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Everything You Should Know about Oral Cancer and How We Can Help

woman getting oral cancer screeningEvery year, tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with oral cancer. This is a very serious disease that has a high mortality rate, and yet too many people don’t know much about it.

This becomes extremely problematic because the key to treating this cancer relies on early detection. If we can catch it in the earliest stages, it’s far more likely that it can be properly treated.

According to the National Cancer Institute, though, not enough people are getting the help they need. In fact, the statistics paint this picture:

  • More than 49,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in 2017
  • An estimated 9,700 people will die as a result of this condition
  • The 5-year survival rate for people who have been diagnosed with oral cancer is around 64%

It’s important to understand the risks and facts about oral cancer, so let’s take a closer look.

What are the Risk Factors?

There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk for this type of cancer. The most common include:

  • Tobacco use – Even smokeless tobacco can greatly increase a person’s risk for developing oral cancer.
  • Alcohol use – When you combine alcohol with tobacco use, it can seriously increase your risks.
  • Sun exposure – It is possible to develop cancer in the lip area if you’ve been exposed to too much UV light.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – This virus has been linked to some of the recent growth in cases of oral cancer.
  • Poor oral hygiene or nutrition – There are several hygiene factors that could contribute to an increased risk of cancer.

One more statistic that we should mention here is the increased survival rate that comes from early diagnosis. If any of these factors apply to you, it’s important to get screened as soon as possible, since studies suggest that the 5-year survival rate increases from 64% to 83% if it is detected soon enough.

What Are the Symptoms?

While the best way to spot any potential symptoms is keep your regular dental appointments, there are some things you can watch for on your own. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to tell us about it immediately.

  • Sores that bleed easily and don’t seem to heal
  • Red or white patches on the soft tissues of the mouth
  • Strange lumps or thick tissues appearing in the mouth
  • Sore throats or hoarseness that doesn’t go away
  • Problems chewing or swallowing
  • Lumps in the neck area

How We Can Help

At LêDowns Dentistry, we are constantly updating the technology in our office to make sure that we always have the tools and techniques to properly and effectively detect the signs of oral cancer.

One of our most useful tools is the OralID system. This is a simple way to spot things that can’t be seen under normal light. It uses a fluorescence technology – a blue light that allows us to spot oral cancer, pre-cancer, and any abnormal legions while they’re still in their early stages.

It doesn’t require any rinses or dyes, so it’s convenient for us and the patient, and we can easily include this kind of screening with your regular checkups.

Oral cancer is a very serious problem, and prevention is the best way to fight it.

If you haven’t been in for a while, now’s the time to make an appointment for another checkup.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Female with bad breathEverybody has experienced bad breath occasionally. Fortunately, for most people, the bad breath goes away with water, toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, mints and with flossing.

Avoiding certain potent foods such as onions and garlic are also things people consider when avoiding bad breath.

What about the patients that have constant bad breath that is worse than normal?

This condition of excessively bad breath is called halitosis.

Those suffering with halitosis regularly experience embarrassment and anxiety.

Halitosis isn’t a rare occurrence. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people have bad breath. Bad breath is fairly common, so you can rest easy knowing you’re not alone.

What causes bad breath and how can it be treated?

Living a life of constant anxiety and embarrassment is nothing no one wants to experience.

Causes of Bad Breath

  • Bad oral hygiene. The biggest cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. When proper, inadequate dental care, food particles can get trapped between teeth. These food particles decay and decompose, emitting odorous bacterial acids in the mouth. The bacteria odor is what causes bad breath.
  • Smoking. Tobacco has a strong odor and the carcinogens coat the teeth, producing the same, smelly decomposing effect as food.
  • Alcohol dehydrates the mouth which enhances the decaying odors of the bacteria in the mouth. Alcohol also disrupts your digestive system which can increase acid reflux which add to the germs and bacteria already in the mouth.
  • Tooth decay. The bacteria and germs eating away at teeth can produce unpleasant odors that come out as bad breath.
  • Dry mouth. Saliva is your body’s natural mouth cleaning system. Saliva wipes off food particles and plaque that coat and get stuck between teeth. When your mouth is dry, you don’t have this natural mouth cleaner. As a result, the bacteria on and between the teeth will decay, producing odors in the mouth.
  • Certain foods such as onions and garlic can emit a strong odor that is also carried into the mouth as bad breath. A diet high in sticky foods and candies as well as hard candy can also lead to bad breath because of how hard the food particles are to remove.
  • Other medical issues. Bacterial infections and inflammation of the nose, throat or sinuses, the presence of a foreign body, certain cancers, and gastroesophageal disease (GERD) can contribute to halitosis.

