Teeth grinding is the repetitive clenching of teeth, a movement that looks as if the person is chewing vigorously without any food in the mouth. The medical term for this condition is “bruxism.”
Bruxism is well known and well documented by doctors and dentists; however, no one is absolutely sure what triggers the condition. There are many recognized risk factors for bruxism, though. There are also several effective ways to cope with and treat bruxism through behavioral modification and the use of mouth guards.
Millions of People Do the Daily Grind
The number of children and adults who grind their teeth on a daily (or nightly) basis is estimated to be around 30 to 40 million. Occasional teeth grinding doesn’t normally cause problems. But chronic bruxism often creates trouble for those who have the condition.
Some people clench their jaws ferociously at work or in other stressful daytime situations. Other people do their teeth grinding in their sleep. Many people have no clue they’re grinding their teeth until symptoms begin to show up.
It’s no secret that strong teeth are better able to withstand tooth decay, discoloration, and other oral health problems than weak teeth. Many dental procedures you may undergo and at-home oral hygiene measures you may take are specifically designed to bolster the strength of your teeth.
However, many patients overlook one of the most obvious tools used to improve tooth strength: dental fluoride. This oversight is usually due to misconceptions about fluoride, such as the idea that fluoride treatments are only appropriate for children. In this blog, we cover the fundamental facts about fluoride and its dental uses.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Natural fluoride is found in drinking water and certain foods, such as potatoes, crabmeat, and citrus fruits. In some areas in the world, including most of America, municipal water may have fluoride added to it as well.
When you think about tooth extraction, you may picture a young patient who needs a baby tooth pulled to make way for his or her adult teeth. However, many dental extractions are actually performed on adult patients with permanent teeth.
In this blog, we discuss what adult patients should know about dental extractions.
Why Do Dentists Remove Permanent Teeth?
Ideally, individuals should be able to keep and use their natural teeth for their entire lives. Natural teeth are the most comfortable and often the best option in almost all cases. Dentists only consider permanent tooth extraction in situations where other dental techniques cannot resolve an issue.
Gum disease can affect individuals of virtually any age. In many cases, individuals develop gingivitis, which can be harmful, but is easy to treat. Other individuals experience periodontal disease, a more advanced gum condition.
In our previous blog, “What It Might Mean If Your Gums Are Receding,” we listed the risk factors and warning signs of periodontal disease. In this blog, we discuss how periodontal disease can affect your health, both in your mouth and throughout your body.
Many adults think that decay is just for children when in effect, you are at risk your whole life. When dental disease is left untreated in can lead to serious health problems such as infection which can damage underlying bone, nerve damage and tooth loss. When dental infections are left untreated they can spread to other parts of your body that can eventually be life threatening. In pregnant women, infections of the gum tissue can lead to early birth and low birth weight of the child.
The important thing for us to know is that dental disease is preventable and treatable. By instituting good preventive dentistry on yourself, and adopting good oral homecare, you can lead a healthy oral status. It is important to always brush twice a day, floss between teeth at least once a day, eat a balanced diet and limit between meal snacks. Regular dental visits at least once every six months will help you maintain a good dentition and oral health.
Sleep disorders are medical problems that can cause great problems to an individual’s health and lifestyle. But the lifestyle isn’t the only factor that is affected by sleep disorders. When the sleep problem is severe, even the individual’s career is compromised. Sleep Apnea, a sleeping disorder, often goes undiagnosed and affects millions of people all over the world. People who experience the sleep problem also experience the effects that it brings about in their lives. Patients with sleep apnea experience the cessation of airflow for at least 10 seconds. At this point, the body notices there is a low amount of oxygen supply in the blood. The brain’s response to this is to make the body awaken and gasp for air. This may cause the individual to wake panting, sweating, and anxious because they feel they cannot breath. “Imagine a plastic bag tied around your head and jumping in to a pool.” This episode can happen over and over again throughout the night never allowing the individual to get a full nights rest and sleep.
Due to better accessibility to dental health care and fluoridation of water, more of our adult population is keeping their teeth. Over the past 2 decades we have seen a decrease from 17% to 7% of tooth loss in adults. Enamel erosion is becoming one of the major problems seen in adult dentition. The damage to the outer surface of the tooth, enamel, can be caused by erosion due to acids present for prolonged amount of time or biting forces on the dentition.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. In the early stages, when the gums become swollen and red and bleed easily, it is known as gingivitis. As the conditions progresses, a more serious condition of gingivitis is known as periodontitis. Under these circumstances the gums begin to pull away from the teeth and bone loss can occur. Although it is mostly seen in adults, there are cases of juvenile periodontitis seen in children. Between tooth decay and periodontitis these are the two biggest threats to your oral health.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in most community water supplies. Scientists discovered in the 1940’s that there was an optimum level of natural fluoride in water levels that significantly reduced dental cavities among residents but low enough to avoid serious side effects. The optimum level of fluoride to reduce the incidence of cavities has been determined to be 1 part per million parts of water.
As if parents don’t have enough to worry about their newborns, it has now been confirmed in a recent study that the bacteria that causes decay is present in infant bacteria. Cavities are the most infectious disease in children in the United States. By the age of 5, 40% of children have dental cavities. Parents need to take precaution at an early age to help minimize the potential for tooth decay. This includes, cleaning the gums of the infants as this soft tissue serves as a reservoir for bacteria even before tooth eruption.