Advantages of Fountain of Youth Dentures (FOY®)

People who wear traditional dentures understand that they need to deal with certain things. Sometimes, they appear to have hollow or gaunt cheeks due to bone atrophy caused by tooth loss. Sunken-in cheeks can make you appear older than you actually are. Fortunately, there is an innovative option that is helping people achieve a younger look.

Fountain of Youth (FOY®) dentures offer a great alternative to traditional dentures. They do this by strategically plumping out your cheeks and facial features to give you a more youthful appearance.

How FOY Dentures Work

Before exploring the advantages of these dentures, it is important to know how they work. Traditional dentures fit well if your mouth is not moving. However, to function properly, your mouth needs to move freely. FOY treatment option uses state-of-the-art neuromuscular dentistry to design dentures. These prostheses properly accommodate the mouth’s orofacial muscles, nerves, and soft tissue.

These dentures allow users to speak, eat, and chew food comfortably. In terms of aesthetics, these dentures tend to achieve amazing results. They look so natural that few people would believe that they are not the real thing. In addition to making you look younger, they are more comfortable and functional than traditional dentures.

Top Benefits of FOY Dentures


Functional Benefits

Dental technicians cast regular dentures from a single dental impression. Afterward, the dentist adjusts the prosthesis to fit his or her patient better, based on facial muscles and soft tissue movements. When it comes to the FOY dentures, there is no guesswork in the fabrication process.

Digital diagnostic imaging captures the patient’s dental arches. It shows how his or her mouth moves when talking, smiling, and chewing. Therefore, the patient gets fully personalized dentures that accommodate his or her mouth movements for a perfect fit.

Neuromuscular Benefits

Bone atrophy will take place over time if your jaw no longer has teeth roots. Therefore, people who have traditional dentures take them for readjustment every so often. These readjustments aim to keep pace with the gradual changes in the underlying jawbone.

Fabrication of traditional dentures is not as precise as that of FOY dentures. Therefore, they exert uneven pressure on the jawbone and gums. On the other hand, these dentures have an evenly distributed bite force. This is important because it stalls bone degeneration. Also, due to their superior fit, they are more comfortable than traditional dentures.

Aesthetic Benefits and Facial Rejuvenation

Many people undergo dermal filler injections and plastic surgery to reduce signs of aging. Instead of spending most of your hard-earned cash on cosmetic surgery, consider what FOY dentures can do for you.

Due to their comfortable and precise fit, the hollowed and sunken areas of your face will fill in once more. This will result in a more youthful, smoother look. These dentures can also help create a redefined and stronger jawline, smoother cheeks, and fuller lips. They can also minimize the appearance of turkey neck, wrinkles, jowls, and folds.

At Levenson Smile, we believe that every patient deserves a beautiful, healthy smile. We do much more than provide dental care. We do so with a commitment to excellence and great passion. To request an appointment, call us on (508)731-3940. You can also visit our offices in Worcester, Massachusetts.

What Is a Periodontal Maintenance?

Periodontal maintenance is a type of specialized dental cleaning procedure to clean your teeth. It works to address the needs of those who have previous cases of periodontal disease.


What Is Periodontal Disease?


Periodontal disease refers to an infection of the structures around your teeth. These structures include your gums, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament. This disease occurs when bacteria from plaque invades your gum tissues. This bacterial buildup can lead to severe irritation and inflammation. During the earliest stage of periodontal disease, the infection attacks your gums. In more severe cases, the infection affects all tissues.


Without treatment, it can lead to bone loss and systemic health issues. People diagnosed with periodontal disease need to undergo periodontal maintenance.


How Is Periodontal Maintenance Different From Regular Teeth Cleaning?


Periodontal maintenance is somewhat the same as a routine dental cleaning. But, there is one main difference. Regular teeth cleaning is a preventative dental care measure. Periodontal maintenance is a prescribed dental care procedure. It is necessary to keep periodontitis cases from progressing.


