Dental Tips Blog


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



The Right Mouth Guard Can Save Your Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

Traumatic injuries from recreational sports frequently involve the face and teeth. High school and college athletes are often required by sports organizations to wear a mouth guard in order to prevent lip lacerations and fractured teeth, but not all mouth guards are created equal. Choosing a properly fitted mouthguard is the only way to ensure that the device will do what it’s meant to: protect the athlete.

Finding the right guard can be difficult. There are several over the counter guards available at sporting good retailers, but these guards are made in a way so that they will fit into nearly any size or shape of mouth. As a result, the bulky guard is uncomfortable, tedious to wear and isn’t worn at all. Bulky guards fail to protect the teeth when trauma occurs, and can fall out, preventing injury from recurrent trauma.

The best mouth guard will fit securely in place, be comfortable and allow the athlete to speak, breathe or drink water while wearing it without needing to take it out. Your dentist can create a custom mouth guard that will stay in place by gently hugging individual teeth in a way that makes it easy to wear throughout your activity. Not only does a professionally made mouth guard protect you from fracturing your teeth, it also prevents lip trauma and possibly even reduces the risk of concussions.

For adults, a custom guard can last years. Younger patients require a new guard each season due to their growing, developing mouth. Improperly fitting guards can alter the position of the teeth and jaws, increasing the risk for injuries. Having a guard made is simple, just a quick impression is all that is needed and within a few days you’re ready to get active!


Sleep Apnea and Your Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

A lack of good sleep can increase stress, blood pressure and the likelihood that you’ll begin to exhibit symptoms of teeth grinding or clenching in your sleep. Teeth can become severely worn or broken down while also being more susceptible to periodontal disease. When teeth wear abnormally, the jaws no longer bite together the way they are supposed to, which can further complicate your ability to breath properly when you sleep.

You may wake up with:

  • Tired jaws
  • Sore neck and shoulders
  • Pain around the ear or TMJ area
  • Excessive sleepiness

Oral appliances such as bite guards can be effective in the elimination or reduction of symptoms associated with sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing, and teeth grinding, providing you with quieter, deeper sleep.  Your dentist can fit you with a comfortable, customized mouth guard that guides your teeth into the proper resting position. Some people find that wearing a dental device even eliminates their need for equipment such as CPAP machines. They also prevent excessive wear of the teeth, an activity that can cause irreversible, broken enamel.

The appliance also places your jaw and soft tissues into a position that prevents collapse of the soft palate, reducing gasping or blockage of air flow. By keeping the jaw in a location similar to that used in CPR, a person is able to have better success at improved breathing during their sleep. That’s what oral appliances do for sleep apnea patients.

If you’ve tried other types of treatments and still aren’t seeing results, or your partner complains of the noises you make when you’re trying to sleep, then you may want to consider an oral device. Each device is custom fitted for maximum comfort and stability, so it will stay in place no matter how much you toss and turn.


Sports Injuries in Children

Posted in Mouth Guards

Many children spend their summers, evenings and weekends in physical activities or organized sports. No parent wants to “hover” or be paranoid, but fractured teeth and oral trauma are one of the most common injuries in child athletes. Taking the appropriate methods to protect your child’s smile can prevent broken teeth as well as decrease their risk for injuries like concussions.

All high school and collegiate athletes are required to wear an oral protection device such as a custom mouthguard or a prefabricated mouth guard. Why not consider starting at a younger age, and allowing your junior or elementary age child to wear this piece of protective equipment along with the rest of their pads, uniform and helmet? Good habits start early!

Any child may experience oral trauma, but knowing if you’re at a higher risk is important. Teens that wear braces may be more prone to have lip injuries if something comes into contact with their face during an activity. Wearing a guard over their teeth and orthodontic appliances can prevent lacerations and tooth fractures should an accident occur. Children whose upper front teeth jet out are also more likely to experience fractured teeth during athletic activities.

Are all oral guards created equal? Not necessarily. Over the counter guards offer a one-size-fits-most barrier for a single traumatic incident, but they may not stay in place should a fall or subsequent injury take place. Custom guards are made by your dentist to fit securely so that they stay in place and protect against secondary trauma as well as possible concussions.

Children and their parents can have a custom made guard fabricated by their dentist. It may just be the best dental insurance that you ever invest in!

