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How to Deal with a Dry Socket

If you’re experiencing a sharp pain following your tooth extraction procedure, you most likely have a dry socket. It’s best to visit your dentist or oral surgeon to receive confirmation. They will ask you about your symptoms and examine your mouth to see if you have a blood clot in your tooth socket.  

So, what is a dry socket? More importantly, how do you cope with it? Find out below.

Information on Dry Socket

A socket is a hole in the bone where your tooth was removed. After tooth extraction, a blood clot will form in the socket to protect the nerves underneath. Unfortunately, sometimes that bone can become dislodged or dissolve a few days after your surgery; this can leave your bone and nerves exposed to food bits and air, which can worsen your pain.

Discover the symptoms of dry socket below. 

How Can I Tell If I Have a Dry Socket?

You should expect to feel pain after tooth extraction surgery, but it should be manageable with your prescribed medicine. However, if your pain worsens, you may have a dry socket. Everyone’s experience with this condition is different, but people generally experience the following:

  • A noticeable hole at the extraction site due to a dislodged clot
  • Pain that won’t go away a week after your tooth extraction procedure
  • Visible bone in the socket
  • Bad odor from the socket and bad breath that won’t go away no matter how much you brush your teeth
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • Pain that started at the site of the extraction but has spread to the rest of your mouth

How Can I Heal My Dry Socket?

Unfortunately, you can’t treat a dry socket at home, and you will need to visit your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. Do the following: 

Flush out your socket: Using a cotton swab, gently dab your socket to remove trapped food particles and other debris that may be causing pain. 

Medicated dressings: Your oral surgeon or dentist will coat your socket with medicated gel or paste, which will provide speedy relief. The degree of your pain will determine whether you need dressing changes and how much longer you need to keep receiving treatment. 

Prescription medication: Your dentist will also prescribe medication to help relieve your pain. Avoid taking pain relievers until you can consult with a professional because you will need a particular type of medication that helps with oral pain. 

Practice self-care: Once your dentist or oral surgeon removes your socket’s dressing, you will need to flush it out at home to promote healing and remove debris. You will receive instructions and a plastic syringe with a curved tip to squirt water or a prescription rinse into your socket. Continue this process until your socket no longer collects debris. 

Experiencing Dry Socket? Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Undergoing oral surgery is inherently stressful, and developing a dry socket afterward is never pleasant. If you experience this condition after a tooth extraction procedure, you can count on the board-certified oral surgeons from Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah to help you recover.

We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. You can count on us to address your questions and concerns so that you can have the best experience possible. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.

What is a Tooth Infection?

Your teeth are full of nerves, which is why a toothache, although it only impacts part of your mouth, is no minor matter. Dental pain can be debilitating, and it’s usually the result of an underlying problem. You might have a tooth infection, resulting in sensitivity, soreness, and sharp pain. 

Continue reading to learn more about tooth infection. 

Information on Tooth Infection

A tooth infection can occur due to a variety of reasons. Still, they primarily happen as the result of untreated tooth decay or a cracked tooth, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). If bacteria penetrate your tooth’s enamel, it can spread to the tender nerves in the tooth’s pulp tissue, which can cause an abscess. Abscessed teeth require treatment from your oral surgeon, and the longer you wait to seek help, the more complex and painful the infection becomes. 

Discover the signs of a tooth infection in today’s blog. 

Signs of Tooth Infection

A throbbing tooth and a sore throat are some of the first symptoms of an infection, and if left untreated, they can escalate to redness and swelling. Excessive swelling is an indication of a fever that your body may develop as an attempt to fight off the oral infection.

Furthermore, you may also notice a foul taste and bad breath that won’t go away, no matter how many times you brush and floss your teeth. Unfortunately, you might even have a broken tooth because infections usually go undetected within the core of the teeth. You may not notice any noticeable signs apart from pain and swelling. 

If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, your cavity may have progressed to an infection:

  • Fever
  • Swollen cheeks
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Throbbing pain in the jawbone, neck, or tooth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Pressure-related sensitivity 

If you experience swelling, fever, difficulty breathing, and swallowing, you should urgently seek medical attention because these are symptoms of severe infection that may have spread to your jawbone.

