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You take special care to clean your smile effectively every day, you keep up with your professional dental appointments, and you make sound dietary decisions to promote oral health. So why are you still experiencing unwanted dental problems? The answer may be that you are dealing with bruxism. Our Saint Louis dentists have put together this short article with additional information… 

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a dental condition characterized by tooth grinding and jaw clenching. Basically, bruxism puts an enormous amount of pressure on your top and bottom teeth, as well as your temporomandibular joints. 

How Does Bruxism Manifest?

Because bruxism can happen during the day as well as at night, it can sometimes be difficult for patients to notice it on their own. Of course, if you find yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth during the day, then it is time to call your dentist. However, in order to spot night-time dental grinding, you want to watch out for these commonly experienced symptoms:

  • Morning headaches
  • Stiff jaw upon waking
  • Jaw or tooth pain
  • Thinning dental enamel
  • Changes to your bite alignment

What Should I Do To Protect My Smile? 

One of the most impactful things that you can do is to seek immediate treatment when you notice symptoms of bruxism. The sooner you are able to start addressing the problem, the less severe any long-term oral health issues are likely to be.

When you meet with your dental team, they may recommend any number of solutions based on your specific situation:

  • Orthodontic treatment to bring your bite into better alignment
  • New dental restorations that improve bite function
  • Jaw stretches to improve temporomandibular joint flexibility
  • Protective oral appliances to shield your enamel from tooth-on-tooth damage
  • TMJ oral appliances that guide your lower jaw into a healthier position

Take the time to safeguard and support your dental structure before serious problems develop. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you—please don’t hesitate to give us a call! 

As we move into the holiday season, it is likely that sweet treats like candies and cookies will be more accessible than ever before. And while holiday goodies are undoubtedly delicious, they can also wreak havoc on our smiles. That is why our Saint Louis dentists have put together this short article all about prioritizing your oral health during the holidays. Let’s get started!

Watch Out For Problem Ingredients

It is pretty common to hear people lament the effects that holiday candies and cookies have on their waistlines, but what about their smiles? The truth is that many of the goodies that contribute to weight gain also negatively affect oral health. Sugary candies, and acidic drinks all make it easier for harmful oral bacteria to flourish and grow in our mouths.

As you sample holiday goodies this year, keep in mind that increased consumption of sugar, especially in sticky formulations (like caramel and candy canes) can also increase your rate of developing cavities and gum disease.

Rinse With Water

One of the healthiest things you can do for your smile is also the simplest—rinse with water frequently! Every time that you rinse your mouth with water you support saliva production while simultaneously removing dental debris. Don’t let sugary and acidic particles sit on your smile for long; take the time to rinse regularly. 

Indulge Strategically

If you are going to be eating or drinking holiday treats this year, our dental team encourages you to make a plan for consuming responsibly. Because we want to limit the amount of time that oral bacteria are active and feeding on sugars in your mouth, we recommend sipping and snacking during specific periods of the day, rather than continuously. The same goes for enjoying acidic treats—doing so in one sitting is safer than exposing your smile to acid constantly.

To learn more about protecting your smile, please feel free to contact our Saint Louis dentists by phone or through the Contact Us page on our site. 

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