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What Is Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia, also known as dentophobia, is a term therapists and psychologists use to describe the fear and anxiety a person may experience in a dental setting. People who are scared of visiting their dentist or oral surgeon may avoid dental treatment entirely. 

Continue reading to learn about the effects of dental phobia. 

Dental Phobia Can Result in Complications

Dental phobia varies dramatically from person to person, and it’s typically the result of genetics or trauma. Some people can avoid their dentists for years without experiencing significant teeth and gum damage, whereas others are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. You shouldn’t avoid seeing your dentist because if you have oral health problems, they can result in infection, which can impact your general health. 

In today’s blog, we will discuss the symptoms of dental phobia as well as coping mechanisms.

Types of Dentophobia

Dentophobia is divided into the following elements:

  • The dentist: Some people have a fear of IRS auditors and surgeons, but others have an irrational fear of dentists. If you’ve had a negative experience with a particular dentist, you may think all dentists are the same. 
  • Pain: Completely painless dentistry is impossible, and most procedures involve some degree of pain. Most people are sensitive to oral pain, and some people with dental phobia may believe the discomfort will last forever.
  • Noises: Some people with dentophobia are afraid of the sounds that come from a dentist’s office. For instance, some patients may go numb when they hear the sound of a drill. 
  • Needles: If you’re afraid of needles, you may be terrified of the needles dentists use to numb a patient’s mouth. 

What Causes Dental Phobia?

Dental anxiety is usually caused by:

  • A traumatic dental experience or other healthcare experiences
  • Previous head or neck trauma
  • Generalized anxiety, depression, or PTSD
  • Feeling like your personal space is being invaded
  • Fear of losing control
  • Trust issues

How Can I Tell If I Have Dental Phobia?

People with dental phobia usually experience the following when talking about the dentist:

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure, which can lead to fainting
  • Visible distress, which may include crying
  • Withdrawal, or using humor to mask panic

Some anxious patients frequently miss their dental appointments or refuse to schedule one in the first place.

How Can I Cope With Dental Phobia?

If your dentophobia is paralyzing, we recommend you consult with a licensed mental health professional before seeking dental treatment. A therapist or psychologist can help you get over your fear by guiding you through these techniques:

  • Deep breathing
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Guided imagery
  • Hypnosis
  • Progressive muscle relaxation

Once your phobia is manageable, you will be able to visit your dentist or oral surgeon. When you schedule your consultation, explain you have dentophobia and need accommodations. Ask your dentist or oral surgeon if you can watch television or listen to music during your appointment. Alternatively, you can also ask for sedatives to fall asleep. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help You

Although dental phobia is debilitating, you must try your best to routinely visit your dentist or oral surgeon to stay on top of your oral and general health. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral surgeons have experience at working with people of all backgrounds. We will tend to your needs and treat you with the utmost respect. Contact us today.

Do All Cavities Need Fillings?

If your dentist detects cavities, they will offer to fill them in, even if they’re small. A dental filling is crucial to protect your mouth from further decay. If left untreated, your tooth will grow worse as the cavity deepens. 

Learn more about cavities and how they can negatively impact your dental health.

Cavities Explained

A cavity is a hole in the tooth, often the final result of tooth decay. These holes grow when dental plaque (food particles, bacteria, and minerals) grows on the tooth’s surface due to inadequate hygiene. The bacteria transform the sugar in food particles to acid, eating away at the tooth’s enamel. Minor, surface cavities can eventually extend into the deeper layers of your tooth. 

Discover why you must get your cavities filled in as soon as possible.

Can I Detect Cavities On My Own?

Cavities appear as a pale or dark spot then gradually decay into a yellow or brown color. Inspect your mouth with a mirror once a month to detect any tooth discoloration early on. Unfortunately, if you’re growing cavities between two teeth or the back of a tooth, you may not be able to detect them. 

We recommend you visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups. They can spot cavities in their early stages before they deteriorate your oral health. Your dentist will perform an oral radiograph to detect them. 

Early tooth decay is innocuous, so without a regular checkup, you won’t be able to tell you have a cavity until it begins to chip away at your tooth. Once a cavity reaches your tooth’s root, your teeth will become sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. Furthermore, you will be at risk for developing a dental abscess; this will make it difficult to open your mouth.

