Dental Tips Blog

Apr
17

Four Signs You’re Losing Your Enamel

Posted in Mouth Guards

Enamel erosion is an ongoing and insidious process. It’s downright deadly to teeth if you don’t stop it in time.

What is enamel erosion? It’s physical wear to the outer layer of your tooth structure. This process commonly happens as a result of acid exposure, but it can also be due to mechanical causes, such as bruxism or brushing too aggressively. If you’re alert to the following signs, you can take action before it’s too late.

  1. Teeth Look Brittle

Enamel is clear, but it looks pretty white against the dark yellow part of your tooth’s dentin layer. If the enamel starts to thin out, the layers on the edge of your tooth that don’t have dentin under them will look thin and glassy. Your teeth might look like they’d chip very easily.

  1. Smile Getting Yellow

When you lose enamel, that yellow dentin shows through a lot more. Our enamel wears down with age. As our teeth get older, they tend to look darker than years past.

  1. Flatter Teeth

A teeth grinding and clenching habit will quickly shave off lots of enamel. Your teeth might look flat, stubby, or square if you’re subconsciously chewing off your own enamel.  A custom dental nightguard can protect your tooth enamel from further damage.

  1. Increased Sensitivity

Your enamel helps to insulate the nerves in your teeth from changes in temperature and acidity. As enamel wears away, the nerves become more exposed to things that bother them. If your smile is getting unusually more sensitive, it could be a sign that your teeth are in jeopardy.

Have you noticed any of the signs described above? Contact your dentist right away to find out how to save your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 791-8358

Mar
6

Ouch! What to do About Sensitive Teeth

Do your teeth feel a bit sensitive when you’re brushing them?  Does that sip of hot coffee or bite of cold ice cream make you wince?  According to the Academy of General Dentistry, you might be among the approximately 40 million Americans experiencing tooth sensitivity.  What causes food sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity often occurs when tooth enamel is worn down or exposed, such as in areas of gum recession.  Enamel is the protective layer that covers your tooth, shielding delicate dental nerves. When the enamel is worn down, your tooth is vulnerable and sensitive.  There are many possible causes for enamel erosion.

Brushing

Thorough brushing, twice a day is recommended, but perhaps you’re brushing with too much enthusiasm.  When too much pressure is applied or the toothbrush being used has very hard bristles, the enamel or gum tissues can be worn away.

Tooth Erosion From Foods

Do you love oranges, lemons, or soda?  The high amount of acid can negatively affect your tooth enamel, causing it to erode and create sensitive teeth.

Tooth Damage and Decay

A cracked tooth, cavity or old, worn filling makes it easy for bacteria to build up and flourish, causing the enamel to break down further.  The result is a painful tooth that needs your dentist’s attention right away.

Bruxism

Commonly known as grinding or clenching, bruxism is something many unknowingly do, even while sleeping. Over time, bruxism can cause the tooth enamel to be worn down and fractures of the tooth may occur.

Dental Procedures

If you’ve recently undergone a dental procedure such as a crown, filling or teeth whitening, it’s not uncommon to experience some temporary sensitivity.

When experiencing sensitivity, it’s important to consult with your dental office. Only your dentist can help you find the cause and help you get relief from your painful tooth!

Posted on behalf of:
Siena Dental
10075 S Eastern Ave # 107
Henderson, NV 89052-3974
(702) 567-0000

May
29

Great Ways to Enhance Your Smile and Strengthen Your Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

Maybe you have always had great teeth and a healthy smile, but you want to do whatever you can to keep it that way. Since our teeth gradually weaken and wear down over time, here are a few simple ways to protect your teeth and keep them lasting as long as possible:

Pay Close Attention to Clenching Habits

Do you tend to clench your teeth and jaws tightly when stressed? Does driving through rush hour leave your jaws sore once you get home? If you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, it could be that you tend to clench and grind your teeth when you sleep. Chronic grinding will cause accelerated tooth wear as well as broken fillings and crowns. To protect your teeth, wear a bite splint! 

Use Fluoride Rinse Daily

Adding a fluoride rinse to your daily oral hygiene routine will help restore tooth enamel that has been demineralized throughout the day. For best results use it at night before going to bed, after you brush and floss. Be sure not to rinse afterward. 

Wear a Mouthguard During Sporting Activities

Athletic activities (recreational or otherwise) are some of the most common times to experience dental emergencies and concussions. Simply adding a custom fitted mouthguard to your game is an effective way to insure your smile and your safety.

