Posts for: December, 2014
Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.
“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.
Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.
Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.
Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.
If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.
When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.
Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.
Bacteria are bad… right? They can cause diseases like pneumonia, strep throat, and tooth decay. They are the reason we wash our hands with soap (or antibacterial gels) and cook (or refrigerate) our food. Yet it turns out that bacteria are also necessary to keep our bodies healthy — and new research is showing just how important these tiny microorganisms are to our well-being. Here are five facts you should know about bacteria.
The bacteria in our bodies outnumber our cells by a factor of 10 to 1. An estimated 100 trillion bacteria live inside the average human — but because they’re so small, they make up only 1-3 percent of our body mass.
The collection of bacteria we harbor is called our “microbiome.” Like the groundbreaking study of human DNA called the Human Genome Project, recent research is leading to a “map” of our bacterial makeup. This revolutionary study is called — you guessed it — the Human Microbiome Project.
No two people have exactly the same microbiome. But in general, the bacteria that live in a particular spot on the body (the mouth, for example) play the same roles in different individuals. Research has also shown that a healthy microbiome looks very different from a diseased microbiome.
In terms of bacteria, the mouth is one of the best-understood areas of the body. It has long been known that tooth decay can result when “bad” oral bacteria begin to outnumber their “good” counterparts. Now we are gaining a better understanding of how certain lifestyle factors — like cigarette smoking — may influence the bacterial balance in the mouth.
Understanding the microbiome may lead to new treatments for disease. Researchers hope that one day, certain serious diseases could be controlled by bacterial “transplants” that re-balance an individual’s microbiome. Maintaining a healthy microbiome could also help prevent many diseases.
So by all means, don’t stop brushing your teeth or washing your hands — this helps control bacteria that could harm you — but do remember that not all bacteria are harmful. One day, an infusion of bacteria might just cure your illness.
As America's toughest trainer on the hit television program The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels helped people learn that they hold the power to change. And if anyone knows about the power of changing oneself, it is Jillian Michaels. In her recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Jillian discusses her childhood, the trauma of being overweight as a teenager (5' 2" and 175 pounds), and the day her life forever changed when she started martial arts training at a gym. “I started training when I was 17 and always loved it but never thought it would end up being my career,” she said.
Jillian also reveals that when she was a child, she broke her two front teeth and had them repaired with crowns. She added, “Now, I generally wear a mouthguard if I am doing anything where my teeth have any chance of being knocked out.”
When it comes to replacing teeth that are broken or damaged from trauma, or teeth that are damaged because of dental decay, grinding habits, or acid erosion, crowns may be your best option. And because the tooth enamel is damaged, a bit more of it must be removed before we can place a crown. Generally speaking, we must remove about 2 millimeters of tooth structure to place a crown. Once the crown is placed, the tooth will always require a crown, as this is an irreversible procedure. However, the good news is that a crown not only mimics the look and feel of a natural tooth, but it is also the optimal long-term solution. On average, a crown last between 5 and 15 years and requires no special maintenance. In fact, you should treat your crown as you do your natural teeth, with a daily cleaning regimen of brushing and flossing and routine dental examinations and cleanings.
To learn more about crowns or other cosmetic procedures, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you. Or to learn more about crowns now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.” And to read the entire interview with Jillian Michaels, please see the article “Jillian Michaels.”
Fun Facts About Dental Implants:
- The oldest dental implants first made an appearance in 600 AD when Mayan women often wore shells that were made to resemble that of their missing teeth. Unlike modern dental implants, these shells were actually hammered into the jawbone.
- Dental implants are the only restorative dental treatment that both preserves and stimulates the growth of natural bone. This is an especially important factor for those who have left their tooth loss untreated, as bone and tissue loss begin to occur not long after losing a tooth. If you think of your bone as a muscle then you know that every time you use it, it stays strong; however, if the bone isn’t being used, it can begin to weaken and atrophy. Over time the jaw shortens and the cheeks begin to sink in, which makes the patient appear older than he or she actually is. In a way, dental implants act just as natural teeth, stimulating and promoting bone growth.
- Dental implants cannot develop cavities! You heard that correctly! Some dental work is not susceptible to the same problems as a natural tooth; therefore, cavities cannot affect an artificial tooth; however, this doesn’t mean that you should skip out on proper oral care. You should still be brushing and flossing every day and making sure that your smile remains disease-free.
Make an Appointment To Learn More
You have probably seen an advertisement on TV or on the internet for teeth in a Day, but is it really true? It can be done, but it depends. If you are wearing an ill-fitting partial and have one or more missing teeth, it can be done. If you are sort of wearing a denture that is always loose, painful to chew with, slips around when you eat or talk, and have no teeth at all, it can be done.
At Cosmetic Dental & Implant Center in Atlanta, Dr. Fagan can start the “easy” process for you. The first fact finding step is to schedule a consult appointment at Cosmetic Dental & Implant Center. At that appointment, Dr. Fagan will examine your condition, take necessary screening x-rays, and come up with a dental implant solution for you (based on your budget).
Dr. Fagan will make the decision easy for you to start the life changing process for you. If the cost is a concern, Cosmetic Dental & Implant Center in Sandy Springs has Care Credit. This is how our patients can afford the treatment they deserve.
If you are anxious over the surgery, we have sedation therapy in our state-of-the-art facility. Our patients don’t remember the surgery and do just fine.
Regardless of your dental needs, whether single or complex, Dr. Fagan and his caring staff will be glad to explain the numerous benefits of dental implants. Whether it’s restoring self-confidence, appearance, peace of mind or just being able to enjoy the simple pleasure of eating your food without a slippery, loose, painful denture; Cosmetic Dental & Implant Center in Sandy Springs can give you a life changing solution for you.
For more information, check out our website at www.dr.fagan.net. Look at our before and after photos. Review the testimonials of our patients who took the plunge to change their lives. For a consultation with Dr. Fagan call 404-255-5006, to determine if you are a candidate for teeth in a day. Many of our satisfied patients, wished they had started this life changing process with dental implants years ago.