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9 Sleep Apnea Warning Signs You Should Pay Attention To

Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) poses a significant problem for millions of Americans.

sleep apnea warning signs you should pay attention to

Many patients who suffer from this condition don’t realize it, as the repeated breathing interruptions that characterize this disorder only occur during sleep. Yet if left untreated, sleep apnea can be life-threatening.

Do any of the following signs sound familiar to you? If so, pay a quick visit to a local oral surgeon for a professional sleep apnea evaluation.

No. 1: You’re a Loud, Chronic Snorer

Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? People with OSA often snore — that’s one of the most common signs of the condition.

No. 2: You Gasp or Choke During Sleep

You might not be aware of the repeated pauses in breathing caused by OSA, but the gasping, choking or snorting sounds that follow are hard to miss. These noises are the result of frantically trying to draw in a breath after a lack of oxygen.

No. 3: You Wake Often to Use the Restroom

While frequent nighttime urination can often be attributed to aging, it can also be a sign of OSA. The condition can trigger a feeling of fullness in the bladder, signaling the brain that it’s time to answer nature’s call.

No. 4: You Wake Up with a Headache

The frequent breathing pauses of OSA decrease the level of oxygen in the brain. In many patients, this results in morning headaches. As the condition becomes more severe, the headaches can last longer and occur more frequently.

No. 5: You’re Tired All Day

Excessive daytime sleepiness is often considered the hallmark symptom of OSA. Anyone who spends at least seven hours in bed every night but still feels tired during the day could have sleep apnea.

No. 6: You’re Moody or Irritable

Mood changes can’t always be linked to OSA, but the lack of restful sleep often leads to depression, irritability and anxiety. Some patients also complain of memory problems or have trouble concentrating.

No. 7: You Have High Blood Pressure

Untreated sleep apnea can create surges of adrenaline that cause blood pressure spikes at night. Eventually, the effect can spread into the daytime hours. Not everyone with high blood pressure has OSA, but this symptom is worth consideration.

No. 8: You’re Overweight

Could you stand to lose more than a few pounds? Many patients who are diagnosed with OSA are overweight. In fact, being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing this chronic sleep disorder.

No. 9: You Suffer from Insomnia

Research shows that insomnia and sleep apnea often go hand in hand. Frequently waking with elevated adrenaline levels can make it more difficult to go back to sleep, and many patients suffer from both sleep disorders.

Do you suspect you may have OSA? The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, can evaluate your symptoms, explain your options and help you get the treatment you need.

With three convenient northern Utah offices — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — making an appointment with the experienced oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah couldn’t be easier. Contact us today to schedule a sleep apnea consultation.

Dental Implants & Tooth Whitening

Would dental implants, tooth whitening or both be better at rejuvenating your smile?

Dental Implants & Tooth Whitening

Here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we get lots of questions from our patients about these treatments. Although oral surgeons don’t typically offer tooth whitening procedures — that’s a treatment you should talk to your dentist about — we are dental implant and tooth restoration specialists.

Should You Get Tooth Whitening Before or After Dental Implants?

Typically, our oral surgeons recommend that patients get tooth whitening before having dental implant surgery.

The reason for this is that we will have your implants custom fabricated to match your natural teeth. Whiten your teeth first, and your new replacement teeth will be the shade you want. If you hold off and do the whitening later, you may not be pleased with the results.

Implants cannot be bleached, which means they may be a noticeably different shade than your natural teeth after whitening.

What if Your Natural Teeth Need Whitening Later On?

Year after year, with proper care, your implants will look the same, because today’s tooth restorations are highly resistant to wear and discoloration. However, the same cannot always be said for your natural teeth, which can become stained and discolored over time due to your diet, health, age and even your genes.

So, what if you want to have them whitened later?

Although it won’t affect the color of your implants, you can (in most cases) whiten your natural teeth without harming your replacement teeth. It’s a good idea to talk to your oral surgeon before proceeding, however, just to make sure you won’t have any issues.

Can Dental Implants Develop Stains Like Natural Teeth?

Just because modern tooth restorations don’t discolor easily doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Implants can, in rare cases, develop stains if you don’t care for them correctly.

Frequent use of abrasive treatments and rinsing with an acidic fluoride mouthwash can break down the protective materials in your implants. If this happens, your new replacement teeth may become vulnerable to staining.

To ensure that your restorations stay looking like new, our office provides full instructions on how to care for your new teeth and we address any questions or concerns you may have.

