Sleep Disorders have Significant Effect on Quality of Life

Sleep is not when the body goes dormant. On the contrary, sleep is an important part of life in which the brain is very active. Research shows that sleep may be when neurons repair themselves, and we know that certain growth hormones are released during sleep. The nervous and immune systems seem to be significantly impacted by lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleep appears to have an impact on mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as decision making, socialization, and learning.

There are five stages of sleep, the last being REM (rapid eye movement). REM is necessary for a person to feel rested and refreshed. People with sleep disorders often do not reach or do not have long enough periods of REM sleep. (more…)

The Overnight Sleep Test: My Experience

I am trying to learn all I can about sleep medicine. As part of my education the staff at St. Mary Mercy Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center suggested that I have a sleep test of my own. What a great idea for me to experience what I suggest many of my patients have done!

Prior to my test, there was a questionnaire to fill out as well as some basic instructions to follow such as maintaining my regular sleep times, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, etc. I arrived at 9:00pm for my study and like most patients who have this test done, I was tired.

The room where I was to spend the night was just like a hotel room. It was very comfortable and quiet with a chair and TV, nothing “clinical” about it. The technologist, Eric did a great job of explaining what was going to happen that night and what he would be monitoring. And there is a lot that is monitored! (more…)

Sleepless in Livonia? Tell Your Dentist!

I’m Dr. James Stewart. Welcome to my blog. How was your sleep last night? I hope you slept soundly. But if not, do you feel tired, forgetful, or irritable today? Do you feel unrested, even though you were in bed for 8 hours? As a sleep disorder dentist, I see many patients who report these symptoms, and oftentimes, the problem stems from obstructive sleep apnea.

Take this quiz to help determine if you might have a sleep disorder

Do you snore?
Do you awake suddenly, choking or gasping?
Do you feel lethargic, forgetful, or irritated a lot of the time?
Do you almost fall asleep during the day when you’re driving, watching TV, or sitting quietly without much stimulation?
Does your sleeping partner tell you that you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep?

These are just a few common problems associated with sleep disorders. What many people don’t know is that a dentist might be able to help. I’ve studied sleep disorders, and I provide non-invasive appliance therapy for patients who suffer from snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). (more…)

Improving Smiles and Lives with Full-Mouth Reconstruction in Livonia, MI

If your teeth are damaged, painful, and sparse, regardless of the cause of your situation, Dr. Stewart wants to give you back optimal oral health and better quality of life. You don’t have to live with poor oral health, embarrassing bad breath, and a smile you hide in public. With full-mouth reconstruction, you can reclaim the bold, healthy, beautiful smile of your youth. The first step is a consultation with Dr. Stewart.

When you visit, Dr. Stewart will want to know if you’ve avoided dental care because of fear, anxiety, stress, or physical limitations. With medication, he can help you overcome these very real issues, so you can enjoy peace of mind and body during your oral reconstruction process.

Dr. Stewart will talk with you about your primary concerns and objectives, then he’ll update your records and thoroughly evaluate your oral health. He’ll assess your teeth, bite, soft tissues, and jaw joints. A comprehensive understanding of your unique dentition and oral health will help Dr. Stewart design an effective full-mouth reconstruction treatment plan for you. (more…)

Dr. Stewart as Part of Your Bigger Healthcare Team

Your body is one unit. Independent systems aren’t really independent because they are influenced by, and have an impact on, other bodily systems.

In dentistry, the oral system has an effect on comfort, function, and even proclivity to diseases. Gum disease, for instance, is linked to an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes complications, low-weight births, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other serious health conditions. Malocclusion of the jaw joints (TMJ disorder) can cause headaches, as well as pain in the head, neck, face, neck, shoulders, lower back, and jaw. Missing teeth effect diet, thus contribute to poor overall health. Improper jaw position while sleeping can cause sleep apnea, which is linked to heart attack, depression, and other problems. The list goes on and on. (more…)

5 Reasons to Visit Dr. Stewart for Cosmetic Dentistry

If you think you need a specialist for cosmetic dentistry, get ready for a long search. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a specialty, so there are no cosmetic dentistry specialists. They simply don’t exist.

What’s the next best thing? Dr. James Stewart. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit Dr. Stewart, your general dentist, for cosmetic dental procedures:

  1. Relationship. Our team knows you. We care about you and want the very best for your oral health.
  2. Integrity. Because he’s your general dentist, as well as your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Stewart has to have great integrity in your cosmetic dental care, creating the smile you want and restorations designed to last.
  3. Convenience. You won’t have to make the trek to a new office and meet a new dentist. Instead, you’ll feel comfortable and confident in our familiar Livonia dental office.
  4. Oral harmony. Dr. Stewart approaches all cosmetic dentistry with a focus on whole-mouth health and comfortable oral function. Your smile will look and feel good!
  5. Scope of services. Dr. Stewart has extensive training and experience in modern cosmetic dentistry procedures, ranging from porcelain veneers to teeth whitening to white crowns and fillings.

A smile makeover consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. Call us today to reserve some time with Dr. Stewart. He’ll chat with you about your ideal smile, then explain the best way to achieve it.

Hey, Mom, We Want to Make Your Livonia Family Smile!

Research shows that, in most cases, moms choose the family dentist. It’s not an easy task. Will your kids like the dentist? Will your husband?

Find Out What they Want
You already know what your family needs from a dentist. But what do they want? Next time you’re driving to the pool with the kids, ask them, “What do you like/dislike about going to the dentist?” Ask your husband the same question. The more you know about your family’s expectations and preferences, the easier your decision will be.

The Family Dentist Interview
It’s easy to forget some of the details when you’re trying to find a new dentist – especially if you’re packing the kids for camp and planning the family vacation! Here are some great interview questions that can guide your interviews. Before using these questions, think about the answers you want to hear.

  • Where are you located?
  • Do you see children?
  • Are you accepting new patients?
  • Do you take insurance?
  • Do you offer financing?
  • What are your hours?
  • Do you offer _________________? (dental implants, sleep apnea treatment, cosmetics)
  • Do you have a website?
  • When can I get an appointment? (more…)

Children’s Oral Health: What Parents Should Know about the First Dental Visit

A Child’s First Visit

Dr. James Stewart supports the American Dental Association’s suggestion that children should visit the dentist by age one. Though your little one may not have many teeth at one year, he or she also has not yet been negatively influenced about dental visits. The first visit is called a Happy Visit because our primary goal is to make the child – and parent – happy with our office! In many cases, we have found that the best Happy Visit is conducted consecutively with a parent’s cleaning. Your child can take a ride in the dental chair, meet “Mr. Thirsty,” and become familiar with the sights, sounds, and friends at our office. Dr. Stewart will inspect your child’s mouth, looking for proper tooth development. Following the initial visit, be sure to schedule six-month checkups so that we can continue to build your child’s healthy future.

Click “more” to read about preventive and restorative dentistry for children!


Mouth Breathing Can Cause Major Health Problems

I wanted to share some interesting information from a study that was published in one of my dental journals recently. It discussed upper airway obstruction, or mouth breathing and the affects it can have on patients, especially children.

Children whose mouth breathing goes untreated over time may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development, such as long narrow faces and mouths, gummy smiles, gingivitis, crooked teeth and many other unattractive facial features. Due to their obstructed airways these children do not sleep well at night which can adversely affect their growth and academic performance. This can often lead to a misdiagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity.

The majority of health care professionals are unaware of the negative impact of mouth breathing. Dentists may be in the best position to screen patients who suffer from the affects of mouth breathing since patients are seen on a regular basis. Treatment is available and especially if done early can reduce or eliminate the many medical and social problems that mouth breathing can cause.

I am tired today. You know why?

Last night, as part of my ongoing education in sleep medicine, I spent the night at a sleep lab. The staff at St. Mary Mercy Hospital Livonia Sleep Center was very kind in allowing me to observe their wonderful patient care. It was a chance for me to see in action many of the things I have been learning about over the past few years. The patients were very nice in allowing me to ask questions and the technician, Eric was very knowledgeable and did a great job of explaining things to me and in answering my many questions.

A couple of things really stuck with me after my visit. The first patient was having her sleep test done only because her husband was complaining about her heavy snoring. She felt that she was sleeping well and was not tired during the day. She had no medical problems and did not look like the typical patient who would be at risk for apnea. Observing her sleep test however was a different story. She stopped breathing (apnea) repeatedly, sometimes for longer than 30 seconds, and never was able to reach the restorative stage of sleep. She woke up after almost three hours and complained that she had not been to sleep at all.

The second patient was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea following her first sleep test and was having a sleep test done to properly fit and test a CPAP device. She looked like someone who was tired. She adapted quite quickly to the device, did not need much adjustment and sure enough after a short time fell into a deep restorative stage of sleep. It was very evident that she was suffering from a significant sleep debt.

The first patient was very fortunate to have a spouse that pushed her to get tested. Treating her for her obstructive sleep apnea could save her from significant medical problems and could even save her life! Witnessing the second patient sleep as she did confirmed how important treatment is and I know that it will change her life!

Research estimates that 17-20% of adults have obstructive sleep apnea and that number is expected to rise, making it more prevalent than diabetes and asthma. Less than 10% of those have been diagnosed. There are multiple treatment options including CPAP, oral appliances, or surgery but it must get recognized and diagnosed first! My own sleep test is next month, I will tell you all about it!