Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Snoring

If you are struggling with snoring and sleeplessness then it may be a sign of a problem that only your dentist can solve. This is often because Chronic Snoring and sleep troubles are a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which relates to your teeth.

What is Sleep Apnea?

With an estimated 18 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea, it is something to be concerned about. This condition causes multiple breathing interruptions throughout the night. These pauses last a few seconds to minutes but can occur up to 30 or more times per hour.

When these pauses happen, it is because of one of three reasons:

  1. The muscles in your throat are flaccid
  2. Your tongue is too big for your mouth
  3. Your jaw is too small

Overall, all of these symptoms cause your airway to become obstructed.

Bruxism

The first sign of sleep apnea is typically teeth grinding, known as bruxism. When you visit your dentist with complaints of sleep issues, your dentist will look to see if you have worn tooth surfaces (indicating the grinding of your teeth).

Grinding can not only cause wear and breakage but also inflamed and receding gums. You may even see a spike in cavities because the force of grinding teeth damages them, and makes them susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.

Gasping for Breath

When you sleep at night and you are grinding your teeth, you will proceed to tense your jaw. This will send the message to your brain to wake up because you need to take a breath. This completely interrupts your sleep and will have you gasping for breath.

Fatigue

It will also cause fatigue. Your sleep quality will be diminished, leading to a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Scalloped Tongue

Another negative oral health sign that causes snoring is having a small jaw. This will often lead to a tongue with scalloped edges. You may also notice redness in the throat due to snoring often.

What to do When You Snore?

If you have sleep apnea (leading to snoring), your dentist may recommend a sleep study. You may also want to consider a night guard. Although an over-the-counter guard might not fix the problem, a custom made guard might. This can help to reduce grinding. Not only that, but it will lessen the cavities, headaches, jaw pain, sleep apnea, and finally, chronic snoring.

Is Sleep Apnea Causing my Snoring?

It may be hard to know if you have sleep apnea. Despite this, the most common sign of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. Other symptoms might include daytime drowsiness, waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat, and then morning headaches.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, be sure to reach out to us at Flower Dental. We can help to diagnose your condition and help you get on the path to curing your chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Top Reasons to Choose Cosmetic Dentistry

Not all dentistry is a do or die situation, and that’s okay. Cosmetic dentistry is the field of dentistry less concerned with cavities and flossing and more interested in making your smile as bright as you dream. A smile can go a long way to helping you in social situations or even in your professional life. A great smile can boost your confidence and help you feel more successful throughout your day. That’s the importance of what cosmetic dentistry provides. Let us take a look at some of the more popular cosmetic dentistry options.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is among the most common and least invasive cosmetic dentistry procedures. It could be as simple as using at-home strips or tooth whitening toothpaste or it could be more intensive like laser whitening or teeth bleaching. No matter what you choose, you can have the benefit of a dazzling and confident smile. Teeth whitening can be the gateway for many people to begin their journey for better and more confident smiles.

Healing Chipped Teeth

Something else that can throw a wrench into your smile is misshapen teeth, thanks to chips or damage. If you have a chipped tooth, you should have it looked at as soon as possible to ensure it does not get damaged further and the delicate internal part of your tooth is not damaged or potentially infected. But, beyond the emergency care, you may be left with an unfortunate dent in your smile that can make you self conscious. While it may not be medically necessary to get a chipped tooth fixed, you have plenty of reason to seek cosmetic dentistry options for your chipped teeth which includes enamel bonding.

Veneers

When most people think of cosmetic dentistry, you likely think of veneers. This is among the most well known cosmetic dentistry procedures, utilizing porcelain shells that sit over your natural teeth. This is done by taking an impression of your teeth before permanent veneers are bonded to the surface. They’re ideal for those who are concerned about dark stains on their teeth that have resisted bleaching as well more permanent dents or chips that don’t have another recourse for chipped teeth. This is a permanent fix for many cosmetic dental issues.

