Why Teeth Grinding Can Be A Serious Matter

Causes and Consequences of Teeth Grinding

Unawares, you might be sweating or tapping your foot, or worst grinding your teeth at night. All these might be happening while you are sleeping. And you don’t have the slightest idea; unless your bed partner says something about it. Or that you might have paid your dentist a visit, a rare occasion for you, and you’re told something is happening to your teeth. Then you’ll realize that these are your body’s responses to stress. The most worrisome of these symptoms must be teeth grinding. It can have some very serious side effects.


Teeth grinding, also called bruxism is the involuntary grinding, gnashing, or clenching of the teeth, at night or during the day. There seems to be no direct cause, but problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be one; it could be caused by orthodontia (like braces or retainers), or it could just be related to stress. The only sure way to find out the cause is to visit the dentist and have a mouth examination. If the condition is ignored, consequences can be long-term and damaging.

One of bruxism’s consequences are chronic muscular pain and joint discomfort, particularly in the TMJ. Grinding your teeth nightly will surely, slowly wear down enamel, compromising your teeth’s integrity. The eroded surfaces can be prone to small fractures which can render teeth more sensitive to cold or hot foods, especially when dentin is exposed. Chewing properly can be difficultas the jaw can sometimes become stiff. Headaches, earaches and even migraines can disrupt your sleep.

A treatment plan that suits you can be drawn out by your dentist. That will depend if your teeth grinding is muscular, joint-related, or a combination of both. These options are designed to give protection to your teeth and stop the escalation of the grinding.

Bruxism Treatment

There are several options for treating bruxism. Facial massages can help. A customized mouthguard worn at night can be helpful in preventing the contact of opposing teeth. Some get Botox injections to to relax the muscles around the jaw and provide relief. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the budget, you can avail of the one most suited to your condition. The thing is to take action as soon as possible to avoid the consequences of of bruxism. Otherwise, there will be more grinding and, hence, more treatment.


Consulting About Bruxism in Bellevue

Do not ignore your teeth grinding and see us as soon as you are aware. Know that your dentist in Bellevue can help you overcome this condition and prevent it from getting worse.

The Benefits of Healthy Teeth To Overall Health

Healthy Teeth Equals Healthy Body

Having healthy teeth is a reason for a great smile. But more than that, it tells you that your body is healthy as well. A healthy mouth and a healthy body go together. Hence, if there’s a reason that something is wrong in the body, it may very well be linked to poor oral health.

Gum Disease

Periodontitis can affect the whole body, though it clinically manifest only in the mouth. There are several serious diseases which are caused by gum diseases, such as, stroke, diabetes, heart attack, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases, digestive disorders, and low preterm birth. Untreated gum diseases can also affect your immune system. With this variant of disorders, untreated periodontal disease can reduce life-expectancy.

There have been studies linking chronic gum disease with heart issues. Cardiovascular diseases that include heart diseases, strokes and blood vessel blockages are some of the common issues associated with poor oral health. Remember that healthy teeth lower the risk of heart diseases. Your dentist will stress the need for regular dental checkups due to the link between oral health and cardiovascular health.

If you have diabetes, you’re already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control. Infection may cause insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar control.

If you have a healthy immune system, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream causes no problem, as your immune system quickly dispenses with them, preventing infection. However, if your immune system is weakened, maybe due to a disease or cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream may cause the development of an infection in another part of your body.

Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby. Oral bacteria tend to release toxins, which reach the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus. At the same time, the oral infection causes the mother to produce labor-triggering substances too quickly, potentially triggering premature labor and birth.

With proper oral hygiene, a balanced and healthy diet, and regular dental visits are some key measures that can reduce the risk of gum damage resulting to infection in the body.


Watching Your Oral Health in Bellevue

Your Bellevue dentist says that good oral health is a mirror to your overall health. When you think you should have a checkup, visit Overlake Dental.

ADA Recommendations: Oral Care Basics For Everyone

The Proper Brushing And Flossing Basics

Brush your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush your teeth, don’t rush it up. Do a thorough job.

The proper tools should be used. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a mouth-fitting soft-bristled toothbrush. More than manual brushing can do, an electric or battery-operated toothbrush can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease These devices are helpful for the elderly, those with arthritis or other issues that make brushing difficult.

Oral Care Basics

There’s a proper technique to holding the brush and toothbrushing. It must be at a slight angle, aiming the bristles toward where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of teeth, as well as the tongue.

Always keep your toothbrush clean. Rinse toothbrush with water after brushing, store in an upright position to air-dry until next use. Prevent cross-contamination by separating it from other toothbrushes in the same holder. Don’t always cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, this can lead to growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in them.

Invest in a new toothbrush. Don’t use it beyond 3 to 4 months or as soon as the bristles are already frayed or irregular. The same timeframe applies when replacing the head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush.

