Posts for: October, 2016
Regular dental visits are important for several reasons. Not only do they help prevent gum disease and other oral health problems, but regular visits with your dentist can also contribute to better overall health. Gum disease and poor oral health can lead to the development of additional problems within the body, including heart disease. Regular dental visits with Dr. Cesar Acosta, your Turlock, CA., dentist, can help you maintain better oral health, as well as better overall health.
Better Oral Health with Dr. Acosta at Turlock, CA.
Regular dental visits that include professional dental cleanings are important for removing tartar build up on the teeth. Over time, tartar can lead to the development of gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Tartar cannot be cleaned off with regular brushing and flossing at home. It can only be removed using professional dental equipment. Regular dental visits with your Turlock dentist can help you maintain excellent oral health by keeping your teeth and gums clean, healthy and free of disease.
Disease Prevention & Early Detection
Prevention and early detection of oral cancer, gum disease and other oral health concerns are an important reason for scheduling regular dental visits. However, regular visits with the dentist can help with early detection of other diseases within the body, as well. For instance, signs of other health problems, such as osteoporosis, nighttime reflux disease or diabetes, are often present in the mouth and can be detected by your dentist. Early detection helps patients seek medical treatment before these conditions worsen.
In addition to early detection of various diseases, regular dental visits can also help prevent some types of diseases. A study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry revealed that as much as 90% of systemic diseases have oral symptoms. Examples of a few systemic diseases include heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and pancreatic cancer. In general, not taking proper care your teeth and gums can contribute to the development of other serious diseases within the body.
Regular dental visits are important for maintaining excellent oral health, which has the added benefit of potentially preventing other diseases from developing elsewhere in the body. To achieve optimal oral health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Cesar Acosta, your dentist in Turlock, CA., by calling (209) 250-2560.
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…
For millions of Americans, sleep apnea is a serious health condition. Not only can it impair your day-to-day living, you might be more susceptible to high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.
Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing for short periods while asleep. When blood oxygen drops too low, your body automatically wakes you to take a breath. This can disrupt your sleep several times a night. Chronic symptoms like drowsiness, irritability or headaches during the day, or indications you're a loud snorer, are all possible signs of sleep apnea.
Fortunately, we can treat sleep apnea. One way is continuous airway pressure therapy (CPAP), a pump device that supplies pressurized air through a mask to keep the airway open during sleep. Although CPAP is effective, some people find it uncomfortable to use.
There's a more comfortable option for sleep apnea caused by mouth structures like the tongue or tonsils obstructing the airway. It involves a custom-fitted oral appliance worn while you sleep that moves these structures out of the way.
Such appliances come in two basic types. One type fits over the upper and lower teeth and uses tiny metal hinges to move the lower jaw and tongue forward away from the airway. The other fits around and presses the tongue down like a tongue depressor to move it forward.
Before starting treatment, we need to first find out if you actually have sleep apnea and what's causing it (some cases may be more acute and require advanced treatments like jaw surgery). We'll need to perform medical and oral exams and take a history, and we'll likely refer you to a sleep medicine specialist for further testing.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, a custom-fitted appliance could be a good solution. We'll create and adjust it according to your particular mouth and jaw contours for maximum comfort. Besides the appliance, you might also lose excess weight, adjust your sleep position, seek treatment for allergies, and quit smoking. All these could help reduce sleep apnea.
In any event, your first step is to find out if you have sleep apnea. From there we'll help you find the right treatment to improve your overall health and well being.
If you would like more information on treatments for sleep apnea, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”