Many patients that we see in our Loudoun County family dental office react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously. The grinding most commonly occurs while sleeping, but some do grind their teeth during the day. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. The condition, known as bruxism, can be remedied with a night guard.
Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, or earaches. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about one-third of the population.
Individuals who react to stress with anger, pain, frustration, aggression, or competition are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks, and damages can even require cosmetic dentistry.
Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth can cause not only the aforementioned symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, causing dental problems, and could ultimately require cosmetic dentistry to correct. Insomnia, eating disorders, and depression can result from bruxism if left untreated.
How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we’ll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a night guard or splint, to prevent grinding and clenching and help you avoid cosmetic dentistry in the future. Many types of night guards exist, and patients react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a night guard will eliminate the problem. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative therapies to correct the issue.
Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, our Leesburg dentistry team will repair and treat you to provide complete relief through cosmetic dentistry. Visit our Loudoun County Dentist Office for more information!
Bad breath, or halitosis, is an embarrassing problem that affects many people. If bad breath is recurrent, however, it can be the indication of a more serious underlying problem. The good news is that bad breath can often be prevented with some simple steps, as well as regular visits to your Loudoun family dentist. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell. Certain foods, especially ones like garlic and onions that contain pungent oils, can contribute to bad breath because the oils are carried to your lungs and out through your mouth. Smoking is also a major cause of bad breath, as well as a serious contributor to potential gum disease.
Myth #1: Mouthwash will make bad breath go away. Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one. Also, ask our dental hygienist for her recommendations on your next visit.
Myth #2: As long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn’t have bad breath. The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which just isn’t long enough. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue too; bacteria love to hang out there, and many toothbrushes now have a specific tongue cleaner on the back. It’s equally important to floss because brushing alone won’t remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums. Get a cleaning from a professional dental hygiene specialist on a regular basis.
Myth #3: If you breathe into your hand, you’ll know when you have bad breath. Wrong! When you breathe, you don’t use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply breathing doesn’t do. Also, because we tend to get used to our own smells, it’s hard for a person to tell if he or she has bad breath. If you’re concerned about bad breath, one of the most important preventions is to make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and mouth properly.
Regular visits to your Leesburg dentist office are an important part of ensuring that your dental hygiene is strong enough to combat bad breath. If you already brush and floss properly and visit Loudoun Dental Smiles for regular cleanings but your bad breath persists, then you may have a medical problem like sinusitis or gum disease, so speak to your doctor about it on your next visit. Come see us at Loudoun Dental Smiles for more information.
In order for children to develop healthy dental hygiene habits, parents need to lead by example, and pick the right toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash that are the best fit for their family. Everything from the taste and ingredients of the toothpaste can affect the way your family brushes their teeth and maintains outstanding oral health. In essence, the way you and your children brush their teeth is the foundation of cosmetic dentistry and your children’s dentistry. Making your teeth and smile presentable and clean can and should begin at home.
In addition to brushing and flossing, which are the backbones of a healthy mouth, choosing an effective mouthwash is just as important. When combined with brushing and flossing, the American Dental Association (ADA) says that mouthwash can reduce the bacteria in plaque and help reduce the risk of gingivitis.
And when you are choosing the perfect mouthwash for your family, it would be wise to pick one that contains fluoride. Children’s dentistry experts will tell you that children often don’t receive enough fluoride. Bottled water contains no fluoride and can lead to soft spots and cavities. Fluoride re-mineralizes teeth and hardens enamel to fight cavities.
Even if you have had cosmetic dentistry done, maintaining that beautiful smile in the long-term is done by properly brushing, flossing, and using an oral rinse.
Most mouthwashes contain alcohol so they are not all recommended for children under the age of six. If you have any questions about the dental products you or members of your family are using, our children’s dentistry experts are more than happy to recommend some great products.
The new school year is finally here, and football season and various other sports are underway in schools and house leagues around Loudoun County. Fall is the perfect weather for athletic competition. And while parents are busy buying up athletic gear, there is one piece of equipment that should never be overlooked, and that’s an athletic mouthguard.
Providing family dental services is what we do best at Loudoun Dental Smiles. That service goes far beyond our dentist office in Loudoun County. We want to ensure that the family dental services we provide in our office are protected in daily life so you can maintain a healthy smile. You want to protect your investments!
There are 3 types of mouthguards:
Ready-Made Mouthguards are typically found in department stores or sporting goods stores. They can often fit irregularly and be uncomfortable. They are secured by the jaw so breathing and speaking can be difficult during athletic play.
Mouth-Formed Mouthguards are a little more custom. Biting into the mouthguard allows it to form to the shape of your teeth. However, these can often have an unpleasant taste or odor, and can lose their flexibility over time.
Custom Mouthguards are recommended as they are created based on the shape of your mouth. This allows for a secure fit and improved performance by allowing athletes to breathe easier. Custom mouthguards are also the most comfortable mouthguard option and are the top choice by professional athletes.
Loudoun Dental Smiles knows how important it is to protect your teeth, especially if you have had expensive dental work. That’s why we offer custom athletic mouthguards that will help ensure your pearly whites stay intact. A custom mouthguard is a great investment and is the safest option when selecting which athletic mouthguard to purchase. Schedule an appointment for any of our family dental services, contact Loudoun Dental Smiles today!
As we near the end of summer, it is time to start thinking about heading back to school. The very thought of the new school year prompts visits to the shopping mall for the perfect first-day outfit, and a stop at the closest office supply store for fresh school supplies. You want to look great on the first day of school, and this includes a bright, white smile. It may be a good time to look into cosmetic teeth whitening.
Today there are an overwhelming amount of options available for teeth whitening services. Over the counter teeth whitening products have flooded the market, but they might not always be the most effective option.
Teeth whitening is a great way to boost your self esteem and have a happy, healthy smile for the beginning of the school year and the fall season. Contact Loudoun Dental Smiles to get started today or see a list of our other cosmetic and dental solutions!