Flower Mound Family Dentistry Blog
September 16, 2019
Do you snore? Or gasp for air in your sleep? Do you always feel tired?
If so, you may have sleep apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. This chronic condition occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. Symptoms include snoring, gasping, or chocking sounds during sleep.
Sapna Amin, DDS, is specially trained in sleep apnea evaluations and sleep apnea oral appliance therapy.
For those diagnosed with sleep apnea oral appliance therapy may be an alternative to a CPAP mask. Dental appliances are a great option for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea and not CPAP compliant and/or cannot tolerate a CPAP mask. Sleep apnea dental appliances are similar in size to a dental night guard and are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The dental appliance moves the jaw forward, increasing the size of the upper airway and reduces the air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring.
Sleep Apnea Treatment – From the Dentist?
Yes, you read that right. We can help treat sleep apnea here at Flower Mound Family Dentistry. For some that may seem like a rather strange thing for a dentist to do. Many people believe a CPAP machine is the only option to treat sleep apnea, and while that may be recommended for some types of sleep apnea, that certainly is not the case for all patients suffering from sleep apnea.
How can Flower Mound Family Dentistry help?
At Flower Mound Family Dentistry we look at different symptoms that may be present in a patient that has a sleeping disorder.
- Grinding teeth
- Anatomical features noted on the doctor examination
- Sleep apnea
If a patient tells us they have any of these issues, or if we see signs of these problems, there are a few different routes we may take to help.
When a patient comes in for a visit, we can have them answer questions from
Epworth Sleepiness Scale Self-Assessment
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is widely used in the field of sleep medicine as a subjective measure of a patient’s sleepiness. The test is a list of eight situations in which you rate your tendency to become sleepy on a scale of 0, no chance of dozing, to 3, high chance of dozing. When you finish the test, add up the values of your responses. Your total score is based on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale estimates whether you are experiencing excessive sleepiness that possibly requires medical attention.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, please complete this self-assessment (need to have it attached)
Once Dr.Amin has assessed the patient thoroughly, the next step is to use SleepTest.com and have a home sleep study done. SleepTest.com sets the industry standard in reliable home sleep testing for at-risk, sleep patients. They make sleep testing simple for patients who appreciate evaluations in the comfort of their own beds and effortless for clients with their online HIPAA compliant portal. Their portal acts as a secure ecosystem between SleepTest.com and thier clients, allowing for electronic patient referrals and easy to retrieve sleep test results.
Once this is completed, the results are interpreted by a board-certified sleep physician that works in collaboration with Dr. Amin to evaluate the patient clinically.
A customized treatment plan is devised based off the sleep results. Next a consult appointment is made to discuss the results and planned treatment with the patient and Dr.Amin.
In mild and moderate cases, we can often treat the sleep apnea with one of a few oral appliance options that we will custom fit for the patient. This tends to be less intrusive than a CPAP machine, and the number of people who will use an oral appliance vs. a CPAP is much higher. A CPAP machine is a very good option for many cases of sleep apnea, and it works for thousands of people.
In severe cases, CPAP therapy is the best first line treatment, and patients with this diagnosis will be referred to see a sleep specialist or their physician to initiate therapy.
We have had patients so excited about the treatment they received from Dr. Amin that they come back and tell us about their experience. It may be that their snoring has ceased, and they are able to sleep with their spouse again. It may be that they simply are more rested now that they are not waking up frequently. It may be that their teeth do not show signs of grinding anymore. We are excited to be able to help people treat their sleeping disorders and get them back to a healthy sleep and DREAMING again!
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or suffer from any of the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, call or email us today to schedule an evaluation.
January 6, 2018
Ringing in the new year typically comes with thoughtful considerations and new resolutions for healthier living, positive thoughts, and attainable goals. This year, consider setting goals for a healthy mouth and overall, healthy body.
Ideas for a Healthier You!
Change out Your Toothbrush
It is important to change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head if electric, at least every 3-4 months. Bristles on these brushes wear down over time and lead to less effective plaque removal. Also, remember to change out your toothbrush after any illness to avoid reinfecting yourself, or change to and electric (Sonicare or Oral-B) toothbrush for better results.
