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Are You Sedated When Putting in Dental Implants?

Whether you’ve lost a tooth from an accident, tooth decay or just time, putting in dental implants can help restore your smile.

Dental implants aren’t only good for appearances, though. They also help maintain healthy gums and teeth, and help prevent problems that can arise from having missing teeth over time.

Sedation and Dental Implants

Most oral surgeries and dental procedures involve sedation. The level of sedation and type of anesthesia that will be used differs depending on your dentist or oral surgeon’s preferences, the invasiveness of the procedure, and your personal comfort level.

Because dental implants are quite invasive, sedation is recommended.

Sedation in dentistry and oral surgery comes in various levels. These levels include:

  • Local anesthesia – by a numbing shot or topical gel, eliminates sensation and pain in one small area of the body, patient is completely awake but may feel numbness and tingling at the site of the anesthesia
  • Minimal sedation – achieved with laughing gas, the patient is relaxed but awake
  • Moderate sedation – done by oral sedation using a pill, a deeper level of sedation where patients might have trouble remembering the procedure
  • Deep sedation – typically achieved with an IV, a sleeplike state where a patient can still be easily awakened
  • General anesthesia – also with an IV, the patient is completely unconscious

While some level of sedation is generally used for putting in dental implants, patients are not usually completely unconscious with general anesthesia.

Determining Sedation Levels

Your oral surgeon should meet with you before the procedure and discuss sedation options. When only one of two dental implants are going in, minimal to moderate sedation is typically sufficient. If you have severe dental phobia or other anxieties, a deeper form of sedation might be appropriate. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist or oral surgeon and make them aware of your comfort level.

For more extensive dental implant surgeries, IV sedation is the preferred method to minimize pain and anxiety. Getting a full set of dental implants is fairly invasive and can take a long time in the chair. IV sedation helps get more implants done at one time instead of having to spread it out over multiple appointments. Not only will IV sedation help you feel more comfortable, but it will also save you the extra time and money of having to come back for multiple appointments.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Your Dental Implant Expert

It’s normal to feel anxiety when considering the possibility of putting in dental implants. The highly specialized team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to put your mind at ease. Our board-certified oral surgeons are skilled in dental implant insertion, and our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible before, during, and after your procedure.

We’d love to talk to you about sedation options and our recommendations while developing a treatment plan that’s right for you. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Call us today to schedule your free consultation!

Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Ear Pain?

Wisdom teeth removal can be spurred by a number of situations, including discomfort and crowding—but can wisdom teeth cause ear pain?

Problems with Wisdom Teeth

Although some people may go their entire life without any pain related to their wisdom teeth, this is not typical. Wisdom teeth become problematic when there isn’t enough room in your mouth for the teeth to fully come in.
Way back when our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, people had much larger jaws to accommodate more teeth used for chewing and grinding roots, tough meats, and other foods. In today’s world, our foods are prepared differently and are much easier to chew, negating the need for big strong wisdom teeth. Our jaws have since adapted and are smaller, causing problems when wisdom teeth grow in.
Too-small jaws can lead to wisdom teeth being impacted or even infected. Both are extremely painful!

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth cause ear pain, that’s a pretty good sign that they are impacted. This is caused by the tooth being blocked from fully erupting through the gums.
If a wisdom tooth’s path to erupting is blocked, it grows in at an angle and wreaks havoc on your gums and jaw. Some of the signs of an impacted wisdom tooth include:

  • Ear pain
  • Swelling, tenderness, and pain in gums
  • Bad breath
  • Achy jaw
  • Difficulty opening mouth

When it comes to wisdom teeth pain, don’t wait to speak to a professional. Removing impacted wisdom teeth in a timely manner will prevent infection and any further problems that could arise by leaving them in longer than necessary.

