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Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep and when untreated breathing stops repeatedly. When this occurs the brain and rest of the body are being deprived of oxygen. The cause of sleep apnea is usually blockage in the back of the throat where soft tissue collapses.
There is a greater risk to develop sleep apnea if you are male, overweight, and history of it in your family. Side effects are high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and depression. If you snore loudly and wake up feeling tired after a long night sleep regularly, these may be signs of sleep apnea.
A lifestyle change that helps cure sleep apnea is weight loss. Medical alternatives include different devices to be worn while you sleep to prevent blockage of the airways and in more severe cases surgery can be done to help with sleep apnea.
For questions about sleep apnea and possible solutions, give us a call at Healthy Smiles. To learn about our services provided at our …
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Cavity Prevention

Cavities are permanent damage done to teeth that develop into small openings or holes on the hard surfaces of teeth. Cavities can develop by drinking too many sugary drinks and consuming too many sweets and other sugary snacks. Not brushing your teeth thoroughly enough is a telltale sign there is bacteria building up and cavities are forming.
For cavity prevention there are a few ways to ensure your teeth are healthy and clean. Using toothpaste and brushing all areas of your teeth along with rinsing with fluoride makes for a good combination of healthy teeth. At Healthy Smiles we know that it’s hard to avoid soda and other sugary drinks but drinking water and other alternatives like tea or milk will go a long way in preventing cavities. Putting healthier things in your body make for healthier and stronger teeth.
If patients experience any toothaches, tooth sensitivity, or pain when you bite down, there may be a cavity that needs to be filled and we can do that here at Healthy Smiles.If …

Post-Extraction Swelling

You’re probably aware that wisdom tooth extractions are followed by swelling. We work closely with patients at Healthy Smiles Family Dental to ensure that their recoveries go as smoothly as possible, but it’s true that swelling is almost inevitable. We want to reassure patients that this is normally not a problem and to provide them with information they need to protect themselves in case something does go wrong.
When a tooth is removed, the bone at the base of the socket is briefly exposed before the blood clots and seals it off. Inflammation is an additional immune defense against the spread of outside pathogens, but it usually isn’t necessary. For the first few days after an extraction, patients should attempt to limit swelling by applying cold packs to their jaws. They should apply the cold pack for fifteen minutes at a time, with fifteen minutes in between applications.
Swelling is usually proportional to the complexity of an extraction, with incisions resulting in more swelling th…

Lip Care in Dry Weather

Cold weather means bad news for peoples’ lips. We at Salem’s Healthy Smiles Dental want our patients to know how to maintain good oral health, so we thought it would be a good idea to go over some ways of preventing the soft tissues of the mouth from chapping, particularly for our patients who will be experiencing drier weather.
Lip balm is certainly helpful for sealing in moisture. But users should be aware that products with fragrances or that contain menthol can be an irritant. Licking the lips will prove counterproductive because as saliva evaporates, it will take more moisture with it. Long, hot showers will also make the chapping problem worse. Another bad way of dealing with chapped lips is to tuck them under the teeth, which will further bruise them and could cause them to swell. Few people would hold their lips under their teeth long enough to develop an open bite, but it could become a habit and interfere with orthodontic therapy. For better results, try using humidifiers to …

Wisdom Teeth

Teeth erupt in stages and wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars we receive around the ages of 17-21. Not everyone accrues wisdom teeth, which means not everyone needs them extracted. Wisdom teeth that only partially emerge or come in crooked can lead to painful crowding and oral infection. If you are experiencing facial discomfort and still have your wisdom teeth intact, it may be time to discuss extraction with our doctors at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry.
When wisdom teeth are misaligned, they may position themselves horizontally, or at an inward/outward angle. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd the mouth or damage adjacent teeth. Wisdom teeth are often unnecessary because we don’t require them to chew our food. Also, people who keep them are more prone to tooth decay and periodontal disease because they are hard to reach, therefore, difficult to clean. If wisdom teeth are causing you oral discomfort, we can discuss treatment options.
If you have questions or conc…

Endodontics: Root Canal

Root canals have a bad reputation, but they are necessary to save a tooth from becoming badly decayed or infected. A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Here at the Healthy Smiles Family Dental, each of our dental professionals take great pride in their profession and will make your root canal treatment as painless as possible. 
During the first visit, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. A rubber sheet may be placed around the tooth to isolate it. Next, access is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which, along with any infected root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped. Medication may be inserted into the area to kill bacteria and prevent additional infection. Depending on your tooth’s condition, the crown may be inserted into the area to kill bacteria and pr…

White Spot Lesions

If you had an early-stage dental infection, would you be able to recognize it? We’re committed to preventive care at Healthy Smiles Family Dental in Salem. As part of our effort, we want each of our patients to understand what a white spot lesion signifies and what they need to do if they develop one.
As the first sign of tooth decay, white spot lesions are also known as “incipient lesions.” They are spots on the surfaces of teeth that appear unnaturally white and chalky and are usually found near the gum line or the sides of teeth. White spots are caused by enamel having lost minerals, but not enough to form a cavity. The teeth naturally produce a film which sugar and the bacteria that feed on it get trapped in. As bacteria eat, they excrete acid, which erodes the enamel. The more food is available, the more bacteria multiply, and the more acid is produced.
It only takes about a month for white spots to develop. Patients should take them as a sign they need to improve their brushing, p…