Bruxism is a habit where you grind your teeth or clench your jaws often unknowingly,  especially while you are sleeping.  Symptoms often include headache,  in the temple area or sore jaws when you wake up.  Bruxism can cause teeth to break or crack and can increase gum problems.  Adults are not the only patients that have this problem, children as young as preschoolers have been shown to frequently clench their teeth.

Researchers do not know what causes people to clench their teeth.  In children, bruxism can be a sign of anxiety or social withdrawal.  With adults, the condition is very often associated with stress, or a bite alignment issue.  Adults who clench often started doing so as a child.  Nail biting in children can often lead to clenching as well.

Tobacco and alcohol use may also increase a clenching habit when you are sleeping, along with large amounts of caffeine.  Some medications and illegal drugs may cause users to grind their teeth or clench at night.

If you are experiencing headaches in the morning or the middle of the night, have trouble sleeping, or wake up with sore jaws, your dentist can make you a custom night guard that will relax your jaw muscles and protect your teeth from wear, cracks or breakage.  Your dentist is able to see signs of wear on the biting surfaces and gum line of your teeth, (a condition called abfraction).

Gum Disease can lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have new evidence that a common bacteria found in chronic gum disease can trigger an inflammatory autoimmune response that leads to rheumatoid arthritis.  This bacteria triggers a protein which activates the immune system to drive a cascade of events leading to rheumatoid arthritis. Gum disease is found in a high percentage of patients, especially over age 45.  It is important to see your dentist, so you can have a proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent tooth and bone loss, and other inflammatory diseases.



Adults With Diabetes Lose Twice the Number of Teeth

Adults with diabetes lose twice the number of teeth as those without diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Periodontal disease is  considered the sixth complication of diabetes and has been identified as a s risk factor for poor metabolic control in people with diabetes.  Part of the reason patients lose teeth as diabetics is because any infection, including oral infections (periodontal disease) are harder to fight than patients without diabetes.  It is therefore, essential that a diabetic patient has excellent home care and professional dental cleanings on a regular basis.

Oral Infection a Possible Risk for Alzheimer’s

Inflammation in the brain is a characteristic feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently scientists have been looking for potential peripheral infections, particulary in the oral cavity that could explain brain inflammation. Oral bacteria, herpes virus, and possibly fungus, ie (Candida) can enter the blood stream, pass the blood brain barrier and cause inflammation of the brain. Any one of these strains of bacteria, viruses, or fungus could be implicated in Alzheimer’s enigma. Future research on this subject could help explain late onset Alzheimr’s Disease, as for instance more than 70 percent of the population over 50 have latent herpes simplex in the peripheral nervous system. Half the world’s population has Candida, a fungus found in the mouth which can become treacherous and lead to an infection if it enters the bloodstream. So it is highly recomended to have regular hygiene visits, to help prevent inflammation. Asbury-Springhill

Sodas Cause Long Term Damage To Teeth

Acidic drinks such as soda cause long term damage to teeth, according to a new study by the Universy of Adelaide. Within 30 seconds of drinking an acidic drink, lifelong damage happens in the form of dental erosion. Most sodas have either phosphoric acid or citric acid. As a dentist, I use phosphoric acid every day to etch teeth to help my fillings stay in the tooth. The acid makes tiny etcings in tooth enamel allowing the filling more surface area to grab. Such drinks are best avoided, including diet soft drinks which are also acidic. Phosphoric acid is added to most soft drinks to make the drink taste tangy.

A 32 ounce sports drink can contain up to 14 teaspoons of sugar, while a 20-ounce soda has more than 16 teaspoons of sugar. When bacteria in your mouth are exposed to sugar to feed on, the by product is also acid. So acid producing bacteria plus phosphoric acid added to the drink are a double whammy for tooth decay.

Kids should be encouraged to drink water or low fat milk over sugar ladedn drinks like soda,fruit juice or energy drinks. Flouridated water is the best choice since not only does it not contain sugar but actually strenghthens the enamel by replacing the calcium ion with a more decay resistant flouride ion in your tooth.SodaAndToothErosion

Sleeping in Dentures Ups Risk of Pneumonia in Elderly

Snowman's Dentures.

Denture patients over the age of 85 were recently studied by the Journal of Dental Research. Findings showed a 2.3 fold increase in pneumonia cases with patients that wore their dentures overnight. Their study “provided empirical evidence that denture wearing during sleep is associated not only with oral inflammatory and microbial burden but also with incident pneumonia, suggesting potential implications of oral hygiene programs for pneumonia prevention in the community.

Custom Made Mouthguards For Contact Sports Reduce Concussion Risks

Many children and young adults are involved in contact sports, such as football, even baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer and other sports. Very often, their coach recommends a boil and bite type of mouth guard to protect their teeth and help prevent concussion. Studies have shown that the boil and bite type of mouth guard that you may purchase at a sporting goods store is actually worse in terms of tooth loss and concussion than having nothing at all. Most coaches do not realize this and recommend this type of mouth guard. Parents should instead visit their dentist for a custom made mouth guard.

High school football players wearing sporting good store bought mouth guards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries or MTBI/concussions than those who had a custom appliance made by their dentist. Studies have also shown that wearing a custom made mouth sports guard will also prevent tooth loss, whereas a boil and bite type of mouth guard is actually worse than having nothing at all.

