfectly and allowing you to eat, talk, yawn, and bite with ease. However, when there is an imbalance, a misalignment, strain, or inflammation, it can have a major impact on your body. Even your ears can be affected.

How TMJ trouble is connected to your ears

When there are problems with your temporomandibular joint, they cause major consequences on the muscles and nerves that are connected to this essential joint, one that is put through a great deal of work throughout the day.

The inflammation and irritation of the nerves in the jaw joint that come with a TMJ disorder is located near your ears. As a result, you may find yourself dealing with:

  • tinnitus
  • ringing in the ears
  • TMJ ear pain.

If you are dealing with other TMJ symptoms, such as pain in your jaw, chronic headaches, a stiff neck, or difficulties breathing at night, it is an indication that hearing problems could related as well. You may even find yourself dealing with troubling hearing loss.

TMJ treatment can help

Seeking help from a dentist could help you find an effective treatment plan. After explaining all of your symptoms, a careful evaluation will be the next step. Through a physical exam, an ocular analysis of your bite, and medical imaging that could include a CT scan and x-rays, your dentist will be able to pinpoint the source of your problem and recommend treatment.

You may require something as simple as hot and cold compresses along with anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapy and a mouth guard worn at night could resolve the issue. Sometimes dental restoration or orthodontics is required. Each case is unique, but help is available.

Learn more

TMJ is a complex issue. In order to fully understand it, your best bet is to discuss your symptoms with a dentist. If you have any questions about TMJ, please feel free to ask.

The post Can TMJ affect hearing? appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Root Canals

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4 things to know about root canals

blog-tmj-painIf you’ve been told you need a root canal, you’re probably not happy about the situation. It means the root or pulp of your tooth has been irreparably damaged. The dentist is going to need to go in, remove the root, clean out the tooth, and seal it to resolve your problem once and for all. Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with chronic pain.

A root removal is often the best answer to a damaged tooth root. Here are 4 things to know about root removal that may make it easier to deal with this common procedure.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how much does a root canal hurt?

This is probably the biggest concern for anyone who has to undergo a root canal procedure. The good news is, the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a dental filling.

The most painful part is the injection of the local anesthetic. Many dentists will help alleviate the discomfort of the needle with a little topical anesthetic applied prior. Once your mouth is numb, you should find the rest of the procedure to be tolerable. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have. He or she should be able to give you a little peace of mind about pain.

How long is the post root canal healing time?

Luckily, healing time is usually fairly short. It is normal to feel some discomfort after the anesthetic has worn off, but, within a day or two, you should be able to resume normal activities. Your dentist may also an antibiotic if he or she feels there is a risk of remaining infection. Your tooth and the gum surrounding it could remain sensitive for two to three days.

Will my restored tooth last?

Once the procedure has been successfully completed and you have a fully restored tooth, you will need to take good care of your mouth. Some dental restorations do need to be replaced over time, but, with the care of your dentist and a good oral health care regime, you can make your restoration last.

Do I have any other options?

If you have been told you need the procedure, the only realistic solution is to have the tooth removed. While this may seem like the easy fix, removing a tooth is always the least favorable choice. Missing teeth can lead to other issues and the restoration to repair it can be more invasive and costly that post root canal restorations.

If you have any questions about root canals or your oral health, please ask.

The post Root Canals appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

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Did you know your sleep apnea or snoring could have a dental cause?

If you are struggling with sleep apnea or snoring, you know how frustrating it can be. No matter how early you go to bed or how late you rise, you never feel completely rested. It is a game of catch up that you can never win, dragging you down with fatigue throughout the day, and putting your health at risk as well.

When you don’t get a good night’s rest on a regular basis and your body is deprived of the oxygen it needs, health and wellness issues like weight gain, heart problems or depression can result. You may be surprise to learn that a dental issue could be the cause of your sleep problem.

How a problem with your mouth can rob you of a good night’s rest

It may be hard to believe, but many problems related to sleeping can be connected to the mouth. If you have a TMJ disorder in which the temporomandibular joint is out of alignment, your jaw joint can be under strain, inflamed, or cause your bite to become unbalanced.

