Category Archives: Blog

Useful tips & advice

What is AHI in a Sleep Study?

Did you know that the most important part of a sleep study for those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) because it indicates the severity of the condition.

Apnea or an apneic event is when a person stops breathing for 10 or more seconds. Hypopnea is a constricted breath that lasts at least 10 seconds. The number of apneas and hypopneas that occur within one hour of sleep will determine the index number. Mild obstructive sleep apnea is an index number of 5 – 15 events per hour. Moderate OSA is from 15 – 30. Anything over 30 is classified as severe.

CPAP therapy, Oral Appliance therapy or surgery are treatment options for OSA.

Why Routine Teeth Cleanings are So Important

Dentists usually see two types of patients: the on-the-dot, routine teeth cleaning regulars, or the patients who are in for a lot of work. Sometimes genetics account for poor dental and oral health, sometimes patients are just unlucky, but at Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy in Alpharetta, we’re being honest when we say that getting your teeth cleaned by a professional, registered dental hygienist twice a year is critically important for maintaining great teeth and great oral health throughout your life.

Let’s start by talking about a really, really important part of dentistry that most people overlook, or worse, take for granted.

Teeth Cleanings Keep Your Gums Healthy

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused by bacteria infecting the gums by way of plaque. While brushing your teeth is important- floss is just as important because it removes the plaque from between the teeth and around the gum line.

For all of the plaque not removed by flossing (and from when patients don’t floss at all), the dental hygienist removes through careful cleaning and inspection during the dental teeth cleaning. If you’re looking for a dentist in Alpharetta where you can get a good cleaning, stay ahead of the game and get your teeth cleaned as soon as possible. At Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy in Alpharetta, we know the risks that everyone faces, especially when it comes to gum health. Our expert hygienists have years of experience in providing thorough, fast and comfortable teeth cleanings for all ages.

Over 75% of Americans suffer from some stage of gum disease. Many dental patients suffer from gingivitis, which is the initial inflammation of the gums. The gums are tender and swollen as they attempt to fight off the bacterial infection caused by all of the plaque.  If the plaque isn’t removed and the gums aren’t taken care of, the gum tissue will continue to deteriorate and lead to the onset of advanced gum disease. Trust us, you do not want to undergo treatment for gum disease. It’s difficult, costly and painful, and on top of that it’s almost 100% preventable.

Teeth Cleanings Keep Your Body Healthy

Not to hark on gums some more here, but science is just now uncovering a wealth of connections between the gums and the rest of the body. And it makes sense- gums are sensitive tissue that are a doorway between our bodies and the outside world. The human mouth is full of bacteria, and the modern diet is full of sugar- the perfect storm for gum disease and tooth decay, two of America’s most common medical problems.

Gum health is strongly linked with cardiovascular health, and is now understood to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. If you could prevent heart disease, strokes, obesity and even lessen the degenerative diseases associated with aging just by making sure to get your teeth cleaned twice a year, would you? Put this way, most people would jump at a routine teeth cleaning, which is usually a very low or no copayment on health insurance, over the painful, expensive and potentially deadly alternatives.

Teeth Cleanings Keep You Beautiful Too!

Healthy teeth and a nice smile are at the top of a list of attributes we find attractive. It’s important to get regular cleanings so you can ensure you keep all of your natural teeth, but also keep them looking good. A dental cleaning scrapes away plaque and tartar that can cause the teeth to look lackluster, and gives them a sparkly, whiter appearance- a key aspect of a beautiful smile.

Contact us at Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy in Alpharetta to set up your teeth cleaning appointment! Just call 770-521-1978 now!

Dental Bridges

Lost a tooth? Don’t fret- though it may be uncomfortable and look unappealing for now, cosmetic dentistry has several options for tooth replacement like bridges, partial dentures or dental implants. To many dental patients, partial dentures sound unappealing- unless they’re senior. While you may have already heard of dental implants, the latest craze in restorative dentistry- we’re going to talk about bridges today. Dental bridges at  Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy in Value Not Set are still a viable, economic and visually appealing option for tooth replacement.

