Why You Need to Come See Us if you Notice Yourself Clenching Your Teeth

Why You Need to Come See Us if you Notice Yourself Clenching Your Teeth

If you’ve been under a lot of stress lately, you may have noticed that you’ve been clenching your jaw more often than normal. If you’re clenching your teeth a lot, you may also be grinding them at night. That means you’re dealing with bruxism, a type of stress outlet that can greatly damage your teeth. Very few people grind their teeth simply to grind them.

Normally, it’s a sign of something else. While we may not necessarily be able to help you with the stress that’s causing your bruxism, we can help you deal with the grinding of your teeth.

Why Is Bruxism and Teeth Clenching Dangerous?

When you clench your teeth tightly together, you’re putting a lot of pressure on them. This isn’t normal pressure like the type you exert when you’re chewing food. Instead, it’s often much stronger, and that can cause your teeth to crack.

If you’ve been grinding your teeth a lot at night, you may have already weakened them because the grinding can wear down your enamel. Without this strong enamel to protect your teeth from pressure, you can cause serious damage when you clench your jaw.

What Can We Do?

One of the ways we can help you deal with bruxism is to give you a special mouthguard to wear at night. This will prevent you from grinding your teeth, so you won’t damage them. Once you’re aware of what you’re doing, you can also make a conscious effort to unclench your jaw if you find yourself doing it while you’re awake.

We will also work with you to help restore the enamel of your teeth and protect your mouth from further damage. If you know you’re clenching your jaw a lot or if you believe you’re suffering from bruxism, call us today. We’ll set up a consultation and help you deal with this damaging condition. 

Why Saliva is Important for Optimal Oral Health

water aids saliva
Young woman drinking pure glass of water

Making sure you are hydrated is important for your body and for your oral health. Your body needs water to do its job and your oral cavity needs water to do its job. So, what does your oral health have to do with being hydrated? We can tell you in one word; saliva.

Saliva is crucial to your oral health. Without it, you will not only have gum problems, but problems with your teeth as well. If those two reasons aren’t enough to convince you, we will give you one more reason. If you don’t produce enough saliva you will have bad breath. No one wants their co-workers backing away from them when they talk.

What Does Saliva Do for Me?

Saliva is a crucial part of keeping your teeth strong and your gums healthy. When you eat or drink, remnants of the food or drink, stay on your teeth.

This is what you brush away with your toothbrush. But you can’t brush your teeth constantly. That is why you have saliva.

Saliva is like your body’s own mouthwash. It cleans the acids away from your teeth and gums until it is time for you to brush again. It has properties that neutralize the effects of the bacteria that live naturally in your mouth.

Most people at some time or another have experienced dry mouth. That is what we call it when you don’t produce enough saliva. You may also have noticed that when you have dry mouth your teeth may feel a little slimy and your tongue may feel strange. The roof of your mouth may also feel a little sticky.

You don’t normally feel like this. That is because normally you have sufficient saliva to clean away all of the gunk accumulating in your mouth over the day, in between brushings. If you stay sufficiently hydrated, you won’t have these problems.

What to do if you have dry mouth

Dry mouth can occur even if you drink plenty of liquids. Medications and diseases like Sjogrens syndrome and diabetes can cause dry mouth. There is an over the counter spray we recommend for our patients called Biotene. It can freshen your breath and alleviate some of the symptoms of dry mouth. People who suffer from dryness should also visit their dentist more frequently. The risk of decay increases dramatically in people with dry mouth.  We routinely put our patients at risk for decay on prescription fluoride.  This reduces the risk of decay by making your teeth stronger.

If you have to take medication that causes dry mouth, you should drink more liquids than usual to compensate for the medication.Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Types of Benefits You Get from Consuming Seaweed

Types of Benefits You Get from Consuming Seaweed

You may find the idea of eating seaweed fairly gross, but there are a few different reasons why consuming this type of algae is actually really good for you. Seaweed comes in a number of different forms, so it’s not like you’re pulling it directly out of the ocean and putting it on your plate.

