Can a Dentist Help My Allergies and Pain

I’ve had undiagnosable medical issues for years, including serious joint pain and rashes. My doctors kept telling me it was in my head, but then I finally got a doctor to do a patch test on me.  It turns out I have some pretty bad allergies, including most metals. I’m wondering if a dentist can help me get rid of some of the metal I have in my mouth to see if I can  get some relief?

Mandy – Colorado

Mandy,

Hard to understand how a rash can be in your head. Sometimes it’s helpful to remember it’s called a medical “practice”. That means they still figuring things out, even if they’re too proud to say it.

The test you’re likely referring to is a Clifford’s Reactivity Test. It’s still considered controversial, so don’t be surprised if you run up against some opposition.

You’re more likely to get some assistance from a holistic dentist, They’re more open to treating the whole body.  It’s not a specialty, so it has more to do with the mindset of the dentist.

You’ll likely have to call around. Make sure whomever you can talk to is willing to do a sanitary amalgam removal.

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Options For A Tooth Gap

I have quite a large tooth gap. My dentist said it’s about 9mm. I want to fix it. He’s suggesting lumineers. I wondered if there are any other options, because it’s just the gap that bothers me and he wants to do like six different lumineers. That’s pretty expensive. But, I’m too old to have a mouth full of metal braces.

Guadelupe – Florida

Guadelupe,

Whatever you do, don’t get lumineers to fix this tooth gap. The size of the gap you mentioned is large enough to fit an entire other tooth. That would look really weird. An expert cosmetic dentist could possibly pull it off, but based on what you’ve said, your dentist is not an expert cosmetic dentist.

A tooth gap can be fixed with porcelain veneers, but generally it would need to be a smaller gap. There is a better option, that is much more affordable. Close the gap.

You don’t have to use traditional braces to do it. Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. It can close your gap, in half the time of braces and much more comfortably.

I’ll be honest, your dentist should have told you about all your options. In fact, he’s ethically bound to do so. I’m a little concerned he chose not to all while only telling you about a very expensive treatment, that wouldn’t even work well.

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

Do I Need Allergy or Sleep Apnea Treatment?

I saw my primary care doctor and he wanted me to have a sleep study done and possibly get sleep apnea treatment. I told him it was just my allergies keeping me up at night, but he kept pushing the study. I really don’t want to do it. There’s no way I’m going to be able to sleep with one of those masks on my face every night. I really just want to find a medication that can help me manage my allergy symptoms better. Should I see an allergist instead or do I actually have to go through with the study?

Thanks,

Ryan

Dear Ryan,

Interestingly, there’s a chance you’re both correct. It sounds like your doctor suspects you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is most common form of sleep apnea. If your upper airway becomes obstructed and you try to breathe in, your airway essentially collapses in on itself as you struggle to pull air into your lungs. The lack of oxygen is a problem for obvious reasons, but the process can actually wake you up repeatedly throughout the night. These disruptions destroy the quality of rest you get, and lead to grogginess during the day. Some studies have shown that those who suffer from OSA are more dangerous than drunk-drivers behind the wheel.

There are studies that link OSA to allergies as well.  It’s believed that allergic rhinitis or hay fever causes the tissues to become irritated and swell. This gives the air less space to pass through, which then presents itself as OSA.

It’s certainly a good idea to treat your allergies. Even if they aren’t causing your OSA, they’re probably making you miserable and giving you other issues. The good news is that if you do need sleep apnea treatment as well, you may not need to wear a mask. Mild cases can be treated by a simple appliance, similar to a mouth guard, that your dentist can make. It’s a good idea to bring your dentist on board regardless, because allergy meds tend to cause dry mouth, which can lead to dental problems. Your dentist can help address this, too, so that you can manage it before it has a chance to cause damage to your teeth and gums.

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