Start the New Year with a New Smile
Your smile and the way you feel about it can have a significant influence on how you feel about yourself and how you relate to others. Hiding your smile, or not feeling comfortable showing your teeth can have a negative impact on how you feel and how others perceive you. Getting your teeth to a brighter color, replacing missing teeth, closing gapped teeth, and straightening the teeth out are all ways to boost your confidence and show people the real you. There are many options available to fit your needs, timeline, and budget. Financing for some cosmetic work is available! Call our office today! Dr. Amin is a certified Invisalign and Clear Correct provider and is a clinical Mastery reward recipient regarding cosmetic dental treatment.
Renewed Insurance Benefits
Many insurance plans start over beginning in the new year, which means you have the opportunity get any unfinished treatment completed with the aid of insurance. Any treatment that you may have been holding off on, due to insurance running out, is now renewed, giving you the benefit of having coverage. Call us today to see how your insurance is benefiting you!
Brush and Floss Twice Daily
The benefits of a healthy mouth are attained through proper oral hygiene care at home. Brushing and flossing effectively is the most basic way to start. Commit to brushing and flossing twice daily and you will quickly start to see and feel the positive effects!
November 10, 2017
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, can become impacted and cause issues for you if they are tilted, crowded into the teeth in front of them, don’t have enough room, or an improper bite alignment. Complications from impacted wisdom teeth can lead to gum disease or tooth decay, damage to other teeth, infection, overcrowding of the teeth, and even cysts or tumors.
Some signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
- stiffness or pain around jaw
- bad breath
- swelling around the jaw
- tender, red, or bleeding gums in the back of mouth
- unpleasant taste in mouth
- difficult opening you mouth
- feeling pressure on back teeth
- shifting of teeth in the front
Typically, if your teeth are impacted, Dr. Amin will recommend extraction of the teeth. This is done primarily in our office, utilizing the skills of Dr. Bryan Moore DDS, who performs wisdom teeth extractions routinely. Patients concerned about pain during procedure need not worry. Fortunately, modern anesthesia technology now makes it possible to perform even complex surgeries in the dental office (rather than in the hospital) with little or no discomfort to the patient. In cases involving dental surgery, local anesthesia that numbs the surgical area (novacaine) is used either by itself or in combination with one or more of the following: nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”) to relax you; oral pre-medication; intravenous “I.V.” sedation (also known as “twilight sleep” or “conscious sedation”) for relaxation. In fact, many patients report that their surgeries were remarkably pain- and anxiety-free!
October 17, 2017
It’s that time of year again! Fall is in the air and that means time for homecoming, fall parties, sporting events, family photos, and (for those ahead of the game) holiday pictures! Now is the best time to get your teeth whitened! We offer a fast new way to brighten your pearly whites! In just minutes, you can have a bright white smile that looks great and with the added benefit of virtually no sensitivity.
This whitening system is done in our office and takes only minutes. After the teeth are polished, two clear layers of whitening gel are placed and dried onto the teeth. These layers are only noticeable by you, and are not visible to other people. You can then leave the office and go on about your day. Just 30 short minutes later, brush the whitener off and reveal up to 2-3 shades whiter teeth! It really is just that easy.
Philips Zoom QuickPro also makes a great gift! High-schoolers getting ready for Senior Portraits, almost-newlyweds getting ready for their special day, or just anyone you feel could use a confidence boost! If you know anyone who would love to enhance their smile, just let our office know and we can share your gift with them.
Mention Promo Code: ZOOMQP to receive our special offer of Philips Zoom QuickPro for $20 off!! Call our office today!
Flower Mound Family Dentistry
September 12, 2017
September is National Self Improvement Month and in honor of this we would like to educate our patients on some tools that can help improve your oral health! There are many new innovative products (and some tried and true classics) that can boost your health, smile, and overall confidence.
Sonicare or Oral B Electric Toothbrush
Research shows that electric, rechargeable toothbrushes have been proven to clean more effectively and efficiently than manual toothbrushes. Many now even offer Blutooth technology that connects to your phone so you can see where you’re missing, how long you’re brushing, and even if you are pressing too hard.
