Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): What Causes It?

It is not always possible to determine the cause of bruxism, but there are some common causes to consider if you are experiencing this issue.

Teeth Grinding and Stress

If you are experiencing stress, it can show when you grind your teeth during sleep. Your fears, worries, or anxiety can lead to teeth grinding.

Bruxism and Personality

Some people are naturally competitive, aggressive, or angry. Others may have suppressed frustration. These issues can lead to teeth grinding.

Teeth Grinding and Medical Problems

Some medical problems can increase bruxism. It can be a side effect of Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease. Individuals who have earaches, and young children who are teething, can be prone to grinding their teeth. Grinding can also be a side effect of some medications.

Bruxism and Dental Health

A person who has missing or crooked teeth, or a misaligned bite, is more likely to grind his teeth during sleep than a person with ideal dental health.

Bruxism is harmful to dental health, too. Consistent grinding can wear down tooth enamel, increasing the risk of tooth decay. If grinding is extreme, it can even cause teeth to become loose.

What To Do About Teeth Grinding

Someone in your family has informed you that you grind your teeth, or you have noticed some of the symptoms. There are many symptoms, including a sore jaw, dull headaches, earaches, and facial pain. If you know or think you are grinding your teeth at night, consult with your dentist.

In most cases, the simplest solution is a mouth guard. All you need to do is insert this comfortable device before you go to bed at night. You can have a full night of restful sleep, and protect your teeth at the same time. It is an easy way to prevent the problems that come from teeth grinding.

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How Dental Sealants Work

If you have heard of dental sealants, you may have a number of questions. Sealants can be useful, especially for children. In some cases, dentists advise sealants for adults, too.

What Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a liquid. It is applied directly to the top of clean, dry teeth. The process is similar to applying nail polish. It hardens quickly after it is applied. It forms a protective shield on the teeth, and the person who has the sealant will not notice it is there.

The purpose of dental sealants is to protect tooth enamel and teeth from bacteria. As the protective shield prevents bacteria from coming in contact with the teeth, the teeth are less likely to develop cavities and tooth decay.

Dental sealants do not require special care. The sealant can last, and remain effective, for many years.

Who Needs Dental Sealants?

Children are the main focus of dental sealants. Although a dentist may advise sealants for children with baby teeth, sealants are usually applied after children have their permanent teeth. They can be an extra precaution to guard your child against tooth decay.

However, sealants are not only for children. Others who have rough or pitted teeth can benefit, too. The sealant can prevent bacteria, food particles, and other substances from coming in contact with the teeth. Sealants can also be helpful for individuals who have not had ideal oral health habits, and are concerned about developing cavities.

If you have children, or are concerned about your own oral health, talk to your dentist about dental sealants during your next visit. It is a simple, painless procedure that only takes minutes in the dentist’s office. It is an option to consider when you want to avoid tooth decay and enjoy the benefits of dental health.

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The Link Between Diet and Oral Health

What you eat affects more than your weight. It also has an influence on your mouth. In fact, the American Dental Association works with public health leaders to recommend a diet that will preserve both your bodily and overall health. It is important to recognize the best foods to eat.

Mouth-Friendly Foods and Beverages:

If you want a healthy smile, the best foods to add to your diet are cheeses, meat, chicken, nuts, and milk. Since these items contain calcium, they protect your teeth and help remineralize the enamel. Vegetables high in calcium include spinach and broccoli as well.

Crunchy fruits are smart choices to add to your diet. Apples and pears are rich in water, which means that they will stimulate saliva production. This helps to wash away foods, buffer acids, and protect against decay. It is wise to avoid snacks and foods like potato chips, bananas, raisins, and breads. These contain high levels of sugar that stick on teeth and fuel bacteria growth.

With every meal, you should drink water. It is best to avoid sugary and acidic drinks, including soda. This beverage can erode your enamel. Drinking coffee, tea, and wine may stain your teeth as well.

What Sweets to Choose:

When you need a touch of sweetness, look beyond sugar. Sugar substitutes line grocery store shelves and provide a wonderful taste without feeding bacteria in your mouth. Also, chewing sugarless gum can benefit your teeth. Besides helping to dislodge food from crevices, it encourages saliva production.

There is a strong link between what you eat and your oral health. The above tips should help preserve your beautiful smile. For more information, consult with your dentist. Dr. Dana Walters is ready to help you plan the most tooth-friendly snacks and meals so that your oral health is maximized.

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Tips For Properly Flossing

Besides brushing, flossing must be part of your everyday dental care routine. However, it is only effective at keeping your mouth healthy if it is done correctly. It is essential to learn some essential flossing tips so that your teeth and gums remain as healthy as possible.

The Correct Way to Floss:

The American Dental Association recommends flossing after meals and at bedtime. Using the correct technique is vital to remove trapped food and debris from the mouth. When plaque is not allowed to build, tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented. Here is the best method for flossing.

  • Begin with approximately 18 inch of dental floss. It should be wound around your middle fingers.
  • As the floss is held tight, it should be slid in between each tooth. It is imperative to use a gentle touch so that gums are not injured.
  • To remove all of the debris, the floss should be wrapped around the bottom of every tooth and below the gumline.
  • As you progress, use clean parts of the floss.

Different Types of Floss:

Choosing floss is like selecting a toothbrush. It is an important tool in your oral care routine. Nylon is the most common material for dental floss. It comes waxed or unwaxed. Also, it may be purchased in a number of flavors. If your teeth are very close together, regular floss may shred and break. In this case, simple filament floss is a smart alternative that will be easier to slide into these types of spaces.

If you are interested in learning how to properly floss your teeth or other ways to keep your mouth healthy, consult with the dental experts at the office of Dr. Dana Walters. The entire staff is willing to help you care for your teeth and ensure a beautiful smile.

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