Dental Tips Blog

Sep
10

One of These 6 Reasons May Explain Why You Have Flat Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

Teeth wear down after years of use, so it’s common for elderly folks to have flat teeth. But what if your teeth seem to be wearing down prematurely?

Here are six possible causes.

You Grind Your Teeth

You may have a habit of grinding your teeth and not be aware of it. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism is a common symptom of stress and can often be treated with a custom dental nightguard.

Your Teeth Don’t Line Up Properly

Teeth wear down faster than normal if the upper and lower teeth contact each other on their biting edges. The same is true for points on upper and lower molars that directly line up with each other.

You Have a Tough Diet

Do you chew on a lot of ice, tortilla chips, granola, or nuts? A gritty diet can mechanically wear down your tooth enamel. A diet high in acids can soften tooth enamel and make it prone to physical wear.

You Hold Hard Items Between Your Teeth

If you have a habit of holding a tobacco pipe, plastic pens, or hairpins between your teeth, then you may see some rapid wear in specific spots.

You’re Missing Several Back Teeth

Your back molars are supposed to do the heavy work of chewing and grinding up your food. But if you’re missing those back teeth, then your thinner front teeth will have to do all the hard work and start to wear down quickly.

You Have a Porcelain Crown or Two

Porcelain is tougher than tooth enamel. A capped tooth can flatten an opposite uncapped tooth by rubbing against it for years.

Ask your dentist which factors are to blame for your flat teeth and what you can do to restore them.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Jan
27

What to Do if Your Child Grinds Their Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

Have you ever heard your child grind his or her teeth while they sleep? The sound might make you shudder. You can’t help wondering what’s happening to your child’s teeth when they grind them.

What should you do?

Why Kids Grind Their Teeth

It’s hard to know why some 30% of kids suffer from teeth grinding, or bruxism. There’s no single reason why they do it, but some possible causes include:

  • Pain from something like new teeth coming in
  • Hyperactivity
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Sleep apnea caused by large tonsils

For most kids, bruxism is just a phase. But if the habit goes on too long, it can lead to headaches, ear aches, jaw pain, and worn tooth enamel. A bruxing habit could even follow your child into adulthood where it causes more damage.

Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth?

Your child probably doesn’t know that he or she grinds their teeth. You may only find out by listening to them while they sleep. If your child complains about a sore jaw or tooth pain while awake, that may also indicate a bruxism habit.

What to Do When Your Child Grinds Their Teeth

Encourage a relaxing night-time routine to soothe stress and help your child relax before going to bed. A warm bath and reading together can help.

Next, schedule a dental visit. The dentist will check for tooth damage and look for signs of bruxing and give you advice on how to identify the root cause. Your dentist will continue to monitor the signs at checkups. If it’s not a passing phase, your child may need a special mouthguard to prevent teeth clenching and grinding during sleep.

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

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

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

Dec
31

What Causes Flat, Worn Teeth?

Look in the mirror. What does your smile look like? Are your teeth naturally smooth or rounded, or are they starting to appear flat, worn, and shorter than normal? If it’s the latter, you need to know what causes teeth to do this so you can prevent it from getting worse.

Grinding and Bruxism

Stress and subconscious habits that cause grinding and clenching will make teeth work harder than they ought to. Even though enamel is very strong, excessive biting and grinding will make them wear each other down. Not only does this hurt your teeth, it also creates problems like TMJ disorders, headaches, and damaged restorations. 

Irregular Biting Patterns

Improperly aligned teeth will wear down at a much quicker rate than teeth that bite together correctly. You might notice this if the front teeth bite end-to-end against one another. The result is flat, short front teeth. Investing in orthodontic therapy can help you avoid and prevent this from happening before it even starts. 

Weak or Decayed Teeth

Teeth that have cavities, broken enamel, or failing restorations will wear down quicker than healthy teeth. Even small areas of compromised enamel can easily chip away or fracture during normal use. If you’ve broken a piece of tooth off during a meal, it’s nothing to overlook. Have your dentist check it right away!

If allowed to advance, flattened teeth can interfere with your natural biting habits. This in turn creates strain to the TMJ and can even destroy the existing restorations in your mouth. Watch for worn teeth early on. The sooner you have your dentist correct the cause, the healthier your smile will be for years to come.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Mar
12

What is Tooth Grinding?

