The profession of dentistry has experienced an amazing evolution over its lifetime. References to tooth decay can be found in various ancient texts. At one time, a local barber would provide haircuts and pull troublesome teeth in the same shop. Dentistry evolved from these humble beginnings to what we know today: a structured medical discipline where patients benefit from evidenced-
On the list of common reasons people avoid the dentist, cost is usually near the top. It is a fact — some dental treatments are expensive. However, you have some control in working to avoid pricey dental procedures. Two of the best ways to avoid needing expensive dental treatments are to visit a dentist regularly for an exam and cleaning and following proper dental hygiene advice every day.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates over 18 million adults in the United States, or about one in every 15 people, suffer from sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that interrupts breathing, resulting in disruptive sleep. Individuals suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will experience a repetitive (partial or complete) airway collapse throughout their sleep, which prevents air from reaching the lungs.
Have you ever experienced tenderness in your jaw area? Facial pain is a rather common issue in the general population, with 15 percent to 20 percent of people reporting symptoms. While some only suffer temporarily, others find their discomfort lingers for a longer period or reaches a level that significantly diminishes their quality of life. This type of pain can greatly affect chewing, biting and even speech. When the discomfort lingers or reaches severe levels, it will often prompt a doctor visit to address the issue.
According to the American Cancer Society, 51,540 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2018. During the same period, a total of 10,030 deaths are expected. These statistics are even more important for Kentucky residents, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted upon reviewing data from 2015 that Kentucky has the second highest rate of oral and pharyngeal cancer in the country, with 13.4 new cases per 100,000 people.
Recent studies show periodontal disease – more commonly known as gum disease – is much more common than previously thought, with almost half of the adults in the United States suffering from it. The prevalence of periodontal disease is even worse when looking at the male population: 60 percent of men over age 30 years suffer from gum disease.
It has been over a year since Andrea Crookston made the decision to make her oral health a top priority and partner with University of Kentucky Dentistry. Prior to starting the journey, Crookston would hide her smile when taking photos. Fear and anxiety kept her from going to the dentist every six months as recommended. Instead, she would only go when the pain was too much for her to tolerate.
Many people think of orthodontic treatment when they have concerns about crowded or misplaced teeth. While metal braces are often considered a rite of passage for teenagers, there are a number of issues orthodontic treatment can help address for individuals without age limits. These issues include not only teeth and occlusion (the position of the teeth when the jaws are closed) but also facial balance and aesthetics.
Many people may be aware of adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder of breathing during sleep, but few realize children can also suffer from this condition. During an apnea event, a child may only be able to take a small amount of air – or none at all – into his or her lungs. A child with OSA can breathe normally during some portions of the night, but during an obstructive episode, the ribcage moves, trying to fill the lungs with air, but the airway is obstructed in....
Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from our General Dentistry Column
Be Sociable, Share!
Health & Wellness Magazine, launched in 2004, has one of the highest circulations of any free publication in Kentucky. Found in over 2,500 locations with a readership exceeding 75,000 a month, Health & Wellness was created to raise awareness of health-
1004 Vanburgh Ct.
© Health & Wellness Magazine -
regulation of growth hormone, allowing the cells of this developing organism to multiply and repair. In the cognitive area, it is during sleep that a child consolidates all that was learned during the day. It is also during sleep when emotions are regulated and stored.
Because sleep is important for children, the consequences of chronic OSA can be paramount. It can affect the central nervous, cardiovascular and metabolic systems. This can influence a child’s ability to concentrate in school and cause poor academic performance, behavioral and cardiovascular problems and poor growth and development. Many children diagnosed with attention deficiency and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or behavioral disorders at school have been found to have OSA. Poor sleep quality and lack of adequate blood oxygenation were the primary causes of the original diagnosis.
Apnea in children can be produced by the difference between the amount of air a child needs to enter their lungs and the amount of space in their airway that allows air to enter. The amount of airway space can decrease when a child is sleeping because the muscles that line the airway relax or because of the
presence of enlarged tonsils and adenoids, fatty deposits lining the airway and/ or an anatomically small airway. Although most airways decrease due to lower muscle tone during sleep, in some children the space left can be critically small, allowing almost no air into the lungs.
A pediatric dentist can be a good screener for this type of sleeping disorder because their area of expertise is neighboring the airway. During a dental visit, tonsil size should be evaluated, and large tonsils should be followed up by a thorough examination and history taking to rule out OSA. Pediatric dentists will ask about snoring because this is an important factor to consider: 50 percent of frequent snorers have OSA. Another important factor to consider is elevated body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Recent studies have determined the prevalence of OSA due to a high BMI is increasing rapidly. To objectively rule out OSA, an overnight sleep study may be performed; this will accurately determine if OSA is present and if treatment should follow.
Managing OSA depends on the severity of the condition. It usually begins with surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids. Other treatment options are weight loss for children with a high BMI, use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device and/or anti-
OSA is a troublesome condition that can affect a significant part of our child population. A complete history and examination at the dentist’s office can help screen those children who are at risk. An overnight sleep study can objectively diagnose OSA. Once diagnosed, many options are available to manage this condition. With early diagnosis and treatment, health and behavioral consequences produced by OSA can be reverted.
Dr. Cristina Perez is an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and the Director of the Pediatric Residency Program. As a pediatric dentist with additional expertise in orofacial pain, her clinical interests include temporomandibular disorders and obstructive sleep apnea. More information about UK Dentistry is available at www.ukhealthcare.uky.edu/dentistry.
Many people may be aware of adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder of breathing during sleep, but few realize children can also suffer from this condition.
During an apnea event, a child may only be able to take a small amount of air – or none at all – into his or her lungs. A child with OSA can breathe normally during some portions of the night, but during an obstructive episode, the ribcage moves, trying to fill the lungs with air, but the airway is obstructed in such a way this is not mechanically possible.
Imagine how hard it is to hold your breath under water even for a couple of seconds. Children with OSA are involuntarily holding their breath for 10 seconds at a time, more than 10 times per hour all night long. Once a child’s brain is aware air is needed, the child wakes up and can breathe normally until the obstructions sets in again. This disturbance can cause very poor sleep quality. Furthermore, these lapses in air intake can cause the level of oxygen in the blood to be so low the child can suffer important consequences to their general health.
Sleep is a fundamental process in a child because it helps the physical recovery of the muscles, ligaments and bones children use and overuse all day. In a growing child, sleep is important for the secretion and