Traditionally, dental bridges require the adjacent teeth to be crowned- so that fixing the permanent bridge does not damage the surface of the existing teeth. Crowning the remaining teeth next to the bridge ensures that the bridge and prosthetic teeth stay in place for life, and the existing teeth stay healthy and secure.

Bridges vs. Dentures

If you’re missing just one tooth, a dental bridge will better suit your needs than getting a set of partial dentures. Especially if the remaining teeth are relatively healthy, aside from the missing tooth, there is little need for dentures and a fixed dental bridge will function better. Dentures can be fairly inconvenient, when it comes to eating, speaking and care, so if they can be avoided choosing an alternative option will usually suit the patient’s dental and lifestyle needs better.

Bridges vs. Implants

Sometimes a patient isn’t the best candidate for dental implants. Depending on how long the tooth has been missing, the facial bones may have receded too much for implantation surgery to be possible without an additional bone graft surgery.

Not all patients are candidates for bone graft surgery, making a dental bridge the next best option. Lucky for these patients, bridges are much more affordable than dental implants, which rely on some of the latest technology and materials and are still one of the most expensive treatment options on the market today.

Contact us at Value Not Set in Value Not Set now to learn more.

Dental Bleaching

Whitening your teeth is a simple dental procedure that can have a dramatic impact on your appearance. Teeth whitening is a fast and affordable way to look more polished, more attractive and even look younger and brighter! Removing surface stains and whitening teeth has been shown to take years off the face and overall appearance.

We’re fans of safe, in-office whitening procedures at Value Not Set, because professionally administered whitening is fast, effective and makes patients feel genuinely great about themselves! It’s our mission to make all of our patients happy with their teeth- so much that they can’t stop smiling!

When you’re looking into ways to whiten your teeth in Value Not Set, you’ll probably come across the terms, “whitening” and “bleaching.” So how can you tell what the difference is?

Dental Bleaching

The term “bleaching” is used to describe dental products that whiten teeth beyond their natural color. One of the most effective ways to do this is with ingredients like hydrogen peroxide.

Whitening” denotes more of a restoration of teeth to their natural color by removing surface stains. Technically, whiteners use cleaning agents- as opposed to hydrogen peroxide- to get out pesky stains that cause discoloration of the teeth.

For all intents and purposes, most products that bleach the teeth (with hydrogen peroxide) or similar agents are called “whitening” products as well. Whitening just sounds a little better- and it’s really the whiter shades that most dental patients are after.

How to Choose Whitening and/or Bleaching Treatments

Today’s oral hygiene market is saturated with whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide- often added to many of our standard cleaning products, like toothpaste and mouthwash. While a little whitening power in your everyday products is great for maintaining your shade and preventing further discoloration, it won’t provide the full restorative and transformation results that most patients look for.

Instead of spending on over the counter whitening treatments, like trays or strips, you can get dramatic results immediately with an in office treatment. We prefer to use Zoom! Whitening at Value Not Set, because it’s the most advanced whitening technology available today, and gives patients the whiter, brighter results they want- all in about an hour. Yes, just one hour!

Read more about how Zoom! Whitening treatment can give you dramatic whitening results that last for years. Contact us today, or set up your first appointment online here.

Dental Anxiety

Few people look forward to the dental chair, but for some, that apprehension can turn in to full blown dental anxiety. This fear can stem from many things,such as the sound of the equipment, smell of the office, and anticipation of the treatment. Whatever the reason for dental anxiety, this fear causes many Americans to delay dental care– indefinitely. Though common, dental anxiety can be successfully managed so patients at Value Not Set in Value Not Set can get the care they need, before avoiding care leads to additional oral health issues.

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

There are many different reasons people are fearful of going to the dentist. Sometimes, it’s a previous experience, the sound of the tools, or simply the fear of local anesthetic. There are lots of unfamiliar tools, sounds and smells in the dentist office and all of those elements can make some feel some extreme apprehension. Technically, it’s called dentophobia or odontophobia and you don’t have to have any particular dental trauma in your past to currently experience it.

