If you find yourself tired during the day, you may suffer from sleep apnea. This is a condition that interrupts an individual’s sleeping pattern numerous times during the night, forcing them to wake up.
Yet this dangerous condition remains hidden to many — they may have no recollection of the multiple arousals that have disrupted their sleep. However, their partner or spouse is often the one who may notice that something is amiss.
That is why it is important to have the condition diagnosed and treated as soon as you have an inkling of it.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Many people snore when the airway becomes partially obstructed by the tongue or esophageal tissues as they sleep, causing vibrations. As the obstruction worsens, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs, resulting in episodes of breaking issues from short of breath to the loss of it altogether. This results in a momentarily roused from sleep.
Commonly, obstructive sleep apnea occurs in 10% of men and 45% of women below 65 and progresses with age to a staggering 70% of men and 50% of women over 65. Can you imagine waking up 20-50 times per hour? It’s no wonder OSA patients suffer from chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
Health Risks Of The Condition
Sleep deprivation can lead to numerous health both physically and mentally. From irritability, drowsiness, and tiredness to illnesses, individuals have a tough time going through their daily life. That’s not to mention the effects it can have on a spouse and the potential subsequent strain on one’s marriage or relationship.
But there are many other medical health risks associated with sleep apnea, such as:
High blood pressure
Depression and more
Since the condition deprives the brain of oxygen, due to the lack of air intake, repeated occurrence of sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, resulting in the possible damage of the carotid arteries on the side of the neck. This can restrict blood flow to the brain and lead to stroke.
A University of California School of Dentistry study showed that 21% of men snoring led to hardened blockages in the carotid arteries. Another study published in 2008 found that individuals that snore loudly had a great odd by 40% to experience hypertension, 34% greater chance of experiencing a heart attack and 67% greater chance of experiencing a stroke as compared to those that did not snore.
Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea
Mild to Moderate Sleep Apnea
Dental appliances are the #1 non-surgical treatment solution recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
These appliances are custom-designed to stabilize the positioning of oral tissues, prevent airway collapse, and may even increase muscle tone over time. Oral appliances are often very effective, with a 52% – 80% success rate, while also reducing bruxism (teeth-grinding) effects.
Severe Sleep Apnea
A C-PAP or bi-PAP is highly recommended. These are machines that deliver a constant flow of mild air pressure to keep the airway open. Other treatments may include surgery of the nose, palate, and throat, as well as medications. Treatment would be based on an evaluation by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or sleep medicine specialist.
If you’re having some issues with your sinuses but allergy medicine just isn’t helping, we’ve got one possibility you may have overlooked. It could be your wisdom teeth. But how can wisdom teeth cause sinus pain?
Sinuses are a complex system of airflow and drainage passageways that connect the nasal cavities to your respiratory system. They’re hollow spaces that are found in your skull and facial bones.
There are four pairs of sinuses, named after the bone they can be found in:
Maxillary sinuses – located on either side of your nose behind the cheekbone or upper jaws. These are the largest set of sinuses.
Frontal sinuses – located in the center of your forehead above each eye.
Ethmoid sinuses – found on either side of the bridge of your nose near the eyes. This group is made up of three small pairs of sinuses.
Sphenoid sinuses – found deeper in the skull behind the eyes.
When it comes to your teeth, the ones that will come into play are the maxillary sinuses. Because of their location, if your teeth are having issues, they can cause problems for those sinuses, too.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Sinus Pain?
In short, yes, wisdom teeth can cause sinus pain. Here’s how.
As your wisdom teeth grow in, the roots can put pressure on those maxillary sinuses. That will lead to congestion and pain. If you’re getting recurring sinus headaches and haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed, they could be the cause of those ongoing headaches.
Your wisdom teeth, and other teeth for that matter, can also lead to a sinus infection sometimes. If the tooth becomes infected, that infection can spread to those nearby sinus cavities. You may experience a fever, sinus pain, nasal discharge, and even bad breath if this is happening to you.
The reverse is also true. If you’ve got a sinus infection, it can lead to tooth pain or a tooth infection if it’s not treated. Due to the location of the sinuses, this usually only happens with your upper teeth in the back of the mouth.
If your tooth pain is limited to those upper molars and you are feeling lethargic or have a fever, it’s likely the cause is a sinus infection. When the pain is in the lower teeth or limited to just the tooth and isn’t causing a fever or tiredness, it’s likely to be just an oral issue and not the sinuses.
Extract the Pain
When wisdom teeth can cause a problem for your oral health, a dentist will recommend you get them extracted. A wisdom teeth extraction can help alleviate sinus pain and eliminate other issues those teeth can cause, like tension headaches and jaw pain.
If you’re having an issue you think may be related to your wisdom teeth, bring it up when you’re talking to your dentist. If they deem it necessary to have a wisdom teeth extraction, they will usually have to refer you to an oral surgeon to get it taken care of. It may seem like a scary thing to have done, but it will provide you with long-lasting relief in the long run.
So you just lost or you’re getting ready to lose your first tooth. How exciting! You’ll be getting your adult teeth in sooner than you know and moving on up in the world. But first, there’s that one burning question you just have to know the answer to.
Is the tooth fairy real?
The Mystery of the Tooth Fairy
While I have never personally seen the tooth fairy, I can tell you that sprite is alive and well. I myself was visited by the tooth fairy a few times when I was a kid, and my children have gotten visits of their own, as well.
In my experience, the tooth fairy leaves something a little different almost every time. Sometimes it’s a little bit of money, other times it’s a note or maybe some other kind of small treat.
