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Posts for: February, 2017

By Arbor Hills Dental
February 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”

February 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Discover the advantages of getting dental crowns and bridges in Newberg, crowns, dental bridges

According to research published by Sports Health, about 30 million children and teens are involved in sports each year in the US alone. This means that the probability of dental injuries is much higher. While our Newberg, OR, dentist, Dr. Angela Toy, will always recommend that people of any age looking to play sports also wear a mouth guard, if you don’t then you may be faced with a dental injury like a fractured or completely knocked-out tooth. If this is the case, then a dental crown or bridge may be able to restore your damaged smile.

What are crowns and bridges?

A crown is made to look just like the crown of a tooth but at first glance, you may notice that this restoration is hollow. This is so it can fit over the entire crown of a natural tooth. Each crown is custom made and is a great way to protect a damaged tooth and prevent further damage.

And a dental bridge is right for those patients looking to replace one or more teeth in a row. A dental bridge is supported by two dental crowns (one on each side) and the false teeth are then cemented in between the crowns. Just like with crowns, bridges are also custom made.

What are the benefits of getting dental crowns and bridges in Newberg, OR?

You may already be able to imagine how these restorations can improve your smile, but just in case you aren’t able to fully grasp what they can do for you here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy:

An improved appearance: Whether you need to replace a missing tooth or hide a malformed tooth, crowns can provide cosmetic enhancements to your smile while bridges can fill in the gap left by your missing tooth.

Restore chewing and speaking: If you have a tooth that is severely cracked or weak, or if you have missing teeth, you know the challenges of being able to eat or speak. Chewing is difficult when you are concerned about the health of your teeth, and having gaps in your smile can lead to embarrassing speech impediments. But by choosing these restorations you won’t have to worry about any of these issues.

Prevent teeth misalignments and changes to your facial structure: When you lose one or more teeth the rest of your natural teeth will begin to shift slowly toward the gap in your smile. This can lead to a serious misalignment. As a result of your tooth loss, you will also start to experience jawbone deterioration, which can affect the shape of your face. To prevent these issues from happening it’s time to talk to us about whether dental bridges are right for you.

If you are interested in finding out whether crowns or dental bridges are the right choice for improving your oral health, then call Arbor Hills Dental in Newberg, OR, to schedule your consultation.