Sleep apnea occurs when a person has pauses in their breathing during their sleep, but they may not know it. However, there are a few distinct symptoms that a person with sleep apnea will have, such as those that are listed below.


Snoring can be an issue all on its own and may not indicate that the person has sleep apnea, but it is one of the most common symptoms amongst patients. This is because something is obstructing their airway and when the air cannot flow properly, snoring occurs.

Difficulty Concentrating

People often face this issue when they’re unable to get enough sleep during the night. Because sleep apnea disrupts a person’s sleeping pattern, it leaves them feeling exhausted in the morning, even if they don’t wake from their sleep apnea. Those who suffer from sleep apnea also have low levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid and glutamate, two chemicals that are needed for regular brain function and to ensure a good night’s rest.

Irregular Breathing During Sleep

This is by far the most distinct symptom that a person with sleep apnea will exhibit. The pauses in the sleep that are known as apneas in the medical world can last anywhere from 10-30 seconds, and in severe cases can happen every few minutes. Those who sleep with a partner at night may notice the signs of this symptom as it can come in the form of choking or gasping, but other times the apnea is silent.

Headaches Upon Waking

When people with sleep apnea fall asleep, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to dilate the arteries so that it can conserve oxygen and maximize blood flow throughout the body since the proper amount of oxygen is not being taken in. This dilation, however, causes pressure in the head, causing sufferers to wake up with a pounding in their skull. This often fades after a few hours of regular breathing.

Dry Mouth 

Since breathing through the nose is difficult when you have sleep apnea, this causes the person to breathe through their mouth in order to try and get enough oxygen. This naturally dries the saliva that the mouth produces, therefore making the mouth feel rough and dry.

Frequent Waking

Again, this symptom may not indicate sleep apnea as many people wake during the night. However, what sets it apart is that people with sleep apnea find no reason for their body to wake during the night, such as using the bathroom, hunger, or a bad dream.

High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea often goes hand in hand with poor cardiovascular health. This is because oxygen is needed in the blood in order to move properly throughout the body. When the heart doesn’t detect enough oxygen in the blood it has to work harder in order to pump blood throughout the body. Because of overexertion, your blood pressure rises, which goes hand in hand with stress levels as well. Severe, untreated sleep apnea can further lead to conditions such as obesity, stokes, and even heart attacks.

Luckily, there are options. For more severe cases, a CPAP machine is available to make sure that a person stays breathing throughout the night. For milder cases, your dentist can offer a device. To discuss your options, schedule a consultation with your dentist.

More than likely you’ve been to a bi-yearly dental appointment, but for others it may be their first time, or maybe they’re coming back to the dentist after a long time and have forgotten what all is involved in the visit. This article will take you step by step through all the things involved in a bi-yearly checkup.

First up is the physical exam. These exams are mostly performed by dental hygienists and not the dentist themselves. This step involves the hygienist examining your mouth using a tiny mirror to check for inflamed gums, bleeding, sores, and signs of gingivitis. If nothing it found, they proceed to the next step. If there is something that concerns them, they will often call the dentist to take a look as well before proceeding. Depending on how long it has been, your dentist may also want to take x-rays to update your file before they begin the cleaning.

Second comes the cleaning, also performed by the hygienist. The hygienist will use the same mirror to look around your mouth while they use a scaler to clean the spaces between your teeth and around your gum line. This is often the most uncomfortable part of the cleaning process, but you can help to lessen it with proper brushing and flossing as this step is merely to get rid of the tartar and plaque that has built up in your mouth.

Third comes the polishing and cleaning with a gritty toothpaste. Combined with a high powered brush, this will both scrub your teeth clean, polish them, and remove any excess tartar left behind.

Fourth comes flossing, another unpleasant part for those who do not floss daily. If you do floss at home, this part will be simple with no bleeding or irritated gums, and will remove anything left behind by the two previous steps.

Lastly, the hygienist will rinse your mouth for one final sweep to get rid of anything lying around, then give you a toothbrush and a small container of floss and you’ll be ready to go.

