Why Does My Dentist Care About Sleep Apnea? FROM SNORING TO A HEART ATTACK
A few years ago, my cousin Dave suffered a major heart attack. He was maybe 55 at the time — just a year and a half older than I was. His heart stopped, and Dave basically died, but thankfully, the paramedics were able to revive him. Dave survived his heart attack, and I got to see him at the Stuckey family reunion that summer. Though Dave wasn’t an older guy, his physical health wasn’t the best. He was overweight, exhausted all the time, and had diabetes and high blood pressure. These are all signs of sleep apnea, and warning bells went off in my head. In fact, when I asked him if he snored, his wife Brenda looked over at me and rolled her eyes. “I can’t sleep in the same room as him!” she said. Then, I asked Dave if any of his doctors had ever suggested he take a sleep test. He told me no and asked why anyone would do that. I said, “Well, Dave, I think you might have sleep apnea.” “If you learn you’ve suffered from a disease for years, you don’t want to wait around while you keep getting worse.” After the reunion, Dave came up to my office and did a home sleep test. His results were off the charts, showing he had severe sleep apnea. I sent him home to find a sleep specialist, who conducted a lab sleep test and confirmed my findings. The specialist set Dave up with a CPAP machine, which I’m happy to
report Dave has been using religiously. He hasn’t had any more heart problems, and his blood pressure is down! I am so glad he listened to my advice and got help. Dave was headed toward another heart attack, and there was a good chance he wouldn’t have walked away from it again. People aren’t always willing to get the help they need when diagnosed with a sleep disorder. I had a patient some time ago who I determined was suffering from sleep apnea. I tried to convince him to receive treatment, either with an oral appliance I could provide in the office or by getting a CPAP machine from a sleep specialist. He didn’t want to make a decision right away, and each time I saw him after that, he would tell me he was still thinking about it. After we didn’t see him for a while, one of my office team members found an obituary saying he’d passed away due to health complications. The news was a devastating blow. This man wasn’t an old guy — maybe in his late 50s or early 60s. He should have had decades left on this earth, but I wasn’t able to make him
understand how serious sleep apnea really is. By the time a person is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they have been suffering from it for years. If you learn you’ve suffered from a disease for years, you don’t want to wait around while you keep getting worse. Sleep apnea is becoming better known among the general population, but many people still make the mistake of believing it’s just loud snoring. In reality, the loud, erratic snoring is caused by a person’s throat closing during sleep. They spend hours every night suffocating, and that constant oxygen deprivation will destroy your internal organs over time. When I tell a patient they have sleep apnea, I don’t care if that patient chooses to use an oral appliance from my office, get a CPAP machine from a sleep specialist, or seek help from another dentist. I just want them to get the lifesaving treatment they need so they can hopefully stay with us for many more years, like my cousin Dave. –Dr. Stuckey
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Searching for Spring
Family Scavenger Hunts Made Easy
Spring is in bloom, and there’s no better time to get some fresh air. If you are looking for a way to get your family outside and away from their screens, why not plan a spring-themed scavenger hunt? More than just a fun way to spend the afternoon, scavenger hunts build problem-solving skills, encourage teamwork, and get your family to exercise their minds and bodies. Here are some tips on how to plan a memorable family scavenger hunt. Play in Teams Your whole family can participate together, but it can also be fun to strike up some friendly competition with teams. Have at least one parent or an older, responsible sibling on each team to make sure everyone stays safe and follows the rules. Take Pictures Since everyone has a camera on their phone, why not use it? By taking pictures, you don’t have to worry about losing anything you find, and your teams can more safely collect certain items. For example, bird feathers are a great item for a spring scavenger hunt, but you don’t want your kids to touch
them. Make a rule that a team member must appear in every picture so no one can cheat by finding photos online. Customize Your List There are plenty of scavenger hunt lists online, but it’s more fun to brainstorm with your family. Have everyone think of three to five spring-related items, like yellow flowers, a kite, or a rabbit-shaped cloud. Do some research into your local flora and fauna. If you put a bluebird on the list, you might want to make sure there are bluebirds in your area. Don’t Forget the Prizes!
Prizes don’t have to be elaborate to be fun. It can be something simple, like Popsicles or fake medals, or maybe the winning team gets to pick a restaurant for dinner. Scavenger hunts are one of the best ways to create lasting family memories this spring without breaking the bank. Just get your list, gather your family, and have fun. Happy hunting!
Who Has Time to Catch Some Zzzs? Ann Banks: Dental Sleep Medicine Coordinator Doesn’t Rest
you so far. As a sleep coordinator at Briarfield Dental, I work with patients who struggle with sleep breathing disorders and help them get fitted with an oral appliance to address their condition. A friend of mine introduced me to the field of sleep around 10 years ago. I wanted to go into the medical field to help people solve their problems and feel better. Suffocating in your sleep because of sleep apnea is a pretty big problem, so I started to work for a sleep lab, fitting patients with CPAP machines. Then, my friend Jenny, who works here at Briarfield, told me Dr. Stuckey was looking for a sleep coordinator. I met with Dr. Stuckey, we hit it off, and I celebrated my one-year anniversary with Briarfield in March. I really love my job, and I have some pretty great friends to thank for helping me get here. It was different to transition from working with CPAPs to oral appliances, but I really like how effective the appliances are. They are simpler
and look more comfortable, yet they still help people sleep better. It’s fascinating how the oral appliance can keep someone from choking in their sleep by just pushing the jaw forward a little, and it actually helps them enjoy a full night of rest. I greatly value a good night’s sleep, because I’m the sort of person who’s always on the go. My husband, my 16-year-old daughter, and my 10-year-old son keep me going constantly. We’re a big sports family, so being active is basically a family trait. When I leave the office for the day, I’m always heading to the field for a baseball game or to the court for a basketball game. Both my kids are in sports, and I play on a summer softball league. We’re always busy after school and on weekends with practice, tournaments, and games. It demands a lot of energy, but I wouldn’t change a thing! I love being outside, playing with my kids, and being on a team.
Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite subject: sleep. Unless you’re the rare morning person,
Disney mug, but if you’re battling a sleep disorder every night, caffeine can only take
It’s a wild life, and I am loving every moment of it.
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Taking Care of Your Baby’s Oral Health
Tips on What to Do
Believe it or not, your infant’s oral hygiene is important — even before they have teeth! Bacteria can build up inside your child’s mouth, causing harm to their gums and, eventually, their teeth. Though children’s teeth are temporary, they’re still vulnerable to infection and decay when not taken care of properly. Listed below are a few simple ways to secure your infant’s oral health. Your Dental Health One important way to maintain your child’s dental health is to maintain your own. Not only does this lead to good habits for the both of you, it can prevent bacteria from spreading. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bacteria called streptococcus mutans can spread from mothers to their infants, which can lead to dental decay. Cleaning It’s important to keep your infant’s mouth clean. Bacteria can grow in their mouth and around their gums, creating infections even before baby teeth set in. Clean your infant’s mouth at least twice a day or after
each meal. Wash your hands, then wrap clean, damp gauze around your finger, and gently wipe your baby’s gums. Appointments Scheduling a dental appointment is a sure way to prevent problems. You should see a dentist regularly to make sure your teeth are healthy before and after your child is born. When your child turns 1 year old, or their first tooth appears, take your infant in for their first dental appointment.
By taking care of your dental health, you can take care of your infant’s. Call Briarfield Dental
at 419-866-6985, and start your child down the path to lifelong oral care. Teeth or no teeth, oral health is important, and keeping up with it will benefit you and your child in the long run.
Fun Facts and Trivia It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow — try it! • The “sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is believed to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language. • There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. • “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.” Maine is the only state that has a one- syllable name. • • • It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
Dr. Stuckey’s Playlis
Remembering My Favorite Concert
I heard a song on the radio recently that reminded me of something: I really like Pink Floyd. I’ve liked them since the ’70s, and almost 50 years later, I can’t help but rock out when their songs play on the radio. There’s something about the band’s guitarist, David Gilmour, that I really appreciate. I was far from a ’70s hippie, like most of the band’s early fan base, but I loved their music then, and I have followed their careers ever since. The best concert I ever attended was when Pink Floyd played at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, in the fall of 1987. Before the Silverdome fell to ruin, it was a massive, beautiful indoor arena, and the sound during that show was perfect and clear. This was their “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” tour, which was their first tour after the band broke up and the first time the band performed without their original bassist, Roger Waters. Even with his absence, the show was incredible. “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall” by Pink Floyd are two of the best-selling albums of all time, but my favorite Pink Floyd album is “Wish You Were Here.” During the Silverdome concert, they played a half-side of “Wish You Were Here,” and I loved every minute of it. Before you ask ... Yes, I do still have my Pink Floyd T-shirt from that concert.
• There are only four words in the
English language which end in “dous” — tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
Most people fall asleep in seven minutes.
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The Dangers of Snoring
This Season’s Best Family Activity From the Office to the Field With Ann
Infant Dental Health Dr. Stuckey’s Playlist
3 Awesome Ways to Create Lasting Memories
Family Time in the Great Outdoors
Hiking A hike with family is an easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. All a hike requires is a trail and a sense of adventure. The best part of hiking is that you can tailor the distance to fit your family’s needs. If you have children or grandkids who aren’t up for the challenge of an arduous daylong trek, there’s sure to be a shorter scenic trail. If nothing else, you can always turn around and backtrack the way you came.
Fishing Fishing is a great way to get out and do something relaxing yet challenging. It doesn’t require a lot of skill or investment. All it takes is the willingness to learn and the desire to connect with nature. This is why fishing is the perfect activity for youngsters of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rod and reel and head to the nearest lake or river. While these are all great stand-alone options, together they form an amazing three-headed monster for your next family outing. By combining camping with a hike to a river or lake where you can go fishing, you are sure to create lasting memories with your family that will draw you closer together. Ditch the lines at the airport and the stress of travel. Unleash the possibilities of adventure in the great outdoors.
Family adventures are a great way to grow closer and develop meaningful connections. But with lodging prices rising and the logistical nightmare that traveling with the entire family can be, many Americans are looking at a new option: ditching the beaches and resorts and heading to the great outdoors. Actually, we know this option isn’t new at all. Spending time outdoors with family may very well be one of the most time-honored traditions ever. Camping Lodgings and flights are expensive, so going on a family vacation can cost thousands of dollars — and that’s just for the basics! But camping only requires a tent, a fire, picnic food, and water. Rather than scarfing down fast food between flights and dealing with airport security, departure delays, and long flights, take a deep breath and roast marshmallows over the fire with the people you love.
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