Signs of dental anxiety include:

• Trouble sleeping the night or nights before a scheduled dental appointment

• Crying or feeling ill at the thought of visiting the dentist

• Uneasiness when objects are placed near your mouth

• Feeling as if it’s difficult to breathe when you get in the dentist chair

• Feeling helpless and out of control when in the dental chair

Overcoming Dental Fear

Patients that experience dental anxiety need to know that there are ways to manage that fear, and make going to the dentist a lot more comfortable, if not stress-free.

These tips and techniques are effective in reducing the anxiety associated with going to the dental office.

• Find a dentist at Value Not Set that specializes in dealing with fearful patients. Remember, dentists are healthcare professionals that have training in dealing with patients that have anxiety.

• Talk to your dentist about your fears prior to your visit. The dentist will discuss options such as medication, to help you manage your visit.

• Understand that dentistry is more sophisticated and comfortable than ever. Many patients envision scenes from westerns when they think of dentistry. Today, treatment is safe, fast, and in many cases nearly pain-free.

• Use relaxation techniques to help calm your nerves. Practice deep breathing or envision yourself on a beautiful beach.

• If the sound of drilling or suctioning makes you feel tense, listen to your favorite music to drown out the sound.

• Avoid caffeine or other stimulants the day before and day of the appointment.

• Avoid sugary foods that provide temporary energy. Instead, eat protein rich foods that produce a calming effect.

• Have friend or family go with you.

• Get to know the dentist before you appointment so you already feel comfortable. Try following them on social media or giving them a call. It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know.

These positive techniques work wonders. Give them a try for your next visit at Value Not Set in Value Not Set.

Learn the risk factors and HOW they contribute to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Excess weight. Fat deposits around your upper airway may obstruct your breathing. However, not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight. Thin people develop OSA, too.

Neck circumference. People with thicker necks may have narrower airways. Women – greater than 15 inch diameter and men – greater than 17 inch diameter are at greater risk.

A narrowed airway. You may have inherited a naturally narrow throat. Or, your tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged, which can block your airway. An enlarged or inflamed uvula will also block the airway.

Being male. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and their risk also appears to rise after menopause.

Age. Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in adults over 60.

Family history. If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at an increased risk.

Race. In people under 35 years old, African Americans are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.

Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat which can lead to snoring and/or an obstructed airway.

Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.

Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether it’s from an anatomical problem or allergies — you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

TMJ Pain and Your Diet

As humans, we need food to survive and live a healthy lifestyle. If you’re someone who suffers from TMJ pain it can be painful to eat some of your favorite foods. Crunchy and chewy foods can be two of the most difficult categories of food for someone with a TMJ disorder. If you’re experiencing pain while chewing, it may be related to TMJ issue.

Common foods that are problematic for those suffering from TMJ disorders include:

  • Raw vegetables
  • Corn on the cob
  • Nuts
  • Pizza Crust
  • Gum
  • Pretzels

While we do suggest you try to stay away from some of these foods that cause pain, in certain instances there is a solution. Cooking raw vegetables is one of the best ways to ease your jaw pain and still enjoy your meals.

Dr. Manoj Maggan is a TMJ specialist at the Center for TMJ Therapy and is able to diagnose and treat your TMJ pain. If eating is becoming a painful and troubling task, it is important to consult with a specialist. Dr. Maggan wants to make sure you’re taken care of and free from pain after visiting our Alpharetta, GA office.

Top 5 Signs/Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder (TMD)

TMD is a condition that typically affects adults between the ages of 20-40 years old. Many adults who suffer from TMD have similar symptoms that often need to be treated by a doctor who specializes in this field. If you feel you’re suffering from a TMJ disorder, you may have any of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the Ears or Ear Pain
  • Clicking or Popping of the Jaw
  • Eye Pain
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth

TMJ induced headaches can be painful and long lasting, it is important to know the steps you can take to treat your pain. Over the counter tension headache medications will not always provide relief. There are certain jaw exercises that you can do regularly to help relieve pain and pressure.

Patients have also reported ringing in their ears along with ear pain prior to being diagnosed with a TMJ disorder. This pain could be dull or sharp depending on the severity. Ear pain may also be accompanied with a clicking sound from your jaw.