Here’s the thing, though, the tooth fairy prefers teeth that are in great shape. The tooth fairy isn’t going to be as generous for teeth that have a lot of cavities. That’s why it’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day and go to the dentist for teeth cleanings twice a year.
So, what does the tooth fairy do with those teeth, exactly? We may never know for certain, but there are plenty of theories out there. She might use them to make magical fairy dust, they could go towards making her castle, or maybe she’s just collecting them. What do you think the tooth fairy uses those teeth for?
Origins of the Tooth Fairy
It’s difficult to trace exactly when the tooth fairy came about or how. In the United States, the first time it showed up in the news was in a Chicago newspaper in the early 1900s. Her roots go back much further than that, though.
There are records written that date all the way back to right around the year 900 to the Norse people in Europe. There are texts that talk about something called the “tand-fe,” which translates to “tooth fee.”
The tand-fe describes children being left a small amount of money after losing their first tooth (sound familiar?). People in those countries had many superstitions surrounding teeth. They were thought to be valuable and bring good luck.
For the Parents
Ok parents, now that we have (hopefully) gotten far enough down the page that the kids have stopped reading, we can talk.
When you’ve got kids of your own, it’s a lot of fun to pass down traditions like the tooth fairy, just like your parents did for you when you were a kid. This one, in particular, is a great way to get your little ones to pay attention to their oral hygiene and develop good habits that can last them a lifetime.
Talking About the Tooth Fairy
It’s really up to you what to reward your child with when they lose a tooth. That’s the easy part. But eventually, they’re going to come to you and ask, “is the tooth fairy real?”
How you answer that is going to depend on their age. If they are ready to hear it, you can tell them what’s up. If they’re still a little young for that, your best bet is to let them guide the conversation.
Instead of trying to come up with an answer right off the cuff, go with something like, “well, what do you think?” That gives a chance for you to see how their imagination has run with the idea of the tooth fairy and can help you answer them.
The big thing here is to make sure you’re reinforcing the meaning behind the tooth fairy: the importance of healthy oral hygiene. Continuing the tradition of leaving behind a little treat of some kind for a recently lost tooth is a great reward for keeping those baby teeth from getting cavities before they fell out to make room for the grown-up teeth.
Don’t Stop Believing
The mystery surrounding the tooth fairy as kids go through this sort of rite of passage towards being young adults can be a really fun time for parents. Like many other things in life, believing is half the battle, so a little reward for a baby tooth can go a long way.
Seeing the wonder in the kids’ eyes and helping them learn how important brushing and flossing are magical moments in and of themselves, much less the magic of the tooth fairy herself. Enjoy it while it lasts. Those moments truly do come and go entirely too fast.
When you need to see a dentist you probably don’t think about what kind of dentist to go to. Just like with medical doctors, there are many different types of dentists that specialize in certain areas.
Most of the time your general dentist will refer you to the right type of specialist if you need specialized care. There are some instances where you might need to know what you’re looking for, though. These 7 are the most common types you’re likely to run into.
A general dentist is the most common type of dentist there is. Anyone who earns a dental degree can practice as a general dentist.
This is where you’re going to go most of the time. You can get routine cleanings, emergency exams, gum disease diagnosis and treatment, and fillings when you have cavities. This is also where you could get things like crowns and veneers. Basically, anything that has to do with the restoration or beautification of your teeth can be done by your general dentist.
A pediatric dentist is who you’ll take your kids to see for their general dentistry needs. It’s like the dental version of a pediatrician.
Some general dentists will also see children, but many parents prefer to go to pediatric dentists because they specialize in treating children from the time their first teeth come in all the way through getting their adult teeth. Those offices are typically more kid-friendly, too, which can help remove some of the anxiety that some children experience with trips to the dentist.
An orthodontist is where you go if you need to straighten out your jaw or your teeth. An orthodontist will use something like braces or Invisalign to turn crooked teeth or fix an overbite or underbite.
Periodontists take care of your gums, bone, and tissue that supports your teeth. They are essentially gum disease experts and are there to help you prevent and treat the condition.
A periodontist will see you if a general dentist has done a cleaning or deep cleaning and your teeth or gums aren’t responding to treatment. The specialist will then be able to address any recessed gums, pockets, bone grafting, extractions, or implants as necessary.
Also known as root canal specialists, endodontists treat the nerves of your teeth. Inside of each tooth, you’ll find what’s called the pulp, along with blood vessels and nerves. When your tooth gets cracked or a cavity goes too deep, it can impact the pulp and lead to nerve damage. That damage can end up killing your tooth. Endodontists have the ultimate goal of saving your teeth so they don’t need to be extracted.
An oral surgeon is one of the types of dentists that perform surgery on your mouth. They’re most widely known for doing wisdom teeth extractions. Wisdom teeth are the ones in the very back of your mouth that come up last. Many times they don’t have enough room to erupt, so they end up becoming impacted and can potentially cause problems for the rest of your teeth.
Oral surgeons can also handle extractions, jaw surgeries, implants, facial trauma surgeries, and even biopsies for spots in your mouth that are concerning. Many times they work closely with ear, nose, and throat doctors, too.
If you need a tooth replaced, you’re going to be seeing a prosthodontist (think prosthetics). They handle dentures, crowns, bridges, and other types of treatment that improve the appearance of your teeth. That includes whitening and veneers.
Prosthodontists will also help treat Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). They can assist with getting rid of pain caused by the pressure on nerves from the jaw disease, often using bite guards or some type of physical therapy.