The Dental Assistant’s Role in Detecting Oral Cancer

Dentist working on a patientSan Francisco, CA¬ – This year alone, more than 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Of those, approximately 8,600 will die from the disease, and only 57 percent will survive beyond five years of their diagnosis. The mortality rate of oral cancer is higher than many other cancers for one reason – it’s often caught in its later stages, when it is much more difficult to treat.

“One of the most troubling issues with oral cancers is that in their early stages, they often aren’t noticed because there are no really visible signs and no pain,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “However, maintaining regular check-ups with your dentist and scheduling appointments when anything in your mouth seems amiss puts you at a much greater chance of detecting anything abnormal early, when treatment can be most effective.”

And in recent years, the number of patients diagnosed with oral cancer has risen. Researchers have discovered a link between oral cancer and human papilloma virus, which is the same virus linked to cervical and penile cancers. This is alarming because oral cancer caused by HPV is much harder to detect than tobacco-related cancers because many current detection devices cannot identify HPV related oral cancers.

HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer, and white, non-smoking males agers 35-55 are most at risk. However, women are also at risk, and HPV is thought to be responsible for an alarming increase in oral cancers in non-smokers aged 25 to 50.

“This is why having excellently trained dental assistants is so important,” says Dr. Larson. “My assistants play a key role in detecting signs of oral cancer. First of all, they have the most contact with our patients and are most familiar with our patients’ medical histories, and the health of their mouths. They get to know our patients, and know if they have any lifestyle choices that may make them at greater risk for developing the disease. Only one month ago, we discovered a lump on a patient’s neck that we referred for biopsy and it turned out to be throat cancer that had spread to cervical lymph nodes. The patient was then treated with surgery and radiation and has a good prognosis for survival.”

Historically, oral cancer has been diagnosed through a physical examination, after a patient has found something that has caused them concern. The dentist would then inspect the area and send you on for a biopsy or additional testing to determine what the problem was.

But your dental team should play a key role in ensuring the health of your mouth, and an oral cancer screening should be included in every check-up. That means every dental assistant should be well-trained in being able to spot abnormalities, especially because in their early stages, many oral cancer symptoms are subtle and can be mistaken for a standard mouth problem.

If you experience any of the following, it’s important to mention it to your dental assistant:

• Any irritation in your mouth that lasts longer than two weeks
• Red or white patches that will not go away
• Numbness, pain or tenderness
• Lumps, rough spots, or crust
• Problems swallowing, chewing or speaking
• Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
• A change in the way your teeth fit together

If you notice any of these signs, you should schedule an appointment with you dentist right away, and be sure to mention your concern at your appointment.

The American Dental Assistants Association is encouraging all dental assistants to continue their study and to become well-trained in detecting abnormalities that may be oral cancers in their patients. These assistants work most closely with patients, and have the ability to pick up on lifestyle choices that may increase cancer risks, as well as notice small changes in their patient’s mouths that can be cause for concern. They can then discuss any concerns with the dentist, who will complete an examination and cancer screening to determine if there is any cause of concern.

Working together, your entire dental team can be your first line of defense against oral cancer, and ensure you have a healthy mouth, and a healthy life.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Uncovering the Link Between Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure

San Francisco, CA – If you suffer from sleep apnea, it probably has negative effects on your life. Your constant wakings in the middle of the night from lack of oxygen leave you tired and unable to concentrate. Your loud snoring annoys your partner. But did you know if may also have a negative effect on your blood pressure?

“Research shows the important link between sleep apnea and other serious conditions,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “And new research shows that treating sleep apnea may in fact lower high blood pressure in patients who suffer from hypertension.”

In one Spanish study, patients used continuous positive airway pressure masks, the standard in sleep apnea treatment, to see if treating the sleep apnea had any effect on their blood pressure. The participants in the study all took three or more medications to lower their blood pressure, and suffered from sleep apnea.

San Francisco dentistResearchers found that the patients who used the CPAP machine continuously for 12 weeks found their diastolic pressure lowered and their blood pressure at nighttime remained better, as well.

