My wife things I have sleep apnea.

Yes, I snore. Does that mean I have sleep apnea? My wife keeps accusing me of it.

– Paul in Texas

Paul,

Did you know that 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleeping disorders, like sleep apnea? Snoring can be an indicator that you may have sleep apnea and serious sleep apnea can actually be life threatening. So it’s worth your while to find out if you do.¬† Individuals with sleep apnea stop breathing for a short duration while they are sleeping. Since your body is in such a relaxed state during sleep, the muscles are also relaxed, including your throat and tongue. In this state, the tongue can impinge on your breathing passageway and disturb your breathing. You may have not idea and often times it is a spouse that discovers this.

Here are some common symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking suddenly for no reason
  • Gasping for breath or a choking feeling
  • Waking multiple times
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Dry mouth

A sleep study is required in order to properly diagnose this condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Then once it has been diagnosed, you can seek treatment with a sleep clinic or a dentist can treat you. Treatments are wide-ranging, but going the dentist route would allow you to treat your sleep apnea without surgery with an appliance worn during the night. These oral appliances reposition the jaw into a more favorable position to keep the breathing passage open.

Physicians often prescribe a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device (CPAP) machine. Many patients aren’t happy with having to wear the respiratory¬† device that blows compressed air. But it is important to explore your options to find a solution that is right for you.

Again, your wife is right to worry. Sleep apnea that is left untreated leads to increased risk in stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and other serious conditions.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

A correlation between silver (mercury) fillings and migraines?

Migraines have always plagued me. Since my teen years they have only intensified. Me and my doctor have looked for all kinds of causes and correlations to try and get them under control. I just hide in a dark corner when they come and take as much pain medication as I can tolerate. But there has to be a reason! The latest topic I have been researching is linking migraines with old, silver amalgam fillings. When I discussed the correlation between these mercury-containing fillings and my migraines, my dentist refuted the claim. He said there is no conclusive evidence to support this finding. But I literally am at my wits end and am considering having the old silver fillings removed and replaced with white composite fillings. Do you think this is worth a try?

– Loretta in Texas

Loretta,

The safety of amalgam fillings is and has been quite controversial lately. This is because amalgam fillings contain mercury in them. It is proven that mercury is a toxic substance. That said, the American Dental Association still feels that amalgam fillings are completely safe. Although, since there have been great advances in dental technology and bonding techniques, dentists do have another option. Many dentists no longer place them at all in their practice in support of this mercury-free dentistry movement.

That said, it isn’t common place to have every old silver filling removed. Yet, there are holistic dentists out there that support your philosophy that mercury is a toxic substance and some feel that negative health effects may be correlated. So you need to look for a natural or holistic dentist that shares this sentiment. One way to find this kind of dentist is one that offer sanitary amalgam removal services. You want to make sure that the dentist will take extra precautions to keep you safe throughout the procedure so prohibit you from infesting or breathing in the harmful mercury. It is understandable that you are considering having this done. No one deserves to feel miserable and if there is a chance this could help the frequency of intensity of your migraines, it may be worth it.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.