Invisalign

For those who skipped braces as a teenager, Invisalign is the way to go for righting crooked teeth. Invisalign is a clear mouthpiece that fits over your teeth worn throughout the day, silently correcting your teeth while those around you are none the wiser. You can eat and drink what you want while using Invisalign and can take them off to properly brush and floss your teeth. This is a great way to fix crooked teeth later in life and can help teenagers worried about the aesthetic of braces.

Get in touch with Flower Dental to find out about the cosmetic dentistry services we offer and how you can set up your first appointment for a brighter and fuller smile.

When Should I Consider Teeth Whitening?

If you have ever considered whitening your teeth, then you may know that over the counter products have bleaches and peroxides that can actually hurt your teeth. Instead of doing it yourself, consider having your teeth whitened by a professional Carrollton Teeth Whitening service. Following are some reasons when you should think about whitening your teeth professionally:

Reasons Your Teeth Might Yellow

It is natural for your teeth to become a bit discolored as you get older, but there are other reasons that your teeth may be looking a bit duller or not as white as you would like. These factors include:

●     Smoking

●     Trauma to your teeth

●     Antibiotics in early childhood

●     Drinking coffee, tea, red wine, or eating rich colored foods

●     The accumulation of tartar and plaque (can be prevented with regular dental checkups)

If Your Teeth Are Looking a Bit Dull

Some people’s teeth are naturally whiter than others, but some teeth can get duller and darker with wear. This occurs because the enamel that covers teeth gets thinner. When this occurs, the dentine beneath the enamel becomes more visible.

If your teeth are no longer the natural and bright looking teeth they have always looked like, then it may be time to brighten them up. Yellow teeth especially can contribute to you looking older. If you want to look a bit younger, then you can brighten your smile up.

If You Have Lost Confidence in Your Smile

Even if you brush your teeth often and you have a healthy mouth, your smile can become less bright. This leads to losing confidence, which can lead to depression, anxiety, or cause you to avoid leaving your home. If your confidence is a bit lowered, then you may want to boost your confidence and enhance your self-esteem by whitening your teeth. Especially if you have a big event coming up such as a wedding, birthday, or job interview. It is affordable, quick, and non-surgical with essentially no downtime. Avoid feeling destroyed by having a dull smile, brighten your teeth up, and gain confidence again.

If You Are a Big Tea or Coffee Drinker

Although many of us love to start our day with a nice cup of coffee, tooth discoloration can happen a lot more quickly than its natural process due to drinking coffee. You may have staining because of this, and it can be a good reason to get your teeth whitened.

If You Have Considered Whitening Your Teeth At Home

If whitening your teeth at home has even crossed your mind, then you should definitely get your teeth whitened professionally. This is because, as stated previously, this can be extremely damaging to the teeth. These kits have high levels of chemicals that can actually wear down your tooth enamel more than before. This will eventually ruin your teeth at an earlier age. Additionally, the kits you purchase at a supermarket can be harmful to your health. They have the potential to cause gum burns, gum irritation, and damage to your stomach lining.

Contact us today for more information.

Is Teeth Grinding a Problem?

For many, grinding their teeth is a nighttime bane they don’t even know about. Often for many, tooth grinding only becomes apparent when symptoms appear, others point it out, or a dentist recognizes the signs. Unfortunately, this means that you can accrue a hefty amount of damage thanks to your teeth grinding habit. The damage it causes can be long lasting and in some cases irreversible.

What can you do about teeth grinding and how can you even know you’re doing it? It starts with recognizing the signs or self diagnosing enough to talk to a dentist about your fears. A dentist can fully diagnose you and offer a path towards treatment, though teeth grinding may be something you deal with your whole life. But preparing yourself with knowledge can save your teeth and jaw muscles.

Do you grind your teeth?

Many people don’t even realize they grind their teeth. Teeth grinding happens while you’re asleep, subconsciously triggered, though it can sometimes happen while you’re awake as well. It tends to go on for a few seconds at a time. One of the first signs you’ve ground your teeth in your sleep is a sore jaw, sore mouth, or a headache. Sometimes your partner or anyone else who shares a room with you will be able to hear the grinding. In cases of long term grinding, enlarged jaw muscles present themselves in certain patients. All of this is a sign you’ve been grinding your teeth.

