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General and Preventive Dentistry

Is Teeth grinding and Jaw Clenching on Rise due to Coronavirus Stress?

What is Bruxism?

Do you grind or clench your teeth, suffer from jaw tension or facial pain?

Did you know you may be inadvertently damaging your teeth by grinding them?

Then this could be ‘Bruxism’, and we are sure most of you have never heard of this clinical term.

Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding or clenching is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth or jaws excessively. Clenching your teeth and jaws puts tremendous pressure on the muscles, tissues, and structures around your jaw which can lead to temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).

Bruxism occurs in both children and adults and transpires when the upper jaw rubs both sets of teeth together.

If you are suffering from this condition, and if you find yourself clenching your teeth unconsciously when you are awake, it is known as awake bruxism and if you clench or grind your teeth while you are sleeping, it is called sleep bruxism.

If you notice you grind your teeth occasionally, it usually does not cause any harm but when the teeth clenching and grinding occurs frequently on a regular basis, the teeth may encounter severe damage, and also there is a high possibility that other dental or oral health complications may arise.

Bruxism may be caused by stress, anxiety, an abnormal bite, crooked teeth, missing teeth, and other lifestyle factors. It’s important that we seek regular dental care to understand the signs and symptoms of bruxism so that it can be treated at an early stage.

The doctors have not been able to completely determine the causes of bruxism and hence the actual reason is unknown but they suspect it is due to the combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors.

If your bruxism symptoms are mild, you may not need any treatment but if it’s frequent and severe, it can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth, and various other health problems.

Few of the common causes of bruxism are:

  • Stress, anxiety, tension, and depression: Stress or increased level of anxiety, anger, and frustration can lead to teeth grinding.
  • Age: Bruxism is quite common in young children and it usually goes away by adulthood.
  • Personality type: You may be at an increased risk of bruxism if you have an aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive personality.
  • Medications and other substances: At times, it can be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications such as certain antidepressants.
  • Smoking and drinking: The risk of bruxism may also increase if you smoke tobacco, drink caffeinated beverages such as alcohol or have an addiction to recreational drugs.
  • Family history of bruxism: Sleep bruxism is usually a genetic condition. If you have this symptom, there are high chances that bruxism runs in your family and this disorder may exist among the other members of your family as well.
  • Other health disorders: Few medical disorders and mental health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), epilepsy, night terrors, sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are also coupled with bruxism.

How to identify if you have bruxism?

Most people are completely unaware, whether they grind their teeth especially in cases where grinding often occurs while you are asleep. However, if you experience a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up, it is a telltale sign of bruxism. Bruxism during sleep is often a common occurrence and a bigger problem as it may go undetected for a longer period, sometimes years, as you may not even suspect you have it.

Why teeth grinding can be a harmful condition?

  • Chronic teeth grinding can result in a loose tooth, tooth fracture, or loss of teeth as it may wear teeth down to stumps.
  • It causes both short and long term headaches and other health disorders.
  • It can permanently damage one’s teeth as the enamel may get worn away.
  • Severe grindings may damage the teeth and it affects your jaws too. If left untreated, it can also cause or worsen temporomandibular joint disorder which can change the appearance of your face.

teethgrinding

 

 How to diagnose and care for bruxism?

  • Relieve stress as tension and anxiety can worsen the already existing condition. A warm bath or an exercise can help you relax as relaxing will ensure that the teeth grinding is reduced and decrease the risk of developing a chronic case of bruxism.
  • Practice good sleeping habits to relax your mind.
  • Avoid caffeine or any other stimulating substances in the evening.
  • Schedule regular dental visits and dental exams.

When to see a dentist or a dental doctor?

See a dentist if you:

  • Are concerned about your teeth or jaw and have any of the symptoms such as increased tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, locked jaw, or tight jaw muscles that won’t open or close completely.
  • When tooth wear leads to severe sensitivity or an inability to chew food properly.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching which seems loud enough to wake others up from sleep.
  • Have damaged, sensitive, or worn-down teeth.
  • Feel pain or soreness in the jaw, face, and ears.
  • Cannot open or close your jaw completely.
  • Have a dull headache starting in your temples.
  • Pain that feels more like an earache, though actually it is not related to your ears.

How can a dentist help with bruxism?

Diagnosis and treatment of Bruxism:

  • A dentist can help you to stop grinding your teeth by fitting you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
  • If you feel that stress is the major cause for you to grind your teeth, ask your dentist how to reduce or deal with your stress and anxiety issues. Starting an exercise routine or a program, attending stress counseling, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are some of the options available to cope up with stress.
Cosmetic Dentistry General and Preventive Dentistry Root Canal Treatment and Endodontics

3 Factors That Affect Your Root Canal Treatments’ Longevity

The Success of a Root Canal Treatment (RCT) depends on many factors but the result is crucially dependent on the elimination of root canal infection present before starting the treatment, and the prevention of contamination during treatment.  A successful root canal procedure must be performed with great precision and effective sealing of the roots should be fulfilled.

The longevity of the root canal treatment varies on multiple factors.

Firstly the diagnosis of the root canal problem should be error-free and the root canal procedure should be carried out with much care. Having said that the root canal procedure is conducted on an infected tooth, and is only is fair to say that this tooth is weaker than the rest of the healthy teeth.

One has to understand that to perform the RCT procedure, the endodontic specialist has to drill a hole into the crown of the decayed, infected tooth to clean the pulp. After space is cleaned and shaped, filling the root canal is very crucial. Filling of the root canal is done by using a rubber compound called gutta-percha to protect the teeth from micro-organisms. A temporary filling or crown is used to close the access hole on the crown of the operated tooth. Normally these filling or crowns are made of silver amalgam or composite resins.

