The toxic Supplement

The toxic Supplement

The Toxic Supplement Your Body Could Do Without

There’s a lot of noise pollution out there regarding the argument for or against fluoride.  Fluoride has been a staple of America’s dental regime since the nineteen fifties. Without thought, or apprehension, communities have taken what the dental specialist pushed as gospel, therefore  fluoride is good for you. It’s an equation more than six decades in the making. If a little bit of fluoride is good for teeth, than a lot must be even better. Until its not.  Interestingly enough, fluoride is the one supplement that serves no function. The human body does not need fluoride to function properly.

Fluoride Saturation

So why have towns across the country been adding fluoride to the city water for decades? Communities with naturally occurring calcium fluoride, a mineral found in various regions around the world, historically have demonstrated lower incidence of tooth decay. Making the argument seem sound. Except, fluoride added to drinking water, for the majority of american households means the government is putting it there, and not the naturally occurring kind. The fluoride added to drinking water always is derived from chemical waste. Americans and people the world over are beginning to experience fluoride saturation

fluoride saturation.

Fluoride added to water is a fact of life for many communities with otherwise pure and clean, naturally occurring water supplies.

Except that the fluoride added to municipal water supplies all around the country (and the world) is not naturally occurring calcium fluoride. More than two thirds of Americans are currently receiving artificially fluoridated water at their tap. Water that is fluoridated by what essentially is a chemical waste product. A waste product that is toxic. The entire argument for the use of fluoride is based on studies in communities with naturally occurring mineral deposits of calcium fluoride. Recent studies from communities with artificially fluoridated water have not been able to backup or substantiate the original findings of reduced dental decay and cavity incident.

Continued Fluoride Saturation/Adding New Communities to the List

So why do NEW communities (around the world and) here in the U.S. continue to begin new fluoridation programs on their municipal water supplies? Conditioning and propaganda. Decades of trusted professionals telling us its good for us. Federal and government backing and American Dental Association support. All part of the propaganda to not change the status quo.

Poison and Fluoride

Many Americans are aware that fluoride is a toxin. Yet somehow we look past the fact that a tube of toothpaste easily contains enough fluoride to kill a small child. As consumers we’ve educated ourselves about all kinds of toxins that find their way into our bodies, even switching out the containers in our homes to eradicate exposure to BPA’s and other known chemicals with potential to harm. Fluoride saturation is not an unknown. Science has linked fluoride exposure to cancer, complications with diabetes, dementia, arthritis, mental defects, alzheimer’s, birth defects and a whole myriad of other complications. Still we have not eliminated or reduced our exposure, our childrens exposure or the eventual overload to the environment to the toxins of fluoride.

fluoride saturation has reached it's tipping point

Fluoride saturation in water, food, and personal care products: drowning us in toxic chemicals.

Since fluoride is nearly impossible to filter out of water the best option to reduce exposure is to get it out of toothpaste and mouthwash products in your home. There are alternatives that are very effective, maybe more so than fluoride, at remineralizing enamel and strengthening teeth. In essence fluoride only effectively works topically, unless teeth are still forming below the gum line, otherwise ingesting fluoride serves no purpose and, in fact, is toxic. In the long list of everyday things people come into contact with that are toxic, potentially even deadly fluoride should not be overlooked or segregated from the worst offenders. Fluoride hurts people and in many cases is forced on us through regimented doses in public water systems. Contact our office for products and information about alternatives to fluoride.

Flu and Cold Viruses Effect Oral Health

Cold and flu tax your oral health too

Flu and cold viruses are a part of life. We wash our hands, take vitamins, and try to stay healthy, inevitably the average adult will still get 2 to 4 colds per year. The full magnitude of the annual cold and flu season is often overlooked. However, in America, the cold virus alone, claims nearly 60 million sick days annually.

