Our Blog

Sleep Apnea: How we can help

October 12th, 2018

At Discovery Dental, we understand that getting high-quality sleep is vital to maintaining your overall health. Insufficient sleep can lead to an inability to concentrate, motor vehicle accidents, and difficulty performing at work. Since approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, this poses a significant public health problem. If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team about devices that can help you get a good night’s rest.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder in which breathing stops or becomes very shallow during the night. These bouts of paused breathing may last a few seconds or as long as several minutes. When 30 or more breathing interruptions occur per hour, sleep apnea leads to dramatic reductions in sleep quality. In many cases, this condition is caused by your airway becoming blocked or collapsed during sleep.

Anyone can get sleep apnea, but there are certain factors that increase your risk. Having small airways, being overweight, being male, or having a family history of sleep apnea increases the likelihood that you will develop the disorder. If you think you have sleep apnea, visit highly encourage you to visit our Washougal, WA office for a thorough physical exam, comprehensive medical history, and a sleep study.

Treatment Options

Several treatment avenues are available for people with sleep apnea. One popular option is to wear an oral appliance. For example, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) looks like a sports mouthguard and slightly repositions your jaw, to keep your airway unobstructed. Another option is a tongue-retraining device (TRD), which holds your tongue in place to ensure that your airway stays open during the night.

For individuals with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, dental devices are a smart option. Many patients enjoy improved sleep, reductions in snoring, and less fatigue during daytime hours. If you’re curious about getting an oral appliance to help with your sleep apnea, please consult our team at Discovery Dental. After a consultation and examination, we can fit the type of device that works best for your condition.

Your Snoring Might Be More Serious Than You Think

October 5th, 2018

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night. It’s most common among middle-aged adults, and the most prevalent symptom is loud snoring.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax to the point where they inhibit your natural breathing. It can cause your breathing to stop for anywhere from ten to twenty seconds. In the worst cases, it can even stop your breathing for up to a few minutes.

In addition, people who suffer from sleep apnea wake up feeling tired and unrested. The condition may even lead to depression, high blood pressure, irritability, and memory loss. It puts you at a greater risk for heart attack and lowers oxygen levels in your brain.

All of this sounds scary, but the good news is that sleep apnea can be treated! One of the most common ways Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield can treat sleep apnea is by creating an oral device for you to wear while you sleep.

The device brings your jaw forward, which keeps the airway open and lowers the incidence of snoring. Another method is to use a continuous positive airway mask, often referred to as a CPAP. The mask fits over the mouth and forces oxygen through the throat while you sleep.

If you’re unsure about whether you may suffer from sleep apnea, visit our Washougal, WA office and let Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield know. We can determine the appropriate treatment if any is needed. Don’t risk losing another night’s sleep over something we can easily treat!

Finding the Right Dental Products for Your Child

September 28th, 2018

Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team know how overwhelming it can be to pick the right dental products for your children. When you visit the dental aisle at the grocery store, you see too many options to choose from. We want to help you make an informed decision based on your son or daughter’s needs.

First, you should consider your child’s age and where he or she is in terms of development. Most kids are unable to floss properly until around 12 years of age because of the necessary dexterity. If your youngster is under 12 years old, make sure to assist with flossing every night.

Another option is to use flossers for children. This will make the exercise a bit easier for your little one, because flossers have different-sized handles to fit all ages of hands.

When you’re looking for a child’s toothbrush, the head should be a little bigger than the top portion of your son or daughter’s thumb. If a toothbrush is too big, it won’t be able to reach small areas in the mouth properly. Battery-powered toothbrushes are also recommended because they improve overall brushing quality for both adults and children.

If your child is too young to spit, he or she should use toothpaste without fluoride. Small children tend to swallow toothpaste, even when they don’t intend to. Try looking for a toothpaste that has xylitol listed as the first ingredient. This is a natural sweetener that is beneficial to teeth.

You should also try to identify a flavor that appeals to your child. Same as adults, children like to brush more if they enjoy the flavor that lingers in their mouth after brushing.

It’s smart to look at the ingredients in a toothpaste for the benefits your child needs. Some toothpastes contain sodium fluoride, which fights effectively against cavities. If your child has a sweet tooth, or has already had a cavity, we recommend buying a toothpaste with this ingredient.

Stannous fluoride is another popular ingredient that discourages cavities and includes anti-bacterial properties. You should also watch for the ingredient triclosan, which also suppresses bacteria. These ingredients are both recommend for children who have a high risk for cavities.

Anti-sensitivity toothpaste should also be easy to find in the dental aisle of the store. It contains potassium nitrate to help with sore gums and teeth.

If you’re still unsure which dental products your child should be using, contact our Washougal, WA office. Once we have general information about your child and his or her dental health, we can guide you in the right direction.

When it comes to picking the right toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash for your child, Discovery Dental is always here to help.

Readying Up For Fall!

September 27th, 2018

The changing colors and the cooler winds; it can only be fall! Discovery Dental has been waiting for this moment for so long and we’re thrilled to kick off the new season with a bang. You’ll be able to catch some of us hiking and running on various trails soaking up the amazing weather. Or you can find us doing a little baking on those colder evenings.

Speaking of baking, did someone say chocolate chip pumpkin cookies!? This is a fan favorite recipe for the season – perfect blend of spongy and sweet. Delicious! A plate of those while sitting next to the fireplace is a cozy sweater is the ideal fall day in our opinion.

With a seasonal change also comes new happenings around the office. We’ll be having our annual fall contest (or two!) going on soon, so be sure to stay tuned on our Facebook page for the details. Someone might be the lucky winner of some Blazers tickets! We’ll also, of course, be celebrating Halloween in style. Expect to see some of our very best costumes yet!

October brings more than just Halloween to celebrate but also the birthday of our fabulous front desk workers Kirsten! She’s an absolute delight and we’re beyond thankful to have her as part of our team. Any travel plans going on for you? Dr. Dave sure has some planned. He’ll be doing trail ultra-races all over the West Coast: a 100K on the southern Oregon coast, a 50K on the northern Oregon coast, and a half marathon at Stinson Beach in California! Be sure to wish him good luck next time you see him.

Whatever your plans for the fall may be, whether you’ll simply enjoy those hearty meals with family, go explore the world a bit, or even cozy up with a good book (Dr. Dave has been reading North by Scott Jurek and is enjoying it!), we hope they go on without a hitch. Be sure to give us the full scoop next time you’re in the office though. We’d love to hear what’s on your radar.