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Dentist in Chestnut Hill | The Dangers of Grinding

Dentist in Chestnut Hill, MA

Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, is a habit many get into without even realizing it. Grinding your teeth can be damaging for several reasons. If you or your child have been struggling with teeth grinding, make an appointment to see us. We will assess the damage to the teeth, as well as assist you in addressing solutions. Here’s what you need to know about teeth grinding.

Why Do We Grind Our Teeth?

Teeth grinding does not have a single cause. Instead, it can occur for several different reasons. Stress and anxiety, an improper bite, and sleep disorders are all potential causes. If your teeth are not aligned properly, they can rub against each other while you bite or chew. Many people grind their teeth without even realizing what they are doing.

The Journal of the American Dental Association found that smoking and alcohol result in an increase in teeth grinding. In fact, smokers and people who drink alcohol were found to be twice as likely to experience bruxism as those who do not have these behaviors.

What Grinding Does Your Teeth

Grinding wears down your teeth causing damage, increased sensitivity, and even loosening teeth. Teeth are like bones. They can crack or fracture, and grinding has been known to cause both issues. Your teeth can also be flattened from constantly rubbing against one another. Grinding not only damages your teeth, but it leaves you more susceptible to other complications in the future, as well. Beyond your teeth, grinding can lead to jaw pain and headaches. If you wake up with a sore, tired jaw on frequent occasions, this could be a sign that you grind or clench your teeth throughout the night.

What We Can Do

If grinding is an issue for you, make an appointment to see us. First, we will assess the extent of the damage that may have already occurred due to grinding. We will then work with you to identify a solution that will keep your teeth strong and healthy. In some cases, we may recommend wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent your teeth from pressing against one another. Though it can be challenging, if your grinding is caused by stress, the top priority will be to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Stress is a more common cause for adults than children. The primary cause of grinding in children is improper alignment.

If grinding your teeth has become an issue, please do not wait until it leads to sensitivity and pain. Schedule an appointment to see us for an evaluation and treatment plan. Our professional dental team will work with you to address the cause of your grinding, and determine a solution that will protect your teeth from any further damage.

For more information on keeping your teeth strong and healthy, please contact our office. We look forward to assisting you!

12 Reasons to See Your Dentist

Don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your dentist! Most people make time to clean out the house, car, garage, or closets at least twice a year. Why not include your oral health on your “to do” list?

 

Schedule an Appointment Now!

 

Regular professional cleaning and examinations are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. These routine visits are your first line of defense against tooth decay, periodontal disease, oral cancers, and more. Early identification and treatment of any oral illness improves outcomes and allows for less-invasive treatment options. Don’t wait until it hurts!

 

Why Do We Avoid Going?

 

The HDI institute, in a study done with the American Dental Association, lists some of the main reasons we sometimes delay going to the dentist. Cost, low perceived need, time, and anxiety are the most common causes. However, if we allow these concerns to interfere with oral care, we may allow more serious issues to develop.

 

When Should We See the Dentist?

 

The ADA or American Dental Society recommends maintaining twice yearly visits for cleaning and examinations. In addition, they advise making an appointment for any of the following concerns:

 

  1. Pain in your mouth, teeth, or face
  2. Injury to your mouth, teeth, or face
  3. Conditions that can affect oral health, such as diabetes
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Jaw pain or stiffness
  6. Bleeding, swelling, or redness in your gums
  7. Recent dental treatment, such as fillings, crowns, implants, or root canal
  8. Pain or difficulty eating or drinking
  9. Chronic dry mouth
  10. Smoking or tobacco use
  11. Sores in your mouth that are not healing
  12. You have questions or concerns about your oral health or hygiene

 

Our team is here to help you achieve and maintain your best oral health. To schedule your next appointment, please contact our office.

 

Resources: American Dental Association

5 Interesting Dental Facts

Did you know your oral health can impact your overall health? We’ve compiled a list of 5 tidbits about your teeth and oral health.