Consequences

Your jaw is often the strongest muscle in your body, ounce for ounce, even before extra activity generates enlarged muscles. This means that you can inflict a lot of real damage to your teeth by grinding. The grinding can wear down teeth and cause chipping, the overworking can tire muscles, and the compression can harm your jaw joint, resulting in chronic conditions like TMJ. Once these conditions set in, it’s hard to reverse the damage done.

What to do about teeth grinding

If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms in yourself, there are steps you can take to avoid irreversible damage before it’s too late. Oftentimes, a dentist will fit you with a calibrated night guard to wear in your sleep. It won’t stop you from biting down or your jaw from working, but it will protect your teeth. To try and combat grinding itself, try doing a de stressing activity before bed as grinding is often caused by stress. When you chew, try to be conscious of correct movement on your teeth for optimal contact between them.

If you suspect you’ve been grinding your teeth or know you have damage from teeth grinding, we can help. Talk to Flower Dental about your concerns and we’ll get you in to see a dentist who can offer a proper diagnosis as well as treatment options. You don’t need to deal with your tooth grinding on your own or let the problem go. Get medical attention to negate the consequences.

When Should I Consider Tooth Replacement?

If you are missing one or more of your teeth, then you may be feeling a bit uncomfortable with how your teeth are set up. Although missing teeth might look a little funky to you, it is more of a problem when it affects the way you eat or function on a daily basis.

Losing back teeth can also cause your mouth or jaw to shift. This can make your face sag, and can actually make you look older than you are! Luckily, teeth can be replaced, and you might want to begin considering Tooth Replacement for a few reasons.

Types of Tooth Replacement

There are three major types of tooth replacement, implants, fixed bridges, and removable partial dentures. These all have their place and use.

Implants

Patients might choose an implant to replace one single tooth, or a few teeth. They can also be put in to support dentures as well. These faux teeth are implanted by placing posts in the upper or lower jaw. The posts are made from titanium and other materials that will not be rejected by the human body.

Although generally a great option, implants are not a good option for everyone. Implants require surgery, which means that the patient must be in good general health. The bones of the patient will also need to be strong enough to support the implant, meaning you must commit to good oral health, as well as regular dental visits.

If you are someone with diabetes, leukemia, or someone who chews tobacco, then you may not be a good candidate for implants.

You may want to consider an implant if you do not want the teeth around the implant to be affected and your missing teeth are affecting your daily life.

Fixed Bridges

Another option for tooth replacement is fixed bridges. These actually fill the space where one or more of your teeth were once occupying. These devices are bonded into place, and only a dentist can remove them.

More commonly known as a pontic (a full replacement), or a crown (a cap that fits over an attachment tooth).

You may be interested in fixed bridges if you want faux teeth that look and feel like real teeth. If you are looking for a low maintenance option, these also do not require removal to clean and are cheaper than implants. The only negative aspect is that they can affect the teeth that are close to them.

Removable Partial Dentures

Dentures are known for being worn by the elderly, but removable partial dentures are different. These are similar to dentures that resemble teeth and can be removed from the mouth, but are typically only for half of your mouth instead of a full set.

This option is good if you are looking for the cheapest option, and they are easier to repair as well. It is also great if you have an entire row of teeth missing. Rather than have surgery or a long procedure, you can just pop the removable partial denture into your mouth. The only disadvantage is that it can be less stable than other methods.

Is It Time to Consider Tooth Replacement?

If you have any teeth that are missing, then you can consider tooth replacement. Whether it is an entire row, or just a few, fixing your teeth can make you feel more confident. If you are having trouble chewing, speaking, or jaw pain due to lost teeth, consider tooth replacement today.

Pros and Cons of Laughing Gas

Don’t let the name fool you. Receiving laughing gas at a dentist office won’t actually result in a fit of uncontrollable cackling. The scientific name for laughing gas is nitrous oxide. It’s a chemical compound composed of nitrogen and oxygen. The gas is colorless, odorless, and can act as a sedative during dental procedures.

