Posts for: December, 2017
When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”
Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.
Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.
While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.
There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”
Â An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.
Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
The holidays are a season for giving. At this time of year, lots of us spend hours rushing around, looking for the perfect gifts for people we care about. But sometimes, amidst all the hustle and bustle, it doesn’t hurt to step back and think about yourself a little. If a better-looking smile has been on your list but you haven’t taken the first steps, the holiday season might be the right time to give yourself a gift.
Many smile problems, like discolored, chipped or uneven teeth, can be resolved with veneers—wafer-thin porcelain shells that cover the front surfaces of teeth. Veneers are custom-made just for you: They can have a pearly luster to match your existing teeth, or be Hollywood-white for a dazzling red-carpet smile. In just a few visits to the dental office, you can have the smile you’ve always wanted—and a whole new look for the New Year.
If damaged or missing teeth are what’s bothering you, you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of good options for replacing them. If the tooth’s roots are still in good shape, a crown or cap could be the answer. This is a sturdy replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth that not only looks great, but also functions well in your bite—and can last for years to come.
If teeth are missing or can’t be saved, we offer several options for replacement, including fixed (non-removable) bridgework and dental implants. A tried-and-true method for replacing one or more missing teeth, bridges are firmly supported by healthy teeth next to the gap in your smile. These teeth must be prepared to receive the bridge by having some of the tooth’s surface removed.
Dental implants are today’s premier option for tooth replacement. In this high-tech system, a root-like titanium insert, placed directly into the bone beneath the gum, forms a solid anchorage for the visible part of the replacement tooth. Implants look and feel completely natural, and can last for many years. Plus, they don’t require any work to be done on nearby teeth.
What kind of smile makeover is right for you? Just ask us! We will be happy to take a look at your smile and recommend a treatment plan. And in this season of generosity, there’s no better gift you can give yourself than a bright new smile.
You can learn more about smile makeovers by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”
Your smile definitely has darkened and dulled over the years. Your check-ups at City Creek Dental in Temple, TX are good, and your dentist, Dr. Derek Winegar is pleased with your oral health. However, he knows you are dissatisfied with your tooth color. You wonder, "Should I consider a tooth whitening treatment?" Well, why not learn more about this in-demand cosmetic dental treatment?
Why tooth color changes
Time and what we put into our mouths changes tooth color. Yes, we:
- Drink coffee, tea, cola and sports drinks
- Consume acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, which soften tooth enamel
- Eat darkly colored foods such as blueberries, raspberries and soy sauce
- Smoke and chew tobacco
- Use prescription drugs which stain teeth
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic also say that poor oral hygiene--that is, insufficient brushing, flossing and professional cleanings--contributes to dental stains as porous tooth enamel holds onto accumulated organic matter.
What you can do
If you're at the point where you are too embarrassed to show your smile, ask your dentist in Temple about professional teeth whitening. City Creek Dental offers this aesthetic treatment as a stand-alone service or often combines it with other smile improvements such as porcelain veneers. Available in an at-home or in-office version, teeth whitening changes tooth color by several shades. The results are safe and truly dramatic. No over the counter toothpastes, rinses or strips produce the smile boost that professional whitening can.
Before starting the treatment, Dr. Winegar will examine your teeth and gums to be sure they are healthy enough for whitening. People with extensive decay, numerous restorations or gum disease cannot get their teeth whitened.
If you choose the at-home version, you'll be fitted with custom-made acrylic trays that apply concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel right to your teeth. You'll wear them daily for a prescribed amount of time.
If you choose in-office whitening, the gel is swabbed on and allowed to penetrate your teeth as you relax in the dental chair. After the gel does its work, the dentist rinses it off to reveal those amazing results.
Keeping a white smile
Brush twice daily, and floss once a day as the American Dental Association advises. Also, get your semi-annual check ups and cleanings at City Creek Dental. As best you can, limit staining foods and beverages, and of course, stop smoking. Tobacco is so bad for your teeth and gums, and of course, your systemic health can suffer because of it, too.
Come see us
If you'd like to learn more about teeth whitening, contact City Creek Dental for a cosmetic dentistry consultation in Temple, TX. Dr. Winegar will outline your options for a beautiful smile. Call (254) 778-1990.