treating sleep apnea without cpap

treating sleep apnea without cpapMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Do you live with obstructive sleep apnea? This is a serious sleep breathing disorder that disrupts your rest, leaves you feeling fatigued throughout the day and significantly increases your risk of developing other potentially deadly health problems such as cardiac disease or stroke. If you are not already getting treatment for your sleep apnea, you should. Or, maybe you are but are unhappy with your CPAP machine. Here is how your Miami dentist can help with your sleep apnea – no breathing machine required!

A frequently prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients is a machine called the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This machine is worn while a sleep apnea sufferer sleeps, forcing air into the airway during sleep.

While a CPAP machine is a common solution for sleep apnea, it has several disadvantages. It is inconvenient, especially when traveling because the machine is bulky and must be plugged in. Many CPAP machines encounter maintenance problems, and CPAP patients regularly experience issues such as discomfort and skin irritation from wearing the mask, as well as dry mouth. A CPAP machine also can disrupt intimacy or inconvenience family members, as sleeping with a CPAP patient can be difficult because of the noise.

At Miami Designer Smiles, we believe oral appliance therapy is a preferred treatment method for treating OSA. This oral appliance maintains an open airway by adjusting the position of the tongue and keeping the jaw in a preferred alignment, thus preventing the collapse of soft tissue in the throat, which causes an obstructed airway. These custom-made oral appliances are also adjustable to fit your changing needs as a sleep apnea patient.

To craft your custom-made oral appliance, we take impressions of your mouth, and send them to our trusted dental laboratory. Then, you return to our office after the appliance has been made, and your Miami sleep apnea dentist will make sure that your appliance fits properly. Any necessary adjustments can be made at this time to ensure a comfortable fit.

You are to wear your mouthpiece at night while you sleep. Remove it in the morning and clean it with mild soap and warm water. Be sure to store your mouthpiece in the case that we provide you.

You can find a wide variety of anti-snoring or sleep aid mouthpieces available over the counter for purchase. However, the oral appliances prescribed by a sleep apnea dentist in Miami are custom designed for each patient, ensuring an ideal fit and maximum effectiveness. Plus, these sleep appliance can be adjusted to fit your changing needs.

Treating OSA is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so why would you trust an over-the-counter mouthpiece from the store? It is important to note that by receiving an oral appliance from your Miami dentist, that we understand how to work with the neuromuscular dimensions of your mouth and jaw. This means that our appliances will not cause you jaw discomfort or pain. Those appliances you buy in a box at the store cannot guarantee this type of fit.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, do not settle for a CPAP machine. Consider oral appliance therapy. Call Miami Designer Smiles at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation today.

Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in Miami and Coral Gables, FL.

dental checkups could save your life

dental checkups could save your lifeMiami and Coral Gables, FL

You probably know that going to the dentist helps keep your teeth and mouth in good condition, but did you know that keeping a regular schedule of dental visits also might save your life?

Going to your dentist regularly or often improves your chance of detecting any oral cancers in their earliest stages. Various professional medical organizations, including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of General Dentistry, recommend that patients visit their dentist on a regular basis, lowering their likelihood of developing oral cancer, a life-threatening disease. In honor of April’s National Oral Health Awareness Month, your Miami dentists at Miami Designer Smiles wants to share with you some important information about this disease.

Everyone should visit his or her dentist at least once every six months. Failing to follow such a routine increases the danger of developing oral cancer, as well as other ailments such as gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and—if undiagnosed—raise your risk of cardiac disease as the bacteria and plaque from your infected mouth filter into the bloodstream. At a dental check-up, in addition to having a professional cleaning that completely removes all bacteria, plaque, and tartar from your teeth, your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth that includes an oral cancer screening. An experienced, well-trained Miami dentist can detect this potentially deadly disease in its earliest stage. And detecting any cancer as early as possible improves the likelihood of full recovery.

