Sunday, May 31, 2015

4 Ways to Fix Your Smile

Your smile can mean the difference between a first date and a second, and meeting a new friend or gaining an amazing opportunity. Dr. Strutz suggests, "flash those pearly whites as often as possible to the world around you." But if you’re embarrassed by your smile it may decrease the opportunities coming your way. Individuals who do not smile are associated with negative personality traits, while people who smile attract more people to them.  Here are seven ways to improve your smile and your self-confidence.
1.     Visit the dentist if you have excessive plaque or decay. A thorough dental cleaning and polish may be all that is needed to bring your smile back to its shining, white glory days.
2.     Fix broken or cracked teeth. Keeping your natural teeth healthy  is worth the investment.
3.     Periodontal disease should be treated in order to stop the progression of the disease, which impacts both your gums and the bone supporting your teeth. Periodontal disease left untreated can lead, not only to problems in your mouth, but also other health concerns as well.
4.     Brush and floss regularly. There is no substitute to brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis. Food builds up on the surface of the teeth and can cause a host of problems. Disease can move beyond the gum line and cause red, swollen and puffy gums thus decreasing the healthy look of your smile. Dr. Strutz says, "brushing and flossing is the key component of reducing and minimizing problems with your smile."

Saturday, May 30, 2015

5 Negative Repercussions To Lack Of Sleep Due To Sleep Apnea

 Sleep is a critical part of living a healthy life. Chronic sleep disorders and lack of sleep cause a variety of health problems not to mention interpersonal struggles. When it’s a challenge to stay awake at work, you may find yourself becoming moody and ill-tempered.  Sleep difficulties can cause you to feel continually tired even when you may have gone to bed with the intention of getting eight hours of sleep.  Many times sleep issues are related to sleep apnea. Waking all throughout the night to catch a breath of air impacts your body and prevents you from ever enjoying the deep restful sleep you need. Here’s what you need to know:

1.     Sleep drowsiness can increase your risk on the road. While driving down the interstate tired may not seem like a big problem, it can cause a decrease in reaction time similar to that of a drunk driver.
2.     Sleep deprivation can decrease your overall problem solving and thinking abilities. Having a restful night’s sleep allows you to be alert and on your toes when faced with challenges at home and at work. “While being tired,” says Dr. Judith Strutz, “causes thinking and reasoning to be a difficult task.”
3.     Heart disease, heart attack, and high blood pressure are a potential problem for individuals who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.
4.     Depression has been linked to individuals who sleep less than six hours a night. A lack of sleep, can increase moodiness and an inability to function well during the day – both of these factors may contribute to depression.
5.     Excess cortisol levels cause problems for the skin. Your body when it does not get enough sleep increases the release of cortisol. This stress-inducing hormone can cause loose skin and dark circles beneath your eyes.

If you are one of the many Americans unable to get a good night’s sleep, you do not have to continue to suffer; Dr. Judith Strutz and her team can help.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Is Your Smile Bright?

Taking care of your smile isn’t a problem you can afford to avoid. You only have less than seven seconds to make a great first impression. After that the job opportunity you are interviewing for is gone, which might be a problem if your smile isn’t as healthy as it could be. Here are four ways you can improve the look of your smile without leaving your house:

1.     Brush regularly. Simply brushing regularly can decrease bacteria and decay and increase the health of your smile.  Brushing 2x a day will make sure to remove any leftover food on your gums and teeth. And don’t forget you should get a new toothbrush every six months.
2.     Eat healthy foods. Dr. Strutz says, “The water in fruits and vegetables not only wash food off your teeth, but they also increase saliva production.” An increase in saliva helps to ensure food is rinsed from your teeth throughout the day.
3.     Floss every day. You may believe there is no reason to floss, but flossing ensures no food stays between your teeth. Flossing helps decrease inflammation, bleeding and early symptoms of gingivitis and just might also add a year or more to your life!
4.     “Omit soda from your list of drinks,” suggests Dr. Judith Strutz. Not only does soda attack your teeth enamel, but the sugar in soda increases opportunity for decay to negatively impact the look of your smile. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sleep Apnea & How It Impacts You

Most of us don’t think about visiting our dentist when we have sleep apnea, but Dr. Judith Strutz is just the prosthodontist to visit. Sleep apnea can be very dangerous and often goes untreated. During the sleep cycle, an individual may stop and start breathing again over one hundred times a night, because they are constantly waking up to get air. When this happens, you can easily become sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation has multiple side effects including falling asleep during inopportune times, moodiness, and/or poor concentration. The longer your body goes without the quality sleep it requires, the more symptoms you can be impacted by on a daily basis. If left untreated you will have a higher risk of problems to body organs, which could lead to job loss or even death if you quit breathing long enough.  Heart disease and high blood pressure can also occur in individuals with sleep apnea.

 Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:
·      Gasping for breath that wakes you up
·      Chronic fatigue
·      Morning headaches
·      Difficulty paying attention.
If you are concerned you may have sleep apnea, call or visit the office of Dr. Judy Strutz for more information.

