teeth grinding

Trouble Sleeping? Here's How to Manage Sleep Apnea

August 14th, 2019

Is sleep apnea taking a toll on your well-being? If you’re experiencing fatigue throughout the day and question whether or not you may have sleep apnea, your dentist can help! You may not have thought that your dentist could be the one helping you achieve a good night’s rest, but it’s true! In fact, many times dentists are the first medical professionals to observe the common signs and risk factors of sleep apnea in patients. These signs can include teeth grinding (also known as bruxism), dry mouth, sore throat, and jaw pain just to name a few.

Let’s take a look at the common methods of treating sleep apnea:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP):

This is the most popular method for treating obstructive sleep apnea. Oxygen is continuously supplied through a nose, mouth, or both nose and mouth mask that is connected to a machine. The device allows the airway to remain open via positive pressure. This has been proven to be highly effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea, but relies heavily on patient compliance to wear the mask throughout the night.

  • Oral appliance therapy (OAT):

Dentists can create a custom oral appliance that can help prevent your airway from collapsing during sleep. These appliances often help reposition the lower jaw and tongue from blocking the airway.

  • Surgery:

Surgery may be recommended in severe cases of sleep apnea to help eliminate airway obstruction. This may involve jaw surgery, or removing tonsils or throat tissues.

  • In addition, avoiding sleeping on your back, weight loss, and nasal decongestants can help some milder cases of sleep apnea.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, Wellesley Dental Group’s very own Dr. Emad Abdallah would love to help! Also, stay tuned to our social media accounts including FacebookLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter for more sleep-related posts!

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

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/respiratory-conditions/is-sleep-apnea-or-snoring-robbing-you-from-your-sleep-0713

does-sleep-apnea-go-away-3015020-FINAL2-6a8a000dfb8c40508fc8bedce8836ded.png

The-Diabetes-Sleep-Apnea-Link.jpg

Do you have a TMJ disorder?

June 9th, 2016

Is it painful or difficult for you to open and close your mouth? If the answer is yes, you might have a TMJ (temporomandibular joints) disorder.

The temporomandibular joints include the joints, muscles, ligaments, bones that are responsible for not only the opening and closing of your mouth, but also chewing, speaking, and swallowing. They also control the movement of the mandible (the lower jaw).

Between the ball and socket is a disc for each joint. This disc allows the jaw to open wide, rotate, or glide by acting as a cushion. If the TMJ system fails to work properly, it may lead to a disorder that can cause pain or discomfort.

Some causes of TMJ disorder are:

  1. arthritis
  2. dislocation
  3. injury
  4. tooth/jaw alignment
  5. stress
  6. teeth grinding

Ways to alleviate the pain and treat the disorder include:

  1. avoid hard foods and stick to softer foods
  2. don't chew gum
  3. don't bite your nails
  4. relieve pain through heat packs
  5. relaxation techniques for jaw tension (biofeedback, meditation, etc.)
  6. jaw muscle strengthening exercises
  7. medications (muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety/anti-inflammatory drugs)
  8. night guard/bite plate to help stop clenching or teeth grinding

If you would like to run a diagnosis or are interested in treatment for orofacial pain, we would happy to assist you here at Wellesley Dental Group. Our specialist, Dr. Emad Abdallah, received a Master of Science in TMJ and orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.

Resources:

http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/article_thumbnails/video/the_basics_tmj_causes_treatments_video/375x321_the_basics_tmj_causes_treatments_video.jpg

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj

http://www.wellesleydentalgroup.com/meet-dr-abdallah

https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/patient-care-services/Conditions-We-Treat/T/Temporomandibular-Joint-Dysfunction.aspx

 

Dental Habits to Break in the New Year

December 30th, 2015

new-years-eve

Do you have your New Year's resolutions list ready for 2016? As we countdown to the New Year, it's time to put our best foot forward and leave behind any negative habits. This also applies to dental care. Consider breaking these dental habits in 2016 that are harmful to your teeth:

Nail Biting

Finger nails often contain many germs. Nail biting puts you at a high risk for developing a cold or other health problems by introducing these germs into your mouth. Nail biting can not only negatively take a toll on the health of your body, but also can impact your teeth. It is typically a nervous habit, and can chip teeth and impact your jaw. Avoid nail biting at all costs, and instead opt for better stress-coping mechanisms. Try painting your nails or holding something to keep your fingers busy to let go of a nail biting habit.

Brushing Too Hard

It may seem weird, but there is such a thing as brushing too hard. It's definitely important to brush for two minutes twice a day, but gently! Brushing with a hard toothbrush can damage both teeth and gums. Try using your non-dominant hand for brushing, or purchasing a soft toothbrush. Applying proper pressure when brushing is important for your mouth's sake!