Infected Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth that are left untreated can cause infection. Brushing and flossing around impacted or partially erupted teeth is difficult, so food and bacteria can easily be caught in the teeth leading to tooth decay. Even more problematic is the likelihood that those bacteria will enter the gums, causing infection deep in the gums and jaw. Wisdom teeth infections come with their own set of nasty symptoms, including:

  • Pus from the gum
  • Sore throat
  • Difficult swallowing
  • Fever
  • Tender and inflamed gum
  • Pain near the infection site

If you experience these symptoms, speak with your dentist or oral surgeon promptly since infections can become serious very quickly.

When to Remove Wisdom Teeth

As a general rule of thumb, wisdom teeth should be removed when they start causing problems. For most adults, that’s between the ages of 17 and 21, but your dentist or oral surgeon can help you know when the time is right. Pain in your jaw, gums, and ear are a good sign that you should talk with an oral surgeon sooner rather than later.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you’re suffering from an earache and wondering if wisdom teeth cause ear pain, our team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to help. Impacted or infected wisdom teeth don’t stand a chance against us. Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants, jaw surgeries, and more. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!

Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Ear Pain

How Does Bad Oral Hygiene Affect Expectant Mothers?

There are many links between bad oral hygiene and pregnancy, but sadly, many mothers-to-be remain unaware.

Many people believe the myth that dental work during pregnancy is unsafe for the baby. Additionally, gag reflexes in expectant mothers can be increased, leading many women to avoid dental care throughout their child-birthing years.

Poor oral hygiene during pregnancy can lead to many health issues for the mother and baby.

Gingivitis and Other Gum Disease

Changes in hormonal balances during pregnancy can seriously disrupt gum health. The U.S. National Institute of Health found that roughly 40 percent of pregnant women develop gingivitis, causing their gums to swell and bleed frequently. Though it can be painful, the gingivitis usually goes away spontaneously after childbirth.

Another gum disease that is often found in pregnant women is called clinical attachment loss. This is a periodontal disease that causes the connective tissues in the mouth to detach. Women with attachment loss are more susceptible to giving birth to low-weight babies than those with healthy gums.

Tooth Decay

Expectant mothers are more likely to develop cavities than other men and women for a variety of reasons.

A vast majority of pregnancies involve nausea and vomiting. As if these symptoms aren’t bad enough on their own, they are the prime suspects for causing tooth decay during pregnancy. The acid that comes up through the mouth can wreak havoc on your enamel, wearing it down faster than most foods could.

Additionally, pregnant women are less likely to brush their teeth because the mouth tends to bleed much more often during pregnancy. With less brushing and the decreased flow of saliva, cavities develop much more quickly in expectant mothers than in an average person.

Effects on the Baby

Bad oral hygiene during pregnancy can lead to a myriad of problems for the mother and baby. Premature delivery and low birth weight are two of the most common.

According to the Center for Disease and Control, women with poor oral health and excessive cavities-causing-bacteria can transmit these harmful bacteria from their mouth to the mouth of their child. This can lead to excessive cavities at an early age for the child.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Even in the early weeks of pregnancy, it’s important for the dentist to know about any pregnancies before providing any work. Though most treatments are safe during pregnancy, a dentist may recommend postponing some procedures if the pregnancy is considered high-risk or the expectant mother has certain medical conditions.

Contrary to popular myth, x-rays during pregnancy are extremely safe. The dental provider will take extra precautions and use a lead apron, but the amount of radiation emitted during x-rays is very low.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Worried about bad oral hygiene during pregnancy? Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to set your mind at ease. Our board-certified oral surgeons take pride in treating each patient with the utmost care and concern. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Call us today for your free consultation!

How Does Bad Oral Hygiene Affect Expectant Mothers?

Expert Tips to Keep Your Teeth Healthy This Thanksgiving

Eat a delicious feast and keep your teeth healthy at the same time? Yes please! Oral health is of the utmost importance, after all.

Although Thanksgiving is notorious for its sugar and starch filled foods, it’s possible to enjoy your favorite dishes while not sacrificing your oral health. Follow our expert tips for keeping your teeth healthy this Thanksgiving, and you can add us to your list of things to be grateful for.

