Psychology researchers from West Virginia University have found that anxiety and fear related to dental care can be genetically inherited from parents. These findings are one of the first of their kind as previous insights have found links predominately to environmental factors. Data collected by the Center for Oral Health Research from a large group of participants was used to reach these conclusions that the scientific community believes may be groundbreaking in the future of treating dental fears and phobias which currently affect 10 to 20 percent of adults in the United States.
Dr. Abelar is very understanding of dental related fears and has focused on becoming an area leader in the field of sedation dentistry. Thanks to advances in treatment, using a combination of Single Visit Dentistry (CEREC) and oral sedation techniques, a patient with anxiety can now have years’ worth of dental work done in only one or two visits with very little memory of the procedures afterward. Sedation dentistry can be as simple as taking a medication before you come in for a cleaning or procedure (and even the night before in more serious cases of anxiety). Patients report feeling so relaxed it has been nicknamed "Sleep Dentistry" even though they are awake during the entire procedure.
Researchers at Brown University have determined that women who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea may be at an increased risk of experiencing serious complications during pregnancy.
A Study on Sleep Apnea’s Effects on Pregnancy
Using the U.S. National Perinatal Information Center database, the medical records of over one and a half million pregnant women from 2010 to 2014 were analyzed. Only 12 percent of those women showed a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, but from these numbers, they determined the women were 174 percent more at risk for admission in the Intensive Care Unit than those without the sleep disorder. The average length of hospital stay was three days for women without obstructive sleep apnea but was five days for those with it.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Facts
When breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep, obstructive sleep apnea may be the cause. It’s the most common form of sleep apnea and can be a serious concern when it comes to your health according to Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, a San Diego area dentist who treats patients for this sleep disorder.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, painful, inflammatory disease that affects the joints. There’s no cure for the disease, but medications and therapy often help relieve symptoms. Thanks to scientific research, those suffering from gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may find relief from their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by seeking professional oral care to treat their gum disease.
Studies Support a Connection
A study was published in the Journal of Periodontology that discovered that people suffering from RA were eight times more likely to develop gum disease than those without it. This brought to light the proverbial question of "which came first the chicken or the egg" to the forefront of research on gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Does gum disease play a role in the development of RA or does RA create an environment that encourages gum disease?
Chronic gum disease, also known as periodontitis, affects over 47% of Americans 30 years old and over. When the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth becomes infected, it can lead to major problems if left untreated.
Patients often admit to avoiding treatment for gum disease because of the discomfort associated with traditional periodontal surgery methods. In the past, gum surgery meant incisions, sutures and extended healing times.
People chew gum for a variety of reasons. Some do it to focus when they’re feeling anxious or stressed, others chew gum to freshen their breath or get rid of a bad taste in their mouth after eating. What if chewing gum not only freshened breath but also helped prevent decay?
A new study conducted by the Institute of Empirical Health Economics found that those who already chew gum could help save $4.1 billion on dental expenses worldwide by chewing just one extra piece of sugar-free gum each day. Even the American Dental Association says that after a meal, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes can help prevent decay.
It was hard to miss the impact Starbucks’ limited-time Unicorn Frappuccino had on social media over the last few weeks. Surprisingly, critics argued not so much over the taste of the beverage but about its sugar content. Mixed in with all the vividly colored pictures of people trying out the new highly-anticipated drink, were graphics detailing just how much sugar the sweet treat contained. One of the most shared claims was that it had the equivalent to up to 3 or 4 Snickers candy bars in just one drink.
So, how much sugar was really in it?
Around March and April each year, people around the nation begin thinking about cleaning and airing out the house after winter. After a few months of basic cleaning, it starts to feel like it’s time for a deep cleaning. Those hard to reach places like the baseboards and windows are in desperate need of a wipe down and the floors and bathrooms could use a deeper clean than normal for all those easy to miss spots.
The same holds true for your mouth. Throughout the year, we clean them daily and hopefully twice a day, but there’s no way to reach every single nook and cranny with just a toothbrush and floss. That’s where your biannual professional dental cleaning comes in. It’s important to keep up with these appointments because a thorough cleaning helps prevent plaque build-up and keeps things looking and feeling great.
It’s safe to say that few people look forward coming to the dentist. But for some, the idea of a visit to the dentist creates such fear and anxiety, that they may not go at all until they find themselves in severe pain. As a dental professional, Dr. Abelar understands these feelings and offers options for his patients that experience anxiety.