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All Posts Tagged: Dentist Warrenton

Women are at a High Risk for Developing TMJ Disorders

Did you know that women are more likely to develop temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders (TMD) than any other individual?  As a woman, you might be more prone to developing this disorder, but there are ways for you to prevent it from occurring.  Let’s take a closer look.

Women and TMD

Pain affects everyone differently—headaches and facial pain are commonly caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), affecting more women than men.  Women who have facial pain, migraines and neck pain due to their TMJ problems may spend years seeking a diagnosis, but never getting the right one.  Dr. Bonnie Foster, our dentist in Warrenton, works with her patients to find the cause to your pain and provides the best treatment available for TMJ problems.

If you experience frequent headaches, feel pain in your jaw, neck or upper back, hear a clicking noise in your jaw or your ears feel stuffy, you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder (TMD). Appropriate treatment from Dr. Foster can help to relieve your pain without a lifetime of pills.

While women tend to experience TMJ pain more often than men, many men still suffer from TMD, but will often ignore their symptoms. TMJ pain is real and it can be debilitating.  By scheduling a consultation with Dr. Foster, you can take the next steps toward a pain free life.  Please contact Dr. Bonnie Foster in Warrenton for TMD care and to learn more about combatting your pain.

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A Connection Exists Between Sleep Apnea and Depression

There is a complexity between sleep apnea and depression. While depression can cause an array of sleep problems, the same goes for sleep complications—it can contribute or cause depressive disorders. Dr. Bonnie Foster, your dentist in Warrenton, continues to remain in a unique position to help you improve your health. By treating sleep apnea, we can ultimately help improve your depression. Let’s learn more.

What is the Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Depression?

Sleep-disordered breathing has been linked with depression. This is especially true because insomnia is very common among people that are depressed. It has been suggested that those who suffer from insomnia have 10 times the risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well.

If you are depressed, you may suffer from a range of insomnia, including:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Un-refreshing sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is linked with depression because those with depression were found to be five times more likely to suffer from sleep-disordered breathing. With such a high instance of sleep apnea in those with depression, it is important to talk to Dr. Foster to discuss next steps in treatment for sleep apnea in Warrenton.

Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea in Warrenton

But we have good news! By treating sleep apnea, your depression may improve. And, in many cases, because symptoms of depression overlap with symptoms of sleep apnea in Warrenton, there can be a risk for misdiagnosis.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, you should also be screened for sleep apnea by answering questions about the following symptoms:

  • Snoring
  • Breathing pauses while sleeping
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

For more information on sleep apnea in Warrenton, please contact Dr. Bonnie Foster. With proper treatment, we hope to not only provide relief from sleep apnea in Warrenton, but depression as well.

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Understanding Sleep Apnea and How to Help

Snoring isn’t something to be overly concerned about, is it? Not necessarily. Loud, frequent snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, which is a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. It is vital that we work to distinguish between snoring and sleep apnea in Warrenton—understanding the difference will make all the difference.

Understanding Snoring

Severe snoring can cause an array of problems, including sleep disturbances for the snorer and other household members as well as walking episodes.  Snoring does not always result in sleep apnea, but chronic snoring may indicate an underlying sleep disorder.  Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and car accidents due to sleepiness while driving.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a type of breathing disorder, which is a serious, and potentially life-threatening condition characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.  There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)– the upper airway is open, but no oxygen is getting into the system.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – the lungs and the diaphragm are functioning normally, but no oxygen is entering the system because there is an obstruction in the upper airway.
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea – this is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.

The signs and symptoms of OSA include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, gasping or choking during the night, non-refreshed sleep, fragmented sleep, clouded memory, irritability, personality changes and morning headaches.

 

Does your partner or a family member display chronic snoring and pauses in breathing while they sleep? If so, it is important to contact Dr. Bonnie Foster in Warrenton, VA about sleep apnea and your treatment options.

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The Myths and Facts of Sleep Apnea

Are you tired during the day, but are getting the amount of rest you need? If so, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, which is a common disorder that causes frequent disruptions in your breathing, or shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to several minutes and can occur 30 times or more an hour. To help you better understand sleep apnea, lets take a look at some common myths and facts to help you decide if you or a loved one should see Dr. Bonnie Foster at our Warrenton office for further information.

Myth: People with sleep apnea know they have it because they’re jerked awake when their breathing stops.

Fact: Most people are unaware they have sleep apnea because they are sleeping when symptoms occur. Many people find out their breathing is affected by another who watches them or hears them while they sleep.

Myth: People with sleep apnea know they have it because they’re jerked awake when their breathing stops.