Maintain Balance – One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is savoring the tasty, seasonal dishes like turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Instead of eliminating foods that are high in sugars or carbohydrates, just focus on keeping balance. Enjoy the yams with marshmallow topping, but put some fresh veggies on your plate (and actually eat them) as well.

Drink Plenty of Water – Drinking a good amount of water around the holiday will make your Thanksgiving healthier and more enjoyable. Staying well hydrated with water helps wash bacteria off of your teeth and increases saliva production, leading to a healthier mouth. Following a delicious slice of pie with a glass of water helps remove the sugar from your mouth instead of allowing it to remain on your teeth. Additionally, drinking soda, wine or other drinks will make you feel full sooner so you can’t enjoy as much of your dinner.

Brush and Floss – As soon as possible after Thanksgiving dinner, whip out that toothbrush and dental floss and get to work. The biggest cause of tooth decay is sugar left on or around the teeth for extended periods of time; so the sooner you can get food residue out of your mouth, the better.

Enjoy Cheese and Veggies – The cheese plate is full of calcium containing foods that are great for your oral health. Cheeses are great for your enamel and helps prevent cavities. Fresh vegetables are another great option since they provide much needed vitamins and minerals. Chewing raw vegetables is also great for saliva production, which helps clear your mouth of unwanted sugars and bacterias.

Don’t Forget About the Kids – It’s easy to remember to brush your own teeth after a meal when you can feel the foods and sugars working in your mouth. Kids might not be as diligent so be sure to remind them to drink water often during the day and help them brush their teeth at night. Use these Thanksgiving activity pages from the American Dental Association to help kids remember to brush and floss.

Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Oral Healthcare Provider – If it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental cleaning, the holidays are a great time to get one scheduled. Aim for visiting your dentist twice a year for cleanings to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here!

Whatever your oral healthcare needs are, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to help keep your teeth healthy. Our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in dental implant placement, wisdom teeth removal, jaw surgeries and much more. Schedule your free consultation today! We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah.

Expert Tips to Keep Your Teeth Healthy This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner: The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Dishes for Your Oral Health

Although there are some great options for maintaining your oral health, many of the popular Thanksgiving foods are full of sugars and starches.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, bringing with it the dishes you’ve dreamed about eating all year long. Here’s our guide to navigate the best and worst Thanksgiving dishes for your dental health.

Best Dishes for Oral Health

This star of the Thanksgiving feast really packs a protein punch. Other than the occasional tough turkey that might get stuck in your teeth, it’s an excellent choice for your dental health.

Green Bean Casserole – Nearly all of the common components of green bean casserole are healthy, making the downsides of this dish nonexistent. Go ahead and indulge if this is one of those foods you wait all year for!

Two of the main ingredients in this Thanksgiving dish, milk and cheese, are high in calcium which is essential for strong and healthy teeth. The starches in the pasta aren’t ideal, but as long as you avoid overindulging and drink plenty of water, mac and cheese is in the clear.

Pumpkin Pie – Despite the high sugar content, pumpkin pie isn’t a terrible choice for keeping your mouth healthy. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A, which is key to building and maintaining tooth enamel. Be sure to follow a slice of pumpkin pie with a glass of water and brush your teeth soon after enjoying dessert.

Worst Dishes for Oral Health

Cranberry Sauce – it’s sticky, sweet and acidic for teeth making it #1 on the list of worst Thanksgiving foods for your teeth. If it’s eaten with a meal or on your turkey, cranberry sauce isn’t too troublesome. But eating a straight spoonful of this sugary culprit is definitely not advisable.

Mashed Potatoes – One of the most popular Thanksgiving dishes, mashed potatoes and gravy is teetering right on the edge of best/worst holiday foods for your dental health. On the positive end, potatoes provide a lot of important nutrients. The downside is the potential for bacteria developing from the starches in the potatoes. Add in a generous amount of gravy and the nutritional benefits are seriously diminished.

Candied Yams – Though yams themselves are full of good vitamins and minerals that promote healthy gums, candied yams have marshmallow and sugars added making them sticky and sweet. If you choose to enjoy these with your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to drink plenty of water to wash away the sugars from your mouth.