This can result in an obstruction of your airway at night while you are sleeping. When the jaw does not align properly, the tongue can fall back and hinder your breathing. As a result, you may snore or wake up periodically gasping for breath. Not only is it inconvenient, this problem interrupts your sleep and keeps your body from getting an adequate supply of oxygen in the night.

Fortunately, there are treatments to help you sleep well once again.

Sleep disorder treatment can help

The first step in tackling you sleep problem is to undergo a sleep evaluation or a sleep study. This is usually in initiated by a visit to your medical doctor. This is an important step because it’s critical to get an accurate diagnosis of your sleep problem. Without clear insight into what’s causing your sleep disorder, effective treatment could be harder to come by.

Once the cause of your sleep disorder has been determined, recommendations can be made for treatment. If your bite is the cause of the problem, a dentist can outfit you with a snoring device to help you stop snoring, or an oral appliance, know as a mandibular advancement device to address an obstruction of your airway.

What’s keeping you awake?

Jaw alignment and airway issues are complex and difficult to diagnose. If you would like to learn more about your sleep problems, take my free questionnaire.

The post Sleep Apnea and Snoring appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Toothache Pain

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What your toothache is trying to tell you

If you have experienced toothache pain, you know how excruciating a toothache can be. A toothache signals a potential problem with your teeth or gums. A dental visit should be scheduled as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain and to find a toothache cure. Prompt attention from your dentist may prevent irreversible damage to your teeth.

Pay attention to pain

Pain can signal decay or a cavity in your tooth. When decay sets in and is not treated promptly, it may damage the tooth and the neighbouring teeth as well. A cavity treated early by your dentist may be able to be filled which will help to prevent further damage. Decay or a cavity that is in advanced stages may require your tooth be extracted or removed.

Don’t dismiss bleeding

Gum disease in the early stages is not likely to be painful. Without dental treatment, disease in your gums may become worse rapidly and cause extreme pain. Bleeding gums or swollen areas can signal gum disease and a visit to your dentist can determine if you have gum disease and how advanced it is. Working with your dentist to develop a plan to slow the progression can be beneficial to your oral health and potentially prevent other problems associated with gum disease.

Watch for wear

Grinding your teeth at night or during the day may cause your teeth to hurt, as over time it is likely to cause damage. The damage can range from nearly invisible cracks to broken teeth and possibly wearing your teeth down. If your teeth change shape or wear from the grinding, this may throw your bite out of alignment and may cause jaw pain as well. Teeth grinding can cause toothache pain if damage has occurred or a nerve is exposed from breakage or cracks. You may need your damaged tooth extracted or removed if the damage is severe.

Listen to your teeth

Consulting with a professional can help you find a toothache cure and help you develop health oral habits to preserve and maintain your dental health. If you need dental care, please come in for a consultation.

The post Toothache Pain appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Sleep Disorder Causes

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Can’t sleep? Learn about sleep disorder causes

Do you wake up at night feeling like you can’t breathe? Does your partner say you snore or stop breathing during the night? Do you wake up frequently to go to the washroom? Or do you awaken in the night and can’t get back to sleep?

These are all warning signs that something is not quite right with your sleeping patterns. They are signals that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.

What causes sleep disorders?

There are many conditions that can cause a sleep disorder.

  • Obstructed airways: Your airway can be obstructed by the position of your tongue while you sleep. This is ofen caused by a misaligned bite.
  • TMJ: If your bite is misaligned, you can experience symptoms such as face, ear, neck and jaw pain.  A TMJ disorder can also cause snoring and sleep problems because an unstable jaw does not hold your tongue in the correct position while you sleep, blocking your airway.
  • Excess weight: If you are carrying excess weight, you can have more soft tissues in your mouth and throat. This can lead to snoring or sleep apnea because, as your throat muscles relax, the extra soft tissue can block your airway.
  • Take Our Sleep Disorder Questionnaire