In fact, you can add seaweed to a number of dishes so that you don’t realize you’re even eating it. Here are a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you do so.

It Contains a Good Amount of Vitamins

Adding a tablespoon of dried seaweed to a dish gives it extra flavor and texture, but it also gives you a good amount of vitamins. One tablespoon contains four grams of protein, some fiber, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and zinc, folate, magnesium, and calcium. Eating certain types of seaweed also provides your body with the essential amino acids it needs to function as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Your gums, mouth, and teeth need many of these nutrients to remain strong and healthy.

It Helps Control Blood Sugar

Diabetes can affect your oral health by creating a horrible cycle in which the diabetes lowers your body’s ability to battle infection, your gums become infected, and that infection then makes it difficult to control your blood sugar. This cycle makes both your gums and your diabetes worse over time. Eating seaweed can help manage your blood sugar levels better, allowing you to break this cycle and have healthier gums.

It Contains a Large Amount of Antioxidants

Seaweed also contains a good amount of antioxidants. This helps battle free radicals and can even help prevent certain diseases and digestive issues. While seaweed will certainly help improve your overall diet and help with your oral health, it’s not a miracle food. You’ll still need to make sure you brush regularly and visit us every six months for a checkup. Call today to schedule one if you haven’t already.

Clean Teeth and Gums Can Help You Keep Your Weight in Check

Clean Teeth and Gums Can Help You Keep Your Weight in Check

When you practice good oral health, you receive many benefits. Your breath smells better, your teeth are whiter, your gums are healthy, and you simply feel better about yourself. What many of our patients don’t realize is that bad oral health can also contribute to your general health.

This is particularly rued if you are obese. Recent studies indicate that obese people have more periodontal disease than the general population. The study theorized that it is because obesity causes inflammation and inflammation is associated with gum disease.

It is also an underlying the reason for other diseases such as certain cancers and also cardiovascular disease. It is important to keep your weight down to an acceptable medical level for many reasons, but us more research is completed, the connection between oral health and obesity will become clearer. In the meantime, keeping your teeth and gums clean can help you with your weight.

How Can Clean Teeth Make Me Lose Weight?

When your teeth are clean and your breath smells fresh, you are less inclined to eat food that may destroy that good feeling. But you still like the flavors to which you’ve become accustomed to and you may also have a habit of snacking at certain times during the day. That is fine.

None of the snack habit needs to stop except what you snack on has to change. Start with not eating hard candy anymore.

If you want something that needs to be crunched on and will also give your teeth a little cleaning, try eating carrots or apples. Both of these are hard enough to scrape your teeth as you chew them This is like eating your toothbrush. They also contain antioxidants.

These will help to destroy the free radicals that, combined with your mouth’s bacteria, decay your teeth or inflame your gums. Eating fruits and vegetables that help clean your teeth, will also help you to watch your weight.

Can Your Dentin Heal?

Can Your Dentin Heal?

Dentin is the hard tissue that forms on your tooth. You should have plenty of this located under your tooth’s enamel (your tooth’s hard, outer layer). This is important because it is the second hardest layer of your tooth (second only to the enamel itself).

It’s responsible for protecting your tooth’s pulp (the soft, inner part of your tooth).

How Dentin Becomes Damaged

One of the major reasons your dentin may become damaged is due to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn. When this acid comes back into your mouth from your stomach it’ll wear away your tooth’s enamel.

Left unchecked, it can also eat through and damage your dentin. This can result in a significant amount of damage. If this isn’t what’s damaged your dentin, it may be that you have bacteria growing in your mouth, which will result in tooth decay.

Healing Your Dentin

Once your tooth decay has reached the dentin, it isn’t easy to repair. Unlike tooth enamel, which is incapable of repairing itself, your dentin can regenerate. Unfortunately, this will only happen within a limited capacity though.

This is why you’ll want to talk to us when you’re having any issues with your dentin and any damage to it has occurred. Fortunately, today we are able to engineer tissues.

We also know more about dental stem cells than we’ve ever known about it in the past. As such, we’re better equipped to help you regenerate your dentin today than in the past.