Our board-certified oral surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, have over 10 years of experience with dental implant surgery as well as a wide range of routine and complex oral surgical procedures to give you the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of. Contact one of our three convenient Northern Utah offices — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — today, to schedule a consultation to discuss dental implants.

5 Ways Corrective Jaw Surgery Can Improve Your Life

Corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, is often considered a cosmetic procedure, as oral surgeons use it to improve facial imbalances like underbites, overbites, open bites and small chins.

corrective jaw surgery can improve your life

However, although these procedures can be used to improve the facial appearance, oral surgeons also use jaw surgery to address serious health concerns and to correct functional problems.

Do you have problems with your jaw? If so, corrective jaw surgery performed by an experienced oral surgeon could provide you with a host of benefits and potentially improve your life.

No. 1: Jaw Joint Pain Relief

When the jaws are misaligned, it places added stress and strain on the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This creates chronic pain, and for many patients, leads to the development of TMJ disorder.

Once jaw surgery is completed, the joint pain typically becomes a distant memory. Pain relief is often the most compelling reason people undergo jaw surgery.

No. 2: Better Bite Function

Misaligned jaws can make biting, chewing and swallowing food more difficult. For many patients, certain foods are off-limits because of the issue.

Orthognathic surgery realigns the jaws to give the teeth optimal bite function. Eating becomes much easier, and patients are often able to resume enjoying the foods they couldn’t previously consume.

No. 3: Improved Speech

The way the mouth and teeth are aligned can affect your ability to speak properly. Speaking and pronouncing words correctly can become an embarrassing challenge with misaligned jaws. This can profoundly affect self-confidence, especially for adolescents and those who must frequently speak at work, school or other events.

Orthognathic surgery can have a positive impact on speech. Patients enjoy talking clearly and easily, free from their former impediments.

No. 4: Reduced Tooth Wear

Misalignment in the jaws causes patients to exert more pressure on certain teeth. The result is increased wear and tear, which can lead to damage, decay and eventual tooth loss.

After orthognathic surgery, the jaws and teeth will be properly aligned. The pressure of the bite will be spread evenly throughout the mouth, so the amount of tooth wear will be reduced.

No. 5: Sound Sleep

Misaligned jaws can be a contributing factor to sleep apnea. The problem can affect the anatomy of the upper airway, leading to obstruction and nighttime cessation of breathing. The complications related to sleep apnea can impact patient health in many profound ways.

Though not all sleep apnea patients require the same surgical approach, orthognathic surgery can be life-changing. The procedure can open the airway to allow for a much better night’s rest and improved overall health.

Could you benefit from corrective jaw surgery? An experienced local oral surgeon — such as the team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah — can evaluate your jaws and oral health to determine if an orthognathic procedure is in your best interest.

Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield have over 10 years of experience in successfully performing both routine and complex orthognathic surgeries for patients in the greater Salt Lake City area. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office to schedule a consultation to learn more about corrective jaw surgery today.

Types of Wisdom Tooth Impaction and Their Treatments

Did you know that not all wisdom tooth impactions are alike? In fact, the third molars can become stuck in the mouth in a surprising number of ways.

tooth pain

Wisdom teeth that fail to erupt correctly are categorized as either soft-tissue or bony impactions, based on their position in the mouth. Soft-tissue impactions have penetrated the bone tissues but are unable to push through the gums. Bony impactions are mostly or completely encased within the jawbone.

In addition to their position within the mouth, wisdom tooth impactions are classified according to their angle. There are four types of impaction orientation.

Mesial Impaction

With mesial or mesioangular impactions — the most common type — the teeth are tilted forward tomesial-impactionward the front of the mouth. Though the angle of impaction dictates whether extraction is necessary, this orientation places significant pressure on the nearby second molars.


To avoid future oral health problems, our oral surgeons typically recommend removing third molars with mesial impactions.

Vertical Impaction

Vertically impacted wisdom teeth are normally angled (or almost normally) but are unable to push through the jawbone and gums. vertical-impaction

Our oral surgeons may recommend extraction if the teeth are bearing down on the neighboring molars or placing stress on the jawbone. We may also recommend removal to reduce the risk of gum disease, as keeping the third molars clean and bacteria-free can prove difficult for many patients.

Horizontal Impaction


Horizontal or traverse impactions are often considered the most painful and problematic. With this type of impaction, the wisdom teeth are parallel to the jawbone, lying on their sides deep within the gums or impacted in the bone tissue.Because horizontal impactions often damage the surrounding teeth, oral surgeons nearly always recommend their removal.

