sleeping

Finding yourself Grinding your Teeth?

March 5th, 2021

Many have noticed they might clench or grind their teeth on occasion, especially when stressed out. As you may know, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause damage to your teeth and even lead to other oral health issues. For instance, it can cause your teeth to fracture, diminish in size, become loose, or even lead to the loss of teeth. This can result in the need for expensive dental procedures down the line, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, or prostheses to replace missing teeth including implants or partial dentures.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, dentists across the nation, and even world, are seeing some of the toll it has taken on individuals, even on their teeth. There has been a significant increase in reported teeth grinding and other oral health issues since the start of the pandemic, as reported by the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute. A survey conduced by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that there has been a 59.4% increase in cases of teeth grinding and clenching found in dental offices since the start of the pandemic. In addition, they found that temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and chipped and cracked teeth has increased over 50%, which may be associated with the increased teeth grinding. Although there is not a direct correlation between the increase in teeth grinding and the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Matt Messina, clinic director of Ohio State Upper Arlington Dentistry, stated, “it does demonstrate the signs of increased stress in the population.”

Teeth grinding can even be experienced in children, too. In fact, approximately 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth. Often, it has been found that children may grind their teeth during the time when their baby teeth begin to come in and also during the transition into their permanent dentition. Luckily, teeth grinding in children is often not permanently damaging and children often outgrow the habit.

Many people commonly grind their teeth when they are sleeping, and is often pointed out by individual's partners or loved ones who hear them doing this habit at night. This phenomenon is particularly present in individuals who have sleep disorders, malocclusion, and/or  crooked teeth. Individuals who grind their teeth may be pained by a dull, constant headache when they wake up, or even a sore jaw. Teeth grinding can result in or worsen Temporomandibular disorders (TMD). 

Some other symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Neck pain.
  • Ear pain.
  • Jaw pain, soreness and stiffness.
  • Painful or sensitive teeth.
  • Pain while you chew.
  • Popping, clicking or grinding noises when moving the mouth and jaw.
  • Cracking or chipping of teeth or fillings.
  • Loose teeth or pain on biting.

You may be wondering what to do about teeth grinding. Some tips to help stop teeth grinding include avoiding certain foods and drinks such as alcohol, caffeine, sodas, and chocolate. Plus, it can help to try to help relax your jaw muscles by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek. If you notice that you grind your teeth during the daytime, try to become conscious of what your are doing, and position the tip of your tongue  between your teeth to help train your jaw muscles to relax. Try avoiding chewing gum as it can increase the strain on your jaw muscles. 
If you think teeth grinding may be happening during your sleep, or even find yourself doing it throughout the day, it is important to talk with your dentist. Commonly, dentists will recommend a night guard for individuals suffering from teeth grinding to wear at night to help protect the surfaces throughout sleep. Other treatments that have been found to be beneficial include stress counseling, jaw relaxation training, exercising, and muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications. However, treatments are determined after a comprehensive examination and diagnosis by your dentist.
This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/what-to-do-about-teeth-grinding

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dentalcare.com%2Fen-us%2Fpatient-education%2Fpatient-materials%2Fteeth-grinding-bruxism&psig=AOvVaw3cEiLNHlmlO4Bq2J1TDNv0&ust=1614995968340000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMiJqoOHmO8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism

Festive Stress Taking a Toll on Your Mouth?

December 15th, 2018

As we approach the holidays, it can be an exciting, yet stressful time as we prepare to decorate, shop, and entertain for our loved ones. Even traveling, finances, or just having a large to-do list can add stress to your body and oral health. Sometimes you may not notice the negative impact that stress is causing to your teeth. Take a look at these common stressors and how they could be harmful to your smile:

Snoring

Snoring does not only cause loud noises at night time-It could also be causing issues with your oral health! Snoring occurs when there is not enough air moving through the throat and nose while sleeping. Snoring could be a result of many conditions, and some risk factors include being male, 40 years of age or older, family history of snoring, and pregnancy. A main complication of snoring is dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva, which is necessary for neutralizing acids made by bacteria within the mouth, and for moistening your gums and teeth. When there is a lack of saliva you may develop oral problems such as bad breath (halitosis), burning mouth syndrome, cavities, gingivitis, or mouth sores. Depending on the cause, interventions can include an oral appliance, weight loss, or a reduction in alcohol or smoking.

