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Your teeth and jaws under pressure
Do you clench your teeth when you are feeling stressed? Do you wake up with a headache? Do your jaw muscles hurt? Talk to your dentist. You may have a habit called bruxism.
WHAT IS BRUXISM?
Bruxism is a habit during which you grind your teeth or clench or thrust your jaw forward over and over again. This habit can affect your oral health. It can cause teeth to break or crack, and increase the chance of gum problems. Adults are not the only ones affected. Studies have found that this can be a problem in children as young as preschool aged.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Researches do not know for sure what causes people to do this. Some think stress could be a factor. In preschoolers, studies find an association between grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws and signs of stress as anxiety or social withdrawal.
Children also can develop this habit when they are losing their baby teeth and their permanent teeth are coming in. Nail biting also may lead to grinding of teeth or jaw clenching. Some children outgrow this, but often adults who grind their teeth or clench their jaws did so as children.
Like many habits, you may be unaware that you do this. You may even do it in your sleep. Tobacco and alcohol use may increase your chances of doing this when you are sleeping. Large amounts of caffeine- for example, 8 or more cups of coffee a day- also can increase this risk. Some medications or illegal drugs may cause users to grind their teeth or clench or thrust their jaws as well.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You should talk to your dentist if you notice any of the following:
- Jaw pain
- Headaches when you wake up;
- Teeth sensitivity to hot or cold drinks or food;
- Chipped teeth and fillings.
A number of things can contribute to the problem of buxism, and there has not been a lot of research on how best to treat it. Your dentist may suggest some options, such as
- Decreasing or quitting tobacco use:
- Limiting how much caffeine you eat or drink;
- Seeking counseling to help you identify when you are doing it while you are awake and to develop ways to relax;
- Looking at the medications you take and talking to your physician about other options.
Your dentist also may talk to you about using an oral appliance, which is a plastic tray that fits over either your top or bottom teeth. Use of an appliance may help reduce grinding, clenching, and thrusting and may protect your teeth and gums.
-JADA February 2018
If you are not happy with how your teeth look, dental veneers may be the answer.
A dental veneer is a very thin shell, made of porcelain ceramic. Veneers are bonded directly to the surface of the teeth. They can be used to create the smile you desire.
Veneers can be appropriate treatment if you have:
*Teeth that are short or have a lot of gaps in between
*Chips in your teeth
*Crooked teeth or irregularly shaped teeth
Veneers look very much like real teeth. The ceramic material used to make veneers is impervious to staining. Veneers can make your teeth stronger and more stable. They can last for up to 20 years, although they are not as strong as natural teeth.
To be a good candidate for veneers you need to have good oral health, a stable bite, and you should not have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth. You will need to be evaluated to make sure you are decay free and that your gums are healthy. Impressions will be taken of your teeth so that you and the Dr. can decide how you want your teeth to look.
Veneers can be milled in our office in one appointment with our Cerec machine.
If you are not happy with your smile, dental veneers are affordable, long lasting and can change the way you look.
The rise of sports drinks as a substitute for soft drinks is cause for real concern. Sports drinks promise hydration and energy for athletes after a tough workout. But too many children drink them simply because of the flavors, low price and availability, putting their teeth at risk.
Sports drinks are high in acids and sugars, leading to an increased risk of dental cavities, enamel erosion and obesity. The acid in sports drinks erodes the teeth from the first sip until 45 minutes after the last sip, when saliva returns the mouth to its normal PH balance. Most parents aren’t aware that sports drinks aren’t intended to be consumed by children. These drinks are intended for athletes taking part in endurance and intense sporting events.
In addition to fluid content, sports drinks contain a significant amount of calories, mostly from sugar, and some electrolytes including sodium and potassium. For the average person that does not participate in regular high-intensity workouts, the added nutrients provide no additional benefits, and can lead to gradual weight gain over time.
The academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports medicine are in agreement. Both only recommend the use of sports drinks for intense exercise lasting more than an hour. The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine is calling for tighter regulation of the price, availability and marketing of sports drinks to children, especially around schools to safeguard general and dental health.
Just because a drink has a healthy image, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Maintaining the recommended hygiene visits should assist in staying on top of any problems that might affect our mouth, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of those symptoms that warrant a quicker appointment.
- Changes in color, from normal pink to a bluish red
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums, you may see some of the root
- Pus, odor or new spaces forming between teeth.
White spots on teeth
- Dental decay is essentially an infection in your tooth. The first signs are white spots that form in the very early stages. In most cases this is happening between the teeth and you probably won’t be aware of it, which is why regular checkups, including x-rays, are so important. Early detection may be able to stop the process before it develops into an actual cavity.
Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
- Once decay moves through the enamel and into the center of the tooth, you will likely begin to feeling symptoms, such as new or increased sensitivity to hot and cold or sweets. If this occurs, make a dental appointment as the earlier you treat a cavity the better.
- Persistent tooth pain generally indicates a serious problem. Even if the pain goes away after a few days, your body may have fought off an infection, however the basic problem remains.
Changes of color or texture in the mouth
- Take time during your cleanings to look at your cheeks, your tongue and underneath your tongue for spots or changes. Any changes in color, such as white or red patches that aren’t going away and are getting bigger, or lumps that have formed in places previously smooth, should be evaluated.
Many medications can make your mouth drier. Our saliva helps control infections that can result in cavities as they contain antibacterial properties. If you are taking medications, be vigilant in watching for symptoms. Early detection is not only beneficial to your oral health, it is often better on your pocket book.
Thanks to Dr. Anna the staff at Smile Designers enjoys a delicious Wednesday morning ritual.
It seems like everywhere you look you can find something talking about the benefits of eating fruit. On Wednesday mornings our staff comes together to prepare for our day and reap the spoils of fresh summer fruits. Not only are they delicious, but each fruit has its own certain vitamins and minerals that assist in improving certain aspects of our health.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. The list is long on the benefits but did you know that vitamin C improves elasticity of your skin? Can I get a big cheer for fewer wrinkles?
Blackberries are also a good source of vitamin C, as well as vitamin K and antioxidants. A cup of blackberries makes for the recommended daily amount of fiber, assisting in healthy digestion.
Cantaloupe being rich in potassium, snacking on it can normalize our heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, leaving you relaxed and focused.
Watermelons are full of potassium, antioxidants, carotenoids, carbohydrates, Vitamin A, B6 and C, calcium, thiamin, sodium, healthy protein and fiber. A few slices a day can help prevent heart attacks and diseases, different types of cancer, digestive problems, poor eye sight, and hair loss. With all those benefits we should be eating watermelon every day.
What summer fruits are giving you that extra boost of vitamins and minerals?