Distal Impaction


Distal or distoangular tooth impactions are the least common. Like mesial impactions, distally impacted teeth are tilted, but in these cases, they angle toward the back of the mouth. The angle of impaction determines whether extraction is necessary; however, our oral surgeons typically take a proactive approach and recommend removing these teeth to prevent future oral health problems.

Dealing with third molar impactions requires both skill and experience. In the greater Salt Lake City area, the oral surgeons of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are the go-to experts for both routine and complex extractions.

Helping northern Utah patients for over a decade, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield are specialists in the field of wisdom tooth management. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a professional consultation to discuss your wisdom tooth impactions today.

Dental Implant Costs: 4 Key Factors & Influences

Patients often inquire about dental implant costs, for budgeting purposes or purely out of curiosity.

dental implant costs

You can find some general price estimates online for this highly effective method of tooth restoration. However, you will need an oral surgeon’s evaluation to obtain an accurate estimate of the cost for the work you need.

Replacing missing teeth is never a one-size-fits-all procedure, as every patient has unique concerns and needs. However, the four factors and influences below can affect your dental implant costs.

No. 1: Number of Teeth that Need to Be Replaced

How many teeth do you need to have replaced? This may sound obvious, but one dental implant and crown comes at a much lower cost than replacing multiple missing teeth.

No. 2: Which Teeth Need to Be Replaced

The location of your missing teeth also affects the cost of dental implants. Tooth restoration of the incisors, canines and premolars may be more expensive than replacing molars, as the front teeth are more visible and often require additional aesthetic consideration.

No. 3: The Type of Dental Implant Restoration You Need

Do you need a single implant and crown or an implant-supported bridge? Or are you planning to have a partial or full denture supported by dental implants? Each type of tooth restoration requires different procedures and materials, all of which affect the total treatment costs.

No. 4: Your Oral Health Status

Are your gums and oral tissues healthy? Does your jawbone have the adequate structural density to support the placement of dental implants? If you need periodontal treatment, restorative care or bone grafting in preparation for tooth restoration, your total procedure costs will be higher.

How to Make Dental Implant Costs More Manageable

Dental insurance plans don’t always cover the cost of dental implants for tooth restoration. Even if your policy covers dental implants, you will likely have to pay some portion. Fortunately, you have a few options to help make the investment more affordable.

You might, for example, look into a discount dental plan. Several major plans are available to Utah residents, most of which offer significant savings on tooth restoration. A healthcare credit card could also help you finance the procedure. If you have a health savings account (HAS) program through your employer, this can help cover some or all the cost.

Or you can ask your oral surgeon about budget-friendly payment solutions.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area and are concerned about managing the costs of dental implants, talk to the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. We want you to have the tooth restoration services you need, and we work with patients to help find affordable payment options.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah has three convenient locations to serve you. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule a consultation to learn more about dental implants and their cost.

Does Dental Implant Surgery Hurt?

If you’re considering dental implant surgery, you may have a concern about the potential for pain — and an understandable one. After all, the procedure involves inserting replacement tooth roots into the gums.

does dental implant surgery hurt

Fortunately, when completed by a highly skilled and qualified oral surgeon, the implant surgery procedure doesn’t hurt at all. Afterward, you may have some slight discomfort, but patients find it minimal and easy to manage.

Getting dental implants is relatively painless, so don’t let your worries stop you from replacing your missing teeth.

During the Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implants don’t hurt because the procedure starts with a local anesthetic. Just as they would if you were having a cavity filled, your oral surgeon will make sure that portion of your mouth is numb.

In addition, you may also be sedated. If so, the choice of anesthesia is yours in most cases. Whether you opt for oral sedation, laughing gas or IV sedation, you’ll know where you are and what’s going on, but you won’t be nervous and you certainly won’t feel any pain.

After Dental Implant Surgery

After getting dental implants, you might feel some soreness, just as you would recovering from most medical procedures.

However, most patients report that recovering from dental implants is actually less painful than recovering from a tooth extraction. Most people are comfortable enough to return to work the day after implant surgery.

Managing Discomfort from Dental Implant Surgery

Naturally, some patients have more post-surgical discomfort than others.

Taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), applying ice and resting can keep the pain under control. Rinsing gently with warm salt water in the days after the procedure can also help.

For most patients, these measures make the recovery period smooth and relatively painless. If you can’t manage your discomfort that way, you can contact our office for additional pain management strategies.

In rare cases, an infection can develop, causing pain a few days after surgery. If that happens to you, you’ll need to call us ASAP. If left untreated, an infection can lead to dental implant failure.