“This study, and others like it, offer important results for us,” says Dr. Larson. “It’s estimated that as many as three in four patients who have resistant high blood pressure also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. If we can lower blood pressure and treat sleep apnea at the same time, we can improve a patient’s quality of life, making them happier and healthier.”

But why might the two be related? To understand how they can be linked, we need to better understand the body during sleep.

Even while we are sleeping, our bodies are hard at work. During sleep, our automatic nervous system functions by the parasympathetic system. This rest and relaxation system helps to regulate our breathing, and lower our heart rate and blood pressure while we sleep, helping us to fall into a deep sleep.

From there, we enter our REM cycle, where we dream and our body’s sympathetic system can kick into action. As we dream, our blood pressure might fluctuate, and our heart rate and breathing can become irregular.

In people with normal sleep patterns and a healthy nervous system, their resting blood pressure will drop between 10 and 20 percent while they sleep, making these fluctuations in blood pressure nothing to worry about. But for others, this natural dip in blood pressure doesn’t occur, and for others, there can actually be an increase in blood pressure by up to 20 percent during sleep. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to fall into one of these two categories.

This can be dangerous, because sudden arousals from sleep, which can occur numerous times during the night in patients who suffer from sleep apnea, can cause the blood pressure to spoke, sometimes to extremely high levels. These apneas that occur during the night cause a surge in the sympathetic system, which acts as a burst of adrenaline.

These then carry over into the waking hours. Research shows that patients with sleep apnea also have higher levels of adrenaline during the day time and that their resting blood pressure is often higher than normal.

For sleep apnea patients in San Francisco, there is hope. Dr. Larson has extensive experience treating patients who suffer from sleep apnea, and has had great success in treatment. He is
on fellowship tracks with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and has tremendous success treating patients with custom sleep appliances.

CPAP machines are excellent for treating sleep apnea, however, the machines are cumbersome and can be difficult for patients to get used to. An orthotic appliance custom created for you by Dr. Larson works to open your upper airway, allow for proper oxygenation and airflow during sleep.

Dr. Larson works closely with your medical professionals to ensure the proper treatment for each patient he sees. You can rest easy knowing he and his team have the skill and technology to get your sleep apnea under control so you can enjoy a more restful, healthier life. Call today to schedule your appointment.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Uncovering the Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction

San Francisco, CA – Research continues to add to the list of health problems that are associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition characterized by loud snoring and pauses in breathing that force the body awake. One in five adults is believed to suffer from at least mild OSA, and recent research has shown that erectile dysfunction is common in male sleep apnea sufferers.

Sleep apnea treatmentA study performed by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that patients with ED were more than twice as likely to also have OSA. But not only that, the likelihood of having OSA increased with the severity of ED. But why might this be?

“Sleep apnea produces alterations in hormones,” says San Francisco sleep apnea dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “These alterations can cause or contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction. Additionally, patients who suffer from OSA tend to be sleep deprived. Their constant wakings in the middle of the night leave them far from restful, and because the body produces testosterone during the night, insufficient sleep prevents its production. And that means decreased libido and poor erections.”

Additionally, OSA often leaves patients feeling sleep deprived. This can lead to fatigue and stress, which can then worsen any sexual problems that may exist.

Another problem researchers believe may contribute to the association between OSA and ED is a lack of oxygen. Oxygen is essential to healthy erections and patients who suffer from sleep apnea don’t get enough oxygen during their sleep. This oxygen deficiency then can lead to the inability to have healthy erections.

The good news, though, is that research also shows that getting treatment for OSA may help boost men’s sex lives.

Research shows that using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy can help men improve their erectile dysfunction. During treatment, a CPAP mask is worn at night. The mask is then connected to a machine that pushes air to the back of the throat to keep the airway open, thereby reducing snoring and waking. The patient is able to get more oxygen and a better night’s sleep.

Men who use a CPAP machine may experience better erections, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with ED. This is because the body is better able to rest, which leads to better testosterone production and more oxygen flowing in the body. And these two are the key components to healthy erections.