The Varying Degrees of Cavity Treatment

The sooner you consult with your dentist, the higher the chance they can stop your tooth decay in its tracks before it becomes painful. If you receive treatment early, you might only need to undergo a simple fluoride treatment to restore your tooth’s enamel. 

However, if you’re experiencing sharp pain and sensitivity, you might need extensive treatment. Your dentist may recommend the following depending on the severity of your decay:

Mild cavities: Dentists and oral surgeons treat these cavities with fillings, also known as restorations. They will drill away the damaged tooth and fill in the defect with restorative materials that vary in strength and cost. 

Large cavities: You may require a crown. Your dentist or oral surgeon will drill into your natural crown and replace it with a covering.

Pulp cavities (severe damage): You may need to undergo a root canal. Your oral surgeon will remove the diseased pulp before inserting a filling. If the damage is too severe, you might need to undergo tooth extraction surgery. After this procedure, your oral surgeon will insert a dental implant into the gap. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Is Here for You

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to prevent cavities. If your dentist believes you need oral surgery, you can contact the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. 

We’re still operating during this COVID-19 outbreak, and we’re taking extra measures to ensure our patients stay safe. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.

What Are the Pros and Cons to Mouthwash?

Brushing your teeth and flossing are the cornerstones of a healthy oral hygiene routine, and some people complement this routine with mouthwash. Who doesn’t love that minty freshness that comes from a daily swig of mouthwash? Not only does this product freshen your breath, but it also promotes better oral health. 

Explore different mouthwash options to enhance your dental health.

Choosing the Perfect Mouthwash

When you’re shopping for mouthwash, consider your oral care needs and look for one that addresses them. For instance, if you’re concerned with surface stains on your enamel, choose a mouthwash with whitening properties. If you have weak gums, then you may want to opt for one that kills the bacteria that result in gingivitis. 

Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of mouthwash.

The Pros of Using Mouthwash

Some of the benefits of mouthwash include:

  • Reduction in cavities: If your mouthwash contains fluoride, it can help combat cavities because it reduces the demineralization and cavitation of your teeth. Fluoride rinse mouthwash contains approximately 0.05 percent sodium fluoride, which protects against tooth decay. 
  • Keeps gum disease at bay: An anti-plaque or antiseptic mouthwash can help stunt the growth of bacteria that leads to periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis. Some of the active ingredients in these types of mouthwashes include thymol, triclosan, and chlorhexidine. 
  • Protects your pregnancy: Believe it or not, a study conducted by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that pregnant women who use antibacterial mouthwash are less likely to go into preterm labor. On the other hand, the bacteria found in periodontal diseases can get into a pregnant woman’s bloodstream and increase inflammatory markers; this can result in severe contractions. 
  • Whiter teeth: If you’re self-conscious about your smile, you should consider a mouthwash with teeth whitening properties. This type of wash contains bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, that can lead to a whiter and brighter smile. 
  • Soothes mouth ulcers: If you’re susceptible to canker sores, mouthwash can detox the area, reducing the bacteria that can irritate the site. You can also rinse with salt water to soothe mouth sores. 

The Cons of Using Mouthwash

There are a few disadvantages to using mouthwash, such as:

  • Mouthwash may be linked to oral cancer: There’s a raging debate whether mouthwash that contains alcohol can lead to oral cancer that dates back to the 1970s. It’s best to talk to your dentist or oral surgeon before using rinses that contain high alcohol levels. 
  • It can increase your teeth’s sensitivity: High alcohol levels can dissolve your mucus layer, leaving your teeth vulnerable. 
  • Temporarily masks bad breath: If you don’t brush or floss your teeth, mouthwash will only mask foul breath. It’s the equivalent of using body spray instead of showering. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Is Here for You

To mouthwash or not to mouthwash? We recommend you use this product as long as it contains moderate alcohol levels. If you have other oral health questions, you can reach out to the board-certified surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We specialize in tooth extraction, implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re taking extra precautions to keep our patients safe, but rest assured we’re still in business. Contact us with any questions you may have. 

Can Dehydration Cause Mouth Problems?

Staying hydrated is not only essential for your body but also for your smile. Now that spring has begun, you’re going to see the sun more; this means you’re going to sweat more, and excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause dizziness and fatigue, and it can also harm your smile. 