·      Routine Teeth Cleaning. During prophylaxis, your dental hygienist will scale and polish your teeth. This is to remove all visible tartar that has built up above your gumline. This procedure is performed when your gums are healthy. It is often recommended at least once a year to prevent any dental problems.


·      Periodontal Maintenance. Like routine teeth cleaning, this specialized cleaning procedure also removes tartar buildup. But, periodontal maintenance is prescribed to fight periodontal disease. Here, your dental hygienist will not only get rid of tartar buildup above your gumline. He or she will also use scaling and root planing to remove excess plaque from deep between your teeth and gums. If an infection is present, your dental hygienist will check the depth of your gum pockets. He or she then sprays these openings with antiseptic medications. Periodontal maintenance is only prescribed after you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. This type of cleaning is often recommended every few months. Periodontal maintenance prevents further bacterial growth and maintains gum health.


Do You Need Periodontal Maintenance?


There is no permanent cure for periodontitis. But, regular treatment is necessary to keep it from advancing. If you have bleeding gum tissues and gum pockets deeper than four millimeters, go for periodontal maintenance. It is also useful for those who have bone loss or exposed roots. Additionally, periodontal maintenance is highly recommended for patients who have gone through periodontal surgery or root planing to treat periodontitis.


Your periodontal maintenance appointment will include the following:


·      Review of your dental and medical history.

·      A periodontal exam.

·      Measurement of your periodontal pockets.

·      Oral screening.

·      Tooth cleaning and polishing.

·      Dental hygiene instructions.


Have you recently been diagnosed with periodontitis? Don’t wait for bacteria to build up and become pathogenic. We, at Levenson Smile, can help you get a fresher breath and restore your confidence. Visit our clinic today in Worcester, Massachusetts, and we will be happy to help you with your dental care needs. Call us at (508) 731-3940 to schedule an appointment.

KoR vs. Zoom Teeth Whitening

If you have unsightly stains on your teeth, perhaps it’s time to finally get rid of them. Fortunately, there are two well-known processes that deal with such stains: KoR and Zoom whitening. While both are effective, only one yields more benefits than the other. If you are thinking about undergoing stain removal from your teeth, here’s what sets KoR apart from Zoom.


If you have already tried numerous teeth-whitening products, but still haven’t achieved our desired outcome, KoR is what experts would recommend for you. This teeth-whitening treatment is ideal if you have extremely sensitive teeth since KoR’s desensitizing agents block the openings of dentinal tubules as the whitening process happens and prevents discomfort due to sensitivity.

KoR-seal trays can help your teeth achieve active whitening at a minimum of 6 hours. Other tray whitening procedures only give active whitening that only lasts about 25 to 35 minutes.

Most teeth-whitening treatments are repetitive, short-term, and expensive. KoR is more preferred by many because it’s the only teeth-whitening treatment that yields permanent results. According to dental experts, since this treatment re-oxygenates the teeth while eliminating discoloration and staining, KoR is the only teeth-whitening system that can even whiten teeth that have been damaged by tetracycline.

Part of KoR’s uniqueness is its classification as both an at-home and in-clinic treatment. Your dentist will give you the initial treatments at the clinic followed by a whitening gel you will apply nightly at home. When you finish your gel treatments, you should start wearing your KoR-seal trays once a month. These special trays are thin and comfortable to wear, so they won’t interrupt your sleep.



Zoom whitening is a teeth-bleaching treatment used widely around the world. It aims to lighten your dentin and enamel discoloration. The in-clinic Zoom procedure makes use of the Zoom Advanced Power Lamp that is believed to hasten the bleaching treatment.

Zoom takes almost one hour to complete and begins by covering the gums and lips to help expose your teeth completely. Your dentist or the dental assistant will then apply the Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel on your teeth. As the Zoom light penetrates your teeth, it breaks up the discoloration and stains. This light exposure on your gel-coated teeth will last for fifteen minutes and there will be three 15-minute sessions total so you would have to devote 45 minutes to the procedure. If you have anxiety or an extreme gag reflex, Zoom may not be the teeth-whitening procedure for you.


