Travelling with Sleep Apnea

I’ve recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea and my dentist gave me this CPAP machine. I usually travel a lot, especially by air. I can’t imagine they’ll let me take this on the airplane. Is it possible to travel with a CPAP when you have sleep apnea?

Carl.

Dear Carl,

an oral appliance for sleep apnea
If you have sleep apnea, there are alternatives to a CPAP.

Though sleep apnea can be a bit of a nuisance, you will find that once your treatment is going regularly and you’re getting to breathe all the way through the night, you’ll wake up much more refreshed and energetic.

You are able to travel by air with a CPAP, but it does take some preparation ahead of time. When you purchase your ticket, you’ll need to be sure they give you a seat by an outlet for your CPAP. It’s hard to get the distilled water through security because of the limitations on liquid these days. However, you can get a prescription for pharmacy grade distilled water and that will allow you to take it on board. You will also need to have some disinfectant wipes with you. The security scanners aren’t exactly what we’d call sterile, so you’ll need to wipe everything down again before you use it.

Be aware, TSA regulations change all the time. It’s in your best interest to check their site and see if they’ve made any other regulations that have hoops you need to jump through to get on the plane without a nice pat down by some stranger in a uniform.

Sleep Apnea Alternatives to CPAP

I don’t know if your dentist mentioned that there are now alternatives to a CPAP machine. These will allow you travel without all those complications. Using an oral appliance, you can breathe freely without needing a machine to help you.

Many patients fall in love with their oral appliance and find it so much more comfortable that they use it full time instead of just when they’re traveling. You may want to schedule an appointment with your dentist well ahead of your next trip and get fitted for a device. This way you can try it out at home where you have your CPAP as a backup to see if it works for you. It may change your life. You can read Dr. Bader’s Sleep Apnea Page to learn more.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Holistic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Can Porcelain Veneers Cause Bleeding Gums?

I just had porcelain veneers placed about six months ago. I noticed a month or so afterward that my gums would occasionally bleed when I brushed my teeth. I invested in a water pick to make sure I was getting everything I could, but it didn’t help. I had my six-month check up this week and the hygienist said it looks like I’m developing the start of gum disease. Because this started shortly after I got my porcelain veneers, could they be the cause?

Miriam

Dear Miriam,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer

It sounds like you’re doing everything right and taking good care of your smile. While I do suspect the porcelain veneers are involved in what’s going on with your teeth and gums, they are definitely not the reason.

Porcelain veneers do not cause bleeding gums. Poorly placed porcelain veneers can, though. If you went to an inexperienced cosmetic dentist, they may not even realize they’re the cause. This is just business as usual for them.

Do a Porcelain Veneer Check

I want you to find an expert cosmetic dentist in your area. Look on the mynewsmile.com website. A dentist can request to be placed on their list, but they can’t pay to be listed. Instead, they have to pass some stringent requirements. Dr. Hall, who runs the site, verifies their training, their technical skill in cosmetic procedures, as well as their artistry in creating beautiful smiles. If they don’t meet his stringent requirements, they won’t get listed. It’s that simple.

Have one of their recommended dentists check your porcelain veneers. Let them know what is going on but not who did your smile makeover. That’s just a precaution in case they’re friends with your dentist. You don’t want them to feel torn between honesty and protecting their friend’s reputation.

There are two possible causes for what I suspect is happening to you.

  • Excess cement or bonding material

If your dentist didn’t get all the bonding material away from your gums, it could be causing irritation to your gums and that would lead to bleeding.

  • Bulky Margins

In the dental industry, bulky margins simply mean the porcelain veneers aren’t sitting flush against your teeth as they should. Instead, you’ll have a ledge and uneven edges. Things can become trapped on the ledge, which breeds bacteria. That, in turn, will lead to gum disease and decay. This will need to be repaired or you’ll end up needing fillings on the edges of your veneers.

Your dentist should fix either of these issues free of charge. You may need the testimony of the other cosmetic dentist to “convince” him though.

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