Posts for: July, 2016
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…
Sleep apnea doesn't just affect the quality of your sleep, but also has an impact on your daily activities. Dr. Anthony Feck and Dr. Maxie Combs, your Lexington, KY dentists at Corporate Center Dental Care, describe a few signs that may indicate that you have a sleep apnea problem.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when you periodically stop breathing while you sleep. The pauses can range in length from a few seconds to a few minutes. The problem is particularly dangerous because it can be a contributing factor in the development of several conditions and diseases, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and an irregular heartbeat.
How does sleep apnea affect your daily life?
If you have sleep apnea, you may experience any of these symptoms:
- Morning Headaches: If you frequently wake up with a headache, sleep apnea may be to blame. Frequent breathing pauses causes an increase in the carbon dioxide in your bloodstream and a decrease in oxygen. Although the headaches only last about an hour, they're a cause for concern.
- Sleepiness: Sleep apnea affects the quality of your sleep. When it occurs night after night, you become sleep deprived. You may find it difficult to stay awake during the day and may feel tired all the time.
- Sore Throat: If you frequently wake up with a sore throat that improves later in the day, you may have sleep apnea. If you snore, as most sleep apnea sufferers do, your mouth and throat will dry out during the night, which can cause a sore throat.
- Moodiness and Concentration Problems: Chronic sleep deprivation can leave you in a bad mood and make it harder to concentrate at work or school. It can even increase your risk of being involved in a traffic accident.
How can your Lexington dentist help?
Your dentist can fit you with a special oral sleep appliance that moves your jaw forward and helps keep your airway open. The appliance looks like a mouthguard and offers a more comfortable alternative to a CPAP machine.
If you have any signs of sleep apnea, Dr. Feck and Dr. Combs, your Lexington, KY dentists at Corporate Center Dental Care, can help you get a better night's sleep. Call them at (859) 223-4644 to make an appointment. Improve your quality of life with sleep apnea treatment.
The development of antibiotic drugs is widely considered one of the greatest medical achievements of the last century. Their widespread use has turned life-threatening diseases like cholera, strep throat or bacterial meningitis into manageable, treatable ones. It’s no exaggeration to say antibiotics changed the face of healthcare, including dentistry.
But this gleaming sword for fighting dangerous diseases has a double edge because our biological “enemies” can adapt to the microscopic attacks against them.Â This has created an ironic conundrum: as antibiotics have proliferated in both the amount and frequency used they’ve become less effective against ever-resistant organisms.
This unfortunate situation has been helped along by a widespread, misguided practice in the medical profession, created by a “better safe than sorry” philosophy, to use them to treat any illness. This has morphed in recent decades into using antibiotics as a preventive measure in those not even exhibiting signs of disease, which then evolved into using antibiotics as a feed additive for livestock. As a result, antibiotic drugs have made their way into the food chain to accelerate, in many people’s opinion, bacterial and viral resistance.
What can we do then as “super-bugs” are on the rise, like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) which is resistant to the most common antibiotics?
Certainly, continuing research into creating new antibiotics that address resistance is vital. But it won’t be enough: we — both healthcare providers and patients — must also change our approach and attitude toward antibiotics. This means putting in place better prescription guidelines that reduce the application of antibiotics for only those conditions where it’s absolutely necessary. And, we must restrict their use as a preventive measure, particularly in regard to their use in livestock feed.
This will take a change in everyone’s mindset, our professional standards and guidelines, and perhaps our laws. Thankfully, many are seeing the looming danger, and change is already happening. But time is of the essence, and the future depends on it — not just for people today but also for tomorrow’s generations.
If you would like more information on prudent antibiotic use, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Antibiotics: Use and Abuse.”