Bruxism: Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Many people clench or grind their teeth, but often don’t even realize they are doing it. That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms of these behaviors, as well as maintain regular visits to the dentist because the signs will be noticeable to a dental professional.

Here are some things to watch for and suggestions on how to deal with bruxism.

Bruxism is when you hold your top and bottom teeth tightly together or slide your teeth back and forth against each other. Dentists say that there are a variety of causes for bruxism, such as smoking, sleep disorders, depression, caffeine, medications, anxiety, and drug use. The overall common link to these behaviors though is reported to be stress.

It’s important to know what effects to look for that might indicate you are grinding or clenching your teeth. Common signs include:

  • Aching facial muscles and jaw
  • Headache
  • Ear ache
  • Inability to open your mouth as wide as usual
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Disrupting others when sleeping due to noise caused by grinding
  • Irritated or receding gums
  • Tight or stiff shoulders
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Uneven or excessive tooth wear or breakage

If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your dentist for a checkup. Bruxism patients may be fitted with a night guard, an appliance worn while sleeping to protect your teeth and help relieve your symptoms. Your dentist will also help you identify the cause of your bruxism, likely stress. In addition to determining the source of your stress and trying to reduce it, there are some techniques to relieve stress and reduce your bruxism symptoms that may be helpful. These include practicing yoga, eating anti-inflammatory foods, performing deep breathing exercises, journaling to release distracting or nagging thoughts, and exercising to release tension.

Targeting the root cause of your bruxism is a good way to get control of the problem, and seeing your dentist for ways to protect your teeth and gums will help save you from suffering the effects of bruxism.

Dentist 97229

Read More »

Patient Types Who Should Avoid Sedation Dentistry

family_top2Sedation dentistry is a very safe kind of treatment for most dental patients. If you are healthy and fit, sedation dentistry can work wonders, allowing you to be treated while being completely at ease, sometimes with the dentist being able to accomplish several therapies at once.

Some patients should think twice about receiving sedation dentistry and should work carefully with their dentist to ensure that they are in as little risk as possible during their treatment.

Some patients who are at risk are young children. Pediatric patients require specialized training in order to properly sedate, and more than 31 children have died since 1998 after dental sedation. Some problems come with inadequate training, with the dentist administering more of the dosage than is safe. Some come from hidden health issues that aren’t revealed until the patient is in need of urgent care while in the dental chair.

One of the highest risks during sedation dentistry is airway obstruction. This is a problem with a patient’s respiration which affects the amount of air the patient is able to inhale. The patient loses oxygen supply to the brain, which can result in permanent damage. If a patient has existing trouble related to breathing or oxygen absorption, sedation dentistry might not be recommended.

Patients who are addicted to drugs or who are currently in recovery might not be suitable sedation dentistry recipients. A responsible dentist addresses addiction issues in the patient heath history paperwork, as well as makes observations of the patients to determine if sedation dentistry is advisable.

Patients who are extremely elderly, possess heart conditions or a history of hepatic dysfunction should approach sedation dentistry with caution. Problems for these patients can arise suddenly and without warning in the dental chair.

If you have questions about whether sedation dentistry is appropriate for you and your dental treatment plan, talk to your dentist today. Don’t move forward until you have a safe plan in place to address your particular potential issues.

Sedation Dentistry Beaverton OR

Read More »