Don’t Let Stress Wear Down Your Teeth

Have you ever heard of teeth grinding? It’s more common than you think. Bruxism is the more technical term, referring to the habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Surprisingly enough, bruxism affects millions of Americans, both adults and children, whether they know it or not. Many people with this condition do not find out they have it until the dental damage is already done, since they are usually grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw as they sleep. Thus, bruxism is often an act that is entirely subconscious.

Bruxers, as people with bruxism are called, can also experience aches in facial muscles; this is a small indicator that you may be clenching or grinding. It is important to recognize the signs early because bruxism can be extremely detrimental to your teeth, provoking fracturing, shattering, or sensitivity caused by wearing down your teeth’s enamel.

 

What are the symptoms?

  1. Worn, broken, or chipped teeth
  2. Your partner noticing you grinding your teeth in your sleep
  3. Popping or clicking jaws
  4. Inability to fully open and close your mouth
  5. Tingling in fingers
  6. Chronic migraines, headaches, or earaches

 

 What causes bruxism?

Bruxism is most frequently caused by a misalignment of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). These joints are what keep your jaw attached to your skull. This condition is called TMJ dysfunction and is often linked with obstructive sleep apnea and stress. Sleep apnea and TMJ dysfunction go hand in hand in 90% of cases, therefore treating sleep apnea can also reduce or resolve bruxism.

 

What are the treatments?

Aside from the correlation of sleep apnea and TMJ dysfunction, a separate oral appliance for bruxism can be worn while sleeping to stop your teeth from grinding. This appliance alleviates stressed jaw muscles and nerves. However, if tooth wear is already extensive, then it is wise to have your back teeth rebuilt with crowns in order to recreate a healthy bite. Once that is done, your jaw will sit in a proper position. Another method would include easing your stress with exercises to break your habits.

Our doctor, Dr. DeFinnis does a complete evaluation before recommending a treatment that suits your specific needs. Just like every bite is different, every treatment depends on the patient. In order to learn more about sleep apnea, be sure to be on the lookout for our next blog! At Wynnewood Dental Arts, we also offer sleep dentistry in Haverford, PA and sedation dentistry in Haverford, PA.

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Life Doesn’t Comes Knocking During Business Hours

We have all been faced with emergency situations that leave us stumped, with the familiar question of “what do I do?” often coming to mind. When these situations arise, there are always solutions available depending on the issue at hand. The following are need-to-know first-aids to help ease a dental dilemma:

Toothaches

  • Take Ibuprofen as directed.
  • Use an ice-pack.
  • Avoid either hot or cold foods, as they can increase sensitivity.
  • Clean around the area of the affected tooth, apply a small amount of sensitivity toothpaste, but otherwise do not further irritate it.
  • Please make an appointment with us at your earliest convenience.

Canker Sores

  • Use a salt-water rinse to dry it out.
  • Apply an over-the-counter topical ointment as directed.
  • If canker sores are a recurring problem, it is important to get them checked out.

When a Temporary Crown Falls Out

  • If the crown is not broken: use a dab of toothpaste or dental adhesive between your tooth and your crown to replace it.
  • If the crown is broken: do not replace it.
  • Do not chew food with the affected tooth.
  • Make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.

When a Tooth is Knocked out or Broken

  • Rinse the tooth only if it is very dirty.
  • Do not rub/scrub the tooth.
  • Be very gentle.
  • Do not touch the nerve endings or ligaments of the tooth or the gum.
  • If the tooth is in one piece: attempt to replace it into the socket by securely holding the tooth in place with gauze until you reach the office.
  • If the tooth is broken: store the tooth in saliva or milk, transporting a tooth dry will cause damage. The tooth can be transported between the gum and the cheek of the person who lost the tooth.
  • Make an emergency appointment with Dr. DeFinnis.

Bleeding Gums

  • Healthy gums can bleed if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush or floss too harshly.
  • If your gums are red or swollen: it can be an early sign of gum disease, and an immediate appointment with Dr. DeFinnis is necessary.

Broken Braces/Other Appliances

  • If it is a loose bracket: schedule an immediate appointment with your orthodontist
  • If it is a loose wire that sticks out: place a small amount of balled orthopedic wax around the wire until you can schedule an appointment.

For your emergency dentistry needs in Philadelphia, it is important to rely on someone you have confidence in. Since there is only so much you can do at home, having a trusted dentistry office at the ready is essential. Do not hesitate to contact Wynnewood Dental Arts. Here, sedation dentistry in Philadelphia is also available for those who are anxious or afraid of getting a procedure done. Everyone is provided for and given the absolute best for their comfort needs.

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6 Different Dental Services We Offer

At Wynnewood Dental Arts, our goal is to provide the best dental care for you and your family. We offer skilled dental services and specialize in sedation dentistry.

Dr. Thomas DeFinnis and his staff of hygienists, assistants and front office personnel work to build a comfortable environment. If you are looking for a new dentist, here is a snapshot of the quality dental options we offer.

Sedation Dentistry

Dr. DeFinnis has been practicing sedation dentistry for patients in the Bala Cynwyd, PA region for over 16 years. This method helps patients who have dental-related fears or suffered a traumatic experience. Sedation dentistry can help make you feel more comfortable when sitting in the dental chair. It saves you money by reducing the number of appointments to perform a procedure and also controls unnecessary movements during treatment.

Family Dentistry

We provide dental care for the entire family. We suggest scheduling an appointment every six months to visit us for checkups and cleanings. This appointment minimizes potential problems before they can occur. We use DIAGNOdent to check for cavities and tooth decay in its earliest stage.

Restorations

Unfortunately, cracked and chipped teeth are common. Accidents can occur at any time. Dr. DeFinnis minimizes this health risk and restores the tooth with a tooth-colored composite resin for fillings and bonding. He also uses ceramic or zirconia crowns to restore teeth.

Cosmetics

If you are embarrassed with your crooked teeth, gaps or yellowing teeth, we can help you smile confidently. We offer a variety of minimally-invasive procedures to help fix these imperfections.

Replacement Teeth

Eating, speaking and smiling can become difficult if you are missing a tooth. We offer bridges, full and partial dentures and dental implants to make your smile whole again.

Emergency Dentistry

If you have a dental emergency, call our office, and we will return your call as soon as possible. We understand that emergencies can happen at any time. We provide convenient emergency dentistry for problems such as knocked-out or broken teeth, bleeding gums, broken braces, temporary crowns that have fallen out, canker sores and toothaches.

For more information about sleep dentistry in the Philadelphia area, you can call us at 610-642-0139 or learn more on our website.

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