Category Archives: heart disease

Improve Quality Of Sleep With Simple Tips

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it may be because you feel tired and run down during the day or nod off easily. However, sleep apnea has side effects that can be far worse, and even deadly.

Health risks associated with sleep apnea include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, impotency and depression. Behind the wheel, sleep apnea sufferers are said to be more dangerous than drunk drivers.

A common treatment for sleep apnea is a C-PAP device. An acronym for continuous positive airway pressure, this device includes a hose that is connected to a fan. The hose attaches to a mask worn over the face and air is forced into airway passages throughout the night.

While effective in its task to supply the body with sufficient oxygen during sleep, these contraptions are bulky and challenging for some people. User complaints include feeling claustrophobic, unable to move around in bed, and making traveling a chore. Unfortunately, these issues are likely why only 22 percent of people who have C-PAP devices are estimated to be consistent users.

In our office, we’ve successfully treated a number of individuals with sleep apnea or who are heavy snorers (often a precursor of sleep apnea). Using a custom-made , FDA approved device that’s worn in the mouth during sleep, most mild to moderate sleep apnea can be resolved.

The best way to determine if you truly have sleep apnea is to have a sleep study performed. This can be arranged through your physician and may be covered by insurance. Until you have an accurate diagnosis, however, try the tips below to help you get the best quality of sleep possible:

  1. Sleep on your side.
    This helps to keep your airway open & reduces the potential for heartburn and acid reflux.
  2. Elevate the head of your bed 6-8 inches.
    Place several pillows between the box spring and the mattress, positioned under the mattress at the head of the bed. Avoid stacking pillows under your head since it can lead to neck issues.
  3. Use Breathe RightR nasal strips.
    These come in small or large and it helps to purchase the appropriate size. The clear ones are best for sensitive skin. There is a helpful video on Breathe Right’s website that demonstrates how it works and how to use it. (https://www.breatheright.com/how-breathe-right-strips-work/try-breathe-right.html) Avoid generic brands and the advanced versions.
  4. Use nasal spray every night right before bed.
    Begin by blowing your nose to clear it. Consider a hot shower before bed since inhaling steam can loosen congestion. Our patients give us the best feedback about Flonase (available over the counter) rather than Afrin.
  5. Keep your bedroom dark.
    Make sure the room is perfectly dark while you’re sleeping. You can use a mask over your eyes. Dim lights for an hour or two leading up to sleep time. Avoid using electronics with a screen within two hours of bedtime, which interferes with melatonin levels. Avoid laying down within 30 minutes of eating as this will increase your risk of heartburn.
  6. Keep your bedroom cool.
    Studies show that the ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees. A programmable thermostat can be set to drop the temperature down to that level late into the night and back up to more comfortable levels in the morning.
  7. Keep the air clean and at the right humidity.
    An air cleaner helps if your furnace system is old. Otherwise, change the air filter on your furnace every month and use one with high filtration. Use a humidifier in the winter if your house is dry. The humidity in your bedroom should be between 30 & 50%.
  8. Use your oral sleep appliance EVERY NIGHT.
    Once you have an oral appliance, it’s important that your airway becomes accustomed to the new open path at the back of your throat down to your lungs. Regular nightly use ensures it stays open.

For your health, it is important to get sufficient, restful sleep every night. Once diagnosed, we will be happy to discuss a custom-designed oral sleep appliance during a no-charge consultation. For many individuals, these appliances are the best way to overcome sleep apnea.

Call 586-739-2155 to arrange a consultation.

Marijuana Use May Increase Risk For Periodontal Disease

Cannabis or medical marijuana has been said to be a beneficial treatment for pain, seizures and spasms. As its use widens, researchers are finding new ways to utilize this now-legal substance in appropriately prescribed doses.

While there is a debate as to side effects of its use, many researchers feel there is too little data along those lines. For instance, insufficient data exists regarding some claims that cannabis exposure in children and adolescents may cause impaired brain development or lead to mental illness.

However, there are a number of studies showing undesirable side effects when it comes to the oral health of frequent marijuana users. In one, as part of the Centers for Disease Control’s 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, study participants who used cannabis one or more times for at least 12 months had more symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease than other participants. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170524152634.htm)

This increased propensity for gum disease has also been shown in a long-term study of nearly 1,000 New Zealanders. In that study, people who smoked marijuana for up to 20 years had more gum disease even though other health factors were no worse than those of non-smokers.

