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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Heritage Hunt Dental
March 11, 2022
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea  

Did you know that your dentist doesn’t just treat your teeth, but sleep apnea as well? Dental sleep medicine focuses on oral appliances for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This condition is recognizable by the tissue in the back of an individual’s throat collapsing as they sleep, blocking the airways throughout the night. This is a serious condition that causes many short and long-term effects, so it’s important you schedule your appointment with Dr. Chris Houser at Heritage Hunt Dental in Gainesville, VA, right away. Here are several signs of sleep apnea and how you can manage this sleep dentistry condition.

Common sleep apnea signs

If you have sleep apnea, you may notice one or more of these signs:

  • Frequent Snoring: Snoring, one of the most well-known signs of sleep apnea, occurs when your throat muscles vibrate when you sleep. If you have sleep apnea, your throat muscles relax and your airway becomes narrower when you sleep, which increases vibrations and worsens snoring.
  • Gasping and Choking: Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing multiple times during the night, usually for a few seconds at a time. Gasping and choking serve an important purpose because it opens your airway and allows you to begin breathing again. Unfortunately, chronic oxygen deprivation can lead to strokes, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes.
  • Fatigue: When your sleep is constantly interrupted, it's hard to feel rested and energetic. Fatigue can be a sign that you have sleep apnea.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: In addition to fatigue, you may also notice that it's harder to concentrate. Difficulty concentrating can be particularly dangerous if your job involves operating heavy machinery or driving for hours at a time.
  • Morning Headaches: Oxygen deprivation can also lead to morning headaches. Although the headaches usually go away an hour or two after you wake up, they can be a warning sign of sleep apnea.
  • Irritability: Sleep deprivation can also affect your moods, leaving you feeling irritable and depressed.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Oral Appliance Therapy is the key to treatment and healthy life. Your dentist will give you an oral appliance that you’ll wear during the night. A mandibular repositioning device moves your jaw forward while you sleep to keep your airways open. Another option is tongue retaining devices that work by keeping your tongue in place so it can’t block your breathing. 

Your dental team offers a low-tech solution for your sleep apnea. These dental sleep medicine treatments ensure that you and your spouse or significant other can sleep soundly once again. Are you interested in learning how sleep dentistry can help you beat sleep apnea? Call Dr. Chris Houser at Heritage Hunt Dental in Gainesville, VA, at 703-754-5800.

By Heritage Hunt Dental
October 05, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea   Toothaches  

The dental staff at Heritage Hunt Dental provide care for dental issues associated with sleep apnea at their Gainesville, VA, office. The dentist, Dr. Chris Houser, provides quality care for those suffering from toothaches in Gainesville, VA.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder that keeps you from breathing during sleep. The passageway is blocked during sleep several times throughout the night. When the passageway is blocked, the amount of air going to your lungs is limited. Now your body is deprived of Oxygen, limiting your breathing.

The air blockage is usually caused by tissue in the back of the throat collapsing. As the muscles relax during sleep, the tissue becomes relaxed and falls back. If you sleep on your back, gravity causes the tongue to fall back and cover the breathing passageway. The breathing passageway is narrowed, causing the tissue to vibrate in the back of the throat while breathing. This results in snoring, gasping for air, or silent breathing pauses. These episodes cause a person to wake up, resulting in broken sleep.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) states a person stops breathing about 100 times per night due to sleep apnea. These episodes can last from a few seconds to one minute. These disturbances can result in waking up unrefreshed, with morning headaches, and lack of concentration throughout the day.

How Does Sleep Apnea Contribute to Toothaches?

Sleep apnea contributes to oral health issues like sleep bruxism. Sleep bruxism is the grinding of teeth or clenching of the jaw during sleep. It usually causes involuntary grinding during sleep. The Cleveland Clinic states teeth grinding causes toothaches. The repetitive motion of the grinding creates wearing of the teeth. When a person grinds their teeth in their sleep, up to 250 pounds of force is applied, resulting in toothaches and jaw pain. Stress and anxiety are other causes of bruxism. A dentist, like Dr. Chris Houser in Gainesville, VA  can do an oral examination for signs of sleep apnea and sleep bruxism.

How Can  A Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

The AADSM recommends seeing a dentist that uses Oral Appliance Therapy. The dentist creates a retainer to fit over your teeth that's worn during sleep. The device moves your jaw forward to keep the airway open and prevent teeth from grinding. The dentist creates a device personally designed for your teeth to improve your sleep and health.

If you want more information about sleep apnea in Gainesville, VA, call (703) 754-5800 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Houser at Heritage Hunt Dental.

By Heritage Hunt Dental
June 03, 2021
Category: Oral Health

What's keeping you from seeing your dentist regularly?

Regular dental visits are essential for your oral health. Your Gainesville, VA, dentist, Dr. Chris Houser, will also encourage you to come into his office at Heritage Hunt Dental if you have any of the following symptoms:


A toothache is a clear sign that something is wrong and it could be a dull, throbbing, or sharp shooting pain.

Possible causes of tooth pain include infection and inflammation. You'll need to describe your pain as accurately as possible to your Gainesville, VA, dentist, Dr. Houser, so that he can identify and treat the cause.

Bad Breath

You've brushed and flossed your teeth, so, why won't the funky smell go away? That's a question you should be asking your dentist during your next dental appointment at Heritage Hunt Dental.

Bad breath that fails to go away even after thoroughly cleaning your mouth could be a sign of gum disease or dental cavities. You'll want to nip these oral problems in the bud before they escalate to the point of your teeth loosening or falling out.

Bleeding Gums

Your gums shouldn't bleed each time you attempt brushing your teeth. If they do, quit postponing that dental appointment and schedule one with your dentist in Gainesville, VA, right away.

Bleeding gums might mean that you have gum disease. Other signs of gum disease include swollen gums, red gums, and bad breath.

Mouth Sores

Canker sores come and go and don't typically require special care. However, sometimes your mouth sore is more than a canker sore.

Oral sores that have failed to heal after about 10 days are concerning and require examination by your dentist. Recurrent mouth sores are another reason to visit your dentist.

Jaw Pain

If pain accompanies each attempt to open or close your mouth, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

Don't put off your dental visits. Trust your dentist in Gainesville, VA, Dr. Houser, to handle your oral health before complications arise at Heritage Hunt Dental. Call (703) 754-5800 to schedule your appointment today.

By Heritage Hunt Dental
March 15, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dentures  

Dr. Chris Houser of Heritage Hunt Dental in Gainesville, VA, provides removable dentures for patients missing teeth. Many people have missing teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or injury. If you are missing teeth, contact us to learn more about dentures and find out if removable dentures are right for you.

Removable dentures in Gainesville, VA

If you have missing teeth, you may be wondering what the best replacement option for you will be. You have a few options for teeth replacement including dental bridges, implants, or dentures. Dental implants are the most popular for replacing single missing teeth, and bridges can replace multiple missing teeth. But implants need a strong jaw bone and not everyone is a candidate for implants. Dentures are a great option for replacing multiple missing teeth in patients who are not candidates for implants.

Dentures are made from a set of ceramic crowns (artificial teeth) attached to a plastic tray that matches the gums. They fit over the gum ridges and give the patient a full set of teeth and a beautiful smile. Dentures are removable for easy cleaning and should be cleaned often. Dentures can even be more cost-effective than treating missing teeth with implants.

Life with dentures

Getting dentures is an adjustment and you need to commit to caring for them to get the full benefits. Removable dentures need to be cleaned every day and soaked each night. Putting in and removing your dentures will take some practice but will soon become second nature.

When you first get dentures, they may feel awkward or uncomfortable, but it's normal that you need to adjust to chewing and speaking with dentures. If they cause an actual sore spot on your gums, that is a sign you need an adjustment.

You may need a few adjustments at first to get the best fit for your dentures. With great care, a set of dentures can last up to seven years before having to be replaced. Dentures should be brushed with a soft-bristled brush every day and soaked in a denture cleaning solution at night. Soaking dentures while they are not being worn is important so they don't dry out.

If you are missing teeth and are ready to transition to life with dentures, we can help. Come see Dr. Houser at Heritage Hunt Dental for your new set of dentures. Contact us in Gainesville, VA, at (703) 754-5800.

By Heritage Hunt Dental
December 30, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: crowns   CEREC Dental Crowns  

Find out what makes these two types of dental crowns unique.

A dental crown is a commonly placed restoration designed to protect and preserve a weak or damaged tooth, and our Gainesville, VA, dentist Dr. Chris Houser offers CEREC crowns to his patients. Here’s what makes these two dental crowns different from one another,

Speed of Treatment

If you know anyone who’s ever had to get a traditional dental crown before then you know that they had to visit the dentist twice before they could get the crown placed. With traditional crowns, your dentist has to shave down and prep the tooth and then take impressions. These impressions are then sent to an outside dental lab that will make the crown (this is why it takes weeks to get a traditional crown).

With CEREC technology, our Gainesville, VA, dental team can now make the dental crown in-house, so you don’t have to wait weeks for an outside dental lab to create your restoration. This makes the length of treatment with CEREC crowns faster, as your CEREC crown will be made and placed on the very same day.

Temporary Crown vs. No Temporary

Since you have to wait a couple of weeks for your traditional crown you need to have something over the tooth to protect it in the meantime. This means that your dentist will need to place a temporary crown over the tooth. These crowns can be a bit bulky or flimsy but are truly meant to protect your tooth until your permanent crown is placed. Since our dental team can place your CEREC crown the very same day you never have to wear a temporary crown.

Putty Molds vs. Digital Images

As is the case with most dental restorations, our dentists will need to make molds of your teeth. If you are getting a traditional dental crown, your dentist will most likely use a putty-like material that will be molded and left on your teeth for 2-5 minutes until it sets.

CEREC technology makes it possible to skip the traditional putty molds and use a special device that captures images of your teeth that can then be used to craft your CEREC crown. It only takes a minute or two to take digital images of your mouth.

Heritage Hunt Dental offers cutting-edge dental technologies and techniques to be able to provide everything from CEREC crowns to dental implants to patients living in and around Gainesville and Haymarket, VA. If you want to talk to us about CEREC crowns, then call our office today at (703) 754-5800 to schedule a consultation.

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