WE CALL SUSPENSEFUL BOOKS “nail-biters,” but the habit of nail biting itself has less exciting connotations. The most obvious consequence is torn, uneven nails, and in particularly severe cases, nails that become dramatically shortened and deformed over time. This alone would be enough of a reason to discourage the habit, but far more insidious are the effects of nail biting on teeth and oral health. Consequences For Teeth And Gums Teeth should never be used as tools, and that includes using them as nail clippers. Over time, nail biting, or oncyophagia, can lead to a variety of complications. Malocclusion and gaps Grinding the front teeth together in order to bite through nails can gradually cause them to shift, creating a bad bite—malocclusion—or a gap between the top teeth. Wearing, chipping, and cracking At the same time that teeth are shifting into less than ideal positions, they could also be getting chipped or
HAVE YOU EVER woken up with your mouth feeling like a barren desert? Then you’ve probably experienced dry mouth, although it can be even more severe, making it difficult to speak or even eat. Dry mouth affects a tenth of the population, but why is it such a problem, why does it happen, and what can we do about it? In The Absence Of Saliva… Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria, bad breath, and tooth decay. It washes away leftover food particles and neutralizes acids, protecting our teeth and gums. Consequently, when there isn’t enough saliva to perform all of these important tasks, the result is much more serious than just an unpleasant sandpaper feeling. What Causes Dry Mouth? Dry mouth has numerous causes, including smoking, drinking, dehydration, and even aging. Sometimes the salivary glands can be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation treatment. But the most common cause
WE’VE ALL HEARD the old cliché that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, so you should smile to conserve energy! That’s actually false. It takes a minimum of ten muscles to smile but only a minimum of six to frown, so the expression should really be “smile to burn calories!” But smiling will do much more for your health than just giving your face a workout. Here’s four ways smiling benefits our health. #1: Reduces Pain Smiling releases endorphins, which are our bodies’ feel-good hormones. They serve as natural painkillers with no side-effects. What’s particularly interesting about this is that it’s the smile itself that releases the endorphins, not the attitude behind it. Our brains are so hard-wired to associate smiling with joy that even a fake smile will get you the chemical benefits. So whenever you get injured, it really is a good idea to grin and bear it!
EVERYONE WHO’S BEEN TO THE DENTIST is familiar with X-rays. You put on the lead apron, you’re given a rectangular contraption and told “put this between your teeth and bite down,” and then you hear that tinny beep. Have you ever wondered what the different types of dental X-rays are and what they’re for? Let’s take a closer look at three of the most common ones. The Big Picture: Panoramic X-Rays Has an X-ray technician ever had you stand on a circular platform and stand still for several seconds while the machine spun around your head? Then you’ve had a panoramic X-ray, which is the most common type of extraoral dental X-ray. With these, we can see your entire mouth in one image, because the camera travels all the way around your head while taking the picture. These X-rays show incoming adult teeth and wisdom teeth, including any that are impacted,
SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE and you know what that means–family vacations, impromptu getaways and fun trips! Just like you, we couldn’t be more excited. As dental professionals, however, we want to make sure that when you leave on vacation, you don’t leave your oral hygiene behind. Follow these tips to keep your teeth healthy and bright, even when you’re traveling! Have A Dental Checkup Before Leaving Town Nothing can ruin a vacation quite like a toothache or other dental emergency. And depending on where you’re traveling to, it could be difficult to get the proper treatment required. It’s always best to get your teeth checked before going on a trip to make sure everything is in tip-top shape! At your checkup, your dentist will have your teeth cleaned, check for cavities or other dental issues, and make sure that any tooth restorations you may have, such as crowns or fillings, are
MOST PEOPLE GRIND OR CLENCH their teeth briefly when annoyed or in a tense situation. That level of teeth-grinding isn’t really something to worry about. It’s when you do it far more frequently, often without even realizing it (you might even do it in your sleep!), that it can potentially become a serious problem. The medical term for this kind of teeth-grinding is bruxism. Bruxism: What and Why Sleep bruxism (or nocturnal bruxism) can happen as a side-effect of snoring and sleep apnea, and awake bruxism (or diurnal bruxism) can happen as a side-effect of stress in your daily life. However, not everyone with a sleep disorder or a stressful life has bruxism, and not everyone with bruxism has a sleep disorder or a ton of stress. Another possible cause is improperly aligned teeth. Because there isn’t one clear cause, treatment can sometimes be tricky, and the focus is often on the symptoms and
DENTAL IMPLANTS ARE permanent false teeth designed to look just like your other teeth. They’re a popular alternative to dentures or bridges, and the American Dental Association considers them to be “one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years.” How Do They Work? Unlike dentures and bridges, which don’t feel or look entirely real and must be removed and cleaned outside of your mouth daily, dental implants are surgically affixed to your jaw. In place of the roots your native teeth have, the new tooth is held in place by a surgical screw. The crown is carefully selected to match the shape and color of the surrounding teeth, so it blends right in. There are two basic types of implant: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are surgically attached directly to the jaw bone with a titanium post, and the entire implant structure (apart from the crown itself) is hidden under the
FRUIT IS AN ESSENTIAL element of a well-balanced, healthy diet. It is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and eating it on a regular basis helps boost your immune system and reduces your risk of illness and chronic disease. There are a lot of ways people get their fruit, however, and when it comes to your teeth, some ways are worse than others! Beware Dried Fruit Many people think dried fruit is a great healthy snack. Unfortunately, dried fruits have a lot of sugar in them, not to mention the added sugar that many packaged dried fruits come with. Because they’re dehydrated, most of the water is lost from the fruit, but none of the sugar is, making it highly concentrated. As we’ve said in previous blog posts, more sugar, more cavities! Harmful bacteria in our mouths consume the sugar and produce acids as a by-product, which can cause tooth decay. Dried fruit
WE ALL KNOW THAT FEELING… you wake up in the morning to sun shining, birds chirping and happily lean over to your significant other to say hello! Instead you are greeted by the horrible smell of morning breath. Or maybe you run into friends after work and suddenly become conscious of that bad taste in your mouth. We’ve all been there! Unfortunately, bouts of halitosis, or bad breath, are pretty much inevitable. Today we’re going to explain why that is, what causes that nasty smell and what you can do to keep bad breath at bay! It All Starts With Bacteria We’re not the only ones who need to eat to stay alive, so do the bacteria living in our mouths. When they snack on whatever’s left behind from our last meal, they release foul-smelling odors as a by-product, causing bad breath. What you can do: Clean your teeth after every meal!
GETTING YOUR WISDOM TEETH REMOVED is such a common procedure these days that it’s almost a rite of passage among teenagers. But why do some of us have to get them out anyway, and why do we even have them in the first place? In today’s blog post we’re going to answer these and a few other common wisdom teeth questions! Wisdom Teeth Are Remnants Of An Ancient Era The most widely accepted theory about wisdom teeth’s origins goes back to our early human ancestors. Because they had a very different diet–mainly roots, raw meat and fibrous plants–they needed extra molars to grind up tough food. These days, we eat much softer foods. We also have smaller jaws that don’t fit in those third molars quite as well. Wisdom Teeth Are Removed For A Number Of Reasons While some people never get their wisdom teeth, they’ll show up for most of us between