For decades, it has been known that the harmful chemicals of cigarette smoke were toxic to the soft tissues of the mouth. A study is also underway to determine the risk factors of e-cigs, or vaping, which users claim is a safer method of smoking. However, the argument has been that chemicals are easily absorbed by the moist tissues in the mouth and, therefore, the potential for detrimental side effects is greater.

Regardless of your use or non-use of cannabis, it is wise to know the signs and symptoms of gum disease. These include tender gums that bleed easily when brushing, receded gums, gums that darken in color from a healthy pink to red, persistent bad breath, and pus pockets that form on gums at the base of some teeth.

Not only is gum disease the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, the bacteria of periodontal disease has been linked to serious health problems. It has been shown that the infectious bacteria of gum disease can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body.

The inflammatory triggers associated with gum disease bacteria have been linked to heart disease, stroke, memory loss, preterm babies, some cancers, impotency, diabetes and arthritis. As more research is being conducted, a growing number of health problems are showing links to this potent bacteria.

If you have symptoms of gum disease, seek treatment at your earliest convenience. Gum disease only worsens without treatment, resulting in more treatment time and expense. Call 586-739-2155 to schedule.

Links Between Gum Disease & Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

For years, researchers have found that the inflammation caused by the infectious bacteria of periodontal (gum) disease can trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. Studies have shown that this potent oral bacteria correlates to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers and preterm babies.

With these serious health risks, men, in particular, should be made aware of another. Researchers have given a closer assessment to recent studies and found that erectile dysfunction (a condition causing difficulty having or maintaining an erection) is more common in men with gum disease.

One article published by Reuters.com reveals that reviewers analyzed data from five studies published between 2009 and 2014. The combined studies included 213,000 male participants between the ages of 20 and 80, according to a report in the International Journal of Impotence Research.

In every study, men who had chronic periodontitis (advanced gum disease) were more likely to have erectile dysfunction, especially males younger than 40 and older than 59. The article stated, “After accounting for diabetes, which can influence both gum disease and sexual function, erectile dysfunction was 2.28 times more common for men with periodontitis than for men without it.” (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-periodontitis-erectile-dysfunc-idUSKBN13K1UP)

In the U.S., an estimated 18 percent of males have erectile dysfunction. Men over the age of 70 are more likely to have ED compared to 5 percent between the ages of 20 and 40.

However, the men who are most affected by ED are getting younger. One outpatient clinic showed that one in four men who sought help for erectile dysfunction were under the age of 40.

Could a healthy mouth lower the risk of ED? In a 2013 study, it was found that treating periodontal disease improves ED symptoms. Thus, a growing number of physicians are advising male patients who have both ED and periodontitis to seek periodontal treatment as a way to reduce its risk.

Researchers are learning much about the hazards of chronic inflammation in our bodies. As an inflammatory disease, periodontal disease has come under closer scrutiny as a potential trigger for other serious health problems. For example, nearly half of the men with ED in one study also had diabetes, another chronic inflammatory disease with links to periodontal disease.

Although many serious health problems are linked to oral bacteria, gum disease is one of the most preventable of all. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing, a diet limited in sugar and carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water are simple guidelines to follow. Yet, it is estimated that over 47% of American adults have some level of gum disease.

For the good of your overall health and well-being, renew your commitment to a healthy smile. Begin with a thorough examination. We’ll discuss how to get your oral health in good shape and ways to maintain it between dental check-ups.

Call 586-739-2155 to schedule or ask to begin with a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

Vitamin C And Your Smile

I have always been health conscious and committed to a balanced diet. However, there was no other period in my life that I was more focused on what I put into my body than during my pregnancies,. Like most moms-to-be, I was very careful about my food choices and took a pre-natal vitamin to supplement what my diet may have lacked.

Today’s busy adults are not always diligent about eating a healthy diet that provides adequate fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Many eat too fast, not chewing our food properly for the digestive process to begin. Too, most of us do not drink enough water.

To supplement what we may not get in our diets, many adults take a multi-vitamin.  While vitamins bolster your overall health by making sure you’re getting the elements you need, remember that your smile needs an ample supply as well.

According to the Journal of Periodontology, consuming at least 180 mgs of vitamin C a day gives your gums and teeth a healthy boost. Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory that uses collagen to bind cells to build connective tissues – beneficial to gum tissues. Vitamin C has even been shown to increase bone regrowth, helping to restore healthy teeth.