Viral infections and your oral health

  1. Dry Mouth:
    • Cold viruses, and many other viruses, dry out the inside of the mouth.
    • The use of many medications that suppress runny noses and excess mucus, also contribute to drier mucus membranes in our mouth.
    • Many drugs may ultimately leave the mouth drier.
      • Dry mouths are less slippery, allowing bacterial colonies to thrive.
    • Breathing from the mouth due to swollen, congested nasal passages dries the oral membranes contributing further to dry mouth,
      • And bad breath.
    • Individuals suffering from flu and cold viruses are especially prone to dehydration complicating dry mouth conditions.
  2. Cough Drops and Medications:
    • Sucking on cough drops, sipping ginger ale, even oral inhalers all adversely affect teeth and surrounding tissues.
    • Cough drops and throat lozenges, even cough syrup, are sticky and sweet.
    • Sugar from these medications feed bacteria that cause decay and cavities.
    • Ginger ale and other fizzy drinks help with dehydration and nausea, they also create prime conditions for bacteria to thrive in.
    • Inhalers, used to help treat asthma, bronchitis, lung inflammation and COPD have medicine that dries surfaces in the mouth, creating areas ideal for bacteria to colonize.
      To ward off the effects of these oral medications, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after using them. Stay adequately hydrated.
  3. Fatigue:
    • Being over tired, lethargic and general malaise are all common symptoms when battling a cold or flu virus.
    • Forgo changing out of Pj’s but do not skip oral hygiene practices.
    • Viruses attack the immunes system, dampening your body’s natural ability to combat infection and inflammation.
    • Sleep deprivation is a huge contributing factor in cases of gum disease and gingivitis.
    • Don’t let being too tired influence your ability to maintain good brushing and flossing habits.

Good Oral Health Supports Good Overall Health

Recent studies support what clinicians have long suspected. Individuals who have unhealthy teeth and gums, tend to be less healthy overall. Higher rates of oral infections are linked to higher rates of bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, stroke and heart disease, for example.

The ideal time to improve your oral health is right now, but if you are sick or feeling under the weather, don’t neglect taking care of your oral hygiene.

Call or come in and make an appointment today and we can help you get your best oral health, and your brightest smile.

Winning the Marathon; Have a Healthy Smile for a Lifetime

Winning the Marathon; Have a Healthy Smile for a Lifetime

Marathon race for your smile

Keep your strong and healthy smile an entire lifetime. Sure and steady, consistent and efficient will win in a long race.

Maintaining a healthy set of teeth requires the diligence of a marathon trainer. Sprints and shortcuts won’t yield results that last over a lifetime.

Good Oral Health: Ten Ways To Train for Your Mouth’s Marathon

“The baby boomers will be the first U.S. generation to age while maintaining their natural dentition.”

Often the health of our teeth gets taken for granted. Advances in dentistry, prevention, and health care have greatly improved good oral health of millions of Americans. An entire generation of baby boomers are about to set a new bench mark. More of us are keeping our natural teeth or the majority of our natural teeth through our entire life.

As Medical studies have born-out, good oral health is directly linked to good overall health. It stands to reason that our general health benefits from paying close attention to, and taking adequate care of our teeth.

Your Count Down To Stronger, Healthier Teeth and Tip-Top Oral Health

  1. Brush daily. Brushing your teeth, tongue and the roof of your mouth is paramount. For the best brushing spend 2 to 3 minutes on the entire mouth.
    • Use a tooth brush that is less than 3 months old.
    • New toothbrushes have straight, un-freyed bristles, and are clean from debris.
    • Always try to brush two times a day and rinse mouth after meals and in between brushing.
  2. Flossing daily. Flossing has been hotly contested recently but dentist still maintain that, done properly, it is one of the most effective ways to clean between teeth and at the gum-line.
    • Floss should be about 12-15 inches long and a new section of floss should be used as you proceed to the next tooth.
    • Floss should remain taught and attention to an even, gentle sawing motion down from the top to gum-line.
    • It’s important to not “saw” or slam into the gum and soft tissues but to purposefully clean between the teeth.
  3. Clean your tongue every morning.There are various tools that can be used to “tongue scrape” or wipe off the excess film that collects in the crevices of the back of the tongue.
  4. Look at the overall picture. Teeth need to be straight.
    • Crowed teeth provide more hiding places for bacterial colonies that lead to bad breath and plaque build up.
  5. Stop using tobacco. Smoking and oral tobacco both significantly contribute to staining.
    • Worst of all they cause oral cancer
    • and other maladies that contribute to periodontal disease and tooth loss.