  • Genetics: Studies suggest that sleep apnea can run in some families. That’s because some of the risk factors for are related to physical characteristics you are born with. These include:
    • Being  male
    • A large tongue, tonsils, adenoids or pharynx
    • A small jawbone
    • A thick neck
    • A deviated septum
  • Teeth grinding: Nocturnal Bruxism is the term used for teeth grinding that occurs while you sleep. It is related to  sleep apnea because it can be a protective response to airway closure. When your airway collapses, teeth clenching or grinding stiffens your hypopharynx to keep your airway open. Depression medication, specifically SSRIs and ADHD drugs can also lead to Bruxism. So can excessive smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Stress: A very common sleep disorder cause is stress.  Stress can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as impact the quality of your sleep. Stress can cause or worsen sleep disorders.
  • Medications: Some kind of the following medications can contribute to a sleep disorder :
    • Drugs that treat high blood pressure
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Steroids
    • Inhaled respiratory drugs
    • Diet pills
    • ADHA drugs
    • Antidepressants

Schedule A Sleep Disorder Evaluation

How do you resolve a sleep disorder?

image-sleep-studyThe first step to take to return back to healthy sleep patterns is to undergo a sleep study. These are usually performed in a lab under the supervision of a sleep specialist. Once the cause of your sleep disorder has been determined, you can seek treatment.

If the cause is dental, such as a misaligned bite, a dentist can help with oral appliance therapy. A dental sleep device can move your jaw into the correct position while you sleep, helping to keep your airway open.

The post Sleep Disorder Causes appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Periodontal Disease

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Gum disease is cause for alarm

image-periodontalGum disease is a concern for North Americans. In fact over 75% of adults on this side of the pond have some form of gum disease, which, if left untreated, becomes periodontal disease.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by the bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that is constantly forming on your teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and twice yearly dental hygiene treatments are required to keep plaque at bay.

If plaque is left on your teeth, gum disease can set in. As it progresses gum disease will begin to impact the bone that supports your teeth. Eventually, your teeth can become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

Make An Appointment

What’s the oral health risk?

If you don’t treat periodontal disease, your oral health is compromised, leaving you at risk for a host of health problems.

The first stage of gum, or periodontal disease is called gingivitus. This stage is relatively simple to treat, because it only affects the gums. Symptoms of gingivitus can be tender, swollen gums, often accompanied by persistent bad breath. This stage of gum disease can sneak in with no obvious symptoms, and is often caught at routine dental check-ups.

Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. At this stage, bacteria can cause infections. The toxins created by the bacteria, and your body’s immune response to the infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that keep your teeth in place.

The gums recede away from the teeth, and pockets, or spaces form between tooth and gum. If periodontal disease is left untreated, the jawbone, gums, and the tissue that support the teeth are eventually destroyed.  The teeth may become loose, and have to be removed, or surgery must be performed on the gums.

There could be a general health risk as well

Research is showing us the infection caused by periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and lead to or exacerbate general health problem.

Protect your health

Gum disease is nasty. It can sneak in undetected even though your are a diligent, regular brusher and flosser. That’s why it is so important to schedule regular professional dental care.

Your dental hygienist has a quiver full of tools to deep-clean the nooks and crannies of your mouth. The places where it is practically impossible for the average person to keep germ-free.

Your dentist also has some tricks up his or her sleeve. With a keen eye trained to spot dental disease in its early stages, specialized diagnostic tools, and access to oral health tests, your dentist is an invaluable resource in your oral health program.


The post Periodontal Disease appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dental Emergencies

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Dental emergencies in Edmonton

image-dental-emergencyA emergency is defined as a situation that poses immediate risk to health, life, or property.

Everyone knows to call 911 for emergency services like the:

  • police
  • fire brigade
  • ambulance.

Just like in any other emergency, in a dental emergency, it’s important to get immediate help to prevent the situation from getting worse. 

Deal with emergencies swiftly

Unfortunately, emergencies don’t stick to our North American 9:00 – 5:00, Monday to Friday schedule. In fact, for the majority of us, while the dental office is open, we are safely tucked away at our desk, classrooms or counter.

If you work at a desk job or attend school, it’s probably more likely you’ll encounter a dental emergency once you are set free at the end of the day or on a weekend. The times that most dental clinics are closed.

Left untreated a dental emergencies can become worse and result in:

  • Pain from exposed nerve endings or an abscess
  • An infection that spreads
  • Permanent loss of a tooth. If treated quickly a knocked out tooth can be saved

Be prepared

Here are some tips on how to handle common dental emergencies.