Flossing is just as important. Use 18 inches (46 centimeters) of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

Use gentleness. Guide the floss between teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gum line, curve it against one tooth. Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.

Use an interdental cleaner if you’re not able to handle floss. Use a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser, or wooden or silicone plaque remover. Just keep it up.


More Brushing and Flossing Tips in Bellevue

Here in Bellevue we advocate the ADA recommendations for the basics of oral care. We believe in proper and regular brushing and flossing of teeth and gums.

How Serious Is Snoring To Your Health?

Watching Out For Snoring Patterns

If 1 in 4 American males and 1 in 3 American females snore – that’s a huge company of snorers. So why do some people snore? According to some experts, we tend to lose muscle tone when we’re asleep. The tongue flops back and the tissues and muscles in the throat and nose relax. While inhaling and exhaling, air passing over and between these relaxed tissues causes them to vibrate, which in turn causes noise.

So why do some people snore and others don’t?

There are factors that play, for example, obesity in a person. Fat deposits at the base of the tongue and along the upper throat take up more space and can push in the muscles and block off air passage. Another is sleeping on your back, which can cause the tongue to sag into the throat where it may constrict air flow and increase the vibrations. Drinking alcohol can further relax the muscles and tissues of the airways, and so promote snoring.

Snoring can also be brought about by structural anomalies or differences in the immediate area. One example is a deviated septum. It’s that wall inside the nose that separates the nostrils. If it is askew, air circulation can be pinched off. If the uvula, that dangling tissue that hangs down in the back of the throat, happens to be longer than usual, it can relax and rest on the tongue, enabling snoring.

Sleep Apnea

While snoring is not a major problem in most cases, sometimes it is. If a person has sleep apnea of the obstructive type, which is extended breathing stoppages, it had been associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease risk, when there is snoring also. Snoring and sleep apnea may lead to intermittent hypoxia, insufficient oxygen in body tissues that can put unhealthy pressure changes inside the chest, cause arterial damage or blockages, and inflammation.

In obstructive sleep apnea, there can be complete lack of breathing for 10 seconds or longer. A breathing device, to use while sleeping, called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilator can be the treatment along with weight loss. Surgery can also apply, if necessary.

Some snoring patterns may be suspicious, like if it sounds like a person has shallow breathing for a few seconds or often quits breathing for a while, accompanied by gurgling or choking and with some shaking – as if the body is trying to wake itself up – a doctor must be consulted. Sometimes, a non-snorer suddenly developing a new-onset severe snoring, it can be sign of an obstruction forming in an airway. So, see a doctor. Aside from watching your diet, you can downgrade your alcohol consumption, and try sleeping on your side instead.


Consulting Your Snoring in Bellevue

You might have sleep apnea and not know it and regard is as just plain snoring. See us at Overlake Dental for this concern and don’t ignore it.

There are Children More Prone to Tooth Decay

It’s All About the Enamel

Did you know that a quarter of children have dental decay by the time they start school?

Parents do their best to avoid tooth decay in their kids – tooth brushing regularly, limiting sugary treats and drinks, using fluoridated water. But despite parents’ best efforts, some children’s teeth are inherently weak and decay more easily.

It was previously thought that only a very small minority of people have this rare genetic condition called amelogenesis imperfecta or enamel malformation. Amelogenesis imperfecta is a disorder of tooth development. It causes teeth to be unusually small, discolored, pitted or grooved, and prone to rapid wear and breakage. Other dental abnormalities are also possible. The condition can affect both baby teeth and adult teeth.

Hypomineralized Second Primary Molars

However, there are recent studies that have reported that up to 14% of preschoolers may have “hypomineralized second primary molars” (or HSPM). It’s a condition where the enamel of the second baby molars doesn’t develop properly, making them weak and prone to damage.

The teeth of children with hypomineralized second primary molars may have white or yellow patches with rough areas where the weak enamel has broken off. Teeth can be so weak that they’re unable to cope with the demands of chewing and break down soon after they come through the gums. They are often highly sensitive and children may avoid brushing them because they hurt. Such sensitivity, combined with the weak enamel, means dental decay occurs more readily.

Dental care for children with these teeth is challenging, the usual anesthetic agents are less effective and treatment is painful. The usual filling materials do not stick to the enamel and they don’t last due to poor enamel quality. These kids need to have dental treatment more often and may contribute to more dental anxiety and phobia. However, if the baby teeth are affected, the adult teeth are also more likely to be affected.
What can be done? A healthy diet and good brushing can help, but precautions are needed. Dentists can detect signs of weak teeth before they break down and help protect these teeth using seals or fillings that cover weak parts. It’s so important to have regular dental visits, starting as early as 12 months of age, or when the teeth first come through.

Prevention is Key in Bellevue

Be sure you bring your children to Overlake Dental for their first dentist visit. It is best to prevent future dental problems.