There are other, lesser known causes of bad breath that would be suggested you discuss with your dentist or doctor about.

Now that the biggest causes of bad breath are known, how is it treated?

Treatments for Halitosis

Practice good oral hygiene: This means brushing your teeth twice a day, preferably after every meal, and daily flossing.

Clean dental work: Every piece of removable dental mouth wear needs to be removed and cleaned daily.  This daily cleaning will limit the build-up of bacteria as well as the transferring of bacteria back into the mouth. Similarly, your toothbrush needs to be replaced every 2-3 months.

Don’t forget your tongue: While attention is on teeth and gums, the tongue is just as important. Your tongue catches more bacteria, food particles and dead cells than your teeth and gums. Yet, we often forget this feature. A tongue scraper is a good tool to clean off your tongue.

Avoid dry mouth: Drink a lot of water and avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet (preferably sugar-free) can help stimulate the production of saliva.

Diet: Avoid onions, garlic, spicy and sugary foods. Reduce coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating a breakfast that includes rough foods can help clean the back of the tongue.

Bad oral hygiene, underlying health issues, and dental decay are some of the more common causes of bad breath. Proper dental hygiene and cleaning of dental equipment are some ways to reduce bad breath.

If you have consistent bad breath, and are tired of the daily embarrassment, schedule an appointment with us at LeDown’s Dentistry today.

We want our patients to live the full and enjoyable life possible.

How Often Do You Really Need to be Flossing?

woman flossing her teethFlossing is an important step to keeping your teeth clean. Even though brushing gets the bulk of your teeth clean, the bristles can’t reach every surface area. That’s where the floss comes in. Rubbing the floss between teeth reaches these areas and cleans out the remaining particles so you can reduce bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Flossing is so important, we decided to answer the top five questions we get about flossing.

  1. How often should I floss?

It is recommended that you floss every time you brush your teeth, but at least once a day. Quality is more important than quantity. Doing one flossing well is much better than flossing poorly three times a day.

  1. Should I floss before or after brushing?

The best time to floss is before brushing your teeth. This is because it helps bring the particles out of the teeth and then you brush them away. The final step of cleaning your teeth is mouthwash or rinsing. The act of swishing a liquid will help completely remove these particles, even if they go back in a little between your teeth.

  1. What type of floss is best?

There are all kinds of floss on the market. In addition, there are all kinds of tools to help floss as well. Deciding what brand, type, and tools to assist (like threaders) are all based on personal preference. A more expensive floss is not necessarily better than a cheaper brand. The difference is usually in quality and thickness. If you don’t have teeth that are compacted, a less expensive brand will probably hold up just as well between your teeth as an expensive brand. Most people find that they have a specific preference on options that slide a little smoother, some are more rope-like, while others prefer to use little pre-threaded instead. Properly flossing your teeth can work with just about any brand.

  1. Can you replace floss with other products?

Patients often wonder if there are other ways to clean between teeth, aside from using floss. The three most common questions involve a water-stream flosser, toothpick, or mouthwash.

  • Water-stream flossers: These products shoot water through your teeth to free up particles and clean the area. These are fine to use as an alternative to traditional flossing. Pay special attention to make sure you are getting every space adequately before moving on. Simply spraying it around won’t get the job done.
  • Toothpick: Picking between your teeth does not properly clean between your teeth. The wood is too thick to get into tight spaces and can injure your gum tissue.
  • Mouthwash: While mouthwash is a great tool in keeping your mouth healthy, it does not replace flossing. Swishing helps to release particles that have already been loosened and are floating in the mouth. The scraping and pressure of the floss just isn’t something swishing mouthwash can accomplish.
  1. Does flossing really make a difference?

Yes! Flossing makes a tremendous difference in the condition of your teeth. We can tell if you have been flossing by the amount of plaque and decay in your mouth. It also helps prevent gum disease, which often shows up as bleeding, sensitive, swollen gums. Gum inflammation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and inflammation in the blood vessels around your body. Flossing is also important to controlling blood sugars in diabetics. This small act can make a big difference.