Risk Factors for Tooth Infection

Although tooth infections occur due to a variety of reasons, you may be more at risk if you experience the following:

Poor oral care: Neglecting your teeth and gums by not brushing twice a day or flossing can increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay or infection, and other dental problems. 

Consuming too much sugar: Eating and drinking foods and beverages high in sugar, such as sweets and sodas, can cause dental cavities that can turn into a tooth abscess. 

Dry mouth: Having a dry mouth can increase your chances of experiencing tooth decay. Dry mouth usually occurs as a side effect of certain medications or aging issues. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

A tooth infection can impact your entire mouth as well as the rest of your body. If you suspect you have an infection, you should consult with an oral surgeon immediately because you may require a tooth extraction procedure.

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. Our promise to you is a transparent and professional experience with your best interests at heart.

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

What Foods Should I Eat After Oral Surgery?

After oral surgery, you may experience soreness and weakness in your jaw, making it difficult to chew. Depending on the severity of your surgery, this feeling can last from a few hours to weeks. For instance, if you’re getting multiple teeth extracted, you may be unable to eat solid foods for at least one week. 

So, what foods can you eat after a dental procedure? Find out in today’s blog. 

Why Are Some Foods Off Limits After Oral Surgery?

Although no one likes feeling restricted, you should stick to your oral surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. There are several foods you won’t be able to eat, either because they’re too hard to chew or are sticky. It’s essential to avoid them because you don’t want to injure yourself and spend more time at your oral surgeon’s office. Right now isn’t the time to fret over your diet.

Remember, you’re healing from major surgery, and recoveries are complicated. To help you through this tough time, we have compiled a list of foods you can enjoy.  

1. Smoothies

Most people will tell you to load up on ice cream pints to make milkshakes, but as professionals, we’re here to tell you that may not be the best idea. Even if you have a sweet tooth, your oral surgeon will prescribe a strong dose of antibiotics; if you eat too many sweet foods while on antibiotics, it can damage your gut microbiome. 

We’re not discouraging you from making smoothies, but you should use a blend of probiotic-rich yogurt, frozen fruits, and cocoa powder. Keep in mind; you can’t use a straw until you heal, so add milk or water to your smoothies to ensure they have a thin consistency. 

2. Soups

You probably guessed soup would be on our list—and you’re right. However, not all soups are enjoyable after a dental procedure. If you’re like most people, you associate chicken noodle soup with recovering from illness, but you shouldn’t eat this after surgery. Avoid eating chunky add-ins, such as chicken, until you can move your jaw without feeling pain. 

Use a strainer for the first few days to separate noodles, meat, and vegetables from your soup. Add them back into your broth after you chop them into smaller pieces or blend them. 

3. Eggs

Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to go back to the basics. We recommend you make a plate of soft-scrambled eggs. Stir your eggs until they’re barely firm and add your favorite cheese to give them more flavor. Transfer onto your favorite plate. Your eggs should continue cooking as they cool down. It’s a hearty, easy meal to make while you recover. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Oral surgery might sound frightening, but an experienced surgeon will listen to your needs and help you with post-operative care. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, you can count on our-board certified oral surgeons to put your needs first. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, bone grafting, and more. 

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

What Does Laughing Gas Do?

Most dental visits are standard, meaning a dental hygienist will scrape plaque from your teeth’s surfaces and polish them to lift stains. You can also expect your dentist to take a peek under your tongue to check for signs of illness. However, not all your visits go this smoothly, and you may need to undergo an oral surgery that requires laughing gas administration. 

You have undoubtedly heard of laughing gas, but do you know what it does? Find out more about this substance in today’s blog. 

Information on Laughing Gas

Laughing gas, scientifically known as nitrous oxide, is a local sedation method. It’s both color-less and odor-less. Laughing gas is one of the most effective sedatives because it relaxes patients with the pleasurable feelings it emits. 

Continue reading to learn about the potential side effects of laughing gas. 

Short-Term Effects of Laughing Gas

Most patients who receive laughing gas don’t experience adverse reactions. However, someone might experience side effects as a result of inhaling too much gas.