Dr. Larson knows that wearing a CPAP mask can be cumbersome, so he specializes in additional ways to help patients who suffer from OSA. For many patients, treatment can be as simple as wearing a small dental orthotic at night. This mouth guard is specially created for each patient, and works to open the upper airway during sleep to allow for correct oxygen flow.

The appliances Dr. Larson creates are comfortable and extremely effective when worn regularly. Because a CPAP mask can be cumbersome, patients who mild to moderate OSA may be discouraged from its use. But with a custom made orthotic from Dr. Larson, patients are able to drink and speak easily, and can comfortably sleep in any position.

If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, and also believe you may suffer from OSA, now is the time to visit Dr. Larson. Dr. Larson has studied sleep apnea extensively, and as a dentist, knows that everything in your body is intricately linked. He will work to help you get a restful night’s sleep, while also improving your overall well-being. Schedule a consultation today and regain your life.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health

San Francisco, CA – In recent years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people using electronic cigarettes. Touted as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, people everywhere are switching out their traditional cigarette habit for these new e-cigarettes. We all know the effects smoking has on oral health, but what damage, if any, do e-cigarettes do?

No SmokingAn electronic cigarette is battery powered, and contains a heating element that vaporizes a solution that contains chemicals, nicotine and other additives. Because of the vapor instead of smoke, they are frequently seen in places where smoking is no longer allowed. Their makers claim that they are alternatives to cigarettes that do not expose the user or those around to harmful levels of cancer-causing agents or other dangerous chemicals found in standard cigarettes. But is that true?

“E-cigarettes are so new that long-term effects of their use can’t be known yet,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “However, current research shows that electronic cigarettes negatively impact oral health. One of my biggest concerns is that e-cigarettes aren’t regulated by the FDA. That means we have no way of knowing if any claims an e-cigarette company makes are actually true, and instead simply have to take the marketer’s word for it. This leave consumers open to ingesting harmful chemicals that they aren’t even aware of.”

We know that the vaporizing liquid that is used in these cigarettes contains dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde, propylene glycol, nickel, cadmium and nitrosamines, among many others. Some of the chemicals found in e-cigarettes are known carcinogens, which increase a user’s risk of developing oral cancer.

Electronic cigarettes also contain nicotine. Continued exposure of the gums to nicotine can result in gingivitis, or gum disease. Gum disease can become serious if not treated and can lead to bone and gum loss and eventually the loss of teeth. Additionally, it is linked to higher risks of other serious disease, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

But because nicotine use often masks the symptoms of gum disease, cigarette use of any kind can make it much harder for a dentist to diagnose.

Nicotine woks as a vasoconstrictor. This means it compromises blood flow, which can lead to the death of gum tissue. Gum recession can loosen teeth, and because the gum tissue absorbs high levels of nicotine, a user’s risk for developing other oral disease increases.

One common issue with regular cigarettes is they leave a user with bad breath after smoking. While e-cigarette companies may claim it doesn’t happen with their products, it most likely will. Nicotine dries out the mouth, meaning users won’t produce the necessary saliva to wash away bacteria and prevent it from building up in the mouth. Because of that, bad breath will result, and over time, this build-up of bacteria can lead to plaque. Plaque can then lead to cavities, periodontitis and serious tooth decay.

Continued studies need to be conducted to further study the implications of electronic cigarettes on the oral and overall health of their users. However, it is safe to say that the only safe alternative to smoking is quite simply not to smoke at all.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Can Gum Disease Treatment Reduce Prostate Symptoms?

San Francisco, CA – We have known for some time that gum disease is uniquely linked to many other health issues, including increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Treatment for periodontal disease can lessen your chances of developing these, but can it also lessen prostate symptoms?

“Recent research from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Departments of Urology and Pathology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center shows that it may do just that,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “In the study, patients who suffered from prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate, experienced fewer symptoms when they were also undergoing treatment for gum disease.”

men in tooth painThis isn’t the first study to look into the link between the two. Previous studies proved a link between prostatitis and gum disease, but this new study shows that properly treating gum disease may help patients who also have prostatitis. The inflammation of the prostate can make urinating difficult and painful.

