It is a common misconception that dentists and orthodontists are the same profession. Despite this, there is a big difference between what a dentist does, and what an orthodontist does. Orthodontia is a specialism a dentist can choose to go down, much like if a doctor wanted to specialise within a specific area, such as neurology. You may never have the need to visit the orthodontist, however, if you should need an appointment with one, it is best to have an understanding of who they are, and what they do.
Everybody wants to have a perfect smile, however there are few who are naturally blessed with perfectly straight teeth. However, this is not to say that your teeth have to stay the way that they are forever. If you are self-conscious about your teeth, there are plenty of solutions available to rectify this, which we will begin to explore within this article.
The term ‘dental implant’ is used to describe the titanium screw in place to support false teeth. These screws are utilised by replacing the root of the tooth by being placed where the root used to be, in the jaw bone. In this article, we look at the benefits of dental implants, whether you may need one, and how long they last for.
Taking care of your teeth isn’t always as simple as brushing twice a day. There are many reasons why you may need to see your dentist, however, it is important to differentiate the difference between needing to see your regular dentist, and needing an emergency visit. Accidents happen every day, but some injuries will require immediate treatment, while others can wait for the normal business hours in which your dentist operates.
Dentures and dental implants have resolved the issue of losing teeth or gaps in your smile. Dentures have been the remedy for people with missing teeth for years. However, new specialized dentures have been introduced, known as ‘flexible dentures’. These provide a more comfortable experience whilst wearing, due to the softer material that they are made of. In this blog, we will explore both the benefits and negatives surrounding flexible dentures, so you can make a more informed choice should you need dentures.
What are dentures made from?
Dentures are usually comprised from a variety of different materials, consisting of acrylic resin, chrome cobalt and nylon. Recently, resin has taken over from porcelain as the preferred material to manufacture dentures with, due to it being lighter and cheaper to make. The material also sticks a lot better with the base of the dentures.
The base of the dentures are usually made from acrylic resin or chrome cobalt metal. Acrylic metal can be easily dyed In order for it to match up with the patients gum, however the metal is sturdier and less likely to break if the dentures have been dropped. Flexible dentures are made from nylon, and are becoming more popular, especially over the past few years.
Issues with having regular dentures
Dentures comprised of a rigid metal base can be quite uncomfortable to wear, and take a while to get used to. You need to learn how to carry your dentures in your mouth with your cheeks and gums, which can be quite a long and painful process to perfect. They also require a lot of maintenance in terms of cleaning, so that they don’t break easily.
Why choose flexible dentures?
Flexible dentures are ideal for those who don’t require the use of regular dentures. They aren’t as brittle as the standard dentures, so are less inclined to break upon impact. They also don’t require any dental adhesive or metal clasps to keep them in place on the gums, as they cling to them naturally. The material they’re made out of is clear, so they don’t need to be dyed in order to match the gums natural colour, as well as needing less time to manufacture.
Comfort is a very important factor when it comes to producing dentures, as they are designed to be worn frequently, so the less pain one is in whilst using them, the better. Flexible dentures have the edge over other types in this respect, as they are simple to put in, wear, and to take out of the mouth, without causing discomfort.
Flexible dentures are also a great alternative for those who are allergic to the materials inside of standard dentures, such as acrylic resin and nickel.
Problems with flexible dentures
Although flexible dentures can be more convenient, they aren’t without their own problems in some circumstances. The material in the flexible base is prone to harbouring a lot more bacteria on it than regular dentures, meaning they require a lot of cleaning to avoid a build up of germs on your dentures. The dentures should be removed every day and brushed with a toothbrush all over with warm water. Following this, swill in mouthwash to prevent gingivitis.
The repetitive and sub conscious grinding of your teeth and jaws is known as bruxism. This can develop at any age, and to anybody. It usually occurs during sleep, although it can happen whilst you are awake.
During the day, you can experience bruxism through intense concentration, through tasks such as heavy lifting, reading, writing and driving. This can also be a symptom of anxiety if you are doing repeatedly throughput the day for no particular reason.
Having a headache is the most common and noticeable symptom of teeth grinding. According to the bruxism association, people who grind their teeth are three times more likely to be suffering from headaches.
Other symptoms can include muscle aches, enlarged facial muscles, stiff shoulders and next, ear pain and trouble sleeping. Grinding your teeth can also wear them down, causing fracturing and even loss of teeth.
Why do I grind my teeth?
Bruxism can be bought on through a variety of causes. The most common include; stress, anxiety, heavy alcohol use, depression, high caffeine use, smoking and sleeping disorders. However, researchers have found little evidence to support any cause. People who snore or suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to develop bruxism, as well as people whose lifestyle includes smoking, caffeine and alcohol.
Treatments for bruxism
There are different methods for treating bruxism, depending on what is causing it in the first place. Determining whether the grinding is bought on through your mental health, lifestyle or anxiety will help with developing a treatment plan unique to you.
There is protective gear available for this condition through occlusal appliances, better known as mouth guards. These guards are custom made, and fit over your top and bottom row of teeth. Wearing these at night will drastically reduce tooth erosion, jaw muscle pain and pain in the temporomandibular joint. This is usually the direct treatment for this condition.
Mouth guards are a great way to protect your teeth if you have developed bruxism, however, if you have developed it through anxiety or stress, you may have to look further into the cause in order to stop you from grinding your teeth. Managing your anxiety through mediums such as meditation, relaxation techniques, behavioural management and psychoanalysis can prove effective when trying to combat bruxism.
Mandibular advancements devices are effectively a step further than mouth guards. They are custom made and fit over your top and bottom teeth, and are designed to bring your bottom jaw forward, to reduce snoring and sleep apnea. If this is the cause of our bruxism, this is the preferred treatment.
Are you suffering from bruxism and would like some advice on how to reduce teeth grinding? Why not contact friendly Ascent Dental Care Tamworth today, to see how we can help you!