Are you thinking about getting dental implants? With the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, you won’t have to worry about feeling pain during the procedure. And we’ll make sure you’re fully prepared to manage any discomfort you feel after your procedure.

With over 10 years of experience placing dental implants, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield understand how to keep patients comfortable before, during and after oral surgery. Contact one of our three Salt Lake City area offices — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele — to schedule a dental implant consultation.

For Root Canal Treatment, How Late Is Too Late?

No one looks forward to getting root canal treatment, but the procedure can help prevent the need for tooth extraction.

root canal treatment

Teeth repaired with root canals can last a lifetime. However, if you put the procedure off, damage can grow to the point where the tooth can’t be saved. When it’s too late to get root canal treatment, extraction is the only alternative.

Dentists and oral surgeons recommend saving teeth whenever possible. Tooth extraction should be a last resort, as missing teeth can lead to complications and oral health problems.

Root Canals Aren’t Possible with Severe Infection

When the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, a root canal can remove and replace the inflamed material.

If the procedure isn’t done promptly, however, the infection can spread. If the deepest layers of the pulp become infected, it may be too late to save the tooth. In addition, if a large portion of the tooth is lost and a crown cannot be placed on what’s left, root canal treatment is no longer a viable solution.

Tooth Extraction Is the Alternative

Antibiotics won’t permanently resolve a severe infection, and the problem can’t be fixed with a filling. Infections don’t go away on their own, so when it’s too late for a root canal, tooth extraction is often the only option.

An extraction removes the entire infected tooth, pulp and all. In some cases, the oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate any lingering infection.

Maintaining a Healthy Bite after Tooth Extraction

After an extraction, oral surgeons typically advise patients to consider a tooth replacement. When teeth are missing, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. And over time, the remaining teeth can shift positions, which can lead to bite problems.

Dental implant surgery is considered the gold standard method of tooth replacement, as the procedure provides a smile that feels, fits and functions just like natural teeth. Plus, replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant helps keep the jawbone healthy and strong.

What’s more, a dental implant can last a lifetime with proper care — and that’s as easy as sticking to good daily oral health care habits, scheduling regular cleanings and visiting your oral surgeon on a routine basis.

If it’s too late for you to get a root canal, the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can provide the care you need. Our oral surgery team has extensive experience with both routine and complex tooth extraction procedures. In addition, as tooth replacement specialists, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield have the skills and training to successfully complete your dental implant surgery.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can give you a beautiful, healthy smile. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to discuss your options for a root canal, tooth extraction or dental implant surgery.

Is Your Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Board-Certified?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon must earn a degree and obtain licensure to administer anesthesia and perform surgical procedures that correct irregularities and treat conditions involving the facial and jaw structures.

Is Your Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Board-Certified?

Becoming board-certified is an extra step some surgeons take, including those at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Board certification illustrates a commitment to the highest standards of practice and is widely considered an indicator of professional expertise.

How Board-Certified Oral Surgeons Are Trained

The route to becoming a board-certified oral surgeon starts with dental school. Most oral and maxillofacial surgeons are initially dentists.

Dental school is followed by an extensive period of hospital-based training, typically lasting about four to six years. While spending time as surgical residents, students focus on internal and emergency medicine, anesthesiology, general surgery and treating diseases, disorders and injuries involving the head, neck, jaw, mouth and face.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Expertise

Certification is achieved through the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS). Becoming board-certified includes passing both the required examinations and a rigorous peer evaluation process.

Expertise in surgical subspecialties may also be recognized with board certification. Surgeons spend time developing expert skills in procedures related to the mouth, jaws and face, and certification may indicate certain areas of specialty.

Here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified surgeons specialize in:

Continuing Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Education

The ABOMS has a comprehensive continuing education program for board-certified surgeons. Called Certification Maintenance, the program is designed to provide ongoing professional evaluation and verification of continued competency and expertise.

Fulfilling the requirements of the continuing education program demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and professional standing. What this means to you, as a patient, is the knowledge that your surgeon has a solid understanding of the latest surgical techniques and ABOMS recommendations.

The oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are board-certified, but not all oral surgeons are. For the best chance at a successful outcome from treatment, choosing a surgeon with board certification is essential.

For an expert consultation in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact us today. Our professional team, led by Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, is highly qualified and experienced in a wide range of routine and complex surgical treatments. With three convenient offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, we make it easy to get expert care from a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

What Causes Jaw Pain?