The study followed 27 men who had both signs of prostate inflammation and mild to moderate gum disease. After treatment for their gum disease, most showed significant improvement.

During the study, the men received no treatment for their prostate issue – they simply underwent gum disease treatment. At the conclusion of the study, 21 of the 27 men displayed decreased prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, meaning less likelihood of inflammation. The men who had the highest levels of prostate inflammation showed the most improvement following the periodontal treatment.

The lead researcher for the study is now conducting follow-up research to further support this study’s findings. If studies continue to show similar results, those who suffer from prostate symptoms can expect to have periodontal treatment included in their standard of care.

But why might the two be linked?

Gum disease occurs when bacteria in plaque and calculus isn’t properly removed from the teeth. This bacteria causes an inflammation that leads to red and swollen gums. If not treated, the inflammation can also spread to the bone, causing it to become inflamed and infected, as well.

Because the systems of the body are so intimately related, the bacteria that causes gum disease can travel to other parts of the body, causing inflammation there as well. While researchers still haven’t determined exactly why gum disease is linked to so many other issues, they believe the inflammation is the common denominator. The inflammation in the gums increases the risk of inflammation in other parts of the body, and inflammation is an underlying cause of many other health issues. Previous research at Case Western Dental School has shown links between gum inflammation and fetal deaths, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

The link is so prominent, that new recommendations encourage cardiologists to ask patients about any history of gum disease, and periodontists to ask patients about any family history of heart disease.

Gum disease is also linked to both diabetes and dementia. Patients who have diabetes are more likely to have gum disease, and those how do not have their diabetes under control are at an even higher risk. Gum disease may also raise the risk of developing dementia later in life, and cause mild cognitive impairment such as memory problems. One study showed that patients with the most severe gum disease scored the lowest scores on memory tests.

Patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis suffer inflammation and pain in their joints, and are more likely to also have periodontal disease. A 2009 study showed that people with severe RA experienced less pain and swelling in their joints after their periodontal disease was properly treated.

Studies continue to be done on the link between periodontal disease and preterm birth. During pregnancy, women are told to pay close attention to their oral health, and many studies have shown a link between preterm and low-weight births and gum disease. Studies have shown that women who had treatment for their gum disease prior to their 35th week of pregnancy were more likely to carry their babies to term.

Studies continue to be performed throughout the world on the interested link between gum disease and other serious medical conditions. But the consensus is clear – while an exact reason may not be known yet, the evidence all points to the fact that gum disease has an effect on your body as a whole, and treatment for it may very well improve your overall health.

The only way to prevent gum disease is by following a thorough oral health routine that include proper brushing and flossing, and regular check-ups with a dentist and periodontist. Because you may gum disease is often painless, you may not even know you have it. This is why regular check-ups are so important. By finding and addressing gum disease as soon as possible, your dentist or periodontist can lessen its impact on the rest of your body.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Can Sleep Apnea Treatment Lower Diabetes Risk?

San Francisco, CA – A new study has shown that treating sleep apnea may help patients with elevated blood sugars lower their risk of developing diabetes. The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, is good news for the 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes.

“Anyone with higher than normal blood sugar levels who haven’t yet developed diabetes are considered to have pre-diabetes,” says San Francisco sleep apnea dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “And many of these patients also have untreated sleep apnea, but might be unaware of it.”

Beautiful manSleep apnea is a disorder that disrupts sleep because the upper airway closes continuously during sleep. This not only causes temporary wakings, it can also lower oxygen levels. Sleep apnea is most common in patients who are overweight or obese, and patients who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

The new study, performed by faculty at the University of Chicago, studied 39 middle-aged, overweight or obese volunteers with pre-diabetes and sleep apnea. Two-thirds were randomly assigned treatment with a CPAP machine, which they wore for 8 continuous hours during sleep. The remaining third were given a placebo pill.

After two weeks, blood sugar control improved for the patients who received treatment with the CPAP machine. An intravenous glucose tolerance test also showed that the ability of insulin to regulate the blood sugar had improved. Additionally, the study also showed that these patients had lower blood pressure than the placebo group.