Want to get your C the natural way? Good sources of vitamin C are coconut water, citrus fruits, broccoli, red peppers, brussel sprouts and tomatoes.

If you aren’t getting sufficient vitamin C through your diet, look for non-acidic alternatives available over-the-counter. These forms of vitamin C come in powder or chewing gum. We prefer you avoid most chewable vitamin C products, however, since they can be highly acidic. This level of acidity can damage tooth enamel, leaving you susceptible to decay.

Keeping your gums healthy is not only necessary for maintaining good oral health. Studies now show that the bacteria of gum disease can enter the bloodstream through tears in gum tissues. As it travels throughout the body, it can trigger inflammatory reactions. This has been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, preterm babies, diabetes, arthritis and impotency.

Signs of gum disease are tender gums that bleed when brushing, swollen gums, gums that deepen in color, receded gums and persistent bad breath. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment and is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Keeping your mouth healthy means you enjoy fresher breath and helps you avoid periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. In addition to a healthy, balanced diet and vitamin supplements, your 6-month dental cleanings and exams give you added support.

If you have symptoms of gum disease, call promptly so treatment can be scheduled without delay. Or, if you haven’t had regular dental cleanings, call 586-739-2155 to schedule.

Men’s Oral Health Can Impact Sex Life

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed that men in their thirties with severe gum disease are 3 times more likely to have erection problems.

This comes after previous research revealed that periodontal disease may be linked to heart disease, which is a common cause of erectile dysfunction. Although there are no claims that one disease causes the other, the association is thought to be related to inflammation brought on by gum disease bacteria.

These findings are valid reasons that men should take an active role in the health of their teeth and gums before other areas of the body are affected. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that nearly half of American adults have periodontal disease. Of that, over 56% of men have periodontal disease, compared to just over 38% of women.

Periodontal health has also been associated with other areas of men’s health, including prostate health, heart disease, impotence and some cancers. For example, research has found that men with a history of gum disease are 14% more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums – 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 59% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30% more likely to develop a blood cancer.

Men can help to protect their overall health by keeping their oral health at an excellent level. It is especially important to watch for symptoms of gum disease, which include gums that bleed when brushing, sore or swollen spots on gums, persistent bad breath, and gums that are red rather than a healthy pink color.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call toll free 866-9-Smiles for an examination as soon as possible. Gum disease does not improve without treatment.

Gentle Dental Care + Sedation = Confident Smiles!

If going to the dentist invokes feelings of anxiety, nervousness or fear, you are in good company. Over 70% of American adults are estimated to have some level of fear or anxiety associated with dental visits.

For many adults, this keeps them from having regular dental care. And, it’s the regular cleanings and exams that help to prevent problems in the first place. Because fear holds many people back from having these appointments, their needs become gradually more complex as a result. As a matter of fact, many high-fear adults only see a dentist when a problem becomes so painful they are forced to set their fears aside to achieve pain relief.

As far as who has dental fear, it certainly doesn’t discriminate. With fearful adults, there is no typical age group, income level, or gender and it effects all ethnic groups.

As a dentist who has built a reputation for a gentle touch, I see a number of patients who come from a wide vicinity because of their fear issues. Sadly, by the time they arrive, many high-fear patients have already lost natural teeth and are at risk of losing more. A large percentage have some level of periodontal (gum) disease.

In addition to being the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, the bacteria of gum disease has been found to trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. This infectious bacteria has been associated with heart disease, stroke, some cancers, arthritis, diabetes, impotency, preterm babies and more. This greatly amplifies the need for good oral health.

In addition to providing respectful care with a gentle touch, we offer Oral Sedation or I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep) in addition to our standard relaxation features . We also pace your care according to what is comfortable for you. Patients tend to relax when they realize they are in charge of what is done at each appointment and how frequently those appointments occur.

No matter how you would categorize your anxiety when it comes to dental care, we know you can overcome these challenges and achieve a healthy mouth and confident smile. Many of our formerly-fearful patients have even overcome their dread of dental care altogether. We love seeing these patients walk in with a smile and leave smiling – and knowing that they love sharing their smile often!

