Sleep Apnea: Types, Signs and Risks To Know

Understanding Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by breathing with repeated stops and starts. It can can occur also if breathing becomes very shallow. The pauses in breathing during a sleep apnea episode can last from a few seconds to full minutes, and breaks of 30 or more times in an hour. The medical condition makes you stop breathing and, it can happen that you won’t even be aware that you have stopped breathing. It can be scary.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea are of three kinds: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. The most common type of sleep apnea is the obstructive type, marked by loud snoring. It is characterized as breathing that stops and starts over and over again during sleep. The throat muscles relax intermittently while the person is asleep, blocking the airway. Some experts say that this type of sleep apnea is observed among those with narrower jaws; one reason being that these persons consume more processed foods.

Less common than the obstructive type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, which the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates to represent just 20% of all sleep apnea cases. This type occurs when the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.

A mix of obstructive and central is the complex sleep apnea syndrome, known also as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, a recently discovered type of sleep apnea. Patients manifest first symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. However, the symptoms are not resolved by using the CPAP (continuous airway pressure) machine, but treatment will reveal an underlying central sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms

There are signs and symptoms common to both obstructive and central sleep apnea. They are daytime sleepiness, snoring, episodes of breathing cessation during sleep, waking up abruptly gasping for air, morning headaches, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. There are also signs and symptoms unique to both.

For the obstructive type are high blood pressure, sweating and dry mouth, while unique to the central type are shortness of breath and chest pain. Risk factors are also involved in sleep apnea. For the obstructive type, are obesity, genes, enlarged adenoids, high blood pressure and diabetes. For the central type, risk factors are age, heart disorders and stroke, opioid use and living at high altitudes.


Recognizing Sleep Apnea: Ask Dr. Jaime Lee

If snoring bothers you, come over to Smile Art in downtown Seattle and know more about it. Let’s talk about types, symptoms and risks.They should not be ignored.

Perfect Teeth on Your Wedding Day Takes Planning

To-Do List of the Bride-To-Be

Are you concerned with how your teeth will photograph on your wedding day? Many brides-to-be seek the dentist’s help before the big day. The most common issues are chipped, cracked, discolored, and stained teeth. Any bride with these and other issues can thankfully have the time to fix their dilema before their altar date if they start early enough in the planning stage to have dental care and treatment. Here are the most important things to consider.

Consult with your dentist. As early as possible see your dentist to find out what needs to be done. Consider the time frame for some corrective measures. Cosmetic veneers, for example, can take 2 to 3 months; while orthodontic treatments like straightening and realignment can take up to a year.

Go for a professional cleaning. It can reveal what your teeth really need. Consider cleaning first even before a whitening.

Have a professional whitening done. But don’t commit the mistake of having it done the day or night before. It’s generally not recommended in case of accidental exposure to the gum tissue, which can cause gingival irritation. Depending on the desired results, the whitening treatment and final results may take at least one to two weeks. It’s important not to rush it.

Daily Oral Maintenance

While at home, maintain oral health hygiene and practices. Have regular tooth brushing and flossing, and using mouthwash when necessary. An alcohol-free, colorless mouthwash is best, otherwise, it can weaken overall tooth structure and dry out dental work, such as composite bonding. Watch the toothpaste you’re using, avoiding those with abrasive ingredients like silica. Kaolin clay and bentonite clay are the safest, most effective, and least abrasive toothpaste. When it comes to tooth-staining drinks, like coffee, tea, red wine, and the like, better use a straw.

If you’ve run out of time to have any dental treatment done, you can consider some quick fixes. You can make your teeth look perfect, thus, staying away from gold jewelry that brings out yellowish tints. Use sparkly earrings instead that can make your teeth appear whiter. Don’t use magenta lipstick which can make teeth look yellow; but rather a true red can show the white teeth best, and rose, pink, and sheer colors offer contrast. For a any minor defect like stain or a crack on a tooth, dab a little petroleum jelly over it, to diffuse the effect in photos.


Wedding-Ready in Downtown Seattle

Talk to us about your oral health plans for your big day. Rest assured we’ll prepare you for those picture-perfect smiles in photos to last a lifetime.

The Crack in Your Tooth: Signs and Symptoms

Cracking The Reasons For Tooth Cracks

Do you sometimes experience pain when chewing on your food? Do you suddenly feel a sharp stab of pain after drinking hot or cold drinks? In such cases you might have a crack in your tooth. Pain with a cracked tooth tends to come and go, so consult with your dentist right away as this can lead to more pain and discomfort over time.

What symptoms manifest if there’s a crack in a tooth?

Usually it is asymptomatic, people do not even realize it. Some types of cracks are harmless and do not require treatment. But there are cracks that manifest symptoms and might be more extensive than you can tell and may require a dental visit.

The following symptoms can be felt: pain when eating, particularly when chewing or biting, swollen gums around the cracked tooth, teeth that have suddenly become sensitive to sweetness, teeth that have suddenly become sensitive to hot or cold foods, pain that tends to come and go, and discomfort around the teeth and gums that is hard to pinpoint.

Reasons for Why Teeth Crack

Here are some reasons why a tooth can crack. For example, biting down hard on food such as an apple or a chunk of ice. If you excessively grind your teeth or have an old or large tooth filling causing the remaining tooth structure to fracture. A sudden temperature change, say a cold drink following a very hot one, a physical injury or trauma to the face or the mouth are other causes.

Did you know that tooth cracks are more common in people over 40, and women are more prone than men? There are several types of cracks in teeth and they vary in length, depth, as the location on the tooth.

Craze lines are the smallest cracks and affect the enamel only, and don’t need treatment unless with symptoms. Oblique supragingival cracks only affect the crown, not extending below the gum line. They’re not so very painful unlike oblique subgingival cracks which extend below the gum line. A crack can split a tooth in two; one part is usually restored with a crown, or a root canal treatment can be done. Oblique root cracks occurs below the gum line, most commonly below the jawbone; tooth extraction is the treatment. A fractured cusp is most common around a dental filling. A vertical apical root crack begins at the root and extends toward the crown; due to the pain, the tooth will often have to be removed.

The best treatment depends on the location of the crack and the extent of the damage.


Seeking Dental Treatment for Cracked Teeth in Downtown Seattle

Consult with our dentist, Dr. Jaime Lee, right away if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. Don’t ignore cracks in teeth as they can be problematic down the road.