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2 Serious Dental Problems Tied to Your Health — About How You Can Avoid Them

A trip to your Salem, OR, dentist is important, but it can’t save your life, right? I wouldn’t be so sure about that. As a dentist, it’s my goal to give you healthy teeth that will also allow you to live the life you want.

I’m not here to alarm you about the smallest cavity, but the truth is that bad oral health can negatively affect your overall health. Today I want to cover 2 dental problems that can negatively affect your overall health and everyday life. Some of these are avoidable with great at-home care and maintaining your regular dental cleanings and exams.

So, today I want to focus on two problems: sleep apnea and gum disease. These problems can be connected or occur on their own, but each of them can have serious overall health problems. If you are struggling with any of these problems, you need to visit our office or a qualified dentist as soon as possible.

Fight Gum disease At Salem, Oregon Dentist

Gum disease occurs when an infection is present in the gums. This infection can attack the gums and bone surrounding the tooth — causing the tooth to fail. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss — not trauma or tooth decay. Missing teeth are an eyesore and make eating food difficult. Patients who lose ALL of their teeth to gum disease often struggle to maintain a healthy diet because their food options have deleted.

We dentists are so concerned with gum disease because it can quickly take over your mouth. Additionally, gum disease has been linked to serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. While there is no cause-and-effect relationship between these health problems, all three of these problems deal with plaque and inflammation.

The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can be reversed with proper care. But the later stages of gum disease, periodontitis, cannot be reversed. You’ll need professional care for the rest of your life. We recommend that patients with gum disease visit the dentist once every three to four months. During those visits, we’ll check your gums and then provide any necessary infection control.

Sleep Problems Can Be Life-Threatening Problems

Sleep apnea is a problem that occurs when patients experience pauses in breathing during sleep. You might have heard that patients with sleep apnea snore loudly or wake up gasping for air. A patient with severe sleep apnea can wake up gasping for air as often as 30 times an hour. With sleep apnea, there is a risk that you can die in your sleep. It’s that serious. People with sleep apnea also face a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. Additionally, if you struggle with sleep apnea, you’ll often wake up feeling exhausted — even if you slept for a full eight hours.

There are two different forms of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue —often the tongue — obstructs the airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the brain. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. When dentists first began treating sleep apnea, they often used CPAP machines. CPAP machines are the gold standard for sleep apnea, but the problem is that some patients are CPAP intolerant. The machine has a hose and mask, so it can be cumbersome or uncomfortable for users. Some patients cannot stand it. In fact, studies show that CPAP machines have just a 50 percent compliances.

At Oregon Smile Care Center, we offer an alternative to the CPAP: an oral appliance. It’s a simple design. The oral appliance pushes the lower jaw forward to leave the airway open during sleep.

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today

Our office is dedicated to serving you. We have the latest technology to give you the health smile you deserve. Call us today at 503-837-2718 or use the online form to schedule an appointment.

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