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 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.

Fall Into Better Health Find A Great Smile

Fall Into Better Health Find A Great Smile

Fall into good dental health

The end of summer signals a number of challenges for families trying to keep teeth and gums healthy.  Kids and young adults return to school, and adjust to busy, changing schedules. Parents work to reestablish systems that ensure all the homework, sports, attendance and class stuff, not to mention hygiene, get accomplished.

Its easy to let the daily brushing habits get a little loose. Add to that special days that pet even more pressure on the health of everyones mouth. Did you know that besides those last holiday weekends and campouts August boast other memorable days that celebrate…or challenge a healthy mouth:

  • August 6th is Friendship Day, nothing says “friend” like having a warm and healthy happy smile.
  • Simultaneously August 6th is also National Fresh Breath Day.
  • Nothing says celebrate your strong teeth (by brushing after celebrating) National S’mores Day on August 10th.
  • Nothing says fall is coming like the end of August. August 25th decries brushing and oral health like National Kiss and Make Up Day.

Smiling is the universal signal of good intentions and a trustworthy intention. Smiling makes you feel better, releases endorphins, and helps you live a longer life by focusing of being happy.  People smile because it is a normal reaction to positive feelings, and expression of joy, and because the more you smile the more endorphins your body makes.

A few more benefits to encourage maintaining your oral hygiene routine, even when your schedule is hectic;

  • Add 7 years to your life. Smiling has such a good impact on your overall mental and physical well being that it literally adds years to your life.
  • No Pain, for more gain. Smiling reduces the effects of pain and aggression, raising pain threshold so that you can do more burpees.
  • Skies the limit, studies find that on average smilers are more content and at the same time, more successful.
  • Immune Booster, Smiling boosts HGH production and, among other things, reduces chance of cancer.

The average adult smiles 20 times in a day, happy people smile 45 times a day, but children smile as often as 400 times a day. Get smiling and remember to brush and floss everyday to keep that smile tip-top.

Early First Check-ups Keep Teeth Healthiest

Early First Check-ups Keep Teeth Healthiest

Never too early for a first check-up

  • The First Year is the ideal time for the initial check-up visit with your child’s dentist.
  • By twelve months old your child can have as few as one or two teeth or as many as twelve teeth.
    • regardless of the number of teeth, making the dentist a familiar, friendly place ensures a better visit for you and baby.
    • Between two and three years of age kids get their full set of baby teeth complete with molars.
      • Molars appear last and the front middle teeth usually emerging first.

Often the exact moment a child’s first dental visit is recommended can seem arbitrary. Some recommendations call for a dental visit at age one. Some recommend as soon as teeth first appear. With such a wide range it may be hard to decide how urgent that first dental check up should be.

First Impressions and a Positive Experience

A good rule of thumb is to start regular check-ups with the dentist early. Start visits after the first tooth has erupted, or by the age of one.

  • Very young children become accustomed to visiting various places and can quickly build a positive impression of the dentist office when they have several quick, easy and positive visits.
  • Learning to sit in the dental chair, open up and say, “ah” and having fingers and tools in their mouth can seem strange for a little one.
  • A small child with a few positive past experiences will be much more inclined to trust the dentist if and when a bigger issue should arise.

Quick and Invaluable

A first visit to the dentist can be a very brief visit or last up to thirty minutes. The dentist will check bite alignment, teeth, and soft tissues. Since decay can start as soon as teeth erupt, the dentist will also thoroughly check teeth for signs of decay, and go over at home care with you and your child, and if indicated they may perform a gentle cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, any stains and quickly polish teeth.

Questions and History

If you have any questions or concerns there will be time to discuss these things as well. Questions you have may range from fluoride use, number of times and length of time to brush, appropriate tooth brushes, or discussing previous bumps and tumbles that may leave teeth chipped or injured, mentioning those events can help your dentist evaluate potential future issues.

Best Times To Set Up Appointments

  • Earlier in the day many children will have a much higher tolerance for new experiences and new people.
  • A goodnights rest, and a healthy breakfast, will set the stage for successful dental visit and exam.
  • Bringing a favorite toy, book, or blanket can also be helpful in building confidence while visiting a new place like the dentist office.

Finally

First time dental check-ups are ice-breakers. They set young children up for positive experiences when visiting the dentist in the future. Being extra patient and calm go a long way in sending the message that there is nothing to be worried about or afraid of. Talk to your little one in the days leading up to your appointment. Telling small children how dentists help keep our teeth healthy and strong also relays a comforting, reassuring message.

If your child is already older than one and has not yet been to a dentist or more than six months have passed, this is a good review, now is the perfect time to get that appointment booked.

Metal Allergy and Dental Health

Metal Allergy and Dental Health

Metal dental implants were originally made out of commercially pure titanium or titanium alloy, providing the only option for implant tooth restoration for many years. After years of study, we now know that placing metallic dental implants and other restorative devices can potentially provoke allergic reactions. One study involving 1,500 patients demonstrated that although rare, titanium allergy could be clearly detected in dental implant patients. One research paper published in 2010 indicated that “…the risk of an allergy to titanium is increased in patients who are allergic to other metals. In these patients, an evaluation of allergy is recommended, in order to exclude any problem with titanium medical devices.” Further research on the subject noted a higher risk of positive allergic reaction was found in patients whose implants failed for no other known reason other than that they had a higher incidence of allergic reaction.

Who cares about allergies?

Metal allergies are suspected by researchers and holistic dentists alike of being one of the most likely culprits behind the growing number of cases of autoimmune diseases in the United States including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psoriasis, and Scleroderma, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and many others. A correlation between metal allergies and a weakened immune system suggests that it is not only important but imperative to take the necessary precautions to ensure that patients are biocompatible before allowing any substance or material to be permanently affixed into the mouth.

There’s more to titanium than you might think

Screw and abutments used in dental implants can be made from the same alloy, but frequently a combination of alloys are used including small amounts of nickel and gold. One of the more commonly reported metal allergies in dental patients is to nickel, which explains why anyone with known sensitivities to metals would be vulnerable to the side effects of titanium implants. Symptoms to metal implants can vary from patient to patient and often include oral burning sensation, general fatigue, skin rashes, a constant dull pain and in some cases loss of the implant. A paper published in July of 2011 focused on titanium allergy in patients who have undergone an implant, and it concluded in part; “This review of the literature indicates that titanium can induce hypersensitivity in susceptible patients and could play a critical role in implant failure.”

Titanium allergy is rarely documented in mainstream medicine however, it has been reported that about four percent of all patients tested will be allergic to titanium. For those affected with a titanium allergy, the symptoms can be quite intense and somewhat confusing ranging from simple skin rashes to deep muscle pain and overall fatigue – common systems for an immune system that perceives itself under attack.

The known effects of titanium allergy

Like all metals used in the medical field today titanium releases tiny particles as it begins to corrode. In the case of an implant, these metal particles become ions and bind to proteins found naturally throughout the body. In some people the body reacts to metal particles in the same way it does to a virus or other foreign substance and it will try to attack the ‘invader’. This starts a chain reaction which can lead to many symptoms including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Allergy Testing – An Important Part of the Whole

Our unique focus on dental health takes into consideration a patient’s oral health in relation to the whole body, including identifying and treating issues pertaining to allergies and autoimmune disorders.

That is why we consider ceramic dental implants to be the better and safest alternative to metal implants. The advantage of these implants is that they are ceramic, and thus there is no concern of corrosion, allergic reaction or electronic interference.

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.

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.