Even when you have dentin exposed in a tooth you can slowly have it repaired. However, we must stress that this is a slow process.

Of course, this doesn’t deemphasize its importance because you must remember that this is a natural way in which your tooth is protected.

Fortunately, it isn’t urgent for this to happen right away though.

Coconut Water Could Be The Ultimate Secret Weapon for Great Oral Health

Coconut Water Could Be The Ultimate Secret Weapon for Great Oral HealthIf you’re like us, you’re always looking for ways to improve your oral health. You brush your teeth twice a day, every day. You floss. You go to your dentist twice a year for checkups, and you make sure that you are eating properly.

You drink plenty of water as well. So what else could you possibly do to make your oral health any better? Coconut Water. Coconut water not only works to protect your mouth, it also works to protect your body in general.

Why is Coconut Water Good For You?

There are a couple of reasons why coconut water is good for you. First, coconut water with a little sodium added has been proven to be better for your overall health than sports drinks are. Coconut water has potassium in it, which over time, works to lower blood pressure, and balances out the electrolytes in your system. Also, because coconut water has no added sugars, your mouth will thank you, because drinking sugar adds to the sugar in your mouth, which helps to feed the bacteria in your mouth and causes cavities.

Coconut water also increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, which aids in keeping your teeth as bacteria free as possible. Coconut water also helps to wash away bacteria, which leaves your mouth healthier. Coconut water is able to accomplish all of this without costing you empty calories the way sports drinks do. Some people drink sports drinks all day, adding hundreds of calories to their diet.

If you are looking for ways to improve your overall dental health, why not give us a call? We would love to talk to you about coconut water, or water in general, as tools for you to use to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Give us a call today.

How Nuts Can Help Your Teeth When You Eat Them As Snacks

How Nuts Can Help Your Teeth When You Eat Them As Snacks

Do you regularly snack? If so, then you may want to make sure you are eating as healthy of snacks as possible. Snacks not only add to your daily calorie count, but they also add to the nutritional possibilities your body gets each day.

If you pick healthy snacks, it gives your body the ability to eat something good and feel better for it. One of the best options you can eat when you are munchy for a snack is nuts. They provide you a lot of good nutrition, plus they offer a special bonus to your teeth.

What Nuts Can Do to Help Your Teeth

When you go through and chew up nuts, the texture of nuts also scrubs your teeth. The more you chew, the cleaner your teeth become. When you regularly eat nuts, you can actually wind up with cleaner teeth than if you went with most other snacks.

Plus, nuts are also able to provide you with some of the more difficult to find nutrients, like Omega fatty acids. You can also include nuts in your regular meals to add them into more parts of your diet.

Try adding some chia seeds into your breakfast, almonds into your lunch, and walnuts into your dinner. Your body, not just your teeth, will reap the rewards.

If you want to see what else nuts can do to improve your oral health, give our office a call. We can talk to you about the benefits of nuts, and other items that you could add into your day that would give you similar benefits.

The more you are able to clean your teeth as you eat, the easier brushing will be, and the less work we will have to do during your exams and cleanings. Call our office today!

Rinsing With Water Right After Brushing is Not Good For Your Teeth

Rinsing With Water Right After Brushing is Not Good For Your TeethBrushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are vital to maintaining good oral health. When you are done brushing, you may want to reach for that little tumbler of water to rinse your mouth, but stop! Before you go rinsing your mouth after a good brushing, there are a few things you need to know.

Fluoridated Tooth Paste

When you are choosing a toothpaste for your daily brushing, be sure that you choose a paste that has been recommended by the American Dental Association.

Check the label and make sure that your favorite paste also has fluoride in it, because, even as an adult, your teeth need it. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel in your teeth, preventing plaque, tartar and bacteria from attaching and causing tooth decay.