Continue reading to learn how dehydration can result in mouth problems.

Why Is Dehydration Harmful to My Dental Health? 

Saliva production plays a critical role in your dental health. It helps clear away bacteria, food, maintains soft tissues, and serves your mouth’s bloodstream. Dry mouth occurs when you’re not producing enough saliva, resulting in dehydration. A lack of saliva can create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, leading to cavities and infections. 

Learn more about the importance of staying hydrated as it pertains to your oral health.

Why is Saliva Important? 

Although reading about saliva isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time, it’s important to understand why saliva production is crucial. Saliva helps you:

  • Freshen up your breath: You may be surprised to learn this, but saliva helps keep your breath fresh by continuously washing your teeth, gums, and tongue. On the other hand, a dry mouth can result in bad breath (halitosis). 
  • Whiten your teeth: Saliva reduces stains by rinsing off food and drink before they can decay your enamel. 
  • Strengthen your enamel: Saliva produces fluoride, calcium, and phosphate ions for your enamel. Not only does this strengthen your teeth, but it can also lead to microscopic dental repairs. 
  • Prevent gum disease: Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by plaque and bacteria build-up. Saliva can reduce this build-up by washing away bacteria. 

Since dry mouth is usually the first tell-tale symptom of dehydration, it gives you a head start on replenishing, which can reduce oral health problems. 

Symptoms of Dehydration that Impact Your Mouth

Dry mouth isn’t the only symptom of dehydration. Here are other symptoms that can affect your oral health: 

  • Bad breath
  • Cracked lips
  • Sticky or dry tongue
  • Swollen tongue
  • Flaking skin around the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Teeth pain
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Receding gum line

If you experience multiple symptoms, you must visit your dentist or oral surgeon immediately because they may signify a larger problem. 

How Can I Combat Dry Mouth? 

The best way to keep dry mouth at bay is to drink sufficient water every day so that you’re continuously producing saliva. We recommend you drink 30 to 50 ounces of water per day, which is approximately 1.5 liters. 

Other ways to prevent dry mouth include: 

  • Chewing: Whether you’re munching on sugar-free gum or you’re eating breakfast, chewing causes your mouth’s muscles to compress and release saliva. 
  • Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and salt intake: These products dry out your mouth. 
  • Using a humidifier: This device increases humidity in the air, helping you breathe better. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you’re experiencing oral health problems due to chronic dehydration, you should consult with an oral surgeon. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you find relief. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. 

We understand you may be practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we want you to know we’re here for you. Your dental health can’t wait, and we’re taking extra precautions to ensure our patients stay safe. Reach out to us if you have any questions.

How Can I Make My Teeth Healthier?

Proper oral hygiene is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing your teeth in the morning and night and scheduling routine dental checkups. 

In today’s blog, we will discuss the importance of practicing adequate oral care.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

When you think about oral care, you probably only consider cavities and gum disease. However, there’s a correlation between your oral health and your overall health. Left untreated, cavities, and gum disease can lead to pain, low self-esteem, and tooth loss. 

Follow our expert advice to keep your teeth, gums, and overall health in check.

1. Carefully Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the most crucial practices for reducing plaque and bacteria to keep teeth clean. However, brushing is only useful if you do it the right way. You may be surprised to learn this, but you should only brush your teeth in small, circular motions. Additionally, you should clean the front, back, and top of each tooth. 

We recommend you brush your teeth for about three minutes, but we also don’t expect you to set up a stopwatch each time you brush. Instead, you can play a song that lasts about three minutes to help you keep track of time. Make sure it’s a song you enjoy!

Furthermore, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can deteriorate your tooth enamel and gums. If you roughhouse your teeth, you may end up with tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to your protective enamel, and gum erosion. 

According to the American Dental Association, you should switch out your toothbrush every three months. 

2. Don’t Underestimate Fluoride

Fluoride comes from an element found in soil called fluorine. It helps prevent cavities, and it’s a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash; however, not all dental products contain it. A lack of fluoride can result in tooth decay, even if you otherwise take care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing won’t combat cavities if you’re not using fluoride. 

Fortunately, several counties in the U.S. have added fluoride to their water supply, as recommended by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the American Dental Association. 

Reverse osmosis water filters strip water of fluoride, and most bottled water companies don’t use it. Does the water in your county contain fluoride? Find out by contacting your local government. 

