The Trouble with Thumb-Sucking

If you have a kid, it’s fairly likely that he or she sucks his or thumb at least occasionally. Most kids will lose the habit by themselves at some point between the age of two and four, but some will persist longer than others to a point that the parents start to get concerned. Indeed, the effect that habitual thumb-sucking on your teeth is well-understood; it can cause teeth to come in crooked, possibly requiring costly orthodontic work down the line.

Thumb Sucking Habit

There are ways to help your child get past a thumb-sucking habit. In many cases, the habit can be linked to insecurity. Explore anything that may be causing insecurity in your child, and look for ways to help him or her get past it. If this doesn’t work, consider putting a bandage around the thumb to serve as a reminder, or having your child wear socks over his or her hands while sleeping.

Should you require any other help with your child’s oral health, talk to our Bellevue dentist.

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 our dentist at Overlake Dental can help you overcome this condition and prevent it from getting worse.

Holiday Sweets and Your Teeth

Watch Out for Holiday Sweets

We’re deep in the holiday season now, which is a time when most of us take the opportunity to indulge in candies and other sweets. Needless to say, this can be fairly tough on your teeth. Not all sweets are created equal, though, and some are worse for your oral health than others.

Candies that are easier on your teeth include anything that doesn’t linger on your teeth for too long. Chocolate and peanut butter cups, for example, are fairly easy for your saliva to flush away from your teeth shortly after you are finished eating.

It’s the hard and sticky candies that you need to look out for. Chewy caramels and candy canes get stuck in the tops of your molars, and can linger there for a long while as your oral bacteria feast upon their sugars. Anything that you suck upon for an extended period of time, like lollipops, pose a similar problem.

You can minimize the effects of the candy you eat by limiting your consumption to after meals. It is at this time that your saliva is already hard at work. Avoid snacking in small amounts throughout the day, and contact our Bellevue dentist to learn more.

The Wisdom of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The Problems with Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last to emerge in the dental arch, around the ages 17 to 21 years, making their appearance in the realm of the later teen years bordering into early adulthood. With enough space left in the arch, assuming the jaws have reached their full growth, there should be no problem for wisdom teeth coming in. However, these molars are notorious troublemakers for a lot of young people.

For you, even if enough space is left and complete jaw growth is achieved, these teeth may still present problems in more ways than one. Even if perfectly erupted, they are the most difficult to access by brushing or flossing. As such, they are the first to show signs of cavities and decay, if seen early at all.

Usually, your wisdom teeth would be growing in the wrong position, or are partially erupted, or are impacted. Any one of these situations make them difficult to clean, can lead to cavities and decay, can put pressure on adjacent teeth, or damage the roots of its neighbor or the bones of the jaw. Your dentist will have to recommend removal. In addition, if you feel pain and there is infection during eruption, there is gingivitis, or this tooth is going to compromise your normal bite or your normal alignment – the tooth has to come off.

Painless Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Bellevue

Come to Overlake Dental in Bellevue and experience painless wisdom extraction. Even if you decide to keep your molars, let him monitor your progress with regular visits.

Receding Gums: How Do You Tell?

Understanding Why Gums Recede

Our gums are the often overlooked structures in our mouth as we really put more emphasis in the care of our pearly whites. We regard our perfectly white and aligned teeth as signs of health. Then one day we noticed some teeth looking quite different, like they have elongated. It’s not your teeth that’s having issues, it’s your gums. You’re starting to have receding gums.

Your gums are soft but firm tissues that surround each tooth and keep them in place in their bony arches. They hug your teeth up to what is called the gum line, that separates much of the crown from the root of the teeth. They are rich in nerve and blood supply, and carry that pinkish color if healthy. Now, if they start to recede, you’ll notice that they are somewhat pulled back, exposing more teeth, thus, appearing longer.

Apart from that, how do you know your gums are receding? Receding gums are most likely accompanied with thin gum tissue, and one of the first symptoms is sensitivity during brushing or taking cold drinks, or there may be bleeding while brushing, flossing, or biting on hard food. Other symptoms are red, swollen, or tender gums or other pain in your mouth, or teeth that might be loose or separating. You might notice pus between your teeth and gums, or a sore, a foul odor. And when you bite, your teeth might not be occluding well as before. If you are wearing partial dentures, they don’t seem to fit well anymore.

What might be causing receding gums?

For one, you might be brushing too hard; hard brushing doesn’t mean you’re cleaning your teeth better. Just look at your brush and you might notice the bristles are already frayed, and it’s not even an old toothbrush. Brushing hard can hurt your gums and shrink the gum line. Another is teeth grinding. You might not be aware that you’re tooth grinding while asleep and that may cause undue pressure on tooth surfaces, ligaments and gum tissue as well.

Gum disease is another cause of receding gums, and it might be the foremost cause. Periodontal disease, if untreated, can cause the gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession or even tooth loss. You might want to know that gum disease can run in families.

Treating Receding Gums? Visit Overlake Dental in Bellevue

If you see these symptoms, come see your Bellevue dentist right away. Don’t delay for these issues are treatable. Save the health of your teeth and gums by regularly dental visitations.