Grinding or clenching your teeth is a pretty normal thing to do when you’re annoyed or stressed, and that’s nothing to worry about. However, if you grind your teeth on a more regular basis, whether asleep or awake, it can become a serious problem. This kind of chronic teeth-grinding is known as bruxism.
Sleep bruxism, also called nocturnal bruxism, is sometimes the side effect of sleep apnea or snoring, while awake bruxism (diurnal bruxism) can be a side effect of stress. However, not everyone with bruxism is dealing with a sleep disorder or stress, and everyone with a sleep disorder or a lot of stress in their lives will have bruxism. Improperly aligned teeth can also cause bruxism.
Treatment for bruxism can sometimes be tricky because there isn’t a single clear cause, so the focus tends to be on reducing symptoms and minimizing the damage. You might not be consciously aware of a teeth-grinding habit, but if you experience at least some of the following symptoms, it could be because of bruxism:
There are a variety of treatments or approaches to either reduce the grinding or the damage it causes, depending on the type of bruxism you have.
You can become more aware of your clenching/grinding habits with behavioral therapy or habit-reversal techniques and consciously work to stop. Because it’s much harder to control what your jaw muscles do in your sleep, this option tends to work better for awake bruxism.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, massages, warm baths, calming music, and a full night’s sleep can help you de-stress and stop grinding if your bruxism is stress-related.
Medicine is rarely used to treat bruxism, especially if other treatments are helping, but muscle relaxant medication prescribed by your doctor might help you unclench while you sleep.
Set up a free consultation with us!
If you are experiencing any bruxism symptoms, we’d love to schedule a free consultation with you. Many of our doctors can provide custom night guards to help you stop grinding in your sleep or advise you on any dental health habits or behaviors that can help you get relief.
The American Dental Association (ADA) established National Children’s Dental Health Month over thirty years ago to promote the benefits starting young to achieve good oral health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the country. Tooth decay affects more children than asthma or hay fever. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of children will have some tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. The good news for parents is that tooth decay is preventable!
The following recommendations will get your child off to a great start with good dental health.
The best weapons available to a parent are a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The ADA recommends that parents teach their children to brush for two minutes two times a day—morning and evening at bedtime. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child to avoid swallowing toothpaste. Parents should provide help and supervision until a child is about seven or eight years old.
This includes avoiding juice between meals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends limiting juice to four to six ounces per day. Parents can also replace sugary treats with healthy snacks such as cheese, yogurt, and fruit.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their child’s first visit to the dentist when the child turns one year of age. First birthday equals first checkup. However, if a parent detects discoloration or staining, they should schedule an appointment right away.
Fluoride helps teeth resist acid attacks by strengthening tooth enamel. If your local water supply does not have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride drops or tablets.
National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder that it’s never too early to start your child on the path of good dental health. Habits developed early tend to become lifelong habits.Tags: children, dental health, national children's dental health month
You may have noticed the apple featured on the Mortenson Family Dental logo. Apples have long been associated with a healthy smile. It takes strong, healthy teeth to bite into a crunchy apple! There’s also a more personal reason for the apple on the logo. Years ago, Sue Mortenson took her car to the car wash. When she got back in her car, she found an apple left for her on the front seat. Sue was very impressed by that special touch. That’s why you’ll be offered an apple and apple cider when you visit your Mortenson Family Dental office.
You’ve heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It may also be true that an apple a day keeps the dentist away. Children have a natural sweet tooth that draws them to sugary snacks and chewy candy that can stick to the teeth. Tooth decay results when cavity-causing organisms feed on this sugar and turn it into enamel-eroding acid. Apples are naturally sweet and offer a healthy alternative to processed, sugary snacks packed with nutrient-deficient calories.
Apples have other advantages over sugary snacks and even over many other fruits.
You might be surprised that in addition to apples and apple cider, you’ll find chocolate chip cookies waiting for you at your next visit to a Mortenson Family Dental office. The cookies are to help you feel at home and comfortable, too; Sue Mortenson knows that one cookie won’t hurt you. Our dental hygienist will clean your teeth during your appointment, so you’ll leave with a healthier smile!Tags: apple
Since Crest toothpaste became the first toothpaste to receive the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval in 1960, more than 400 toothpastes have shown up on retail store shelves. Every brand offers multiple sizes, flavors, and specialties. Buying a simple tube of toothpaste is not so simple.
Toothpaste is a daily essential, or should be, in every household. Toothpaste improves the cleaning power of your toothbrush by helping to remove plaque, the film of bacteria on teeth and gums that contributes to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Most toothpaste contains detergents that cause a foaming action to remove food particles. Some add abrasives to help remove stains or flavoring to improve taste. Beyond that there are baking soda toothpaste, natural toothpaste, gels, desensitizing toothpaste, breath-freshening toothpaste, and many more. With so many choices, what’s a shopper to do?
The fluoride in toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel which helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride also works to remineralize teeth worn by acid.
The American Dental Association evaluates toothpastes for safety and effectiveness. All toothpastes with the ADA Seal contain fluoride.
Many manufacturers have specialty products in their line that make certain claims. You should know that whitening toothpaste doesn’t really whiten teeth but contains abrasives or chemicals to remove tooth stains. Tartar control toothpaste doesn’t remove existing tartar; only a dentist can do that. Instead, the product helps prevent tartar from accumulating.
Based on the results of your dental exam, your dentist can determine if a special product is necessary. If there are no specific concerns, most dentists advise their patients to choose a brand they like because they will be more likely to use it regularly. Also, check with your orthodontist before making a selection. Some orthodontists advise patients who wear braces to avoid certain toothpastes, such as those containing a whitening agent.
Did you know that the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions started with the Babylonians 4000 years ago? Since the Babylonian New Year coincided with the planting of new crops, their most common resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. That’s probably not one of your resolutions, but there is something about that blank calendar or planner that makes the start of a new year a logical time for a fresh start.
Today the most common resolutions have to do with health issues such as losing weight, exercising more, or eating healthy. Here are four resolutions that will improve your dental health in the coming year.
Studies show that it can take thirty days before a new habit becomes routine so don’t give up. Commit to these resolutions for your dental health one day at a time!Tags: new year, new year's resolutions, resolutions
Did you know that April is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness month? The Oral Cancer Foundation tells us that nearly 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, only about 57% will live longer than five years. Often, this type of cancer […]read more »