You know by now that sore and bleeding gums are not normal and may be a sign that you have gingivitis, a very common dental condition that can be easily treated by your dentist if visited at the appropriate time. Failure to do so may make your gingivitis turn into something much more serious: a gum disease called periodontitis, which can then lead to infections and tooth loss.

50% of people have gingivitis and it’s because there are many risk factors for developing it. Such factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Dry mouth
  • Old age
  • Poor dental restorations
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Hormones
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Immunodeficiency diseases
  • Medications

With so many risk factors, it’s important to do everything you can in order to prevent gingivitis from happening. Such methods include:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Visiting your dentist bi-yearly
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Cutting back on/quitting smoking

But say you already have gingivitis. What can you do to treat it? Well, there are a few methods, both at home and at the dentist’s that are available. Treatments for gingivitis include:

  • Antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste
  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Deep cleaning
  • Prescriptions

Should you suspect that you have gingivitis, book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to figure out the best treatment plan.

When your child reaches the age of one, or at least 6 months after their first tooth emerges, it’s time for them to visit the dentist for the first time. Why this early? Well, it’s to check for a couple of things: to see if you’re doing to proper cleaning care at home, and to diagnose any problems that may have already started occurring. It’s also good to get your child used to the dentist as this is something that they’ll have to continue doing for years to come. 

In the subsequent years, x-rays may be taken to see how the teeth are going to come in and if any intervention is needed, or will be needed in the future. In most cases, however, crooked teeth are not an issue and will more than likely sort themselves out as the child’s jaw grows and develops, making room for new teeth.

The one thing that is most common with children is cavities which mostly form on the molars. As the molars come in, your dentist may discuss the option of sealing the molars as this makes bacteria and germs less likely to develop.

In the event of a cavity, your dentist may recommend a filling. Some parents will frown at this suggestion as the baby teeth will eventually fall out, so why bother with a costly procedure? While it is true that baby teeth will all fall out, your child will most likely still have a few left by the age of 12 and if the cavity develops at 5 years old, it is a possibility that the affected tooth could still be in your child’s mouth for another 7 years.

Broken, chipped, or infected teeth should also be treated, even if they will fall out in the future. Your oral health has the potential to affect the rest of the body, and it is no different for your child. Taking care of their teeth ensures they stay as healthy as can be.

To schedule your child’s first appointment, visit our website at

Amongst teens and younger adults, about 35% of injuries made to the tooth or jaw area are the result of a sports related injury with 80% of those injuries being inflicted upon the two most frontal teeth. The good news is that if one of the teeth has been knocked out by a sports injury, if you get to a dentist fast enough, it can be saved, but the procedure to do so is quite lengthy and expensive. Even minor chips and loose teeth can cost you a pretty penny, so dental experts recommend doing preventive practices so these injuries either never occur or are kept to the bare minimum.

There are a few options out there for children, teens, and adults who enjoy sports and want to minimize their risk of dental-related injuries. These options include:

Mouth Guards: Also used for preventing the user from grinding their teeth in the middle of the night, mouth guards are just as helpful in the world of sports. Forming a thick, protective layer over the teeth, mouth guards can help to prevent even the strongest of impacts, making them great for high contact sports such as football and hockey.

Helmets: Although not directly covering the mouth as a mouth guard does, helmets prevent the face from smashing into the ground, should a person fall down during a sporting match.

Custom fit mouth guards provide the best protection for anyone involved in sports, but if that is unaffordable, then the regular ones can get the job done. Be safe when playing sports and follow all safety instructions to prevent injuries.

If your tooth has become damaged due to a sporting related injury, come in for a consultation.

It’s common knowledge that we aren’t born with our adult teeth right away. We first start out gumless with our baby teeth hiding just beneath the surface. It isn’t until we grow older that our teeth emerge and begin maturing till we finally get all of our adult teeth. So what is the best way to get to a healthy adult smile? Let’s take a look at all the life stages to find out the best way to care for your teeth along the way.

