Monday, September 1, 2014

Do You Grind Your Teeth? Ways to Address Bruxism

Are you a grinder? Many people have the issue of grinding their teeth, some are not even aware of it, because they grind in their sleep. This habit is called bruxism, and it can really wear down enamel and cause issues with the tooth structure over a long period of time. It can also cause jaw and neck pain, and lead to TMJ, or Temporomandibular joint dysfunction.  

The main causes of a grinding disorder are due to stress, and this becomes a side effect or habit, like nail biting, only we are not conscious of it. Here are some of the main signs you grind your teeth:
  • Soreness in jaw
  • A dull-aching headache that is consistent
  • Grinding at night becomes audible
  • You may notice cuts inside your cheeks
If you notice jaw pain, wear on your molars, or catch yourself grinding, here are some tips to help:
  • Knowing about bruxism is the first step, now you can seek the help of a professional for a diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.
  • Find ways to cope and eliminate stress, such as breathing, meditation, yoga, taking a walk, going to the gym, and being aware of stressors. 
  • Once you are diagnosed, a combination of options may be recommended, such as muscle relaxant medication, a mouth guard to wear while you sleep, or sometime surgery is necessary in severe cases.
The best next-step is to visit your dentist, so you can take care of the issue sooner than later.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cavities Contagious? Say It Isn’t So!

Is it possible that cavities can be contagious? Yes, according to recent research studies conducted by the University of Louisville school of Dentistry. Tooth decay or “dental caries” is the one, common most chronic disease to impact children, and now, new research indicates cavities may be infectious. 

Research findings showed mothers with cavities can transmit caries-producing oral bacteria to their infants if they clean their pacifiers by sticking them in their own mouths first, or share utensils with their babies before feeding them. 

Findings of the study were posted on Science Daily® in February. 

As stated by Liliana Rozo D.D.S, an AAPD board certified pediatric dentist and assistant professor, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, “decay can have a detrimental effect on a child's quality of life, performance in school and success in life. According to Ruzo, it is a common mistake for parents to make because they do not make the connection between oral health and overall health, but they are related. “The mouth is an open door for many microbial infections to enter the bloodstream. Poor oral health may be a risk factor for systemic disease.”

Parents are now encouraged to make appointments for their babies with a pediatric dentist as soon as their first teeth erupt through the gums by the The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). This helps parents establish a relationship with their children’s dentist, and help familiarize and inform them about proper hygiene, teething, normal tooth development, and trauma prevention.