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Sleep apnea is a harmful condition that can take a toll on your sleep quality and overall wellbeing. More and more people are learning about sleep apnea, which means that more and more people are able to seek treatment for this chronic problem. Today our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists are answering some of the questions that we commonly hear from sleep apnea patients.

Q: How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
A: The best way to know for sure is to complete a sleep study. A sleep study allows our team to understand what, precisely, is happening with your breathing during the night. Prior to a sleep study, there are some key red flags that can indicate sleep apnea: obstructive snoring, fatigue, headaches, dry mouth upon waking, and daytime concentration problems.

Q: How do I make sleep apnea go away?
A: There are some lifestyle changes that you can make in order to decrease your likelihood of suffering from sleep apnea. If, for example, you care currently overweight, your sleep apnea may abate as you get in better shape. However, for many people, sleep apnea is a condition that requires professional medical treatment. The traditional treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which helps to force air through your airway during the night. Our team treats sleep apnea with small, easier to use oral appliances, which help to position your jaw in such a way as to facilitate healthy airflow.

Q: What happens if I don’t do anything about my sleep apnea?

A: We can’t say for sure, but generally this isn’t recommended. You will probably continue to suffer from inconvenient problems like memory issues, headaches, fatigue, and loud snoring. More alarmingly, there is mounting evidence that sleep apnea patients are at a greater risk of suffering from a wide range of whole-body health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.

If you think that you may be dealing with sleep apnea related health issues, our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you in any way that we can. Please call our helpful team in order to set up a consultation!

It is true that children lose their “baby” teeth, and develop a whole new smile as they age. However, just because primary teeth are temporary, that doesn’t mean that they are unimportant. It is crucial that your child cares for his or her primary teeth effectively in order to maintain optimal oral health.

Our Saint Louis dentists encourage all parents and caregivers to prioritize the importance of proper oral hygiene, so that their children can develop strong dental habits!

Your child’s oral health is about more than the status of his or her teeth. Your child’s gums, connective tissues, and jawbones also need to be healthy and strong. The truth is that infections that begin in a child’s teeth can move into his or her soft and bone tissues, and cause lasting damage. Help your child keep his or her mouth clean so that they don’t suffer from unwanted long-term oral health effects.

It’s also important that your child retain his or her primary teeth for as long as his or her body needs them. Primary teeth allow children to develop healthy speech patterns and eating habits. Baby teeth also serve as placeholders along a child’s gum line, so that adult teeth are able to easily emerge when the time comes. Primary teeth may be temporary, but they serve a crucial purpose for the time that they are in your child’s mouth.

Finally, you want to help your child develop good oral hygiene habits before he or she develops his or her permanent teeth. When you emphasize proper brushing and flossing early in a child’s life, he or she is much more likely to keep up with proper dental care into adulthood.

If you have any more questions about how to care for primary teeth, or what kinds of dental skills you should be teaching your child, please feel free to call our Saint Louis dentists to get more information. We are here to help the whole family!

When most people think about maintaining oral health, they think about keeping their teeth healthy. However, it is just as important for people to maintain healthy gums and oral tissues—these foundational parts of your mouth are vital for supporting the other parts of your smile.

Our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer your questions about gum health—so keep reading to get more information!

Q: How can I tell if my gums are unhealthy?

A: Unfortunately, gum disease often progresses asymptomatically in its earliest stages—this can make it tough for patients to spot oral infections on their own. This is why it is so important that you keep up with your schedule of semi-annual professional cleanings so that our team can assess your smile. If you do experience symptoms of gum disease you may find that your gum tissue bleeds, swells, and feels tender. Additionally, you may suffer from chronic, hard-to-treat bad breath due to the ongoing infection.

Q: How do I prevent gum disease?

A: The key to minimizing your risk of developing gum disease is to keep your smile as free from bacteria as possible. The bacteria that lead to dental cavities can also infect your oral tissues and cause gum disease. Brush your teeth as recommended, floss once a day, and use any mouth rinses that your dentist may suggest. Also, keep up with your schedule of semi-annual professional cleanings for more thorough cleanings.

You can also adopt habits that will generally help to keep your oral bacteria levels to a minimum. Rinse your mouth water after eating or drinking something other than water. Limit the amount of sugary substances that you consume, as oral bacteria feed on sugars. Snack on crunchy and water-rich veggies like carrots and celery to refresh your smile throughout the day. Generally healthy oral hygiene practices will benefit your gum tissues.

Whether you think that you’re dealing with gum disease currently, or you’re interested in doing everything that you can to avoid developing gum tissue problems, our Saint Louis dentists are here to help. Give us a call to schedule your consultation today!

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