You can read what the American Dental Association has to say about these foods here, but in short, even the worst foods don’t need to be avoided altogether. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family, friends and food. Enjoy your favorite dishes and be sure to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you have concerns about your oral health this holiday season, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. We are your experts in wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgeries, implant placement and more. Our goal is to treat your concerns while ensuring you remain as comfortable as possible. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation! We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah.

Thanksgiving Dinner The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Dishes for Your Oral Health

How Does Sucking Thumbs Damage Kid’s Oral Health

Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for infants. Sucking thumbs, pacifiers and other toys brings comfort to young ones and helps calm and soothe them.

For most kids, thumbsucking is occasional and not concerning. There are cases when the habit is prolonged and presents serious oral health problems.

When Should Kids Stop Sucking Thumbs?

For infants, toddlers and even preschoolers, thumbsucking is natural and relatively harmless. But once a child turns four, it’s time to start getting serious about breaking the habit.

Thumb sucking after age four is more serious. Typically at this age the sucking starts to get more aggressive and habit forming, so most oral health professionals agree that thumb sucking should be stopped before a child reaches four years old.

Oral Health Problems From Sucking Thumbs

The problems that arise from thumbsucking are determined by the frequency, aggressiveness and duration of the habit. Naturally, the more frequent, aggressive and longer lasting the thumbsucking is, the greater the potential for oral health problems.

While it’s possible for thumbsucking to cause problems with baby teeth, the bigger concern is the long term impact on permanent teeth. The American Dental Association states that thumbsucking once permanent teeth start to come in may cause problems with tooth alignment and bite. This happens because the thumb puts pressure on the front teeth, causing them to jut forward so that they don’t touch the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed.

Additional problems can arise in the pallet (roof of the mouth) and the skeletal formation of the mouth.

How To Stop Kids From Sucking Their Thumbs

The potential problems that arise from thumbsucking aren’t small, and it’s best to try to stop children from hanging on to that habit past the age of four. Here are some tips to help:

  • Distraction: pay attention to the times and places kids most often suck thumbs and try to distract them with something else at that time/place
  • Positive reinforcement: offer rewards and excessive praise at times when your child doesn’t suck their thumb instead of scolding them for the behavior. Consider introducing a rewards chart with fun stickers and prizes for positive results.
  • Something on the thumb: products can be purchased that go on the thumb to discourage thumb sucking, like foul tasting nail polishes. Or you can find products in your own closet to help. It can be as simple as a bandage covering the thumb (make sure it’s too big to swallow) or a sock or glove covering the hand.
  • Wait it out: If you’ve tried everything and just can’t get your child to quit thumbsucking, be patient. It likely won’t happen overnight. All children will eventually give it up, often when they reach school age and feel social pressure to stop.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

If you are concerned about the impact that sucking thumbs has had on your child’s mouth, it’s a good idea to consult a professional. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are here to establish a treatment plan that you and your child feel comfortable with. We have offices throughout northern Utah in Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, and Tooele. Contact us today!

How Does Sucking Thumbs Damage Kid’s Oral Health

What Foods Should I Avoid After Oral Surgery?

It can be painful to even open your mouth after oral surgery, let alone chow down on a tough steak. Take extreme caution when choosing what to eat.

Although many oral surgeries are not considered major surgery, they are unique in nature because of their direct impact on your ability to eat. Here are some helpful tips in knowing what to avoid.

Avoid These Foods After Oral Surgery

As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid foods that are tough, crunchy or chewy for about seven days after your surgery and while you recover. Foods that are overly hard or brittle can be painful on a tender mouth. Avoid these foods, as well as any others that are difficult to chew:

  • Pizza
  • Rice
  • Popcorn
  • Meat, especially tough and chew meats
  • Apples
  • Chewy candy
  • Chips
  • Hard and dense breads

It’s also a good idea to avoid foods that are spicy or acidic. These foods can cause pain during and after eating. Additionally, you will most likely be on pain medication for a few days following your surgery so it’s important to avoid alcohol during that time.