But, is it the right sedative for you? Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of the use of laughing gas in the dentist’s office.

It Decreases Anxiety

Not everyone walks into a dental office with a sense of calm and confidence. Bad past experiences or misconceptions about dentists can leave you feeling nervous about the procedure, whether it’s dental filling or a root canal.

When administered, laughing gas relaxes you, easing you into a sense of euphoria and well-being. Once your nerves are calmed, the dentist can get to work.

It’s Easy to Administer, But Potentially Uncomfortable

Afraid of needles? The nitrous oxide itself won’t be administered via injection. Instead, you’ll breathe the gas in through a mask.

Of course, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of breathing in a compound this way. If this is the case, talk to your dentist about possible alternatives.

It’s a Weak Anesthetic

Nitrous oxide is a fairly weak anesthetic. So, depending on the procedure being completed, the dentist may need to use laughing gas in combination with an anesthetic to control pain. When both are used, you’ll feel at ease as well as numb to pain. Anesthetic options include topical, injection, electronically-delivered anesthesia, and general anesthesia, in which you are “put to sleep” throughout the operation.

There’s a Chance You’ll Experience Negative Side Effects

In most cases, patients don’t experience any negative side effects at all. However, in rare instances, headaches, nausea, shivering, and fatigue may occur. These side effects are usually the result of a dentist or staff member administering too much nitrous oxide.  

It Wears Off Quickly

You might feel a little tired after the procedure, but this shouldn’t pose much of a problem. Laughing gas wears off quickly once the intake is cut off. Depending on the effects of the procedure or other anesthesia, you may be able to drive yourself home from the dentist office. You’ll also be able to eat within 12 hours after your visit. But, keep in mind that as you recover from certain types of dental surgeries, you may need to limit your diet to soft foods. 

It’s Not Suitable for Everyone

It’s generally safe to administer laughing gas to patients. However, the dentist may need to reconsider its use based on your specific medical history. For example, if you struggle with drug dependency, have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, or are in the first trimester of pregnancy, the dentist may suggest a different approach. In addition, if you’re already receiving treatment with bleomycin sulfate, nitrous oxide won’t be an option.

To learn more about nitrous oxide and other common dental sedatives and procedures, reach out to Flower Dental today.

Benefits of Dental X-Rays

A dental x-ray, or radiograph, is a tool that dentists use to evaluate your oral health. The x-ray takes images of your teeth and gums using low levels of radiation. This method helps dentists to identify any issues, like decay or cavities, that may harm your teeth. Although seemingly complicated, dental x-rays are actually quite simple and harmless. People of any age can benefit from learning more about this common tool used by dentists everywhere. Take your oral health seriously and learn more about how this important device can help diagnose problems with your teeth and gums.

Types of Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays differ depending on the part of the mouth your dentist is focusing on. You may need one or more of these types of x-rays depending on your known oral issues. 

●   Bitewing

When checking for interdental cavities, your dentist may require a bitewing x-ray. During this procedure, you’ll be required to bite down on a special paper that indicates how well your crowns align. 

●    Occlusal

The occlusal x-ray will show teeth alignment, extra teeth, or teeth that haven’t come in yet. When performing this x-ray, you’ll keep your jaw completely closed and still. This type of x-ray also shows abnormalities and growths in your mouth.

●    Panoramic

This examination captures an image of your whole mouth by rotating completely around your head. This technique is often used to find wisdom teeth or investigate jaw issues. A dentist will also use this type of x-ray before dental device implantations.

●   Periapical

For bone structure issues, the periodical x-ray is the perfect way to see a full tooth’s dimensions. Abnormalities and root issues are found using this technique.

If you’re unsure about your dental x-ray procedure, don’t worry. Your dentist will be right there with you to guide you through the process and reassure you through every step. You may need to adjust your posture or jaw during the x-ray, but this is only to ensure that your x-ray images are readable for your doctor. 