3. Don’t Forget to Floss

Many people skip flossing because they find it too difficult. However, it’s vital to your dental health because it removes plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, which are the areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Moreover, it helps prevent bad breath by removing debris and trapped food from between your teeth. 

When you’re flossing, you should gently push your floss all the way down to your gum line and hug each side of your tooth using up-and-down motions. 

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

In addition to following the above guidelines, you should consult with your dentist twice a year. If your dentist recommends oral surgery, you can count on the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, bone grafting, and more. Schedule your free consultation today. 

How Sleep Apnea Wreaks Havoc On Your Health

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 in 5 people in the United States live with this disorder. 

Continue reading to learn more about the different types of sleep apnea.

The Three Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea presents itself in three distinct forms: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea. Although they share similar symptoms, the causes of these three types of sleep apnea are different. Treatment varies by type, so it’s essential to determine which type you have before trying at-home remedies and professional treatment. 

In today’s blog, we will discuss the three types of sleep apnea in-depth, and how they can wreak havoc on your health.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when something is obstructing your air passageway. Once your throat muscles relax, your tongue or other tissue falls back into your throat, which blocks your airflow; this limits the amount of oxygen that reaches your lungs. 

The three levels of OSA are: mild, moderate, and severe. 

  • A person with mild OSA experiences five to 14 breathing interruptions per hour 
  • A person with moderate OSA experiences 15 to 30 breathing interruptions per hour 
  • A person with severe OSA experiences over 30 breathing interruptions per hour

Symptoms of OSA include:

  • Snoring: Although snoring is normal, people with OSA snore loudly and frequently. 
  • Waking up: If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air, you may have OSA. 
  • Daytime fatigue: Sleepiness that lasts all day even though you had a full night’s rest can indicate a breathing problem. Every time you wake up due to obstructed breathing, your brain resets its sleep cycle. 
  • Morning headaches: Not receiving enough oxygen in your brain can result in a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream. Morning headaches are a product of oxygen deprivation. 

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs when your brain is unable to send signals to other parts of your body. Because your brain can’t communicate with the muscles responsible for breathing, your body doesn’t try to breathe. 

Symptoms of CSA include:

  • Difficulty concentrating: This makes it difficult to complete tasks due to a lack of sleep.
  • Changes in mood: If you’re irritated continuously, you may have CSA.
  • Chronic fatigue: This symptom has a detrimental impact on a person’s ability to function throughout the day. 

Complex Sleep Apnea

Complex Sleep Apnea (CSA) is a combination of the other two types of sleep apnea. Left untreated, it can result in: 

  • Weakened immune system: Lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea can weaken your immune system because of a decrease in T-cells. 
  • Low oxygen in the blood: Low oxygen levels can cause problems with heart rhythms, fluid buildup, and frequent strokes. 
  • Memory loss: Because sleep helps us solidify our memories and process information, sleep apnea can wreak havoc in your mind. You may find it difficult to remember past events. 

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should consult with your dentist because you may grind your teeth during sleep without knowing. Over time, teeth grinding can result in the decline of your oral health, and you may need oral surgery. The board-certified surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you with all your oral care needs. Schedule your free consultation today. 

What Do Saltwater Rinses Do In Tooth Extraction Recovery?

Following an at-home oral health routine is the best way to keep your teeth, gums, and tongue healthy. Saltwater mouth rinses can help treat several conditions, and it’s an excellent option for people dealing with a sore throat, gum sores, or anyone who’s recovering from a dental procedure. 

Stay tuned to find out how salt water rinses can help you heal after a tooth extraction surgery. 

When Did People Start Using Saltwater Rinses?

The use of salt for health care purposes has an extensive history, dating back to ancient medical scripts. Ancient Egyptian papyruses from 1600 B.C. created recipes for a variety of medicinal treatments using salt, particularly in anti-infectives. To this day, dentists and oral surgeons recommend using salt to help reduce symptoms for a variety of oral problems. 

Discover the benefits of salt water rinses. 

