This month, we are going to focus on some of the scary things that we deal with in our Beverly, MA dental practice.
And one of the scariest has nothing to do with tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, or missing teeth. When you come to our office for a dental exam, we check for signs of other problems as well.
One of those issues is sleep apnea. It’s a sleep disorder that can increase your risk of health problems including cardiovascular and heart disease.
Another of those issues is oral cancer. We never want to find this, but we know how important early detection can be for successful treatment with this disease.
If you have not yet scheduled your next dental appointment, we encourage you to visit Martins Dental Partners. Call 978-288-1946 today to plan your visit with us.
Sleep Apnea Basics
People who have sleep apnea have a very specific issue — they stop breathing when they fall asleep. Without getting too detailed, this means they rarely get deep sleep that health experts believe that everyone needs to feel rested and refreshed.
Those breathing stoppages can raise your blood pressure and increase the likelihood that someone will suffer from sleep deprivation. Those factors help explain why people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks and are more likely to be involved in automobile accidents.
But the most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is something you — or your partner — may be dealing with right now. Loud and constant snoring can be a clue that someone could have OSA.
If you suspect this may be the case, our team can look for symptoms. If needed, we could recommend diagnostic options and possible treatments if you do have this particular sleep disorder.
Treating sleep apnea can help you feel more energetic when you are awake. It also can reduce or end your snoring, so your significant other can sleep better, too.
Oral Cancer Info
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, people whose oral cancer is found in the early stages have a five-year survival rate of 80 to 90 percent. When found in the latter stages, the survival rate drops to less than 60 percent.
This is all the more reason to get regular oral cancer screenings. It’s also important that you know possible symptoms:
- White or red patches of soft tissue in your mouth
- A persistent sore throat
- A feeling like something is stuck in your throat
- Trouble swallowing and chewing
- A persistent mouth sore that never seems to heal
If we notice any of these symptoms or you notice them yourself, we urge you to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you are able. It’s better to find out it’s not a problem than to let a real problem persist.
We hope you will continue to visit us for decades to come. That’s more likely if you get treated for sleep apnea or oral cancer sooner rather than later.