Benefits of a Dental X-Ray

Dental x-rays are an extremely important part of your oral health. With a dental x-ray, your dentist can identify issues relating to your hard and soft tissues in your mouth – including teeth, bones, gums, and palate. Your dentist can catch many issues ahead of time, including:

●    Tooth decay, both between teeth and under fillings

●    Bone disease

●    Gum disease

●    Other infections or tumors

In older patients, dental x-rays allow dentists to monitor any unhealthy changes in your teeth and gums. X-rays are also essential to children’s development and ensures that jawbones and teeth are growing correctly. Bone and gum diseases are serious oral issues and should be treated with great care. Dental x-rays help with the early detection of these serious issues, preventing injuries and further damage. 

Talk to your Dentist

Be sure to contact your dentist right away with concerns for your oral care. Your dentist can ensure a safe x-ray procedure that will determine if you need help with cavities or other teeth issues. A digital x-ray system ensures safety, time savings, and better outcomes for your oral health. With up to 90 percent radiation reduction, digital x-ray options may be your safest and secure option. You’ll spend less time at the dentist’s office and more time recovering with digital x-ray options.

What are the First Signs of Oral Cancer?

A cancer diagnosis can be scary, regardless of where the cancer is located. As with any type of cancer, early detection is best. The same is true with oral cancer. What are the signs of oral cancer, who is at risk, are there treatment options, and what is the survival rate are all questions many people wonder about. We will look at these questions, and more, in this article.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Many signs of oral cancer can first appear as symptoms of other illnesses or diseases. However, if you experience any of these signs for several weeks or they keep reappearing, it is imperative that you contact your dentist for an appointment right away.

If you have:

·         Persistent mouth sores that do not heal or mouth pain

·         Lumps in the cheek or thickening of the cheek

·         Lumps in the neck

·         White or red patches on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth

·         Sore throat

·         Difficulty swallowing or chewing or moving of the jaw or tongue

·         Numbness in the mouth area

·         Weight loss

·         Persistent halitosis, or bad breath

·         Voice changes

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of signs or symptoms and if you have any concerns, you need to call your dentist for a consultation. This will give him or her the opportunity to do a physical exam and, if necessary, a biopsy, which requires the removal of tissue for testing.

Who is at Risk?

People who use tobacco, such as smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or use chewing tobacco, or consume large amounts of alcohol are at the greatest risk of developing oral cancer. Studies have also shown that men are more likely to contract this type of cancer than women. Other factors might include:

·         Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection

·         Chronic sun exposure

·         Family history or genetic syndromes

·         Poor nutrition

·   Weakened immune system

If you are a tobacco user and would like assistance quitting, contact a medical professional or smokefree.gov for options and treatments.

Treatment Options

The treatment of oral cancer will depend on your cancer’s location and stage, as well as your overall health and personal preferences. Options might include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. You may have one type of treatment or undergo a combination of treatments. Your doctor can discuss these options with you.

Surgery options could be used to remove the tumor, remove cancer that has spread to the neck, or to reconstruct the mouth.

Radiation therapy is used to kill cancerous cells by the means of high-energy beams, such as X-rays and protons.

Chemotherapy might be necessary to kill the cancer cells using chemicals. This is often combined with radiation therapy.

Survival Rate

Oral cancer is highly treatable if found early but can turn deadly if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Tongue cancer is the most serious and life-threatening form of oral cancer. The American Cancer Society has reported about 7,000 deaths as a result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Have you ever noticed blood in the sink after brushing your teeth? Or maybe your gums are sore and swollen and you are just not sure why. Do your teeth seem to be shifting or are becoming loose? This could be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease has been shown to raise your risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer. For these reasons, early detection is best, but you might have several questions, including: What is gum disease? What are gum disease symptoms? Can it be treated?

The early stages of gum disease can go unnoticed and is usually first found by your dentist. If you suspect you have gum disease or have any questions or concerns, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Types of Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection in your gums that can potentially damage the gums around your teeth and destroy the jawbone. This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. There are generally two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

·   Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. Symptoms include swollen or inflamed gums, receding gums, or gums that are tender or that bleed easily, and halitosis, or bad breath. Gingivitis can usually be managed and cured with the regular brushing and flossing of your teeth.

