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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 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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Spotting And Treating Gingivitis

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is marked by gums that are susceptible to bleeding and irritation. There are two kinds of gum disease and these include gingivitis and periodontitis. It is important to know what to look for in both so that you can get yourself treated at a dentist right away.

Gingivitis is milder than periodontitis and it is characterized by inflammation of the gingiva or gums. This can become a more serious problem if left untreated. It can turn into periodontitis resulting in tooth loss and even destruction of the jaw bone itself. Evidence shows that untreated periodontitis can increase one’s risk of stroke and heart disease.

Fortunately, by practicing good brushing and flossing habits, you can help prevent gum disease. It is also important to get regular cleanings and checkups at your dentist.

The Signs Of Gingivitis

If your gums bleed easily, are often swollen and tender to touch, you might have gingivitis. Other symptoms include bad breath, loose or sensitive teeth, and frequent mouth sores.

The Causes of Gum Disease

When plaque builds up in the mouth, it sticks to teeth causing them to decay. This creates a problem for the gums. Plaque is caused by bacteria from food particles and mucus in the mouth. If it is not removed regularly through brushing, flossing and through regular dental cleanings, it can lead to gingivitis.

Poor dental care is the leading cause of gum disease, but you can also cause it by brushing your teeth too aggressively. Smoking and hormonal changes in pregnancy also contribute to gum disease, and so does uncontrolled diabetes. You may also suffer from gum disease if your teeth are aligned improperly, you have poorly fitting dentures or braces, or you are on various medications, including birth control pills.

Diseases like HIV or AIDS and cancers can also increase the risk of gum disease because they weaken the immune system. Gingivitis also tends to run in families so if your parents had gingivitis, it is likely that you will get it as well.
The Gingivitis Diagnoses

Visit your dentist if you have any of the above symptoms. He or she will conduct a thorough exam and will use a probe to determine how far the gingivitis has progressed. The probe is like a small ruler and it measures how large the spaces are between your gums and your teeth. If the spaces are large enough, it is likely you have gingivitis and require treatment.

The Treatments Available

Your dentist will perform a deep clean of your teeth and may recommend certain medications to rid your mouth of inflammation and bacteria. You will also be given a regimen to follow at home that includes flossing.

Stop gingivitis before it progresses to periodontitis, as this more serious form of gum disease could require surgery. Limit the sugars you eat, do not smoke and make sure you brush your teeth twice daily.

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Foods That Mask Bad Breath

It’s advisable to refrain from using onions in Hamburgers at lunch. Onions are responsible for bad breath, forcing you to keep up with bad breath the whole afternoon. A lot of us can’t hide what they consumed because some of this food remains in their systems. Onions, garlic, and other foods are the most rampant and people have information about their cause of bad breath or even halitosis among others.

The main issues about food that causes bad breath is that they contain pungent organic oils. That are actively transported to the lungs via the bloodstream. When one exhales, the nasty breath due to the leftovers is exhaled along.

Good enough, consuming certain foods that cause bad breath, others can counter the smell of bad breath. According to Prof. Gerald Curatola, clinical associate professor at New York, University of Dentistry, this food can mask pungent breath for a limited time. These foods can provide relief for approximately an hour or so. They can be the remedy, but doing away with the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath will permanently be a solution to this.

Bad Breath Boosters

Food that helps controls bad breath may include:

Parsley. This is one of the most common ways of eliminating bad breath. The main advantage of this type of food is that it contains organic oils that mask bad breath. Similarly, cinnamon and pear mint can help to mask pungent breath. Some other related herbs that work the same way are cilantro or coriander, eucalyptus, rosemary, cardamom, and tarragon.

Green tea. Green tea contains a very powerful oxidant that can help eliminate the bacteria in your mouth. This oxidant is called catechin. Bad breath is done away with completely.

Yoghurt. Research has shown that live and active cultures in yogurt help reduce bad breath. Prof. Curatola says that since yogurt has probiotics (useful bacteria) it can subdue the bad, nasty- smelling bacteria.This reduces or totally eliminates bad breath.

Pears/Apples. According to Dr. Curatola, this fruit helps in the production of saliva, which is essential in nourishing and nourishing the mouth maintaining a conducive oral ecology.

Berries, oranges, and lemons. The above fruits are very rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C not only eliminate bacterial infection in our mouth but combats gum infection and gingivitis that also causes nasty breath.

Celery, Cucumbers, and carrots. The above crunchy munchies help in the production of lots of salivating when ingested, helping to raise the bacterial infections.

Nuts including Almonds. Their operation is synonymous to that of vegetables and fruits. Dr. Curatola says that since fruits, nuts and vegetables are rich in fibers that act as ìsmall toothbrushî on your teeth keeps the bacteria from staining your teeth.

Other ways to mask Breath odor

Treating Halitosis:

Drink water. By keeping your mouth moist and rinsing it. It also plays a major role in your system.

Chewing sugarless gum. Chewing ensures the production of a lot of salivate keeping your mouth rinsed, eliminating bacterial infection curbing bad breath.

Popping Breath mints. Same as ingesting parsley and other herbs, sucking on mints will mask bad breath for some time, Harm says.

You should be sure that the mint that you chew is sugarless. Sugar allows plaque, chewing gum full of sugar will be adding the problem, hence enabling a conducive environment for bacterial infection.

Practice Dental Hygiene.

Food, as mentioned above, is only a temporary way to curb bad breath. The most paramount, maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes and flowing each day is required. Brush your tongue also to eliminate bad breath, this is where odor-causing bacteria lives. Make sure you have dental checkups regularly.

With the persistent bad breath, consulting a doctor would be prudent. This could signify something else apart from the food you took at lunch, an early diagnosis and treatment are essential. Always maintain your oral hygiene.