 

Say Cheese

Cheese has been found to promote dental health by helping prevent tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese help neutralizes acid in the mouth. Acid can create dental erosion, which can cause decay that may require filling. Cheese creates a protective film around teeth and helps remineralize the enamel.

 

Keep Smiling

Your smile can make a difference. Studies have found that 50% of people consider a smile the first facial feature they notice. One study found that 88% of us remember people with beautiful smiles whenever we meet new people. This means attractive smiles are key to being more noticeable and remembered.

 

Toothbrush Time

Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush at least once every three months. You should get a new toothbrush after recovering from any sort of viral infection, flu, or cold. You are more likely to be re-infected if these bacteria implant themselves on the bristles.

 

You’re Unique

In your lifetime, you only get two sets of teeth— baby teeth and permanent teeth. It is important to take proper care of your permanent teeth. Did you know that no two people have precisely the same set of teeth? Your teeth are as unique as a fingerprint. This is the reason teeth are used by investigators for identification. Your tongue also has a unique print, though it is not commonly recorded.

 

F.Y.I on Floss

Floss is a lot more useful than you may think. If you skip out on your daily flossing, you can miss cleaning up to 40% of your tooth surfaces. Flossing can also help prevent gum disease by removing plaque near the gum line. Floss has other alternative creative uses. The next time you are looking for a fun holiday project, grab some dental floss and a handful of cereal to string for the tree. Floss works well for repairing a bead necklace too!

 

Bonus Fact: Health professionals are rated among the most trusted people in the U.S so make sure to call our dentist and make an appointment today!

May DAW Blog

In 1988, Dr. Jess Kane, Dr. David Tesini and I formed a dental outreach program to provide preventive dental care to children in need. Project Stretch, Dentistry Reaching Out to Children has been fortunate to be involved in bringing dental healthcare to children in Massachusetts, other areas in the United States and other countries over these past 29 years. The mission of Project Stretch is to not only treat the acute needs of the children we see, but to provide dental health education, fluoride rinse programs and the tools communities need to sustain these goals. We strive to get local volunteers involved, which helps instill a sense of ownership and continuity.
For the past 13 years, I have been participating in a Project Stretch program in Teacapan, Mexico, a small fishing village on the Pacific coast. The year before our first trip, a Canadian who spent his winters in Teacapan came to Massachusetts to request that Project Stretch send volunteers to his village. The town had no dentist for a population of about 5000 and he was concerned that the 2500 children were having significant dental problems. The first year we sent a “scout” team of two dentists, a dental assistant and a dental hygienist to evaluate the location and decide if a dental program would be viable. We examined about 1500 kids and provided toothbrushes, oral hygiene instruction and fluoride treatments to them all. The exams were carried out in the schools we visited, using a classroom set aside for our use. We also worked with high school students to teach them to become dental health educators, so they could teach the younger children about prevention of dental disease. Our American and Canadian hosts provided housing for the week and we were invited share meals with them during our stay. We quickly determined that Teacapan was a perfect location for a Project Stretch program and made plans to return the following year.
Within a few years we were able to install two dental chairs and other equipment in a space donated by “Amigos de Teacapan,” a group of North American and Mexican volunteers interested in improving the lives of their neighbors. Project Stretch ran golf tournaments, yard sales and other events to raise money for the trips to the town and dental supply companies generously donated supplies for us to take with us. Each team member brings a suitcase with their clothing and another with dental supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental items.
At the same time our clinic was being established, an American couple who spend the winter in Teacapan became motivated to support a child from a nearby community who might otherwise not be able to continue in school. They went to the local principal and asked him to identify a promising student whose family circumstances would have required him to leave school and go to work in the chili fields. A boy was chosen and this couple paid for his education through high school, with the stipulation that he maintain a B+ average or better. The student then decided that he would like to become a dentist, so they paid his tuitition to college and dental school as well! Dr. Luis is now starting a dental practice in his hometown, as well as helping with Project Stretch in Teacapan. He treats patients with us when our teams are there and sees patients at the clinic on other days to keep dental services available throughout the year. It is rewarding to think that our outreach program has reached so many lives in a positive way and plan to continue our commitment to Project Stretch.