Short-term side effects include:

  • Shivering
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Sadly, some people experience hallucinations or sound distortion after inhaling this substance, but these occurrences are rare. Some oral surgeons administer oxygen alongside the laughing gas. Other surgeons administer oxygen for five minutes once they turn off the nitrous oxide equipment. Oxygen helps balance out the effects laughing gas can have on the body so that you might feel alert again minutes after your procedure. Inhaling oxygen can also help you avoid the side effects of laughing gas altogether. 

You should be able to drive home after inhaling laughing gas, but we recommend you wait 15 minutes after your procedure, so it exits your system. 

Some people have allergic reactions to laughing gas, so watch out for the following signs:

  • Chills
  • Hives
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

Visit urgent care immediately if you experience these symptoms. 

Long-Term Effects of Laughing Gas

Currently, there are no known long-term side effects to inhaling laughing gas; however, problems may arise if you experience long-term exposure to it. Some of the harmful effects of long-term exposure to this gas can include vitamin B-12 deficiency and developing anemia. 

Your dentist or oral surgeon knows the precise amount to administer, so you shouldn’t worry about inhaling too much of it for an extended period; this is why it’s important to only consult with board-certified dental professionals. 

You may not be able to inhale laughing gas if you experience the following:

  • A mental health condition
  • A history of substance abuse
  • A respiratory illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • You’re in the first trimester of pregnancy

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Sedation can be an intimidating prospect to individuals who have never had surgery. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah have spent years doing anesthesia training to ensure that you have a positive experience.

We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more.

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

How to Find a Dentist Who is Supportive of Dental Phobia

Do you feel anxious at the thought of visiting your dentist? Significant dental anxiety causes people to delay their dental visits or even avoid their dentist and oral surgeon altogether, often resulting in a decline of their general health. Visiting your dentist twice a year is crucial so that your dentist can determine if you have signs of oral health problems early, when they may be easier to treat. 

Nothing good comes out of avoiding your dentist or oral surgeon, but we understand it’s not easy for some people to make peace with their fears.

Learn more about dental phobia below. 

Understanding Dental Phobia

The following terms are used by psychologists to describe dental phobia: dental fear, dental anxiety, dentophobia, dentist phobia, and odontophobia. They all mean the same thing: an irrational fear of visiting the dentist to receive dental care. In many cases, individuals develop dental phobia due to past traumatic experiences at the dentist.

This fear typically manifests because they experienced pain during their check-up or had a negative interaction with their dentist. If you experience dental phobia, here are a few tips that can help you manage your fears.

Be Open with Your Dentist

Many patients who have dental phobia feel embarrassed to address their anxiety out of fear of judgment, but they shouldn’t feel ashamed. By talking to your dentist or oral surgeon about your worries, they can better accommodate your needs. Most dentists understand and empathize with nervous patients, and they have the training to help put your mind at ease.

One recommended approach your dentist or oral surgeon can take is the “tell-show-do” strategy, which helps create trust and certainty between patients and dentists. Your dentist or oral surgeon will make sure you know what to expect during your visit by explaining every step involved in your check-up. They can also introduce you to the tools and equipment they will use so that you don’t have to grapple with uncertainty.

Furthermore, your dentist or oral surgeon may also suggest other coping strategies, such as rest breaks and shared signals in the event you want them to pause a procedure to soothe your nerves. 

Using Distractions as a Coping Mechanism

Today, most dental offices are equipped with televisions, earbuds for listening to music, and other entertainment options that patients can use. You can ask your dentist or oral surgeon if you can watch a TV show, movie, or listen to music. Ask them if you can wear headphones since they can block out drills and other noises that may make you uncomfortable. Focusing on visual or audio stimuli can help people with dental anxiety feel more relaxed.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Dental phobia can be debilitating, and if left untreated, you may avoid your dentist for years, which can deteriorate your oral and general health. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we understand the complexities of this fear, and we’re ready to help you overcome it so that you can receive the dental care you need. 

Our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

Can Your Mouth Reject a Dental Implant?

Getting a dental implant procedure is not an event that anyone takes lightly because it’s a serious surgery that involves a delicate part of the body. Unfortunately, this procedure can go awry if an experienced oral surgeon doesn’t conduct it. That said, when a seasoned oral surgeon takes over the surgery, most tooth implant procedures are successful. 

