Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Dental Tips for Travelers

Vacation Time!  Whether you are on a vacation for a few days or months away out of the country; here are some dental tips for travelers to maintain good oral care:
Make Time for a dental checkup before travel
·       Thorough oral exam to take care any dental problems before the travel
·       Your dentist should check fillings, crowns or dentures in your mouth.  Air traps in the teeth can expand at extreme altitudes; it can cause pain, inflammation and even loose fillings, crowns or dentures
In case of emergency/emergency overseas
·       Make sure to have the dentist’s contact information handy or keep a business card in the wallet
·       If you are out of the country, get a dental referral/recommendation from the local consulate or U.S. embassy
Pack Dental supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss)
·       Ventilate toothbrush-Store the toothbrush after use in a sealable plastic bag and keep it clean and out of contact with other things. As soon as you reach the destination, take the toothbrush out for air dry.
·       Toothpaste and floss-keep these supplies in the glove compartment, purses, containers, plastic bags, carry-on
·       Bring extra, portable/disposable supplies-go small, the more compact the oral hygiene items, the more likely you are to keep them handy
Eat healthy snacks
·       Cut up fruits & vegetables, baby carrots, celery sticks, sliced apples, string cheese, whole grain crackers, trail mix
·       Chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent cavities.  It gets saliva flowing and washes away cavity-causing bacteria
·       Drink water
Brush with bottled water
·       If you are in a country that the water supply may be compromised, use bottled water to brush your teeth.  It reduces the risk of getting sick
·       Clean the toothbrush with bottled water.  It reduces the risk of getting sick
Stick to your routine
·       Brush your teeth 2x/day and floss daily
·       End of day with a thorough brushing and flossing. 
Dr. Anna Lee is a general & cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.  She has been taking care of adults and children’s dentistry for over 25 years.  Call our dental office for a thorough dental examination before leaving for your vacation.  If you and your family have any questions about dental care, please contact Dr. Anna Lee at 626-335-5114 or visit us at   

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Dental Tips for a Safe Summer

Summer is here, it is a wonderful time to slow down and relax with friends and family. Some people will be on family vacations, business trips and leisure travel.  Others may have no definite plan, take it easy or have fun playing sports activities.  Here are some dental tips for a safe summer for you and your family.
Limit sweets and look for low-sugar options
·       Soda, juice, lemonade, sports drinks can cause tooth decay and enamel erosion
·       Look for low-sugar or sugar-free options; use fresh fruit to make frozen popsicles, chew sugar-free gum
Eat healthy snacks
·       For family outings, pack bags of healthy snacks like carrots, celery sticks, sliced apples, string cheese, yogurt, whole grain crackers, trail mix
·       Drink water instead of drinking soda, juice or sports drinks
Establish a summer routine
·       Establishing a summer routine is particular important for school-aged children.  While summer schedules are usually a lot more flexible than usual, it is important to ensure children brush their teeth 2x/day and floss daily
·       Travel sized tooth brushes and tooth paste are great for traveling
·       Disposable tooth brushes are good for staying clean anywhere at any time
Stay hydrated with drinking water
·       Drinking water helps to keep your mouth moist throughout the day.  Water helps wash away plaque causing bacteria and can improve your breath
·       It may be difficult to stick to a regular oral health routine while you and your family are on a road trip. Using water to rinse your mouth after eating helps to flush away food particles and bacteria
Take precaution during activities to prevent dental emergencies
Swimming, skate boarding, bike riding, playing soccer and football are just a few sports that many families enjoy.  Dental injuries may happen and parents need to be prepared for the worst by following these tips:
·       According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to swimming pool accidents
·        Wearing a mouth guard/sports guard may help to protect your children’s teeth and prevent oral injuries.  Talk to your dentist about the options available
·       Children run on slippery pool decks, dive into shallow waters or hit the mouths against the side of the pool may cause serious injuries to their mouths
·       What to do with a knocked out tooth?
-Call and get to the dentist right away

-Clean the area and use gauze to stop the bleeding
-Try placing the tooth back into its socket. Make sure the tooth is facing the right way.  Don’t    try to force the tooth into the socket.  If it does not go back into place easily, then just keep it moist (in milk, saliva or water) and get to the dentist as soon as possible.
·       Academy of General Dentistry recommends an emergency kit to take along for vacation.  It includes a handkerchief, some gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information
Visit the dentist
·       Schedule your children’s dental checkups early in the summer to avoid the back to school rush.  Schedule the appointment time that works best for you and the children
·       Parents and children feel good about their dental health for the summer
Dr. Anna Lee is a general & cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.  She has been taking care of adults and children’s dentistry for over 25 years.  If you and your family have any questions about dental care, please call Dr. Anna Lee for a dental checkup at 626-335-5114 or visit us at              The best way to start out the vacation is with a clean and healthy mouth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Oral Appliance Therapy