Grinding and Clenching

Grinding and clenching teeth often occurs during stressful situations. This can lead to chipped or cracked teeth. It can also cause mouth pains and trouble chewing foods. Sometimes it occurs during sleep, in which you should notify your partner or family member if this is noticed. Mouthguards and relaxation exercises can help knock out this harmful dental habit!

Chewing Ice Cubes

Teeth can be fragile, and it is important not to wear them down by chewing hard substances. Chewing ice cubes can break or chip teeth, as well as damage fillings and other dental appliances in the mouth. Try drinking with a straw or drinking cold beverages without ice to prevent any temptation of chewing on ice cubes.

Snacking

Snacking, especially on sugary foods and drinks, increases your risk of developing cavities. Instead, opt for well balanced and filling meals to keep your teeth healthy. If you indulge in an occasional sugary treat, make sure to drink water to wash away any left over food particles.

Using Your Teeth As Tools

Using your teeth to open items, cut things, or complete other rough actions can wear down your teeth. This puts you at a higher risk of cracking and damaging your teeth, as well as injuring your jaw. Always make sure you have an actual tool on hand, such as scissors or a bottle opener to do the job -your mouth will thank you!

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 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 oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

https://richardwiseman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/new-years-eve.jpg

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/bad-habits?source=facebook&content=6_habits_to_break

Don't Bite into Bruxism

September 17th, 2015

bruxism

 

At some point in time, you've probably experienced grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition is known as bruxism. Most of the time, individuals don't even know when they're doing it! When teeth grinding becomes a habit, it can result in severe dental damage, discomfort, and even an interrupted sleep pattern.

Teeth grinding can happen during the day, but in many cases it happens during sleep. Do you often get up in the morning with a headache, sore mouth or jaw? Have you ever been told by a loved one that you're grinding your teeth at night? If so, it's important to visit your dentist before more dental problems arise, including abnormal bite or crooked teeth.

Clenching or grinding teeth during sleep is medically termed sleep bruxism. According to a study, 8% of adults grind their teeth during the night and more than 1/3rd of parents indicate to the dentist that their children are experiencing symptoms of bruxism. Children who still have all their baby teeth or are starting to grow in their permanent teeth can even experience bruxism. Many people typically learn that they grind their teeth by a loved one who can hear the grinding at night.

The causes of bruxism are still not clear, although many studies commonly associate it with stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, certain medications, cigarette smoking, sleep problems, and snoring. It's possible that treating sleep apnea can help alleviate sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding may not seem like a big deal, however, it can lead to fracturing, misalignment, or tooth loss. It can also affect the dental appliances within your mouth, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, implants, and dentures. Bruxism also affect your jaws, which can result in TMD/TMJ issues, hearing loss, and a change in the appearance of your face. Your dentist may suggest wearing mouth guards to avoid the damage caused by tooth grinding. If severe, your dentist may even recommend braces or oral surgery.

Remember, Don't use your teeth as tools. For example, chewing on pencils, ice, and other hard objects can cause serious wear on your teeth. Try to manage your stress and train yourself not to grind your teeth by relaxing your jaw muscles.

Keep a stiff upper lip and make sure that you are practicing the necessary oral habits in order to prevent the wear and tear to your teeth!

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 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 oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/basics/treatment/con-20029395

http://beautifulsmilesrgv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bruxism.png

http://www.medicinenet.com/habits_that_wreck_your_teeth_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/bruxism-and-sleep

Nail Biting: A Habit Worse for Teeth Than for Nails

June 7th, 2015

how-to-stop-nail-biting

We rely on our teeth to help us speak, chew, and to spread a smile. But, what our teeth shouldn’t be used for is biting nails. Nail biting is a common habit for many, and it’s approximated that half of all humans bite their nails. There are several beliefs as to why people bite their nails, but many come to the conclusion that the bad habit is stress related or is a behavior that’s learned during childhood.

For some, it can be hard not to resort to nail biting. However, it is important to understand that your dental health is at a much greater risk than just your manicure.

Here is a list of some of the many negative effects that nail biting can have on your oral health:

Biting your nails can lead to chipped or cracked teeth. Chewing on tough and sharp fingernails can have a heavy impact on your teeth. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nail biting can crack, chip, or wear down front teeth as a result of the pressure applied from continuously biting.

Nail biting can create a gap between your two front teeth (known as diastama). Nail biting from a very early age is believed to cause a gap between two teeth.

Nail biting can weaken the roots of your teeth. Individuals with braces are particularly at risk for root resorption, or shortening of the roots, which can weaken the roots of teeth and can lead to tooth loss.

Nail biting is germy! Fingernails can be full of germs and bacteria, especially since they are hard to reach and clean. They're almost twice as germy as hands! This makes nail biters at an increased risk for transferring germs and bacteria into the body. Biting your nails is an easy way to transfer a virus, cold, or other illness. It can also cause paronychia, which is a skin infection that surrounds the nail.

