Do You Have Bruxism? | Hoboken General Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-452459879Are you experiencing jaw pain, sensitive teeth or has your significant other told you you’re grinding your teeth? If so, you may be dealign with bruxism. Many dental problems are based on oral hygiene – brushing and flossing – or genetics – such as tooth alignment, however certain dental problems are more difficult to classify. One of those is bruxism – a condition where a patient clenches and grinds their teeth together, often while sleeping. Mild cases of bruxism may go unnoticed and likely do not need treatment, but severe cases of bruxism can create dental complications and should be treated with the assistance of a dentist.

Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

Because bruxism tends to be most pronounced during sleep, it may be difficult to know if a patient suffers from the condition. There are a number of symptoms that may help diagnose the condition.

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(Source: mayoclinic.com)

If the symptoms seem familiar, or if you noticed the grinding in a family member, consult your dentist to see if they can assist in determining both the cause and treatment options. While causes vary patient to patient, some of the potential causes include stress, anxiety, and tooth alignment. It’s quite common in young children, but it also can be amplified by stimulants such as tobacco, caffeine, and many prescription and illegal drugs.

A trained dentist can help a patient with bruxism by addressing both the cause and effects. Some patients will be advised to consider stress management or behavior therapy, while muscle relaxers before bed may be recommended for others. Physical devices such as mouth guards may be used to protect teeth, and alignment issues may be corrected. Restoring damaged teeth with crowns may be necessary depending on the damage.

During regular dental exams, your dentist will likely will check for signs of bruxism. If you have any signs, your he will then will look for changes in your teeth and mouth over the next several visits to see if the process is progressive and to determine whether you need treatment. If you suspect you’re dealing with bruxism, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken as soon as possible.

For more information on bruxism by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.

Pediatric Dentistry “Firsts” | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

pediatricsNew parents typically have no shortage of questions they must answer when dealing with “firsts” with their children. Pediatric dentistry is no exception – there are a number of “firsts” for children as it relates to their teeth, and navigating them effectively is key to setting the foundation for good oral health for their children.

The first question for new parents is typically when they should expect the first teeth. The two lower front teeth should erupt around 6 months of age, followed by the two upper center teeth. The remaining will appear in no predictable order – but all 20 baby teeth should be present by 3 years of age.

The next natural question is typically when the parent should schedule their child’s first dentist appointment. You should make sure the first appointment is within 6 months of the first tooth appearing, but definitely before the child’s first birthday. The first visit is typically a checkup to look for signs of decay, check the bite, and look for problems in the gums, jaw, and tissues within the mouth. The dentist will take this opportunity to provide guidance on topics such as brushing, fluoride, teething, and problems like thumb sucking.

Just like adults need to brush twice a day, parents also need to brush the teeth of young children. Your child’s first toothbrush should be a soft-bristled brush with a small head (age appropriate size). As an infant, you should clean the gums with a soft brush and water. Once teeth appear, start brushing twice a day with non-fluoride toothpaste; once your child can spit, you can transition to fluoride toothpaste.

It’s likely that at some point, you’ll have a discussion with your dentist about your child’s first cavities – tooth decay is especially prevalent in children, and maintaining the baby teeth is instrumental to long term oral health for the child as they grown into adulthood. Your dentist will guide you in proper treatment of cavities – generally, they should be drilled and filled to prevent decay from spreading.

If you have questions about other pediatric dentistry “firsts”, call your pediatric dentist, they’ll be happy to answer questions you may have, and make appointments to get and keep your child on a healthy path.

For more information about pediatric dentistry by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.