Start Your Spring With a White Smile

beautiful young woman with great smileThough there are still a few weeks left before the official start of spring, it isn’t too early to start thinking about making changes.

Typically, people make New Year’s resolutions to make a change, but spring is also associated with fresh and new beginnings with the warmer, mild weather and the blooming flowers.

Let your smile reflect the beauty or spring by whitening the dull and stained teeth you’ve gotten over the dreary winter months.

If you’ve always wanted a brighter, healthier smile, springtime is the perfect time to do something about it.

What is Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is what it sounds like: it is the process of removing stains from teeth enamel to make the teeth appear whiter. All teeth whitening systems use a bleaching agent or gel.

Teeth whitening isn’t permanent and the bleaching agent will weaken, prompting the need for fresh bleaching solution to be applied. The extent of the whitening and the length of which your teeth will appear whiter will depend on what teeth whitening option you select.

Teeth Whitening Options

There are two main teeth whitening options available: the whitening kits you can do use at home and the professional teeth whitening done at your dentist office.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

The at-home kits are the cheapest option, but their results take longer to be noticed and the results aren’t as significant. The whitening also doesn’t last as long as a professional teeth whitening.

At-home teeth whitening systems come in the form of gels, strips and trays.

In-Office, Professional Teeth Whitening

A professional teeth whitening done at your dentist office is the most effective and longest lasting teeth whitening option. This option is more expensive, but the results are immediate, noticeable and longer lasting than at-home teeth whitening systems. With more modern, automated equipment, getting one’s teeth whitened at the dentist involves little to no discomfort to the gums.

There are many in-office professional dental whitening systems that are used by dentists. Your dentist will tell you about the specific teeth whitening system they use and explain to you the process.

One of the most highly regarded in-office tooth whitening systems is the Kor Whitening System.

The Kor professional teeth whitening system utilizes specialized trays and refrigerated peroxide gel. Unlike other in-office, professional teeth cleaning systems, the Kor teeth whitening system provides significantly longer whitening time. Most teeth whitening done by dentists last 25-35 minutes, but with the Kor system, whitening is active for 6-10 hours.

In addition, the Kor in-office, professional teeth whitening system doesn’t include the use of lights and lasers, which may be cause for anxiety for some patients.

There are many teeth whitening options out there. Like most things, you get what you pay for. Low budget at-home systems won’t yield the great results that in-office, professional teeth whitening systems can. One of the best teeth whitening systems done at the dentist office is the Kor system.

If you’re looking to start spring off with a fresh, beautiful, white smile, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry. We are your source for teeth whitening in Denver and we’re one of the select dentists nationwide to offer Kor in-office, professional teeth whitening.

Bringing Confident Smiles to Denver

Sunny Day in Denver ColoradoThe Mile-High City is a great place to live. Within one mile, you can find three major sports stadiums, three colleges, museums that focus on art and history, an aquarium, the Mint, theme and water parks, and the second-largest performing arts center in the nation. If any of these criteria say anything about the residents here, it is that we appreciate health, fun, and beauty. Here at Le Downs Dentistry, we try to bring those three criteria into our office as well.

Health

Having a healthy smile is important to your overall health. At Le Downs Dentistry, we go beyond general cleaning and repairs. We have all the best in technology to help treat the problems that teeth sometimes experience. Some of the most cutting edge tools we have help us take better digital impressions for crowns, evaluate TMJ and muscle activity, analyze the force and timing of your bite, and monitor the health of your gums and teeth with digital x-rays. We know that maintaining a healthy mouth makes you feel better about your smile.

Fun

Trips to the dentist office shouldn’t be focused on pain and guilt. Our office strives to be a fun place for patients of every age. While dental work is never pain-free, we utilize technology and refined procedures to limit it. Our cameras help catch problems as they are happening so that we can prevent future pain down the road. Lasers have been integrated into many processes in our dental work as well. These are less painful and use light as energy. We can treat gum and tooth problems with less poking, scraping, and drilling. We don’t even use scalpels in the office now since lasers have proven to be more sterile, limit bleeding, and promote healing in soft tissue procedures with virtually no pain.

With all the fun gadgets in our office, patients are often amazed watching the pictures of their mouths. Our staff always takes the time to answer question and make sure our patients feel comfortable. Kids are put to ease quickly since they don’t have to feel tricked into getting shots or held down by their parents. Even if the equipment seems intimidating at first, our capable hygienist and dental assistants can easily put a tense patient at ease with a quick demonstration.