Benefits of a Saltwater Rinse After Tooth Extraction

After your tooth extraction surgery, your oral surgeon will tell you to stick to saltwater rinses while you recover, Although you can go back to using toothpaste in a week, you can continue to incorporate saltwater rinses as part of your oral care routine. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day is the baseline for any healthy mouth. However, dental health isn’t just about brushing and flossing; saltwater rinses are a cheap way to enhance your oral health. These rinses help with the following:

  • Reduces bacteria: If you allow bacteria to thrive, sickness will follow. By using a saltwater rinse, it will be difficult for bacteria to breed, reducing the risks of illness. 
  • Fights bad breath: If you’re sensitive to store-bought mouthwash, saltwater rinses are a natural alternative that can freshen your breath. Best of all, you won’t feel the intense sting of alcohol-based mouthwashes. Moreover, these rinses can also remove particles of food caught in between your teeth. If you don’t remove these particles, they can irritate and inflame your gums, leading to cavities. Unfortunately, if you develop too many cavities, you may have to undergo tooth extraction again.
  • Cost-effective: Salt is one of the cheapest items available at your local grocery store, which makes adding saltwater rinses to your routine simple. 

How Do I Make a Saltwater Rinse?

To make a saltwater rinse, add ½ a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Swish it around your mouth for twelve seconds, then spit it out. Avoid swallowing your rinse because too much salt causes dehydration, and it’s not healthy to ingest. 

Restrict your saltwater rinse usage to four times a week. Doing it more often than the recommended amount will chip away at your tooth enamel, which can result in erosion. 

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Although saltwater rinses are key to helping you recover from tooth extraction surgery, you should see an oral surgeon if you’re experiencing discomfort after one week. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you find relief. Schedule your free consultation today. 

What are the Different Types of Oral Surgery?

Several conditions may warrant oral surgery. Although no one relishes the thought of surgery, you can ease your nerves by preparing beforehand. 

Do you need oral surgery? Continue reading to find out. 

Signs You Need Oral Surgery

You may need oral surgery if you’re experiencing pain and discomfort, which are the first symptoms of tooth or jaw-related injuries. It’s essential to seek help immediately because if oral problems are left untreated, they can result in bone and tooth loss. 

Learn more about the different types of oral surgeries and how they can help remedy your oral problems. 

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is the most common type of oral surgery. You may need to undergo this procedure if you have severe tooth decay, damaged teeth, or an infection. An oral surgeon will create an incision into your gums so that they can extract your tooth. However, surgeons usually save this procedure as a last resort. 

If treated early, you may be eligible for a root canal, which is oral treatment surgeons use to remove the infected and decayed nerve instead of the tooth. Alternately, a surgeon may suggest tooth restoration, which is when they restore the rotten part of a tooth by covering it with a crown. 

Dental Implants

After tooth extraction, an oral surgeon may recommend dental implant installation. Dental implants are ideal for patients who suffer from tooth loss and are looking for a permanent tooth replacement option. 

A surgeon will surgically implant a metal post into your jawbone, which will fuse with your gum tissue and bone over time. This procedure creates a sturdy foundation on which to place a realistic-looking tooth or crown. 

Corrective Jaw Surgery

A misaligned jaw can lead to low self-esteem and functionality problems. Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, can fix a variety of minor and major dental and skeletal irregularities. Patients who undergo this surgery notice an improved ability to breathe, speak, and chew. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired after a full night’s rest, you may have this condition. Unfortunately, untreated sleep apnea can lead to interruptions in your sleep cycle. 

You may need surgery to treat this disorder. An oral surgeon will remove the excess soft tissues that block your airways. 

What Can I Expect Before Oral Surgery?

Before a procedure, you will need to take care of the following:

  • Abstain from eating for a few hours before surgery
  • Refrain from using tobacco products or alcohol
  • Arrange transportation to and from the clinic

Additionally, your oral surgeon will provide you with an outline treatment plan and discuss anesthesia options with you. 

Need Treatment? Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If your dentist determines you need oral surgery, the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide you with adequate care. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, impacted canine treatment, and more. Schedule your free consultation today. 

Why Sleep Apnea Causes Mood Disorders

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. Unfortunately, it can result in insomnia, fatigue, and headaches that can impact your day-to-day life. Why does sleep apnea cause mood disorders, such as depression? Read on to find out.

The Correlation Between Sleep Apnea and Depression

There’s a relationship between sleep and mood, and sleep deprivation and depression go hand in hand. Approximately 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and 15 million of them are also diagnosed with depression, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s essential to get around eight hours of sleep each night; not only will this keep fatigue at bay, but you will be in a better mood.