The second factor that contributes towards the longevity of the RCT is the care after the root canal sittings. The fitting crown/cap on top of the root canal treated tooth is a must. Many patients neglect the importance of having the root canalled tooth fitted with a cap since the pain has subsided. The RCT-filled tooth, without the crown, has a high risk of fracture, which can be avoided by the fitting of the Crown/cap.

Once the RCT is completed, the after-care is extremely important in determining the life-span of the treatment. Proper care of the affected tooth (in addition to the other teeth) includes brushing, flossing, the right diet, and regular visits to the dentist are very important. Avoiding bad habits like chewing your nails or opening plastic packages with your teeth will also help your crown last longer.

In short, the 3 major considerations to determine the endurance of your RCT starts with the diagnosis. Cautious care for the tooth undergoing the treatment is important and is the second consideration. Once the treatment is completed, the after-care of the RCT is imperative! With these three steps in mind, unquestionably a tooth or teeth with well-treated root canal fillings and restorations will last for many years, if not a lifetime.

Book an appointment with our RCT experts today! Ensure the first step of your RCT is well-taken care of. Our team of endodontists ensures that you are well-aware of the RCT regime. We are with you along with all steps of your Root Canal Treatment and ensure you have complete after-care support.

Consult an RCT specialist to get your root canal treatment procedure for better oral health.

Call us at +91-9141160212 to book an appointment.

General and Preventive Dentistry Gum Care Wisdom Tooth Management and Oral Surgery

Wisdom Tooth Management

Overview 

Wisdom teeth are basically your last tooth or third molar located at the back of your mouth. These teeth can credit to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are malaligned and don’t have room to grow properly and end up creating problems for your other teeth and require removal

Age of wisdom teeth eruption

They usually erupt into the mouth between 17 and 25 years of age. They can, however, erupt many years later.

Symptoms of wisdom teeth growing In

  1. Pain or bleeding gums.
  2. Red or swollen gums.
  3. Jaw pain or swelling.
  4. Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  5. Difficulty opening the mouth
  6. Pain in-front of ears

 

Reasons for wisdom tooth extraction

Since wisdom teeth are the last tooth to enter your mouth, most often they grow at various angles, sometimes horizontally/Obliquely. So there will be no room for the wisdom tooth to come up, as the other adult teeth have already developed.

  • Pericoronitis: It is an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the partially erupted tooth. Pericoronitis usually affects the wisdom tooth, where gum tissue covering the partially erupted teeth is infected by the food entrapment.
  • They’re impacted. Because they are so far back in your mouth, they cannot come into the mouth normally. They can be trapped in your jawbone or gums and sometimes they impinge on the nerve below them causing pain. A wisdom tooth that doesn’t erupt can lead to the development of a cyst which can damage bone and gum tissue or even if they erupt, they can cause pressure on the tooth in front of them resulting in crowding of a front tooth. 
  • They come in at the wrong angle. Reduced space may cause wisdom teeth to come through at an angle. They may press against your other teeth causing root resorption of the adjacent tooth leading to pain. 
  • High risk of decay – Wisdom teeth is difficult to reach from brush to clean. Thus harbour bacteria to grow resulting in decay (involving wisdom tooth and sometimes adjacent tooth)
  • Can complicate with orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth.

The right time for extraction

The sensation of a tooth pushing through the gums can be painful. When there is space for the wisdom tooth to arrive, the pain will reside on its own after the complete eruption of the tooth. But if the pain persists or swelling, pus discharge is noticed contact your dentist.

 

Procedure

If a wisdom tooth is cavitated and completely erupted into your mouth, it can be grasped by extraction forceps, the tooth can be removed in a conservative approach. But if the tooth is impacted that is causing pain or other dental problems are usually surgically removed. 

Extraction is almost always done as an outpatient procedure, so you will go home the same day. The process includes:

  • Sedation or anaesthesia. You may have local anaesthesia, which numbs your mouth on the operating side only. Sedation anaesthesia doesn’t make you unconscious, it is given to relieve pain during the procedure. 
  • Tooth removal. During an extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision/cut in your gums and removes any bone that blocks access to the impacted tooth root. After removing the tooth, the dentist or oral surgeon typically closes the wound with stitches and packs the empty space (socket) with gauze.

Procedure impact

Since local anaesthesia is given during the procedure, you will not feel the pain while extracting the tooth. You are advised to have prescribed antibiotics and painkillers given by the dentist to be taken after the extraction before the power of anaesthesia wears off. 

After tooth extraction

It is normal that wisdom tooth extractions may cause some pain and bleed even swelling of the site or jaw. Temporarily, some people have trouble opening their mouth wide due to swelling of the jaw muscles. You will be advised to follow instructions namely taking pain medication and using cold compresses to reduce swelling to care for wounds and managing pain and swelling.

Non-extraction teeth impacts

Wisdom teeth can be retained as long as teeth asymptomatic (pain-free). But as and when the pain persists for a longer duration or cavity has begun, always better to get the tooth removed. 

Care for a wisdom tooth that has already there in the mouth

It is crucial to maintain oral hygiene area near the wisdom tooth as it is difficult to reach from the toothbrush. Brush your teeth daily and make sure your brush reaching the last tooth. Visit your dentist once in six months to make sure all your teeth are healthy.

Call us at +91-9141160212 to book an appointment.