Early Signs of Sleep Apnea

Snoring man and young woman. Couple sleeping in bed.

Here at our office, we find that many of our patients are surprised to hear that a dentist first identifies the majority of sleep apnea cases. While a formal diagnosis requires a sleep specialist, dentists may see several signs pointing to sleep apnea during routine exams. Normally, after a few questions to confirm the dentist’s suspicions, the dentist suggests the sleep disorder as a cause and refers the patient to a sleep specialist.

Our sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco has years of experience helping patients dealing with sleep apnea. He knows that it is a serious medical condition and urges our patients not to take the possibility of the illness lightly.

As is true with most disorders, sleep apnea responds best to treatment when it is still early in the course of the illness. Many people still think that sleep apnea is a problem with loud snoring. While snoring is a part of the equation, sleep apnea increases a patient’s risk of developing one or more serious chronic illnesses.

To help your awareness of the signs of sleep apnea, here are some of the early signs that you may have sleep apnea.

• Daytime sleepiness- Patients getting eight hours of sleep should not be continually sleepy. If you sleep a reasonable amount of time each night, and you are still sleepy during the day, sleep apnea may be the cause.
• Chronic, long-lasting headaches- If you experience headaches on a daily basis and you notice they are lasting longer than a normal headache, talk to our dentist.
• Choking and gasping for air during sleep
• Depression or agitation
• The need to urinate during sleep
• Restlessness
• The inability to focus, retain information, concentrate, or other learning-related problems
• Falling asleep during daily activities such as during class or while driving

If you have signs pointing to sleep apnea, do not hesitate to contact our office. Our dentist can check your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you to a sleep specialist for a formal diagnosis. You deserve to rest well, and we are here to help you enjoy sound sleep again.

Early Signs of Sleep Apnea

Effectiveness of Invisalign

For more than 20 years, the Invisalign system has discreetly and effectively improved the smiles of millions of dental patients, including many who visit our Torrance dentist.

Invisalign is one of our most requested treatments because it has such a wide appeal. The alignment trays are clear, so most people will not notice you wearing them. Patients must remove Invisalign trays before eating or drinking anything except water. Because the trays are removable, the food restrictions common for other braces are not a problem. Invisalign patients receive new alignment trays about once a month; this eliminates painful tightening and adjustments endured by patients wearing traditional braces. It is easy to see what attracts patients to Invisalign. However, many patients ask our Invisalign dentist in Torrance if the Invisalign system is effective.

The treatment is highly effective and receives excellent reviews from patients and professionals. There are a few circumstances where Invisalign excels as the best option for orthodontic care.

• PROPERLY ALIGNING TEETH- Our patients with misaligned teeth love the fact that Invisalign repositions their teeth without the pain and inconvenience of metal braces.
• CORRECT VARIOUS BITE PROBLEMS- Invisalign is a great option for our patients with the following bite problems:


  • Crossbites
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Openbites

There are a few situations where our dentist would not suggest Invisalign as a treatment option. These include:
• A tooth rotation of more than 20 degrees- Invisalign cannot compensate enough to turn a tooth that is greatly rotated
• A tooth incline of more than 45 degrees- For an extreme incline, traditional braces are the best patient option
• Patients with dental implants- Because Invisalign works by pushing teeth into their best position, the stationary nature of implants means they will not move
• Patients who have dental bridges- Dental bridges are not meant to move, as we see with implants, the Invisalign system works by moving teeth and Invisalign would be a poor choice for those with bridges.

Invisalign is a wonderful option for many of our patients. If you would like to learn more about how Invisalign can help you, please contact our office.

Effectiveness of Invisalign

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health


It does not come as a surprise that sleep apnea negatively impacts over ten-million people every year. Our San Francisco dentist helps improve the sleep and the overall health of many of our patients who have sleep disorders.

Because sleep apnea typically comes with loud snoring, many people believe it is more of a nuisance than a health concern. One troublesome aspect of sleep apnea is that those with the disorder stop breathing momentarily. This can lead to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, the cessation of breathing wakes the sufferer, preventing deep, restful sleep. While the loud snoring is bothersome and may disturb the rest of others, sleep apnea often comes with serious and even potentially life-threatening health problems.