Teeth are actually formed in utero when the baby still hasn’t been born yet. They don’t make their appearance until around the age of 4 months, but depending on the child, they could come earlier or later. The average time it takes for a baby to have all of their teeth emerge is around the age of 3. They will then begin losing their baby teeth around age 6 and will continue to lose and grow all their adult teeth up until the age of 21. 

Preventive measures at this stage of life to ensure healthy teeth include:

  • Regular brushing and flossing
  • Dental sealants if your child really struggles with oral care
  • Getting enough fluoride
  • Limit sugar intake

Problems and challenges that can occur at the baby stage include:

  • Tooth decay: this mainly occurs when the parents give their baby milk or juice before bed rather than water and don’t clean their gums afterward. The sugar found in both of these drinks can break down the teeth and lead to many problems.

Challenges that occur at the toddler stage include:

  • Establishing a routine: Toddlers are not self-starters and will not willingly go and brush their teeth when you ask them to. Set an example for your child and do your oral health care routine together as a family. If they see that their caregivers are doing it, they’re more likely to do it as well.
  • Dental Fear: Make going to the dentist a positive experience. This experience is very new to a toddler and a little nerve-wracking.
  • Tooth decay: Like with a baby, giving a toddler a sugary drink rather than water will wear down the new tooth and make is susceptible to decay and other problems.

Problems that occur during the childhood stage include:

  • Consumption of sweets: Kids have a massive sweet tooth and it’s up to the caregivers to make sure there are healthier options available like vegetables, cheese, and other alternatives, rather than having the children go straight for the sweets. This can lead to cavities and other problems down the road.
  • Oral injuries: Kids are also very playful, but not always the most careful. Chipped or lost teeth can occur when safety is not a top priority.

Express the importance of good dental habits early on and you’ll set your child up for success in the future! Remember to visit the dentist every 6 months to maintain healthy teeth and continue good practices at home to make each visit easier than the last.

As you get older, a lot can change in your body and you might find yourself slowly evolving your lifestyle to fit your needs. One of these things might be your dental routine. So what’s most important for seniors and their teeth? Well, there are four things to pay close attention to.

Your Use of Fluoride

The elderly are as prone to cavities as children are, so having a protective layer over the surface of the tooth is very important, Using a toothpaste which contains fluoride and brushing twice a day will drastically decrease the risk of a senior developing a cavity. Asking for a fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office during your bi-yearly cleaning will be very effective in the years to come.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is often the cause of certain medications or conditions that develop later on in life. PArticularly for those seniors who have dentures, this can create problems such as chafing and bleeding gums as the dentures rub uncomfortably against your gums. Using a mouth spray or chewing sugar free gum can help keep your mouth moist. Changing your medication in serious cases can also be an option if your doctor approves of it as well.

Denture Care 

For most seniors, tooth loss is a common side effect of aging and requires them to get dentures, either partial or complete. Although they are not “real” teeth, you should care for your dentures as if they were. Your dentist can give you a complete care guide on how to keep your dentures in pristine condition so that they have a long life.

Gum Disease

Gum disease often occurs when we don’t take proper care of our teeth. For seniors, it might be the result of mobility issues so they’re not able to visit the dentist, or perhaps their hand shakes too much so they’re unable to brush or floss properly. If either of these are the case, reach out to a loved one for help so you don’t become one of the 65% of seniors who suffer from periodontitis.

Whatever your age may be, your dental health remains a top priority in your life. If you haven’t already scheduled your next visit with a dentist, contact them today and set up an appointment at your earliest convenience.

A healthy smile looks great at any age. Keeping up with good hygiene habits, visiting your dentist regularly and making changes to your routine as your body changes will help you keep a great-looking smile for life.

Flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine, and yet many people skip it altogether, sometimes on accident, but more often than not, it’s purposeful. Why? Maybe it’s because it’s a tedious activity, or maybe the motion of moving the string around your teeth is bothersome and difficult to do. However, there is an alternative which might make this task easier and more enjoyable. An electric flosser.