Biting your nails can cause TMJ Disorder. Nail biting can be damaging to your jaw. The constant biting can cause TMJ Disorder, which can also cause pain, headaches, and jaw alignment issues.

Nail biting can damage gums.

Jagged and sharp fingernails can damage gums tissue and cause gingivitis. When the gum tissue becomes torn, bacteria from fingernails can spread into the bloodstream and throughout the body.

Biting your fingernails can cause you to spend a lot of money. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, individuals who bite their nails spend approximately $4,000 more on dental expenses in their lifetime than those who don't bite their nails.

 

Teeth should also not be used as tools, such as to open a bottle or chew on a pencil. These poor habits can put you at greater risk for bruxism (teeth-grinding), which can cause tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, recessed gums, and many more oral problems.

Wearing a mouth guard may be a great way to avoid nail biting and thus help prevent further damage to your teeth. Also, try keeping your nails trimmed short to prevent the urge to bite them.

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 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 oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.oralanswers.com/biting-finger-nails-teeth/

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2008/article/ADA-06-Nail-Biting-Can-Be-Harmful-To-Teeth.cvsp

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/nail-biting-bad-for-you_n_5675467.html

http://www.whiteheadortho.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/how-to-stop-nail-biting.jpg

Can Yoga Improve Your Oral Health?

April 30th, 2015

 

 

Stressed out? Your dentist can usually tell! Stress can have a significant impact on your oral health.  In fact, dentists can detect oral symptoms of stress, including canker sores, teeth grinding (bruxism), gum diseasetemporomandibular disorders (TMD), burning mouth syndrome, and dry mouth, just to name a few. Luckily, many studies have shown that yoga can help people relieve stress, anxiety, and believe it or not, dental troubles!

Many studies have revealed that individuals who are stressed are more likely to neglect their oral care. As mentioned above, the tension in jaw muscles can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The good news is that along with alleviating stress, yoga improves posture. Poor posture not only affects your body, but also your mouth. It can cause the jaw to shift and affect the alignment of teeth. This can lead to Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorders (TMJ), which can cause pain chewing, nerve inflammation, headaches, and more!

Stress can also lead to dry mouth, which occurs due to low amounts of saliva production. Saliva flow is essential in helping get rid of germs in the mouth. Dry mouth leads to bad breath (halitosis), and can eventually develop into tooth decay and periodontal disease. Further, stress has been shown to increase inflammation in the mouth and  body. Bacteria in your mouth can cause gum inflammation, which plays a huge part in gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Although yoga may not fight cavities, it can improve the condition of your mouth and the health of your body by eliminating tension and stress. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that dates years and years back from India. Yoga incorporates both physical and mental disciplines for the purpose of achieving a peaceful balance between body and mind.  It promotes relaxation and can boost your mood, which can help you live longer and age-well. It also can reduce your blood pressure.

Another great thing about yoga is that it encourages a healthy lifestyle. It typically prompts people to practice better oral hygiene habits, implement healthier diets, and to get rid of poor oral health habits, including smoking.

So why not enjoy the many health benefits of yoga? There are plenty more, including:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Increasing muscle strength 
  • Preventing cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Boosting immunity
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Helping you focus
  • Improving your balance
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Increasing your self-esteem 
  • Benefiting your relationships

Yoga may not have been the first thing that you thought of when discussing how to maintain a healthy mouth. However, few methods of stress relief compare to that of yoga! Eliminating stress through practicing yoga may be a great option for preventing pain and oral health problems.

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 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 oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://lacunaloft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kids-Yoga-Portrait.jpg

http://awomanshealth.com/stress-and-oral-health/

http://yoganonymous.com/practice-for-the-teeth-3-ways-yoga-improves-dental-health

http://www.medicinenet.com/temporomandibular_joint_syndrome_tmj/article.htm

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

Defeat Teeth Grinding Once and For All

May 16th, 2014

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a detrimental oral habit common in both children and adults, which is often experienced as a result of stress and anxiety. However, in some cases, misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite can cause teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can occur throughout the day, yet individuals often grind their teeth unknowingly during sleep. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that can lead to bruxism. Symptoms of teeth grinding include jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, headaches, chipped teeth, earaches, as well as facial pain.

puyallup-dentist1

Habitual teeth grinding damages the surfaces of teeth, deteriorates tooth enamel, and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Teeth grinding can also cause temporomandibular disorders (TMD). If this bad oral health habit is not stopped, implants, root canals, crowns, and even partial dentures may be needed in order to fix the damages.