So, why do some people experience dental implant failure? Continue reading to find out. 

What is Dental Implant Failure?

Some patients wonder if there are any steps they can take to reduce their risk of dental implant failure; after all, they have invested time and money into this procedure. Sometimes, implant failure is beyond anyone’s control because there are only a few steps you can take to prevent rejection. The good news is that dental implant failure is rare.

It’s essential to stay educated on the matter in the event you experience implant rejection. Here are the primary three causes of dental implant failure. 

1. Early Dental Implant Rejection

Some people’s bodies are sensitive to foreign objects, which can include piercings, needles pricking them, and even dental implants. They may unknowingly have allergies that can cause their body to reject the implant before the bone fully heals. 

For instance, some patients unknowingly have a metal allergy. Since dental implant posts are generally made of metal, an oral surgeon must know if a patient has this condition so that they can choose an alternative post material. Tell your dentist or oral surgeon of any allergies you may have as soon as you discover them. 

2. Late Dental Implant Rejection

Although this type of rejection is similar to early dental implant failure, this one occurs once a person’s bones heal. It’s typically a result of negligence, such as inadequate home care, dental hygiene, or postoperative trauma. Furthermore, dental implants may also be rejected due to misaligned teeth. Smoking may also result in dental implant rejection, though this is a new area of research. 

3. Inadequate Dental Hygiene

Although dental implants aren’t capable of decaying like natural teeth, it’s still crucial to treat them like you would your natural ones. We recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day; aim to brush them when you wake up and before bed. Some people even brush theirs after every meal. 

Consider investing in an ultrasonic toothbrush, which can mimic professional dentist tools that can remove trapped particles and plaque build-up. Don’t forget to floss! You should floss once a day, preferably before you go to sleep. Remember, your teeth’s bones are still susceptible to infection and disease due to poor oral hygiene—even if you have dental implants. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Experiencing dental implant rejection is both frustrating and painful. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah specialize in dental implant insertion. If you suffer from implant failure, you can count on us to stop it before it progresses. 

Our promise is a transparent and professional experience with each patient’s best interests at heart. 

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

Can I Pull a Loose Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth can cause pain at any age. Most of the time, these molars need to be removed. However, some people refuse to get theirs extracted professionally because they’re scared of experiencing pain. 

Is it possible to pull out your wisdom teeth without expert intervention? Find out in today’s blog. 

Removing Your Wisdom Teeth: Should You Do It?

A certified oral surgeon should only perform wisdom teeth extraction. You should never attempt to remove your molars because it can result in further complications. For instance, you may injure yourself and develop dry socket (a dental condition where the protective blood clot fails to grow after you have a tooth extracted). 

If your dentist believes you need your wisdom teeth removed, they will provide you with an X-ray of your mouth so that you can schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon. Continue reading to learn about how to get your wisdom teeth safely removed. 

How Do I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

According to the American Dental Association, individuals ages 16 to 19 should schedule an appointment with their dentist to see if extraction is necessary. It’s important to note that there is no perfect age to get these teeth extracted; however, the sooner one does it, the faster they can experience relief. Consider getting your wisdom teeth removed if you’re experiencing the following: 

Wisdom teeth impaction: Impacted teeth can grow sideways or crooked, which can result in more significant problems.

Overcrowded mouth: Crowding occurs when teeth are too close together and push neighboring teeth. A crowded mouth can result in pain and lead to an infection due to the presence of bacteria. 

Sharp pain: If your wisdom teeth are causing pain to the point where you can’t talk or chew, it may be time to visit your dentist or oral surgeon. 