One of the most prevalent health issues that our sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco notices is excessive fatigue. This issue occurs with sleep apnea because the deepest level of sleep is unattainable due to constant waking. Prolonged lack of sleep and the accompanying exhaustion lead to clouded judgment, depression, over-eating, forgetfulness, and falling asleep while working or driving. Recent studies show that sleep apnea sufferers are five times more likely to cause car accidents than drivers who sleep well.

Another health problem seen with sleep apnea patients is high blood pressure. The continuous cycle of sleeping and waking causes excessive stress on your body. The stress activates hormones which in turn raise blood pressure.

Type two diabetes presents in about 80 percent of sleep apnea cases. Your body cannot use insulin properly because of the increased strain from sleep deprivation. The extra stress your body endures also drives up blood glucose levels which contribute to diabetes.

Heart disease links to sleep apnea because the disorder deprives the heart of oxygen. This takes a toll on the heart and can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation because the brain cannot control the way blood flows during the waking and sleeping cycles.

As you can see, sleep apnea has significant impacts on your health. Our dentist understands sleep apnea and has a variety of devices and treatment plans readily available. If sleep apnea is a problem for you, contact our office for an appointment so you can rest easy once again.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

side profile sick female having ear pain touching painful head

While no one ever wants to be in an emergency situation, these problems are an unfortunate part of life. This is why our dentists and our staff want our patients to know in the event of a dental emergency; we are here to help. You can contact our office for an emergency appointment at all times.

We understand that not everyone views emergencies the same way. However, we want to stress the importance of seeking care right away if you are in a situation that feels like an emergency. Our office feels it is always a good idea to be safe rather than to be sorry. So, remember, the emergency dentist in San Francisco is just a phone call away.

To help you determine if your situation is a dental emergency, here are some common conditions that need treatment right away.

• PAIN- Excessive tooth or mouth pain causing problems with eating, drinking, concentrating, or sleeping this could be an emergency. You should seek treatment.

• MOUTH SORES- Often sores develop over time, but abscesses can have a sudden onset. Because an abscess can infect many areas of your body via a release of toxins into your bloodstream, you need to see this as an emergency.

• TRAUMA TO THE FACE OR MOUTH- If you are struck in the head while playing a sport or injured in an accident, you should seek dental care right away. It is possible your mouth or teeth suffered damage only visible through an x-ray.

• BLEEDING- While blood often seems like an emergency to most people, you should seek treatment if you can soak a paper towel with the blood you lose.

• LOST TOOTH- A missing tooth is definitely a dental emergency. If you are able to, please place the tooth in a cup of milk or a damp paper towel. Then bring it along to your visit.

We hope you never need to make a visit to our office for an emergency. However, if you need us, our dentists and our staff will be ready to help you.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Teeth Whitening Tips

young woman in front of family

Our patients understand the value of a smile with beautiful white teeth. It boosts self-confidence and is proven to lead to more smiling. There is an increase in patients requesting appointments with our Torrance cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening.

When you come to the office for a whitening consultation, our teeth whitening dentist in Torrance will evaluate your smile and recommend a care plan for you based on the level of staining and the condition of your teeth. If your teeth are not healthy, the dentist will likely advise you on how to restore your teeth to their optimal condition before any whitening treatments. If you have veneers or dental bonding, you should note that a conventional whitening treatment will not increase your teeth’s’ whiteness. Likewise, if your staining is a result of a reaction to medication, a typical whitening treatment will not remove the stains.

Our dentist uses two kinds of whitening for our patients. The first is the in-office whitening and the second is an at-home kit of trays and whitening gel that goes into the trays then placed on your teeth. Both types of professional whitening work well. Usually, our patients choose between the options based on personal preference or time constraints.

When our dentist whitens your teeth in our office, the procedure is painless, and you need no anesthetic. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your whitening appointment.
• Plan on your appointment lasting at least an hour
• Let our dentist know if you experience sensitivity during the whitening process
• The majority of your visit will be spent in our dental chair while the whitening gel removes stains, so you may want an audiobook or some relaxing music to listen to while you wait.