Beauty

The ultimate mark of a healthy smile is seen from a distance. The radiant, bright, clean look of teeth that are well taken care of is unmistakable. Even during the coldest months in Denver, everyone should have a reason to smile. If one of our patients comes looking for a dental restoration, we can do the work all in our office. All our biocompatible restorations are made by one of the best laboratories in the United States with all the best material. We personally inspect all the work they do before putting anything in a patient’s mouth. There are many options available including restorations that use all ceramic or porcelain material for the best esthetic and natural look.

We firmly believe that being a general dentist in Denver doesn’t mean we must be average. Instead, we believe it means taking the qualities we most admire about the people here and incorporating them into our practice so we can better serve the population. That’s what bringing better smiles to Denver is all about.

Get a Winter White Smile Today

Teeth whiteningWhen people are asked what they wish they could change about their smile, the number one answer is to have whiter teeth. There are many foods and habits that work against this desire though, including smoking, coffee, tea, and wine. One walk down a toothpaste aisle at a major retailer will yield dozens of products claiming to work against these lifestyle habits to give you a whiter smile. However, these products just can’t get you the whitest and brightest smile possible.

Our System

Professional whitening uses stronger products that can’t be sold over the counter because a licensed doctor is supervising the application. There are different systems available in various forms, like pens, trays, and lights. Each used in a professional office are going to be stronger than anywhere else, but not all methods are created equal. Many dentists will offer free whitening for life because they use an inferior product.

The system we use in our office though is cutting edge technology that gives you a whiter, brighter smile than any of the other products. It is called the Kor Whitening System. Developed by Dr. Rod Kurthy, a renowned bleaching expert, you can see drastic results even after the first visit. Over the counter products can remove some of the surface stains that are most obvious, but the Kor Whitening System works harder to reveal a winter white smile.

Keeping It White

Once you have your white smile, you want to protect it. We strongly recommend that you keep up with your brushing and flossing at home. Most patients have found they prefer to use a whitening toothpaste to help keep their teeth white. This will not reverse the results, and it may help keep away daily staining attempts.

Another important step to maintaining white teeth is coming in for regular professional cleanings twice a year. This helps to protect your smile because our hygienist will scrape off all plaque and tartar before doing a thorough cleaning. This removes any yellowness that builds up on the edges of teeth or along the gum line that brushing and flossing don’t reach.

As part of a regular dental cleaning, we use a special tool called The AirFLow to polish your teeth. This polisher whitens your teeth better than traditional polishers with only water and sodium bicarbonate. The reason it works so well is because it makes it easier to remove significant stains from areas that your toothbrush and traditional dental tools don’t reach during your cleanings. Not only does a clean mouth ensure that your teeth whitening will stay, it helps make sure that your smile is as bright as possible.

Find Your Results

If you are wanting a whiter and brighter smile, give us a call today. After a quick consultation, we craft a plan together to achieve the results you want in the time frame you need them. We want everyone who walks through our doors to leave feeling confident in their smile. Let us help you get your winter white smile today.

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Ever Wonder Why Chewing Ice is Bad for Your Teeth?

eating-ice-risksChewing some cool ice on a warm, sunny day may seem like and innocent snacking habit. It’s refreshing and you satisfy your craving by tricking your body into thinking it’s eating. After all, ice is just solid water. No harmful chemicals, preservatives, sugars or calories. Seems like a healthy habit, right?

Tooth Enamel Decay

Eating anything hard and crunchy is bad news for your teeth. Hard objects like ice, can scrape and chip tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is very strong and durable. In fact, your tooth enamel is one of the hardest tissues in your body. The bad news is that, while it is hard, it is also brittle. Tooth enamel is a protective coating for your teeth. Once the enamel on a tooth is compromised, the tooth itself becomes vulnerable to fractures, cavities and disease. These potential threats can lead to more severe dental issues with potential devastating results, such as lost teeth and gum disease.

Ice and Tooth Enamel: An Unhealthy Combo

While eating food with a lot of sugar, carbohydrates and acidity may be the picture of what you may see of things that eat away tooth enamel, pieces of ice can be just as destructive on tooth enamel. While eating ice occasionally is rather harmless for someone who has healthy, strong teeth, those with dental work like crowns and fillings, and weak teeth can experience severe dental problems.