You may think of tooth grinding as a simple response to stress.  Unfortunately, while many people do grind their teeth, the ramifications of long-term tooth grinding are extensive.  This article will talk about the damage that tooth grinding can do, and ways to help stop grinding your teeth.

Clenching your teeth often is noticed by the fact that you have a stress headache near the end of the day, or your mouth feels tired or ‘tight’.  You may feel pressure on your back molars or back teeth.  Extreme cases of clenching may even have a larger than normal jaw muscle from the extra pressure being applied in the mouth.

Alternatively, grinding is when you actually move your teeth back and forth and up and down on each other.  This may be done while you are awake as a response to stressors, or when you are sleeping.  Many times, clenching and grinding are done together.  Teeth grinders may have family members who wake them in the middle of the night telling them to stop.

In either case, both clenching and grinding will wear teeth down.  Your teeth are not designed to take the additional stress of daily grinding or clenching, and should not be used in this manner.

If you or a family member grind or clench at night, a bite guard may be helpful.  This will stop the stress from being placed on your teeth to help avoid damage.  Damage that results from clenching and grinding includes broken teeth, gum damage, and potential TMJ disorders.

Other techniques to help eliminate grinding and clenching include stress control and relaxation techniques.  If you find yourself grinding or clenching during the day, take a few deep, cleansing breaths.  Visualize blowing up a balloon, and imagine yourself in a calm place.  Try to conscientiously determine when you are clenching or grinding so you can change your habits.  You may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member if you are unaware of when you clench or grind.

Stopping clenching or grinding will greatly reduce your risks of gum disease and potential tooth loss.  If you are having problems with tooth clenching or grinding, talk to your dentist about some additional strategies to help eliminate this problem and keep your teeth healthy.

Posted on the behalf of Dr. James C. Kincaid

Google

Feb
13

NTI Bite Guards

Posted in TMJ Therpy

NTI Occlusal splints, or bite guards, are a small, minimally invasive option for traditional bite guard users who suffer from grinding, clenching or bruxism. The splint is very small, covering only the top two front teeth and is made of a clear and white resin material.

The NTI guard is made during your dental visit. It takes approximately 10 minutes to make, allowing dental patients to immediately benefit from the relief of tooth grinding as soon as they leave the office. Termed a “chairside splint”, your dentist can typically work this service into nearly any dental appointment that you may have because it is one of the simplest forms of bite splints to make for dental patients.

To make the device, a device shell is filled with an acrylic material. The NTI is then placed over the top two front teeth in order to impress a custom fit within the device. This resin material begins to harden within the splint, and is then removed and smoothed by your dentist for a comfortable fit.

Dental patients can wear NTI splints when they sleep, but they are so small and non invasive that they can also be worn during the daytime as well. Patients find that they become accustomed to talking with the NTI very early on, and some people even wear them throughout the day, which is a common time to clench or grind the teeth. This helps prevent TMJ pain as well as headaches, neck, back and shoulder pain due to clenching the teeth together tightly. NTI devices work by keeping your TMJ in a natural resting position, preventing clenching or grinding from occurring.

Nov
3

Your Dentist Can Help With Migraine Headaches

If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from the debilitating pain of migraine headaches, you know that the pain can be so severe that you are unable to perform even simple day to day activities.  Often accompanied by nausea and extreme sensitivity to light and noise, migraines can last from a few hours to days.  Only a migraine sufferer can understand the frustration and depression that result from living with migraine headaches.

Migraine sufferers have tried a wide variety of treatments to alleviate their suffering, but most rely on medications that prevent or lessen the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches or medications that relieve the pain and other symptoms during a migraine.

Thanks to the development of a simple dental appliance, migraine relief may be as close as your dentist’s office.  A small plastic device called the NTI night guard system fits over your front teeth and may be an alternative to help reduce the number and intensity of migraine headaches for some migraine sufferers.  The NTI night guard system has been FDA approved for the treatment of some migraine and other types of tension headaches.

Research has shown that teeth grinding can trigger or contribute to migraine headaches.  Most people involuntarily grind their teeth while sleeping, some more than others.  The NTI night guard works to prevent your teeth from touching which prevents the teeth grinding from triggering a migraine headache.

The NTI is much smaller than most other types of night mouth guards which means it is more comfortable and more likely that the patient will use it.  The NTI must be fitted to each patient by a qualified dentist.  Call your dentist today to see if they offer the NTI night guard system.

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