Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard

Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard

When you wake up in the morning, do you experience pain in your jaw joint? Do you have difficulty opening or closing your mouth? Do you have sensitivity in your teeth or do they look shorter? Do you get routine headaches? These could be clear signs of grinding or bruxing. If un-controlled, you can damage your jaw joint, your teeth or any dental work you have received from your dentist.


Reasons For Grinding
The exact reason for grinding is still unknown but there are some factors that are associated with this problem such as:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Drug abuse
  • Excess use of Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Excess use of alcohol
  • Some prescription medication
  • Mal-Occlusion or miss-bite
  • And finally some disorders such as:
  • Parkinsons disease

There is currently no cure for bruxing but it can be controlled. If you grind your teeth during the day or at night, your dentist will recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from these grinding forces.  A night guard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect the hard forces of chewing. Night guards will also increase the longevity of your dental work.


Night Guard Treatment
During the first visit your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory where a custom-fit night guard is made.
On your second visit your dentist will show you how to place it into your mouth and will adjust it to your bite. There are different kinds of night guards from soft materials to harder plastic materials. Your dentist will recommend you the material best suited for you.

Preventative Dentistry for Children

Preventative Dentistry for Children

Dental prevention is just as important for children as it is for adults. Having a child start going to the dentist at an early age and regularly is a very important step in a lifetime of preventative dentistry. A typical program for children contains many steps, both in and out of the dental office.

These steps include:

1. Brushing, flossing and oral habits.
2. Application of fluorides and sealants.
3. Monitoring the child’s dental development.
4. Sports safety.
5. Parent involvement and proper diet.

A healthy smile in a child can be maintained using preventative dentistry. Children with healthy teeth chew their food properly, and learn to talk more clearly and quickly. Preventative dentistry also minimizes future costly and extensive dental treatment for your child.

During your child’s visit to the dentist, his or her teeth will be carefully examined and any dental issues diagnosed and treated. If necessary, the dentist will apply fluoride treatment and dental sealants to help protect the teeth from tooth decay. The dentist will also address any orthodontics concerns.

Tooth cleaning, fluoride and polishing are just a few parts of an entire prevention program for children. A pediatric dentist will also provide the application of dental sealants where necessary to protect children’s teeth from decay, custom fit mouth guards to protect the teeth and mouth when playing in sports, and monitor your child’s dental development as she or he grows. A pediatric dentist is specifically trained to create a combination of home and office preventative care to make sure a child maintains a healthy, happy smile.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain Crowns

As you age, your teeth age too. Decay, fillings, trauma or even just normal chewing habits can make your teeth break down over time. A porcelain dental crown or a cap is a cover that is placed over a tooth to protect a weakened tooth from further fracturing or deteriorating. A Porcelain crown could also be used to replace a discolored or badly shaped tooth or protect a tooth that has had a root canal. Lastly, a new porcelain crown is necessary to simply replace an old worn down or defective crown. All porcelain crowns are generally considered the most aesthetic choice since they closely resemble the color and appearance of your teeth. Porcelain continues to improve and in fact, there are newly developed porcelain materials, such as zirconium and empress 2 that can better withstand the forces of chewing.


The Dental Crown Treatment
It normally takes two visits for your dentist to complete your crown. On your first visit, your dentist will shape and prepare the tooth so the crown can properly fit over it. Next, an impression of the tooth is taken and a temporary crown is inserted to protect the prepared tooth.  This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory where a custom-fit permanent crown is made.

On your second visit the permanent crown is placed. If the fit, shape and color of the crown are satisfactory your dentist will proceed with permanently cementing it into place.


Porcelain Crown Post Treatment Expectations
After the successful completion of the crown it is not uncommon to feel some discomfort, mild pain when you chew, or sensitivity to temperature changes for a few days. Also, if your newly cemented porcelain crown feels too tall or your bite doesn’t feel right, you should contact your dentist.