Most people don’t think of the dangers of ice to our teeth because, in most cases, our saliva melts the ice enough to either become liquid or dissolve into small enough pieces that we think no damage to the tooth enamel is done.

Ice, like other hard foods can scrape and chip tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is compromised, your tooth is exposed and vulnerable to germs and plaque. If proactive treatment isn’t taken, the tooth root can become infected and an abscessed tooth or root canal will result. It can take a couple ice-chewing sessions to cause significant damage to your tooth enamel. What starts out as a small crack in the enamel can gradually expand, exposing more and more to potential germs and plaque.

Tooth Sensitivity

A side-effect of eating ice and chipping away the enamel on your teeth is the increased risk of tooth sensitivity. As cracks appear and widen on the tooth enamel, more of the nerves inside your tooth will be exposed, causing potentially severe pain.

Whether you’ve eaten too much ice or have espoused another unhealthy dental habit, LeDowns Dentistry is here to help you restore your beautiful smile and dental health. Call or visit one of our four locations today to set up an appointment. Our team of professional dentists will help you reverse the damage done to your mouth efficiently with as little discomfort as possible. We also specialize in invisalign braces which further enhances and restores our patients’ smiles.

How Dry Mouth Can Affect Your Overall Dental Health

That parched and irritated feeling in your mouth may mean that you just haven’t had enough water today. On the other hand, if this feeling never seems to go away, you may be suffering from dry mouth, which has a lot of serious dental implications.

What Is Dry Mouth?

If you’d like to get medical about it, this is officially called xerostomia. It is a condition that is caused by a significant decrease in the amount of saliva in your mouth, usually because the salivary glands are not working properly. You simply don’t have enough saliva to keep your mouth and tongue wet and moisturized.

Why Is Dry Mouth a Problem?

So, you’re feeling a little parched. Is it really that big of a deal?

In a word: yes.

There are a lot of potential problems that come from dry mouth. A few of the concerns include:

  • It’s harder to taste, chew, swallow, and speak normally
  • It increases the risk of tooth decay
  • Saliva normally helps prevent infections by controlling the bacteria and fungi in the mouth
  • Saliva also helps digest food
  • It can make your tongue more sensitive, leading to something called burning mouth syndrome
  • Dry mouth leads to bad breath
  • Sores in the mouth become more prominent
  • It can make it harder to wear dentures

What Causes Dry Mouth?

While you could say that nerves or stress can cause a certain kind of dry mouth, that’s not what we’re talking about here. Problematic dry mouth is usually caused by:

  • Diseases – Some diseases can affect the salivary glands. Everything from Parkinson’s and diabetes to HIV/AIDS and Sjögren’s Syndrome could cause problems.
  • Radiation or chemo therapy – Radiation during cancer treatment can damage the salivary glands.
  • Various medications – Some medications, particularly those for high blood pressure and depression, have side effects that impact salivary glands.
  • Nerve damage – Injuries to the head or neck that damage the nerves there can make it harder for the glands to function correctly.

What Are the Symptoms?

How can you tell the difference between a mouth that’s gone dry because of the air, the stress, or nervous tension and a mouth that’s dry because of a serious condition? Well, the most obvious answer is that one doesn’t go away after you have a glass of water. But there are some other symptoms to watch out for, too.

  • A constant dry feeling in the throat
  • A dry, rough/tough tongue
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, and talking
  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • Mouth sores

How Does It Affect Your Health?

Dry mouth can be a sign of certain diseases and conditions that we need to look at immediately. It is not a part of normal aging, so if you are detecting some of those symptoms, be sure to talk to us about it.

How does it affect your overall dental health? The same way other dental problems do.

Your mouth and your overall health have a very close connection, and when bacteria builds up on your teeth and makes you prone to infection, there are many problems that can result. In fact, your oral health has been repeatedly linked to diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions.

What Can You Do About It?