The study’s authors concluded that 8 hours of CPAP use each night can lower the risk of developing diabetes in patients with pre-diabetes.

According the Center of Disease Control, 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Hispanics, African Americans and American Indians have the highest instances of diabetes. Diabetes can affect the entire body, and has been linked to other serious complications, such as heart
disease and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation.

“This study is great news for the population of Americans with pre-diabetes,” says Dr. Larson, a cosmetic dentist who also treats patients with sleep apnea. “If you’ve ever heard your partner or spouse complain about your snoring, or you wake up tired each morning, you should visit a dentist or physician trained in sleep apnea as soon as possible.”

Many patients who suffer from sleep apnea simply think their problem is an issue of snoring, and ignore it. But snoring and sleep apnea are both linked to other serious conditions, and if you already have pre-diabetes, a diagnosis by a dentist such as Dr. Larson can get your sleep apnea under control, while also lowering your risk of pre-diabetes developing into diabetes.

Dr. Larson has studied sleep apnea extensively, and other dentists even seek out his expertise to diagnose the condition. His team works closely with ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, pulmonologists, physical therapists, orthodontists and sleep medicine specialists to create a treatment plan that will meet the needs of each individual patient.

For many, wearing a CPAP machine each night may be cumbersome, but not to worry. Dr. Larson has had great success treating sleep apnea patients with dental orthotics that are worn at night. The custom designed orthotic will ensure the airway stays open without obstruction, so you can get a restful night’s sleep.

If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Larson today, and you just might be improving your overall heath, too.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Take Years Off with Tooth Whitening Treatment

San Francisco, CA – It’s no secret that a whiter, brighter smile is more appealing than a dull, yellow one. But a recent study by Oral B found that a white smile might even make you look younger – by up to five years. And that’s almost the same as a facelift, as similar studies have shown the average person undergoing a facelift looks 4.6 years younger following the procedure.

Cosmetic DentistImagine, taking years off your appearance with a visit to your cosmetic dentist.

“Teeth whitening not only make us look younger, but several surveys indicate they may also may also improve our appearance, and lead others to believe we are healthier, wealthier and more successful,” says Dr. Greg Larson. “And San Francisco tooth whitening is easy, and one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures there is.”

Tooth discoloration is the most common complaint dentists hear from their patients. While there are a number of whitening toothpastes, gels and strips on the market today, nothing can compare to the ease and results of professional whitening.

Tooth whitening in Dr. Larson’s office offers dramatic and immediately noticeable results, in a quick, painless procedure. As long as you have healthy teeth and gums, you’re a good candidate for whitening.

Dr. Larson offers the best in whitening treatments, using both Zoom! and Kör deep whitening systems. These treatments can whiten your smile by up to 10 shades. And it’s never been easier to get whiter teeth.

First, Dr. Larson will shield your lips and gums for protection, and then apply the whitening gel to your teeth. A laser then activates the gel to break up and remove those tough stains that have discolored your teeth. This process is repeated a few times, until we’ve reached your optimal brightness. Then, a fluoride treatment will ensure your teeth stay protected.

We can quickly and easily brighten your teeth, but there are a few things you can do to ensure your teeth remain pearly white.

1. Brush the right way. Only use a soft bristle brush, and don’t brush too hard. This can strip away the protective enamel, leaving your teeth more susceptible to staining. We also recommend using an electric toothbrush, which can more effectively remove tough stains.
2. Use a whitening toothpaste. Dr. Larson can recommend which he believes to be the best, but these toothpastes are effective at removing stains, while being gentle on the enamel.
3. Avoid food and drink that can stain your teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine and soda can all stain your teeth, so avoid drinking them, or drink through a straw to avoid as much contact with your teeth as possible. Likewise, avoid darkly colored, sticky foods that can adhere to your teeth and stain them.
4. Drink plenty of water. Water can work to rinse away any particles leftover from eating and drinking that could otherwise be left to stain your teeth. It can also help to chew sugarless gum, as this will help produce more saliva, which can be effective in washing away these particles, too.

