Dental Tips Blog

Jun
9

Struggling to Get a Good Night’s Rest? Your Dentist Can Help!

Posted in Sleep Apnea

In view of all the demands we face in daily life, it’s not surprising that most Americans are under a lot of stress.

This tension unfortunately tends to manifest itself during the one time we can relax and unwind: bedtime.

A couple of common sleep disorders include sleep apnea and bruxism. 

Suffer From Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen while you’re sleeping. It usually happens because soft tissues in the throat relax and close off the airways.

Lack of oxygen triggers another wave of stress in the body that quite often results in bruxism.

What Is Bruxism?

Also known as teeth grinding, this habit usually happens when you’re unconscious in sleep.

Whether you are under stress or your body is panicking over the lack of air, you may start clenching and grinding your teeth when you sleep. This is damaging to teeth and can cause problems with your TMJ.

How Your Dentist Helps

By taking a look at your mouth and asking some questions, your dentist might be able to help you figure out whether you have a sleep disorder.

He or she will let you know if your throat anatomy could contribute to sleep apnea. Signs that you’re clenching your teeth out of stress might include gum recession, worn enamel, and jaw issues.

What’s more, many offices can design a customized mouthguard that can protect your teeth from grinding forces. Others act as splints that support your jaw so that it can’t slide back and block your airway.

What sleep solutions can your dental office provide? Call today to find out.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

Nov
26

Is Your Bite Stronger Than Your Crown?

Did you know that humans have set records of biting with a force exceeding 200 pounds? Our jaws are meant to pack a powerful bite! This can come in handy when we put away our favorite foods, but it can occasionally be a problem.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for clenching and grinding your teeth. Bruxism usually happens when you’re asleep, so you might not even know that you have this habit! Teeth grinding and clenching is closely linked to stress and can be damaging to teeth, gums, and your TMJ.

Some signs of bruxism include:

  • Reports from others that you grind your teeth in your sleep
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Gum recession
  • Flat-looking teeth
  • Aching teeth
  • Jaw pain

How Teeth Grinding Affects Your Crown

Over a hundred pounds of pressure wearing on a crown could cause it to fracture, loosen, or wear down the opposing tooth. Just as natural teeth are harmed by bruxism – your fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations are also at risk!

Don’t Let Bruxism Ruin Your Crown!

What can you do if you grind your teeth? If one crowned tooth is wearing down another, a simple solution is to crown the opposite tooth, as well. Alternatively, a special mouth guard worn at night can prevent your teeth from wearing against each other while you sleep. Finally, extra strong materials can be used to create a crown that’s wear-resistant.

If you’ve noticed signs that you could be grinding your teeth, schedule a visit with your local dentist as soon as possible. A professional exam will help you find out whether your dental crowns and other restorations are at risk for damage.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Aug
10

How Teeth Grinding Affects Dental Crowns

Are you aware of having a habit of grinding your teeth? Perhaps you have what is known as bruxism: an unconscious habit of grinding and clenching your jaws together. This most commonly happens while you’re sleeping.

Bruxism can cause a lot of problems – such as gum recession, wear on your teeth, and stress to your TMJ. If you have a dental crown or are planning to have one placed sometime soon, then you should know that a teeth grinding habit also poses a risk to your valuable dental restorations.

The Danger to Crowns

Your teeth take a lot of wear! Everyday forces help you to chew food thoroughly, but when it’s applied against your teeth for an extended length of time on a regular basis, this will cause problems. Dental crowns will also feel the crunch!

Crowns could potentially be loosened over time. They also face the threat of fracturing altogether. Not only this, but one crowned tooth can damage the uncrowned tooth right above it.

Stronger Restorations

One solution is to update existing porcelain crowns with even stronger bruxism-resistant materials. It’s also a good idea to protect teeth with extensive enamel wear by crowning opposing teeth. That way, crown meets crown when your teeth come together.

Protect Your Restorations

If you have a problem with bruxism, then a custom-made mouth guard may be in order. A guard will keep your teeth from totally closing together while you sleep. This way, your teeth will be spared all that extra force you put on them. A guard is the best way you can protect your existing dental restorations. At your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to check for signs to find out if you could be grinding your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Jan
6

Night Guards Can Save Your Smile

Posted in Mouth Guards

Clinching and/or grinding your teeth can cause all kinds of problems with your teeth, the muscles in your face, and the joint in your jaw (TMJ).  Clinching is when you clamp your teeth together and grinding is when you put your teeth together like when you chew, only you are not chewing any food.

