Posts for: April, 2018
Chronic stress can cause any number of physical problems like back pain, insomnia or stomach ulcers. In the mouth, it can also be the cause of teeth grinding or clenching habits that may lead to pain and tooth damage.
Besides toothaches and jaw pain, stress-related teeth grinding may also be causing your teeth to wear at a faster than normal rate. While the teeth can withstand normal forces generated from biting and chewing, a grinding habit could be subjecting the teeth to forces beyond their normal range. Over time, this could produce excessive tooth wear and contribute to future tooth loss.
Here, then, are some of the treatment options we may use to stop the effects of stress-related dental habits and provide you with relief from pain and dysfunction.
Drug Therapy. Chronic teeth grinding can cause pain and muscle spasms. We can reduce pain with a mild anti-inflammatory pain reliever (like ibuprofen), and spasms with a prescribed muscle relaxant drug. If you have sleep issues, you might also benefit from occasional sleep aid medication.
A Night or Occlusal Guard. Also known as a bite guard, this appliance made of wear-resistant acrylic plastic is custom-fitted to the contours of your bite. The guard is worn over your upper teeth while you sleep or when the habit manifests; the lower teeth then glide over the hard, smooth surface of the guard without biting down. This helps rest the jaw muscles and reduce pain.
Orthodontic Treatment. Your clenching habit may be triggered or intensified because of a problem with your bite, known as a malocclusion. We can correct or limit this problem by either moving the teeth into a more proper position or, if the malocclusion is mild, even out the bite by reshaping the teeth in a procedure known as occlusal (bite) equilibration.
Psychological Treatment. While the preceding treatments can help alleviate or correct dental or oral structural problems, they may not address the underlying cause for a grinding habit — your psychological response to stress. If you’re not coping with stress in a healthy way, you may benefit from treatments in behavioral medicine, which include biofeedback or psychological counseling.
If you would like more information on dental issues related to stress, 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 “Stress & Tooth Habits.”
Like many people, you might be caring for an elderly parent or family member. That care should include a focus on their teeth and gums — a healthy mouth is vitally important to their overall health, nutrition and well-being. Because of the aging process, this can be challenging.
Here are 4 areas where you should focus your attention to assure the senior adult in your life has the healthiest mouth possible.
Make adjustments for hygiene. As we grow older, arthritis and similar conditions make brushing and flossing difficult to perform. You can help your senior adult keep up these vital tasks by switching to a powered toothbrush or refitting their brush with a bike handle or tennis ball to make gripping easier. Pre-loaded floss holders or water irrigators are effective alternatives to manual flossing if it becomes too difficult.
Have dentures or other appliances checked regularly. Many older people wear full or partial dentures. Due to the nature of these appliances, the risk of bone loss over time is greater, which can eventually affect their fit. Their dentist should check them regularly and reline or repair them if possible. Eventually, they may need a new appliance to match any changing contours in the mouth.
Be aware of age-related dental issues. Age-related conditions of both the mouth and the body (like osteoporosis, which can affect bone density) can impact dental health. For example, an older person can develop lower saliva flow, often due to medications they’re taking. This, as well as gastric reflux common in older people, increases acidity and a higher risk of tooth decay. Past dental work like fillings, crowns or bridges may also make hygiene and additional treatment more difficult.
Keep up regular dental visits. In light of all this, it’s crucial to keep up with regular dental visits for continuing teeth and gum health. Besides cleanings, these visits are also important for monitoring signs of tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancer. It’s also a good opportunity to gauge the effectiveness of their hygiene efforts and suggest adjustments.
If you would like more information on dental care for older adults, 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 “Aging & Dental Health.”
Dental bonding is a treatment available at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV that is an option for patients who have relatively minor cosmetic problems. You may find that dental bonding is all you need to help take your smile to the next level. It provides you with a temporary smile solution so that you can make future plans with your cosmetic dentist for other treatments, like veneers or braces.
What Is Dental Bonding?
A dental material called composite resin, the same material used for tooth-colored fillings, can be used to improve the cosmetic appearance of your front teeth. The material is painted onto the surfaces of the teeth where needed and bonded in place using a curing light. After the bonding process is complete, your dentist can shape and contour the teeth to match your desired aesthetic.
Dental Bonding Uses
You may be wondering if you are a candidate for this cosmetic treatment, which is offered at Z Dentistry in Reno. Here are some of the most common uses for dental bonding:
- Filling in small gaps between the teeth so that they don’t shift.
- Covering up cracks in the enamel.
- Restoring broken or chipped teeth.
- Polishing rough tooth surfaces.
- Covering discoloration or staining.
- Protecting an exposed tooth root due to gum recession.
Reasons to Choose Dental Bonding
When you visit the dentist for cosmetic help, it’s good to know that you have choices. There are a few reasons why you might decide to opt for dental bonding over other solutions at the moment:
- You need a quick fix that only requires one short dental appointment.
- Budget (dental bonding is usually more affordable compared to veneers or crowns).
- You’re concerned about tooth movement due to wisdom tooth eruption or the after effects of gum disease.
Dental Bonding Can Help
Now that you know that dental bonding is an option, make an appointment at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV to learn more about this cosmetic treatment. Call (775) 331-1616 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. George Zatarain.