The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has designated dental sleep oral appliances as the No. 1 non-surgical alternative for the CPAP intolerant. Although the most successful treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), there are numerous difficulties patients are having when trying to use it.
It’s a common myth that senior citizens are destined to lose their teeth, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). There is no reason seniors cannot keep their teeth for a lifetime, since tooth loss is simply the result of an oral disease – not the aging process.
The elderly, who make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, are healthier and have kept more of their natural teeth than prior generations. But there’s still room for improvement. Many seniors do not visit a dentist even once a year – one of the key preventive strategies in ensuring that teeth last a lifetime.
The condition of “dry mouth” is called Xerostomia. This condition occurs when the salivary glands don’t work properly and the amount of saliva in the mouth decreases. Saliva is vital to everyday processes- tasting, swallowing, speaking and digesting. Saliva acts as a natural defense for the teeth. Without saliva, the teeth are extremely vulnerable to fungal, bacterial and viral infections, and decay. Although saliva is mostly composed of of water, it also includes electrolytes, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes. These components play a major role in keeping your mouth healthy.
Does my teenager really need to have their wisdom teeth removed? What if I still have my wisdom teeth as an adult?
First, a little history:
Wisdom teeth are the third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 17 to 21 years. Since that is considered to be the age when people become wiser, third molars gained the nickname, “wisdom teeth.” Actually, they are no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they have enough room to grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship and have healthy gum tissue around them. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.