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Tips On Stopping Tooth Grinding

Perhaps you are unaware that you have this problem, but if you routinely wake with headaches, pain in your jaw or chipping of your tooth enamel, it may be that you suffer from bruxism or habitual grinding of the teeth.

Fundamentals Of Bruxism

Broadly speaking, tooth grinding is a problem that manifests itself at night. If you are afflicted by bruxism, you are probably grinding your teeth while sleeping and are thus not aware of the fact. According to New York cosmetic dentist Timothy Chase, it is often a person’s partner or spouse who first notices bruxism, as it produces a very unpleasant grinding noise. Parents of small children have often bristled upon making the startling discovery that their youngster is grinding his or her teeth. Once a mom or dad begins hearing the awful sound of tooth grinding, it is hard for them to imagine how serious damage is not being done each and every night. Thoughts immediately turn to why and how this behavior began.

The causes of bruxism in certain individuals remain unclear, though theories do abound. Cleveland Clinic dentist Karyn Kahn points to research suggesting that nighttime teeth grinding is controlled by a person’s central nervous system and is connected to things such as brain chemistry, sleep patterns, drug use, alcohol consumption and certain genetic factors. Some SSRI drugs used to treat depression have been linked to bruxism and the behavior has also been linked in some patients to high levels of stress and anxiety, personality and psychological makeup.

Bruxism is known to affect males and females in equal measure, and it is more frequently observed in children than adults. Roughly 8 percent of adults are impacted by bruxism, according to Aurelio Alonso DDS, Ph.D. of Case Western Reserve University, as are roughly 40 percent of kids under the age of 11.

Recognizing The Signs of Bruxism

Not surprisingly, the most typical symptom of bruxism is the act of grinding the teeth itself, though several secondary manifestations also tend to arise. Some frequent hallmarks of bruxism include headaches, jaw muscle swelling, worn tooth surfaces, tenderness at the temples, tongue indentations and pain during jaw movement.

With the passage of time, the impact of bruxism can be far-reaching if the condition is not effectively addressed. According to Washington D.C. cosmetic dentist Shila Yazdani, untreated bruxism can produce earaches, migraine headaches, congestion of the ears, tinnitus, temperature-sensitive teeth, loose teeth, jaw pain and more. The damage caused by tooth grinding can often be permanent in nature, warranting costly, uncomfortable and inconvenient dental restoration work. Bruxism can also cause chronic jaw and muscle pain and ultimately, depression.

Bruxism Treatments

If you are noticing the signs of bruxism, speak to your dental professional about designing a strategy to keep further complications at bay. While a cure for bruxism does not exist, treatments do exist which can reduce the negative effects on the jaw, muscles, and teeth.

Perhaps the most common treatment for chronic tooth grinding is for a patient to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard while sleeping. There are also medications intended to address nocturnal bruxism, though these are widely viewed as being of secondary priority and should be used only on a temporary basis. Most dental professionals emphasize the safety and effectiveness of mouth guards for the treatment of what can be an extremely frustrating and harmful condition.

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The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth

Oral hygiene is very important in order to maintain a good smile or fresh breath. This actually means that your oral hygiene depends on how much you care for your teeth. The best way to guarantee this is regularly brushing your teeth, gums and tongue usually after every meal. The following are tips to ensuring a healthy mouth:

a.) Time for brushing. Brushing your teeth with appropriate toothpaste should last for a couple of minutes. You may have brushed your teeth for say a minute then you assume that is enough time as observed by Robert Roesch of Academy of General Dentistry. Spending that short duration will not provide sufficient time for the toothpaste to kill the bacteria. Always brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes two times a day.

b.) Brush size. Consider buying a brush that best fits your mouth as brush sizes vary according to a size of mouth. The brush should not fill your mouth as this will make brushing impossible. The thickness of the brush bristles should be medium as well, that is not too hard or too soft.

c.) Brush type. The type of brush you are using does not really matter as both electric and traditional brushes work the same. Most experts such as Shehzad Sheikh of Starling Dental Care, Virginia recommends the use of electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes are fitted with timers which ensure that the user keeps on rotating until the 2 minute-time elapses.

d.) Type of toothpaste. The type of toothpaste that you use depends on the quality of brushing. It is recommended to use double-action toothpaste. This type of toothpaste provides both cleaning power and strengthens the enamel due to fluoride compounds. Strong teeth are resistant to tooth decay.

e.) Brushing technique. Then the best way to brush your teeth is adjusting your brush to about 45-degrees and brushing in a circular manner. It is not recommended to brush in a back-and-forth manner as this exposes some of the sensitive parts of the teeth. When brushing the front and back of the teeth, however, brush it in an up-and-down direction.

f.) Always floss your teeth. Flossing helps to remove food residue that had otherwise stuck between the teeth. This removal is important to prevent bacterial harboring, which are a major cause of tooth decay. Although flossing may cause bleeding during the initial stages, the gums will adapt to it and with time it will toughen up making your mouth healthy.

g.) Mouth washing. When you brush your teeth, it is important to wash your mouth. The procedure helps to wash away any bacteria that were lagging on the surface of the tooth. It also helps regain a fresh breath.

h.) Regularly change your brush. Old brushes may not work well in cleaning your teeth. As time goes by, the bristles may soften or even break, which drastically reduces efficiency. It is recommended to change your brush after say, 3-4 months.

Generally, taking care of your teeth by brushing regularly will guarantee a health mouth.