Dr. Maggan is a TMJ specialist in Alpharetta, GA that can help treat your TMJ headaches, ear pain and any additional TMJ pain you’re experiencing. Schedule your appointment at the Center for TMJ Therapy. Dr. Maggan is currently accepting new patients at our Alpharetta office. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Snoring can be a warning sign that normal breathing is not taking place during sleep. While there are many conditions that can lead to snoring, one of the most serious is a disorder called Sleep Apnea. For an estimated 20 million Americans, the ability to maintain regular breathing during sleep is impossible. As a result, they do not receive adequate oxygen their body needs to rejuvenate from proper, restful sleep.

Snoring

Snoring is a breathing noise that occurs while someone is sleeping. The actual snoring sound is produced from the vibration of the soft palate and sides of the throat when air rushes against them. The sound of snoring occurs when the airway collapses and the muscles fail to maintain their normal function.

A few of the medical and dental conditions that can lead to snoring are: being overweight, a constricted or retruded jaw, sedatives, allergies, alcohol before bedtime and airway obstruction.

While snoring disrupts the sleep of those close to us, it also interferes with our own sleep and overall health.

Sleep Apnea

Snoring may be indicative of sleep apnea which can put great strain on the cardiovascular system. This is why sleep apnea, left untreated, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Other complications of sleep apnea include: high blood pressure, morning headaches, sudden short-of-breath awakenings, chocking or gasping, automobile accidents and daytime sleepiness as well as difficulty concentrating, thinking and remembering.

When sleep apnea is suspected, a patient should consult with their physician or a sleep specialist for an assessment. Most likely, the physician will suggest a test called a polysomnogram. This sleep study monitors breathing patterns, sleep stages and cardiac rhythm along with airflow and length of non-breathing episodes. Once diagnosed, the most common treatment for sleep apnea are Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, dental appliances or Oral Appliance Therapy or Surgery.

Understanding Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnea

CPAP consists of an air compressor and mask which delivers pressurized air through the nose when a person is sleeping. This opens up the airway from the inside. The biggest hurdle for using this method of treatment is compliance. Many patients feel claustrophobic and others find wearing the mask to be offensive.

Surgery is the most invasive method of treatment which may involve nasal surgery, palate implants, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), tongue reduction surgery, genioglossus advancement and maxillo-mandibular advancement.

Oral Appliance Therapy is a conservative approach to treatment of sleep apnea. It is indicated for patients who have been diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea or for those with severe sleep apnea that cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. The custom made dental appliance is made to wear during sleep which gently moves the lower jaw forward causing a positive change in tongue position. Oral Appliance Therapy is non- invasive, reversible and easily accepted by patients. A dentist who is specially trained in Dental Sleep Medicine can provide Oral Appliance Therapy for the treatment of snoring &/or obstructive sleep apnea.
To make an appointment with Dr. Maggan, patients can schedule online or call the office at 770-521-1978. We look forward to helping you as soon as possible!

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Apnea is a Greek word that means “want of breath”. Sleep Apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for at least 10 seconds up to thirty times or more a night therefore apnea is defined as the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that can be dangerous and exhausting. Certain individuals are more likely to get sleep apnea than others. Older adults, male adults, smokers and people who take depressant drugs are all more likely to develop sleep apnea. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. If you are showing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to reach out to a doctor.

There are different types of sleep apnea. In Central Sleep Apnea, the brain doesn’t transmit signals to the muscles that regulate a person’s breathing, which can cause a person to temporarily stop breathing in their sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common, and it involves the muscles in the back of the throat becoming too relaxed, which will narrow the airway too much. People with sleep apnea will find it hard to sleep in many cases, or they will have a hard time staying asleep. They may also awaken with shortness of breath.

Dr. Maggan is a sleep apnea specialist and can help patients work out which treatment options are right for them. Patients who go to Center for TMJ Therapy are able to get a consultation and possible solutions to their sleep apnea. It is important to discuss your concerns with a doctor, as they are the experts in sleep apnea causes and treatments.

To make an appointment with Dr. Maggan, patients can schedule online or call the office at 770-521-1978. We look forward to helping you as soon as possible!