If you are suffering from dry mouth, there are several things we can do about it. We may recommend some saliva substitutes and work with you to determine which medications might be causing problems. However, there are some things you can do on your own to minimize dry mouth:

  • Keep up your best oral hygiene routines
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking
  • Limit acidic juices
  • Avoid dry foods and overly salty foods
  • Use a humidifier at night
  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often, especially during meals
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow
  • If the source of your dry mouth is medication, you may talk to a physician about changing the medicine or dosage

Dry mouth is more than just a mild annoyance. If it isn’t already interfering with your ability to eat and speak, it can still cause some serious problems down the road. Speak with us as soon as possible if you notice some of the above symptoms and we’ll work with you to create the best solution.

The Pros and Cons of Fluoride

The pros and cons of fluoride-For several decades, fluoride has played a role in public health by being a part of the drinking water, which helps in the fight against tooth decay. However, there are many in the dental industry who feel like fluoride is not as great as we have come to think, the dental industry seems to be torn on whether or not it fluoridated water, toothpaste, and mouthwash is good for oral health or if it is actually a potentially-toxic product.

Fluoridation of the public water started nearly 60 years ago. When it comes to tooth decay, having fluoride in the water showed an undeniable improvement, in the general population. However, many still remain skeptical.

The sole purpose of fluoride is to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, which should (so research has shown) prevent cavities and tooth loss. This assumption has been called into question over time. In fact, many studies have shown that fluoride may cause a cosmetically damaging effect called fluorosis.

Fluorosis: “a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds, marked by mottling of the teeth and, if severe, calcification of the ligaments.”

In layman’s terms: “white or opaque spots on the tooth.”

Although there hasn’t been sufficient proof to back up the pros or the cons of making fluoride a part of your oral health, there have been many studies to try and get to the bottom of the “fluoride movement.” No matter how it affects your oral health, proper hygiene should always be at the front of the line when it comes to taking care of your mouth. ALWAYS brush your teeth twice a day, floss (at least) once a day, and make professional-dental visits a major part of your dental routine. Fluorinated water or toothpaste aside, it is up to you to keep your mouth healthy, happy, and ready to smile throughout your lifetime.

What is Bruxism and How it is Destroying Your Teeth

Bruxism is a condition where you excessively grind your teeth. People with Bruxism typically grind their teeth or clench their jaws at night when they are asleep and unaware. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of people may have a serious condition and never know it.

For some, the jaw clinching and teeth grinding happen during the day. If you have this daytime version, it is easy to notice that you have this condition, and, therefore can get immediate treatment. What is mostly seen as a nervous tick, can, however destroy your teeth if action is not taken to remedy the problem.

Bruxism Causes

There are different causes for Bruxism, but the most common include misaligned teeth and/or jaw, stress and tic disorders. Bruxism is usually an aftereffect of a motor tic, where your muscles tic, or involuntarily twitch. The muscles in your jaws can involuntarily cause you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw. If you are clenching your teeth at night, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause, especially if it is due to stress or a tic disorder. To see if it is stress, try to identify what is new in your life that might be causing you to worry or be uneasy. Most tic disorders can be quickly diagnosed by your doctor.

Symptoms of Bruxism

As most people with Bruxism experience the negative effects of it at night while asleep, it can be difficult to self-diagnose and therefore, it is extremely important to mention it to your dentist. If you’re not sure if you have Bruxism, especially if you think you experience it at night, here are some possible warning signs:

  • Wake up in the morning with a sore jaw
  • Have muscle soreness in your face and temple areas
  • You notice scrapes, tears and cuts on the insides of your cheeks
  • You notice your gums are receding
  • Your teeth are unusually worn down
  • Your teeth are sensitive to sweets and temperatures
  • You find it painful to chew and bite down

How Bruxism Destroys Teeth

Bruxism is a potentially devastating disorder that often goes unnoticed. This is most likely because it is not seen as a big problem. But it is. Prolonged teeth grinding can cause excessive wear and tear of your teeth. It can also loosen teeth to the point where they fall out. The friction of clenching and grinding can scrape away your teeth’s protective enamel (which doesn’t grow back) making teeth vulnerable to decay, cavities and infections. Gum disease and gum recession can also occur as teeth are loosened during the grinding and clenching.

Bruxism can also leave your mouth feeling pain and soreness. Your teeth and jaws can also become misaligned which can cause additional problems in the future that will likely require surgery, even a full-mouth rehabilitation.

If you wake up in the morning feeling one or more of the aforementioned symptoms, come and discuss it with us promptly. You may have Bruxism and have been slowly destroying your teeth without knowing it. Let us help you keep your teeth and maintain your oral health.