Be in the Know about Dental Injuries
Created on September 15, 2017
A large part of what we do in our office is protect teeth and gums from unforeseen dangers. Routine cleanings and exams are performed to spot early indicators of damage that could ultimately lead to discomfort and injury to a tooth or teeth. In addition to this routine care, it is advantageous for our patients to know how teeth may sustain damage. Information is power, so let’s look at a few of the underlying causes of tooth damage.
Teeth serve the mouth, so it seems counterintuitive that the oral environment itself would be a risk factor for tooth fractures or other problems. The fact is, oral bacteria are the precursor to a lot of the problems we’d prefer to avoid, including cavities, chips, fractures, and gum disease. Oral bacteria are alive, so their “bodily functions” are very similar to ours; they eat, and they eliminate. What is eliminated by oral bacteria is acidic. When this byproduct sits on enamel, it causes softness. To exacerbate this problem, we also tend to consume foods and beverages that also contain acidic ingredients. This can all be too much for enamel. Tip: brush and floss daily, and sip water throughout the day, swishing through the mouth to dilute acidic residue.
Stress is often a chronic problem that we get so used to that we don’t realize just how much of a burden the mind is carrying. A problem that often occurs simultaneously to stress is bruxism. You may know this as tooth-grinding or jaw-clenching. What you may not know is that bruxism is a subconscious habit that often goes on while you sleep. Many people do not realize that a dental injury has occurred as a result of this condition. Tip: Find ways to manage stress, such as deep breathing, especially before bed. Talk with your dentist about your risk of bruxism (we can tell by looking at your teeth and gums!), and about a custom night guard to protect your teeth if you do clench and grind.
Your Springfield dentist can help you reduce the risks of dental injury with routine care. Call (413) 781-7645 to schedule your visit.