This is a Marathon…don’t stop with only half the training

  1. Drink more. Water that is.
    • Drinking water flushes the mouth, helps keep it clean and you hydrated.
    • Being hydrated ensures good saliva production, in-turn protecting teeth.
    • That means drinking less coffee, soda, juices and alcohol.
    • Coffee and soda have sulfurs and contain may also contain sugars both of which contribute to weaker teeth, cavities and staining.
  2. Eat a variety of colorful and nutrient dense foods. Certain foods actually help remineralize teeth.
    • calcium dense foods, nuts, cheeses, leafy greens, crunchy fruits and vegetables all contribute to stronger enamel, stronger gums, and better oral health.
  3. Don’t’ skip the dentist. Every visit that the dentist finds that everything in your mouth is healthy potentially pushes off a visit that could have been a problem visit.
    • Regular check-ups and cleanings are the key to cheaper visits and healthier teeth.
  4. If you see something or feel something, say something. The minute something feels wrong inside your mouth, call your dentist.
    • Chances are that things won’t get better, and they are more likely to get worse, eventually.Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night reduces inflammation and improves overall health, improving oral health and reducing gum disease
  5. Get enough sleep! As crazy as that sounds, sleeping is just as important as brushing! Studies have linked lack of sleep to increased risk of periodontal disease.
    • Conversely the same studies concluded that increasing sleep to a healthy amount of sleep drastically improved cases of existing periodontal disease. Sleep 7 to 8 hours every night, after you brush and floss your teeth.

Great Smiles are Worth the effort

We all want to have a great smile and healthy teeth. Good oral hygiene leads to good oral health, but there is more to strong teeth and a lasting smile. Addressing all the things that affect your oral health will help you avoid future problems like gum disease, bad breath, infection, bone loss, tooth loss, even whole health issues like heart disease, strokes and more are tied to good oral health. Life is a marathon after all and taking care of your health is a life long endeavor.

Call us today and let us help you improve your health.

Matters of the Mouth While Pregnant

Matters of the Mouth While Pregnant

Being pregnant creates special circumstances for your oral health

Tooth Care During Pregnancy. Conditions during pregnancy make mouths more vulnerable to disease. A little extra attention goes a long way to maintain a healthy smile. Step-by-step and trimester-by-trimester here are the things that will keep teeth healthy.

First Trimester

It’s still early in the pregnancy but hormones and morning sickness can start making big changes to oral wellness.

  • Check with your insurance provider, you may be allowed extra cleanings and check-ups while pregnant.
  • If you’re suffering from morning sickness stay hydrated. Also, Rinsing the mouth frequently keeps gums healthy.
  • Avoid triggering nausea, use a bland toothpaste and small, soft toothbrush.
  • Contact your dentist, ask if they have any special recommendations during your pregnancy.
  • Check gums regularly for Pregnancy Gingivitis. Look for puffy, inflamed gums. Changes in hormones often cause symptoms in the mouth too.

Second Trimester

Trimester two marks the middle of pregnancy. The end is closer, stay on top of oral care to keep teeth healthy.

  • In the second trimester avoid eating sugary snacks, your gums are the most vulnerable at this point in the pregnancy.
  • DO NOT skip brushing or flossing. Vigilance will pay off with healthy gums and teeth at the end of pregnancy.
  • Take vitamins and supplements as instructed by your doctor. Make sure your diet includes lots of Vitamin C, Calcium and Vitamin B12.
  • By the second trimester some patients develop small, temporary tumors on the gums, called Pregnancy  Granuloma. They can be found in the mouth, on gums or even on lips.

Third Trimester

The home stretch is the last 6 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Take special care to not let all of your hard work be wasted.

  • You may be tired, fatigue can be chronic in pregnancy. DO NOT skip brushing or flossing. Vigilance will pay off with healthy gums and teeth at the end of pregnancy.
  • At this stage, hold off on any dental procedures you need. Consult your doctor but in most cases this is the best option for mother and baby.
  • Schedule a cleaning appointment for after the baby is born.

Post Partum

Many mothers choose to nurse their newborns. Nursing has a few provisions to keep teeth tip-top too.