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious medical condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while the patient is asleep.  OSA is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. These stops in breathing usually lasts about 10 seconds and are often followed by snorts, gasps, or choking sounds as the patient’s body fights to resume breathing again.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)?
Oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea continue to increase in popularity for many sleep apnea sufferers.  Over 100 different oral appliances are FDA approved for the treatment of sleep apnea.  These appliances are worn in the mouth, just like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic appliance while sleeping.  Oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward just enough to keep the airway open and prevent the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from collapsing and blocking the airway.  Two common oral appliances are the mandibular repositioning device and the tongue retaining device.
·       Mandibular repositioning device (MAD): it pushes the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward.  It prevents the throat muscles and soft tissues from collapsing back into the airways and allowing for normal breathing during sleep.
·       Tongue retaining device: It is similar to MAD, but it has a small compartment that fits around the tongue that uses suction to keep it held forward.  This prevents the tongue from collapsing back into the airway.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) as the first line treatment for patients diagnosed with Mild to Moderate Sleep Apnea.  AASM recommends oral appliance for patients with severe OSA, who are unable to tolerate wearing the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).  Another option for people with severe OSA is Combination Therapy (wear CPAP and an oral appliance together) to help reduce the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more comfortable to use.
Why use an Oral Appliance for sleep apnea?
·       Oral appliance supports the lower jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway
·       An effect treatment option for patients with mild and moderate sleep apnea
How can an Oral Appliance help with sleep apnea?
·       Ease of use: more comfortable and tolerable than wearing a CPAP mask (no skin irritation, itchy and dry nose)
·       Small and easy to transport at travel
·       Patients tend to be more compliant
Side effects of wearing Oral Appliance Therapy
·       Soreness of the mouth, sore teeth and/or gums
·       Excessive salivation
·       Damage or permanent change in position/bite of the jaw
Dr. Anna Lee is a dentist trained in sleep apnea who can assist you with the treatment.  Dr. Anna Lee conducts a full evaluation of your teeth, mouth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to ensure that your teeth and jaw structure are healthy enough to wear an oral appliance. If you have any question about oral appliance therapy, please call us for a FREE CONSULTATION at        626-335-5114 or visit our sleep website at

Monday, May 14, 2018

Women with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The cause of death of a famous movie star, Carrie Fisher, was sleep apnea and “other undetermined factors” in December 2016.  She was 60 years old.  Typical obstructive sleep apnea patients are usually men who are overweight and snore loudly with choking or gasping sounds at night.  While obstructive sleep apnea patients are common in men, many women suffer from OSA and go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.  Obstructive sleep apnea patients come in all shapes, size, genders, races and some have atypical symptoms.
These are some of the reasons women with OSA who are undiagnosed and misdiagnosed:
·       Women present atypical symptoms
·       Men are less likely to complain about their wives snoring
·       Doctors are less likely to ask women about sleep related symptoms
According to a study at The University of Chicago, “Sleep apnea presents itself differently for women, which may lead them to go undiagnosed.”                                                                              Some of the atypical (not classic) symptoms in women with OSA:
·       Insomnia
·       Restlessness in legs
·       Tired or fatigue
·       Depression
·       Daytime sleepiness
·       Morning headaches
·       Fibromyalgia
·       Concentration or memory difficulties
·       Frequent urination at night
·       Heartburn at night
·       Night sweats
·       Lack of energy during day
·       Dry mouth on awakening
·       A feeling of being overwhelmed
·       Uncontrollable high blood pressure
·       Obesity
The classic symptoms in men with OSA are snoring, gasping for air during sleep, drowsiness and sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving.
*Note:  Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.                                                                                     *Note:  Not everyone who has sleep apnea snores.
Women & Sleep Apnea Toolkit: raises awareness of sleep-disordered breathing (OSA) in women
·       November 29, 2017, the Society for Women’s Health Research released the toolkit
·       Purpose of toolkit: provide women and their health care providers with gender specific information about obstructive sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing
·       Patient page asks women about their daytime and night time symptoms
Daytime symptoms of OSA: feeling depressed, anxious, irritable, impatient, tired or drained.  Women with OSA may notice that they struggle to stay awake and may fall asleep at the wrong time or place.  Cognitive difficulties, such as forgetfulness, foggy or fuzzy thinking
Nighttime symptoms OSA:  snoring is not the only symptom with OSA.  Women have difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings and restless sleep
·       Toolkit guides the women and their health care providers to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep disorders
Some treatment options for women with OSA:
·       CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure): In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) reviewed all available evidence for CPAP and concluded that treatment was effective for patient s with moderate to severe OSA
·       Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is a treatment option for patients with mild to moderate OSA
·       Life style changes:  lose weight
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical problem for men and women.  If you are experiencing any of the classic or atypical (not classic) symptoms of sleep apnea, contact Glendora dentist,                   
 Dr. Anna Lee.  She is a trained dentist in sleep apnea who can assist you with treatment.  For more information, please visit our sleep website at  or call our office at 626-335-5114 for a FREE sleep apnea Consultation.