Do You Grind or Clench Your Teeth?

Do You Grind or Clench Your Teeth?

Occlusal disease better known as grinding or clenching your teeth is the most common and widespread problem we face today in dentistry.  Most people have one of these para-functional habits and suffer from related symptoms 

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache, stiff neck, or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.


Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

What’s behind all that night-time gnashing

  1. Teeth Problems: Perhaps your teeth don’t line up correctly or you have teeth that are missing or crooked. The misalignment, which is also known as occlusion, means that the teeth don’t meet when the jaw opens and closes. This could be due to an issue with the temporomandibular joint or the muscles around the jaw. For example, if those facial muscles spasm during sleep, you could start grinding your teeth. To know if this is the cause of your tooth grinding, you’ll need to visit a dentist who can take X-rays and give you a proper diagnosis.
  2. Anxiety and Stress: When you are worrying excessively, you are likelier to clench your jaw and work it back and forth throughout the night, wearing your teeth down. Problems at work, in relationships, or due to finances don’t just go away because it’s nighttime. The more stress that you feel, the worse off your nights will be. And the more you try to ignore the stress, the likelier you are to be a heavy tooth grinder. 
  3. Other Medical Conditions: Certain medications, like some antidepressants, or disorders like Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, can cause bruxism. Even having too much stomach acid reflux or suffering from sleep apnea can lead to nighttime grinding.

What do I do if I think I grind my teeth?

If you have any of the listed symptoms, see your dentist.  Many patients go from doctor to doctor trying to find a cure, but never consult the dentist for the accurate diagnosis and treatment.  Just like all the other parts of your body wear out, like your hip, knee, elbow, shoulder and heart valve wear out and need replacement, so do your teeth. In 1950 most of the population accepted that a full denture is in their future.  Now that the future is here and we keep our teeth for life, we need to protect them and prevent destruction. That is the function of a night guard. PROTECT YOUR TEETH. It is like an insurance policy. Don’t ignore the diagnosis, and save your teeth today.  You will wish that you did in 30 or 40 years from now when you are told that all of your teeth will need replacement.  See Dr. Chanin at Diamond Dental Associates, LLC today to evaluate your mouth and determine if an occlusal guard will benefit you.  Minimal investment with tremendous value.

Diamond Dental Associates, LLC     908-838-0004

Do you want your teeth to look like this?
This is what grinding can do to you!!!!

Xylitol A Game Changer for Dentistry

A Game Changer for Dentistry

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it gives bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With the dental benefits of Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Fewer Bacteria, Less Acid – Healthier Teeth!

Because the bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
Repairing damaged enamel

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva, in particular, contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. If sugar is only taken a couple of times a day, the saliva can do the job alone. But most people take sugar so often that the mouth’s own defensive tools are not enough.
The dental benefits of xylitol also include saliva. Saliva that has xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise, and plaque pH rises as well. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.

If you have acid reflux, dry mouth, diabetes, have had radiation treatment, chemotherapy, are on many prescription medications, Xylitol can be a good answer for you. Call Dr. Chanin at 908-838-0004 today to find out how Xylitol in combination with other home care recommendations can help you prevent your teeth from decaying. Call Diamond Dental Associates today for a healthier more beautiful smile.

Why Do You Get Cavities The Newest Research

Why Do You Get Cavities The Newest Research

We always thought that decay was due to lack of or improper tooth brushing. We now know there is a lot more to decay than just tooth brushing.  It has to do with your saliva, diet, sugar intake, how often you eat and how you protect your teeth.

   Acid reflux, commonly called heart burn, is a major causing factor.  Acid reflux causes acid to come up into your mouth and lower the PH of your saliva, resulting in your saliva becoming more acidic.  The bacteria that cause decay, thrive and multiply in a more acidic, lower PH environment. These bacteria stick to your teeth due to the presence of plaque and cause the teeth to decalcify.  The bacteria produce acid by eating the plaque and that acid is what causes the teeth to decay. Fluoride is a one of the most important things you can do to help strengthen your teeth. Fluoride tooth paste with Stannus fluroride, fluoride rinse and in office fluoride treatments are essential to keep your teeth healthy.

