Does sleep apnea really cause gum disease?

I’m undergoing treatment for gum disease. Now my dentist is telling me that my gum disease is likely from my sleep apnea and he wants me to buy a special device. This sounds hinky to me. Is there really a connection between the two?

Emma T. – Joplin, MO

Emma,

While it may sound hinky, there is actually a correlation between sleep apnea and gum disease. The main culprit is the propensity for mouth breathing when you have sleep apnea. This dries out your gums, which lessons your saliva. That saliva is essential in fighting the bacteria that lurks in your mouth.

The device your dentist is speaking of will properly align the hinge joint in your jaw. The will keep your tongue and muscles from impinging your breathing.

Not only will you sleep much better and feel more rested, but you’ll find your overall health improves. It’s worth getting if you have sleep apnea.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Options for congenitally missing teeth in teens

My 16 year old has a congenitally missing tooth. I wanted to get her a dental implant, but the dentist insists she’s too young. The problem is this tooth is visible and is embarassing to her. Are there options?

Rosie B. – Denver

Rosie,

First, I’m going to say that I agree with your dentist. Your daughter is too young for a dental implant. Her jaw is still growing and the procedure will end up failing.

That being said. I would suggest you get her a porcelain veneer for the smaller baby tooth. It can “build up” material around the tooth and make it the same shape, size, and appearance as her other teeth.

This will at least temporarily take care of the problem while you wait for her jaw to fully develop.

One word of caution. Make sure you go to a highly experienced, artistic cosmetic dentist if you want to veneer to look good.

I recommend going on mynewsmile.com and seeing which cosmetic dentists they recommend in the Denver area.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.