Begin by calling 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a no-charge Consultation. This is a discussion that takes place in a private, living-room style setting that is removed from the clinical side of the office. During this time, we’ll discuss your concerns and how we can help you move at a pace that’s right for you.

Let your smile be a beautiful reflection of who you are, inside and out! We’ll help you convert your fear of dental visits to the terrific smile you desire.

Pancreatic Cancer Research Shows Links To Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Over the past few decades, scientific studies have focused increased attention on how periodontal (gum) disease has connections to our whole health. And, rightly so.

As research has become more focused, links have been found between infectious oral bacteria and a growing list of serious health problems. These include heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, preterm babies, impotency and more.

The potent bacteria of gum disease can travel through the body by entering the bloodstream through tears in weakened tissues. It is now known that it can trigger inflammatory reactions that are related to the development of the conditions mentioned above.

Recently, studies have added to that list, revealing that periodontal disease bacteria is a risk factor in the development Microscopeof pancreatic cancer. While this has been suspected based on the results of previous studies, one particular, long-term study focused on how the risk exists.

The study included over 350 adults who had DNA analyzed (through saliva samples) and eventually developed pancreatic cancer. Researchers compared the saliva DNA samples of this group to a similar number of adults who remained healthy.

For true comparisons, adjustments were made in both groups for variations in age, race, sex, body mass, use of alcohol, smoking and being diabetic. To eliminate pre-existing factors that could influence statistical outcomes, participants who developed pancreatic cancer within two years or less from the time their DNA samples were taken were omitted.

Using findings from previous research along these lines, this particular study closely scrutinized two types of oral bacteria pathogens. Researchers found that one pathogen was far more prevalent in the saliva of participants who developed pancreatic cancer with a 59% increased risk of developing the deadly cancer. Just as alarming was that the second pathogen was shown to increase this risk by 50%.

Because pancreatic cancer is not commonly diagnosed until it is in advanced stages, it has a deadly track record. Of those who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, less than 10% will still be living in five years.

Obviously, this infectious oral bacteria is nothing to take lightly. When you consider its ability to create inflammation elsewhere in the body with devastating (and even deadly) results, the health of your gums should be a top priority.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include tender gums that bleed when brushing, persistent bad breath, gums that are sore and swollen, gums that deepen in color and pus pockets that form at the base of teeth. In latter stages, teeth will loosen and require removal. Even though gum disease is the nation’s number one cause of adult tooth loss, still, nearly half of the adults in the U.S. have some form of it.

Periodontal disease begins without obvious warning signs. By the time symptoms begin, it is often well underway. Unfortunately, many people assume seeing blood in the sink is a sign that they are doing a good job when brushing. Too, because gum problems are not visible (being concealed inside the mouth), they are easier to ignore than conditions that can be easily seen.

When gum disease is not treated, it continually worsens. As research continues to reveal, however, the destruction of periodontal disease bacteria doesn’t just affect your smile. Your overall health and well-being are at risk as well.

What can you do to protect your smile AND your overall health? First, have a thorough examination to determine the presence of periodontal disease. If it exists, we’ll recommend treatment to restore your mouth to a healthy state. We will also create an effective regimen to follow at home to keep your smile healthy between visits.

You can also begin with a no-charge, no obligation consultation appointment. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. During this time, I’ll answer your questions and explain how you can enjoy a healthy, confident smile affordably and comfortably.

Weight Can Be Affected By Sleep Quality

It’s the first week of January. Drive by any fitness center and you’ll see a parking lot full of new and rededicated members. Trying to shed pounds through a treadmill takes an enormous amount of time and energy. Although we applaud those who want to tone and boost stamina, weight loss this way is a long, slow process. This is probably why the parking lot will look much differently by the end of March.

Want to lose weight? Begin by checking your quality of sleep. Through scientific research, we now have a better understanding of how the brain functions and plays a prominent role in our lives.

Based on findings surrounding the importance of restful sleep, I decided to become trained in oral sleep devices to offer to our patients in need years ago. The severe (and even deadly) health repercussions of sleep disorders made me determined to help heavy snorers and sleep apnea sufferers.

The National Sleep Foundation points out that people who suffer from disorders like sleep apnea may find it harder to begin or sustain an exercise program due to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. However, being overweight not only contributes to sleep problems such as sleep apnea, sleep problems can contribute to obesity.

