Posts for: May, 2017
Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.
“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.
Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.
Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.
Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.
If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.
When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.
Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.
Prevent decay and gum disease with these simple, everyday dental habits.
While brushing and flossing your teeth may seem as simple as taking a shower every day or brushing your hair, you may be surprised to find out from our Naples, FL, dentists Drs. Richard and Maria Linden that you have a cavity. While cavities and gum disease are preventable many people still face these problems. Make sure your everyday routine is measuring up!
Brush and Floss the Right Way
While most people think they know how to care for their smiles they may be surprised to find out that their daily routine is missing some crucial steps. Are you brushing at least twice a day? Are you flossing every day? When you brush do you set a timer for a minimum of two minutes? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions then you are already well on your way to good oral hygiene. If you don’t follow these rules regularly then it’s time you started.
Using the Proper Dental Tools
While nothing can replace proper dental technique when it comes to cleaning your teeth and gums, you still want to make sure that the tools you are using are up for the job. Toothbrushes aren’t meant to last forever, so it’s important to replace your soft-bristled toothbrush head about every three to four months, or when the bristles start to fray. You will also want to replace a toothbrush head after illness to prevent re-infection. When you are done using your toothbrush don’t cover the toothbrush or store it in an airtight container, which can cause mold or bacteria to grow.
Your Diet is Important
If you know that what you eat can affect your general health then you probably have also realized that what you eat also impacts your oral health. Maintaining a diet that is full of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains is the best way to give your teeth, gums and bones the proper nutrients they need to remain strong and healthy. Eating a lot of processed carbs and sugar will only send you heading to visit our Naples, FL general dentist for dental problems.
Get Professional Dental Care
Speaking of dentists…when was the last time you visited us? If you don’t come in every six months for cleanings then you could be doing your smile a great disservice. From removing tartar and surface stains during professional cleanings to checking for oral cancer or detecting a potential issue before it occurs, there are many reasons why these checkups are necessary for everyone.
The best oral care is only a phone call away. Turn to Linden Dental in Naples, FL, to get tailored, quality dental care. Whether you need to schedule your six-month cleaning or you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, we are here to help.
We've known for a long time that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel against decay. We've also learned that fluoride consumption early in life pays later dividends with healthier teeth.
But while fluoride has generally proven safe, too much ingested by young children could cause enamel fluorosis. This condition produces a mottled or streaked appearance in teeth ranging from faint white patches to darker, pitted staining. Fluorosis doesn't harm teeth, but it does make them less attractive.
To prevent this, it may be necessary with your dentist's help to monitor your infant's or young child's fluoride intake and keep it in check. That will depend in large part on where you live, as well as your child's hygiene and eating habits.
Like three-quarters of public water systems, your local utility may be adding fluoride to your drinking water. The amount is governed by federal guidelines, which currently recommend fluoride amounts of no more than 0.70 parts per million of water. The fluoride levels in your water could have an impact on your child's total fluoride intake. You can find out for sure how much fluoride is present in your water by contacting your water utility company.
Another major fluoride source is toothpaste and other hygiene products. You can control your child's fluoride exposure by limiting the amount of toothpaste on their brush. Children under two only need a “smear,” while those between two and six need only a pea-sized amount.
Processed foods can contain fluoride if fluoridated water was used in their production. In this case, replace as much of the processed food items in your family's diet as you can with fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods.
Along this line, if you have an infant you want to pay particular attention to feeding formula, especially the powdered form you mix with water. If you're concerned about the amount of fluoride in your water consider other infant feeding options. Besides breast-feeding in lieu of formula, you can also use ready-to-feed pre-mixed with water (usually lower in fluoride) or mix powdered formula with bottled water specifically labeled “de-ionized,” “purified,”Â “demineralized,” or “distilled.”
This can be a lot to keep up with but your dentist can advise you. Fluoride is still a potent weapon against tooth decay and a safeguard on your child's current and future dental health.
If you would like more information on the relationship between fluoride and your child's dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”