Tooth Grinding

A commonly known issue impacting your teeth is called bruxism, also known as tooth grinding. This often occurs during your sleep which can make it hard for you not to notice. In addition, jaw clenching can also cause similar effects including wearing your enamel down, gum recession, and weakening the supporting structures in your mouth that keep your teeth in place. Not to mention, it can also break or chip existing fillings in your mouth. Grinding and clenching are often due to anxiety or stress, but can also be caused by an abnormal bite. Some of the signs that can clue you in that you may be clenching or grinding include a sore jaw when you wake up in the morning, or your partner may notice clicking sounds during your sleep. Not to worry though, there are treatment options that can fix this. A night guard may be suggested, or relaxation methods including exercise or other stress management interventions may be advised by your dentist to prevent damaging your pearly whites.

Depression

Depression is a common condition for many individuals, and it can come and go in spurts during a person's life. It is important to talk with a Doctor or someone who can help if it begins to interfere with daily life including with the care of your oral and overall health.

Holiday stressors are real! Stay stress-free this holiday and be sure to keep up on health. Brushing, flossing, and making sure your scheduling your regular dental check-ups is particularly important during the holidays when lots of sweets are involved!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

getty_134936674_2000133320009280167_75133.jpg

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/what-causes-snoring-its-effect-on-oral-health-0713

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/stress-teeth#1

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/bruxism

Are You At Risk For Sleep Apnea?

January 23rd, 2017

It's common knowledge that sleep is important for learning and your overall health, but did you know that your sleeping habits are also linked to your tongue and tonsils?

According to a recent study published in the Saudi Medical Journal, tonsil size, tongue indentations, and tongue teeth imprints may be indicators for obstructive sleep apnea risk. This condition, which affects over 18 million adults in the US, stops and restarts your breathing due to blocked upper airways while you sleep. Common symptoms include interrupted sleep, sleep loss, fatigue, irritability, and a lack of focus.

OSA can also result in learning and memory problems, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, or depression in severe cases. Obese individuals over 40 years old with large tonsils and tongue indentations are most at risk for OSA.

If you have enlarged tongue or tonsils, we recommend that you visit a sleep specialist.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sleep-apnea-dentist-tongue-tonsil_us_56e04e17e4b0b25c91804c4c?utm_hp_ref=dental-health

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sleep-apnea-and-snoring

http://yourbodychanging.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Does-Sleeping-Make-You-Taller.jpg

Do you wake up breathless?

July 13th, 2016

sleep-apnea

Do you often feel sleepy or fatigued throughout the day for no reason? Or snore loudly and wake up short of breath in the middle of the night? Then you may experience sleep apnea, a condition that stops your breathing periodically while you sleep (up to 20-30 times per hour).

When you stop breathing, your brain wakes you up due to the lack of oxygen in order to restart your breathing. Many people don't remember waking up in the middle of the night, so they think they're getting enough sleep but end up feeling drowsy during the day.

Sleep apnea, a serious medical problem, can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart failure and stroke. The drowsiness during the day can be dangerous for driving or cause complications with medications or surgery.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • loud snoring
  • waking up breathless
  • snorting or choking sounds
  • headaches when waking up
  • falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  •  extreme drowsiness throughout the day

The three types of sleep apnea are:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (due to collapsing of soft tissue in the back of the throat)
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) (muscles don't receive proper brain signal)
  3. "Mixed" or "complex" sleep apnea (combination of obstructive and central)

Risk factors include:

  • OSA is more common in males and in older adults (40+)
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • using tranquilizers/sedatives
  • family history
  • heart disorders
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • strokes
  • brain tumors

Treatment options:

  • losing weight
  • stop smoking
  • sleep on side instead of on back
  • oral devices
  • surgery (if severe)

Please contact our office so we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if you suspect that someone you know suffers from this medical problem.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://www.wellesleydentalgroup.com/sleep-apnea

Depression Is a Threat to Oral Health

May 23rd, 2016

Did you know that depression, a common serious mental health and mood disorder, is linked to poor oral health care? If you suffer from depression, you may have a lack of motivation to take care of yourself and experience decreased salivation, which can directly impact oral health. Risk factors for depression include: personal or family history, major stress, and certain illnesses or side effects of medications.