Yet, there is no need to worry! Teeth grinding is treatable, commonly with the use of custom-fit nightguards. Custom nightguards can help prevent further dental damage by helping stop your jaws from clamping and teeth from clenching. Custom nightguards are created to personally fit your lower and upper teeth, making them flexible and comfortable to wear. Nightguards not only protect your teeth, but also eliminate the chattering sound that can disturb one’s sleep. Nightguards can be purchased over-the-counter at a local pharmacy, however, are more suitable and protective when custom-made by a dentist.

Along with wearing a nightguard, here are a few other tips to help prevent the adverse effects of teeth grinding:

  • Reduce your stress levels. Participate in activities that make you happy. Wheter it is exercising, listening to your favorite music, or reading a book before going to sleep, try to eliminate tensions that arise throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Sodas, chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated foods and beverages are believed to increase the likelihood of teeth grinding. They can also be poor dietary choices for your oral and phsycial health!
  • Relax your jaw muscles. Try keeping your jaw muscles relaxed by gently pressing a warm washcloth against your cheek. Avoid chewing ice, pencils, gum, and other objects that involve strenuous chewing.
  • Become more aware of the habit. Train yourself to avoid teeth grinding by positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

Listen out during the night to make sure that your children are not grinding their teeth during their sleep. If your teeth are misaligned, braces may be a good corrective measure to eliminate the poor habit of teeth grinding. It is important to practice good oral health habits to keep your teeth healthy and your smile healthy!

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 and consultation.

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

References:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding

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

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Family/2013/April/article/SW-281474979065193.cvsp

http://www.aprilziegele.com/wp-content/uploads/puyallup-dentist1.jpg

Stress Undermines a Healthy Smile

April 25th, 2014

frustrated-child (1)Stress not only affects your body, but also your mouth, teeth, and gums! Stress is easy to come by, and can often be overwhelming. Stress weakens the immune system, which negatively impacts your body’s capability to fight against the bacteria that causes many oral health problems, including periodontal disease. Stressing out can result in mouth sores, teeth grinding, nail biting, poor health care habits, and developing a bad diet.

Stress can affect anyone, even your child. Common worries ,including separation anxiety, academic pressure, world events, natural disasters, family worries, and social pressures can prompt stress in children. These troubles can provoke a physical response in children that can negatively impact their oral health. Stress is often revealed in a child by a change in behavior.

Recognizing the signs of stress can help improve your child’s oral health and well-being:

Mouth Sores

Stress, along with fatigue, can increase the chance of having canker sores. Canker sores are small ulcers that emerge inside the mouth. Emotional distress can trigger cold sores and last for up to 10 days!

Teeth Grinding

Stress may initiate bruxism. Bruxism can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Night guards are commonly recommended to minimize teeth grinding.

Change in Diet

Unhealthy eating habits, including snacking, and a desire for sugary foods or drinks is often induced by stress. This can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Remember that nutrition is also related to your oral health!

Developing Poor Dental Habits

Stress may affect moods and lead to skipping essential dental habits, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

Gum Disease

Even a brief period of stress can result in the risk of gingivitis and an accumulation of dental plaque.

Stress can be controlled with practical strategies to overcome the challenges that arise from daily life. Your child’s overall health depends on their oral health! Encourage a balance in your child’s schedule and reiterate the importance of sleep and a healthy diet.

 

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 and consultation.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/stress-teeth

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ColgateNewandNow/Community/2013/September/article/SW-281474979201581.cvsp

http://www.betterparenting.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/frustrated-child.jpg

Sensitive Teeth

August 8th, 2012

Sensitive teeth is a common problem. Teeth typically are sensitive due to the root surface becoming exposed. The root lacks the protective enamel to keep sensitivity at bay.

Some of the most common causes of sensitivity are gum recession, tooth decay, faulty fillings, and teeth grinding.

One of the most common ways to treat it is a special toothpaste formulated to alleviate sensitivity. They aim to help seal the weakened and exposed tooth structure.

It takes a few weeks for the toothpaste to fully take effect. If this does not seem to work, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. Drs. Ali would be happy to answer any questions you have, so feel free to contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding

July 10th, 2012

Research is showing  a correlation between sleep apnea and teeth grinding. It was discovered that 1 in 4 patients suffering from sleep apnea also grind their teeth while sleeping.

It is believed that around 8 percent of Americans suffer from teeth grinding.

Shyam Subramanian, a doctor in Texas from Baylor College of Medicine, said:

"The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and sleep bruxism is usually related to an arousal response. The ending of an apneic event may be accompanied by a number of mouth phenomena, such as snoring, gasps, mumbles, and teeth grinding."

More men than women report symptoms of sleep apnea than women. Also, caffiene use and anxiety are thought to be factors that can lead to developing the condition.

You can learn more and read the article in full here. Be sure to contact Dr. Ali with any questions about teeth grinding, or bruxism, at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

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