The Dangers of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If your wisdom teeth have developed, but they don’t erupt, they may be impacted. Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt are known as impacted wisdom teeth. If yours are impacted, they’re likely to grow at an angle due to a lack of space. Regardless of if your wisdom teeth hurt or not, we recommend removing them to prevent the following:

  • Tooth pain at the site, which can expand to the rest of your mouth
  • Persistent headaches
  • Trapped food that can decay your teeth
  • Damage to neighboring teeth and gums
  • Pain in the jawbone
  • Burning gums
  • Bacterial growth in the gumline
  • Development of a tumor or cyst near the tooth
  • Oral infection
  • Shifting teeth
  • Gum and jaw diseases


Remember, only a dentist can confirm if you require wisdom tooth extraction surgery, and you should never attempt to yank out your teeth. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Although not everyone needs to remove their wisdom teeth, most people proceed with the surgery to prevent further oral complications. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah specialize in wisdom tooth extraction and dental implant insertion. We strive to provide our patients with the best oral care at an affordable price.

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

How Long After Tooth Extraction Can I Eat on that Side?

Before you undergo a tooth extraction procedure, such as wisdom teeth removal, it’s crucial to discuss the procedure at length with your oral surgeon. Although researching before surgery is beneficial, you don’t have to worry about becoming an expert. Your surgeon will provide you with in-depth aftercare instructions for your tooth extraction recovery. 

Learn more about postoperative care in today’s blog. 

After Surgery, When Can I Eat Again?

Approximately an hour after surgery, you may remove the gauze sponges your surgeon placed in your mouth so that you’re able to eat. Stick to soft foods the first 24 hours after surgery and avoid all hot or cold ones. Although this may sound counterintuitive, avoid drinking from a straw until you fully heal because the suction can dislodge the blood clot and prolong your healing time. 

Continue reading to find out what foods you should and shouldn’t eat after your procedure.

How to Eat Your Food

Once you’re ready to eat again, your approach will be just as important as the foods you eat. We recommend you strictly chew on the side of your mouth opposite from the treated area. Although it’s harder to eat this way, you don’t want to lengthen your healing time by chewing when you’re not ready to do so. 

Take small bites with your untreated side. Cut your food into small pieces when possible. 

What Should I Eat After Surgery?

Not only should the foods you eat after surgery be soft and comfortable to chew, but they should also contain minerals, vitamins, and protein to assist wound healing. We recommend you eat the following:

Blended soups: Blended soups, such as pumpkin or tomato soup, are the perfect staple foods after surgery. You will be able to meet your daily nutrition quota during a time where you can’t eat most fruits and vegetables. 

Greek yogurt: Do you have a sweet tooth? Greek yogurt is a healthy and high protein treat you can enjoy after surgery. Its smooth, creamy texture can be soothing, which can help numb the pain. 

Mashed potatoes: If you’re looking for comfort food after surgery, you can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes. This classic dish is packed with calories and nutrients, which are essential for recovery. Remember, you need to avoid hot foods, so make sure your mashed potatoes are lukewarm. 

What Foods Should I Avoid After Surgery?

For the week after surgery, you should avoid eating hard, chewy, crunchy foods, such as chips, nuts, and popcorn. You will also find it difficult to chew through cuts of meat. Additionally, you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours after surgery. If you’re taking potent pain medications, avoid drinking alcohol until you no longer need medication. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Have you scheduled your tooth extraction surgery yet? The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah specialize in tooth extraction, dental insertion procedures, and several others. We strive to provide our patients with the highest quality care at an affordable price. 

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

Why Are My Teeth Rotting Even Though I Brush and Floss?

Do you brush, floss, and use mouthwash every day, only to still have a mouth full of cavities? Sadly, maintaining a proper oral hygiene regimen doesn’t guarantee you’re safe from rotting teeth. 

So, why do some people never seem to get cavities, while others can’t get away from them? Find out in today’s blog. 

Information on Cavities

Cavities, also known as tooth decay and caries, are among the first indicators of rotting teeth. They’re permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into small openings or holes. These holes can take over your mouth due to a variety of factors, including frequent snacking, excess bacteria, not cleaning your teeth diligently, and drinking sugary drinks daily. Cavities are especially common in children, teenagers, and young adults. 

Even if you brush your teeth every morning and night, you may develop cavities due to the following three factors.

1. Dry Mouth

We all need to produce saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths. Did you know saliva helps you digest your food? Moreover, it provides your mouth with protection by controlling bacteria and fungi formation, which can weaken your teeth’s enamel.