Of course, visiting your dentist on a regular basis is one of the best ways to avoid long-term problems and tooth decay. We recommend patients with healthy teeth visit us at least every 6 months for a preventive cleaning and exam.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Feb
4

Is Stress Destroying Your Smile?

Everyday stress like work, traffic or busy schedules can make us experience tightness of the jaw and teeth clenching. It’s just one of the ways that some of us handle a stressful lifestyle. Unfortunately if we experience this day after day, our teeth can suffer from it. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest thing in our bodies, when it’s worn against itself over and over it can cause problems like:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Worn, flat tooth edges
  • Broken restorations
  • TMJ disorders
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain

Since wear and fractures are irreversible, it’s best to stop them from happening in the first place. Your dentist can screen for minor areas of wear at each of your dental checkups to see if this is a problem. Some of these areas will show up on the chewing surfaces while others look like worn or broken enamel along the gumlines. Monitoring this wear as well as assessing the areas around your TMJ can determine if grinding or clenching is becoming a significant concern. If it is, you’ll need to take some steps to keep it from getting worse.

Wearing an occlusal guard at night or during stressful times of the day (such as your work commute) can prevent tooth damage and also reduce the strain on your TMJ. Each mouth guard is custom fitted so that it feels comfortable while also staying securely in place whenever you’re wearing it. The durable acrylic material keeps the teeth slightly apart, which eliminates wear and disengages the TMJ muscles.

If you suspect that you’re beginning to experience side effects of grinding or clenching, let your dentist know right away.

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

Dec
30

Causes of Tooth Wear and How to Fix Them

Are your teeth beginning to wear down? Do you know what’s causing it or what you can do to stop it? Here are 3 of the most common causes of tooth wear: 

Malocclusion

Your teeth are designed to bite down a certain way. Crooked or misaligned teeth bite against the opposite teeth in a manner that goes against their natural design. Instead of lasting for years, these teeth wear down prematurely due to abnormal pressures placed on them. Investing in orthodontic realignment of your teeth not only enhances the appearance of your smile, it also keeps your teeth stronger, longer. 

Grinding and Clenching

Excessive clenching and grinding of your teeth against one another can cause them to wear each other away. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it can still wear itself away. Clenching or bruxism can severely age your teeth as well as cause restorations to break apart. Wearing a bite splint or night guard is insurance for you mouth – preventing accelerated wear, damage to fillings, and reducing the strain on your TMJ. 

Acid Erosion

Did you know that if you have acid reflux disease, you could experience accelerated tooth wear? People living with GERD often have classic signs of enamel erosion or wear on the cusps of their back teeth. Even if you think you can handle regular heartburn with over the counter medication, you may need to talk to your doctor for more comprehensive prevention.

Ask your dentist to perform a bite and wear assessment at your next dental check-up. Catching it in the earliest phases can save you from out of pocket dental costs later on!

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

Apr
22

Are Your Teeth Giving You a Headache?

Posted in Mouth Guards

We all know that headaches are, well, a pain but did you know that your frequent and recurring headaches or migraines may actually be a result of grinding and clenching your teeth at night?

If you have one or more severe headache a month, and your physician has ruled out other possible causes, you should speak to your dentist.  Many headache sufferers are actually nighttime tooth grinders, and treatment is actually fairly simple.

Grinding and clenching your teeth can cause muscle contraction and constriction resulting in tension and migraine headaches.  This consistent grinding at night can also wear down your larger teeth, and place you at risk for broken and cracked teeth, and tooth surface damage.

One way to help correct tooth grinding is by using the NTI night guard.  Teeth, muscles and joints are protected by reducing the force of the grinding substantially.  This reduction in force in the jaw area results in fewer and less severe headaches for many individuals. The NTI night guard is a soft, custom made bite guard that fits over an area in your mouth.  It is worn only at night, and has been approved by the FDA to help treat migraine headaches caused by teeth grinding.

This bite guard is designed to only cover the front teeth.  While many bite guards cover the entire teeth surface, some studies have shown that this may actually increase tooth grinding, as there is a good surface to bite into.  The NTI night guard is designed to eliminate this pressure by placing the guard in the front of your mouth only.  This placement makes design easier, and requires less time that you need to spend at the dentist.

If you have frequent headaches, contact your dentist to discuss the possibility that you may grind your teeth.  Pain and headache free days may be just around the corner for you!

