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How To Avoid Worn Teeth

How To Avoid Worn Teeth

Cavities aren’t the only things that can cause damage to your teeth. If your teeth appear shorter or you have worn teeth, you may be at risk for severe dental issues.
Two common causes of excessively worn teeth are bruxism (grinding) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).  If these two conditions happen at the same time, tooth destruction will happen even quicker.
grinding teeth dental treatment

Bruxism

Grinding and/or clenching of the teeth. This is a common condition which occurs mainly at night when you can’t consciously control it. Some people may also clench and grind their teeth during the day, especially in times of stress, concentration, driving or if involved in heavy weight-lifting. Sleep bruxism is more destructive than daytime bruxism since the forces applied are much heavier while you are asleep.

Symptoms of bruxism:

  • Jaw pain, clicking or popping of the jaw, painful jaw muscles.
  • Headaches (especially upon waking).
  • Worn and chipped biting edges of teeth. Edges of front teeth may appear translucent.
  • Spouse or family members may hear you grinding at night.
  • Sensitive or painful teeth.
Treatment of bruxism:
The first step is to visit your dentist to discuss your symptoms. If you do clench and grind your teeth, your dentist might suggest wearing a protective appliance called a biteplane. This will protect your teeth from wear and help your jaw joint and muscles to relax.

GERD

This condition occurs when the stomach acid back-flows into the esophagus, causing irritation. Also known as acid reflux, this is a common digestive disorder that affects many people. In some cases, the stomach acids can flow up into the mouth, and cause destruction to the enamel of your teeth. There is also evidence that the irritation caused by GERD can increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
Symptoms of GERD:
  • Chronic heartburn.
  • Acid regurgitation into the mouth (sour taste).
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Chronic irritation of the throat.
  • Erosion of the enamel of the teeth.

Treatment of GERD:

If you suspect you might have GERD, speak to your doctor. Treatment may include diet and lifestyle changes, medication or even surgery.
Early detection and treatment is important since the more severely worn the teeth are, the more complicated it will be to fix. Call us today and take the important step in preventing further damage to your teeth.
Tips To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Tips To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

While going to the dentist regularly is strongly encouraged, teaching your child good oral hygiene is arguably more important. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy is important to help the adult teeth come in properly. A good oral hygiene regimen includes both brushing and flossing. Brushing should be done 2 times per day – once in the morning and once just before bedtime. Flossing should be done before bedtime. When your child says they have brushed their teeth, it is best to check after. See if they did a good job, and cleaned all plaque from the front, back and tops of the teeth. They will appreciate their lovely smile when they are older. Prevention is the best way to avoid costly dental treatment

How Do I Know If My Child Is Brushing Properly?

Be in a well-lit area and pull their cheeks back. Plaque deposits usually accumulate along the gumline and can range in color from yellow to white, even colorless. If you are not sure, just use your clean fingernail to scrape gently along the tooth towards the gumline. Check to see if anything is stuck to your nail. If your child has brushed properly, there should be little to no plaque on your fingernails.

Alternatively, there are plaque disclosing solutions, tablets and mouth rinses available which will stain the plaque. The benefit of staining the plaque on the teeth is to give a clear visual cue on where leftover plaque is located after improper brushing. Use this as a teaching tool and have your child look in the mirror to see missed areas of brushing. Should there be some plaque remaining, you can guide their hand for them.

kids teeth healthy toronto dentist

When can I let my child brush themselves?

The general rule of thumb is 8 years old before a child can do a proper job of brushing their teeth. If you are diligent, it may be younger.  Brushing their own teeth is a life skill, and as such, it takes time to develop the necessary dexterity and technique to master it. The more experience your child has, the better they will get at it, and the sooner they will be able to do it themselves. Contact us to schedule your child’s next visit.

What Is A Dental Crown & Do You Need One?

What Is A Dental Crown & Do You Need One?

A dental crown is a hollow “cap” that is placed over a prepared tooth to restore the strength, function, and appearance of the tooth.

When are dental crowns needed?

After a root canal

A tooth that underwent root canal treatment is no longer living or vital. While this results in the tooth becoming more brittle and prone to breaking, a dental crown will preserve the strength of the tooth and prevent breakage.

Large fillings

Teeth with large fillings are weaker than a natural tooth. As a result, they are prone to breaking under the forces of chewing. However, a crown restores the strength of these compromised teeth.

Aesthetics

If you have broken, worn, decayed, misshapen or discolored teeth, dental crowns improve the appearance of your smile. However, other tooth replacement options exist as well.

Full mouth rehabilitation

Severely worn teeth due to grinding or erosion need extensive dental treatment. Opening up, or enlarging the bite and restoring the appearance and function of the teeth may require dental crowns to be placed on one, or more teeth.

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Dental bridge

A missing tooth that is replaced with a dental bridge, requires at least one dental crown. A dental crown covers the adjacent teeth on either side, and an artificial tooth fills in the space of the missing tooth.

Types of crowns:

dental crown toronto dentist st clair

There are different types of crowns available for you and your dentist to choose from. Some materials that crowns are made of include: gold or other metal alloys, ceramic, composite resin, porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The location in the mouth, aesthetics and durability are considered when deciding on the best type of crown to use.

How is a dental crown done?

This procedure is done in two separate appointments, giving time for the fabrication of the permanent dental crown.

First visit:

  • The dentist freezes the area first (this may not be necessary if there was a root canal).
  • The tooth is shaved down to make room for the crown to fit over the top.
  • Impressions or a scan of the tooth are taken and sent to the laboratory that makes the dental crown
  • A temporary crown is made and cemented to the tooth.

Second visit:

  • The dentist checks the shape, size, and colour of the crown to ensure it fits your smile perfectly.
  • The temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown is cemented.
  • The dentist checks your bite to ensure your new crown functions properly.

How to care for your dental crown:

Thorough daily brushing and flossing are necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. While a dental crown adds strength to a tooth, it is still susceptible to gum disease and decay if not kept clean. Avoid very abrasive or whitening toothpaste that can scratch the crown and cause it to lose its luster. Additionally, ensure that you have regular dental check-ups so your dentist can monitor the health and condition of your teeth and dental work.

If you have any further questions about dental crowns, call us today! We would be happy to answer your questions or book a consultation with a dentist.