Parents may believe that today’s advanced helmet design provides sufficient protection, but research indicates that, when compared to over the counter versions, a custom made, properly fitted mouth guard is essential to player safety.

The study followed 412 players from six high school football teams. Half of the athletes wore a custom made mouth guard and half wore a over the counter type. All students wore the same helmet. The custom mouth guard prevented over half of the concussion injuries. This study did not test tooth loss from a contact injury.

Previous studies have theorized that mouth guards can reduce concussion risk because they help absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck and limit movement caused by a hit to the jaw.

The benefits of protecting your child far outweigh the lifetime costs associated with a dental or medical injury, which is likelier to happen with a store bought guard.


Teeth in a day

Have you been suffering for many years with your teeth. Is your dentist “patching your teeth”? Do you have periodontal disease, or loose teeth and have trouble eating? Are you experiencing pain with your teeth? Are you suffering with an ill fitting partial denture or even a poor fitting full denture. Are you self conscious about your smile? Have you heard of Teeth in a Day?

Now, with as few as four dental implants per arch, Dr. Kroll and Dr. Hardy can construct a full set of teeth and attach it to those four dental implants on the day of surgery. This is what you may have seen advertised as “Teeth in a Day”. Let me explain the process.

If you are faced with finally making the decision to loose all your teeth, or you already have a full denture and you have trouble eating and tasting your food, one option for your long term health and obtaining a beautiful, younger looking smile is Teeth in a Day. I would first have you come in and get a special 3D picture of your jaw and teeth.
We would next get some stone study models of your existing dentition and then do a full examination to see if you are a candidate for dental implants. If adequate bone is present and you are faced with losing all your teeth, you would then be appointed with an oral surgeon or periodontist for a surgery evaluation. If the surgeon feels you are a candidate for dental implants, you would come back to me and I would take preliminary impressions for a denture that will be attached to your implants on the day of surgery.

At the surgical appointment, your teeth would be removed and four dental implants per arch would be implanted by the surgeon. I would then come to his or her office and attach the denture to your implants that day. This denture is a transitional denture that you would wear for about three months.

Once the implants have integrated into your jaw bone, which takes about three months, you would come back to our office and we would take impressions for a computer generated titanium bar that fits those four dental implants exactly. Teeth are then added to the bar are screwed down to the implants. The prosthesis can only be removed by the dentist. You now have a comfortable, esthetic, functioning full set of teeth where you can taste your food, talk normally and have a beautiful smile and feel confident. This is called a hybrid denture.

As far as care for your new prosthesis, some people ask if food gets under the denture as the denture sits on the gum tissue. The answer is no, not really, you still have to brush it and we show you how to floss under it. The hybrid denture is almost better than natural teeth because it doesn’t get cavities or gum disease and should last a lifetime. Once a year, we may want to remove it and place it in our ultrasonic cleaner to make sure there is no plaque or tartar underneath it and that the tissues under it are healthy. Other than that you are good to go.

So ask us about Teeth in a Day, it will change your life!



A More Relaxed Dental Visit

If you get nervous about having dental treatment, your’re not alone. an estimated 35million adults experience anxiety at the thought of a dental visit. but you can be an active participant in making your dental care pleasant and pain-free.

  • Share your feelings with us. By bringing your fears out in the open, you will gain control of them. this should help you relax.
  • Set aside a stress-free time for your dental visit, when you won’t be rushed or troubled by concerns. An early morning appointment may be less stressful than hurrying to see the dentist on your lunch hour or after work.
  • Try to identify specific fears. Uncomfortable childhood experiences or the fear of pain are understandable, yet they are often unrealistic given the modern techniques now used in dentistry.
  • During the dental visit, practice relaxation techniques to take your mind off th treatment and to reduce tension. Focus on pleasant distractoins such as soft music, a colorful poster, or practice deep slow breathing.
  • Ask us to explain each step of the dental exam or procedure. the more you know about the reasons for a certain procedure adn what will be done, the more relaxed you will be. If the dentist explains what he is doing as he goes along you won’t anticipate any discomfort.
  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat a light breakfast the day of you appointment. To allow easier body movement, wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • Schedule short appointments by having different procedures done on different days, if possible. Also, arrange a break from lengthy procedures now and then.. If you are feeling any discomfort, you can signal the dentist to stop with a prearranged signal.
  • Once the dental visit is over, praise yourself for a job well done, and treat yourself to a special reward.

Smile, You’re on Intraoral Camera

A tiny new intraoral camera allows patients to see the insides of their mouth by projecting the image on a TV monitor. For many patients, this is the first time they’ve had a clear view inside their mouth. And what they’re seeing is not always a pretty picture. Many patients are shocked by their oral condition.

An image can be worth a thousand words when motivating patients to improve their oral health. Once an image is projected on the monitor, the dentist can easily discuss any problems with the patient and explain the diagnosis.

Because oral conditions can be magnified, this method provides better visibility than direct vision. Once on the screen the image can also be frozen, rotated, saved in the computer, printed, or sent electronically for billing purposes.

Another common use of the camera is helping patients make cosmetic decisions about their teeth. The image of a patient’s teeth can be projected onto the screen and manipulated to show how the person’s smile might look after treatment. Patients can get a good idea of what the recommended procedure will look like before it’s done.