My Dentistry Blog
Posts for: September, 2017
When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”
Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.
Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.
While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.
There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”
Â An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.
Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
If you’ve noticed some of your teeth seem to be “longer” than you remembered, it’s not because they’ve grown. Rather, your gums have shrunk back or receded to expose more of the underlying tooth.
It’s not just unattractive — gum recession could lead to severe consequences like bone or tooth loss. But before we begin treatment we need to find out why it happened. Knowing the true cause will help us put together the right treatment plan for your situation.
Here are 4 of the most common causes for gum recession and what we can do about them.
The kind of gum tissues you have. There are two kinds of risk factors: those you can control and those you can’t. Because you inherited the trait from your parents, your gum tissue thickness falls into the latter category. Although there are degrees within each, gum tissues are generally classified as either thick or thin. If you have thin tissues, you’re more susceptible to gum recession — which means we’ll need to be extra vigilant about caring for your gum health.
Tooth position. Normally a tooth erupts during childhood in the center of its bony housing. But it can erupt outside of it, often resulting in little to no gum tissue growth around it. The best solution is to move the tooth to a better position within the bony housing through orthodontics. This in turn could stimulate gum growth.
Over-aggressive brushing. Ironically, gum recession could be the result of brushing, one of the essential hygiene tasks for dental health. Consistently brushing too hard can inflame and tear the tissues to the point they begin to recede. Brushing doesn’t require a lot of force to remove plaque: use gentle, circular motions and let the detergents and mild abrasives in your toothpaste do the rest.
Periodontal (gum) disease. This, by far, is the greatest cause for gum recession: an infection caused by built-up bacterial plaque. The weakened tissues begin to detach from the teeth and recede. Gum disease can be treated with aggressive plaque removal and supporting techniques; but it’s also highly preventable. Practicing daily brushing and flossing and regularly visiting your dentist for thorough cleanings and checkups are the best practices for keeping your gums as healthy as possible.
If you would like more information on gum recession, 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 “Gum Recession.”
Dental implants have given patients new confidence in the appearance, feel and function of their smiles. They are a reliable and permanent solution for missing teeth with a 98% success rate according to a study by the American Association of Endodontists. Generally, after an implant has been placed and healed, it will need to be restored with an implant crown. This service is available from our Glenview, IL dentists Dr. Alexander Quezada and Dr. David B. Lewis, Jr. at Colonial Dental Group, Ltd.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small device made of titanium that is designed to merge with the bone tissue that keeps your teeth anchored. It’s a reliable solution for one or more missing teeth. Once an implant has been integrated into the bone and has been checked for stability, it can then support a permanent implant crown which is a replacement for your natural tooth. Surgery is needed to insert the implant and then it takes several months for it to set in place.
Why Dental Implants?
Patients choose dental implants because they want their smiles to be restored permanently after tooth loss. No one wants to go through life with missing teeth, and thanks to dental implants no one has to. Some patients who have chosen partial dentures or bridges aren’t happy with them and want a better solution. Implants can last a lifetime, but they sometimes need follow up and restoration by a skilled dentist.
Restoring Dental Implants
Dr.’s Alexander Quezada and David B. Lewis, Jr. are dentists at Colonial Dental Group, Ltd. in Glenview, IL who specialize in restoring dental implants. If you are having an issue with an existing implant, it’s possible that the doctors can repair the problem. Sometimes dental implants need to be repaired for the following reasons:
-An injury can damage the crown or the abutment.
-Bruxism (clenching and grinding) can also cause damage to the implant.
-Gum disease can also compromise the stability of the implant and it’s possible that periodontal therapy may be needed before the implant can be repaired.
Have Your Dental Implant Checked
If you feel that there may be something wrong with your dental implant, call Dr.’s Alexander Quezada or David B. Lewis, Jr. at Colonial Dental Group to schedule a consultation visit. Having your new implant restored or your existing implant repaired may help restore your confidence in your smile.