What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a habit during which you grind your teeth or clench or thrust our jaw forward over and over again. This habit can affect your oral health. It can cause teeth to break or crack, and increase the chance of gum problems. Adults are not the only ones affected. Studies have found hat this can be a problem in children as young as preschool aged.
What causes it?
Researchers do not know for sure what causes people to do this. Some think stress could be a factor. In preschoolers, studies find an association between grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws and signs of stress or social withdrawal. Children may also develop this habit when they are losing their baby teeth and their permanent teeth are coming in. Nail biting may also lead to grinding of teeth or jaw clenching. Like many habits, you may be unaware that you do this. You may even do it in your sleep. Tobacco and alcohol use may increase your chances of doing this when you are sleeping. Large amounts of caffeine- for example, 8 or more cups of coffee a day- also can increase the risk. Some medications may also cause patients to clench or grind their teeth.
What can you do?
You should talk to Dr Oldfield if you notice any of the following:
A number of things can contribute to the problem of bruxism, and there has not been a lot of research on how best to treat it. Dr Oldfield will recommend quitting tobacco, limiting how much caffeine you consume, finding new ways to relax or relieve stress, or looking at your medications and evaluating your options.
In some cases, Dr Oldfield may recommend an oral appliance, which is a plastic tray that fits over either your top or bottom teeth. This appliance is usually worn at night. Use of an appliance may help reduce grinding and clenching, and may protect your teeth and gums.
Hear a patient's perspective...
Dr. Mary Oldfield's office provides a premium teeth whitening experience from beginning to completion. From the moment you inquire about the teeth whitening service, Sherri at the front desk will inform you of the entire process to help you make an educated decision about the treatment.
Once you check-in for your appointment, Glenna will guide you to a comfortable treatment room and explain all of the specific details that will transform the color grade of your teeth. As you can see from the photos of my teeth, the results are amazing. I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of the treatment.
The entire teeth whitening process is completely painless. As Glenna is explaining the treatment details to you, she will also line your mouth with cotton to protect every inch of your interior tissue. Then, Glenna will carefully apply the whitening solution that will interact with special lighting equipment to whiten the teeth.
This process takes one hour, and is separated into four 15-minute sessions. After each session, Glenna will reapply the whitening solution and ask you about any uncommon sensitivities that you may be experiencing. She will also assist you with cleaning your mouth's interior and answering any questions.
After the four sessions are finished, Glenna and Dr. Oldfield will examine the results of the treatment. And then you must prepare yourself for amazing results when you look in the mirror! Glenna will then discuss the at-home portion of the treatment and explain the easy steps to get the most effective teeth whitening experience.
Overall, this service at Dr. Oldfield's office is an incredible value. I'm very pleased with the treatment and the experience at her office. The staff are always so kind and helpful at answering every question that clients have for them. I highly recommend this treatment and I'm only sad that I waited so many years before requesting it.
Coping Skills for Facing Dental Fears
We all have something we are afraid of -- spiders, the dark, heights, maybe even going to the dentist. Sometimes, you can avoid scary things. You do not like heights? Stay close to the ground. But seeing your dentist is one fear you should not dodge. Here are some things you can do to help you get to the dental office and through the appointment.
*Speak up -- Let the dentist and the staff know that you are anxious. Tell them what makes you nervous or if you’ve had a bad experience in the past. Talk to the team about any coping skills that have worked for you in the past.
*Ask questions -- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
*Agree on a signal -- You can give, like raising your hand, if you need to take a break during treatment.
*Distract yourself --You have a lot of options for distracting yourself. Bring headphones and listen to some music or an audio book. Occupy your hands by squeezing a soft stress ball.
*Breathe --Deep breathing brings oxygen into your body, helping slow your heart rate and relax your muscles.
These are just a few coping techniques. Work with your dental team to develop a plan that not only gets you in the door, but keeps you coming back for visits on a regular basis.
Are you looking for a whiter smile? Start with your dentist. The staff at our office can help you sort through the information about ways to whiten your teeth. Some magazines, television programs, or websites tout do-it-yourself whitening approaches like sucking on, brushing with, or rinsing with acidic fruits or coconut oil. However, many off those approaches have not been shown to whiten teeth.
*Whitening in the Dental Office
Whitening toothpastes have little effect. Although some pastes may contain ingredients that seem to brighten your teeth, they are not bleaching the tooth or changing the actual color.
Home-use whiteners come in strips or as gels you paint on the teeth or put in a tray that you then put over your teeth. You can get home-use whiteners from our office or buy them over the counter. One benefit of using products from us is that the trays will be fitted to limit the contact that the gel has with your gums. This helps avoid gum irritation that can happen when gel is in contact with your gums. These whiteners bleach or lighten the tooth enamel with a chemical called peroxide. In most cases, these whiteners are used for short periods for approximately 2-4 weeks.
In Office Whitening
In office whitening is performed by our staff. Glenna will apply a peroxide gel--stronger than the one used in at-home whiteners---to your teeth. They may shine a light on the gel to get the whitening reaction started. The whole process takes approximately 1 hour. Because the peroxide is stronger, you may get whiter teeth with this approach then with the others.
Why work with my Dentist?
Our team can be a good partner when you are thinking about whitening your teeth. We will be happy to help you decide if whitening is right for you. For example, if your gums have pulled away from your teeth, whitening can be uncomfortable. Also, if you have cavities or other dental disease, Dr. Oldfield may need to treat it before you begin the whitening process to help limit any side effects like tooth sensitivity. You should also be aware that whitening will not change the color of fillings or crowns.
Are there any drawbacks?
Whitening may come with some side effects. Some people experience tooth sensitivity or their gums become irritated. Our staff will be able to help minimize these effects.