So what happens if you take your time, floss between every tooth, brush for the full two minutes and then spit and rinse? Well, all that hard work, all of the fluoride that you just applied to your teeth, goes swirling down the drain with the water. Instead of rinsing with water, simply spit out the toothpaste and be done. If you absolutely need a rinse after brushing, we suggest that you purchase a fluoridated mouth rinse to use in the place of plain water. However, it is best if you do not rinse at all for at least 30 minutes after brushing.

The bottom line is that the most important part of your oral health care is making sure that you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Studies have shown that it is best not to rinse after brushing because that rinses away the fluoride that you have just applied to your teeth.

Give our office a call if you have any questions about what fluoridated toothpaste you should choose, and do not forget to schedule your next cleaning!

Chewing on Ice Can Damage All Parts of Your Mouth

Chewing on Ice Can Damage All Parts of Your MouthA lot of people like to chew ice. For some of us, it takes us back to childhood, when we used to crunch ice from our slushies. While crunching ice may bring us memories of a happy childhood, in reality, crunching ice is not good for you. Crunching ice is really not good for our dental health.

In fact, crunching ice can cause significant damage to your entire mouth, not just your teeth. Not sure how that works? Keep reading. We can give you some information on why ice chewing is bad for your oral health.

Why Chewing Ice Cubes is Bad for Your Mouth

First, chewing ice puts a lot of pressure on your teeth. This is bad for your teeth, because while the spongy inside of your teeth is flexible, the enamel that covers your teeth is not. Chewing ice may not hurt your teeth the first time you do it, but over time, it can wear out the enamel just as if you’ve been grinding your teeth for months. Also, one wrong chomp on a piece of ice could result in a chip or a fracture in your tooth enamel.

Second, if you chew ice on a regular basis, you can cause wearing of your teeth as well, no matter how small the pieces are. This is because chewing ice causes a repetition of hot and cold cycles in your mouth. These hot and cold cycles mean that your tooth enamel is expanding and contracting between cycles. If your mouth has fillings, they expand and contract at a different rate than the enamel. These can lead to microcracks. Chewing ice can also reduce the life of your fillings.

Reasons You May Chew Ice

It has been found that low iron levels can create a desire to chew ice. Emotional stress and other nutritional issues may also play a role. If you can’t break the habit a trip to your physician may be in order.

Ice Can Harm Other Dental Components As Well

If you are one of the many adults who wear braces, or have partials, you need to know that chewing ice can damage these as well. Brackets can break, and wires can move when you chew ice. Pieces of metal or partial plates can break off and damage your teeth cheeks and tongue.

Also, because pieces of ice can be sharp, the shards can cut your gums, tongue, soft palate or cheek. If you have questions about chewing ice, why not give us a call? We would love to talk to you about your ice chewing habit.

How a Numb Tooth is Treated

A happy patient after she overcame her dental anxiety.If your teeth have gone numb, you may be feeling despair and defeat, wondering what your next step is and if any options are available. There are several treatment options, ranging from simple procedures to more severe, permanent alterations.

Preventative Care

The easiest way to avoid needing treatment is to avoid injuring or harming the tooth in the first place. When engaging in sports that may injure your mouth be sure to wear the proper safety gear. You should also make sure to practice dental hygiene, brushing twice a day and flossing daily to ensure that bacteria don’t build up to the point that more invasive methods are needed.

Drilling to the Root of the Problem

Most commonly, the solution to a numbed or deadened tooth is not necessarily to treat that tooth, but to ensure that the problem cannot go on to other teeth, by a process called a root canal. During a root canal, we remove the pulp and surrounding infected matter of your dead tooth, then fill the inside with gutta-percha (a natural latex polymer) and seal it to ensure that the infection does not spread to other teeth.

This is not always a viable solution, however. Sometimes, the dead tooth will have to removed entirely, via a tooth extraction. If this happens, we typically replace the lost tooth with an implant or bridge. For particularly severe cases, a partial or full denture may be required to prevent your good teeth from shifting around or loosening, or bone and gingiva loss which can lead to more problems in the future.

If your tooth is numb, you should contact us immediately before the problem has a chance to escalate further, to see what treatment we recommend to save your mouth from permanent, potentially disfiguring damage.