Bruxism is more than simply a nuisance or inconvenience. This commonly experienced dental condition can truly wreak havoc on your smile if left unaddressed. That is why our San Francisco dentists have put together this short overview of bruxism, what it is and what you can do about it.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a dental condition characterized by tooth-on-tooth grinding or clenching. Basically, patients with bruxism grind and clench their teeth, putting an enormous amount of strain on their temporomandibular joints as well as their teeth.

What Causes It?

Bruxism can be caused or exacerbated by:

  • Stress and tension
  • TMJ damage
  • Poor bite alignment
  • Poorly constructed or old and worn down dental restorations

How Does Bruxism Affect My Smile?

The first thing that many patients notice about bruxism is that it causes their jaws to hurt or feel stiff. You may also experience headaches upon waking, as well as neck pain.

As time goes on, and bruxism becomes more problematic, it may find that it is more difficult to move your jaw freely. Many patients develop clicking or popping noises in their temporomandibular joints. Plus, the tooth-on-tooth contact that results from bruxism will thin your dental enamel, and cause cracks and chips in your teeth.

What Kinds of Treatments Are Available?

Our San Francisco dental team treats bruxism at its source. We want to correct the underlying dental problem that causes dental grinding, rather than continually fixing dental damage as it occurs.

Orthodontic treatment can be very effective in treating bruxism, because it brings your bite into balance, so that your top and bottom teeth come together evenly and comfortably. It is also possible to improve your bite through the application of customized restorations.

Additionally, there are oral appliances available to both protect your enamel, and to guide your lower jaw into a better, healthier position. These mouth pieces are generally prescribed for nighttime use.

Give our San Francisco dentists a call to learn more about the ins and outs of bruxism. We are here to help you smile confidently for years to come! 

 

Most of the patients that Dr. Robert M. Walley meets with over the course of a normal day are routine dental visits, whether that be biannual cleanings or simple fillings. However, there are times when dental emergencies arise, and the patient can’t wait weeks or even days to have the issue addressed. When something like that occurs, a San Francisco emergency dentist is the best solution. But what is an emergency dentist, and when, exactly, would a patient need to enlist the services of one?

 

What is an Emergency Dentist?

 

Put simply, an emergency dentist is no different from any other dentist except for the fact that they can fix problems that arise unexpectedly. Normally, you’d make a dentist appointment for some far-off time in the future. Cleanings, for example, are typically six months apart. But an emergency dentist will work you in as soon as possible if there’s some problem with your teeth or gums that requires immediate attention.

 

Reasons to Contact an Emergency Dentist

 

What types of dental issues would require immediate attention? The following is a list of the most common dental emergencies:

 

  1. Cracked of chipped enamel
  2. Knocked-out teeth
  3. Gum/oral tissue lacerations
  4. Severe cold sores
  5. Severe infections that are causing swelling and/or pain
  6. Lost or dislodged dental restorations
  7. Broken fillings
  8. Facial trauma that affects your smile

 

What Kinds of Emergency Procedures are Common?

 

Should you find yourself in Dr. Walley’s office with a dental emergency, it is possible that he will perform one of the following procedures to correct whatever problem is causing pain or creating issues with your smile:

 

  • Enamel crack repairs – If a tooth has been damaged unexpectedly (such as in a car accident or sporting accident), we can repair cracks in enamel using one of many common cosmetic dentistry options.
  • Missing tooth replacement – If we can save a tooth, we will, but even if we can’t, there are options available for tooth replacements that are indistinguishable from real teeth.
  • Same-day tooth restoration – Here in San Francisco, same-day tooth restorations are a great option for those whose teeth need crowns. We use same-day CEREC crowns, which are quick and look just like the real thing.
  • Teeth extraction – If a tooth must be extracted as a last resort, we have the equipment and expertise to do so quickly and painlessly.
  • Root canal therapy – Sometimes, trauma to the tooth can require root canal therapy, which also is something Dr. Walley can provide among his emergency dentistry services.

 

Making an Emergency Appointment with Dr. Walley

 

If you experience any of the above problems and require immediate dental care, simply give our office a call to set up an appointment. We will make sure to get you in as soon as humanly possible to correct whatever dental emergency you’re experiencing. Whether that means alleviating excruciating pain or saving a traumatized tooth, we’ve got everything we need to help you get everything back to normal in a timely manner. The first step, as always, is just picking up the phone and calling.

 

As the holidays roll around each year, we tend to see more cookies, candies, and cakes in our kitchens than in months past. This celebratory time of year is rife with goodies that can be downright damaging to our smiles. That is why our San Francisco dentists have put together this short article about maintaining oral health through the holidays.

Pay Attention to Ingredients

For many of us, the holiday season is a time filled with cookies, candies, and other sugary treats. Sipping on a delicious hot cocoa feels festive, but we need to keep in mind that increased sugar consumption can lead to increased instances of cavities and gum disease.

Rinse Thoroughly

Try to get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water throughout the day, and especially after consuming sugary or acidic goodies. As you would imagine, it isn’t a good idea to let food particles sit on your smile indefinitely. And, when your rinse your mouth with water you also jump-start saliva production.

Indulge Intentionally

We all know that it can be harmful for our waistlines when we continuously graze and sip on holiday treats, but did you know that it can likewise damage your smile? The more frequently you introduce sugary and acidic substances into your mouth, the more chances oral bacteria have to grow and infiltrate your teeth.

Try setting aside a specific time during which you will indulge in cookies and candies. Then, for the rest of the day, prioritize water consumption and healthy choices.

We hope that you found this information helpful, and, remember, you can always reach out to our San Francisco dental team for more information and guidance!

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