From the category archives:

Common Oral Problems

Does your wife or partner complain, every morning, about your teeth grinding or teeth clenching keeping her awake? The very fact that your wife complained about it keeping her awake made you aware about your habit. It is always the person sleeping at the side of you who will be able to tell you.
This habit of grinding and clenching the teeth is known as bruxism.

Here, people with irregular or infrequent bruxism do no get affected as much. It does not really show the damage done to the jaws and teeth. It is those who are habitual grinders who get affected. In severe cases it can also damage one’s jaw or hearing.

The question arises as to how would one know if he or she grinds or clenches their teeth? If detected how bruxism can be treated? It has been studied that some people make a noise when grinding their teeth thus making it detectable while some do not make a single sound making it hard to detect.
There are two ways one can know if they have bruxism, first is when your partner complains about it and second is when after a night’s sleep you get up with an ache in your jaws or a slight, persistent headache. Whatever the case, a checkup by the dentist is pertinent.

Consequences of teeth grinding or clenching:

There are many outcomes to teeth grinding two of which are mentioned above:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitive to biting food
  • Sensitive to hot or cold food
  • In advanced cases the teeth can break or result in fractures
  • Tooth loss

Precaution And Treatment

People visiting the dentist usually complain of severe toothache. To stop this toothache the very habit has to be put to an end. Otherwise there are other factors that could cause it and have to be contained:

  • Lower stress and relax daily
  • Reduce alcohol consumption and intake of caffeine
  • If grinding becomes a problem at night ask your dentist to recommend a nightguard
  • If your dentist says it is caused because of irregular bite, he would suggest teeth alignment.

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Malocclusion is more commonly known as crowded teeth, cross bite, overbite, under bite, or open bite. It is simply the misalignment of teeth. It is a common problem seen in most people at least to some degree.

How to identify Malocclusion

Even though most people do not have perfect alignment of their teeth, for some, the misalignment causes other more noticeable problems. A dentist should be consulted if any of the following symptoms occur together with poor alignment of teeth, in order to effect a proper diagnosis and treatment of Malocclusion.

  • pain arising from pressure to the jaw
  • problems in speech and ability to eat
  • breathing through the mouth
  • difficulty in keeping the lips closed

Types of Malocclusion

In 1899, Edward Angel identified three different categories of Malocclusion:

  • Class I Malocclusion : This is the more widespread type of Malocclusion. In this type, the first molars are normal. However the other teeth are affected by problems in spacing, crowding, and over/ under eruption.
  • Class II Malocclusion : In this type of Malocclusion the upper molars significantly overlap the bottom teeth.
  • Class III Malocclusion : This is the inverse of class II where the lower jaw protrudes more than the upper, causing the bottom front teeth to overlap the upper ones

Causes of Malocclusion

Malocclusion can either be inherited from parents or acquired through bad habits:

Inherited Malocclusion : This is mostly the case. This type of Malocclusion is evident in there being less or more teeth, or space between the teeth, than appropriate. It is caused by irregular jaw size or shape or by unusual formations like cleft palates.

Acquired Malocclusion : A major cause of acquired Malocclusion is bad habits. The bad habits that children mostly succumb to, such as thumb/ finger sucking or tongue thrusting, are causes of Malocclusion. As such, monitoring of such bad habits by the parents and controlling the same can easily prevent this type of Malocclusion occurring.

Treatment of Malocclusion

  • Use of Braces
  • Malocclusion is commonly treated by using dental braces. The constant and gently pressure provided by braces will enable teeth straightening and help push teeth back to their correct position.
    Braces consist of brackets that are fixed to the teeth, and wires that connect the brackets. Since the braces cannot be removed, extra attention should be paid in keeping the teeth clean and getting rid of food particles that are likely to get stuck in the braces.

  • Removal of teeth
  • This will help in instances of overcrowding, where it would make room for the other teeth to move to the correct position.

  • Reshaping, and bonding or capping teeth
  • This will treat rough or irregular teeth removing resistance in forming a proper bite.

  • Surgery
  • Requirement of surgery is rare. Surgery can be used to reshape the jaw or to stabilize the jaw bone through wires, plates or screws where required.

    Malocclusion can be treated in the majority of cases. Consulting a dentist early when Malocclusion is suspected can ensure the proper and effective treatment which would help in maintaining proper dental health.

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Instant Breathe Test Kits Are Here To Stay

May 31, 2009

Breathe Test Kits Are Here To Stay Do you worry about your breath every time you go to meet someone special? Have you ever smelled your breath by cupping your palm over your mouth and nose? Does it give out a foul odor every time you do it? Your answer may be positive or negative, […]

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Hot Cup of Tea Increase Throat Cancer Risk

May 31, 2009

Would You Expect To Get Throat Cancer By Drinking Hot Tea Every Day? Studies done in Britain do show that drinking extremely hot tea every day increases your chance of getting throat cancer. A correlated study done in Iran, which reportedly has the largest number of oesophageal cancer patients, shows the results of research done […]

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Pregnancy and Dental Health

May 26, 2009

It is very important for women who are pregnant, and those who are contemplating pregnancy to ensure that they are in perfect health, physically, mentally and emotionally. When speaking of physical health, it is important that special attention is paid to dental health and hygiene. In case this is neglected, it could have a bad […]

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Tooth Sensitivity

May 5, 2009

Sensitive tooth is a problem faced by a lot of people, especially as they progress from youth to maturity and beyond. This sensitivity is most keenly felt when: Having hot drinks or food Having anything very cold Having sweets When a tooth comes into contact with other teeth or tongue Tooth sensitivity can be either […]

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Temporomandibular Disorder

May 5, 2009

Temporomandibular joint is the joint which connects the mandible to the skull. Temporomandibular disorder refers to a set of inflammatory problems in the area, which are as yet not clearly defined. The medical community itself is divided about the reasons for the problem and its modes of treatment. Temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMD, is […]

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What is an impacted Tooth?

May 5, 2009

An impacted tooth is one that fails to emerge from the gums fully, the most typical example being a wisdom tooth. Late teens are the age during which the wisdom tooth normally makes its appearance in an individual. It could get stuck on its way because it could be growing tilted, or at an angle, […]

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Dental Health: Laser Use in Dentistry

March 14, 2009

Laser technology had entered the field of dentistry by 1994 itself. The lasers used for dental treatment are not the cold lasers, which are used for treating inflammation, headache, and pain, and also used in phototherapy. Though it is useful in treating many dental problems, laser is yet to be fully accepted by the American […]

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Dental Health: Dry Mouth

March 12, 2009

Saliva is a digestive enzyme, a cleansing agent, and a moisturizer. It has also got germicidal properties and so protects the mouth from micro-organisms like fungi and bacteria. A mouth without saliva would be a parody, and a very uncomfortable proposition at that. Luckily, there are effective remedies for a dry mouth. What Leads to […]

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