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4 Signs You Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep

Toothache – South Jordan, UT – Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is one of the worst habits for the health of your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, many people have a habit of grinding their teeth and don’t even realize it. If you grind your teeth at night while you sleep, you may not be aware of the problem unless you know the common effects it can have. Here are four signs you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep.

1. Waking Up With Jaw Pain or Headaches

4 Habits That Can Harm Your Kids’ Teeth

Mother with her child standing in community garden

Your little one’s teeth probably light up your world every time you see your son or daughter smile. However, some of the habits you let your child partake in can harm their smile. Sometimes, the damage is enough to interfere with your kid’s ability to chew normally. Learn more about these four habits that can harm kids’ teeth.

1. Breastfeeding at Night

While you have to feed your baby at night when they are young, once teeth pop in, breastfeeding at night can cause decay.

Breast milk contains a lot of sugar. The sugar, although natural, remains on your child’s teeth. Even though sugar doesn’t actually damage your child’s tooth enamel, it can feed bacteria in your child’s mouth. These bacteria produce lactic acid, which is a substance that eats away at your kid’s enamel. With repeated exposure to lactic acid, your little one’s teeth can develop cavities.

Keep in mind that breast milk is healthy for your child, even once they develops teeth. However, a routine, middle-of-the-night feeding can lead to cavities. Combat this with regular tooth brushing before bed with a soft baby toothbrush.

2. Offering Drinks Before Bed

Your child may fall instantly asleep with a sippy cup or a bottle, whether you choose to give him or her milk or juice. Any drink that has sugar, even naturally occuring, in it can linger on your child’s teeth and feed the bacteria that produce lactic acid.

You may think your child’s primary teeth will fall out anyway, so decay isn’t an issue. It is, though. Damage to your little one’s baby teeth can affect their ability to smile, speak, and chew normally. Furthermore, your son or daughter’s first set of teeth act as a placeholder for their adult teeth. When the baby teeth are lost too soon, problems with the secondary teeth may arise. For instance, the following could occur:

  • Speech problems
  • Damaged adult teeth
  • Poor eating habits
  • Crooked teeth

If you choose to give your tot a bottle or sippy cup before bed, fill it with plain water. You may also choose a routine that includes snuggles and a story, or you could rock him or her to sleep.

Moreover, always make sure you brush your child’s teeth after they consume their last food or beverage.

3. Swallowing Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens your child’s teeth. Too much fluoride can harm your little one’s teeth. Additionally, your kid shouldn’t have fluoride until they are three years of age. At this point, your child can spit out the fluoride.

Once your child begins using a toothpaste with fluoride, you need to encourage him to spit after brushing and rinse their mouth out after brushing. You should also educate your child about the importance of not consuming toothpaste.

If your child should happen to consume toothpaste, in particular on a regular basis, they may develop a condition known as fluorosis. This issue is cosmetic and causes discoloration or possibly pitting in your child’s teeth. The staining is permanent and may appear in one of the following ways:

  • White spots or streak
  • Brown spots
  • Black spots
  • Gray spots

Teach your child to never swallow toothpaste to avoid this.

4. Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Usage Beyond Age Two

Thumb sucking and pacifier usage are common in infants and toddlers. These habits help them self-soothe. However, as your child reaches the age of two, you may want to break the habit. Thumb sucking and pacifier usage after the age of two could increase your child’s risk for bite problems, such as a crossbite or protruding front teeth.

Whether you bottle or breastfeed, you may want to consider giving your child water before bed to prevent tooth decay. You also want to ensure your child is spitting out all toothpaste. Additionally, you should wean your child from thumb sucking or pacifier usage after age two. By following these few tips, you can keep your child’s teeth healthy for years to come.

Contact Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates, serving South Jordan, UT, and the nearby region, for a dental appointment for your child and more helpful tips on how to care for their teeth.

Fluoride and Your Teeth

Fluoride seems to pop up wherever you seek oral health solutions. This chemical figures prominently in dental cleanings, drinking water, and a wide range of over-the-counter products. Although some individuals harbor an erroneous fear of fluoride, dentists recognize its powerful cavity-fighting qualities.

