Whether you have dental implants, dentures, All-on-4 implants, or a natural set, teeth grinding is a common condition that affects 30 to 40 million adults and children in the United States. Medically known as bruxism, teeth grinding can leave you with sore teeth and gums, swelling in the lower jaw, and ultimately long-term pain your face.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

For most, bruxism happens during sleep, but it can also occur when concentrating intensely on a task such as lifting heavy objects, reading, or driving. During these activities, sufferers clench and grind their teeth rhythmically for long periods of time, causing soreness and, more commonly, headaches.

In extreme cases, bruxism can lead to broken or cracked teeth, damaged dental implants, broken dentures, enlargement of the facial muscles, neck and shoulder pain, and sleep disorders.

Causes of Bruxism

Bruxism can develop at any time, but the actual causes are not clear. We believe there are many factors associated with bruxism such as stress, anxiety, heavy alcohol consumption, caffeine, and sleep disorders.

According to the Bruxism Association, teeth grinding occurs most commonly during sleep to those in the 25 to 44 age group, but all adults should be aware of the damage it can cause to your dentures and dental implants, too.

Treating Teeth Grinding

Many methods have been proposed over the years, but the only proven treatments have been occlusal splints, mandibular advancement devices, and behavioral management.

Occlusal Splints

Occlusal splints are plastic mouthguards that can be immediately used to protect the teeth and jaw. They have been proven to prevent tooth damage, reduce noise, and soften the effects on the jaw from tooth grinding. This is especially helpful to those with dental implants, All-on-4 implants, or dentures.

Mandibular Advancement Devices

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) is a custom-made fitting for your upper and lower jaw that is worn while sleeping. It is most often used to move the lower jawbone forward. In the past, MADs were typically used to treat heavy snoring and sleep apnea, but research has shown they also help with treating sleep bruxism.

Behavioral Management

Recent progressive studies done by psychoanalysts have shown outstanding results for treating bruxism. Using meditation or hypnosis has shown promising long-term success; however, these methods are still being researched.

Putting an end to teeth grinding and clenching your jaw begins with an examination by Chandler Periodontics. After the exam, we can determine the best method of treatment and implement a plan to protect your teeth, dentures, dental implants, All-on-4 implants or corrections made during the teeth in a day procedure. To schedule an examination, contact us today.

Large numbers of Americans suffer from toothaches and other serious dental hygiene issues. If you’re experiencing pain, read on to learn about what may be causing it and what you can do to alleviate it.

What Causes a Toothache?

Whether it’s the dull and throbbing or the sharp, stabbing kind, the pain from a toothache is no joke.

Toothaches are typically caused by what dentists refer to as “tooth decay.” You and I call them cavities. Cavities are simply holes in your teeth that are caused by bacteria. The pain comes when the extremely sensitive center of your tooth becomes inflamed.

But tooth pain can come from a number of other sources. It can result from sensitive teeth, broken or chipped teeth, or a dreaded tooth abscess (a pocket of pus near the gums or root caused by a bacterial infection).

If you have fillings or other dental work, you can even get toothaches from flying. Trapped air in the filling can’t maintain the same pressure as in the cabin, so pain results. Lying down can make a tooth hurt, too. This is because of the change in blood pressure in your head when you go from standing to lying.

Other causes include eating cold food (tooth sensitivity) or moving your head when you have a sinus infection. That pain can mimic a toothache because of the proximity of your tooth nerves to your sinuses.

Finally, if you have a toothache high up on your jaw, you may experience an earache, too: this is caused by the facial nerve “referring” the pain to the ear.

How to Cure a Toothache

Get to Your Dentist Immediately

The best thing to do when you start to experience any type of tooth pain is to schedule a visit to your dentist. Whether it’s minor or major, the dentist will diagnose it quickly and help you to manage the pain so it doesn’t affect your life negatively. We keep spots open in our day just for emergencies like these.

What the Dentist Will Do

When you get to the office, the first thing we’ll do is examine the tooth and the surrounding areas. We’re looking for abscesses, cavities, broken or chipped teeth, receding gums, sinus infections, or any of the other causes we spoke of earlier. We may even take an X-ray of your mouth and sinus areas to help diagnose the cause and to determine the best way to manage the pain.

If we find cavities or an abscess, the possible solutions range from simply filling the cavity to removing the tooth. Teeth that are removed can be replaced with dental implants, All-on-4 implants, or dentures. Any of these can be performed using the teeth in a day procedure.

If the cause of your toothache is nerve pain from an abscess or deep cavity, we may decide a root canal is the best option. Root canals typically involve placing a dental crown on the affected tooth at the end of the procedure.

It’s worth your while to see a dentist as soon as you start to feel tooth pain. Typically, your dental insurance covers the visit and will even cover the filling, tooth extraction, or the root canal and tooth cap. It may also cover your dentures, dental implants, All-on-4 implants and the teeth in a day procedure if you opt for one or the other. This could save you money, as having a tooth pulled falls under the “common dental emergencies” category.

Home Toothache Remedies

If you begin to experience tooth pain overnight or during a time when your dentist’s office is closed, or if you have a strong aversion to going to the dentist, these home remedies will help to relieve the pain for a short time.

  • Cold compress — Hold the compress on your cheek for 20-minute periods. This will help to numb the tooth and surrounding area. Remember, this gives only temporary relief.
  • Clove oil —  Cloves contain a natural anesthetic, and a few drops will numb the affected area for a short time. But note that clove oil can increase the pain if it comes in contact with other sensitive areas your mouth.
  • Salt water treatment — Swishing salt water around your mouth will loosen debris and provide short-term relief. This is one of the safest home remedies you can use until you get to your appointment.
  • Garlic — Mash a few cloves of garlic, add some salt, and apply the paste to the affected area. You can also chew a garlic clove two or three times a day for temporary pain relief. Just don’t expect anyone to stand close to you if you choose this method!

With a good dentist or tooth surgeon, your toothache can be easily handled as quickly as it appears. If you’re experiencing tooth pain or would like more information on dentures, dental implants, All-on-4 implants, or the teeth in a day procedure contact us to set up an appointment today.