Fact: Most people are unaware they have sleep apnea because they are sleeping when symptoms occur. Many people find out their breathing is affected by another who watches them or hears them while they sleep. 

Myth: Sleep apnea is just an impressive word for snoring.

Fact: Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea. But, it also might be an annoying sound that your bed partner makes throughout the night because the muscles in his or her throat relax too much.

Myth: Only people who are old or overweight get sleep apnea.

Fact: Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages and sizes. However, people who are overweight may be able to reduce symptoms by losing weight.

Myth: Alcohol is a good remedy.

Fact: Alcohol is not the solution. Instead, alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, which blocks the airway—sleeping pills have the same effect.

Treatment of sleep apnea can include simple lifestyle changes or oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is worn during sleep and gently pushes the lower jaw outward to create an unobstructed airway.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and are ready for a good nights sleep, contact Dr. Foster at our Warrenton office today!

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Improve Your Sleep and Quit Smoking

If you quit smoking it will significantly improve your overall health—especially your lungs. Did you also know that by quitting smoking you might also significantly improve your sleep?  You can! Let’s take a closer look at smoking and how it can negatively affect your sleep.

The Negative Effects of Smoking and Sleep

If you compare a smoker to a non-smoker, it has been shown that smokers are three times more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (Wow!). This is because smoking causes an increase of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, which can further aggravate sleep apnea symptoms.

Both smoking and sleep apnea are deadly conditions that can severely shorten your life span when combined. For example, smoking and sleep apnea can both cause cardiovascular and respiratory health problems. This means treatment is vital to your health.

Seek Treatment and Quit Smoking

Smoking makes the swelling in your upper airway worse, which can further aggravate symptoms such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea). In order to have successful treatment, you must quit smoking. By quitting your habit of smoking, you are significantly improving your treatment options and the results from treatment. While quitting smoking does not guarantee that your sleep apnea will disappear, it does ensure that treatment will be much more effective.

While it is up to you to quit smoking, we can successfully treat your sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Contact us today to learn more about your sleep apnea treatment options and tips for quitting your smoking habit.

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A Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Your Weight

Weight loss can significantly improve, and potentially eliminate, obstructive sleep apnea symptoms in obese people.  Researchers have found that people with severe obstructive sleep apnea who lost the recommended amount of weight, were three times more likely to experience remission of sleep apnea symptoms compared to those who did not lose any weight.

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Obesity

Not everyone with sleep apnea is overweight, but most patients are.  Losing weight gets rid of fat that blocks the windpipe. In doing so, it can not only fix your sleep trouble, but can also help with your cholesterol, knees, clothes and overall feeling of yourself.  Some people have found that moderate to severe sleep apnea can be completely corrected by losing excess weight.  And for others, even a small amount of weight loss can open up the throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.

After weight loss, if you are still experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Bonnie Foster can work with you to create an appropriate treatment plan, including oral appliance therapy.  Schedule a consultation to determine the best treatment option for you. And remember, sleep apnea should never be ignored.

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Questions About Sleep Apnea

To help you get a better understanding of sleep apnea, and understand what questions we might ask, we have put together a simple questionnaire for you. In this survey, you will see a series of questions about how likely you are to doze off during the day. Take a look:

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Why Dental Care is Important for Sleep

It is important to get a good night’s sleep every night. In doing so, your body is restored and your mind is enlivened. And, when it comes to sleep, there is one area you might have overlooked: Dental health care. More than 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which means they need a good night’s sleep in order to save their lives. By visiting your dentist, you can find proper treatment options to help relieve your symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at dental care and why it is important for sleep.

The Dentist’s Role

Dentists are often the first line of defense against sleep apnea, and are the first to notice symptoms because they are in contact with their patients more frequently than the family doctor. Dr. Bonnie Foster can notice and detect the less evident symptoms of sleep apnea through asking questions and talking with you, along with an exam.

She might suspect you suffer from sleep apnea if you have complaints of lethargy, morning headaches, or dry mouth. When signs and symptoms are first noticed, dentists will send patients to sleep medicine specialists who can properly diagnose sleep apnea. If diagnosed with a sleep breathing disorder, the specialist might then refer you back to our office for treatment with oral appliance therapy.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for sleep apnea will vary depending on the severity of the disorder. If you are suffering from mild sleep apnea, simple behavioral changes such as losing weight might make all the difference. Those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea can also be treated with oral appliance therapy. Similar to a mouth guard, an oral appliance helps to reposition the jaw and tongue to improve airflow. As with any appliance, they will require some adjusting and commitment but are easy to wear and use.

To learn more about how Dr. Bonnie Foster can help with treatment of sleep apnea, please contact our office today!

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