November 2013 newsletter
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Dentists helping to prevent car crashes

Each year driver fatigue results in more than 100,000 car accidents in this country, and takes the lives of an estimated 1,550 citizens. Actual figures could be much higher since there is no test to determine sleepiness and little police training in identifying drowsy drivers.

In a recent National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% said they have driven a vehicle while sleepy, and 13% say they do so regularly. Men are almost twice as likely to fall asleep behind the wheel as women – and twice as likely to have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea.

As a sufferer relaxes into sleep, soft tissues at the back of the mouth block the flow of oxygen. Breathing becomes very shallow or stops for a period of time. Then the sleeper snorts, chokes, or jerks awake, and the cycle repeats many times each hour through the night. One of the detrimental side effects of untreated sleep apnea is daytime drowsiness, contributing to vehicle accidents.

Many apnics find relief with a simple custom-fitted oral appliance prescribed by a dentist. It discreetly holds the lower jaw open and slightly forward to keep the airway clear.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week begins November 11. Ask The Smile Center dentist’s office for more information on sleep apnea treatment.
Caring for your mouth and your mind

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It eventually impairs the body’s ability to carry out even the most basic functions such as swallowing. Treatment has gained a great deal of momentum in recent years, but prevention is still your best defense. Your dentist can help!

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. It’s an important opportunity to learn more about what you can do to minimize your risk. You might be surprised to learn that your oral health plays a role.

A recent study shows that bacteria related to gum disease reside in brain tissues of many Alzheimer’s victims. Harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream through the mouth, ultimately traveling to the brain.

Approximately 64 percent of older Americans have periodontal disease. While good home oral care and regular professional hygiene visits are important for everyone, they are especially critical for this higher-risk age group. Your dentist also has an armory of advanced treatment methods to fight gum disease, should it develop.

Mother taught you to brush after meals, floss at bedtime, and see The Smile Center dentist’s office at least twice a year. We are learning that her advice could save your life.

Smile Makeovers

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Tel: 716-568-7015 | 4427 Union Road, Cheektowaga, Buffalo, 14225, New York.