Some signs and symptoms of depression are:

  • lasting feelings of sadness, anxiousness, emptiness, hopelessness, or pessimism
  • irritability
  • lack of energy/motivation
  • no interest in activities
  • guilt, worthlessness, etc.
  • difficulty concentrating or sleeping

There are many different types of depression, including:

  • persistent depression disorder (dysthymia): depressive symptoms for at least two years
  • perinatal depression: major depression during or after pregnancy (postpartum)
  • psychotic depression: severe depression and psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • seasonal affective disorder: depression during the winter months

Depression is directly linked to oral health, because its consequences include xerostomia (dry mouth), a cariogenic diet (diet composed of sweets), and a poor immune system that can lead to oral infections. Risk for cardiovascular diseases also increases with depression.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://dualdiagnosis.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/bigstock-Girl-Sits-In-A-Depression-On-T-52227706-300x207.jpg

http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2016/03/how-depression-threatens-oral-health-and-other-oral-systemic-links.html

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

Sleep Apnea and Permanent Tooth Extraction

April 12th, 2016

sleep

Sleep apnea is common condition that can lead to trouble sleeping and cause tiredness throughout the day even after a full night's rest. Individuals with sleep apnea experience one or more pauses in breathing during their sleep that can last from seconds to minutes. Aside from excessive daytime sleepiness, signs of sleep apnea also include dry mouth, headache, and snoring, just to name a few.

Research has found that sleep apnea may increase the risk of of high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, obesity, and diabetes, and the chance of getting into a car accident.

So, you may be wondering how this condition plays a role in dentistry. Some studies suggest that getting teeth extracted for braces can increase one's risk for developing sleep apnea.Orthodontic treatment is the perfect solution to correcting crowded teeth, protruding teeth, gapped teeth, and jaw problems. For well over 50 years and still today, dentists have debated the treatment of extracting permanent teeth for orthodontic treatment. Some dentists extract permanent teeth because it's easier to create more space between teeth, while others use alternative methods, such as palate expansion or headgear to correct one's smile.

Some argue that pre-orthodontic tooth extraction makes the jaw narrower and forces the tongue to lay further back into the mouth and restrict the airway. Also, some believe that extractions can lead to changes in one's facial appearance and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a condition that results in oral issues including chewing problems and jaw pain. However, further research is needed because it is unclear whether these notions are actually the case.

Others counter these arguments and claim that the jaw doesn't necessarily become narrowed and can even become widened depending on various factors. In addition, some argue that extractions can be beneficial for individuals with lip strain or thin gums.

Studies observing patients who've had teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment are inclusive in their findings. These studies often only offer a limited assessment of the patient's airway to see what's actually occurring.  Two studies of patients found no change in the pharyngeal airway as well as a third study.  However, three other studies found a reduction in the airway size of some patients. Researchers believe that the difference in findings could be due to racial differences in the response of the airway to movement of the teeth.

Overall, its unclear whether or not extractions lead to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a complex condition and further research is needed to explain its association with permanent tooth extractions. If you feel that you are excessively sleepy during the day you may want to contact a sleep specialist so that they can conduct a sleep study. If you are in need of any orthodontic treatment or have questions regarding permanent tooth extractions,  Dr. Emad is happy to help. Dr. Emad Abdallah is a faculty member at Tufts Craniofacial Pain Center.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea

http://www.naturalhealingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/iStock_000002751438Medium.jpg

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963245

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20677956

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963245

 

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