The Waterpik is a great option for patients who have difficult areas of the mouth to reach. The Waterpik shoots a strong stream of water that quickly and effectively blasts plaque and food debris away. The higher water pressure also acts to stimulate the gum tissues to activate the body’s natural cleansing abilities. It is easy to use and allows for effective plaque removal from crowns, bridges, orthodontic brackets and wires, implants, and even just tight teeth. The Waterpik is also beneficial in cleaning periodontal pockets, and helps to prevent gum disease and gingivitis.
Tongue scrapers are effective at removing plaque and biofilm from the top layer of the tongue surface. This helps to reduce the overall amount of bacteria in the mouth and help improve the health of the mouth.
Soft Picks help to remove plaque and debris from in between the teeth. Some teeth have more spacing in between and need something a little extra to help cleanse these spaces. Soft picks can be used around crowns, bridges, gaps in between teeth, periodontal pockets, and more! They are an inexpensive and effective way to keep the gums healthy.
There is nothing quite like the tried and true. Glide floss is formed into a thin ribbon that can slide easily between the teeth. It is beneficial for patients who have tight teeth or areas that need a little extra attention. Some brands of floss contain fluoride, an ingredient that can help prevent cavities, which then get into the tight contacts and release the beneficial ingredient. Find which floss is right for you and USE IT!
AirFloss by Sonicare
The Sonicare AirFloss uses a rapid burst of air and water droplets in between the teeth to help remove and disrupt plaque and food stuck in between the teeth. The AirFloss only uses approximately 1 teaspoon of water to form a mist that remove plaque and biofilm. This product is great for patients that don’t floss or find it too time consuming. Research showed that up to 97% of users saw improved gum health after using the AirFloss. While the AirFloss does not replace traditional floss, it is a great benefit to your overall oral health.
August 4, 2017
Keeping up with dental technology is important in today’s ever changing, high-tech world. Dr. Sapna Amin at Flower Mound Family Dentistry takes pride in offering her patients the latest and greatest in the dental field. We would like to share those advancements with you!
NOMAD Portable X-Ray
This handheld x-ray unit allows our staff to take quick and precise x-rays. It is easily moved to each operatory, allowing for even the most difficult angles of x-rays to be taken with great patient comfort. The staff member using this unit stays in the room with you during your x-rays and can quickly make adjustments to get the right shot. The NOMAD, along with the digital sensors, allows for much less radiation exposure.
PLANMECCA Panoramic X-Ray
Our digital PANO machine allows us to take crystal clear 2-D images of the head and neck region. This x-ray allows us to see numerous features of the head and neck and can help diagnose issues with TMJ, sinus cavities, bone loss, wisdom teeth, and even calcified arteries. Since the machine is all digital, we are easily able to share the images with other dental specialists you may need to seek treatment from.
Digital Intra-Oral Cameras
Photos are taken at your cleaning appointments, as well as treatment appointments using our digital intra-oral cameras. These cameras are roughly the size of a toothbrush, and provide us a close-up, macro size view of the tooth. Using these photos, we are able to compare and contrast the teeth over time. We can make the tooth large on the screen and check for fractures, suspicious lesions, and areas that are difficult to see in the mouth. These photos help in making the correct diagnosis.
The diagnodent is a laser fluorescence detector that aids in diagnosing decayed areas of the teeth. This tool, used in conjunction with Dr. Amin’s clinical exam, can determine areas that are beginning to have changes in the enamel. This is beneficial when determining where to focus your oral hygiene efforts.
July 12, 2017
Summer is here and there are lots of summertime activities that are great fun, but have the potential to cause injury to you and your children’s teeth. Swimming, bike riding, volleyball and summer sports can be sources of great fun, but caution should be advised to prevent dental emergencies. Follow these precautions in order to help prevent these dental emergencies:
Pool Rules: Make sure your children know the rules for dental safety at the pool. During the summer, swimming pool accidents are the number-one cause of dental emergencies. Many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running around on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow water or bumping the pool ledge while quickly surfacing causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.