Eat This Instead!

Though it may be tempting to grab a hamburger when you’re feeling hungry after surgery, there are some much better options for you and your mouth. Typically, for the first -3 days following your oral surgery, your surgeon will recommend a liquid only diet. These days can be challenging to get the proper nutrition, but try to maintain balance with foods like broths, juices and the occasional slushie. After the first phase of healing has passed and you get the go-ahead to start incorporating more soft foods into your diet, try some of these foods:

  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Yogurt
  • Soup with soft vegetables, purees, broths or cream soups
  • Protein shakes
  • Applesauce
  • Refried beans
  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Shakes and smoothies
  • Pudding
  • Very soft pastas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft cooked vegtables
  • Hummus

According to the American Dental Association, it’s important to seek out nutrient-rich foods including eggs and beans whenever possible to provide the vitamins and nutrients needed for healing after dental surgery. Most of the time, patients are able to resume their normal diet after seven days of eating soft foods only.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

Undergoing oral surgery is no small thing, and it’s normal to feel apprehensive at the prospect. Our team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is here to help every step of the way, from the initial consultation all the way to the follow-up visits, our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible. If you are feeling anxious or have any concerns about care or diet after oral surgery, just let us know and we’ll take the time to answer any and all of your questions. We service the greater Salt Lake County area and have offices in Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, and Tooele in Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

What Foods Should I Avoid After Oral Surgery?

Get To Know Us

Some Background on Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Whether you are in need of corrective jaw surgery, dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, or something else, the expert team at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is prepared to meet your oral healthcare needs. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield have extensive experience treating a wide variety of mouth, teeth, and facial problems.

The process of becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is extensive. After graduating from dental school, it requires an additional 4+ years of hospital-based surgical and anesthesia training. Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield practice the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery and can also diagnose and treat facial pain, injuries, and fractures.

Dr. Partridge

A Utah native, Dr. Partridge attended Utah State University for his undergraduate education and then continued on to the University of Louisville, where he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine and graduated with honors. His extensive surgical training in oral and maxillofacial surgery was completed at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

After completing surgical residency in 2006, Dr. Partridge proudly served in the United States Navy as a lieutenant commander, using his skills as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Through his service, Dr. Partridge treated Marines and sailors at a naval hospital in South Carolina. At the end of his tour, Dr. Partridge was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal for his service.

Dr. Partridge has published articles in the peer-reviewed Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and holds several other distinctions in the field, including being a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Maxfield

Dr. Maxfield grew up right here in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended the University of Utah for his undergraduate studies in biology, followed by dental school at the University of Louisville, where he graduated with high honors. He then completed his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, where he served as chief resident. His training in Virginia included extensive experience in the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, including both office and hospital-based surgical and anesthesia training.

Dr. Maxfield has been a guest lecturer to many groups nationwide, including the Virginia Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons on current therapies in facial trauma. Dr. Maxfield is fluent in Spanish and has participated in mission trips to Central America, where he was able to help children who had congenital or acquired facial deformities. Finally, back to his home in Utah, Dr. Maxfield finds great joy in providing quality service to his patients throughout Salt Lake County.

We Are The Experts in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Salt Lake County

If your oral health needs some attention and you live near Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Toole, Utah, is the answer you’ve been looking for. Each of our offices is home to a fully trained and certified team that is ready to provide you the superior service you expect from an oral surgeon. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.

Get To Know Us: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah

How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last?

Dentists use tooth fillings to treat tooth decay because they help strengthen the tooth and stop decay from spreading.

They make a great long-term solution to cavities, but even in the best of circumstances, they do not last forever. A variety of factors play into how long a filling will last, including the type of material used, your personal oral health routine, and the size and location of the filling.