As you can see, the KoR teeth-whitening system is better than Zoom in terms of convenience and results. If you are thinking of having your teeth whitened effectively, we at Levenson Smile recommend KoR. If you want to learn more about the KoR teeth-whitening treatment, feel free to visit our clinic in Worcester, Massachusetts or call us at (508) 731-3940 with any questions or to set up an appointment.

Tips for Choosing the Right Dentist

Your dentist is your professional partner when it comes to caring your teeth and oral health. Not only are they there for you to call upon if you feel that there may be a problem, such as if you are experiencing dental pain or you have a loose tooth, but they are also there to help prevent problems from occurring in the first place. As a trained and experienced professional, they will regularly monitor your teeth and gums to ensure that they are in the best possible condition and this allows them to spot and treat potential problems early on, before they have severe repercussions for your oral and general health and wellbeing. 

As they play such an important role in your care, it is important that you choose a great dentist who has all of the necessary training and experience, but also the compassion, dedication, and commitment needed to support your dental health. Here are our top tips on how to choose the right dentist.  

Ask for recommendations

Asking for recommendations is one of the best ways to draw up a shortlist of potential dentists. Ask local friends, family or colleagues who they go to and whether or not they would recommend them. Personal experiences are generally much more reliable than reviews read online and can form a great jumping-off point from which to research potential dentists in greater depth. 

Check their qualifications and training

Although you may automatically think that all dentists will have completed the necessary education and training, it is still beneficial to check out their qualifications and training. You should also ensure that they are licensed to practice within your state. Since the technology and techniques used in dentistry are constantly evolving, it is also worthwhile asking what their processes are for the continued education of the dentists within the practice and what technologies they have invested in. 

Convenience and accessibility

Fitting in a dental appointment can be tricky when you have a busy schedule, but they should still be considered a priority. Therefore, it makes sense to choose a dentist who has the office hours and location that is most convenient for you. It could be near home, your job or operate at weekends, whatever it is that works best so that you can fit appointments in your life at regular intervals. They should work with you, not against you.


Some dentistry treatments and procedures can become expensive and being able to manage the cost of the work you need is essential if you are to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. However, bear in mind that the cheapest treatment is rarely the best. We recommend that you choose the best dentist that you can afford. Many dentists accept various forms of insurance and payment plans in order to allow patients to access the care that they need. 

Visit in person

You can obtain a whole heap of information about dental practices by looking online, but it isn’t until you visit in person that you can get a real feel for the environment, the staff and the way in which you will be treated if you become a patient there. The office should be clean, welcoming and comfortable, and the staff reassuring, knowledgeable and friendly. This is particularly important if you have any sort of dental anxiety. Trust your instincts and if you feel that a dentist or practice isn’t quite right for you, consider another. 

For more advice on choosing the right dentist, please speak to our experienced and dedicated dental team here at Levenson Smile at 855-849-8255.

How to Choose the Right Type of Dentures

Living with missing teeth can be extremely debilitating. Not only does it affect the way that your smile looks and your confidence in sharing it, but it can make eating very difficult and even affect how you pronounce certain words. Fortunately, there are solutions available that can restore the functionality and appearance of your smile. 


Dentures have long been considered the primary method of replacing entire arches of missing teeth. However, many patients are surprised to learn that there are many different types of dentures to choose from. Selecting the perfect variety is essential for patients to get the best possible outcome from their solution. So, how do you choose the right type of dentures? Here’s what you need to know to help you make your selection. 


Full dentures

Full dentures are used to replace a complete and entire arch of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. They comprise of all of the teeth needed and are secured to the gums using special denture adhesive. 


Partial dentures

As their name suggests, partial dentures are used when patients need most but not all of their teeth restored. They are affixed to existing teeth and are removable. They also help set other teeth in position so that they don’t move around. 


While there are various brands of dentures to choose from, we believe that Fountain of Youth dentures delivers the most effective results, both in terms of restoring your teeth and the long-term appearance of your smile and facial structure. 