The National Sleep Foundation cites a 1999 study by scientists at the University of Chicago. The study found that accumulating a sleep debt in just less than a week can impair metabolism and disrupt hormone levels. The study restricted 11 healthy young adults to 4 hours of sleep for 6 nights. Researchers found the participants’ ability to process glucose (sugar) in the blood not only declined, some fell to the level of diabetics. (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/obesity-and-sleep/page/0/1)

In another recent study, it was revealed that sleep quality affects the mix of gut bacteria that impacts whether you are lean or obese. The natural circadian rhythm of our bodies has peaks and lulls that determine certain functions, such as when to sleep. Apparently, intestinal bacteria have a circadian rhythm, too. These help in the production of serotonin and neuro-transmitters that influence sleep.

During sleep, good gut bacteria sweep away the build-up of ‘bad’ bacteria. Researchers noted that insufficient sleep can hamper the ability of the good bacteria to sweep out the bad kind. This leads to an imbalance of the two, which can contribute to anxiety, depression, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), ADD, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Weight gain and obesity from insufficient sleep has to do with the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates the appetite while leptin sends the brain a message when you are full.

Lack of sleep suppresses the production of leptin, leaving you feeling less satisfied after eating. Too little sleep makes this worse by increasing ghrelin levels, which stimulates your appetite so you are hungry more often. When these two hormonal imbalances collide, the result is weight gain.

Now that scientists have found the additional complication of imbalanced intestinal bacteria, sleep is taking a higher priority in healthy living commitments. While the recommended amount of sleep is 7 hours each night, though, nearly 35% of American adults get less.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. In addition to weight gain and obesity, sleeping less than seven hours is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, migraines, depression and impotency. (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html)

Symptoms of sleep apnea are typically daytime fatigue, being more accident prone, nodding off easily during the day, poor attention span and alertness, and feeling cranky or unmotivated. It has been said that sleep apnea sufferers behind the wheel are more dangerous than drunk drivers.

In the past, a common remedy for sleep apnea has been CPAP therapy. However, many who have the devices are not consistent users, citing feeling confined, claustrophobic, embarrassed or being uncomfortable with the noise. For those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, we make custom-fitted, FDA-approved oral devices that are small and comfortable so they do not interfere with sleep.

Begin with a free consultation to have your questions answered thoroughly. We can discuss costs, payment options and even put you in touch with patients who have opted for oral appliance therapy and now sleep restfully every night!

Don’t give up on the treadmill, though. Just give your potential to lose weight a leg up by tending to your quality of sleep. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Can A Healthy Smile Protect Your Heart?

Bacteria in our bodies is not always a bad thing. For example, certain bacteria in the gut actually enhance the process of digestion and help to keep the digestive system operating efficiently.

However, some bacteria is not good. When too much bacteria invade the body, the immune system becomes overburdened. This is why an untreated cut can become infected.

The body’s natural defense response, white blood cells, aren’t always able to conquer infection at certain levels. This is when your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic – to give the immune system added reinforcements.

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection in the mouth. This is where oral bacteria have amassed to the point that the immune system cannot manage infectious growth. While gum disease destroys tissues in the mouth and the structures that support teeth, this infectious bacteria doesn’t always stay confined to the mouth.

The bacteria of gum disease can enter the bloodstream through tears in weakened gum tissues. As it travels throughout the body, it can trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere. Over the years, the bacteria of periodontal disease has been linked to everything from stroke to preterm babies to diabetes.

One of the first correlations between oral bacteria and other serious health problems was found in heart disease. An excellent explanation of how this occurs can be found in Harvard Medical School’s newsletter: Harvard Health Publications.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/heart-disease-oral-health

They explain the sequence of events as: “In people with periodontitis (erosion of tissue and bone that support the teeth), chewing and toothbrushing release bacteria into the bloodstream. Several species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found in the atherosclerotic plaque in arteries in the heart and elsewhere. This plaque can lead to heart attack.

“Oral bacteria could also harm blood vessels or cause blood clots by releasing toxins that resemble proteins found in artery walls or the bloodstream. The immune system’s response to these toxins could harm vessel walls or make blood clot more easily. It is also possible that inflammation in the mouth revs up inflammation throughout the body, including in the arteries, where it can lead to heart attack and stroke.”

Through numerous studies and years of research, we now know that your oral health is closely related to your overall health. By achieving and maintaining a healthy smile, you’ll be doing your body good!

