Is Bruxism Destroying Your Teeth?

Bruxism, the clinical term for grinding or clenching your teeth, may be something you do while sleeping and you are completely unaware of it. Many patients at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne who are diagnosed with Bruxism have no clue that they experience this ailment until they have a routine check-up and we tell them. Smoothed out grooves in the molar surfaces and telltale grinding evidence can be found during an oral hygiene exam. Some of these patients report that they have been waking up with headaches and sore jaw muscles — common symptoms of Bruxism. Dr. Robert Harrell and his team at Adult Dentistry want you to know that if you are suffering from this condition, help is available.

Let’s learn more about Bruxism before we continue…

Symptoms

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw or face pain or soreness
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache originating in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Indentations on your tongue

When to see a doctor

See your doctor or dentist if:

  • Your teeth are worn, damaged or sensitive
  • You have pain in your jaw, face or ear
  • Others complain that you make a grinding noise while you sleep
  • You have a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely

If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of bruxism — be sure to mention it at your child’s next dental appointment. More details at Mayo Clinic

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The Bad News About Teeth Grinding

While stress may be a trigger for certain individuals and some may be overcompensating for their misaligned jaw; many Bruxism sufferers have no clue as to why they are suddenly grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw. They may be suffering from Sleep Apnea or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder (TMD). Severe tooth sensitivity can set in and may be noticed during the scaling portion of your regular dental exam. Clenching down on your teeth or grinding away precious enamel can lead to exposed root surfaces and trigger sensitivity to hot and cold, wind exposure and discomfort during brushing.

You might be surprised to learn how prevalent Bruxism is.

How Many People Have Bruxism?

Bruxism is a very common condition, though there’s some disagreement on how many people are bruxers.

One in three people suffer from bruxism, according to one study, but another puts the number much lower at around eight percent of the population. The condition can range in severity from infrequent clenching to outright mashing; a small number of people, roughly 10 percent of bruxism sufferers, grind so hard their teeth are reduced to nubs, and they eventually need to have reconstructive surgery. Keep reading at Arizona Family Dental

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Mouth Guards Prevent Tooth Damage

Dr. Harrell will make you a custom mouth guard to wear at bedtime. This will stop the damage from the behavior. During this process, impressions are taken of your teeth and a perfectly fitted appliance is made at the lab. Your night guard is slim and unobtrusive and there is no chance of swallowing or choking on it. The guard gives your teeth a soft surface to grind against, which protects them from wear. Left unaddressed, Bruxism can result in the need for extensive restorative and cosmetic dentistry.

If it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental exam, contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today to schedule a visit with Dr. Harrell. He is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by Charlotte Magazine. Call Adult Dentistry now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to make an appointment.

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Dentist Reviews Charlotte NC – Bill’s Story

BiIl did extensive research online and heavily weighed dentist reviews before selecting Dr. Robert L. Harrell of Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne for his family’s dental care. He praises Adult Dentistry for its exceptional blend of personal service and advanced technology.

Dentist reviews Charlotte NC – Bill’s Story

I’ve been coming to see Dr. Harrell for at least two years. My wife and I had been going to the same dentist for probably twenty years and we needed a new dentist. She decided she was going to find one through referrals, and I said no I wanna find one through the internet and some online searches and doing some background checks.

We each did that and believe it or not, I came up with two names and she came up with a name. The top name on both our lists was the same doctor: Dr. Harrell.

I think this is a special place. I think, in this day of healthcare, you can get high technology in certain places that may be cold, a cold atmosphere, or you can get a folksy type of care, but maybe you give up some technology.

This is an unusual blend of both. I think it’s unique. I think it’s rare. And, in the healthcare life of our family, this is a different standard. So again, I think it’s a special place.

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Resolution: Less Sugar, More Smile-Care in 2017

This time of year is famous for New Year’s Resolutions. As the calendar turns over, getting a fresh start is on many of our minds. If having a healthier smile is one of your wishes for 2017, cutting out sugar is a great place to start. But easier said than done, right? Sugar is addictive and, basically, it’s everywhere. The key is to be aware of your sugar intake and avoid consuming it when you can. Swapping sugar-filled items with healthier drinks and foods is an ideal option. If you’re ready to cut back on sugar, this blog post is going to help you out. The following post will give you some good guidelines for lowering the sugar and increasing your oral health.

In general, beware of ready meals – these will almost always have significantly higher sugar levels than their home-made counterparts.

When eating out, make a habit of choosing the cheese platter with coffee instead of pudding, and stick to water or red wine.

Drinks

Avoid juice and sweetened drinks of any description. Unflavoured water (be it still or sparkling) and unflavoured milk are the only soft drinks you should have.

Switch to dextrose in tea or coffee if you are used to adding sugar.

Stick to low-sugar alcohol, such as red wine. Other dry wines, beers and spirits (if unmixed with other drinks containing sugar) are OK. Dessert wines, ports, liqueurs and mixers are not. Read more at The Telegraph

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Regular Check-ups are Vital

Dr. Robert Harrell and his staff at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne want to see you on a regular basis to ensure that all is well in your mouth. Regular check-ups are a vital component of maintaining a healthy smile. It can be easy to put off making appointments and tempting to reschedule them — but don’t do it. To avoid the inevitable need for restoration work later on, it is important to schedule and keep up with your regular dental visits.

The next time you’re here, tell us your favorite healthy snack recipes. We are always excited to hear what works for you so we can share the information with others. Let’s pool our knowledge and all enjoy a healthier and happier 2017.

Fruit and Your Teeth: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Fresh fruit is a great choice when you are craving something sweet. Whole, natural fruits have a lower Glycemic Index rating and can help you to feel satisfied longer so you eat less. Consuming the juices and fiber in fresh fruit or frozen fruit is a healthier option than pureed juices or dried fruits, which can provide exceptionally concentrated sugar spikes. Looking for some healthy, and tasty, fruit snack recipes? Check out these…

Baked AppleThis treat is easy to make ahead and reheat, or whip up in an instant right when you want it. Stuff the apples with oats, nuts, and just a little honey for sweetness.

Frozen Chocolate Banana

This is the perfect frozen sweet treat with some extra nutritional punch! Bananas are a great source of vitamins C and B6, and are also packed with fiber and potassium. Peel a banana, cut into two equal halves, and freeze. Once solid, take out and roll in melted dark chocolate. While the chocolate’s still melty, roll in whichever crunchy topping you like—sprinkles, nuts, and granola all work well! Return to the freezer until the chocolate is set (at least an hour). Enjoy!

Frozen Grapes

Pop a vine in the freezer for a few hours and out comes a long-lasting, slightly sweet treat packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. The biggest health boost? Resveratrol, which studies suggest may help lower levels of LDL cholesterol and promote blood vessel health. Continue reading at Greatist

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Brush and Floss After You Eat

Getting into the habit of rinsing your mouth and brushing after meals and snacks is the best way to protect your smile. Brushing after lunch is something many people neglect to do. Dr. Harrell recommends keeping a travel toothbrush in your desk at work or in your handbag, briefcase or messenger bag so you can brush on the go.

Start the New Year off right by establishing some sensational smile habits, including consuming less sugar, brushing more often and getting regular check-ups. If there are any problems with your smile, we want to catch and correct them as early as possible.

Book your next appointment with us

At Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne, we pride ourselves on providing a welcoming, worry-free, judgement-free atmosphere where our patients receive the best dental care possible. Don’t put it off any longer; schedule your teeth cleaning and check-up today. Call Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to set your appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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