Fountain of Youth dentures

We are delighted to be able to offer our patients the benefit of being fitted with Fountain of Youth dentures. These innovative dentures are named because in addition to providing a functional replacement of your teeth that looks and behaves completely naturally, they also help you to retain a more youthful appearance. 


How does the Fountain of Youth dentures help patients to retain a more youthful appearance?

Deterioration of the jawbone is a common problem amongst patients who lose teeth. This is because the roots of our natural teeth help to stimulate the bone to stay healthy and strong through the natural movements that occur when we bite and chew. When teeth fall out and the root is no longer present, the natural and even pressure that the bone is used to via the roots is no longer there, and this can cause the jawbone to deteriorate. Over time, this can cause the shape of your face to change, losing definition and making us look older than we are. Some of the effects that this can cause include:

  • Folds of tissue around the mouth
  • Jowls hanging below the jaw
  • Rolls of skin under the skin and around the neck


Regular dentures are not designed to restore teeth to their full height. As a result, your face appears shorter and this can make the effects of aging listed above appear more pronounced and your face to appear sunken. 


Fountain of Youth dentures is specifically designed to counteract this problem as they are created to be the height of your original teeth and by providing even pressure across the gums and jawbone. This is made possible by the denture design that rests partially on the muscles, causing them to work and helping healthy bone to be retained. 


If you would like more information about dentures, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation to see how the Fountain of Youth dentures can transform your appearance, please contact our offices. 


What are the Stages of Periodontal Disease?

There are lots of different problems that can potentially compromise our oral health. One of the most common is gum disease which will affect up to 80% of adults at some point during their lifetime. Gum disease is actually just one name to describe this inflammatory condition, which also gets referred to as gingivitis, periodontitis and periodontal disease. In fact, these names are all used to describe different stages of this progressive condition.


Early identification, diagnosis, and treatment are essential if you are to prevent periodontal disease from causing irreversible damage to your gums and oral health. Here’s what you need to know about periodontal disease and the stages in which it occurs.

About periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a common oral condition that occurs when the sticky plaque that constantly forms on our teeth as a result of eating and drinking migrates onto the soft tissue of the gum. Here, the bacteria within the plaque causes irritation, inflammation, and soreness. The effects of the bacteria on the gums will get progressively worse until there is significant damage to your teeth, gums and other structures that support the teeth, and even your general health. Below we have explained a little more about what to expect from each stage of the condition.


Stage 1: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is often the name used to describe the very earliest stage of gum disease. At this point, the gum disease is reversible and with the right treatment, there will be no lasting damage to your teeth. The symptoms that you may experience at this stage will likely include:

-          Bleeding from the gums when you brush your teeth

-          Bleeding from your gums when you floss

-          Your gums may also bleed if you eat something particularly tough

-          Your gums will look red and swollen

-          They may also be tender to the touch

A thorough professional dental clean with your hygienist should be sufficient to get control over your gum disease and restore your gums to full health.


Stage 2: Periodontal disease

By the time it reaches the second stage, many people refer to gum disease as periodontal disease. By this stage, the plaque present on the teeth will also be extending below the gums and causing issues that you can’t visibly see. Gaps (called periodontal pockets) will have started to form between the teeth and gums, creating a gap in which bacteria and food debris can become trapped and exacerbate the condition. At this point, symptoms will include:

-          Continued bleeding when brushing, flossing and potentially when eating

-          Gums that look very red and swollen

-          Sensitive teeth, particularly when eating/drinking something hot/cold/sweet

-          Receding gums that are pulling away from the teeth

-          Persistent bad breath

-          Teeth may appear a little loose

There are treatments that can help to get your gum disease under control, including scaling and root planing which involves removing the bacteria from below the gum line and smoothing the roots of the tooth so that the gum tissue can reattach to it.


