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By contactus@drjrobb.com
February 18, 2019
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Bruxism includes clenching and grinding your teeth. Both clenching and grinding are called parafunctional because you are using your teeth for something other than their primary purpose of chewing. This places a lot of pressure on the jaw joints which can then lead to clicking noises or pain in your jaw, your head, and/or your neck.  In addition to an aching jaw, your teeth can loosen up and you can even break your teeth!

 

Normal chewing places 68 pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) of pressure on your back teeth (molars). Deliberately clenching your teeth causes 150 PSI of pressure. Unconscious grinding at night can be up to 900 PSI.

 

Some people grind up to 40 minutes during every hour (60 minutes) of sleep. (Humans aren’t the only ones who grind their teeth. Pigs grind their teeth when they’re bored and cats grind their teeth when they’re dehydrated.)

 

Many people who brux have trouble with their temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Sometimes this TMJ trouble is called TemproMandibular Dysfunction (TMD). Many people with TMD have heightened pain sensitivity. They may have genetics that may increase their stress response and inflammatory response. This may be why TMD is often associated with fibromyalgia, headaches and chronic back pain.

 

 

How do you know if you’re a bruxer? Some Signs are:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Damaged teeth and restorations
  • Scarred tongue and cheeks
  • Problems with your gums
  • Jaw noises or pain

 

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What can you do if you think (or know) you are a bruxer? First, see your dentist, especially if you have sharp pain in your tooth or your jaw. Those symptoms may indicate a cavity, cracked tooth, or problem with your TMJ.

 

Other things you can try:

 

 

  • Dental night guards may help prevent or reduce grinding and clenching. The mouth guard helps keep your teeth from wearing down too. The best ones are ones custom-made for you by your dentist. They will fit better than ones you can buy off the shelf.

 

 

  • Hot and cold compresses can be used to ease pain.

 

  • NSAIDS like Ibuprofen and Aleve can reduce inflammation

 

  • Stress management—start at your feet and tense each muscle group for 7-10 seconds then release and rest for 15 seconds before moving to the next muscle group. (Skip any groups that hurt.)

 

 

  • If you catch yourself clenching or grinding during the day, open your jaws and put the tip of your tongue between your teeth—this may train your jaw muscles to relax.

 

  • Don’t chew gum, pencils or anything else that’s not food. Unnecessary chomping keeps jaw muscles accustomed to clenching and makes you more likely to do so while you’re sleeping.

 

  • Cut back on drinks and foods that contain caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate). Caffeine can heighten muscle tension.

 

  • At bedtime, soak 2 washclothes in hot water, wring them out, and hold them just in front of your earlobes. Repeat as often as needed to relax your jaw muscles for 20 min.

 

  • Stress busters such as hot baths, massages, exercise, meditation, and yoga may also help.

 

*Note: Information in this article is not intended to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.

 

Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children.

1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053

440-960-1940

www.drjrobb.com      www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb

By contactus@drjrobb.com
February 10, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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In a few day's we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day. The symbol that seems most associated with Valentine's Day is the heart, so it seems fitting that I post about a dental condition that can affect your heart.

Many studies have proven a link between your gums and heart problems. In fact, inflammatory gum disease is now considered one of the risk factors for heart disease by some healthcare professionals. The good news is that this risk factor is one that’s in your control!

Any medical term ending in “itis” means it is an inflammatory process. (Tonsillitis is inflamed tonsils, arthritis is inflammation of the joints, etc.) Gingivitis is inflammation of the gingiva (or gums) and periodontitis is inflammation around your teeth—also the gingiva. 

Dentists assess the level of inflammatory gum disease by assessing the color, texture, and appearance of your gums. We also check the depth between your gum and your tooth (pocket depth) by inserting a special ruler, called a periodontal probe, into the pocket. We also note the amount of bleeding while probing, any exudate while probing, and tooth mobility. Dental x-rays allow us to see the bone level around your teeth.

Though it’s easy to ignore bleeding around your teeth, it is estimated that if the inside of each pocket around each tooth has inflamed tissue, it adds up to a surface the size of the palm of your hand. If the entire palm of your hand was bleeding, you’d be concerned and seek treatment.

Gum disease is chronic inflammation. It’s not the healthy, healing inflammation we experience right after an injury. In chronic inflammation there is more destruction of tissue than what our healing response can repair. Unfortunately, chronic inflammation is often painless. We don’t get the pain response that drives us to have treatment.

Regular dental cleanings and the use of antimicrobials can often get periodontitis under control, but it never truly goes away. If you miss your dental cleanings or don’t keep up on your home care, you will allow the gum disease to gain another foothold and start breaking down your gum tissue and bone again. Your dentist will need to tailor your cleaning frequency to your specific situation. You may need to go once every few weeks or once every few months. Unfortunately, this must be independent of your dental insurance benefits—your dental insurance may say they’ll only pay once every six months, but you may need to go more often than that for your best dental health.

*Note: Information in this article is not meant to replace the judgment of your healthcare providers.

 

Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children
1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053

440-960-1940
www.drjrobb.com    www.Facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb

By contactus@drjrobb.com
February 01, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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February is Children's Dental Health Month. That's one of the reasons we're participating in  "Give Kids A Smile" in February.

A few appointments are still available on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 for children ages 17 and under to receive free preventive dental care (dental exam, teeth cleaning, x-rays, and fluoride). Call 440-960-1940 to reserve your appointment time!

By contactus@drjrobb.com
January 26, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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On Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Dr. Robb's office will offer free preventive care to children ages 17 and under as part of the nation-wide Give Kids A Smile. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 440-960-1940. A limited number of appointments are available on a first come, first serve basis. We will keep a waiting list once the available appointments fill in case someone cancels. 

By contactus@drjrobb.com
January 26, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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The last thing you want to have to think about during cancer treatment is a dental emergency—seeing your dentist before you start is the best way to begin. If possible, see your dentist for a thorough cleaning 2 weeks before starting your cancer treatment. If you have teeth that may become infected during the course of your cancer treatment, your oncologist may want you to have those taken care of before you start your cancer treatment.

 

Many cancer treatments target rapidly dividing cells because that’s a characteristic of cancer. Unfortunately, it’s also a characteristic of cells in your mouth. You may want to give your dentist your oncologist’s contact information and give your oncologist your dentist’s contact information so that they can work together on any oral symptoms you have.

 

Parts of your mouth that can be affected by cancer treatments include your teeth,  your gums, and your salivary glands. Some possible symptoms are:

  • -inflammation
  • -painful gums or mouth
  • -dry mouth
  • -tooth decay
  • -cold sores
  • -stiffness of jaw
  • -impaired ability to eat, swallow, speak
  • -acid from vomiting

 

During your cancer treatment, you should continue to brush and floss--do so gently.

A mouth rinse to reduce your chance of tooth decay and other symptoms may be indicated. Some of these are prescription and some may be purchased over-the-counter.

 

One rinse that is good for comfort from dry mouth and helps to balance the pH of the mouth after acid reflux or vomiting is to dissolve ¼ tsp baking soda and 1/8 tsp salt in 1 cup water.

 

 

*Note: The information in this article is not intended to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals. You should consult with your healthcare professionals before starting any new regimens.

 

Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children

1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053
440-960-1940

www.drjrobb.com                  www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb