Grind Your Teeth? Try These Tips

Bruxism, the habit of teeth grinding, can be very harmful to the teeth and should always be treated by a dentist. Grinding exerts extreme pressure on the teeth and can lead to inflamed gums, loss of tooth enamel, chips, fractures and even loose or broken teeth. 

While professional help from a dentist is required, there are also a number of measures that can be taken to minimise the effects of bruxism.

  • Reduce stress by identifying the triggers that cause anxiety and leads to grinding the teeth
  • Exercise the jaw muscles with gentle stretching and use correct sitting posture to prevent tension of the jaw, neck and shoulders
  • Physical therapy can also be helpful with exercises targeted on reducing tension in the shoulders and jaw

Massage can also help with chronic tension in the jaw muscles and this can be done by a professional therapist or even by oneself once given the proper instruction. 

Although these methods can be useful in limiting the frequency and effects of bruxism it is a serious dental condition with possible long-term harmful effects. 

If teeth grinding is starting to become a habit then it is time to consult a dentist who can decide on the most effective course of treatment for each individual case. 

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What Are The Benefits Of Dentures?

Tooth loss is a common occurrence, often caused by tooth decay, gum disease and accidents. Like other dental restoration treatments, dentures are used to replace missing teeth. Below are some of the major benefits of receiving dentures.

Key takeaway:

Dentures are mostly used in people who have lost all their teeth. One of their greatest benefits is helping people chew their food properly. Dentures also help strengthen facial muscles and restore youthfulness.

Severe tooth loss can affect speech. Fortunately, getting dentures can help you speak better without feeling ashamed or tense. Dentures are also less expensive than other dental restoration treatments.

Missing teeth often cause self-esteem and self-confidence issues. You may be afraid of smiling or laughing in public. However, dentures have a well-designed natural appearance that will help restore your confidence.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist to talk about custom dentures.

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The Risks to Your Oral Health from Crooked Teeth

Compared to our ancestors, our jaws have become smaller as we have evolved. This reduction in jaw size means there is now less room for our teeth to come through properly. Therefore, having crooked teeth or slightly misaligned teeth is quite a common occurrence.

And while for the majority there will not be any direct pain or discomfort from this, crooked teeth can still result in oral health issues.

One of the main issues arising from crooked teeth is the increasing difficulty in brushing the teeth thoroughly. The more significant the misalignment of teeth, the harder they become to clean adequately when brushing and flossing. 

It becomes harder to reach all surfaces of the teeth and gums which allows plaque to build in areas missed. The result is an increased risk from gum disease, irritated gums and cavities due to tooth decay.

A practical problem from crooked teeth is difficulty chewing. Being able to properly chew your food is important for your digestion. However, it can be more difficult when teeth are crooked — which makes you more prone to swallowing food which that not been sufficiently broken down. 

Another practical issue — you may struggle to pronounce words correctly. If you often mispronounce words, this can understandably knock your self-confidence.

Jaw disorders are also more common with crooked teeth. The temporomandibular joints sit at the base of the skull and connect the lower and upper jaws. These joints allow you to move your jaw in order to speak and chew comfortably. 

Those who have misaligned teeth are at more risk of suffering with disorders of this jaw joint. These disorders can result in jaw pain, headaches, muscle issues and could also potentially restrict how far you can open your mouth. 

Crooked teeth may also accelerate teeth shifting beyond their natural rate. Our teeth do shift over time but this can be hastened beyond the normal rate because of misaligned teeth.

You can do something about crooked teeth and their consequences. In consultation with your dentist, you will be advised of the treatments available to best correct your misaligned teeth. 

Regardless of how old you are, modern dentistry offers a range of treatment options. From metal and ceramic braces to clear aligners, your dentist can realign your teeth — helping you to prevent any discomfort and dental health issues arising from having crooked teeth. 

With straight teeth, you’ll also have a nicer smile! If crooked teeth are bothering you, talk with Danny the Dentist about orthodontic treatment. No-one ever regrets having a nice smile.

Time for a root canal?

The term “root canal” tends to conjure up sensations of anxiety, fear and even panic in some individuals. These procedures have been unfairly linked to archaic techniques and it is not uncommon for those who are suffering from severe oral pain to put off a trip to the dentist for an extraordinarily long period of time. Unfortunately, this will only make things worse. 

One of the best ways to ensure that your teeth remain strong and healthy is to schedule an examination as soon as possible. So, let us first dispel some common myths associated with root canals as well as some of the symptoms which could indicate that such a procedure is warranted. 

Root Canal Myths Busted

Perhaps the most pervasive false belief is that a root canal procedure is painful.  On the contrary, the dentist will apply a local anaesthetic before the procedure even begins. This is why the majority of patients feel that a root canal is just as simple as having a cavity filled. 

A second myth is the belief that it will take weeks to heal from this procedure. In fact, most people will be back to normal within a few days if they follow the recommended guidelines. 

When Might Tooth Pain Signal Something More Serious?

There are several signs which could indicate that a more in-depth procedure is warranted. One of the most common involves an intense pain that feels much different from a cavity. This pain may linger for hours and it can sometimes radiate to adjacent teeth. There are also times when a tooth may become extremely sensitive to hot or cold substances. These could all indicate a problem with the root of a tooth. 

You might also begin to notice localised swelling around the source of the pain. This can be the result of an infection that has begun at the root of one or more teeth. Sometimes known as an abscess, these lumps can be painful to the touch and at times, they could even run down the jaw. If you happen to notice any of these symptoms, be sure to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.

Tooth discolouration is another warning sign that an underlying problem is present. Changes in colour could indicate issues within the pulp of a tooth. In some cases, the tooth may even appear to turn cark grey or black. This may signal that the nerve within the tooth has died and requires an extraction. The good news is that you can keep the tooth even if its nerve has been removed. 

Sooner as Opposed to Later

We can now see that tooth pain is certainly no laughing matter. Even minor discomfort should be diagnosed by a professional. In some cases, a small issue may be able to be treated before it evolves into a more extensive problem. The bottom line is that the best way to maintain a bright smile is to properly care for your teeth on a daily basis. And see your dentist at the first sign of tooth pain, to avoid complications.

All-on-Four an Alternative to Dentures

Dentures are often recommended as the treatment of choice to people who are missing several teeth. They have several advantages over other dental treatments like traditional implants, which require more time consuming and invasive work and are more expensive. 

However, a system is available that combines dentures and dental implants. It can be more affordable and convenient — all-on-four implants.

Benefits of All-on-Fours

As their name suggests, this treatment involves the use a limited number of implants (usually 4 or 6) to replace missing teeth. All-on-four implants are evenly distributed along the dental arch — and because the implants are securely inserted into the jawbone, the dentures are held securely in place.

This system has several benefits over traditional dentures. First of all, with the implants acting as stabilisers, the dentures stay in place — so there is no need to fiddle with adhesive or get the right gum suction. 

Because the dentures are securely attached to the jaw bone, you can eat, chew, and speak normally without having to worry about a denture coming loose.

Another benefit is that these implants are a permanent solution and will last a lifetime if you care for them as instructed by your dentist. This also means that in the long run, implants are much more cost-effective than simply having dentures, which need to be replaced every few years.

Keeps You Looking Younger Longer

Not only that, but all-on-four implants can make a dramatic difference in how your face looks. Tooth loss causes jaw bone reduction, since missing tooth roots can no longer stimulate the bone. Over time, this can make your cheeks look sunken and make you look older than you really are. 

Wearing a denture can help counter the jaw bone loss process, but only to a certain extent. All-on-fours are much more effective at stimulating the jaw bone and giving your face a fuller and more youthful look.

You’ll Have Your Ideal Smile Quickly, Effectively

Lastly, these implants can be fitted without undergoing bone graft surgery, which is sometimes needed if a patient does not have enough bone left in their jaw. As a result, this treatment eliminates the need for invasive dental work and helps you achieve your ideal smile faster, as it skips a stage that is often very time consuming.

Moreover, this treatment can be done on both upper and lower arches and is highly effective, as its success rates are in the region of 99.8%. With these implants, you can be confident that you will achieve an attractive smile and regenerate jaw bone with almost no risk of failure or complications.

How TMJ Dentistry Can Help Your Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding or clenching can have a serious impact on oral health if left untreated. Also known as bruxism, it can lead to a wearing down of teeth, broken fillings and increased tooth sensitivity. 

Although people can experience teeth grinding during the day, many will find their teeth grinding occurs overnight while they sleep. This can result in awaking with jaw pain, headaches or earaches. The longer teeth grinding remains unaddressed the more severe the potential impact on the jaw and teeth.

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the jaw to the skull, acting as hinges which allow the movement in the jaw so you can talk, chew and yawn. A TMJ disorder is one of the main causes of teeth grinding and results from problems with the muscles around the jaw or from the jaw itself. A dentist can recognise the symptoms of teeth grinding and if they suspect a TMJ disorder could be a cause they can refer you to a specialist TMJ dentist.

TMJ dentistry can help to reduce any pain and discomfort from a TMJ disorder while also recommending treatment options to prevent future teeth grinding. By tackling bruxism, TMJ dentistry helps to also prevent future oral health problems associated with teeth grinding and clenching. One of the more common ways to address teeth grinding is with a custom-made mouthguard, which reduces bruxism by preventing the top and bottom rows of teeth coming together.

A TMJ dentist will evaluate the symptoms of each individual to advise on the most suitable treatment for teeth grinding or clenching. Using a splint is an alternative to a mouthguard and depending on the individual case the splint could be fitted to either the top or bottom row of teeth. The splint is designed to gently ease the jaw in to a more relaxed position and most users will find this helps to alleviate any pain while also reducing their bruxism.

As well as pain and trouble chewing, symptoms of a TMJ disorder can also include swelling and a popping sound in the jaw when opening the mouth. 

Teeth grinding can also be due to stress and anxiety, so lifestyle changes or modifications to limit stress may be recommended alongside a mouthguard or splint to reduce bruxism. 

Teeth grinding can also have an adverse effect on sleep, so by addressing bruxism and TMJ disorders you can look forward to better nights of important restorative sleep.

Kids’ Sleep-Disordered Breathing & Sleep Apnoea

Getting quality sleep is crucial to good health, both for children and adults. But if you have young kids at home, you’ll know how difficult it can be to put them to bed. And unfortunately, problems can appear even when they’re asleep. In this post we’ll discuss two things can interfere with your children’s rest and with their overall health: sleep interruptions and sleep- disordered breathing.

Sleepwalking And Night Terrors

Sleepwalking is especially common in young kids. Episodes usually happen within the first few hours of sleep and they can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Although in most cases this problem disappears on its own by the time a child is 10 years old, it can be a source of problems in the meantime.

First of all, there’s the risk that kids who sleepwalk may hurt themselves either by tripping and falling or running into something. Moreover, children who sleepwalk are usually tired during the day, and this can affect their mood and performance at school.

Night terrors are another thing that causes sleep interruptions. These may happen every now and then, in which case there’s nothing to worry about. But if your child has night terrors often, they may suffer the same adverse effects caused by nightwalking. 

Sleep-Disordered Breathing 

Sleep-disordered breathing is a term that covers several problems that happen at night. For example, you may think that snoring isn’t really a big deal, but in fact it often is a sign of underlying conditions. 

After all, people snore because the normal airflow is obstructed. Some of the reasons behind frequent snoring can be diet deficiencies, obesity, or incorrect breathing (breathing through the mouth).

Sleep Apnoea in Children

Sleep apnoea is another night-time breathing disorder that you should understand so you can identify the symptoms, since kids with apnoea aren’t aware of the problem. 

Apnoea is a breathing interruption while a child is asleep, and this happens several times every night. A child with this condition will wake up gasping or snorting, although they won’t remember it in the morning. They may also breathe heavily, snore, or be generally restless in their sleep. 

Sleep-disordered breathing issues and sleep interruptions are actually connected to each other. Medical researchers have found that apnoea in particular seems to be the trigger for other disorders, since it causes an interruption in the sleep cycle. In fact, night terrors and sleep walking are symptoms of apnoea too.

If you notice any apnoea symptoms in your child, it’s important that you take them to a healthcare professional familiar with this condition. Sleep apnoea can be quite harmful to your child’s health and the effects go from daytime sleepiness and concentration problems to hyperactivity, high blood pressure, and heart conditions.

Diagnosing And Treating Sleep Disorders In Young Kids

All sleep disorders related to incorrect breathing (including apnoea) can be diagnosed by a dentist. You may be surprised to hear this, but actually many of these disorders are caused by problems that fall within a dentist’s expertise. For example, apnoea and frequent snoring can be the result of jaw development problems. 

To get an accurate diagnosis, you’ll need to find a child-friendly dental clinic that has the facilities to test for these disorders. Testing can be done at home, so the child sleeps in their own bed. The testing involves simply wearing a small fingertip device that records the child’s body while they’re sleep, including breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and body position.

If a night-time breathing disorder is found, your dentist will discuss the treatment options available. One of the most effective ways of treating this is by using an oral appliance that the child wears to bed. 

These are similar to retainers (worn after braces) and they’re safe to be used on kids as young as two years old. These special devices help by correcting the jaw and tongue position, which are some of the most common things that cause breathing interruptions. 

The device helps keep the airways open through the night, which means that your child is less likely to wake up and can get a better rest. 

There’s nothing more important than your kid’s health and well-being, and these start with the ability to sleep and breathe well. If you’d like to prevent the health problems linked to sleep disorders, get in touch with MyoKids Dental

Danny the dentist is specially trained and has plenty of experience treating this condition in young kids. Book your consultation today!

Unexpected Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

We have two Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) which are located on either side of the jaw and connect the jawbone to the skull. They act as a hinge allowing you to chew, speak and yawn. However, for those who have misaligned teeth, an improper bite or arthritis, disorders of these joints can lead to further issues. 

Symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain, popping noises within the jaw and being unable to open the mouth. However, a few more symptoms of TMJ disorder are less known.

Ear troubles

The proximity of the TMJ to the ears mean disorders of these joints can result in ear ache and ear infections. Some people experience tinnitus or a feeling of fullness within the ear. Dizziness is also another possible symptom of TMJ. This is due to inflammation in the muscles and connecting tissue supporting the jaw which may affect the inner ear.

Vision issues

The temporomandibular joints are also located close to the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is linked to your vision and therefore any inflammation from a TMJ disorder can result in vision issues in one or both eyes. This can include a feeling of pressure behind the eyes, blurred or tired eyes and sensitivity to light. 

Though not a common issue, a pinched trigeminal nerve from inflammation can also lead to tingling and numbness in the legs and arms, or possibly limbs which ache or feel weak. 

Head and neck pain

TMJ disorders can also affect your neck, shoulders and upper back. This can be caused through the increased muscle tension induced by the disorder. This may be compounded by your posture as you try to find a way to reduce any jaw pain or discomfort resulting from TMJ disorders. You may not realise it, but you could be holding your head and neck in a position which is not a natural one. So in attempting to alleviate one source of discomfort you could be creating another.

The important point to remember is TMJ disorders are treatable. By booking an appointment with your dentist if you think you have symptoms of a TMJ disorder you can have the cause of the disorder evaluated and a treatment plan recommended. Pain from TMJ disorders is largely temporary providing you seek the advice of an experienced professional dentist.