Dentist Dunwoody: Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Dunwoody Dentist near meBruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth, that may or may not cause harm.  When teeth clenching or grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth may become damaged and possible other possible oral health issues may develop.

People may clench and grind their teeth without being aware of it during both the day and night.  When it is sleep-related, bruxism is often the bigger problem because of the lack of control.  Because it does occur during sleep most people are unaware of the problem until symptoms begin to arise.  While some of these symptoms are headaches or a sore jaw, they are masked by other factors such as too much stress, inability to relax, misalignment of the teeth, or even ones posture or diet.[1]

The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the precipitant in many cases.  The clenching the teeth may be brought on by anxiety, stress or depression.  Other symptoms may include ear aches, insomnia and/or sensitivity in the teeth.[2]  The clenching or grinding puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. The symptoms may develop into temporomandibular joint problems, commonly referred to as TMJ.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist.  An examination can rule out other disorders that may cause similar jaw pain or ear pain, including:

  • Dental disorders
  • Ear disorders such as ear infections
  • Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

Your dentist can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.  If it is diagnosed as night grinding, you can be fitted with a mouth or night guard (a splint) to prevent further damage to your teeth and other issues mentioned above.  The varying types of splints may prevent clenching and create a scenario where your mouth remains relaxed during sleep or during the day.  There are many approaches to retard the clenching behavior, many of which are more successful to daytime clench and grinders verses night clenchers.

Given that grinding and clenching may not fall within any one medical discipline, it may take a combination of approaches to permanently solve the problem.  However, dentist would appear to have the leg up on the other disciplines, give the amount of training and experience dentists have with your oral health.  Regardless, call the health care provider you are comfortable with to seek solutions to this potentially damaging oral health problem.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

and

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341

770-455-6076

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles

[1]ADA and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002386/, Feb. 22, 2010.

[2]    Ibid.

Dentist Sandy Springs: Getting The Point About Oral Piercing

Dentist near meBody piercing has become a popular form of self-expression, especially for but not limited to young adults. Oral piercing is becoming trendier but is not without risks and complications. The tongue is the most common site with the lips, uvula (soft tissue hanging from the back of the palate), cheeks and a combination of these sites also being utilized. If you absolutely can’t live without participating in this trend, be sure the procedure is performed by qualified professionals who use disposable gloves, disposable or sterile instruments and sterilized jewelry. For several days after the piercing, you can expect swelling, pain, increased salivary flow and sometimes infection. There may be prolonged bleeding from punctured blood vessels.

The healing period is usually 3-6 weeks before the permanent device (hoops, studs, barbells) can be placed. During the healing stage, avoid spicy foods, alcohol and smoking. Use antiseptic or warm salt water mouth rinses; keep talking to a minimum for the first few days; and refrain from French kissing and oral sex for at least 2 weeks to minimize infection risk. Complications arising from oral piercing include chipped teeth, allergic reactions, change in the way your food tastes from interfering with taste buds and problems with speech, chewing and/or swallowing. After healing and to minimize complications, people should remove their jewelry once a day for cleaning and irrigate the hole with water. For those with tongue piercing, the tongue should be brushed every day. Proper care or removal should be taken during strenuous, contact sports.

The tongue piercing, which involves placing a “barbell”-type stud through the tongue puts people at risk for chipped teeth, recessed gums, and nerve damage, warns the Academy of General Dentistry(AGD). However, most people don’t realize that getting an oral piercing also places them at risk for developing a fatal infection or, in some cases, a mini-tongue, according to a report in the January/February 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, such as blood-born hepatitis. Also, if a patient is not instructed to avoid touching the piercing, they might spread infections with their own fingers.  Piercings in the mouth have some specific additional risks, according to the American Dental Association.

If you do experience continued discomfort or sense that you are not healing please contact your dentist or physician and get it checked out.  As always, if my office can be of assistance do not hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

and

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341

770-455-6076

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles

Chamblee Dentist: Sinusitis and Snore Guards

Chamblee or Sandy Springs dentist near meOur winters are fairly mild in Atlanta and that’s pretty good health wise because during the winter months and at other times when the air is very dry, it is important to keep our nasal passages moist. When I was young I used to think my mother’s practice of medicine were just old wives tales, but practically applied her easy way to moisten your nasal passages is to sniff salt solution into both sides of the nose 2-4 times a day. To prepare a solution of proper strength, add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water, and stir it until all the salt has dissolved. Sniff some from a spoon or other small container into each nostril.

Alternatively, you can buy ready-prepared nasal saline products, such as Ocean, Simply Saline or generic equivalents from drug stores. Such solutions can be used to wash away mucus from the membranous lining of the nasal passages. They also help by shrinking any parts of it that are swollen. This may save you a trip to the doctor.  If this is not done, mucus and the swollen membranes around these openings may block openings of the sinuses into the nasal passages. Sinusitis will then occur if nasal bacteria infect the mucus, which can no longer drain from the blocked sinus. Treatment of sinusitis (rather than its prevention) often requires the use of antibiotics.

Snore guardSome doctors are not enthusiastic about nasal saline irrigation since researchers found that it does not significantly reduce the incidence of colds. Personally, I am a little skeptical about a doctor’s hesitation to try a home remedy rather than popping a few pills. I don’t mean to confuse colds with sinusitis. Viruses cause colds, while sinusitis is a bacterial-induced complication for some colds. Irrigation of the nasal passages with saline cannot kill viruses or bacteria, but according to my favorite ENT patient, it can help to reduce the incidence of sinusitis in people with a tendency to develop this common complication of colds.

Sinusitis may be from other sources, like silent reflux or in conjunction with sleep apnea.  Ultimately, it may affect your breathing and warrant a dental snore guard or sleep apnea device.  If we can be of service, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Part of the source for this article came from my mom and part came from the American Family Physician (70:1685 & 1697, “04) & Wall Street Journal (Dec.7″04, page D6).

Novy Scheinfeld DDS PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD


290 Carpenter Dr, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
(404) 256-3620

and

3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341

770-455-6076


info@rightsmilecenter.com
rightsmilecenter.com