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Archive for December, 2016

Bruxism and TMJ Disorder: What is the difference?

Monday, December 26th, 2016

dentist 60601Bruxism is a condition that results from teeth grinding and clenching. It usually starts subconsciously during periods of sleep to patients suffering from anxiety, but it can also be the result of a dental malocclusion where the upper teeth are not properly aligned with bottom teeth. Your dentist can immediately spot patients suffering from bruxism.

Very often your dentist will attempt to help the patient by adjusting the bite; another solution is to fabricate a night guard for the patient to wear at night that will help to prevent teeth grinding.

TMJ disorder is often linked to bruxism, but there is a difference. TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. And TMJ disorder is a widely used term that pretty much describes the pain and dysfunction of the muscles that allow the jaw to move for speaking, chewing, yawning … most any time you move your mouth, this jaw joint is impacted.

Unlike bruxism, which is an act attributed to teeth grinding and jaw clenching, TMJ disorder is usually the result of genetics, a facial injury, or an underlying condition like arthritis. Symptoms of bruxism and TMJ can be similar, but unlike bruxism, TJM is much more difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms can include discomfort, earache, chewing difficulties, a clicking sound when you chew or open your mouth wide, or the jaw can actually become locked in place.

Treatment for TMJ disorder usually starts with an over the counter pain medication. Your dentist might recommend moist heat. Cold packs can reduce inflammation. Your diet could be contributing to your discomfort. You might try softer foods and avoid crunchy or chewy foods to give your jaw as much rest as possible. If symptoms continue, there are more extensive treatments available.

A night guard may be recommended when it is suspected the patient is dealing with TMJ disorder. As in the case of bruxism, nightly teeth grinding and jaw clenching can exacerbate the symptoms of TMJ disorder.

However, it is critical that the patient receive a custom fitted night guard. A generic, one size fits all model is not a viable solution. If the night guard is uncomfortable or ill fitting, the patient will not wear it. Invest in a custom fitted unit designed for your particular needs.

Your dentist wants to bring you relief so follow suggestions and guidelines provided. Call us today for more information about either of these topics!

Porcelain Veneers: Do they have to be applied to all teeth?

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

porcelain veneers ChicagoPorcelain veneers are wafer thin shells that can be placed on one or many teeth to enhance your appearance.

One of the advantages of veneers is their ability to correct multiple dental maladies by treating one or more teeth suffering dental issues such as intrinsic dental stain, uneven or misaligned teeth, chipped or broken teeth or unwanted gaps between teeth.

Your cosmetic dentist will respond to your wishes by creating veneers and applying them to correct any or all of your cosmetic dental needs. The procedure takes only a couple of dental visits over a period of weeks, and the result will be a permanent solution that was minimally invasive and actually provides added strength and durability to treated teeth.

The veneer process involves removing a small amount of enamel from the front of the teeth requiring treatment. This allows the veneer to be cemented in place while remaining even with surrounding untreated dentition.

The dental lab will fabricate veneers from the dental impressions provided. Your cosmetic dentist has the capability to color match your veneers to neighboring teeth to provide undetectable treatment.

The veneers will be tried in for fit and so if adjustments are needed, they can be done chairside. When satisfied with the result, the veneers will be permanently cemented to the front of teeth.

Advantages of veneers include added strength to treated teeth; they are durable; they are safe; porcelain has been proven to respond well to oral tissues; and porcelain is naturally stain resistant. It is important to note that porcelain is not affected by teeth whitening, so if you try to whiten after veneers have been applied only untreated biological teeth will lighten.

The final result will be a smile makeover that will boost your self-confidence while adding a layer of strength and protection to treated teeth.

Caring for veneers is the same as all your teeth: brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss daily, and see your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam. You will likely be given instructions to avoid biting into hard or sticky foods. If one of your veneers breaks or becomes dislodged, it will usually require replacement. Although veneers are strong, they are not invincible, so protect your investment and you will reap the rewards for many years.

If you are considering veneers, contact our office today to discuss your own options!

A Healthy Smile and Healthy Body go Hand in Hand

Monday, December 5th, 2016

dentist 60616Maintaining healthy teeth and gums requires daily brushing and flossing. This coupled with twice yearly visits to the dentist for cleaning and an examination should help you to keep your smile bright and teeth healthy.

In recent years researchers have found that dental health is closely linked to overall health. What has been realized is that individuals suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes or arthritis are more likely to have problems with their dental health such as gum disease. Similar links pertain to heart disease as well.

One primary cause seems to point to inflammation. Inflammation is actually the body’s response when it is exposed to something harmful. It can be due to an injury or an illness. It is important to note that inflammation is not the same thing as an infection.

Understanding that there is a direct correlation between oral and overall health brings much more importance to what we should do daily to maintain our health including:

  • Getting sufficient sleep – the body requires sleep to repair and rejuvenate … inadequate sleep deprives the body of what is needed to maintain overall health.
  • Proper hydration – Sugary beverages, drinks high in caffeine, and alcohol should be limited. Adequate water consumption helps keep the mouth flushed.
  • Healthy diet – Vegetables and fruits, nuts, and dairy products provide a great start. Healthy snacks like popcorn, low sodium soup, or oatmeal are great to curb afternoon cravings without overdoing your calorie allowance for the day.
  • Exercise – Some kind of movement daily is recommended – a walk, taking the stairs, or engaging in an activity you enjoy all contribute to maintaining overall health.
  • Tobacco – Smoking or tobacco use in any form does severe damage to the body, especially teeth and gums.
  • Monitor how you feel – If you experience acute pain or discomfort that lasts more than a couple of days, don’t ignore it. Play it safe and get it checked out. A tooth ache, bleeding or swollen gums, or anything unusual requires attention. See your dentist because resolving a problem quickly can save you time and costly treatment.

Great oral health can be achieved by brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste twice daily, flossing every day to remove what your tooth brush missed, and seeing your dentist every six months. You will enjoy a magnificent smile while contributing to your overall good health.

Contact our office at Ora Dental Studio today to schedule your next appointment!