What should an oral cancer screening entail? Your dentist should look for warning signs such as lumps or other abnormal tissue changes in your cheeks, head, oral cavity, neck, and the soft tissues of the mouth. Discoloration or sores also may be signs that oral cancer is present. By maintaining a regular schedule of dental visits, your dentist can identify any of these issues, as any changes to your oral health will be more readily apparent.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 35,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed on a yearly basis. And the mortality risk associated with oral cancer is significantly higher than other types of cancer. In fact, the five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with oral cancer has dropped by about 50 percent. The sad part is maintaining regular schedules of dental check-ups may have prevented many of these deaths.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Miami

Why live with any of that risk? If you have lapsed in receiving regular dental care, there is no better time than right now to get back on track. You can trust the team of professionals at Miami Designer Smiles to look after the health of your teeth and mouth, and safeguard your overall health by conducting cancer screenings as part of every routine checkup. We also offer a wide array of services in the specialties of cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and neuromuscular dentistry. To learn more about the services offered at Miami Designer Smiles, call our office today at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation.

Miami Designer Smiles is proud to care for patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables, FL.

dangers of metal fillings

dangers of metal fillingsMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Do you have metal fillings in your mouth? If so, you likely are not alone. Dental amalgam has been used in restorations such as fillings and crowns for more than a century and a half. This seemingly tried and true method to fill cavities actually may jeopardize your health due to the presence of mercury.

Silver fillings contain up to 50 percent mercury. If you have any of these old silver filings, they can release mercury vapors anytime that you eat, drink, perform oral hygiene or otherwise stimulate your teeth by biting or chewing. These vapors pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter your bloodstream. Chronic exposure to mercury has been linked to psychological, neurological or immunological problems.

Who should not receive amalgam fillings?

Although amalgam or silver fillings are still widely used in traditional dentistry, there are certainly some people who simply should avoid getting silver fillings such as children. Silver fillings could also pose a risk to fetuses for women who are pregnant. However, the health risks increase the longer you have these amalgam fillings inside your teeth, which is why even adults should avoid getting silver fillings or have them replaced with biocompatible composite ones.

Amalgam fillings and the environment

The mercury used in dental restorations also is a major cause of environmental pollution. This occurs because the mercury in wastewater from dental practices enters public water treatment systems. There, it converts into methylmercury, an extremely toxic form of mercury. Methylmercury has been proven to impede the function of the brain as well as the nervous system—particularly among children. Mercury also can cause a general environmental hazard if it leaches into the air, water or soil.

Dental amalgam is still used on a fairly widespread basis, and the American Dental Association and Federal Drug Administration reaffirm their stance that mercury fillings do not pose a threat to patients.

While the FDA and ADA refuse to act, many dental practices operating at the forefront of the field are aware of the potential health and environmental risks involved in using amalgam in dental work. Campaigns to phase out amalgam fillings are underway in many regions of the world—including Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

At Miami Designer Smiles, we believe it is important to protect the overall health of our patients, not just their oral health. Therefore, we have chosen to maintain an amalgam-free dental practice.

If you have an area of tooth decay or want your old silver filling replaced, your Miami cosmetic dentist can install a beautiful composite filling. In addition to being free of amalgam and the health risks related to mercury exposure, these fillings have several other advantages. They are stronger because they are bonded directly to the tooth, and respond to the temperature changes in the mouth in a similar manner as your natural teeth. These composite fillings also can be matched in color and expertly shaped to be indistinguishable from your other natural teeth.

Metal-Free Dentistry in Miami

To learn more about the advantages of amalgam-free dentistry, contact the office of Miami Designer Smiles by calling (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation today.

Miami Designer Smiles is proud to serve patients in Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.

anxiety and its effects on your smile

anxiety and its effects on your smileMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Everyone gets anxious from time to time. Some people, however, deal with a constant high level of anxiety. Those individuals who suffer from persistent anxiety may feel overwhelmed or out of control. If you have anxiety to the point that it impedes your ability to function on a daily basis, then you have what is known as an anxiety disorder. A generalized anxiety disorder, a panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder all are different varieties of an anxiety disorder. Left untreated, an anxiety disorder affects your daily life and eventually can impact your overall health, but did you know that anxiety also could affect your smile?

The oral effects of living with anxiety may produce a variety of different consequences, including canker sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Anxiety also could cause liche planus—a condition that occurs when lacy white lines, red areas, or mouth ulcers develop in the mouth. Another common oral consequence of anxiety is teeth grinding, which also is known as bruxism. Severe cases of teeth grinding can destroy your mouth, placing an inordinate amount of force that literally wears your teeth down to nubs.

Medications that are prescribed for anxiety also can have side effects that impact your oral health, affecting your ability to produce saliva. Anxiety medication side effects also may include anemia, bleeding, and nausea and/or vomiting, all of which can have negative ramifications on your teeth and mouth.