Getting to the dentist as soon as possible is important, but knowing what to do on your own will help. Use warm water and cold packs first, to clean the area and reduce swelling. Use gauze to stop any bleeding. Place a lost permanent tooth back in the mouth, if possible. If not, use salt water or milk to keep it moist for the ride to the dentist.
If you child is in summer sports, it is important to protect the teeth using a sports mouth guard. These can be custom fit to your kids teeth specifically, or can be over the counter “boil-and-bite” style. Dr. Amin recommends a custom fitted mouth guard to protect your child’s mouth from falls, bumps, and getting hit in the face with fly away balls or other players. Helmets can also prevent injury to the teeth, so it is important to wear at every opportunity.
Pack an emergency dental care kit to take with you for outdoor activities and sporting events. This kit should contain a handkerchief, gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information (Flower Mound Family Dentistry, Dr. Sapna Amin, (972-539-4776)
Follow these simple first aid steps for a tooth that has been knocked loose or knocked out:
For a tooth that has been knocked out, or “avulsed”, pick up the tooth by the crown and put it back into the socket, or hole, where it came from. If the tooth cannot be replaced in its socket on site, do not let the tooth dry out. Place it in a container with a lid and use milk or saliva. It is important to visit your dentist as soon as possible in order to make it more likely that the tooth can be saved.
If you have any questions about summer safety, please give our office a call (972) 539-4776! Have a great and safe summer!
May 3, 2017
Have you noticed your teeth looking longer in appearance? Does it look like your gums are shrinking around the tooth? Do your teeth feel more sensitive to cold drinks or citrus foods? You could have receding gums, a condition caused from potentially numerous factors. Don’t worry, there are steps you can do take to prevent and stop your gums from receding. The first step is to consult Dr. Sapna Amin DDS at Flower Mound Family Dentistry to find out whether you condition requires special attention.
There are numerous causes for gum recession, or gingival recession, and neglecting the issue can lead to further gum and bone loss and even eventual tooth loss.
Overly aggressive brushing– Make sure you are brushing and not scrubbing your teeth! Be sure to use a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush to reduce the
Crowded teeth, teeth out of alignment- When teeth are crooked or not as straight as they could be, plaque and bacteria can more easily collect along the gum lines. This leads to plaque hardening and forming tarter, or calculus. This buildup can slowly push the gums down the tooth and lead to gum recession. Teeth that are straight and in a healthy alignment are much easier to keep clean and therefore helps prevent that tarter from forming. If your teeth are crooked or you noticed yellow to whitish buildup forming easily soon after your cleaning appointments, you may want to consider alignment correction. Dr. Amin offers Clear Correct (similar to Invisalign) which are clear aligners that straighten the teeth and out them into a healthy occlusion. This not only creates an aesthetic appearance to the teeth, but helps in overall hygiene and health of the mouth. (more…)
April 4, 2017
Replacing missing teeth has come a long way in the past 30 years. Missing or extracted teeth raise common concerns for our patients, but proper replacement is key to a confident & functioning smile. Some questions that may come to mind are “What’s the difference between a dental bridge and an implant? What’s the right option for me? Very often the dental implant is ideal, but certain factors will be considered first.
Practical reasons for both options
In the past, a bridge was your only choice, and involves more than just the missing tooth. The adjacent teeth need to be “prepped” by removing most of the enamel in order to fabricate the bridge. With dental implants, A specialist replaces just the individual tooth for a result that is stronger and permanent. A dental bridge may be your best option if the neighboring teeth have large fillings and need crowns or caps in the future. If the tooth or teeth have been missing for a long time, the gum and bone will have receded and procedures beyond the implant could be required before placement. The advantages and disadvantages to both procedures can ultimately be discussed with Dr. Amin. with a dental bridge, teeth can not be flossed in between so maintenance is key. In addition, with a bridge, the area where the tooth is missing will have a progression of bone loss. Implants help secure the bone.