If you care about your teeth, it pays to understand what fluoride is, how it works to protect your dental health, and how you can take full advantage of its benefits. Here are some key points to keep in mind about fluoride and its applications.

What Fluoride Does for Tooth Enamel

As a naturally-occurring mineral, fluoride exists in many of the foods we eat. This fortunate situation counters the fact that many foods and beverages also contain high levels of acids. Acids tend to strip minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride out of tooth enamel, leaving it vulnerable to decay.

Traditional Crowns Versus CEREC Crowns

A dental crown is a cover for a damaged natural tooth that serves to strengthen the tooth and improve the appearance of a tooth that’s badly discolored, chipped, cracked, or misshapen. Traditional crowns are made from impressions of patients’ teeth in dental laboratories away from dentists’ offices.

CEREC crowns are made from machines some dentists have in their offices. The name CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. It can also stand for ceramic reconstruction.

Procedure

If you have a tooth that needs a crown, the procedure is similar whether you choose a traditional or CEREC crown, but there are some notable differences, especially when it comes to the time it takes for each procedure.

The Link Between Gum Health and Heart Health

Stethoscope

When people have a cardiovascular condition, they may not initially think that it would affect their oral health. Do a little research online, and you’ll see that gum disease has been linked to several conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

If your gums are red or inflamed and you have a heart condition, you’ll want to get this issue under control. Read on to learn more about how gum disease is linked to heart health and how to treat gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Does Gum Disease Cause or Worsen Heart Problems?

Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment Options

Gum Recession

Gum tissue is supposed to attach snugly to the roots of your teeth. If you notice that your gum tissue is loose or that more enamel is exposed compared to other teeth, you might be suffering from gum recession.

Receding gums aren’t just a cosmetic issue. Without adequate gum tissue, the roots of your teeth can be exposed to plaque that leads to decay. Gum recession can also lead to bad breath, loose teeth, and swollen tissue. Read on to learn why gum recession happens and how to treat it.

What Causes Gum Recession?

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Whitening Your Teeth at Home

Smiling Couple With White Teeth

Tooth whitening is one of the most important things you can do to improve your smile. While a professional dental cleaning will always provide the best results, several at-home options for tooth whitening can be effective if they are used correctly. Here are five mistakes to avoid if you whiten your teeth at home.

1. Overusing Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are effective because they contain micro-abrasive particles that scrub stains off the surface of dental enamel. These particles can also leave scratches in the enamel if you use whitening toothpaste too often, so you should stick to standard fluoride toothpaste for daily use. Scratches in your enamel can be hiding spots for bacteria that promote tooth decay and infections.

How Your Genes Affect Your Dental Health

Dental check

One reason your doctor or dentist may ask you about your family history (rather than just your own personal medical history) is that some medical conditions can run in families. This can be due to shared genetics; someone with a genetic predisposition to a condition may pass down those genes to the next generation.

Your dental health is just as easily affected by genetic conditions and issues as your overall health. Some genetic predispositions can affect oral health directly, while others may cause mental or physical conditions that then create problems for your oral health status.

Here are some of the basics on how your genes can affect your dental health.

6 Types of Dental X-Rays

Regular cleanings and exams are part of caring for your oral health. However, X-rays are also commonly used to catch problems before they arise and to diagnose existing problems. Of course, there are many different types of X-rays your dentist can provide. If you want to be better prepared for your next X-ray, you should understand the different types of X-rays and when or if you may need them.

1. Bitewing X-Ray

Zinc and Its Role in Oral Health

Female Cleaning Teeth

What nutrients are essential for good oral health? Calcium and vitamin D typically come to mind first. You may also be aware that vitamin C is essential for healthy gums. However, other nutrients also play a vital role in dental health. Zinc, a mineral that your body requires in trace amounts, affects oral health in several different ways. Keep reading for a closer look.

How Does Zinc Affect Oral Health?
Zinc has a number of roles in the body. It is involved in the function of more than 300 enzymes, which are all essential for your body to carry out normal biochemical reactions. It is also involved in immunity, builds certain tissues in a structural sense, and helps with nutrient metabolism. The following are a few ways zinc is specifically known to promote healthy teeth and gums.