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The Origins of Halitosis (Better Known as Morning Breath)

Do you ever get up after a good night’s sleep and rush to the bathroom to brush your teeth because you know that your breath is excruciatingly bad? There are a lot of different names for morning breath, but it all comes down to the fact that having halitosis can be a huge hassle and embarrassment.

According to Dr. Sally J. Cram, all people suffer from some form of morning breath. This is because your mouth becomes dry as you rest. When this occurs, bacteria that cause odor are able to run rampant in your mouth. Dr. Cram explains that your breath is often worse when you first wake up because you are not making as much saliva while you sleep. In particular, if you are a mouth-breather, or if you are prone to snoring, you could suffer from bad breath more often. This is because your mouth is more likely to dry out and create a perfect environment for the bacteria to thrive.

Reasons for Morning Breath

In addition to snoring and breathing from your mouth, taking medicine can also cause issues with bad breath. Certain medications dry out your mouth and make bad breath more likely or more severe. This is the reason that a number of senior citizens often struggle with bad breath because they often take more medications than they used to take.

If you smoke, you are also more prone to morning breath. Smoking causes a number of issues, not the least of which is that saliva starts to dry up. In addition, the temperature of your mouth could rise, creating the perfect environment for bacteria. That is just another reason why it is a good idea to stop smoking.

Finally, allergies can be a cause of halitosis. When you have allergies, mucus often slides down your throat and feeds the bacteria. If an infection occurs, there is an even higher likelihood that the bacteria will thrive and cause your breath to smell bad.

What Can You Do?

More than half of all people in the United States have bad breath, but it is important to note that this condition can be treated. First, it is important to brush your teeth well. The bacteria that cause the odor often accumulate on the tongue and teeth, so proper hygiene can go a long way. It is also important to brush for two minutes in order to be most effective.

When you clean your teeth in the evenings, head right to bed. If you consume food or drink, you are negating the positive effect that occurred when you brushed. And, be sure to target your tongue as well as your teeth. Many people do not clean this area, but it is important if you want to get rid of the bad bacteria in your mouth. You should notice an immediate improvement in the morning if you brush both your teeth and your tongue. In fact, the vast majority of bad breath is a result of the bacteria that is on the tongue. Therefore, it is wise to invest in a tongue scraper and clean your tongue each time that you brush your teeth.

Do not forget about flossing, either. While brushing is important, it does not always get rid of the food that makes its way between your gums and teeth. Therefore, flossing is as crucial to cleanliness as brushing is and it should not be neglected.

Finally, use a rinse. Mouthwash can eliminate the odor for a short time. When purchasing this product, seek out one that has been approved by the American Dental Association. You are much more likely to have success in getting rid of the odor this way. Also, keep in mind that you do not just want to swish around the liquid. Follow the directions exactly, and keep the mouthwash in your mouth for as long as you are supposed to. This is the only way to get rid of the bacteria fully. If you only swish for a few seconds, you are not going to be happy with the results.

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Taking Care of Your Teeth: Healthy Habits for Success

Caring for your teeth is important. If you brush and floss regularly, you can ensure that your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible and ward off periodontal or gum disease.

The American Dental Association advises that the public floss and brush their teeth each day. Brushing should take place two times per day, ideally in the morning and before bed time. Flossing should take place once per day, but if you can do it more often (like after each meal), that is ideal. In addition to doing what you can to ensure the health of your teeth at home, it is important to visit the dentist on a regular basis, which for most people is two times per year. Speak to your dentist about what type of schedule is best for you, and try your best to adhere to it.

Home Care

When purchasing products to care for your teeth, like dental floss or a toothbrush, look for items that have the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. The products are the best to use to ensure the health of your teeth and to ward off things like cavities and gum disease.

Healthy Habits

When you brush your teeth, try to spend some time really getting them clean. Ideally, you should brush for between two and three minutes. Make sure to floss as well, and you should do so at least one time each day to ensure your teeth are as clean as possible. Make sure that everything you use on your teeth has been approved by the American Dental Association, so you have the best chance of properly cleaning your mouth.

Your goal is to try and stop plaque from accumulating around your gums and your teeth. Additionally, it is important to try and ward off gum disease, tooth decay, and halitosis. The last thing you want is to allow plaque to build-up and then get an infection in your tissue.

There is no shortage of dental tools available for purchase that can help you with your oral hygiene routine. Of course, you can purchase toothbrushes. Did you know that there are electronic versions available? These are perfect if you are concerned that you are not brushing with the proper technique. In addition, there is floss, mouthwash, dental picks and oral irrigators. If you are not sure what to buy, discuss your unique situation with your dentist, and get his advice on what would be most beneficial for you.

Why Is It Important to Have Healthy Teeth and Gums?

If you do not take care of your teeth, plaque can build up near your teeth and gums. This can then lead to gum inflammation.

If you do not floss and brush your teeth, and if you avoid setting up dentist appointments, it is very likely that plaque will build up. That could lead to the creation of empty spaces in your mouth, which could then lead to bone and tissue issues. If that occurs, it is not unusual to see tooth loss.

If you do your best to take care of your teeth and gums, and you visit your dentist fairly often, you have a good chance of warding off plaque. You may even be able to reverse gum disease if you catch it early enough. Ridding your mouth of plaque helps to keep it healthy. The best thing you can do for yourself is to floss and brush your teeth each day.