An article recently published by the New York Times details one dentist’s experience seeing an increase of patients with cracked teeth over the past few months. What could be causing this? Well, all of our lives have been flipped upside down and shaken up this year, and this can cause some stress — naturally. This stress may just be the cause of some dental problems, including cracked teeth. Join your dentist in Sparks as we share just how stress and other factors can influence your oral health.
Teeth Clenching & Grinding
Our bodies react to stress in interesting ways. Sometimes our gut health is affected. Other times it’s our oral health. During periods of high stress, many people may begin clenching or grinding their teeth, and oftentimes they don’t even know it or they may be doing it subconsciously while sleeping. This repeated movement of teeth against teeth can cause teeth to wear down and appear shorter. It can also cause teeth to crack, break, or chip, requiring treatment from your dentist in Sparks. But even that’s not all. Clenching and grinding your teeth puts unnecessary and unnatural stress on the jaw joint and can cause severe TMJ pain or TMJ disorder.
Prolonged periods of stress can also increase someone’s risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease is an infection deep under the gum line that requires professional dental treatment. However, if it’s not treated, gum disease can cause other problems throughout the body and put overall health at risk. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, and even certain cancers. Besides stress, other things that increase the risk of gum disease include poor dental hygiene, smoking, and seeing your dentist in Sparks every six months for deep cleanings.
How To Decrease Stress
We understand that the current state of the world can easily cause stress levels to spike and put us at risk for both oral health problems and whole-body concerns. But one of the best things you can do during uncertain, stressful times is to learn effective ways to lower stress. Some stress-reduction techniques include:
- Sleeping. Falling and staying asleep can be difficult when we’re stressed out and our minds won’t stop racing. But it’s crucial to your health to get enough sleep every day. Not only can sleeping enough lower stress (and probably make it easier to fall asleep), it can also give your body time to recover and keep you healthy. Try listening to calming sounds, avoiding your phone an hour before going to bed, and keeping a regular sleep schedule.
- Meditating. Mediating has been proven to lower heart rate and help us feel relaxed, thus lowering stress. Find a free app on your phone that will guide you through meditations and teach you how to effectively lower stress by simply breathing. Meditation is like anything else, you need to practice it to get really good at it so be sure to schedule time each day to focus and meditate.
- Exercising. Another proven way to lower stress and boost health is to exercise often. Whether you choose an online spin class, practice yoga, or run or walk, make sure you get a good sweat session daily.
Now and always, it’s important to keep your stress levels low and immune system high to keep yourself healthy. Find a stress-reduction plan that works for you, eat a well-balanced diet, and see your dentist in Sparks every six months.
There are a number of things that can cause our teeth to fall out, including accidents, age, decay, and disease. In fact, tooth loss is incredibly common among American adults and affects more than 178 million of us, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans missing a tooth or even several teeth, your dentist in Sparks wants you to know that you don’t need to live without a full smile. There are tooth replacement options such as dental implants and dentures available that can help.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are a tooth replacement treatment option that has been around for quite some time but has been improved upon as technology advanced. Dentures can either replace all of your natural teeth or even only a series of missing teeth (called a partial denture). They are removable, non-permanent prosthetics that are custom-created to fit in your mouth and appear like natural teeth.
Pros of Dentures
There are several benefits of dentures, including:
- More affordable than dental implants
- Can be good for those who just had their teeth removed and who want time for their mouth to heal before dental implant surgery
- There’s no surgery involved
- Dentures or partial dentures can be modified if more teeth are lost later in life
Cons of Dentures
As with anything, your dentist in Sparks also wants you to be aware that dentures can also come with a few cons such as:
- They may not look as natural as dental implants
- They have to be removed, cleaned, and stored properly every night
- They require adhesive to stay in place which can get costly over time
- They can slip while eating and talking which can be uncomfortable
- They may not allow you to eat all the foods you want to eat such as corn, apples, or things with tiny seeds
- They can increase the likelihood of gum disease if they aren’t cleaned properly or if food gets trapped
- They’re very delicate and can break easily and require a brand new prosthetic
- Partials can weaken the teeth supporting it leading to additional problems
What are Dental Implants?
Like dentures, dental implants can also replace either one missing tooth or an entire mouth of missing teeth. But unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent, and instead of sitting on top of the jaw bone, dental implants are secured into the jaw bone. Dental implant treatment starts with a titanium post being placed into the jaw bone where it will act as your tooth root. As it heals, your bone will actually grow around the post, securely locking it into place. Afterward, an abutment is added to the post, and a brand new crown custom-created by your dentist in Sparks is placed on top. Now, if you’re missing more than one tooth, a few posts may be implanted into your bone then a full set of brand new teeth will be permanently secured to them, giving you a brand new look.
Pros of Dental Implants
Dental implants can be the best and longest lasting tooth replacement for you and can also provide some of the following benefits.
- Dental implants tend to be more comfortable than dentures
- You can eat what you want with dental implants
- They don’t affect speech
- They don’t require daily removal and reinsertion
- You can care for them just like your natural teeth
- Dental implants can last for decades with proper care
- They can reduce the risk of additional oral health problems
Cons of Dental Implants
Even though dental implants may appear to be all positive, there are a few cons as well.
- Dental implants are more expensive than dentures
- They do require surgery
- Not everyone is a candidate for implants
If you’re tired of living your life with missing teeth, call your dentist in Sparks and schedule a consultation. Together, you can find the best way to replace your teeth and begin treatment so you can start smiling fully again.