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!

03Jul

Dental emergencies are stressful, and, by definition, unexpected. That is why it can be so helpful for patients to make contingency plans, so that they know exactly what to do when faced with dental trauma. In this short article our Medford emergency dentists are giving you some tips on how to deal with emergency dental situations—let’s get started!

There are a number of different types of dental emergencies, but, no matter what the specific situation, you’ll benefit from knowing who to call when faced with dental trauma. Take the time now to touch base with your dentist, and determine whether they offer emergency services. If they do, is there a specific phone number or e-mail address you should use to reach them? If they do not, do they have a recommendation on another dentist you can contact?

Once you’ve gathered this information, write it down and keep it in an easily accessible place. You can maintain a hard copy on your refrigerator, for example, and also keep the info in your phone.

Speaking generally, when faced with a dental emergency, you want to try to keep as much of your natural dental material intact as possible. Do not clear away any nerves or tissues, for example, that may be loose, or attached to damaged teeth.

If you lose a tooth unexpectedly, the best thing to do is to try to place it back into your gum tissue until you’re able to see your dentist. The tooth should fit back into place pretty easily. If it’s painful, or if it just won’t fit, place your tooth in a glass of milk for transport. Also, bring any broken tooth parts to your dental team, as they can use these pieces to design restorations.

With all that is available in the world of restorative and cosmetic dentistry, dental trauma no longer has to be a long-term problem. Our Medford emergency dentists are happy to answer any questions that may have—just give us a call to learn more and to schedule a consultation!