David M. Barney, DMD
June 25th, 2019
If you are waking up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. This means you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards.
Causes of teeth grinding
Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Sleep apnea is another condition that can result in bruxism. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and teeth grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.
Nightguards for teeth grinding
Custom nightguards are fabricated to fit like a glove and protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that simply takes an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.
Benefits of nightguards
Nightguards are helpful to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dental damage incurred as a result of teeth grinding. They can reduce the discomfort associated with a sore jaw, headaches, tooth sensitivity, ear pain, and facial pain that many patients experience as a result of clenching or grinding of their teeth. In severe cases of bruxism, patients can develop loss of hearing, jawbone misalignment, and TMJ. Therefore, customized nightguards can help prevent the progression of teeth grinding into these more serious conditions.
At-home tips to reduce or prevent teeth grinding
Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.
- Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practice stress-relieving activities to wash away the tensions of the day.
- Avoid alcohol. In some patients, alcohol increases teeth grinding tendencies.
- Avoid caffeine. In some individuals, caffeine increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.
- Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, visit Dr. David Barney and our team at Barney Family Dental for an evaluation at our convenient Beaverton, OR office.
June 18th, 2019
Everyday life can take a toll on the whiteness of our teeth: Foods we love as well as soft drinks and coffee can stain them over time. Poor brushing and flossing can also leave behind tooth stains. Even injuries to teeth or gums can cause some yellowing, and in certain cases, medicines can contribute to discoloration.
So don’t get discouraged if you notice your smile has dimmed. You can definitely take action to restore the natural beauty of your teeth. Here are some of the best ways to whiten them:
- Drink through a straw or cut back on coffee and soft drinks to reduce risk of stains.
- Brush and floss every day.
- Try a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash.
- Visit our Beaverton, OR office every six months for regular cleanings.
We also offer in-office professional whitening at our Beaverton, OR office. These whitening products are much more effective than whiteners you can buy at the store and are completely safe. Since they’re stronger, application by a member of our team is essential to achieve the best results.
Still, some teeth can resist bleaching. If that’s the case, we can try several other techniques, such as deep bleaching that applies whitening agents over several visits, veneers and bonds that cover existing stains with a whiter, brighter surface, or laser whitening.
If a whitening session is something you’d like to pursue, be careful about whom you trust to perform the procedure. Avoid using “bleaching stations” in shopping malls or at fairs. These so-called whitening techniques can irritate your teeth and gums, and leave them highly sensitive to pain.
Also, operators of these whitening stands will make customers apply the bleach themselves, to avoid charges of practicing without a license. That should serve as a red flag and a caution to seek trained professionals like Dr. David Barney, instead.
June 11th, 2019
The American Dental Association encourages you to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to prevent dental problems such as tooth decay, bad breath, sensitive teeth, and gingivitis.
Beyond these health effects, frequent brushing of your teeth with a high-quality toothpaste can keep your teeth white. If you desire a whiter smile without in-office bleaching at our Beaverton, OR office, use of a whitening toothpaste is a great option for you.
Why Consider Whitening Toothpaste
Whiter teeth are more attractive and can help you feel confident in your smile. Having a whiter smile and greater self-assurance can send the message that you take care of yourself and are confident in your abilities.
How Whitening Toothpaste Works
Although every toothpaste has whitening properties because they all help to remove food particles from your teeth, the American Dental Association says whitening toothpaste must contain certain chemicals that help remove stains.
Unlike bleaching products, which contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, whitening toothpaste only cleans the enamel rather than changing the color of your teeth. To obtain the benefits of whitening toothpaste, you need to use it regularly.
The Effectiveness of Whitening Toothpaste Varies
Due to individual variations in the color of your teeth, certain people are more likely than others to achieve the desired results with whitening. Teeth that are tinted grayish are unlikely to respond well to bleaching, while brown teeth may sometimes respond, and yellowish teeth are most likely to become pearly white in response to bleaching.
If Dr. David Barney and our staff believe that bleaching is not a viable option for you, proper oral hygiene and the use of a whitening toothpaste are your best bets for keeping your teeth as white as possible. In addition, avoid using tobacco products, and rinse your mouth after drinking coffee.
June 4th, 2019
You never know when a dental problem may arise. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily occur during office hours. Dr. David Barney can provide you with the proper information and treatment options to prevent the problem from becoming worse.
An abscess is a bacterial infection, and will normally cause pain and swelling around the affected tooth and gum area. Though antibiotics are not always necessary, you should be seen by Dr. David Barney as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection may grow and cause more serious issues.
Toothaches can have many causes. Sometimes it’s as simple as food lodged between your tooth and gums. Rinse your mouth with warm water and try flossing the area to dislodge the particle. If your gums begin to bleed, stop flossing.
Fractures or cavities can also cause toothaches as well as sensitivity to heat or cold. Please schedule an appointment to ensure a minor problem doesn’t develop into a serious one. You may require acetaminophen or another pain reliever before your visit.
If you can’t be treated right away, keep these tips in mind:
- If you have fractured a tooth, rinse the area with warm water to keep the surfaces clean. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your facial area to reduce swelling.
- A tooth that has been knocked out should be kept moist, in a clean container, until you can receive treatment.
- Do not apply aspirin directly to a damaged tooth or gum area, because this can cause tissue irritation.
- If you suspect your jaw has been broken, go to an emergency room immediately.
- If you have bitten or damaged your lips or tongue, rinse your mouth well with warm water. If bleeding continues, seek other medical attention right away.
If you experience an emergency, please contact our Beaverton, OR office and provide us with as much information as possible. This way, we can offer recommendations that will assist you until you’re able to arrive for an appointment.
Remember: procrastinating about getting treatment can turn a minor problem into a major one!