·   Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a more severe type of gum disease and is caused by bacteria that has been allowed to accumulate on your teeth and gums. The symptoms are like those of gingivitis but may also include loose teeth or teeth that have changed positions, pain when chewing, or a foul taste in your mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consider making an appointment with your dentist right away.

Treatments and Prevention

Luckily, there are treatment options available depending upon the severity of the disease. These include:

·         Self-care – Brushing and flossing regularly – the early stages of gingivitis and the onset of periodontitis can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene care.

·         Medications – Topical antiseptic, penicillin, and antibiotics – an over-the-counter topical antiseptic can be used to manage the pain, but a doctor may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and manage the infection.

·         Medical Procedure – Removal of unhealthy tissue – A root canal or other medical procedure may be necessary to remove the unhealthy tissue from your teeth and gums.

·         SurgeryGingivoplasty or Gingivectomy – Gingivoplasty eliminated periodontal pockets while reshaping the gum tissue around the teeth. A gingivectomy is done to cut away parts of the gums that have pulled away from the teeth, creating deep pockets. This is typically done before the gum disease can do harm to the bone supporting the teeth.

About Us

Here at Flower Dental in Carrollton, Texas, we want you to be able to smile, speak, and chew with confidence and ease. We do this by using advanced techniques and cutting-edge technology, the highest quality of materials, and exceptional dental solutions for every patient. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

What Is a Take Home Sleep Study?

Sleep is essential to your wellbeing, and most people need to get seven to eight hours of it every night. Not getting enough rest can weaken your immune system, have a negative effect on your focus and memory, and make you more prone to mood swings. Chronic lack of sleep can even increase your risk of more fatal conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, says Cleveland Clinic.

Various factors can lead to sleep deprivation. For some people, high stress or caffeine addiction are the root causes. However, for others, the problem has a more physical component: an obstructed airway. If you think obstructive sleep apnea is behind your sleeping problems, a take home sleep study can help. 

How a Sleep Study Works

So, how exactly does a take home sleep study work? At Flower Dental, we rely on the ARES home sleep testing device to evaluate patients’ sleeping habits.

You can wear the device at home by positioning it across the forehead. It’s designed to be comfortable and lightweight, so it won’t interfere with your sleep no matter your usual sleeping position. You also won’t need to worry about any wires while wearing this FDA-approved device.

Once you have it on, ARES collects data about your sleep patterns, which we can later upload to our system and use to analyze your nocturnal breathing habits. The device stores three nights’ worth of data.

Because the ARES can play an essential role in helping us improve our patients’ health, it’s often covered by many of the major insurance companies.

Signs You Should Consider a Sleep Study

Who should consider participating in a sleep study? If your snoring is loud and persistent, a sleep study could help determine the cause and severity of your obstructed airway. Here are a few other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, according to the Mayo Clinic:

●        Sleepiness during daylight hours

●        Sleep interrupted by episodes of gasping for air

●        Recurring morning headaches

●        Difficulty concentrating

●        Sweating at night

●        High blood pressure

●        Mood swings, including irritability

●        Dry mouth when you wake up

If you regularly experience these kinds of symptoms, consult the professionals at Flower Dental. In addition to a take home sleep study, we offer solutions that might help resolve the underlying condition.

Solutions

One solution we offer is the Vivos System. This is a removable appliance that you can wear at night to improve your breathing patterns. Unlike night guards and other devices for snoring, the Vivos actually remedies the problem, rather than just providing temporary relief from the symptoms.

Typically, in the span of nine to 18 months, Vivos will stimulate bone growth in the face, increasing airway capacity and making it easier for you to get a good night’s rest. After the appliance has done its job, the treatment ends, and you won’t need to continue wearing the appliance to bed. Overall, it’s a non-surgical approach to correcting obstructive sleep apnea as well as TMJ pain and other oral health problems.