The dental term for grinding or clinching your teeth is bruxism.  How do you know if you are bruxing?  Often, people brux their teeth without realizing they are doing it.  Stress is a major reason why people brux their teeth.  Some ways you can tell that you are bruxing are:

  • Waking up in the morning with sore facial muscles or your joint in your jaw (TMJ) feels sore
  • The biting surfaces of your teeth are worn down

When you brux, you are putting excess force on your teeth, which can cause your teeth to chip, crack and/or break apart.  One way to know you might have a crack in your tooth, is when you have pain in that tooth upon chewing.

When you have a large chip, crack (fracture), or a broken tooth, you will need to have that tooth restored with crowns, onlays and potentially, root canals and/or dental implants to prevent it from being lost altogether.

What can be done to protect your teeth from bruxism?   Visit your dentist.  He/she will examine your teeth and discuss bruxism with you.  If you are diagnosed with bruxism, your dentist will most likely create a night guard (called a bruxism guard) that will be made specifically for your teeth to protect them from the wear and tear of bruxing.  As a result, you will protect your attractive smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Dec
27

4 Signs of Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Do you clench or grind your teeth? It might happen when you sleep, on your drive home from work, or even when you’re stressed out during the day. Chronic bruxism can cause a lot of problems for your smile.  Here are 4 signs that you might notice if bruxism is a problem for your smile:

Flattened Teeth

It’s easy to see how grinding your teeth could make your teeth flat. Even though tooth enamel is the strongest thing in your entire body, grinding teeth against one another can still make them wear down. You may see flat enamel in the front of your mouth or starting on the cusps of your back teeth.

Enamel Worn Away at the Necks of Your Teeth

As you grind your jaws together, your teeth will flex just a very small amount. This flexion occurs along the necks of your teeth. You may not notice it until a significant amount of grinding has occurred. At first you will see some mild gum recession, but then you will notice large notches in your enamel, almost as if someone was chipping away at your tooth just next to the gumlines.

Broken Restorations

Fillings and crowns will start to break, chip, or crack under too much pressure. Yes, these restorations are made to withstand normal biting and chewing, but if you have bruxism, that’s more pressure than teeth are made to withstand. It could mean you’re having to replace your dental restorations more often than normal. 

Sore Jaws or Headaches

Muscle tension through your jaws and face can mean sore muscles or headaches when you wake up, or later throughout the day.

Wearing a protective splint or guard is a great way to protect your smile from bruxism. Get one from your dentist today!

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Nov
20

Sleep Apnea Induced Grinding

Posted in Mouth Guards

What do sleeping patterns have to do with your smile? Is sleep apnea something you need to discuss with your dentist? Interestingly, there is a significant connection between your breathing difficulties while sleeping and the future of your teeth.

The Effects of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can lead to heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even just headaches. Another common side-effect is bruxism. Bruxism is the habit, conscious or unconscious, of grinding and clenching the teeth. This habit often occurs at night during sleep and can be a result of stress. Your brain gets a little panicky from the lack of oxygen, so it signals your jaw to move more to open up the airways. This motion could be putting extra pressure on your teeth.

Bruxism can be deadly to your teeth because it causes unnatural stressors to be placed on them. This tension causes premature wear and increases your chances of tooth fracture. The pressure can also damage crowns and fracture fillings, resulting in early failure. The tension can strain the TMJ, so sleep apnea could also lead to jaw pain and disorders of the joint.

Protect Your Teeth From Stress

If your teeth are suffering from the effects of chronic grinding and clenching, then a protective oral appliance is the best. A specially fitted mouthguard can be fabricated to protect your teeth and dental work. This mouthguard is worn only at night (while you are sleeping) when apnea and bruxism occur. Or, an oral sleep apnea appliance can protect your teeth as well as enhance the flow of air while you rest. This in turn reduces the clenching and grinding.

If you are currently dealing with sleep apnea, then you certainly don’t want to add dental concerns on top of that. Talk to your dentist about the best options for protecting your smile if your teeth are at risk from the effects of sleep apnea.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513

Oct
25

Why is My Child Grinding His or Her Teeth?

Bruxism is the name for a habit of grinding or clenching teeth, and it usually happens during a deep sleep. Affecting both kids and adults, it can be particularly difficult to pinpoint the cause of the habit in children. Bruxism is fairly common in kids, and is usually outgrown. In some cases, however, the problem persists. What are some possible underlying causes that can be addressed?

Bruxism could be the result of misaligned teeth. If top and bottom teeth don’t fit properly when your child bites down, this could be causing some tension in the mouth, resulting in a grinding habit.

Grinding and clenching could be a response to some form of temporary pain such as that experienced with an earache or while teething. In this case, once the source of the pain passes, the grinding too should go away.

As in the case of adults, bruxism can be indicative of nervous tension (stress) or even anger. Children are easily affected by things such as family changes and pressure to perform well in school. If your son or daughter is dealing with a stressful event in his or her life, then the bruxism could be a temporary symptom of that.