Changes in your oral care routine
Your ability to keep your mouth healthy will be easier with an implant. Dental bridges are cemented or “fixed” in the mouth, and involve at least three crowns connected together to fill the space of the missing tooth. This design creates challenges when brushing and flossing, so extra oral hygiene instruction and meticulous home care are crucial. When flossing, in particular, an additional step is needed to thread the floss under the false tooth. In contrast, implants can replace teeth individually without affecting other teeth, making regular home care more successful. You can effectively brush and floss around an implant just like your natural tooth. (more…)
March 2, 2017
This month’s blog will focus on frequently asked questions and their answers, we hear routinely in our office!
(Q) Why do I need a Crown and not just a Filling?
(A) If it hurts when you bite down or chew, it is possible that your tooth is cracked. If a tooth is cracked, it is a serious condition, called cracked tooth syndrome and does usually require a crown. Unlike a broken bone, the fracture in a cracked tooth will not heal.
If a substantial portion of your tooth needs to be filled, a better solution is usually the crown because fillings do not give you the same kind of protection as crowns do. Also, if the filling is extremely large, it can cause the tooth to break, making it irreparable.
The reason crowns are recommended frequently is that a dental crown is often the best option to extend the life of a tooth for years to come.
(Q) How long should a crown last?
(A) Generally, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. Some crowns can last even longer up to 25 or 30 years. If you are an excessive clencher or grinder, then crowns may not last as long. Crowns can get cavities under them; therefore good home care and regular dental visits are imperative. Patients are often pleased to know that crowns can potentially last a lifetime – with the right care.
(Q) Why do I need a Root Canal if I have no pain?
(A) Here are a few examples that may precipitate the need for root canal treatment.
- The tooth may have a chronic infection that the body has accommodated enough that they have not gone beyond their pain threshold. The area of concern may be seen on an x-ray and a test is done by your clinical team to the tooth’s nerve to determine the need for treatment.
- A tooth may have fractured so much that there isn’t adequate tooth structure to hold a crown long term. It’s necessary to place a post inside the tooth to allow for a more stable structure for the crown. A post cannot be placed in a tooth if the nerve space has not been treated with a root canal. The tooth will need the root canal intentionally to allow for the post to be placed and the final crown restoration to have the best success rate.
- Another situation that may occur is when a tooth has large old filling that has a new cavity that requires a crown for rehabilitation. When the filling is so large that it is close to the nerve, the tooth will eventually become sensitive or develop a detectable nerve condition requiring a root canal.
Please be aware that a root canal my be indicated for a tooth or indicated due to an expected course of degradation of the tooth’s nerve even if you have no pain. If you are still unsure of why you need a root canal when you are not experiencing pain, Please feel free to ask Dr.Amin more questions.
Hygiene Q & A
(Q) What causes cavities?
(A) Bacteria – tiny colonies of living organisms are constantly on the move on your teeth, gums, lips and tongue. Having bacteria in your mouth is a normal thing. While some of the bacteria can be harmful, most are not and some are even helpful.
Certain types of bacteria, however, can attach themselves to hard surfaces like the enamel that covers your teeth. If they’re not removed, they multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. More bacteria of different types attach to the colony already growing on the tooth enamel. Proteins that are present in your saliva (spit) also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film on the tooth. This film is called plaque, and it’s what causes cavities.
When refined carbohydrates or sugars are ingested, these bacteria present in the mouth use the sugar and convert it to acid that dissolves tooth enamel. The acid attacks start immediately after consuming sugars and last for 20-30 minutes.
(Q) What Is Tooth Sensitivity and Why Do I Have It?
(A) Patients with tooth sensitivity feel pain when they consume items that are hot or cold, sweet or acidic. This comes from thinned tooth enamel, which doesn’t protect the tooth pulp or dentin from exposure to extreme temperatures. In some patients, this may be a result of:
Tooth grinding during sleep
Chipped or fractured teeth
Orthodontics and fillings
Dr. Sapna Amin will examine the affected teeth and recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity.
(Q) At What Age Should My Child First See a Dentist?
(A) Studies show children can develop their first cavities by two years old, so the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends booking the first visit once their first tooth erupts – or, at the latest, their first birthday. This helps your dentist catch potential problems that can affect the child’s overall health and well-being as more teeth erupt over time.
(Q) What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?
(A) Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for many years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wear at regular dental check-ups