Is a Custom Occlusal Guard (a.k.a. “Nightguard”) Right for You?


Woman in Jaw PainIf you suffer from clenching or grinding of your teeth, you may need a custom occlusal guard to protect your pearly whites. Bruxism (teeth grinding) is a common condition, affecting 10% of adults and 15% of children, according to the American Sleep Association. How do you know if you grind your teeth?

4 telltale signs...

  • Your spouse hears your teeth squeaking or grinding.
  • Your canine teeth are completely flat, or even "notched out," instead of having their original pointed tip.
  • You frequently wake up with jaw muscle soreness or headaches.
  • You suffer from tooth sensitivity.

Without treatment, teeth clenching or ... Read more

Antimicrobial Therapy For Gum Disease

Dental ToolsAntimicrobial therapy is a form of oral treatment used to eliminate or reduce the development of bacterial infections in the mouth. The therapy aims to prevent periodontal disease resulting from infections, which can cause painful, bleeding gums and loosening of your teeth.

Preparation and Treatment

If your dentist decides you will benefit from antimicrobial treatment, they will likely start with scaling and root planing. This process removes plaque and calculus (tartar) from the sulcus area around the teeth using either a scaler or instruments as well as an ultrasonic scaling device. In severe cases where there are periodontal ... Read more

Why Dentin Is Just as Important as Tooth Enamel

When it comes to teeth, there's a lot of talk about enamel and why we should protect it, but you never really know why. Is it to keep your teeth shiny and white? Is it to prevent cavities? Both of these answers are YES, but there's an even more important answer: If you don't take care of your enamel, your dentin will become exposed.

If enamel is the star of the show, dentin is the supporting actor. Located beneath your enamel, dentin consists of a sensitive layer of living tissue and tubules that communicate with the nerve ... Read more

Sore Gums: Causes, Treatments and Relief for Sensitive Gums

sore gumsWhat do Sore Gums Mean?

Millions of Americans have experienced sore gums. You're brushing or flossing and notice a painful sensation in your gums. Sometimes your sore gums may even start bleeding while you're brushing or flossing. Since the pain from sore gums isn't usually very severe and is such a common problem, many people don't pay much attention to sore gums. But sore gums could be an early sign of gum disease. Fortunately, addressing sore gums isn't usually very difficult, especially if you catch it during the early stages of gum disease.... Read more

Can Sensitive Teeth Cause Grinding Pain?

No matter how good you are to your teeth all day, there's a common condition that could be harming your teeth at night: teeth grinding. You may not have any idea that you're doing it, but once you know the symptoms, you might be surprised.

Grinding your teeth at night can have pretty subtle symptoms. Most people simply notice that they're waking up stressed with a sore, painful jaw. They also often report having a persistent headache throughout the day. And because these symptoms can often go overlooked, the nightly grinding continues and lots of unseen damage ... Read more

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth. Possible causes include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root
In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth--the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin. 
Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum ... Read more

Rampant Caries: What Are They?

dental cariesRampant caries can stem from a variety of factors, such as poor diet, mouth pH, root recession and weakened enamel. Anyone of any age is susceptible to cavities, but luckily there are treatments that can restore your oral health.

What is Dental Caries?

Dental caries is classified one of three ways, and its classification is based on the location of where it occurs in the mouth.
  1. Interproximal caries - On the sides of the tooth or in between teeth.
  2. Pit and fissure caries - In the deep grooves on the biting surface of the teeth.
  3. Root caries - On the root surface of the tooth or teeth, found most often when a patient has gum recession.
Dental ... Read more

Sjogren's Syndrome: Oral Signs & Symptoms

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease, most commonly found in women, that often mimics the symptoms of menopause. Sjogren's syndrome symptoms can affect all areas of the body, but the most common problems patients report are dry eyes and dry mouth (xerostomia). Many times, patients will describe it as having no saliva or feeling as if their eyes have no moisture.

These symptoms shouldn't be ignored. Instead of just writing off any discomfort to simply having dry mouth, ask your dentist and doctor if you should be watching out for any underlying conditions.


Life With Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjogren's ... Read more

The Benefits Of Clear Braces

Does anyone you know wear clear braces for adults? Chances are good that the answer is yes since the number of adult orthodontic cases is on the rise. Researchers believe that adults feel comfortable with orthodontic care later in life thanks to innovative changes in the field and the benefits of clear braces for adults. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, although the most ideal time to complete orthodontics is while the patient is still growing, any age is the right age for ortho care! 

History of Clear Braces

Clear braces were studied in detail from 1970 ... Read more

How to Relieve TMJ Pain

Often jaw problems resolve on their own in several weeks to months. If you have recently experienced TMJ pain and/or dysfunction, you may find relief with some or all of the following therapies.

  • Moist Heat. Moist heat from a heat pack or a hot water bottle wrapped in a warm, moist towel can improve function and reduce pain. Be careful to avoid burning yourself when using heat.
  • Ice. Ice packs can decrease inflammation and also numb pain and promote healing. Do not place an ice pack directly on your skin. Keep the pack wrapped in a clean cloth while you are using it. Do not use an ice pack for more than 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Soft Diet. Soft or blended foods allow the jaw to rest temporarily. Remember to avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods. Do not stretch your mouth to accommodate such foods as corn on the cob, apples, or whole fruits.
  • Over the-Counter Analgesics. For many people with TMJ Disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your dentist or doctor can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants to help ease symptoms.
  • Jaw Exercises. Slow, gentle jaw exercises may help increase jaw mobility and healing. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate exercises based on your individual needs.  A recent study found therapeutic jaw exercises bring earlier recovery of jaw function compared to splints! 
  • Relaxation Techniques. Relaxation and guided imagery can be helpful in dealing with the pain that accompanies TMJ dysfunction. Deep, slow breathing enhances relaxation and modulates pain sensations. Some have found yoga, massage, and meditation helpful in reducing stress and aiding relaxation.
  • Side Sleeping. Sleep on your side using pillow support between shoulder and neck.
  • Relax Facial Muscles. Make a concerted effort to relax your lips, and keep teeth apart.
  • Yawning. Use your fist to support your chin as you yawn to prevent damage to the joint and prevent your jaw from locking open.
In ... Read more

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