  • Eat lots of mineral dense foods like nuts, cheese, dark green leafy foods as they help make up. for calcium and other nutrients needed for breast milk. Ensure that your body has enough to go around.
    • Use vitamins to supplement as recommended by your doctor.
    • Teeth need strong dentine to keep from becoming brittle and hypersensitive.
  • Proceed with any dental work, X-rays, local anesthesia and nitrous oxide are all considered safe while breastfeeding.
  • Consult your dentist about removing silver fillings or any other dental work that may potentially contaminate your breastmilk.

Mother Hood is wonderful, its also a lot of work. Make life easier for yourself by maintaining healthy teeth.

 

 

Eliminate Food Related Sensitive Teeth

Eliminate Food Related Sensitive Teeth

A long history of enduring sensitive teeth doesn’t mean a lifetime. Minimize sensitive teeth related to food.

1.)  Chew Gum

Reduce sensitive teeth by chewing gum (sugarless of course). Chewing a stick of gum’s a great way to keep saliva flowing. Chewing creates ample saliva helping prevent periodontal disease (gum disease). The benefits of chewing gum are particularly measurable in the initial thirty minutes immediately after a meal. When you chew gum it increases salivary flow, helping to wash away debris and bacteria that may be stuck to teeth. Gum that contains xylitol can also aid in remineralizing enamel.

2.) Eat Fewer Processed Foods, Especially Starchy Carbs

We all know the dangers associated with sugar filled snacks and juices. Sugar wreaks havoc on teeth. Surprisingly, crackers, chips, cereal and other starchy snack foods can be just as detrimental as sugary snacks. Starches readily convert to usable sugars when consumed by the bacterial colonies in your mouth.  Brushing after starchy snacks, even chewing gum can reduce the particles left behind. This keeps acids excreted by bacteria to a minimum, preventing periodontal disease and decay.

3.)  Get Your Teeth Cleaned by a Professional

It’s not enough to just brush and floss in order to protect your teeth from the threat of decay and periodontal disease. Eliminating sensitive teeth takes an all over approach. For optimal conditions you need to have your teeth cleaned. In the chair–the dentist chair–where your dentist and their hygienist can inspect each tooth and surrounding gum tissue for potential problems.

While in the chair your teeth will be scaled (scraping off all tartar, stains, and plaque) with special tools designed especially for each tooth.  Your tooth will even get scaled below the gum line. Plaque and tartar may be accumulating out of sight, initiating periodontal disease. After your teeth have been scaled they will then be polished. Polishing the teeth at the end of the cleaning is the step that gives you that slippery feeling on your teeth. Did you know when your teeth get polished it removes all microscopic abrasions and scratches? Places where bacteria might be able to get a foothold. That leaves teeth smooth and strong.

4.) Get Enough Sleep

Second only to smoking, studies show sleep is the next biggest factor in worsening periodontal disease.  Our schedules are busier now than ever before. Often there are more demands for our time than we can accommodate. Lack of sleep has been shown to affect how rapidly we age. lack of sleep affects how readily our immune system respond. Sleep even effects our response times while driving or reacting to physical demands.

Now scientific studies also conclude that periodontal disease gets measurably worse in patients who routinely get six or less hours of sleep per night. In the same studies, those patients who increased their nightly sleep up to seven or more hours saw a dramatic decrease in the spread of periodontal disease.

Poor gum health, from gum disease, can stimulate nerves in teeth inducing sensitive teeth.

5.) CoQ10–Proper Vitamins and Nutrition

Naturally, the first line of defense against all forms of gum disease is proper dental hygiene, including brushing twice daily, flossing once a day plus routine professional cleanings. Good oral health also requires proper nutrition. Supplements and nutrients that are known to work to boost the immune system. They also build collagen in the periodontal ligaments, and decrease inflammation. This helps to stop gum disease before it gets started – and helps to heal gum disease. One of the most researched and highly recommended supplements for fighting gum disease is CoQ-10.

In Recent studies CoQ-10 was given in a blind study in which candidates with significant gum disease (periodontal disease) were chosen after aggressive brushing and flossing had no measurable impact. Those patients receiving the CoQ-10 had measurable and sustained improvement from their periodontal disease, in many of the patient’s gum disease completely resolved after only 8 weeks of therapy.

