Reva Dental Blog

Do you grind your teeth?

Bruxism is an increasingly common condition where people gnash or grind their teeth, sometimes unconsciously, clenching them together to the point where it causes headaches, damaged teeth and jaw pain.

Jaw Pressure

Our teeth are designed to exert force on the foods we eat, allowing us to break it up and chew it. The jaws use a lot of force to do this; about 175 pounds per square inch (psi) where they’re working on food between the teeth.

When the teeth are grinding together without the cushion of food between them, the direct pressure is even greater with the result that significant damage can be caused over time. Teeth become worn, fractured, the jaws themselves may ache or the patient may have frequent headaches.

Gnashing of Teeth by Day-and Night

At Reva Dental we regularly see patients who have damage from grinding their teeth subconsciously during the day. Often a result of sublimated stress, it’s a habit than can be corrected if it happens during waking hours, once the patient is made  aware of the fact that they do clench or grind their teeth.

Patients who grind their teeth by night, however, in ‘sleep bruxism’ are often at a loss to explain why they have a sore jaw or worn teeth. In fact, it’s often their partners awaking to the odd noise of teeth being compressed against each other that provides the explanation for the symptoms.

Signs of Teeth Grinding

If you’re grinding your teeth severely enough to cause problems, particularly if you have ‘sleep bruxism’, you may experience the following:

  • Teeth are worn down, chipped (very common result of teeth clenching) or fractured
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Worsening of tooth sensitivity
  • Sore jaw muscles or tightness in the jaw area
  • Headache or ear ache due to jaw contractions
  • Unexplained facial pain
  • Marks on the inside of the cheek or tongue
  • TMJ – problems with the temporomandibular joints casing pain or clicking when you open and close your mouth. Grinding your teeth puts pressure on these joints.

If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s important to get to your dentist to evaluate the damage. Fracturing of teeth can allow bacteria to get into the tooth and potentially damage the nerve of the tooth as well as the gums.

Suspected Causes of Teeth Grinding

The root causes of bruxism are not fully understood, but many common factors in adults seem to be stress- related and include:

  • Anxiety, tension or stress
  • Frustration or anger
  • Response to pain in adults and children
  • Sleep problems and nightmares
  • Poor alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion)
  • Rare response to certain types of medication
  • Illegal substances (ecstasy; methamphetamine)
  • Some caffeinated beverages and other legal stimulants

Effective Treatment for Teeth Grinding

The dental team at Reva Dental will be able to tell if you are showing the symptoms of bruxism as part of your routine dental examination. We can work to repair the damage that has already been caused, and help each patient work to overcome their teeth-grinding habit.

In the case of sleep bruxism, our dentists can provide you with a specialised bite guard to act as a cushion between your upper and lower teeth, preventing them from becoming worn or chipped by the unconscious jaw pressure exerted in your sleep.

Teeth Grinding in Children

Children often grind their teeth; it’s quite common in childhood but tends to disappear as the child gets older and is usually resolved completely with the onset of adolescence.

If you child is grinding his/her teeth, take them to the dentist as soon as you become aware of the habit to ensure no major damage is being done, and to avoid future dental issues.

Call Reva Dental on (056) 7763786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie

Safe Laser Teeth Whitening at Reva Dental

At Reva Dental Kilkenny we often see patients in the clinic who, despite having no major dental issues, are unhappy with the shade and appearance of their teeth.

Past use of certain oral antibiotics, as well as lifestyle habits like smoking, frequent coffee drinking or regular amounts of red wine stain teeth and leave them looking grey or yellow.

Things have changed quite a bit over the last 2 years when it comes to brightening your smile! Laser teeth whitening has become a thing of the past, as changes to the law now limit the strength of the hydrogen peroxide gel that can be administered to 6% and also mean that now only a dentist can dispense this to you.

For you this means that the safest and most effective way to whiten your smile is to use a home whitening kit, with specially made trays to deliver the whitening gel to the right areas and protect your tissues.

After careful research on safety and patient satisfaction we offer the market leading Zoom! whitening system to restore your smile and your confidence.

Zoom! Home Whitening

Zoom! NiteWhite is one of the best home whitening systems on the market globally, and gives a natural white smile in seven to fourteen days. It’s safe and comfortable, and people are delighted with the results.

Unregulated home whitening systems are never recommended by dentists, as they can damage your gums and your enamel.

Zoom! NiteWhite contains amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP); clinically proven to reduce sensitivity, protect enamel and help improve the lustre and smoothness of the teeth. Your dentist at Reva Dental will take impressions of your teeth to make a perfect moulded tray, tailored specifically for your teeth and gum line.

Every day you apply a little of the whitening solution into your dental tray, and as it fits over your teeth perfectly, the solution only comes into contact with the teeth and no damage is done to your delicate gum tissue.

Zoom! Home Whitening kits come in a variety of strengths and concentrations to suit your requirements; the tray can be worn at any time of the day that suits you and you’ll notice the difference after only a couple of uses.

For more information and to see prices for Zoom! Teeth Whitening Systems, see www.revadental.ie or call (056) 7763786 to schedule your appointment.

Difference between White Fillings and Amalgam Fillings

Dental technology has advanced enormously over the past two decades, and today there is a large range of choices, for patients and dentists alike, when it comes to filling cavities.

Reva Dental offer a choice of materials for fillings: resin-based composites, which we see as ‘white’ fillings, and dental amalgam, a more traditional filling, silver in colour and comprised of a mixture of metals.

White Fillings

Resin Composites mimic the appearance of natural teeth, and are made of ceramic and plastic compounds. Used in front teeth for years, technology has improved the strength of these composites enough to be used in the back teeth, where they’re subject to heavy-duty grinding and chewing.

The obvious advantage of white fillings is that they are more aesthetically pleasing when visible in the mouth, as there is minimal contrast between the filling material and the tooth itself.

When the cosmetic effect is important, white resin composite fillings are often used on the six teeth at the front of the mouth (incisors and cuspids), and on the outward-facing surface of the next two teeth (bicuspids). The patient has a choice for molars; they may choose the material they prefer.

Composite fillings can be trickier to place, as the tooth must be completely dried out in preparation for placement, and the filling has to ‘cure’. They are also more expensive than amalgam fillings.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is the more recognisable ‘silver’ filling, and dental amalgam is made up of a mixture of metals including tin, silver and copper.

Dental amalgams are highly durable and have been favoured over resin for use in the molars, where they get a lot of wear. They’re also used for cavities that go below the gum line, and are easier to place in areas that are hard for the dentist to dry out for the procedure.

Amalgam is considered a highly reliable, very strong, low-maintenance option for fillings, and generally has a longer life than resin. It’s a stronger choice of material for back teeth; easy for dentists to manipulate and is more cost-effective, although less aesthetically pleasing, than resin composite fillings.

Choice of Filling

The choice is ultimately that of the patient, and your dentist at Reva Dental will advise you on the nature and longevity of the filling. The size, nature and location of the cavity will be another deciding factor, and your dentist will discuss the options with you, explaining the kind of pressure your filling will endure and the details of the cavity-filling procedure itself.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie