The Importance of Continuing Education

We all know education is important, but what about after you complete all necessary education? It is still just as important! Continuing education keeps you on top of the latest advancements in dentistry and allows you to continue to provide your patients with the best care available. I, personally, have completed years of continuing education and continue to do so to this day.

To help to stay on top of your continuing education, please check out these upcoming lectures and seminars in 2016:

April 30 – May 1, 2016

Topic: Pintpoint the Pain: TMD, Craniofacial Pain

Location: Atlanta, GA


May 6-7, 2016

Topic: Successful Implementation of Dental Sleep Medicine

Location: New Haven, CT


May 13-14, 2016

Topic: Sleep Medicine & Dentistry Mini-Residency Class 4, Session 2

Location: Atlanta, GA

For more information on upcoming lectures and other opportunities for advancing your education, please visit my website at! I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming lectures! Don’t forget to bring the rest of your office, too!

Help Patients by Asking Important Questions Now

If it isn’t bothering your patients yet, why fix it now? That is a good question to ask, but if we don’t enjoy educating and explaining things to our patients, then we are missing out on numerous opportunities to make our patients healthier and happier—do you want to miss out on that? I didn’t think so.

There is any number of relatively common signs that might be hidden from our patients, but can potentially become big problems if ignored. An easy example is a person’s wisdom teeth. Many teenagers will have their wisdom teeth removed, but not because they are causing problems now. Instead, wisdom teeth are removed before problems can develop, which helps protect their teeth and mouths in the long run before treatment becomes too expensive.

Complications with TMD

For instance, when we think of TMJ problems, we often think of headaches, facial pain, sensitive teeth, sinus problems and more. However, there is a large group of people that have TMJ problems without any of those signs or symptoms. It is possible for these patients to slowly grind their teeth down, slowly destroy their jaw joints, and cause the bones in their neck to be out of place and build-up scar tissue. It is also possible to develop migraines and ringing in the ears, which can become progressively harder to treat the longer they persist.

Sleep Apnea Disruptions

Additionally, we can also learn more about our patients’ energy levels and quality of sleep. Whether it is a lack of sleep caused by their bed partners snoring or if the patient personally suffers from sleep apnea, it is important to get the right amount of REM sleep. A lack of proper sleep can cause heart attacks, strokes, ADHD, auto accidents, and even weight gain. To help prevent these complications, as you know, oral appliances are available to comfortably keep your patients’ airway open at night to allow for a good night’s sleep.

Because most people share the common view that the dentist’s primary job is to take care of tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, it is our duty to educate our patients on further services we offer. By educating your patients on TMD and Sleep Apnea, we can continue to provide proper care outside of the common assumption all we do is clean teeth and treat tooth decay.

For more information on TMD and Sleep Apnea services and how we can further reach our patients, please contact me.

Did You Know? Sleep Apnea May Be Bad for Kidneys

Just when you thought there weren’t any other connections out there. Well, we can now connect sleep apnea with kidney failure. That’s right; sleep apnea may be bad for the kidneys.  According to Fox News, having sleep apnea may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.

Researchers analyzed data for 10 years—from 2000 to 2010—on 8,600 adults diagnosed with sleep apnea and four times as many adults of similar age, sex and monthly income without sleep apnea. They found 157 new cases of chronic kidney disease among people with sleep apnea and 298 cases in the comparison group.

After taking other health factors into account, sleep apnea increased the risk of kidney disease by 58%—wow, that’s a large percentage! And, by comparison, hypertension increased the risk by 17%. Additionally, diabetes being a stronger predictor than both other factors, more than doubling the risk of kidney disease.

Intermittent low levels of of oxygen during the night and fragmented sleep patterns may activate higher blood pressure. As a result, this could damage the kidneys and make individuals more susceptible to chronic kidney disease.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine at night. This might help to decrease high blood pressure and mitigate kidney risk. The same goes for the use of oral appliance therapy. As a dentist specializing in Sleep Dentistry not only can you help treat sleep apnea, but you can also help to prevent kidney disease. The use of oral appliance therapy can help improve your sleep while improving your overall health and well being.

Do your research and gain a better understanding of sleep apnea and this new-founded connection with kidney disease. And, if you are ready to complete more continuing education courses in the area of sleep apnea, please take a look at some upcoming lectures. As always, if you have any questions or are interested in further information, please contact my office.

Help TMD Patients Eat Right

Without proper nutrition your patients increase the risk of either gaining or losing weight, or suffering from nutritional deficiencies due to the pain caused by TMD. And through this, it can lead to other health problems. When it comes to maintaining your patients’ health and diet, it is important to remind them to eat fruits, vegetables, starches, protein and dairy, but to also be mindful of their TMD along the way.

A Background on TMD

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are complex and poorly understood, and are characterized by pain in the jaw joint and/or surrounding tissues and limitation in jaw movements. These problems can affect a person’s ability to chew and swallow foods, while limiting how wide he or she can open their mouth. The immediate causes of TMD conditions such as:

  • Injury
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle problems
  • Autoimmune and connective tissue disease
  • Developmental conditions
  • Movement disorders affecting the jaw

Whatever your patient’s situation may be, it is clear that TMD alone can impact the quality of life and lead to poor nutrition if the jaw pain and oral disability seriously affects their diet.

Encourage Patients to Eat Right

Many people who suffer from TMD tend to struggle with determining what to eat in order to maintain a proper weight and ensure adequate protein, vitamin and mineral status. Food choices will vary depending on the amount of pain your patients experience and their ability to open the mouth, chew and swallow. For those who are able to adequately open their mouths and have minimal pain, a soft or easy to chew diet will work well. A soft diet is defined as food that requires minimal chewing, including:

  • Dairy/Dairy Alternatives:Smooth yogurt, soft cheeses, milk, custard, puddings, and soymilk.
  • Grains:Soft bread, corn bread, muffins without seeds or nuts, soft tortillas, pancakes, and quinoa.
  • Fruits:Canned fruits, bananas, ripe melon, baked apples, fruit juice, and fruit smoothies.
  • Vegetables:Cooked carrots, squash, zucchini, spinach, kale or other greens, avocados, green beans, and cooked pumpkin.
  • Protein Foods:Soft-cooked chicken or turkey with gravy, meatloaf, fish, deli meats, meatballs, tuna, refried beans, and smooth nut butters.
  • Soups:Cream-based soups, tomato soup, and broth-based soups.
  • Desserts:Soft cakes, cobblers and pies, frozen yogurt, sherbet, milkshakes and puddings.

If your patient is unable to tolerate a soft diet, a pureed diet may be a better option. Some examples of foods that can be included in a pureed diet are:

  • Dairy/Dairy Alternatives:Smooth yogurt, soft cheeses, milk, custard, puddings, and soymilk.
  • Grains:Bread that has been soaked into a dissolvable consistency, pureed pasta, hot cereals, grits, and mashed potatoes.
  • Fruits:Applesauce, mashed ripe bananas, fruit juice, and seedless jam/jelly.
  • Vegetables:Mashed white or sweet potatoes, pureed carrots, beets, beans, peas, creamed corn and hummus.
  • Protein Foods:Pureed meats, pureed/scrambled eggs, crustless quiche, egg custards, and yogurt-based smoothies.
  • Soups:Soups that are smooth or that have been put through the blender.
  • Desserts:Puddings, custards, dessert soups, gelatin, and fondue.

By keeping a list of foods they can eat and foods not to eat, it is a good place for patients to start in ensuring they are eating the right foods. For your patients suffering from TMD it is important to guide them in choosing the right foods to eat. If you are not sure what to recommend your patients to eat, contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information in helping to protect your patients while minimizing jaw pain.