Dental Tips Blog

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

Dec
28

Four Signs that Grinding is Destroying Your Mouth

Do you clench your teeth when you drive or concentrate on paying the bills? Are family members telling you that you grind your teeth loudly together all night long? Do you wake up with headaches or fatigued facial muscles in the morning? Then it’s a good chance that you have a severe grinding problem! Bruxism (teeth grinding) isn’t just annoying; it destroys your mouth. Here are 4 signs that your dentist looks for when it comes to evaluating how severe your grinding habit is:

Worn front teeth

If your front teeth are biting together end-to-end, you will experience advanced wear, especially if you’re a grinder. Our enamel should last us a lifetime, but premature tooth wear can mean damage to your teeth as well as your looks. 

Flat cusps on back molar teeth

Our back teeth, the molars, take the majority of the force-bearing duties when it comes to bruxism. The earliest signs usually show worn down cusp tips on the chewing surfaces of the molars. These cusps are meant for grinding and chewing, but when worn against one another, they simply wear away.  

Exposed root surfaces near the gumlines

The teeth can flex at the gumlines when severe chewing forces are present. When this happens over and over again, enamel along this area simply starts to chip away. Exposed root surfaces and what looks like broken or worn away enamel are all that is left.  

Having your dentist make a bite splint for you to wear at night can protect your teeth from more wear. It will also prevent you from breaking your fillings from excessive grinding. All that is needed is a quick impression! Talk to your dentist today, before another day of wear sets in.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Jul
9

How to Avoid Jaw Pain

Posted in Mouth Guards

Jaw pain can create discomfort that lasts from sun up till sun down. Tension of muscles around the jaw, or damage to the jaw itself are often a common cause of pain in the TMJ area. These can be attributed to:

  • Stress
  • Sleep disorders
  • Abnormal bite patterns (crowding, missing teeth, etc.)
  • Grinding / Bruxism
  • Medications
  • Wisdom teeth

One of the most effective ways to prevent jaw pain is by keeping the jaw and muscles of the jaw from being overused. This can be done by having your dentist make a custom-fitted bite splint or night guard. These prosthesis are comfortable, fitted guards that keep the jaws and teeth from being fully engaged. Rather, they are kept in a resting position with the teeth slightly apart from one another. As a result, the muscles around the jaw do not become fully exerted or strained.

Many people notice results and pain relief from their splint or bite guard within the first 24 hours of use. The prosthesis is very easy to make. An impression of the teeth is taken, and a model of the mouth is made. The acrylic material is then shaped around this model of the mouth so that it will fit the patient comfortably. In a short period of time, the custom guard or splint is ready for the patient to pick up and begin wearing immediately.

Depending on the time of day a person experiences jaw pain, the guard may be worn at night or during stressful periods of the day. The commute home, a stressful night’s sleep, or taking care of chores may all be times that a person exerts the jaw muscles the most. Experiment with different times of the day to find the fastest way to jaw pain relief.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry

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May
7

Stress and Tooth Wear

Posted in Mouth Guards

Everywhere we turn, stress impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. Work, school, family, finances, you name it…the stress can take a toll mentally, emotionally, and physically. When it comes to physical stress symptoms, most people think about loss of sleep, appetite, and even some grey hair; but did you know that stress can also cause you to grind or clench your teeth abnormally?

Excess clenching and grinding causes enamel to rub up against itself, and enamel is the hardest structure in the entire human body. The result is flat, worn teeth, broken enamel along the gumlines, and even broken restorations. Unfortunately this wear is irreversible, can result in costly dental treatment, and even damage tissues around the TMJ.

Wearing a night guard or bite splint can alleviate tooth wear due to stress. These devices prevent the teeth from wearing against one another, and also reducing the muscle pressure in and around the jaw. Instead, the teeth are placed in a proper relaxed position where there is a slight space between the arches; yet the lips are still closed together.

Stress can come and go, or it may be a permanent part of your lifestyle. Investing in a bite splint won’t only save your teeth; it will also reduce the cost of dental treatment needs later on. Having a splint made is very simple, and all that is needed is an impression of your teeth. Within about one week, your splint will be ready for you to pick up and start wearing right away. Some people wear them to sleep in, when they drive, or even when they’re at work.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 

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