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Archive for June, 2014

Is Your Mouth Stressed Out?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

dentist 60610Stress is everywhere. The demands of everything from work, caring for your family, school, social pursuits, driving in crazy traffic, finding time to exercise, getting enough rest, etc….there are so many things that can produce stress. And your mouth can bear the brunt of that stress which is a reason why your dentist can be a primary asset to your dental and overall health.

How does stress impact your dental health? When the pressures of daily life close in, one of the first places we feel those strains is in our mouth. It starts out subconsciously during periods of sleep. We grind and clench teeth. And since it is done without realization, it can continue night after night until it becomes a habit.

Once habitual during the night, it can start to occur throughout the day. Without realizing it, you can clench your jaw tight and grind on dental enamel when studying, reading, watching television. Sadly that pressure can result in broken or chipped teeth. This can also lead to TMJ, which is basically an inflammation of the joints that control jaw function. 

…your mouth can bear the brunt of that stress which is a reason why your dentist can be a primary asset to your dental and overall health.

Mouth and canker sores are often attributed to stress. But they can also be prompted by the foods we eat, so a food journal can be an aid in determining the origin of canker sores.

Patients that visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and dental exam have the benefit of spotting the signs of clenching and grinding perhaps before serious damage can occur. One of the solutions your dentist can recommend is a mouth guard.

A customized mouth guard will prevent further damage from clenching and grinding. Having a mouth guard prepared especially for you will provide a perfect fit which will encourage it to be worn. An ill-fitting mouth guard can be uncomfortable which might discourage use.

Mouth guards purchased across the counter or on the internet may promise that you can customize them for a perfect fit; however, the end result is up to you. If you have questions or lack expertise with working with their materials, you will have spent money on a useless product.

Of course, the best option is to rid yourself of worry and anxiety, but your present stress dictates urgency in finding a solution before damage occurs. Let your dentist aid you in easing your oral tension.

Call our experienced dental team to reserve your appointment today.

Oral Piercings: The Hidden Risks to Your Health

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

dentist 60607There are many fads mostly young people ascribe to in an effort to be different. Body piercings is a fad that fits this description and while many body parts can be pierced with relative safety, the mouth is not considered to be one of them. Questions concerning the hazards with oral piercings can be answered by your dentist.

Tongue, cheek, or lip piercings may be considered attractive by some, but the dangers must be acknowledged including:

  1. Infection – The mouth is loaded with bacteria, both good and bad. And are you absolutely certain the items placed in your mouth to complete the job were sterile? If not, you take the risk of introducing contaminants that can actually make you sick. From sores in your mouth to the very serious risks of bacteria travelling to major body organs, this is a major concern.
  2. Teeth damage – A hard foreign object continuously knocking against one or more teeth has the potential to chip dental enamel or break a tooth. This means trips to the dentist to make needed repairs that could include bonding, fillings, or even a crown if a tooth breaks.
  3. Altered speech – Having a foreign object constantly in your mouth can produce side effects that can interfere with word pronunciation. Excessive salivation coupled with the inability to consume many foods can mean additional potential problems which can also include the loss of taste.
  4. Gum disease – Issues with dentistry don’t stop with teeth. Gum tissue can be affected by erosion and earlier mentioned bacteria that may impact gum health. Periodontal concerns can mean bleeding gums, loose teeth, and tooth loss.
  5. Who is doing the piercing? – Friends or more frightening, self-piercing, can produce permanent injuries that include nerve damage to the pierced area. If you have your heart set on an oral piercing, do your homework to make sure you are allowing a certified individual complete treatment in a totally sterile atmosphere. All equipment, including jewelry, needs to be inspected for maximum protection.

With so many questionable issues surrounding oral piercings, it is something that should be discussed with your dental professional at ORA Dental Studio prior to having the procedure done. If the potential problems to teeth and gums don’t discourage oral piercing, other concerns should be considered to make sure all health risks are understood.

Why do I have a dark spot on my tooth?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

dentist Gold CoastThere are several reasons why teeth may be stained or marked. Your dentist is the best person to diagnose the cause and advise how it may be remedied.

While some reasons may be cosmetic, there are other causes that may require dental treatment to repair those dark spots. Dental decay can result in tooth discoloration. When a cavity is involved, your dentist will need to repair the decay with either an amalgam or composite resin filling. However, if amalgam is used to make the repair, there will still be discoloration as amalgam is silver in color. Composite resin is a tooth colored plastic that can correct the dental filling while matching the color of the tooth making the filling virtually undetectable.

Some medications can result in tooth discoloration. The most common causes are tetracycline and fluoride.

Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to treat many different infections. Fluorosis results most often when patients are prescribed a fluoride supplement or vitamin, but is not needed due to the availability of fluoride in water. Fluorosis most often happens during childhood, while tetracycline exposure can occur at any time. 

While some reasons may be cosmetic, there are other causes that may require dental treatment to repair those dark spots.

Tooth discoloration can also occur due to poor hygiene, failure to keep dental appointments for cleanings, or lifestyle habits.

Individuals need to brush with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel at least twice per day (more often, if possible) to keep their teeth looking their best. Flossing will remove objects between teeth and at the gum line that your toothbrush may not reach.

Appointments with your dental provider every six months will remove topical stains and remove plaque build-up that can turn into dental decay.

Foods and beverages can stain teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, sugary beverages … these are the major contributors to tooth discoloration or staining. Drinking with a straw helps beverage bypass the teeth, but limiting their consumption is a better option.

Foods containing dark sauces, beets, and sugary snacks … any food that contains dark or bright colors can discolor the enamel on teeth.

Tobacco use of any nature will yellow teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco are dangerous for your health, and can have a detrimental impact on your appearance.

Knowing the causes of teeth stain should go a long way toward prevention, but if tooth discoloration or dark spots occur, your dentist is your source for correction.

Contact our office at 312-867-8766 to schedule your appointment today.