Currently, two electric flossers are available for consumers to buy: air flossers and water flossers. Water flossers work by producing a stream of water to clean between the teeth and around the gumline, while air flossers use small bursts of air combined with water droplets to achieve the same task. 

How does this work? Well, both air flossers and water flossers use a small motor that sends the water up from the attached reservoir to the tip of the flosser. This motor can either be battery operated or require the use of am outlet. The latter has a separate water tank that is not built-in, unlike the battery-operated ones, making it less portable than the former.

But are these electric flossers just as effective as their traditional counterparts? According to the American Dental Association, they may be even more effective, particularly those who use the water flossers. In fact, compared to those who use string floss, water flosser users had considerably less plaque in their mouth and less gum bleeding than those who opted to use the string floss.

Electric flossers can also be incredibly beneficial to several groups. For example, string floss is unable to be used when the individual has braces, so an electric flosser is an excellent alternative. Those who suffer from arthritis and other mobility issues may find that an electric flosser is considerably easier to use.

If you’re wanting to make the switch, but unsure which one to choose, contact your family dentist to ask any questions you may have in relation to electric flossers.

If you can’t remember the last time that you replaced your toothbrush, this blog may be for you. While it is easy to know when to replace a ripped shirt or a holey sock, your toothbrush may not be so obvious and could cause you to be brushing with an ineffective toothbrush.

Generally, you’re going to want to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, but if you’ve recently come down with the flu or a virus, it may be a good idea to change it sooner to avoid contracting the sickness again. Other things to look for that may lead you to change your toothbrush sooner include frayed bristles and the storage of your toothbrush. Keeping your toothbrush close to others with no covering can be unsanitary. Children will also need their toothbrushes changed more frequently as their toothbrushes become worn-out more quickly.

When replacing your toothbrush, consider the type that you would like to buy: manual or electric. Manual toothbrushes have the benefit of being portable, requiring no external power source, and the user having the power to control the pressure and intensity of the brushing. Electric toothbrushes make it easier to clean your teeth, but most need to be charged before using. Choose the one that best suits your lifestyle.

The key to preserving your toothbrush’s longevity is keeping it clean. According to the ADA, rinsing your toothbrush after use to rid it of the saliva and toothbrush should be a mandatory step in your brushing routine. Keeping your toothbrush in an upright position after use will help the bristles air dry as well and prevent them from getting damaged or picking up bacteria. Although toothbrushes can come with a container which are marketed as keeping it safe, bacteria can fester in these containers and are therefore not recommended.

Of course, for the best advice on toothbrush maintenance and choosing the best one for your oral health, consult with your family dentist.

Canker sores, otherwise known as mouth ulcers, are painful pits that can be located on the gum or tongue. Ulcers are caused by a number of things including stress, improper brushing, and eating an unbalanced diet that results in a lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Diagnosing a mouth ulcer is fairly easy as they are usually either white or yellow in color and painful to the touch. It’s very common to get repeat ulcers throughout your life and affect nearly 20% of the general population.

Although ulcers generally heal by themselves over the course of a few days, some require medical intervention such as soft laser therapy treatment which can only be provided through your dentist. Soft laser therapy is completely painless and high effective and the quickest fix for those who have either multiple or extremely painful mouth ulcers.

Soft laser therapy works by promoting tissue healing as well as reducing inflammation and pain in the area where it is applied. The lasers make the procedure completely non-surgical, therefore not requiring the patient to be under any form of anesthesia. Biostimulation, promoting blood circulation to the area, and vasodilation are all mechanisms used in order to treat the mouth ulcers.

Biostimulation is a process where lasers are used using photon energy to stimulate the tissue. The lasers are set to a specific wavelength to promote rapid wound healing and instant pain relief to the area. Biostimulation also promotes collagen growth to speed up the healing process. With the pain gone, the patient will not even know that the ulcer exists in their mouth anymore and it will be completely gone within 4 days, if not sooner.

To learn more about soft laser therapy and biostimulation, schedule a consultation with Newbury Smiles by calling +1 805-499-3691 or by visiting our website at