Are you suffering from severe jaw pain? Identifying the cause is the first step in finding relief.Dental Implant Surgery Helps Prevent Jawbone Atrophy

For an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon. Pain in the jaw can result from a variety of medical problems and conditions, and an oral surgeon has the expertise and qualifications to determine the source of your discomfort.

For many patients, jaw pain results from one of the common causes listed below.

Facial Trauma

Jaw pain might be due to trauma, such as from a fall, accident or blow to the face. If you recently suffered an injury — even one that didn’t seem all that traumatic at the time — you may have a displaced tooth, a fracture in the jawbone or a dislocated joint.

Tooth Grinding

Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? Tooth grinding, known as bruxism, is a leading cause of pain in the jaw, as the repeated motion can damage the teeth and stress the jaw joint.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Jaw tenderness and pain in the joint can also be the result of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. The exact cause of TMJ disorder may not be clear, but the issue may stem from arthritic or traumatic damage to the joint.

Osteomyelitis of the Jaws

Osteomyelitis is infection and inflammation in a bone, which can affect the jawbone and surrounding soft tissues. This could be the source of your pain if you had a recent injury to the area or if you suffer from a circulation or autoimmune disorder.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth can occur when a dental cavity is left untreated and the infection spreads to the tooth pulp. While the aching is typically felt near the abscess, bacteria can also advance to the jawbone tissues and cause significant pain.

Dental Conditions

Gum disease, cavities and other dental conditions can also create aches and pains in the jaw. These issues may not directly affect the jawbone or nearby soft tissues, but the stress of chewing can cause pain to radiate through the jaw.

Secondary Jaw Pain

Sometimes, aches and pains in the jaw are caused by another medical issue. Heart attacks, facial nerve disorders, migraines, ear infections and chronic sinusitis are among the many possible causes of secondary jaw pain.

Are you tired of living with severe pain in the jaw? The professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can provide you with an accurate diagnosis. With over 10 years of experience in managing jaw-related facial conditions, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield are highly skilled at identifying the underlying causes of jaw pain.

And at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, our expert team can help you find an effective treatment approach. Get on the path to pain relief today. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a consultation to discuss jaw pain.

Relieve Oral Surgery Anxiety with These Simple Tips

Oral surgery anxiety is common and normal. Many patients experience a case of nerves or fear at the thought of even visiting a dentist or oral surgeon, and the idea of undergoing surgical treatment only amplifies those feelings.

Oral surgery anxiety

Are you worried about an upcoming procedure? Calming your nerves may not be easy, but you can help reduce your oral surgery anxiety — and have a positive, comfortable experience — by following our simple pre-surgery tips.

Learn About Your Oral Surgery Procedure

Anxiety about oral and maxillofacial surgery often stems from unanswered questions. Some patients want to know everything about their upcoming procedure, while others simply need to know the basics to feel more comfortable. Make a point to learn enough about your upcoming surgery to help alleviate your concerns.

Talk to the Oral Surgeon About Anesthesia

For many patients, surgery anxiety relates to the potential pain and trauma they may believe accompany the procedure. A discussion about anesthesia can reduce these fears, as you may even have the option to choose your preferred method. Oral sedation, laughing gas and IV sedation are among the many anesthesia options that can provide you with a relaxing, pain-free surgical experience.

Discuss Your Oral Surgery Anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious, don’t keep it to yourself — tell your oral surgeon about your worries. Whether you’re concerned about a particular aspect of your surgery, nervous about anesthesia or have a fear of pain, our treatment team can take steps to minimize your stress and help you feel more at ease.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques ahead of your upcoming procedure may also help to relieve your anxiety. Progressive muscle relaxation, guided visualization, meditation and deep breathing exercises can refocus your attention and allow you to feel calmer and more at ease. It’s important to note that these techniques typically require practice, so don’t wait until the morning of surgery to try them for the first time.

Bring Support on Oral Surgery Day

Emotional support can help you keep your anxiety at bay on the day of your surgery. Ask a trusted friend or family member to accompany you to your appointment. Chances are you won’t be able to drive home alone anyway, but just knowing that a loved one is there to look out for your interests can help you get through your procedure with less stress and anxiety.

Don’t let your surgery anxiety stop you from getting the oral or maxillofacial treatment you need. Instead, schedule your procedure with caring, friendly professionals who can help you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, that means trusting the team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

Dr. Partridge, Dr. Maxfield and the rest of our surgical treatment team are known for providing compassionate care and making sure our patients feel at ease. Let us help relieve your anxiety. Contact one of our three convenient offices today to schedule your oral surgery consultation.