Did you know?
Preventing Mechanical Wear and Tear on Your Teeth
The function of teeth is mostly mechanical -- to mash, grind and break up food to make it more easily digestable. For the most part, our teeth are resistant to cracks and chips.
“Contrary to what many people assume, teeth do not become more brittle with age,” says Steven E. Schonfeld, a private practice dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “Still, we see patients all the time who have cracked or chipped a tooth biting down hard on something like an olive that still has a pit or a kernel of unpopped popcorn.”
Teeth that have fillings or root canals are particularly vulnerable, since they don’t have the strength of structurally intact teeth.
Another problem that causes wear and tear is the habit of grinding or clenching teeth. Called bruxism, it is frequently caused by stress or anxiety. Over time, bruxism can wear down the biting surfaces of teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.
What to do:
- - Avoid chewing ice and other very hard foods.
- - Double-check to make sure that pitted foods have no pits before you bite down on them.
- - See your dentist regularly. He or she can spot cracked or broken fillings that may weaken teeth. Your dentist will also check for signs of bruxism. In many cases, people who grind or clench their teeth aren’t aware of the habit or the damage they are doing to their teeth. If you show signs of bruxism, your dentist may recommend a mouth guard that can be worn at night to prevent grinding
What you eat can affect the health of your teeth?
The more frequently you eat and snack, the more you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay, because bacteria in the mouth converts sugars from the foods you eat to acids, and it's the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process.
The best food choices for the health of your mouth that protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth include:
- chicken or other meats
Other good food choices include firm and crunchy fruits (apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva.
Making healthy choices to protect your oral health, along with properly caring for your teeth, will help prevent cavities.
Headaches and Dental Health - Did you know that many tension headaches are related to your bite?
By The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain
One in eight Americans suffer from recurring headaches that are so severe they cannot carry out normal living! An estimated 80% of all headaches occur from muscle tension. How can your bite cause a headache? Tension headaches result from muscle strain, or contraction. When muscles are held tight for long periods of time they begin to ache. Headaches from dental stress are a type of muscle tension headache. A tension headache may be on one or both sides of your head. Or, it may surround your head as if a steel band were wrapped around it. The pain feels like a dull, non-throbbing ache. Tension headaches are usually relieved by aspirin.
Specific signs which indicate that the headache may have a dental origin include: Pain behind the eyes, Sore jaw muscles or "tired" muscles upon awakening, Teeth grinding, Clicking or popping jaw joints, Head and/or scalp painful to the touch.
Dental Health and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) - Did you know prolonged teeth grinding can damage your teeth?
Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding
, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health
complications can arise.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
occurs during sleep and is most likely caused by an abnormal bite, missing teeth or crooked teeth. Teeth grinding can also be caused by stress and anxiety.
How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth - Do I NEED TO SEE A DENTIST?
You may not be aware if you grind your teeth because this most often happens during sleep. If you experience a dull, constant headache or a sore jaw you may be grinding your teeth. Others find out by a loved one who hears the grinding during the night.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to Dr. Coseo. He will give you an examination and look for signs of bruxism, such as abnormalities in your teeth.