Toothache

Call the dentist, explain your symptoms and request an appointment as soon as possible. Then, ease the pain by taking  over-the-counter pain medication. Do not put tablets on your sore tooth. You can also use an ice pack pressed against the spot of the sore tooth. Be careful to not let the skin of your face get too cold.

Do not put anything hot, such as a heating pad or a hot water bottle, on your jaw. Heat will make things worse, not better.

Chipped or broken tooth

Broken teeth can usually be saved. Call your dentist, explain what happened, and ask to be seen right away. If it’s a small break, a filling may be used  to fix the tooth. If the break is serious, you may need a root canal.

Knocked out tooth

Knocked-out tooth adult teeth can be put back, but you must act quickly.

If the tooth is put back in place within a few minutes it can taking root again. As the time increases, the chance of saving the tooth decreases. It’s important to take care with the knocked out tooth.

If it seems clean enough, and there is no risk of it being swallowed, put the tooth back in its socket, and hold it there with your tongue. If this is not possible, put it in a container of cold milk.

Bitten lip or tongue

Stop any bleeding by applying pressure. Make sure you use a clean cloth to do this. If the lip is swollen,  an ice pack can help to keep the swelling down. If the bleeding does not stop, call 911 or head to the hospital immediately.

Something stuck between teeth

First, try to remove it with dental floss. Be very gentle!  Never poke a sharp object like a pin or a stick between your teeth as it can cut your gums, or scratch the surface of your tooth. If you can’t get the object out, call the dentist.

Lost filling

Call the dentist and ask to be seen as soon as possible. While you wait you can put a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum in the spot where the filling was lost to protect the area.

Who you gonna call?

Not all dentists have openings for new patients. In order to avoid a situation where precious time is lost between the emergency and the treatment, suss out a dentist who is willing to fit you in. Sana Dental in NE Edmonton keeps appointment slots open for emergencies and is happy to accept new patients.

Call us on 1 855 702 9395

The post Dental Emergencies appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Root Canal Blog

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4 things to know about root canals

blog-tmj-painIf you’ve been told you need a root canal, you’re probably not happy about the situation. It means the root or pulp of your tooth has been irreparably damaged. The dentist is going to need to go in, remove the root, clean out the tooth, and seal it to resolve your problem once and for all. Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with chronic pain.

A root removal is often the best answer to a damaged tooth root. Here are 4 things to know about root removal that may make it easier to deal with this common procedure.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how much does a root canal hurt?

This is probably the biggest concern for anyone who has to undergo a root canal procedure. The good news is, the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a dental filling.

The most painful part  is the injection of the local anesthetic. Many dentists will help alleviate the discomfort of the needle with a little topical anesthetic applied prior. Once your mouth is numb, you should find the rest of the procedure to be tolerable. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have. He or she should be able to give you a little peace of mind about  pain.

How long is the post root canal healing time?

Luckily, healing time is usually fairly short.  It is normal to feel some discomfort after the anesthetic has worn off, but, within a day or two, you should be able to resume normal activities. Your dentist may also an antibiotic if he or she feels there is a risk of remaining infection. Your tooth and the gum surrounding it could  remain sensitive for two to three days.

Will my restored tooth last?

Once the procedure has been successfully completed and you have a fully restored tooth, you will need to take good care of your mouth. Some dental restorations do need to be replaced over time, but, with the care of your dentist and a good oral health care regime, you can make your restoration last.

Do I have any other options?

If you have been told you need the procedure, the only realistic solution is to have the tooth removed. While this may seem like the easy fix, removing a tooth is always the least favorable choice. Missing teeth can lead to other issues and the restoration to repair it can be more invasive and costly that post root canal restorations.

If you have any questions about root canals or your oral health, please ask.

The post Root Canal Blog appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.