If you’re ready to take years off your appearance and greet the world with a bright white smile, schedule a consultation with Dr. Larson today.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Dentists Can Offer Help for Sleep Apnea

San Francisco, CA – Obstructive sleep apnea and other serious sleep issues affect as many as 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Those who suffer from these issues know that lack of sleep isn’t just a nuisance, it can be dangerous, too. In fact, those who suffer from sleep apnea may have their lifespans shortened by 20 percent.

A dentist and a nurse Sleep apnea affects how you breathe during sleep. Your breathing can become very shallow and can even stop for small periods of time throughout the night. Each time that happens, it can disrupt your sleep pattern, causing you to spend less time in a deep sleep and leaving you feeling tired throughout the day.

“These issues are very serious, because lack of sleep can affect our whole lives,” says San Francisco sleep apnea dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “In order to have enough energy to be productive during the day, you need quality sleep. But in addition to that, if sleep apnea isn’t treated, it can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease and stroke.”

Additionally, you may be tired throughout the day and experience poor concentration and slower reflexes. Because of this, the Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, among others, have adopted sleep apnea guidelines for all employees operating motor vehicles and pilots to ensure the safety of the general public.

But the good news is, relief can come from a visit with your dentist. Because you often visit your dentist more frequently than a primary physician, your dentist can recognize the signs of sleep apnea earlier, and get it treated before you feel the effects too heavily.

“In a lot of sleep apnea cases I see, I can pinpoint the problem to one issue,” says Dr. Larson. “In many patients, the jaw didn’t grow correctly during childhood, which can then impede the function of your airways during sleep.”

But that’s not all. Studies have shown that children who have malocclusions that go untreated can experience sleep apnea, and in these cases, it increases their instances of childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes and behavior disorders such as ADD and ADHD. A general dentist can find and treat these issues that affect the airways, and can begin treatment in children as young as 4 years old, saving them from a lifetime of other problems associated with sleep apnea.

The best time for treatment is as soon as a problem that can lead to obstruction of the airway is found, or the potential of one is found. Treatment can begin at any time, however.

In a 2013 study published in the Frontiers of Neurology, 300 infants ages newborn to 2 were studied. The study found that a small percentage, only 9 percent in fact, had a normal hard palate and normal breathing during sleep. The authors of the study concluded that pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder associated with oral-facial growth, and that dentists are the best to intervene and offer treatment.

A San Francisco dentist may be able to use early interceptive orthodontics to improve a patient’s airway and allow for proper sleep. This will allow for proper growth and development into adulthood.

Sleep apnea is fairly common in children, but it can be hard to recognize. Children may have very loud snoring, and they may begin to sleep in strange positions, suffer from bedwetting, sweat excessively at night, or even experience night terrors. It’s important to consult with a dentist or physician who is well-versed in sleep apnea as soon as possible.

In adults, symptoms include:

    • Loud snoring
    • Pauses in snoring, followed by choking or gasping sounds
    • Waking up with a headache
    • Memory, learning or concentration problems
    • Feelings of irritability
    • Depression
    • Mood swings or changes in personality
    • Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking

In many cases, you may not be aware of your snoring or pauses in breathing at night, but your partner may. It is important that he or she makes you aware of these issues so you can seek treatment as soon as possible.

During a consultation with Dr. Larson, he will examine you and determine the best course of treatment. He has studied sleep apnea extensively, and works closely with other physicians to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. In most cases, he recommends the use of a dental orthotic during sleep at night.

The appliance will be custom created just for you, and designed to keep your airway open to ensure proper air exchange and oxygenation during your sleep. The appliances are comfortable, so you won’t have a problem wearing it every night to ensure its effectiveness.

Dr. Larson and his team have a wealth of treating patients who suffer from sleep apnea. If you believe you or your child may be suffering from this issue, schedule a consultation with him today and be on the road to better sleep, and a better life.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Your Dentist Can Help with Snoring

San Francisco, CA – Does your partner or spouse complain about lack of sleep because of your loud snoring? A visit to your San Francisco dentist may help solve that.

“Snoring is very common, and in most cases, nothing to worry about,” says TMJ dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “That doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying, though. It can disrupt your own sleep and that of your spouse, but I can help relieve your snoring and help your house get a better night’s sleep.”

