Bruxism is the clinical name for tooth grinding or clenching. Bruxing often happens while you sleep but can also occur during the daytime. Many people experience sore chewing muscles, headaches, sensitive teeth or pain in the jaw joint hinges (TMJs) as a result of grinding. However, many people don’t have symptoms, and have no idea know it’s going on as the years pass by. If your teeth are wearing down, cracking or breaking…problems are occurring, and you need help! Most people think grinding is primarily a result of stress emotions such as anxiety, anger or frustration. It is true that these can contribute, but there is more to the story. The body likes harmony, and we tend to grind when we don’t have it. For example:
Even if you are an avid twice-daily brusher, floss on the regular, and maintain routine dental visits, you may be missing one important step in keeping your mouth fresh and healthy. Have you considered tending to your tongue? Tongue scraping is a fast way to remove bacteria, food, and other particles from the surface of the tongue, and only takes a few seconds! Read on to find why many have added this simple step to their daily routine.
If you’re like us, you are probably feeling disbelief that summer is already in the rear view mirror! As we enter a new school year, what better time to create some healthy habits to ensure our children hit the ground running.
At one point or another, we’ve all experienced it. After a big spicy meal, we feel the pressure, a small burp, and suddenly an acidic taste fills our mouths. Acid reflux, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), affects over 3 million people a year. In fact, over 60% of the population experiences it occasionally, and 30% deal with it weekly.
If you’ve ever longed to have an extraordinary smile — one that gives you personal confidence and connectedness — let this be the year you make it a reality. With masks starting to come off, what better time to invest in your smile? One of the most rewarding aspects of our work is giving someone the personal, social, and psychological boost of an ear-to-ear smile he or she can be proud of. Our experience is that many adults want that, but few really know what’s possible and how easy (or sometimes challenging) it might be to create the smile of their dreams. During a consultation, we take a series of photos to help patients see themselves from several different perspectives and dialogue about the options. Often patients are instantly relieved and excited upon learning that the solution they seek is well within their reach.
Over the years we have expanded the scope of our practice to focus on the oral systemic connection. This is the link between our mouths and our bodies. Now we can see signs of common systemic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, acid reflux, hypertension, heart disease, and oral cancer. Historically, a true oral cancer diagnosis comes with an invasive procedure — a tissue biopsy cut from the mouth and analyzed using a microscope. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, you have about a 50/50 chance of survival. To date, science has made little progress with that ratio. But what if we could detect oral cancer and other systemic cancers much earlier, simply by spitting in a cup?
Many people recognize too late that their teeth appear darker, feel sensitive and/or have lost their shiny luster. If this describes your teeth, you may be experiencing a condition called erosion, where various acids are slowly destroying your teeth by wearing away at the enamel.
When we wear our masks, there can be some health drawbacks, including breathing in a small amount of carbon dioxide which we are supposed to be exhaling. If you’re masking during a COVID infection, you may be increasing your viral load by re-breathing the very virus your body is trying to shed. The good news is that evaluating the smell of your “mask breath” up-close-and-personal can provide telltale signs of either health or danger.
In a wonderful community like ours, going to the dentist is about more than simply getting your teeth cleaned or having a cavity filled. While services such as these are vitally important to one’s health, what people really look forward to is catching up with their dental hygienist they’ve known for years, seeing a neighbor, or even bumping into their former teacher from Buda Elementary. The relationships that exist within the four walls of a dental practice are special, and it isn’t uncommon to hear people laughing down the hall, or see a nervous patient receiving a big hug after a visit. This is part of what makes the community of Buda so tight-knit! However, with the COVID-19 pandemic shaking up our world, many are left wondering what it will be like the next time they visit their dentist. Will it still feel welcoming? Will it still be safe? What has changed?