If you purchase a whitening kit to use at home, there are a few things you should know.

• Follow our dentist’s instructions carefully to avoid bleaching your gums or over-whitening your teeth
• Be aware that at home whitening also may lead to tooth sensitivity
• You will need to repeat the treatment to maintain your results

If you are ready to show the world a brilliant smile, contact our office to schedule an appointment for your no-obligation consultation to learn more about your teeth whitening options.

Teeth Whitening Tips

Teeth Whitening Methods You Should Consider

young woman in front of family

There is simply no way to deny the impact of a dazzling white smile. It exudes youth and confidence plus it helps patients feel better about themselves. We see patients each day showing off their gleaming smiles after visiting our teeth whitening dentist.

There are several different options for our patients who are thinking about whitening their teeth. We do not recommend the type of whitening products you can purchase at your local drug store. While they are generally not harmful, the ingredients are much weaker than those we can provide. You may see results, but they will not last as long.

Our East LA cosmetic dentist usually recommends our standard in-office whitening. This treatment uses a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to break up surface stains. To begin the procedure, we paint the peroxide solution on your teeth. An even application is essential to give all your teeth an equal whiteness. Then a specially designed light helps to activate the peroxide solution. In about an hour your whitening treatment is complete, and you have a stunning smile.

Another popular in-office whitening procedure our dentist uses goes by the trademarked name Zoom. It is similar to the traditional whitening, but in addition to hydrogen peroxide, Zoom contains carbamide peroxide. According to the manufacturer, the carbamide peroxide enhances the whitening power of Zoom, and it decreases the sensitivity some whitening patients feel with traditional whitening processes.

The process differs slightly from regular whitening. With Zoom whitening, the solution goes on your teeth, we activate it, and then we clean the whitener off of your teeth several times. You can make your teeth up to nine shades whiter in a single visit if you choose. Additionally, Zoom offers patients the option to receive a fluoride treatment after the whitening process is complete.

If you are not sure which whitening process is best for you, do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment for a consultation. Our dentist can evaluate your teeth and answer your questions about the whitening process.

Teeth Whitening Methods You Should Consider

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Oral Health

Snoring man and young woman. Couple sleeping in bed.

Many patients are surprised to hear that a dental professional can see the early signs of sleep apnea sooner than a medical doctor. A large percentage of the ten-million people suffering from sleep apnea first learn that they have symptoms of the disorder from their dentist.

Our dentist is a highly trained sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco who has spent many years helping patients who are robbed of their sleep and oral health by the disorder. A well-trained dentist such as our dentist is able to spot even subtle signs of dental damage that comes from sleep apnea.

Here are the most common dental problems caused by sleep apnea.

• Dry Mouth- While dry mouth seems like an uncomfortable inconvenience than a serious issue, it often leads to other, more severe dental problems. Dry mouth occurs along with sleep apnea because patients with the disorder are typically mouth breathers while they are sleeping. When there is not enough saliva present in your mouth, bacteria grow and multiply, unchecked. Excessive bacteria are a cause of many dental problems including gum disease.

• Teeth Grinding- Formally known as bruxism, repeated grinding of your teeth while you are asleep is symptomatic of sleep apnea and can wreak havoc on your oral health. Sleep apnea patients often experience bruxism because it is the brain’s way of attempting to wake the patient so that they breathe normally. We see patients with sleep apnea experience cracked teeth, tooth enamel that is worn away, waking up with headaches, stiff necks, and jaw pain because of bruxism.

• Temporomandibular Joint Disorder- This painful ailment is often a result of ongoing sleep apnea. The joint experiences excessive wear because of the long-term teeth grinding associated with sleep apnea. After exposure to extreme pressure from bruxism over a period of time, a patient’s temporomandibular joint suffers from inflammation and dislocation. The pain is severe and successful treatment takes time.

If you believe that you experience sleep apnea, talk with our dentist for helpful suggestions along with a thorough examination.

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Oral Health