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of gum disease, please know that it will only worsen without treatment. Common signs are: gums that bleed easily when brushing, tender gums, gum recession, frequent bad breath, gums that darken in color from a healthy pink to red, and pus pockets that form near the base of some teeth.

Gum disease is also the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. And, studies have shown that the loss of natural teeth compromises the digestive process, social confidence and one’s lifespan.

Don’t delay care. Make sure you are current on your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings and be committed to your at-home oral hygiene regimen. Twice daily brushing and daily flossing is necessary to keep oral bacteria at a manageable level.

Ready for a clean mouth that supports your overall health? Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for more information about an examination and cleaning. Or, ask to begin with a no-cost consultation.

Quality Of Sleep Affects Weight

Now through the end of the year, it will get harder and harder to step on the scale. Halloween, tailgating, Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas — watching one’s weight during this time of year is quite the challenge. For those who have sleep disorders, the challenge is even greater.

The obesity rate (that’s ‘obese,’ not just fat) is at 35% of the U.S. adult population. This means that more than a third of the American population are beyond fat! It’s no secret that too much sugar in our diets and not getting enough exercise are at the root of most weight problems. However, studies now show that quality of sleep may be complicating your ability to lose weight.

What does sleep have to do with your weight? It’s actually a brain-driven issue. During sleep, the brain is anything but ‘at rest.’ Sleep provides the brain an active time to sweep out toxins and other obstacles that have accumulated during the day. This helps the brain to restore itself to peak efficiency to efficiently regulate hormones and other functions that support the body’s entire system.

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that deprives the brain of sufficient oxygen. This isn’t good. It’s no wonder that Sleep Apnea has been associated with serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, and impotency.

But, here’s the glitch when it comes to your weight: In addition to posing tremendous health risks, Sleep Apnea alters the brain’s ability to regulate hunger controls.

As sleep disorders are depleting your energy levels, poor sleep quality creates a reaction in the brain that triggers carbohydrate cravings. You may have noticed that eating something sweet or carbohydrate-laden gives you a quick pick-me-up.  Craving these is the brain’s way of helping you seek out energy to get you through the day when you feel groggy.

Of course, without staying active and energetic during the day, you burn fewer calories. Add brain signals for carbohydrate cravings to the mix and weight gain is the natural result. While people with sleep disorders (including heavy snoring) often feel their lack of willpower is to blame for packing on the pounds, many are simply up against the odds with this double whammy.

When the body is fatigued and the brain is urging you to eat eat eat, just maintaining your weight is a challenge. The reversal of this is simple, however. When the brain receives adequate oxygen during sleep, it can do its nightly maintenance and keep the body operating at peak capacity. With adequate, restful sleep, the brain doesn’t need to trigger carbohydrate cravings to move you through the day. And, you feel more energetic and motivated for activity.

For many Sleep Apnea sufferers, the standard treatment recommendation has been CPAP therapy. This is a mask worn over the face that is attached to a hose. The hose is connected to equipment that uses a fan to force oxygen into the airway during sleep. Although effective in its task, many CPAP users don’t wear their devices on a consistent basis. A large percentage claim they can’t get comfortable in bed, feel claustrophobic, find the devices noisy, complain they are inconvenient and even cite embarrassment at having to wear them.

For individuals who suffer with mild to moderate levels of Sleep Apnea, there is a simple alternative. We offer an FDA-approved method to restore sufficient oxygen during sleep without the bulk, noise, confinement and awkwardness of CPAP devices. By sleeping with a custom designed oral appliance, the need for wearing CPAP is eliminated.

These oral appliances are small, comfortable, and won’t interfere with your ability to sleep soundly. They are effective for many who suffer with Sleep Apnea as well as those who are heavy snorers (a typical precursor of Sleep Apnea).

If you’ve watched your weight climb as your energy has waned, lack of willpower may actually be a small part of the problem. In addition to frequent carb cravings, Sleep Apnea symptoms include daytime fatigue, a sluggish feeling, nodding off easily, lack of alertness or motivation, and feeling foggy. These problems will not go away until restful sleep is restored with sufficient oxygen intake.

Begin with a no-cost Consultation to discuss an effective and comfortable appliance made to fit the contours of your mouth. If desired, we can also put you in touch with patients who wear these simple oral appliances and now sleep soundly and wake up feeling refreshed.

Call toll free 866-9-Smiles to schedule or to learn more.