Stage 3: Periodontitis

The final stage of gum disease, often known as periodontitis, is when there is irreparable damage to your gums and other supporting structures within your mouth. The gums will have receded considerably, causing teeth to come loose or fall out, and the bone in your jaw will have deteriorated, possibly even causing the shape of your face to change. Other symptoms include:

-          Pain when biting and chewing

-          Severe bad breath

-          Oozing gums

-          Yellow/brown deposits on the teeth, particularly where they meet the gum

-          Significant gum recession

-          Obvious abscesses

At this point, the infection will not only have destroyed your oral health, but it could also be putting your general wellbeing at risk. This is because periodontal disease has been linked to several chronic and potentially serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney failure and more. Your dentist may need to work with a specialist to try and restore the function of your teeth and get your oral health back on track. This could involve a series of treatments, from periodontal pocket cleaning and scaling and root planing to bone or soft tissue grafts and artificial teeth.


With the support of your dentist, it is possible to prevent periodontal disease from having a permanent effect on your oral health. For more information and advice, please speak to our knowledgeable dental team today.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

A beautifully white smile can instantly enhance your appearance and give you the self-esteem boost that you’ve been looking for. After all, a whiter smile looks fresh, ready, and beautiful. If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth, know that you’re not alone. Many of our patients come through the doors, searching for ways to get that sparkling white look. Fortunately, we have the answer to their problem!

At Levenson Smile, we have three primary teeth whitening options. They are created with all types of people in mind. Whether you’re needing a whiter smile right away, or prefer to get results over time gradually, we have the right treatment for you! Check out the differences in each treatment and let us know which one you are interested in learning more about.

In-Office Treatment

Professional in-office whitening treatments are the choice for many patients. The patient simply sits in the dentist’s chair while a gel is painted on to each tooth. A light is used to activate the bleach that is in the gel as the patients kick back and relax. After about one hour, the results are dramatic! You’ll walk away with a beautiful white smile that you are proud of.

At-Home Treatment

The second option is the at-home treatment. To do this, the dentist will need to make impressions of your teeth so that customizable trays can be made for you. A whitening gel is placed into the tray and worn overnight. As you sleep, the whitening gel works to transform the color of your teeth slowly. Keep in mind; this process is not instant. If you’re looking for immediate results, then this treatment option may not be right for you. It takes several weeks to achieve the final results.

KöR Teeth Whitening System

The preferred whitening treatment is the KöR whitening system. Consider it a combinational approach to teeth whitening as it uses both in-office and at-home techniques in order to achieve the best results.  The bleaching system is done in-office as well as at home. This combination approach helps to get the whitest and brightest smile in the shortest amount of time.

Who Should Get Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a great option for patients who are unsatisfied with the color of their teeth. Keep in mind, teeth whitening does not repair cracked, broken, or damaged teeth. In some instances, teeth whitening may cause sensitivity. Your dentist can help identify if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening.

What Can Teeth Whitening Do for You?

Teeth whitening can restore any confidence that you’ve lost due to a dingy smile. You’ll look and feel your best and finally feel confident flashing your smile in a room full of people. Don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful smile.


Are you ready to get that show-stopping white smile? If so, then give Levenson smile a call today. We are more than happy to answer your questions and provide additional information about our teeth whitening treatments. Contact us today to schedule your next visit.

The Benefits of Invisalign Over Braces


At Levenson Smile, we know how much our patients have struggled with getting the perfect smile. Crooked or gapped smiles are not just an issue that can make you feel self-conscious about your smile, but there can also be some associated oral health risks. That is why we always ensure that we offer our patients the best service and care offered anywhere.


Recently, more patients have heard about Invisalign and are asking us if that would work for them. We’ve compiled a few key reasons that you may want to consider Invisalign rather than brace to give you a smile you have always wanted.


What is Invisalign


Before deciding if Invisalign is right for you, it is important to understand how the system works. Invisalign is a custom-created tooth straightening system that utilizes the existing configuration of your teeth. A series of aligners are then created that start where your smile is, and gradually changes shape until you reach the perfect smile.