Young man sleepingSnoring is a sign that your airway is partially blocked. The blockage, usually by soft tissue in your throat, creates a sound in your upper airway as you breathe in. The flow of the air causes the soft tissue to vibrate, which is what creates the noise. Your snoring sound can come from your nose, mouth, or both.

Snoring can affect anyone, but affects an estimated 40 percent of men, compared to only 24 percent of women. Alcohol, drugs and tobacco products, along with muscle relaxers, can contribute to snoring. Being overweight can also contribute to snoring, as there can be more fat tissue in the back of the throat.

“First, it’s important to determine if your problem is simply an issue of snoring, which is annoying but harmless, or if it’s something more serious,” says Dr. Larson. “Many people mistakenly believe they simply snore, but sleep apnea is really to blame.”

If you have extremely loud snoring, frequent waking or make gasping, choking or snorting sounds, it could be a sign you suffer from sleep apnea. Dr. Larson will complete an exam to determine if you could possibly suffer from sleep apnea.

If you simply need assistance to stop snoring, Dr. Larson’s preferred method of treatment is with an oral appliance. A specially designed, custom appliance will be created for you that will allow your airway to remain open and unobstructed throughout the night.

The appliance will be comfortable, so it will be easy to wear at night. It may take a few days to get used to it, but in no time, you’ll realize its benefits. It works to reposition your lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula. By stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue, it removes obstructions to airflow that cause the snoring sound.

A consultation with Dr. Larson can help determine how to best end your snoring habit. Dr. Larson is well-trained in this type of therapy, and can help you find the right appliance to suit your needs. He is on fellowship track with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, so he has the knowledge needed to help relieve your snoring and restore sleepless nights in your home.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

How Your Dentist Can Help You Sleep Better

San Francisco, CA – To get to sleep at night, you’ve probably tried counting sheep. But have you tried a visit to your San Francisco dentist office?

If you wake up in the morning groggy and find yourself sleepy during the day, or if your partner complains about your snoring habit, a visit to your dentist might help. You may suffer from sleep apnea.

CA Sleep Apnea treatmentThe American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimates that one in five adults suffers from at least a mild form of obstructive sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the throat and tongue relax during sleep, blocking the patient’s airway. A partially blocked airway leads to snoring. If your airway becomes fully blocked it can cause a your breathing to stop for a second, jolting you awake.

“Patients can experience pauses in their breathing that last from 30 to 90 seconds, and they can occur anywhere from five to 30 times an hour,” says Dr. Greg Larson, who is on fellowship track with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. “All of this makes for a restless night, but a lack of sleep can affect your entire body. Your immune system can be lowered, and your concentration and memory can be affected.”

In the past, sleep apnea patients sought out treatment using a CPAP machine. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is a small machine that delivers a constant supply of air pressure through a hose through a mask or nose piece that the patient wears while sleeping. It can be cumbersome and annoying to wear, but luckily there is an easier option.

Dr. Larson is able to effectively treat patients who suffer from sleep apnea with a comfortable dental orthotic that they wear during sleep. After speaking extensively with other experts, including ENTs, pulmonologists, and sleep medicine specialists, Dr. Larson will determine the best course of action for each of his patients.

Your custom designed sleep appliance will open your upper airway to allow for oxygenation while you sleep. Every appliance is designed to be as comfortable as possible so that you’ll want to wear it every night. Dr. Larson performs neuromuscular tests to ensure each patient is as comfortable as possible with their new sleep appliance.

Your sleep device is not only comfortable, it allows you to drink and speak while it is in place, and even better, you can sleep in your favorite position. With a CPAP machine, your sleeping positions are greatly limited, which can make it hard for some patients to fall asleep.

Additionally, Dr. Larson can discuss with you behaviors that may help lessen your OSA. Losing weight may help lessen the severity of your sleep apnea, as can avoiding heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine before sleep.

If you spent years suffering from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Larson and his knowledgeable team today. They can fit you with a custom orthotic and help you get a good night’s sleep again.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.