How dentistry can help patients with sleep disorders

Taking a deeper look at sleep…

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Have you ever taken such an interest in something that you have wanted to learn all you can about it?

At Mitchell Dentistry, we were among the first in our community to talk to our patients about the dangers of sleep apnea and how we might be able to help with this life threatening disorder. For several years, we have worked with area physicians, and have introduced ever evolving oral appliances to ease the situation for many patients. We’ve talked with many who are relieved about breathing better – and many more who are excited that their loved ones have stopped snoring all night!

All three of us, Dr. Yolanda, Dr. Joe and I, are excited about a three-day conference we will soon be attending in Arizona. We will amp up our education with the latest courses on aberrant breathing – when awake and asleep – and its impact on our patients’ health. This seminar will help us move beyond sleep appliances and into a new realm of sleep medicine.

We will learn to recognize breathing-disturbed sleep and the associated anatomic “choke points” of respiration. The world’s leading experts on this issue will help us enhance our solid foundation and give us even more tools for controlling and resolving airway issues with the newest techniques in restorative dentistry.

According to Spear Education, among the things we will learn to bring back to our patients include:

  • Understanding how breathing-related disruption of sleep is not limited to apnea
  • How upper airway flow limitation creates an environment for poor sleep and chronic stress
  • The causes and correlation between the top 10 dental problems and dysfunctional breathing
  • The importance of breathing disordered sleep on the systemic, neurocognitive, and craniofacial development of our pediatric patients
  • Understanding the importance of nasal breathing, the damaging sequela of mouth breathing, and the strategies to promote proper function
  • A systematic approach to controlling and resolving sleep-induced airway issues

Those of you who know us know how much we love learning, and applying our newfound knowledge in our practice. We can’t wait to share ideas with you when we return from the conference.

As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Best wishes from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

All the best, Dr. Jim

 

 

 

 

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Protect your heart and brain with a healthy mouth

At Mitchell Dentistry, we continue to learn about the science-based connections between oral health and overall health. Paying attention to the whole person has often helped us notice many of the warning signs that have led us to advise patients to seek further diagnosis, in some cases culminating in life saving results.

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That’s why we were interested in a recent research study published in Science Daily describing how patients entering the hospital for acute stroke displayed an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans).

The Link between Stroke and Oral Bacteria

Co-authored by Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor in Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, observed stroke patients to gain a better understanding of the relationship between hemorrhagic stroke and oral bacteria. Among the patients who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 26 percent were found to have a specific bacterium in their saliva, cnm-positive S. mutans. Among patients with other types of stroke, only 6 percent tested positive for the bacterium.

Strokes are characterized as either ischemic strokes, which involve a blockage of one or more blood vessels supplying the brain, or hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

The researchers also evaluated MRIs of study subjects for the presence of small brain hemorrhages which may cause dementia and also often underlie ICH. They found that the number of these was significantly higher in subjects with cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without.

The authors hypothesize that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels weakened by age and high blood pressure, causing arterial ruptures in the brain, leading to small or large hemorrhages.

Oral Health is Important to Brain Health

“This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain and their heart as well as their teeth,” Friedland said. “The study and related work in our labs have shown that oral bacteria are involved in several kinds of stroke, including brain hemorrhages and strokes that lead to dementia.”

The cnm-negative S. mutans bacteria is found in approximately 10 percent of the general population, Friedland says, and is known to cause dental cavities (tooth decay). Friedland also is researching the role of oral bacteria in other diseases affecting the brain.

“We are investigating the role of oral and gut bacteria in the initiation of pathology in the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with collaborators in the United Kingdom and Japan.”

Extending a healthy life with a healthy mouth

Why are we sharing this information? Because our Mitchell Dentistry team is concerned for our patients – not just from the standpoint of their oral health, but for their health in general. Based on science, we know that helping you maintain a healthy mouth can extend your healthy life.

As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. In the meantime, enjoy a safe and healthy summer!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Louisville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

 

 

 

The Joy of Designing Smiles

As Dr. Joe, Dr. Yolanda and I returned from this year’s AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) Scientific Session in Toronto, we reflected on all that we learned about the latest advances for rejuvenating and restoring smiles. As long time accredited members of this prestigious organization, we have attended the annual conference for the past nine years, and we always come away inspired and eager to bring new ideas to our patients back home.