The Benefits of Invisalign


Invisalign are not permanent dental fixtures. We simply take a digital impression of your teeth and then work with a special lab to create your dental plan. Each aligner is custom fit to your teeth, so it just slides right over your existing teeth. While you wear your aligners almost all day, you still remove them throughout the day. While wearing them as directed will help you get your desired results more quickly, many patients enjoy the freedom that they have by being able to remove them at any time.


Many patients don’t like that braces also come with some pretty drastic changes to your lifestyle. Braces prohibit you from being able to eat fresh corn on the cob, fresh apples, sticky caramel, and even popcorn. In contrast, your Invisalign system should be removed when you eat any food. This means that you do not have to change your diet at all. Instead, go to the movies and share the large popcorn!


Another major factor that influences people’s decision to hold off on braces is the appearance. Many adults can feel childish or unattractive while they wear braces. Invisalign is made from a special proprietary material that is not only durable, but it is also clear! That means that you can wear your aligners, and people may not even know that you are straightening your teeth while you talk to them!


Invisalign is also fast. While results can vary based on how frequently patients wear them when you wear your aligners as prescribed, your results can be completed in as little as six months, and almost all patients have completed their treatment plan within 18 months. In contrast, traditional braces can take as long as two years!




If you have decided that you are ready to get the perfect smile that you deserve, then call Levenson Smile today in Worcester,  MA and ask about Invisalign. Our talented and friendly staff have the experience and care that you need to ensure that you get the results you expect. Call today to schedule your appointment.

Dentures vs. Dental Implants

Living with missing teeth isn’t an ideal situation for anyone. Not only will the gaps in your teeth impact how you feel about your smile, but it can also affect your overall confidence and self-esteem. You may also find that the way in which you use your teeth changes to compensate for your missing teeth, such as eating differently or even altering the way that you pronounce your words. Fortunately, there are now more options than ever when it comes to helping patients rediscover their smile. For missing teeth, two of the choices that you are most likely to come across will be dentures and dental implants. Despite sounding similar, they are very different solutions.


What are dentures?

Dentures are removable, partial or full arches of missing teeth which sit over the top of the gums where your gaps are. In the past, dentures were primarily associated with the older generation, and whilst it’s true that multiple tooth loss is more common amongst senior-age people, more patients than ever before are now benefitting from dentures to replace their teeth. Fortunately, the design of modern dentures has also improved, and they are now considered much more comfortable and esthetically like natural teeth.


All dentures are bespoke, created specifically for each individual patient. With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums, to which your row of artificial teeth is attached. In full upper dentures, the base usually fits over the palate, which is the roof of the mouth, too. However, lower dentures have a base which is horseshoe-shaped so that it doesn’t interfere with the tongue.


How are dentures kept in place?

Dentures are kept in place using a special adhesive that secures the base to your gum. However, many patients find that the level of stability offered by the adhesive is far from ideal, and small movements of the denture, including embarrassing slips, are fairly common.


Reasons to choose dentures

Dentures may be the most suitable tooth replacement solution for you if:

-          You are on a fairly restricted budget

-          You are looking for replacement teeth that can be removed when you want or need to

-          You don’t like the thought of going through very invasive dental treatment

-          You have weakened bones in your jaw that make dental implants unsuitable

What are dental implants?


Dental implants are a very popular alternative to dentures. Unlike dentures, however, they offer a way of permanently replacing the missing teeth. This is because they have a very unique design, which comprises of:

-          An artificial tooth that is usually made from porcelain or, in some cases, zirconia

-          A titanium post

-          A special connector that keeps the prosthetic tooth attached to the post


Dental implants can successfully be used to replace individual missing teeth, or as part of a bridge or denture solution.


What keeps dental implants in place?

Dental implants are unique in the technique that they use to hold them in place. These replacement teeth are secured using the titanium post element. These posts are placed into the jawbone at specific locations so that they can act as anchors for the visible prosthetics. Once inserted into the jaw, the bone naturally heals around the post to permanently anchor it in place. This process takes several months. During this time, patients are fitted with temporary teeth whilst their bespoke versions are being made.