Your body thrives on the proper amount of oxygen to the brain and a deep restful sleep. Sleep apnea unfortunately impacts both of these needs.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Women & Sleep Apnea

More men than women are diagnosed with sleep apnea every year, but women are not exempt from the negative effects of lack of sleep.  Sleep apnea can be treated with Dr. Strutz and her team. There are times where the alignment of the jaw or the size of the palate can cause you to have a restless night's sleep, but there are options other than wearing a loud c-pap machine that might help.

Dr. Judith Strutz says, "one possible option is an appliance you may wear at night when you sleep." The appliance should be custom fit by your experienced sleep dentist in order to not cause additional jaw problems. This process can take a few appointments as you want the device to fit appropriately. Once the device is custom created most individuals report they are very comfortable to wear.

The oral device is designed to reposition the jaw when sleeping in order to prevent it from moving to a position that closes off the airway. It can also help strengthen the tone of the tongue. Many times the tongue can be a culprit in cutting off the airway. The appliance helps keep even the strongest tongue in the correct position throughout your sleep cycle.

Sleep apnea is not something you should live. The dangers are too great. See your sleep dentist to get help now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Occlusal Problems & How They Impact Your Perfect Smile

Extensive dental work can cost thousands of dollars and many hours of time. No one wants to spend so much money to fix a problem with their smile to only turn around and have the work damaged due to an occlusal or bite problem. If you find you have cracked, chipped or constantly worn teeth you may want to visit your prosthodontist today.

There are several options available to you depending on the root of the problem. Waiting is unfortunately not one of them. If your bite is just slightly off then Dr. Strutz can usually do a quick adjustment on the surface of the teeth to adjust the bite.

But what if the damage is more extensive? The chewing action of the jaw is designed to work when you have all of your teeth in place. Missing or cracked teeth can cause a problem for your jaw, not allowing it to do its job correctly. Replacing missing teeth may help with some of the pain you are experiencing.  Missing teeth can be replaced using a bridge, implant or some sort of removable appliance or denture depending on how many teeth you are missing and the health of your gums.

If your jaw is tight and achy, and your bite is fine along with no missing teeth, you may need to look more internally at the amount of stress you are experiencing. Stress can cause jaw pain that is misinterpreted as a more serious problem. Find relaxing activities or meditate if this is the problem.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sleep Apnea In Men

Research by leading sleep centers found sleep apnea is more common in men than women and is made worse by individuals who are overweight.  Sleep apnea when undiagnosed can lead to falling asleep during the day; irritability, poor health habits and left untreated can cause death in some individuals. While C-pap machines can provide the necessarily oxygen you need, these machines are often bulky and cumbersome.

Dr. Strutz, "the most common type of sleep apnea is called, “obstructive sleep apnea.” While you are sleeping your airway collapses, cutting off oxygen to the brain." Your brain begins to fight for the oxygen it needs, and it will momentarily wake you up. Now that you are awake you will begin to suck in the air you so desperately need. Once oxygen has reached the brain you then fall back to a restless night sleep until the process begins again.

Over time this stress can cause damage to the heart and brain. When awake you may feel overly tired, your afternoon may be spent sucking down various caffeine drinks just to get through the day, only to head home at night and never reach the REM sleep that is necessary for a great night sleep.

While some individuals believe that sleep apnea cannot happen to them because they are fit and eat healthy. The unfortunate truth is that men who are in great shape can be impacted by this condition too. "You may run marathons, or exercise for an hour a day, but that does not matter," states Dr. Strutz. 

While for many sleep apnea requires a C-pap machine, some individuals can benefit greatly from an oral appliance. Dr. Strutz can evaluate you and get you on the right track to a healthier night’s sleep.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Jaw Hurts When I Chew. How Can I Fix It?

Your jaw hurting is a sign of something significant. You might have an occlusion or a bite problem.It is important if your jaw is bothering you to visit a prosthodontist or dentist as soon as possible in order to get the problem checked out,” says Dr. Judith Strutz. If your bite is off, and you do not have it fixed, you can begin to crack or break teeth. You may experience pain that radiates down from the jaw. And bite problems may cause you to readjust the foods you are eating.  
TMD is a jaw problem that can cause extreme pain in the Temporomandibular joint. The pain can last for a few minutes up to hours. Sometimes the discomfort lingers and sometimes it’s an on again off again thing. TMD is many times caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, a bite problem caused by an injury, or malocclusion (the teeth do not fit together correctly). Some other causes are arthritis in the joint, movement of the soft cushions or stress, which can cause you to tighten your facial muscles.  
The signs you may have TMD or jaw joint troubles are: migraines, a tightness of the face in the mornings, or pain when chewing gum. You may also experience an inability to open your mouth wide or hear a clicking or popping noise when chewing. Dr. Strutz suggests, "you can experience swelling on the inside of your face, dizziness, or an earache."
TMD can be very painful, but there are options available to help. It is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately in order to have it taken care of. The longer the problem progresses the more damage is done to the joint.