What is Bruxism? | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

494183909Teeth grinding or Bruxism can be very damaging to your teeth and jaw. Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. It’s imperative if you grind your teeth to see your dentist right away.

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth?

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night. You dentist can also examine your jaw and abnormalities with your teeth.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns,root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep and develop a long term solution to your teeth grinding problem.

If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.

Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe(Source: Colgate.com).

Call your physician or dentist if you have symptoms of bruxism, or if you are told that you grind your teeth while you sleep.

Also, make a dental appointment immediately if you fracture a tooth, lose a filling, or notice that your teeth are becoming abnormally loose in their sockets.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines of Snohomish, WA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Preventing Cavities | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

494183909Dreaded by patients young and old, one of the most common words associated with a dental visits is: cavities.

Cavities are holes in the tooth surfaced caused by decay. When detected early, the treatment is typically simple – the decay is removed with a dental drill, and the hole is filled with a substance such as composite resin, that hardens to a natural looking color.

Treating tooth decay is generally a simple procedure, but it’s better to prevent tooth decay from causing cavities in the first place. There are a number of simple things you can do at home to help prevent cavities:

1) Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after each meal to help remove food and beverages from your teeth. If you can’t brush after a meal, at least try to rinse your mouth with water. Also, clean between your teeth with floss.
2) Rinse your mouth. Plain tap water typically has fluoride added for dental health. If you are at a high risk of decay, your dentist may recommend you rinse your mouth with a more concentrated fluoride solution in the dental office.
3) Visit your dentist. Regular professional cleanings and exams will help prevent decay, and if decay does form, it can be handled quickly and easily before it becomes a larger problem.
4) Eat tooth friendly foods. Avoid foods that get stuck in the grooves of your teeth, such as chips and candy, and brush soon after eating them. Fresh fruits and vegetables can help dental health by encouraging saliva, and unsweetened tea can help wash away food particles in your mouth.
5) Avoid frequent snacking. When you have food in your mouth, the acidic conditions damage tooth enamel, so snacking (and drinking) throughout the day means your teeth are under attack.

Practicing these easy steps to help minimize tooth decay and keep your teeth cavity free.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for an appointment today. Keep those teeth healthy! Call 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines of Snohomish, WA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.