Posted on behalf of Justin Scott

Google

Feb
28

ADHD and the Dental Patient

Dental patients with ADHD or ADD may sometimes find that they need adjustments to their treatment or dental visits in order to make them more comfortable and provide better care. If your child takes medication for their attention deficit, it may help to schedule their dental appointment soon after the time when they normally take their prescription. This can allow the patient to have a better experience and benefit from the influence of their medication while it is still fresh in their system.

Some patients that take medications for ADD/ADHD may have oral side effects that you want to be aware of. One of these is dry mouth, or xerostomia. Many medications cause dry mouth, but it can be problematic in that dry mouth can predispose a person to tooth decay due to the lack of natural washing or lubrication from saliva. Have your child drink water frequently throughout the day and check their oral hygiene practices to ensure thorough plaque removal. Using a fluoride rinse such as ACT may also be beneficial as it can help remineralize weaker areas of the teeth. Some ADD/ADHD medications can also cause tongue discoloration, gingivitis, decreased taste or difficulty swallowing.

You may find that your child has habits such as nail biting, teeth grinding or trauma due to hyperactivity. Encourage preventive measures such as the use of bite guards for bruxism or sports guards to prevent from injuries during physical activities, or chewing Xylitol containing gum rather than on fingernails or other items.

Let your dentist know what concerns you have about your child’s oral health and if there is anything that you need help with improving. Your dentist and their team are trained and ready to offer personalized care to all patients and meet their special needs in a way that is effective.

Posted on the behalf of Dr. James Kincaid

Google

Dec
1

Are You a Bruxer?

You might be a bruxer and not even know it.

According to the American Dental Association, a bruxer is someone who grinds, gnashes or clenches their teeth, often without even realizing it.  Most Americans, it says, have suffered from bruxism at some point in their lives, and about a fifth of those who suffer from it don’t even know they have it.

Dentists say bruxism is usually caused by stress or anxiety, but sometimes, especially with children, it can be brought on by such things as allergies, tooth misalignment or a sleep disorder.

Typically, if you have bruxism, there are some telltale signs, including:

Flattened Teeth – Constant grinding of the teeth wears the teeth, flattening the tops or chipping or cracking them. Sometimes, there is so much wear that the inside of the tooth, the dentin is exposed.

Noises – Your partner may complain that you make a grinding noise with your teeth when you sleep.

Pain – The constant pressure you’re exerting on your jaw could lead to headaches, earaches, tired jaw muscles or even TMJ, a serious and painful inflammation of the jaw and its muscles.

Tongue Indentations – Teeth grinding can put pressure on the tongue, resulting in indentations.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to have an immediate consultation with your dentist, who will likely start a monitoring program over several visits to confirm buxism and prescribe a remedy. If the teeth grinding is due to stress, some sort of therapy might be recommended to help you find ways of identifying and coping with your anxieties. In the case of nighttime grinders, the dentist might construct a dental mouthguard to be worn at night to avoid further damage to teeth.

Nov
14

Teeth Grinding, Clenching and Bruxism

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, and clenching the teeth can occur during the day or night, and causes our teeth to wear down prematurely. Tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in the body, but when teeth are overexerted they cannot withstand the abnormal wear. The results include flat, worn teeth with chipped or broken enamel. Prolonged clenching and grinding can also cause dental treatment such as fillings and crowns to break of fail long before their normal life expectancy.

When someone grinds their teeth, the wear patterns typically appear as flat edges along the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Sometimes the back teeth will develop a wedge in the enamel along the gumline, similar in appearance to toothbrush abrasion. This is due to flexing of the tooth from severe pressure over time. As the teeth wear away, they can also become sharp against delicate oral tissues, and weaker over time.

Causes of tooth wear can be to stress or anxiety, but it is also very common in younger children to grind in their sleep. Sometimes this is a normal part of the tooth exfoliation process and is nothing to become alarmed about. Typically children who grind their teeth seem to do so for only a couple of years before their baby teeth fall out. Adults that have a nicotine dependency may be prone to develop bruxism habits.  Other research shows that grinding often accompanies symptoms that are associated with sleep disorders.  Malpositioned teeth may also wear prematurely due to improper alignment. When left untreated, TMJ pain or disorder may also develop.

If you wake up with sore jaws, or catch yourself clenching often through the day, discuss therapeutic bruxism treatments with your dentist. When it comes to teeth grinding, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure!

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…