Single dental implants require an individual post for each prosthetic tooth. However, implant-supported bridges and dentures, which are comprised of a conventionally designed bridge or denture but with attachment that allow them to be connected to implant posts, can need anywhere from four to eight to hold them securely in place.


Reasons to choose dental implants

Dental implants are the most popular tooth replacement solution for a variety of reasons, including:

-          They are more stable than bridges or dentures.

-          They offer patients the chance to have a permanent restoration.

-          The implant posts stimulate healthy bone growth in the jaw, helping to prevent the deterioration that often occurs in patients with tooth loss.

-          Implants most closely resemble natural teeth.

-          You can brush and floss your teeth just like normal, with no special cleaning required.

-          Virtually no maintenance is required.

-          Dental implant-based solutions have been shown to last for decades, making them a superb investment in your long-term smile.



If you are confused about whether dentures or dental implants would be the best solution for your missing teeth, our experienced and knowledgeable dental team would be happy to offer their advice. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment.


How do dentists treat sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is much more common than people might think. In fact, estimates suggest that more than 18 million Americans and 100 million people worldwide suffer from this sleep disorder which is characterized by an interruption in the normal pattern of breathing while you sleep. Whilst there are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is by far the most prevalent. It occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep your airway open despite your natural instinct to breathe. This causes you to temporarily stop breathing, until your body recognizes that there is a lack of oxygen and triggers your brain to take an extra-large breath. This is enough to push past the blockage and resume normal breathing again. However, sleep apnea rarely occurs as just one episode during each period of sleep. In patients with severe OSA, it isn’t unheard of for them to experience up to 100 episodes of interrupted breathing during an 8-hour window of sleep.


The effects of sleep apnea can be significant. Patients can suffer from disturbed and poor-quality sleep, low blood oxygen levels, memory problems and mood swings. They are also at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, and more likely to be involved in accidents due to their daytime fatigue.

Central sleep apnea

The less common type of sleep apnea is known as central sleep apnea or CSA. Central sleep apnea is a neurological condition in which the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep. In the case that someone is diagnosed with CNS, they are almost always referred to a neurologist to help them find a treatment to reduce and control their sleep disorder.


Fortunately, there are also treatments available that can reduce and even eliminate obstructive sleep apnea and the detrimental impact that it can have on your life. Although these can be provided by your doctor, most cases of OSA get referred to dentists for treatment.


Causes of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is believed to have a number of factors that contribute towards its development. These are:

  • a small upper airway

  • abnormally large tonsils

  • being overweight

  • a recessed chin

  • a large overbite

  • a large neck

  • being a smoker

  • drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or drinking alcohol before bed

  • taking recreational drugs

  • a genetic predisposition towards the disorder (parents or grandparents with the condition)


Treatment for sleep apnea

In virtually all cases of OSA, you can expect your dentist to make some recommendation relating to lifestyle changes that you can make which may ease your symptoms. In many instances, these will help to significantly reduce the number of episodes of sleep apnea that you are experiencing. Some of the changes that you may be recommended to consider may include:

  • losing weight

  • eating a healthier, more balanced diet

  • quitting smoking

  • cutting back on alcohol consumption, particularly before bed

  • changing certain medications which may be contributing towards the problem

  • changing your pillow or sleep position

If these changes alone don’t give you sufficient relief, your dentist will look at other options for treatment including:



CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is a machine that delivers a constant supply of oxygen to your body via a mask that is placed over your nose and mouth while you sleep. This treatment has shown to be highly effective, although it can take some getting used to since initially, patients can find the mask uncomfortable.


Dental devices

There are also some devices that are worn inside your mouth to help reduce or eliminate sleep apnea. These work by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue so that the upper airway is opened more widely to allow oxygen through. These devices are usually custom-made to ensure the most comfortable fit.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea and the way in which your dentist can treat this common but compromising condition, please get in touch with our dental team who would be delighted to speak to you confidentially.

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