Lastly, certain medications or other underlying medical conditions (such as hyperactivity and cerebral palsy) have been known to have bruxism as a side-effect. Talk with your child’s doctor about potential systemic causes of teeth-grinding.

Depending upon your child’s age and how long the bruxism habit has persisted, the dentist will determine at some point whether or not intervention will be necessary. The key is to have your child’s bruxism habit well-monitored so that our team can be ready to address it.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Jul
24

Why Do I Have Worn and Chipped Teeth?

As you’ve gotten older, have you noticed your teeth starting to wear down? Perhaps they have flat edges or chips along the biting surfaces. You may even start to notice fillings breaking or crowns wearing out before they should. What causes this, and what can you do to stop it?

Worn teeth can come from a couple of different causes:

Clenching and Grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism is usually caused by stress. The chronic clenching and grinding may happen when you sleep, during your commute to work, or even while you are sitting at your desk. Most of us do it without even realizing that we are. Symptoms may include headaches and muscle pain. Since eliminating stress from our lifestyles isn’t always possible, we recommend wearing a protective bite splint. This protective splint prevents the teeth from forcefully wearing against one another, and the added flexion that comes from that force. As a result, you eliminate the cause of wear and prevent muscle pain and tension. Most people usually see results within just a day or two of use.

Irregular Bite Relationships

Misaligned teeth that do not bite together properly will place force on tooth surfaces that were not designed to withstand them. When repeated day after day, those teeth begin to wear in abnormal patterns. The best way to proactively address this is to consider realigning the teeth through orthodontic therapy.

Sometimes our teeth shift out of place into an abnormal bite after a neighboring tooth has been extracted. Replacing missing teeth as quickly as possible will prevent any other teeth from drifting out of place, resulting in the same problem.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Apr
29

The Best Dental Insurance for Clenching and Grinding

It’s time to start thinking about dental insurance in another way. Sure, there are dental insurance policies that you can take out to cover the cost of your dental care, but taking steps to prevent problems from happening are also smart ways to “insure” the health of your teeth.

Let’s take bruxism as an example. Chronic clenching and grinding of the teeth can cause several types of problems, such as:

  • TMJ disorders
  • Broken restorations
  • Worn teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Headaches and muscle pain

Although your dental insurance can help you pay to fix these problems, the best treatment is prevention! Investing in a modestly priced bite splint can help you avoid complications like these and the need for dental restorative treatments.

Bite splints are usually worn at night or during the day when you’re not in public (such as if you’re driving the car or just working at home.) They fit snuggly over the teeth and prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming into full contact with one another. This prevents tooth wear and strain to the TMJ. Essentially you are insuring the health of your smile.

Our stressful, busy lifestyles are causing more people to grind their teeth than ever before. Instead of trying to save up more money to correct the problems caused by grinding, it’s smarter to prevent the grinding from happening in the first place. Although we can’t necessarily make our life less stressful, we can prevent the teeth from wearing down. Call your dentist today to set up a quick visit to have your custom bite splint made. In just a few days you could enjoy less orofacial pain and have better smile protection.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Comfort Dental
5511 Raeford Rd #255
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 485-0023

Mar
7

Are Your Teeth Wearing Down Too Soon?

Flat, worn teeth can make your smile look older than it is. It can also result in damage to fillings, crowns, or other types of dental treatment. Even though it’s normal to experience gradual wear over time, accelerated tooth wear is a serious cause for alarm.

What causes rapid tooth wear?

Improper Bites

If teeth are crooked or out of place, they will disrupt the natural biting pattern of the mouth. What this does is cause irregular patterns of use on the affected tooth, making it work harder than it is supposed to. Over time, the affected tooth will begin to wear down from irregular use. Discussing tooth alignment options is the best way to prevent this from happening. 

Grinding and Clenching

Chronic grinding of the teeth can cause enamel to abrade itself and wear down not only itself, but the opposite tooth as well. These teeth will usually appear flattened on the cusp tips, or along the front of the mouth. Even though tooth enamel is extremely strong, its overuse will always lead to wear patterns and structural changes. Wearing a bite splint at night or throughout stressful periods of the day can prevent excessive grinding and clenching from harming the teeth. It can also help prevent subsequent TMJ related disorders caused by bruxism.

Health and Diet

Factors like acid reflux disease or an acidic diet can lead to rampant enamel erosion. Not only does this etch away tooth enamel, it also makes the tooth more susceptible to wear because of the weakened structure.

Are you starting to see your teeth wear away but don’t know what’s causing it? Schedule a quick exam with your dentist to get the answers you need, before it’s too late.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

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