Children with the following conditions are more susceptible to developing dry mouth:

  • Large tonsils and adenoids
  • Tethered oral tissues, such as tongue or lip tie
  • Food allergies
  • Seasonal allergies that result in nose blockage, especially if your child starts to breathe through their mouth

It’s crucial to take your child to the dentist twice a year since they’re more prone to cavity development.

2. Lack of a Nutritional Diet

Feeding the bacteria inside your mouth with their favorite foods will lead to multiplication, wreaking more havoc on your oral health. Bacteria feast off of sticky foods, which can stick to your teeth’s surfaces and produce acid. Acidic pH can eventually deteriorate your teeth’s enamel. 

Additionally, excess sugars and carbs can also produce large amounts of bacteria. Eating the following foods each day can be detrimental to your oral health: 

  • Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Chips
  • Rice
  • Pasta

Indulging in foods that are high on carbs, sodas, and other sugary sweets once in a while won’t harm you. However, we recommend you brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking sugary treats to minimize dental damage. Drinking water afterward also helps to prevent bacteria from gathering. 

3. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is a complex yet essential biological process we participate in each night. It plays a vital role in controlling our brain and bodily functions, and a lack of it can result in sleep deprivation. Not getting enough rest can result in an immunity decrease, systemic inflammation, and a hormone imbalance. If you suffer from a weakened immune system, your mouth won’t be able to defend itself against bacteria, resulting in gum disease. 

We recommend you aim to get approximately eight hours of sleep each night to protect your overall health. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Brushing and flossing your teeth can help keep your teeth happy, but you should also schedule a professional cleaning twice a year. If your dentist believes you need oral surgery as a result of rotting teeth, you can count on Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. 

Our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in a variety of procedures, which include tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, and more. 

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

What Aggravates Sleep Apnea?

Do you snore loudly or feel exhausted after getting a good night’s rest? It might be time to discuss symptoms of sleep apnea with a doctor. Over 18 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in the U.S., according to the National Sleep Foundation. For most individuals who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, their sleep apnea may go undiagnosed. 

Discover why sleep apnea can be dangerous. 

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, memory loss, parasomnias, and insulin resistance. Furthermore, there’s a link between severe sleep apnea, drops in oxygen blood levels, and premature death. If you suspect this disorder, you should consult with your doctor to obtain a diagnosis so that you can prevent further complications.

Learn more about aggravating factors that can impact OSA in today’s blog.

Sleeping the Wrong Way

Although there is no “right” way to sleep, individuals with OSA must avoid sleeping in certain positions. A sleep exam might reveal that sleeping on your back leads to increased disrupted breathing. Individuals who sleep this way run the risk of experiencing collapsed soft tissues in their airways, which can block the passage of air. For some people, the use of positional therapy to stay asleep on their sides can be helpful. 

Consuming Too Much Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can negatively impact your sleep if you have OSA. Although this substance might make you feel sleepy, it can lead to insomnia as it exits your system. Additionally, if you mix alcohol with muscle relaxants, it can make your upper airways more collapsible. Fortunately, you can control this risk factor. It’s best to avoid drinking before bedtime. 

Gaining Weight

Gaining weight to the point of becoming overweight or obese may have a significant impact on your sleep apnea. If your airways are already narrow, the deposition of fat at your tongue’s base and along the airway can worsen your condition. Losing weight can help reduce your snoring and sleep apnea. Your doctor can help you develop a diet and exercise plan to help you safely lose weight. 

Aging

Aging can worsen an individual’s sleep apnea, but this factor is out of one’s control. Since you lose muscle tone in your arms and legs, you also lose definition within your airway; this can compromise its ability to stay open. On the bright side, the incidence of this condition typically levels off at around age 65.

How Can I Reduce the Risks?

Although you can reduce several of the risks that aggravate sleep apnea, some are out of your control. Discuss the risks you face with your sleep specialist to find the ideal solution for you. You may need to use an oral appliance or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help you get the best rest possible. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you have sleep apnea, you know how much this condition interferes with your daily life, both in your sleep and while you’re awake. People with OSA are more susceptible to unknowingly damaging their teeth and may develop bruxism (teeth grinding). 

If you receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, consult with an oral surgeon to determine if you have an oral condition that requires oral 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. Schedule your free consultation today.