Sleep Apnea / Snoring 101

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Sleep apnea: The danger of not sleeping well

There is no doubt that snoring is a nuisance for you and for your partner. It can drive couples to fight and may even lead them to sleeping apart. However, for some people snoring is more than just a nuisance. It is a sign of a dangerous, potentially deadly condition, known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

image-sleep-apneaOSA is a disorder that disrupts your sleep, preventing you from getting the restful sleep your body and brain need to recharge properly. OSA can lead to serious mental and physical health problems, such as:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • stroke
  • relationship problems
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • safety risks

What is sleep apnea?

OSA is a physical condition that causes your breathing to stop momentarily while you sleep. During these episodes of interrupted breathing, described as apneic events, your blood oxygen level drops. This drop in blood oxygen level causes your brain to awaken and resume your breathing.

Although you most likely are not conscious of these episodes and may not remember them in the morning, they disrupt your sleep. Being continually awakened from your sleep can hinder your body’s ability to reach and remain in the deeper stages of sleep that are crucial to your physical and mental rejuvenation.

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is divided into two types: central and obstructive.

  • Central sleep apnea occurs due to a neurological condition: your brain stops telling your lungs to breathe
  • Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that hold the airways open relax, leading to the collapse of the airways

OSA is a very common condition. In fact, about 2 million Canadians suffer from this form of sleep apnea. Although most people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are overweight men in their 50s or older, it can affect anyone.

OSA can also be associated with TMJ. Because the tissues of the airway hang on the jaw for support when the muscles relax, a poorly aligned jaw can increase the chances of your airway becoming obstructed during sleep.

Symptoms of OSA

Snoring is one of the most common signs of OSA. Before the airway constricts completely, it narrows, leading to turbulent airflow and vibration of the soft tissues, which creates snoring. About 30 % of snorers have OSA, and nearly three-quarters of OAS sufferers are also snorers.

Most often, the snoring of an OSA sufferer will be interrupted and punctuated with gasping or choking, but there are many other symptoms of sleep apnea:
• Daytime sleepiness
• Waking with a headache or a feeling that you got no rest
• Lack of concentrating or sudden memory problems
• Inexplicable weight gain or difficulty losing weight despite dieting and exercise
• Sudden depression, irritability, and mood swings
• Diagnosis of medical conditions associated with sleep apnea, like high blood pressure and diabetes

Is there a sleep apnea solution?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for sleep apnea. Don’t stop reading, though! There are effective sleep apnea and snoring treatments.

This first step in conquering your sleep apnea is a medical assessment. This is often a test with a sleep doctor or specialist that is initiated by your medical doctor. Part of your assessment will be a determination of the severity of your sleep apnea. This is based on  how often your apneas occur and how low your blood oxygen level goes. Here is an example of sleep apnea severity from Health Services Alberta:

OSA Severity Apneas / hour  
 Normal  Less than 5 / hour
  Mild    5 to 15 / hour
 Moderate   15 to 30 / hour
 Severe  Over 30 / hour

Once it’s been determined you do have OSA, there are treatments to help you sleep better. A traditional and very effective sleep apnea treatment is called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP. Essentially, CPAP is a machine that streams oxygen into your airways to keep them from collapsing during sleep. Unfortunately, some sleep apnea or snoring patients find CPAP therapy difficult to tolerate due to its noise, restriction and discomfort.

Dental treatment can be an option for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or for those who can’t tolerate CPAP.  Also known as orthotics or splints, oral appliances are dental devices designed to keep your tongue or jaw in the optimal position to relieve or improve sleep disordered breathing and snoring.

According to the Canadian Sleep Society, oral appliances can offer an effective, first-line treatment option for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea who prefer an oral appliance over CPAP, or for those who have severe sleep apnea and cannot tolerate a CPAP machine. If you are interested in learning more about oral appliances and if they could be an effective treatment for your sleep apnea or snoring, talk to your doctor. 

Get back to healthy sleep

Deep restful sleep is a critical component of a healthy life. If you snore, can’t sleep, are always tired or suffer from any of the symptoms noted above, we recommend you seek help. The first step is a visit to your medical doctor. If, after a sleep study, OSA is your diagnosis, take heart in the fact that effective sleep apnea and snoring treatment is possible and can help you get the sleep you need.

The post Sleep Apnea / Snoring 101 appeared first on Dental Implants | TMJ Sleep Apnea | Cosmetic Dentistry.