Problems with anxiety also can lead someone to abstain from visiting the dentist, which only makes any existing oral health problems that much worse, requiring more intensive and costly treatments to resolve these issues. Sometimes, those who suffer from anxiety disorders have such problems functioning that they may stop performing daily tasks that so many of us take for granted—such as bathing or brushing their teeth.

Anxiety disorders are one of the great silent epidemics in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org), anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults—or 18 percent of the entire population of Americans who are at least 18 years old. The ADAA also estimates that less than 37 percent of all American adults suffering from anxiety seek treatment, even though these disorders are highly treatable.

If you currently suffer from anxiety that impedes your daily life, your local Miami dentist strongly suggests that you seek the care of your regular physician or a mental health expert, who can provide help through treatment. And if your mouth has suffered some damage as consequences of your anxiety disorder, your local Miami dentist at Miami Designer Smiles can help repair your smile and prevent further damage to your teeth.

First, if you have neglected your oral health due to anxiety, your Miami cosmetic dentist can help by performing a cleaning and comprehensive examination of your teeth and mouth. We can treat bruxism by prescribing a mouth guard, which will be custom-made to the precise fit of your mouth. We also can repair teeth that have been damaged by bruxism or decay through any one of a variety of natural-looking yet highly functioning restorations that will leave you with a beautiful smile that performs well. Miami Designer Smiles also offers sedation dentistry for patients who suffer from significant anxiety or even outright fear regarding going to the dentist.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Miami

To learn more about the services offered at Miami Designer Smiles, call our office today at (305) 595-4616.

Miami Designer Smiles is proud to care for patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables, FL.

new years resolution keep mouth healthy

new years resolution keep mouth healthyMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Another year is over. What resolutions are you making heading into the New Year? Maybe you want to lose weight and get in better shape. Perhaps you want to spend more time with family and friends, or eliminate bad habits like smoking or biting your nails. Your local Miami dentist at Miami Designer Smiles suggests you add one more resolution to the list—maintaining good oral health.

Here are some tips to help you keep your mouth healthy all year long.

  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is an essential strategy for good oral health. Eating fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables is a workout for your teeth that serves as a natural way to clean your teeth and help remove plaque. Plus, the antioxidants in many fruits and vegetables boost your immune system, bolstering your body’s ability to defend against infections. Generally speaking, a balanced diet lends itself to greater overall health, improving your immune system and your protection against oral health problems like gum disease.
  • Stop using tobacco. Whether you smoke or use chewing tobacco, this is a habit you need to break. We all know about the health risks associated with tobacco, such as an increased risk of cancer. Tobacco use, in any form (even vaping), also jeopardizes your oral health, with the list of potential consequences including lung cancer, mouth cancer, tooth loss, gum disease, sores, and tooth decay. The start of a new year is a great time to quit for good.
  • Limit use of alcohol. Did you know that drinking alcohol excessively could affect your oral health? Recent research conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry found that people who consume excessive quantities of alcohol on a regular basis have a higher risk of gum recession, which can create periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums where bacteria can accumulate. Using alcohol also can increase the frequency of other negative behaviors such as smoking, and the Academy of General Dentistry also found that smokers who drink excessively are much more likely to have bad oral hygiene practices.
  • Brush and floss regularly. Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own oral health. That responsibility starts at home, by maintaining a thorough regimen of oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once per day. Regular brushing and flossing prevent the accumulation of bacteria and plaque, which are the first stages that lead to tooth decay and eventual cavities. If you have children, encourage good habits by showing them the correct techniques for brushing and flossing.
  • Get checked. You and your dentist should not be strangers. Each person is recommended to make a dental appointment once every six months, which should include a professional cleaning that removes all the plaque and bacteria from your teeth, as well as a comprehensive examination of your teeth and mouth. These appointments may involve undergoing X-rays, which are used as another diagnostic tool to identify any changes or potential problems with your teeth and mouth.

Many of us fail to keep a New Year’s resolution, but keeping this one is not only easy but will help you maintain a high level of oral health. Finding the right dentist to provide care is important. Your Miami dentist at Miami Designer Smiles is here to help. To learn more about our services, call our office today at (305) 595-4616.

Miami Designer Smiles is proud to care for patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables in south Florida.