Bruxism in Children

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is a condition that will affect up to a third of children in the United States at some point. It commonly occurs when a child’s new teeth come in, as the pain caused by tooth eruptions encourages grinding. Most kids will quickly lose the habit after this comfort passes, but others will continue to grind long after they have their full set of teeth. Since bruxism weakens your teeth and causes them to come in crooked, you will want to take the following measures with your children:

  • Your child may very well be grinding without even realizing it, perhaps while he or she sleeps. Listen for a grinding sound during the night, particularly if your child complains of a sore jaw in the morning.
  • Stress is a big trigger for grinding. Look for ways to manage your child’s stress, particularly right before he or she goes to bed. Have him or her massage the muscles around the jaw, or apply a warm compress.
  • Dehydration is another potential cause for bruxism.
  • Your dentist can be instrumental in managing bruxism. Talk to Overlake Dental in Bellevue to help pinpoint the underlying problem and come up with effective, lasting solutions.

Is There Fecal Matter on Your Toothbrush?

Every toothbrush is going to get a little dirty as time goes by. All the time it spends in your mouth exposes it to bacteria and grime. This is largely not a big deal, so long as you periodically rinse and disinfect your brush. However, if you leave your brush out in the open, you may be exposing yourself to some unnecessary contaminates.

Specifically, an unguarded brush may be gathering human fecal matter. This is according to a study recently presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting. The study looked at an assortment of toothbrushes taken from bathrooms that were shared among at least two people, finding that over 60% of them were contaminated with fecal particles. Among the contaminated brushes, fully 80% had particles that came from somebody other than the brush’s owner, making them even less healthy than those originating from the individual’s own system.

These particles get onto your brush when you flush your toilet. Every flush launches a tiny spray of toilet water into the air, which can gradually introduce a fecal residue to any surface it lands upon. You can avoid such contamination by protecting your brush; put it into a closable container where it can still be exposed to the air, allowing it to dry out between brushings.

Taking a Bite out of Jaw Disorders

The health of your teeth is strongly influenced by the health of your jaw bone. Tooth and gum problems, left unchecked, can disastrously affect your jaw, and vice versa. This is why our Bellevue dentistry wants you to be on the lookout for the warning signs of Temporomandibular Disorders also known as TMD. Such warning signs include the following:

  • Pain or a tender feeling in the jaw joint, face, neck, or shoulders, particularly when you are moving your jaw.
  • If you grind your teeth, this may represent either a cause or a symptom of a TMD.
  • Trouble opening your jaw to its limit.
  • Jaws that lock into position.
  • Clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw when you open and close your mouth.
  • Tired facial muscles.
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together.
  • Swelling on either side of the face.
  • Dizziness.
  • Toothaches.
  • Headaches.
  • Earaches, tinnitus, or other hearing problems.

If you think that you might have a problem with your TMJ, consult your dentist right away.

Warning Signs: From Gingivitis To Periodontitis

Recognizing Factors from Bad to Worse

Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease. In most instances, it goes unnoticed. There is a high probability that if left untreated, it can progress to its more serious form – periodontitis. Know that there are many factors that contribute to both conditions.

Poor oral hygiene

If brushing, including flossing, is poor or insufficient it can lead to buildup of plaque on teeth, under the gum line to include the roots. This can lead to decay of both the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.

Poor diet

A diet can be deficient in vitamin C. This vitamin, found in citrus fruits, strengthens gum tissue and holds teeth in place. A vitamin K deficiency can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Vit K rich foods are green and leafy vegetables.


This lifestyle habit contributes to many undesirable effects – teeth discoloration, bad breath, weakening of gum tissue, proneness to infection, and difficulty of gum healing. Not to mention its ill effects on general health.

Dry mouth syndrome

It can be the result of taking medications that cause decreased salivation, a nutrient deficiency, lack of fluid intake, Lack of hydration is conducive to the growth of mouth bacteria which in turn causes gum infection.


The presence of uncontrolled diabetes is detrimental to the healing of gum disease.


This condition enables the progress of gum disease due to several factors: dehydration, dry mouth, higher levels of insulin, snoring and sleep apnea, and possibly gestational diabetes.

Underlying medical conditions

HIV and AIDS promote chronic dry mouth, canker sores, oral warts, thrush and tooth decay. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease or GERD exposes the gums and teeth to frequent regurgitation of stomach acid.

Genetics and family history

Gum disease tends to recur in generations within the family.


Watching Over Gum Health in Bellevue

If you are experiencing any of the gum issues mentioned, do come over to Overlake Dental. Your Bellevue dentist is your go-to professional for all things gum disease and treatment.

Understanding The Symptoms of Dental Problems

Most Common Warning Signs

Are you experiencing symptoms that you think are due to a dental issue? Don’t wait until the symptoms get worse. Understand that there are several symptoms that are warning signs of a dental issue.
Toothache. It’s one of the most common symptoms of a tooth problem. It can be a sign of tooth decay, a cavity formation that has pulp involvement, or a root abscess, among others.

  • Pain on chewing or biting. This may be due to sensitive and swollen gums, or a gum abscess, as well as a root abscess.
  • Tooth sensitivity. Tooth or teeth become very sensitive when in contact with hot or cold beverages or foods. It may be due to a crack in the tooth, a thinning or eroded enamel, or an exposed pulp.
  • Loose teeth and receding gums. May occur as a result of the serious form of gum disease – periodontitis.
  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing. Sometimes there’s blood in your toothbrush or your floss. While it may happen and should not be alarming, too frequent bleeding of gums may mean some form of gum disease.
  • Mouth ulcers or sores that won’t heal after a week or two. This may be due to a variety of causes: allergies, trauma or injury, a nutrient deficiency, infection, hormonal changes, or stress.
  • Chronic bad breath. May be due to a mouth infection, an abscessed tooth, or a dirty or infected tongue.
  • Swelling of the cheeks or the face. An infection, injury, or allergy may cause it. Some cases can be medical emergencies, like preeclampsia, cellulitis, or as a result of anaphylaxis.

If any of these symptoms come with fever of a facial or neck swelling, it is regarded as a medical emergency.


Identifying Oral Symptoms in Bellevue

When you experience signs and symptoms in your mouth, do not hesitate to visit your Bellevue dentist right away. Here at Overlake Dental we help arrest the progress of oral issues to avoid complications.