In today’s blog, we will discuss the symptoms of depression and sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing cessation in the middle of your sleep
  • Waking up abruptly and experiencing shortness of breath
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Waking up with headaches
  • Sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty falling asleep

You won’t be able to tell if you have sleep apnea because you can’t keep track of your snoring. However, if you suspect you have it, your significant other or a family member can provide you with more information on your sleeping habits before you see a doctor. 

Symptoms of Depression

The following are symptoms of depression:

  • Irritability, frustration, and anger over minor issues
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Isolating yourself
  • Changes in your eating habits (overeating or undereating)
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Lack of interest

How Can I Cope?

As you can see, several symptoms of sleep apnea and depression overlap. The key to differential diagnosis is first to find out if you have sleep apnea, as it may be causing or aggravating your depression. 

It’s best to make an appointment with your primary doctor. Depending on your diagnosis, they will refer you to a sleep clinic where you will have your sleep evaluated. However, if you don’t have sleep apnea, they can refer you to a therapist who can help you cope with your depression. 

In some cases, sleep apnea treatment can help reduce depression symptoms. For the time being, you can use these methods to treat your conditions at home while you wait to see your doctor:

  • Regular exercise: If you exercise multiple times a week, you will release endorphins, which can help reduce your depression symptoms.
  • Sleeping on your side: When you sleep on your back, your tongue obstructs your airway. Try sleeping on your side instead. 
  • Reduce your alcohol intake: Habitual drinking tends to worsen depression and sleep apnea. 
  • Avoid sleeping pills: Sleeping pills do not affect sleep apnea, and they can amplify your depression.

A good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Getting better sleep will improve your overall quality of life. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you were diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should consult with a dentist or oral surgeon immediately. Sleep apnea can lead to bruxism (teeth grinding), which wears down your teeth; this can result in other oral health problems. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide you with the care you need, and we’re more than happy to answer your questions. Schedule your free consultation today. 

What Are The 5 Most Common Oral Health Problems?

Your mouth’s health can impact your overall health, so it’s important to schedule frequent appointments with your dentist before you experience several health problems.

Discover how you can prevent oral health problems.

How Can I Prevent Oral Health Problems?

Dealing with dental problems is never fun, but the good news is most of them are preventable. The best preventative measures you can take are brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, eating properly, and scheduling biannual check-ups. Additionally, you should learn about the most common oral health conditions; this will help you be prepared if you start experiencing complications.

Stay tuned to learn about the five most common oral health problems.

1. Mouth Ulcers

A mouth ulcer is a small, white sore with red edges that develops inside the cheeks and on the lips, tongue, palate, and gums. Despite their small size, mouth ulcers are painful and uncomfortable. It becomes nearly impossible to try eating food and drinking beverages because they usually become more painful over time.

Talk to your doctor if your sores don’t go away after two weeks.

2. Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums. Unfortunately, it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Worst of all, there’s a link between gum disease and heart disease.

Although everyone is at risk of this disease, it’s most common in people who are older than 30. Smoking increases your risk of contracting this disease.
Symptoms include:

● Bad breath
● Red, swollen gums
● Sensitive teeth
● Painful chewing

3. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is the second most prevalent disease in the U.S. It occurs when plaque, which is the sticky film that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars or starches found in food. This combination produces acids that can attack your teeth’s enamel.

Many people mistakenly believe only children get cavities; however, people of any age can get them, particularly when their enamel erodes.

4. Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of Americans. People with this condition experience pain or discomfort when:

● They eat sweets
● They drink hot beverages or cold drinks
● They eat cold foods, such as ice cream
● They’re exposed to wind
● They brush or floss their teeth

5. Abscessed Teeth

An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by either tooth decay, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. These problems can pave the way for bacteria to enter the pulp, which is a tooth’s soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.

When pus builds up at the root tip in the jawbone, it forms a pocket called an abscess. If left untreated, it can lead to an infected jawbone, teeth, and surrounding tissues.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Although some oral issues like sores go away on their own, others may require surgery. If your dentist determines you need oral surgery, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you find relief. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in jaw surgery, tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, and several other procedures. Schedule your free consultation today.