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TEETH GRINDING FAST FACTS

Many people are feeling stressed and anxious in the Pandemic environment. Everyone’s life has been changed in some way. Many people deal with stress and anxiety by grinding their teeth (sometimes without realizing they are doing it). This is intended to be simply a quick reference summary of key facts about teeth grinding (Bruxism).bruxism - paid - Depositphotos 111808706 s-2019

Problems commonly caused by teeth grinding

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Muscle tightness
  • Loose or broken teeth

The two types of bruxism

  • Diurnal bruxism – grinding while awake
  • Nocturnal bruxism – grinding during sleep

One way teeth grinding can be prevented by using a mouth guard designed for the purpose. The American Dental Association identifies 3 types of bruxism mouth guards:

  • Custom made - by a dentist (usually the most comfort)
  • Boil and Bite – You buy a kit over the counter, then boil the guard in water to soften it. Finally, you bite down on it to make it conform to the shape of your mouth and teeth.
  • Stock – Some companies offer pre-fabricated mouthguards that are ready to wear (probably the leas comfortable.

It is important to see your dentist and discuss the treatment options available to you. A mouth guard may be right for you. Sometimes other treatments are in order:

  • Repairing damage to your teeth.
  • Exercises or physical therapy to reduce jaw stiffness and pain.
  • Psychotherapy to help you manage the stress or anxiety causing your bruxism.
  • Medication to relax muscles an reduce anxiety or stress.
 
Let’s Talk Toothpaste: It Matters

We seldom talk about toothpaste. We probably should. The ingredients differ from one brand and type to another. Your choice of toothpaste, however, could make a big difference to your oral health. So, let’s talk toothpaste.crest gum detoxify

For several decades, the array of toothpaste options has grown and made the choice of one brand or type increasingly difficult for many people. Should you choose whitening toothpaste, a sensitivity toothpaste, breath freshening option, or a cavity-fighting toothpaste? Does each toothpaste deliver on its promises? How do you know which is most effective?

The true goal of at-home dental hygiene is to maintain (or create) healthy teeth and gums. Oral health is the basis of all of the other things we want: whiter teeth, fresher breath, eliminating tooth and gum sensitivity. It is also a significant factor in overall health.

Toothpaste Ingredients Matter

Choosing a toothpaste is a matter of finding the one that does the best job of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. There are ingredients in some toothpaste that make them more effective than others. The goal is to remove bacteria and reduce inflammation of the gums; to remove the plaque and tarter that damage teeth.

A recently published study brought together the data and findings of several prior studies into a meta-analysis. They found that adding flossing to a dental hygiene plan typically reduces bleeding and inflammation of the gums by approximately 40%.

The critical ingredient in some toothpaste is stannous fluoride. It reduced the bleeding of gums by 51% for people using a manual toothbrush. In addition, those who used toothpaste with this ingredient were 3.7 times more likely to achieve oral health. You have probably heard about the importance of fluoride for decades. But this study found that the type of fluoride (stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride and sodium monofluorophosphate) used in toothpaste matters.

Stannous Fluoride in Toothpaste Matters

Fortunately, it is easier for most people to change their toothpaste than to make other changes to their oral hygiene regimen. One toothpaste containing stannous fluoride “has demonstrated the ability to remain active in the reduction of bacteria and their metabolic byproducts (toxins) up to 4 mm below the gumline (Crest Gum Detoxify). Additionally, the antibacterial gum protection for 12 hours provides all-day protection.”

The study concluded, “there are ample benefits to stannous fluoride that make it a simple solution. . . . Stannous fluoride works to protect against cavities and prevent erosive toothwear, gingivitis, plaque, bad breath, and tooth sensitivity.”

If you are not accomplishing the results you want with your daily dental hygiene regimen, you might want to try a toothpaste containing stannous fluoride and come in to discuss your oral health needs.

 
What is Gingival Recession?

Gingival recession is also called receding gums. It refers to the process by which your gums, which normally cover the tooth roots, begins to recede and pull away from the tooth, exposing some of the tooth root. This leaves the root susceptible to bacteria, plaque, and other types of decay.gingival recession - paid - Depositphotos 235935672 s-2019

Gingival recession is fairly common. In fact, it is the most common observed process in dental patients, regardless of age or ethnicity. Age is one of the most common risk factors. Statistically, 88 percent of people over the age of 65 have receding gums around at least one tooth. This fact is clearly associated with the expression that someone is growing “long in the tooth,” meaning aging.

Causes of Gingival Recession

Gingival recession typically results from:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Tooth movement in orthodontic treatment
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Ongoing trauma (brushing too hard)
  • Abnormal bite (how teeth are aligned)
  • Inherited factors: tooth position and gum thickness
  • Lip piercings, damage caused by dental treatment.

Any of these factors may contribute to gingival recession.

Problems Resulting from Gingival Recession

Often, people are not aware of the causes or of recession until the problem advances. The primary risks and fears include fear of tooth loss, sensitivity to tooth roots, and effects on appearance (particularly those with a lip line that exposes the gums to view.

Treatment of Gingival Recession

Many cases of gingival recession do not require treatment. These patients are typically advised about how to prevent receding gums, including how to brush gently but effectively.

Some patients do require treatment. A treatment plan may include:

  • Treating and reducing sensitivity in the affected tooth root. This may involve varnishes, dentine bonding materials
  • Restoration with tooth-colored composite material. These resins are used to cover the exposed roots or to close gaps between teeth.
  • Removable veneers (acrylic or silicone.
  • Orthodontics. This would involve changing the position of specific teeth to improve bite.
  • Surgery. In some cases, surgery is needed to graft tissue from another part of the mouth so that it heals over the recession.

Prevention of Gingival Recession

In most cases, gingival recession may be preventable. The preventive steps may depend upon the cause and state of your current recession. If you have observed gingival recession or if your heredity makes you particularly susceptible, open an ongoing conversation with your dentist. Together, you can create an effective preventive and treatment plan.

 
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Our COVID19 Safety Precautions

June 2020

Dear Patients,

I hope this finds you well and staying healthy during these uncertain times. I wanted to reach out and provide reassurnace that we are here for you and are continuing to use our best practices to protect and deliver exceptional safe care. Below is outlined some of the extra precautions that we continue to take since reopening on May 4.

  • Daily screenings of temperature and symptoms for team members
  • Screening of patients upon arrival – temperatures taken and questionnaires are reviewed. Anyone with a temperature of 100 F or higher will be rescheduled for a later date
  • Hand sanitizer provided to patients upon arrival
  • Team members must wear face masks at all times. Patients are provided with a mask upon arrival if they do not have their own face covering
  • Only patients are allowed in waiting area. Anyone accompanying the patient must wait in their vehicle except for minors or those needing special assistance
  • Pre-appointment hydrogen peroxide mouth rinses and betadine spray are provided to the patient to minimize any viral particles in the mouth
  • When possible we are using aerosol isolating devices reducing contamination that could be generated
  • Clinical staff have increased personal protective equipment to include N95 masks, face shields, eye protection, surgical caps
  • After a patient leaves the operatory room, we follow CDC guidelines for disinfection between patients
  • UV-C air filtration units are in each operatory for air purification
  • The office is fogged 3 times a day with disinfectant

Thank you for continuing to entrust our office with your dental needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Regards,

Caroline Wallace DDS

 
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