Materials Used for Tooth Fillings

  • Amalgam Fillings: The most common type of filling is amalgam, made from a mixture of metals. These are durable, safe, and effective and have been in use for a very long time. Though other factors play into how long amalgam fillings will last, you can typically expect them to last about 15 years before they need to be replaced.
  • Composite Fillings: Rising in popularity due to the ability to color match them to your teeth, composite fillings are made of plastic particles and fine glass. Not quite as durable as amalgam, they are still expected to last about 7 to 10 years before needing replacing.
  • Less Common Materials: Gold and porcelain are also occasionally used for fillings, although these are much less common than amalgam and composite. Gold fillings are quite durable, lasting 10-15 years at a minimum and often lasting as long as 30 years. Porcelain has a much shorter life expectancy of less than 10 years, but both gold and porcelain fillings can be quite costly.

The Relationship Between Oral Hygiene and Fillings

Fillings take a lot of wear and pressure over time. If you tend to grind or clench your teeth, that pressure is increased significantly, and the fillings can crack or even fall out. A cracked filling will have a similar impact to a cracked tooth, allowing bacteria to get trapped and multiply, causing an increase in tooth pain and decay.

Additionally, composite fillings tend to discolor over time. This can be amplified by poor oral hygiene and drinking a lot of dark-colored drinks like sodas and coffee. Excessive discoloration can lead a lot of people to want to replace composite fillings sooner.

Filling Size and Location

The size of your filling has a large impact on how long it will last. Smaller ones mean that a majority of the tooth is still healthy, and therefore they will last much longer than larger ones that take over a tooth with much less healthy mass remaining. Large ones are far more likely to crack (note: gold fillings are not at risk of cracking), fall out, leak, or wear out over time.
Because large fillings are more susceptible to damage, those in the back of the mouth in larger teeth like molars tend not to last as long as fillings located in the smaller teeth at the front of the mouth.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for Your Oral Healthcare Needs

Whether you are in pain due to failed tooth fillings, you have concerns about cavities, or any other questions about your oral health, the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are here to help! We take great pride in giving each of our patients the personal care and attention they deserve while maintaining the highest quality of service. Call us today for your free consultation. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah.

Dental Fillings: How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last?

Does Weight Affect Your Chances of Developing Sleep Apnea?

When it comes to weight and developing sleep apnea, it’s like a vicious cycle. Sadly, excess weight can cause sleep apnea.

Likewise, the disrupted sleep caused by sleep apnea can lead to weight gain.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

If you’re experiencing any or all of the following symptoms, there’s a chance you might be developing sleep apnea:

  • Extreme and continual daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Periods of interrupted nighttime breathing
  • Abrupt nighttime waking while gasping or choking
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood changes, depression or difficulty concentrating

The Link Between Weight and Sleep Apnea

Though there are several other health conditions that can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it is most common in people who are overweight or obese. In fact, as many as 45% of obese adults may suffer from OSA. Excess weight on a person can contribute to sleep apnea in several ways:

  • Blocked airway – excess weight can create fat deposits in a person’s neck, called pharyngeal fat. During sleep, when the airway is relaxed, these fat deposits can block the upper airway making it difficult for air to pass through. Ergo: snoring.
  • Decreased lung volume – when a person carries extra weight around their abdomen, the chest wall may be compressed when laying down and lead to a decrease in lung capacity and air volume. Lower lung capacity = less airflow. Less airflow = interrupted breathing.
  • Increased pressure – throughout the body, excess weight increases the pressure on the airways and leads to problems breathing, particularly when the person is most relaxed and laying flat, hence SLEEP apnea. When the body is upright, the weight doesn’t impact the airways nearly as it does during sleep.

Can Weight Loss Cure Sleep Apnea?

While gaining wait can cause sleep apnea, weight loss can significantly improve and even eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea altogether. Working toward a healthy body weight can eliminate pharyngeal fat and increase lung capacity and airflow, as well as improving your overall quality of life.

Although losing weight may help with symptoms of sleep apnea, some of the causes of sleep apnea might be out of your control. Sometimes oral surgeries or devices like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may be required to help get you back to your most restful beauty sleep.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you think you might be developing sleep apnea, consult with an oral surgeon to determine if you have an oral condition that requires surgery. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, and more. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today.

Does Weight Affect Your Chances of Developing Sleep Apnea