Posts for: April, 2020
The fast-paced world of sports and entertainment isn’t all glitz and glamour. These high-profile industries create a unique kind of emotional and mental stress on celebrities. For many of them, a way to “let off steam” is an oral habit known as teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is an involuntary habit in which a person bites and grinds their teeth outside of normal activities like eating or speaking. It’s common among young children, who usually grow out of it, but it can also affect adults, especially those who deal with chronic stress. If not addressed, teeth grinding can eventually wear down teeth, damage gum attachments or fracture weaker teeth. It can even contribute to tooth loss.
A number of well-known personalities in the spotlight struggle with teeth grinding, including actress Vivica Fox, model and TV host Chrissy Teigen, and star athletes Tara Lipinski and Milos Raonic of ice skating and tennis fame, respectively. The habit represents not only a threat to their dental health, but also to one of their most important career assets: an attractive and inviting smile. Fortunately, though, they each use a similar device to manage their teeth grinding.
Besides seeking ways to better manage life stress, individuals with a teeth-grinding habit can protect their teeth with a custom mouthguard from their dentist. Made of slick plastic, this device is worn over the teeth, usually while sleeping, to minimize dental damage. During a grinding episode, the teeth can’t make contact with each other due to the guard’s glossy surface—they simply slide away from each other. This reduces the biting forces and eliminates the potential for wear, the main sources of dental damage.
Chrissy Teigen, co-host with LL Cool J on the game show Lip Sync Battle, wears her custom-made guard regularly at night. She even showed off her guard to her fans once during a selfie-video posted on Snapchat and Twitter. Vivica Fox, best known for her role in Independence Day, also wears her guard at night, and for an additional reason: The guard helps protect her porcelain veneers, which could be damaged if they encounter too much biting force.
Mouthguards are a prominent part of sports, usually to protect the teeth and gums from injury. Some athletes, though, wear them because of their teeth grinding habit. Tara Lipinski, world renowned figure skater and media personality, keeps hers on hand to wear at night even when she travels. And Milos Raonic, one of the world’s top professional tennis players, wears his during matches—the heat of competition tends to trigger his own teeth-grinding habit.
These kinds of mouthguards aren’t exclusive to celebrities. If you or a family member contends with this bothersome habit, we may be able to create a custom mouthguard for you. It won’t stop teeth grinding, but it could help protect your teeth—and your smile.
If you would like more information about protecting your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
Don’t panic! If your child is dealing with a dental emergency, we’ve got you covered.
There is never a good time for a dental emergency to arise and yet these problems always seem to rear their ugly heads during the most inconvenient of times. If your child comes to you in the middle of the night complaining of a toothache or if they broke a tooth while playing outside, our Clackamas, OR, pediatric dentists Dr. Eric Jacobsen, Dr. Jacob Hutchings and Dr. David Doyle can provide your little one with the immediate dentistry they need to restore their smiles.
The most common types of dental emergencies include:
- Severely broken tooth
- Dislodged or knocked-out tooth
- Gums that won’t stop bleeding
- Jaw injury
- An abscess
- Broken braces
- Broken filling, crown, or bridge
Urgent dental matters such as the ones above need to be treated right away. Don’t ignore these problems, as waiting will just make the situation worse. Our pediatric dentists here in Clackamas, OR, can get you in as soon as possible for treatment. Just give us a call and let us know what issues your child is dealing with.
There are other problems and injuries that can occur that may require seeing a dentist but aren’t considered a true emergency. These include:
- Mild tooth sensitivity
- Small chip or crack in a tooth (unless it’s causing pain)
- Broken retainer
- Food stuck between teeth
If your child is dealing with any of these issues you should still give us a call and let us know what’s going on. Based on the symptoms and severity of the issue we will determine how to best proceed.
Of course, there are certain things you can do for your child to help them feel more comfortable before seeing the dentist. This may include:
- Having them rinse their mouth out with warm saltwater, which can provide temporarily relief from pain and swelling
- If you suspect that something has gotten stuck between your child’s teeth and it’s causing them pain, trying flossing the area first to dislodge the trapped food
- Applying a cold compress to the face reduce pain and swelling
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Placing a knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk and bringing it immediately to our office
Sunnyside Dentistry for Children in Clackamas, OR, provides a team of friendly, caring, and knowledgeable pediatric dentists who are ready to provide your child or teen with the care they need. Of course, right now our offices are temporarily closed for all routine and non-emergency-related dental appointments due to COVID-19; however, if your child is dealing with a dental emergency please call us right away at (503) 855-5100.
Although it’s a natural part of dental development, teething is no picnic for your baby. This process in which each of their twenty primary teeth gradually erupt through the gums usually begins around their sixth to ninth month and may not end until around age three.
These periodic tooth eruptions can cause your baby to bite, gnaw, drool or rub their ears. Teething can also disrupt sleeping patterns, decrease appetite and cause gum swelling and pain that can turn your otherwise happy baby into an unhappy one.
Managing these teething episodes is one of the most common topics parents bring up with their dentists. Since teething is supposed to happen, there’s no need for medical intervention unless the child is also experiencing diarrhea, rashes, fever or prolonged irritability associated with teething episodes. In most cases, the best you can do is to make your child more comfortable. Here are a few things to help you do just that.
Provide cold items for gnawing. Rubber teething rings, wet wash cloths or pacifiers that have been chilled can give your child something to gnaw on and ease the pressure of sore gums while the chilled temperatures help numb pain. Be sure, though, that the items aren’t frozen because extremely cold temperatures can burn the skin.
Gum massage. You can massage your child’s gums with one of your fingers during a teething episode to counteract the throbbing pressure coming from the erupting tooth. Just be sure your finger is clean and don’t use any numbing agents unless advised by your dentist or pediatrician.
OTC medication. You can ease mild to moderate teething pain with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen in dosages appropriate for your child’s age. But don’t apply rubbing alcohol to the gums or massage in any pain reliever—both practices can burn the skin. And, as mentioned before, only apply numbing agents like Benzocaine with the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.
Besides these practices, be sure to keep up regular dental checkups to monitor the teething process and ensure all is going normally. And remember: though it may seem harrowing at times, the teething process won’t last forever.
If you would like more information on easing the effects of teething, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teething Troubles: How to Help Keep Your Baby Comfortable.”