Cleaning Your Crown
Please keep in mind that the longevity of your crown depends in large part on the materials in the crown, as well as your oral hygiene, diet and the health of the supporting tooth and gums.  It is important to maintain all of your teeth with proper brushing and flossing.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening

Did you know that every day, every hour one American dies of oral cancer? With an estimated 30,000 Americans diagnosed each year, oral cancer has a higher mortality rate than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, liver cancer, and kidney cancer. When found early, oral cancer has a 90 percent cure rate. You are at increased risk for oral cancer if you use tobacco in any form, consume heavy amounts of alcohol combined with smoking, are over age 40, and/or have prolonged exposure to the sun (lip cancer).

Early Detection is Key

Because 25 percent of the people diagnosed with oral cancer have no risk factors, an oral cancer screening should be a routine part of dental maintenance. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.Common symptoms of oral cancer or pre-cancerous cells include:

  • A change in the way the teeth fit together
  • A color change in the oral tissues
  • A tiny white or red spot/sore anywhere in the mouth
  • Any sore that bleeds easily or refuses to heal
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Lumps, thickenings, rough spots, or crusty areas
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips

Screening for Oral Cancer
During an oral cancer exam, your dentist will carefully examine the tongue, inside of your mouth, and your lips to look for spots or sores that are flat, painless, white, or red. Many of these spots or sores are harmless, but some aren’t so you will likely need a test to determine if a problem exists. Your dentist may choose to perform a brush test, which involves scraping a miniature brush across the suspicious sore or discolored area in the patient’s mouth. The cells collected on the brush are sent to a lab for analysis. If the results show suspicious cells are present, a biopsy can then be performed.

Common Questions

I don’t drink or smoke. Why do I need an oral cancer screening?
Even though certain elements, like lifestyle, age, and heredity, can play a role in your risk for developing oral cancer, people with no known factors can still develop oral cancer. Routine checkups and screenings allow your dentist to catch problems before they escalate.

I noticed a few small sores in my mouth. Should I be worried?
If you notice any unusual spots, sores, discolorations or bumps in your mouth, you should contact your dentist right away. Oral cancer treatment is very successful when the cancer is detected early.

Does an oral cancer screening hurt?
No. During the initial exam, your dentist will look inside your mouth, checking the gums, lips, and other soft tissue for any strange spots or sores. In some cases, the doctor may use special equipment such as VELscope or ViziLite to highlight any areas of concern. If an area looks suspicious, the doctor can perform a brush test, gently scraping cells to be sent off to the lab for further assessment.

Tooth Extractions

Tooth Extractions

A tooth extraction refers to the procedure of removing a tooth from its socket.

Procedure On Removing A Tooth
First, a local anesthetic is applied to make the procedure more comfortable. In some cases your dentist will elect to use nitrous oxide gas in addition to the anesthetic.
A dental instrument called an elevator is used to wiggle the tooth in its socket. After the tooth is loosened it is removed using forceps.


Extraction’s Possible Complications
Like most other procedures, tooth extraction is not free of possible complications. You should be aware that there is a slight chance of infection, tenderness, prolonged bleeding, dry socket and loosening of neighboring teeth or their fillings or crowns.

Another rare possibility is of an upper tooth getting displaced into the sinus.  Lastly, jaw fracture and temporary or permanent numbness is also very rare possibilities.


Importance Of Replacing The Missing Tooth
You need to be aware of the importance of replacing this missing tooth.  Why?  Once a tooth is removed, the space createded by the missing tooth will allow the surrounding teeth to shift into that space. This shift could cause a misalignment in your mouth that can result in chewing or jaw-joint problems. These shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay or even additional tooth loss.For these reasons, it’s important to replace the tooth with a dental appliance such as a bridge, a removable partial denture or an implant.


Pulling A Repairable Tooth
In some instances you may be considering the option of pulling a tooth rather than simply repairing it. While it may be less expensive in the short run, in the long run it may cost you more. As you just heard, once a tooth is pulled you still need to fill the space with a dental appliance to avoid future complications.  If you add the cost of extraction plus the replacement of the tooth, you may simply be better off repairing it.

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