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Drs. Joe, Yolanda & Jim Mitchell of Mitchell Dentistry in Fort Myers attended the annual AACD2016 conference in Toronto to learn about the latest procedures and technology in cosmetic dentistry.

In Search of New Knowledge

Everyone on our staff is a lifelong learner, often on the leading edge of mastering the latest dental technologies.  Just looking at the AACD’s “teaser” videos before we left (http://www.aacd.com/conference) had us making notes about which sessions to attend.

Is it the concept of acquiring new knowledge that entices us? The possibility of adding new technology to our practice? The aspect of having a competitive edge by being among the first to learn new trends? Probably yes to all of the above.

Creating a Magical Smile

But the primary motivator for us is what happens when we apply our new-found knowledge to practical applications – to our patients. It is a magical experience when you see someone smile broadly, unselfconsciously, for the first time after they have had a restorative procedure. We hold up the mirror and right in front of our eyes, we see someone’s self-esteem shoot from 0 to a million – having the capability of bringing that kind of joy to an individual is truly amazing.

From the grandmother who can now smile at her grandchildren without them asking, “Grandma, why are your teeth so crooked?” to the highly trained business professional who credited achieving the job of his dreams with his restored missing teeth, we’ve played a small part in helping people transform themselves and transform their lives. It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of our practice.

So while I delighted in checking off the boxes on which hands-on workshops we planned to attend, and while we appreciated spending three days with the world’s most renowned experts on cosmetic dentistry, it’s the end result that is the most meaningful to us – seeing a bright, brilliant, brand new smile on a patient’s face.

Bringing Our Patients Breakthrough Technology

We learned so much and can’t wait to share new ideas and new technology with you! Let us know if you have any questions about cosmetic or restorative dentistry, and we will bring you up to date on the latest information.

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

You can have a spectacular smile in one day!

At Mitchell Dentistry we have been getting a fabulous response to our “Restore with 4″© plan, an excellent solution for patients who have unwanted dentures or failing teeth in need of upper and or lower restoration. Typically, the procedure only requires four dental implants per jaw to support a fully customized set of replacement teeth – hence the name. The best part is that while the patient is comfortably sedated, we work side by side with board certified oral surgeons to attach a restoration created right here in our Fort Myers office, resulting in a brand new beautiful smile in just one day.

You can have a beautiful smile in one day!

You can have a beautiful smile in one day!

This technology has literally changed the face of modern dentistry, offering a solution to the “toothless” patient. Unlike traditional dentures, Restore with 4© can deliver immediate functionality and enhanced quality of life. We have actually seen patients burst into tears of happiness when they take their first look at their new smile. That makes us smile too.

Another benefit in addition to replacement teeth is that the procedure almost always alleviates the need for bone grafting – a surgery often required by more conventional treatment. Patients are relieved of the discomfort caused by dentures and can go back to eating a regular diet. Plus, there’s an almost immediate sense of well-being and improved self-esteem.

If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about the Restore with 4© procedure, please do not hesitate to call us. All of us at Mitchell Dentistry welcome your questions and feedback!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

The Eyes Have It: Can dental cells repair the cornea?

Although it might sound like science fiction, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have shown in mice that stem cells from dental pulp, the tissue from the inner part of the tooth, can be transformed into cells of the eye.*

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 Here’s what happened: the team collected dental stem cells from human wisdom teeth after routine extractions, and then induced the cells to turn into corneal cells called keratocytes. Weeks after injecting these cells into the eyes of mice, the researchers observed no signs of rejection, and the mice corneas appeared clear. The researchers also created cornea-shaped material that had similar properties to actual cornea tissue.

Why is this significant? This could turn out to be an important advancement since corneal blindness is the fourth leading cause of blindness in the world and is usually treated by using corneal transplants. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of donor corneas, and tissue rejection can result in permanent vision loss.

Time will tell if this science will be helpful to humans in the future. In the meantime, however, it lends credence to our Mitchell Dentistry philosophy that dentistry ties in to the big picture of overall health. Your teeth and your oral health are integrally connected to the rest of your body. While our focus is on your mouth, our concern is with all of you.

We are always interested in the latest science or technology related to oral health – so if you hear anything interesting, definitely let us know!

*The study was published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.