Posted on behalf of Muccioli Dental



Caring For Your Mouth Guard

Posted in Mouth Guards

You have taken an important step in protecting your mouth, gums, cheeks and teeth by purchasing a mouth guard to wear when you play sports.  Now that you have the guard, you may wonder how you should take care of it.  This article will provide some basic steps on keeping your mouth guard clean and in working condition so that you can use it each and every time.

Your mouth guard is going to live in your mouth so you want it to be clean before each use.  Prior to inserting the mouth guard, brush your mouth guard with your toothbrush and toothpaste. Rinse the guard well and then place in your mouth for use.  After you are done, brush and rinse the guard again, and store in the dedicated container.

Once a month, clean your mouth guard with cool water and mild soap.  This will help keep any bacteria off of the guard, and remove any dirt or dust that may have developed.  Before using the guard, brush it with toothpaste and rinse well before use.  If your mouth guard looks dirty, you may need to wash it more frequently than once a month.

Your mouth guard probably came in a special container.  Save this container to place your guard in before and after use.  Make sure the container is cleaned every time you remove the guard, so it is ready for the next use.

Many outdoor events take place on hot and sunny days.  However, you should never leave your mouth guard out in the sun or place it in boiling water.  Doing so may cause the guard to become misshapen, and it will no longer fit your mouth correctly.

After each use, and especially after you may have taken a blow to your face or a fall, check the guard for rips, tears, or other damage.  Do not use the mouth guard if any damage is noted.

If you have any problems with your mouth guard, contact your dentist for help and guidance.

Posted on behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates



Is a Mouth Guard Really Important?

Posted in Mouth Guards

We all like to smile, and talk, and laugh.  Most of us enjoy eating.  Losing teeth through a traumatic injury can make all of that come to a sudden stop, if you lose your front teeth.  Sometimes, accidents happen resulting in unavoidable mouth injuries.  Many cases of missing front teeth, though, result from sports injuries and could have been avoided if the person was wearing a mouth guard.

Wearing a mouth guard will help protect you from tooth loss if you experience an unanticipated blow to the face during sports.  Mouth guards also help minimize the risk of breaking teeth, and helps minimize or eliminate injuries to your lips and tongue as you are less likely to bite these areas in this type of situation.  The linings of your cheek are also protected when you wear a mouth guard.

Not wearing a mouth guard may increase the risk of having a mouth injury by almost 60%.  Mouth injuries can occur in almost any sports.  Common athletic events that may lead to mouth injuries include boxing, football, gymnastics, skating, and biking.  If you thought you were safe or did not need to wear a mouth guard because you do not participate in contact sports, you should know that many mouth injuries occur in ‘solo’ type sports after someone falls or tumbles.

There are several different types of mouth guards available.  The best fitting ones are custom made based on a mold of your mouth.  Others can be purchased at sporting goods stores.

If you think you may benefit from a mouth guard, or if you participate in any sort of athletic events where you may fall and hit your face, you should talk to your dentist about a mouth guard.  A well fitted mouth guard increases the likelihood that you will use the guard each and every time, and help decrease your chances of permanent injury.

Posted on behalf of Greencastle Dental



Tooth Trauma: Years Later

Posted in Root Canals

Occasionally a dental patient will come into the office complaining that the appearance of one particular tooth is changing. The tooth may become grey or brown, obviously much darker than the adjacent teeth. Upon further investigation it may be found out that you had trauma to that tooth. Not just trauma from a day or two ago, but trauma from years or even decade’s back.

How can this be? It’s not very uncommon to see a tooth begin to lose its vitality several years after a traumatic experience, be it a baseball accident, car wreck, or even a child’s head bumping hardly into your mouth. While some tooth trauma is usually seen within days or weeks of the initial accident, teeth can also take a very long time before they show any signs whatsoever that a problem has occurred.

If a tooth becomes discolored several years down the road, there are options available to help preserve the tooth’s integrity as well as maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Root canal treatments may be necessary, or internal bleaching, veneer or crown treatment to keep the tooth appearing the same color as the surrounding teeth.

Being careful to avoid tooth trauma is important. While accidents such as a trip or a car wreck may not be planned around, one can take extra steps when being involved in common traumatic circumstances such as sports and physical activities. Use a high-grade mouth guard that fits properly and will stay in place should there be an accident. In some cases it is suggested that mouth guards can also protect athletes against the risk of concussion. Talk with your dentist about the benefits of a custom fitted mouthguard!

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