There are a number of choices when choosing the CoQ-10 that is right for you. Learn about your options and choose wisely.

Give us a call today.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 785-7767
Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

Eliminate the Triggers of Tooth Sensitivity

Eliminate the Triggers of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity Triggers are varied, and many are avoidable

Not so uncommon to experience tooth sensitivity at least once. Most people have tooth sensitive many times in a life time. Surprisingly, many triggers are diet related. Certain foods exacerbate tooth sensitivity, while others can help quell the problem.

How you brush counts

Too much brushing or excessive tooth brushing can result in gum recession, thinned dentine, and overall inflammation. Brushing teeth after meals or at least morning and night. Using a soft bristled tooth brush for about two minutes (or 30 seconds per quadrant of the mouth.) follow brushing by flossing once a day, for ideal time frames relating to hygiene at home.

Water picks are also useful at dislodging debris from hard to reach spots in the mouth and definitely do not add to irritation or inflammation that may already exist.

Dental work can trigger tooth sensitivity

Many dental procedures keep teeth and gums healthy, cleanings with a professional are vital to long term tooth and gum health. The draw back is that cleanings, because of their nature, stimulate nerves in the teeth. Sometimes the scaling, cleaning and polishing can excite the nerves inside a tooth and cause temporary sensitivity.

Other dental procedures that can cause tooth sensitivity are teeth whitening procedures, fillings, dental repairs, and braces installations. Even some types of mouthwash, especially used multiple times.

How you sleep counts

Grinding teeth while sleeping can wear away dentine, cause cracks, fractures and micro fissures. Any one of those leave teeth vulnerable. When dentine is breached through wear, or fractures and cracks it exposes the sensitive nerve inside the tooth via microscopic tubes in the teeth.

Diet counts

Acidic foods and sugary food can trigger food sensitivity, especially if dentine is thin or worn.  Cold and hot foods are the other food culprits to tooth sensitivity. Avoiding these foods can diminish the number of triggers your teeth are exposed to daily.

Eating foods the help remineralizing teeth can also diminish reactions from foods.

Eat Right–Keep Your Teeth White

Eat Right–Keep Your Teeth White

Eat right, keep your teeth white–Prevent stains and discolored teeth

It’s natural to want to look good. A bright smile is certainly part of that picture. Unfortunately many social gatherings present a staggering number of food and drink options that are contrary to maintaining a white smile. Learn these tips for white teeth, despite your social engagements.

Stop discoloring and staining. Load your arsenal now with a bag of tricks to help compensate. Choose carefully and you may stop or even prevent stains. In some cases you can reverse staining from indulgent social gatherings.

Know your foe

Understanding the most likely culprits at risk for causing staining to tooth enamel helps you make an informed decision on foods to avoid. You can bet that a food that stains carpeting or clothing will also stain porous enamel. Acidic foods, tomatoes for example, make enamel softer. Soft enamel stains more readily than dense, hard enamel.

Foods that stain include, wine (red and white) blackberries, pomegranates, cranberry juice, cola, plums, blueberries, curries, vinegars (particularly dark ones,) tomato and tomato based foods. Potentially any other dark colored food with staining powers will also leave stains on your teeth.

Indirect staining -vs- direct staining

Foods can stain teeth because of their pigment. Chemical reactions contribute to staining also. Some chemical reactions from food, softens or weakens enamel . Foods that stain teeth through some combo of deep pigments and corrosive action pose an even bigger risk.

Armor for your teeth

Not all “whitening” foods directly whiten teeth. A number of foods help whiten your smile by fortifying enamel. Enamel, the hardest substance in the human body, has a porous surface. The porous surface makes teeth vulnerable to absorbing and staining causing foods we eat.

Foods that protect enamel:

  • water
  • cheese
  • walnuts, almonds and other seeds and nuts
  • sesame oil and virgin coconut oil
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • raw onion and garlic
  • salmon
  • herbs, particularly basil

These foods neutralize plaque, neutralize corrosive foods, promote saliva or remineralize enamel.

