07Aug

A crucial part of supporting overall dental health and wellness is to maintain healthy oral tissues. Your oral tissues are the foundations of your smile; when they are damaged or diminished, the other parts of your smile will suffer as a result.

Our Medford dentists are here with a quick overview of how gum disease presents, and what it does to your smile. We hope that this short article empowers you to seek prompt treatment for gum disease if and when it pops up in your life. Remember, timely treatment is key!

If you’re dealing with gum disease, you may actually be able to see visible changes to your gum tissue. Your gums may look red or swollen, and they may appear inflamed. Now, gum tissue naturally comes in a number of different shades, so what you really want to look for are any sudden changes in the color of your gums.

Infected gum tissue is also more fragile than healthy gums. Many gum disease sufferers find that their gums are prone to bleeding, especially when the patient flosses, brushes, or eats abrasive foods. Simultaneously, the gums may actually start to pull away from the teeth, forming something called “periodontal pockets.” If you have gaps between your teeth and gums, talk to your dentist about gum disease treatment right away.

Chronic bad breath is another indicator of periodontal and gum disease. As oral bacteria build up in the patient’s smile, they release unpleasant odors. If you’re finding it particularly difficult to freshen your breath day to day, you may be dealing with entrenched oral bacteria from gum disease.

Treating periodontal disease involves clearing away infected material, killing oral bacteria, and promoting gum tissue healing and regeneration. Our Medford dentists use the latest technologies, including laser periodontal treatment to accomplish these goals. Give us a call to learn more!

31Jul

Sometimes, patients are plagued with somewhat general, hard-to-pinpoint oral health problems for months or years before they seek treatment. These issues are often connected to structural problems with the patient’s smile: specifically, bruxism.

Our Medford dentists offer effective and patient-friendly treatment for bruxism, which is chronic dental grinding and clenching. Keep reading to learn more about how bruxism manifests. The sooner that you identify this issue, and seek treatment, the better your long-term prognosis.

When a patient’s top and bottom teeth do not come together evenly and naturally, the top and bottom teeth can grind and clench; this is your jaw trying to find a comfortable resting place.

The first thing that you may notice is jaw soreness or tension. This is a sign that you’re putting too much pressure on your temporomandibular joints.

Because many people grind their teeth when they are asleep, it’s common for bruxism sufferers to wake up with sore teeth.

Bruxism can also cause headaches upon waking. These tension headaches often dissipate as the day goes on, but they’re an unfortunate way to start the day.

When bruxism is left untreated, it leads to dental damage down the road. The tooth-on-tooth contact of bruxism causes dental enamel to thin and become weaker. You may find that you develop cavities more frequently, as well as chipped and cracked teeth. Thin enamel will also make our teeth look yellow and dull.

Depending on the underlying cause of your bruxism, our dental team may recommend a number of different treatments. In some cases, orthodontic treatment, dental bonding, and even customized restorations can help to bring the smile into balance. Some people will benefit from wearing protective oral appliances at night; these mouth pieces protect the enamel.

If you think that you’re dealing with bruxism, please reach out to our Medford dentists for a consultation!

17Jul

TMJ disorder is more than just an inconvenience; patients who suffer from TMJ issues are at risk of developing a number of additional oral health issues down the road as a result.

Our Medford TMJ dentists offer treatment for this condition, with the goals of minimizing day to day discomfort and preventing long-term TMJ-related oral health problems. The treatments that we use are simple, effective, and patient-friendly.

But, before we get into discussing treatment options, let’s quickly review the mechanics of TMJ disorder. Your temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. As you’d imagine, you want to keep these joints healthy so that you can eat, speak, and emote comfortably.

Temporomandibular joint problems can pop up for a number of different reasons. Sometimes, the patient’s TMJs are damaged due to accident or trauma: a bike accident, or sport’s injury, for example. However, it is more common for TMJ problems to arise because the underlying structure of the patient’s smile is uneven. When a patient’s top and bottom teeth do not come together evenly and naturally, this can cause the TMJs to slip out of alignment and become irritated. People who suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding, can also experience TMJ problems as a result.

The key to successful TMJ treatment is tailoring the treatment to fit the patient’s specific needs. If your TMJ disorder is caused by a misaligned bite, for example, then orthodontic treatment or strategically placed dental bonding can take the pressure off of your jaw. Other patients will benefit from wearing a TMJ oral appliance, which helps to keep the jaw in a healthy position while protecting the patient’s teeth.

If you’re dealing with TMJ problems, our Medford TMJ dentists encourage you to reach out for treatment before more damage is done. Give us a call to get started with a consultation!