Foods that erase stains:

  • nuts and seeds
  • celery
  • carrots
  • apples
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • water
  • pineapple
  • strawberries

Fortunately all of these foods are delicious and readily available. Keep teeth white and smiles sparkling with routine brushing, flossing, and cleanings with your dentist. Add these foods in for the best defense against stains and the best offense of keeping teeth strong.

Flossing for Results

Flossing for Results

Does daily flossing effectively reduce cavities, gum disease or gingivitis?

You’re flossing. Great. Is it actually doing any good?

Amidst dozens of studies, data in favor of flossing can be hard to find, yet dentists still highly favor the practice. Careful analysis of previous studies indicate that many variables potentially influence the final result. Participants used varying methods, inconsistent technique and consistent length of flossing tended to vary a great deal.

Definitively, when trained hygienist performed flossing, outcomes were proven in several studies, demonstrating that the issues with flossing are likely due to user error and not proof that the practice has merit.

What you really need to know

How To Use Dental Floss

For dental floss to effectively remove plaque from your teeth, you need to be sure you’re using the correct technique. Because you’ll be putting your fingers into your mouth, be sure to wash your hands before you reach for the floss. Then just follow these steps:

  • Use enough floss.
    1. Break off a piece about 18 inches long.
    2. That sounds like a lot, but you want enough to keep a clean segment in place as you move from tooth to tooth.
    3. Wrap most of the floss around either the middle finger or the index finger of one hand, whichever you prefer, and a small amount onto the middle or index finger of the other hand.
    4. (Using the middle finger leaves your index finger free to manipulate the floss.)
  • Slide between teeth.
    1. Gently slide the floss between the teeth in a zigzag motion
    2. and be careful not to let the floss snap or “pop” between teeth.
  • Form a “C”.
    1. Make a C shape with the floss as you wrap it around the tooth.
    2. Then carefully pull the floss upward from the gum line to the top of the tooth.
    3. Roll along.
    4. As you move from one tooth to the next, unroll a fresh section of floss from the finger of one hand while rolling the used floss onto the finger of the other hand.
    5. Use your thumb as a guide.
  • Reach both sides.
    1. Don’t forget to floss the back side of each tooth.

As long as you use the correct technique, the type of floss you use is a matter of personal preference. There are many types to choose from, and you can even choose a variety of types to meet your needs and those of your family members. Either way, using the correct technique will help you remove the excess food particles and plaque buildup between your teeth and help improve your oral health.

Surgery Improved with Lasers

Surgery Improved with Lasers

Laser surgery in dentistry

Sci-Fi has become reality and lasers are becoming readily utilized in many different medical applications. Dentistry is no exception.  For you, the patient, this means improved healing times, increased accuracy in treated areas, and best of all, reduced pain due to procedures. For dentist it means greater precision, increased patient compliance and ultimately better over all health and better outcomes for patients.

Lasers are not new in dental medicine but their applications are continually expanding.  Lightwalker lasers, used at Dr. Marilyn K. Jones, have been leading the way in advancements for almost five decades, in precision, performance, consistency, and overall perfection.

Dentists have been using special lasers in dental treatments for 4 decades. Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. The light from dental lasers can be used to vaporize tissue, cut tissue, harden and enforce a bond between a filler and the remaining tooth, stop bleeding, cut away tissue or aid in whitening teeth. The precision offered with such an advanced laser is unequalled.

Why Lightwalker Lasers are Special

New innovations in surgical lasers are bringing new solutions for patients and doctors. Lasers quickly and painlessly treat a myriad of oral conditions with improved healing, improved accuracy, and less overall invasiveness. Lightwalker Fotona lasers are so accurate and reliable they can be successfully used for very delicate procedures and very specialized procedures. Used to treat some types of decay or cavities, used in gum surgery, hard and soft tissue applications, for treating gum disease and surgical, even for a nonsurgical treatment and throat anomalies — especially those related to sleep apnea. Procedures that once were invasive, with long healing times are now nominally invasive, and have a much faster healing time, with much less trauma to sensitive oral tissue.

The Benefits of our Lightwalker Fotona Dental Lasers for oral laser surgery and other procedures Include:

  • A full range of hard- and soft-tissue treatments
  • Extremely precise hard-tissue cutting and ablation
  • Easy and effective endodontic treatments
  • Little or no bleeding surgical procedures, with simultaneous disinfection
  • Easy-to-select operating modes for greater simplicity
  • Greater patient satisfaction and less operator fatigue
  • Excellent training and support for medical staff
  • Do You Need Oral Surgery or Have Sleep Apnea?

Contact our office and we can schedule you for a quick consultation to see if our surgical dental lasers can treat or help remedy your dental, oral, or sleep apnea related problems.

The Gripping Truth: Facts About Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding or Clenching can lead to long term health problems

Bruxism: The chronic clenching (tightly holding top and bottom teeth together) and or grinding (sliding–while clenched–back and forth) of teeth.

Occasionally or from time to time–grinding or clenching teeth–can be a normal, uneventful thing for most of people. Done on a regular or chronic basis teeth grinding and clenching will eventually be damaging to teeth, oral health, even overall health.

  • Why do people grind their teeth

The most common reasons for chronic grinding of teeth is an improper or abnormal tooth alignment, and missing or crooked teeth. In some instances Bruxism, particularly the clenching of teeth–often and long enough to cause damage–is caused by anxiety or stress.

  • How you know if you’re grinding your teeth

Typically individuals who teeth grinding are unaware of the habit because most teeth grinding occurs at night while they are asleep. Generally people learn that they grind their teeth because a family member, house-mate or loved one hears the grinding and informs them. A constant dull headache, tender jaw muscles, or sore jaw and neck muscles can be telltale of bruxism. Your dentist can help determine if you suspect bruxism by carefully inspecting the surfaces of molars and teeth for signs of scraping and excessive wear.

  • How is teeth grinding or bruxism harmful

Bruxism is a serious condition that, in addition to posing serious risks to the teeth and oral cavity, can also lead to other health conditions like TMJ, TMD even hearing loss.

The worst cases of teeth grinding, if left untreated, can loosen teeth, fracture teeth and even cause the loss of teeth. After long term grinding teeth can be worn down significantly, requiring some people to need tooth replacement or dentures. When such extensive damage occurs the jaw bone can be effected, even the contours of the face and general appearance of a person can change.

  1. Bruxism, or teeth grinding can lead to chronic pain and headaches along with damage to teeth and surrounding tissue
  2. Bruxism, or teeth grinding can lead to chronic pain and headaches along with damage to teeth and surrounding tissue
  • How to stop grinding your teeth

Many people who need to stop grinding their teeth seek their dentist for a specially made mouth guard to protect teeth, at night,from grinding.

When it has been determined that stress may be an underlying cause of bruxism, a physician may help determine options for reducing stress. Counseling, various types of therapy, and a reliable, consistent exercise program are some of the most effective an common aids in stress reduction. When needed, a patient may also employ various medications that can help with relaxing muscles and aiding in sleep.

The easiest and most common adjustments to eliminate bruxism can be done at home without anything but a few easy changes:

  1. Training yourself to relax your jaw muscle during the day. Even holding the tip of your tongue between your teeth helps to re-train jaw muscles to “unclench”.
  2. Avoid chewing gum, chewing on pens or pencils or anything except food.
    • Those habits can train jaw muscles to stay clenched and make it more likely to grind your teeth later.
  3. Cut back on caffeine, things like cola, coffee, tea and chocolate.
  4. Eliminate alcohol.
    • Consuming alcohol tends to intensify teeth grinding.

Children may grind their teeth too

While there is no clear reason why children can sometimes grind their teeth, it is somewhat common. Generally children grind their teeth at night, with increasing frequency during illnesses, or other medical conditions, (everything from nutritional deficiencies and parasites to allergies have been cited). Often the underlying cause may be irregular contact between upper and lower teeth or shifting teeth as new teeth come in or baby teeth get loose.

Baby teeth don’t typically suffer the regular problems from grinding, however children can still have jaw pain and headaches associated with bruxism. Ultimately if you suspect your child may be grinding their teeth it is definitely something to discuss with their dentist and potentially their pediatrician to evaluate any potential issues and eliminate the problem all together.