  Here are some top tooth decay causes you might not know about

Are Only Sugary Foods to Blame? Avoiding candy doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for getting decay. Most cavities come from hidden sugars like those in sports drinks, juices, sodas (even the diet ones) and diets high in carbohydrates (like crackers, bread, or other common snack foods.) 

Bad Nutrition: Harmful to Your Body and Your Teeth

If it’s “bad” for your body, it’s probably “bad” for your teeth. Remember, you are what you eat! Fresh foods are best. Fibrous fruits and vegetables clean your teeth while you eat them, and give your body plenty of nutrients to ward off infection. Omega 3 fatty acids can treat periodontist, as well as help with inflammation. Additionally, there is a possibility that cheese can prevent cavities while improving your overall oral health.

“But I Don’t Have Poor Oral Hygiene!”

What is good oral hygiene? Brushing twice a day? Flossing every now and then? Check to see that you’re using a soft toothbrush and brushing slowly, focused on the gum lines and only brushing one or two teeth at a time. Fast, rigorous brushing can leave large areas of biofilm behind. Always follow up with floss at least once a day — because tooth brushing can’t clean between — to remove the germs that cause cavities. Don’t forget to use a fluoridated toothpaste. If necessary you can come to our office and we can write a prescription for one that’s stronger.

Are Cavities or Teeth Grinding to Blame?

Maybe your teeth are starting to look broken, worn, or feel sharp to your tongue. It might not be cavities that are the cause — but bruxism — a teeth grinding habit that causes your enamel to break itself apart. Old fillings may even start to fracture and fall out, even if you have great oral hygiene. Wearing a protective guard at night or when you’re driving home from work can reduce the tension to your enamel, extending the investment of your restorative dental treatment and the life of your teeth.  Your teeth were not designed to last 100 years without being protected.

Finding an Out for Your Enamel Issues

“My parents had bad teeth. I’m bound to as well. ”This concept seems like an easy out, but it’s no excuse for neglecting your teeth. Working with a great dentist and hygienist can help you focus on areas that are more at-risk for cavities, such as demineralized surfaces or exposed roots. Even adding in extra fluoride can keep cavities at bay, when you would otherwise be looking at a future filled with dental work.

What Does Age Have to Do With Anything?  

There are a few factors at play when it comes to tooth decay causes. One of which is age. Take children for instance; their primary (baby) teeth are far less dense than the permanent counterparts. As such, cavities can spread far more rapidly, involving more than just one tooth.

Older adults see an increase in decay as well, usually because of aging fillings, gum recession, and dry mouth (due to medications.) As such, it’s vital for people of all ages to receive routine checkups so that decay can be intercepted at its earliest stage.

These top tooth decay causes can be the gateway to more severe issues with your dental health. By just tweaking your daily routine you can improve smile and your oral hygiene.  It is essential that you have regular dental checkup and discuss these issues with your dentist. At Diamond Dental Associates, we will help you prevent these problems and keep a beautiful sparkling smile.  Contact us at 908-838-0004.

“Changing lives one smile at a time”

Dental Sealants Reduce Decay

Dental Sealants Reduce Decay

In the latest surveys of the American Dental Association, if 100 children were looked at and not have sealants applied to their teeth, 50 would get decay.  If sealants were applied to the children’s teeth, only 18 of the group would get decay. Clearly, dental sealants are an extremely beneficial procedure for children to have performed on their teeth.

Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.

Who Should Get Sealants?

Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.

Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.

In some cases, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Applying sealant is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for your dentist or hygienist to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. The application steps are as follows:

  1. First, the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
  3. An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
  4. The teeth are then rinsed and dried.
  5. Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can replace sealants as necessary.


Dry Mouth A Common Problem and Commonly Undetected

Dry Mouth A Common Problem and Commonly Undetected
Scott Chanin, DMD, FAGD,FASDA

Dry Mouth, commonly known as Xerostomia, is a medical condition that occurs
when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva or there is a change in the
quality of the saliva. It can have a significant impact on the quality of your life and
oral health if it is not discovered early and managed effectively.
Up to 65 percent of the population suffer from dry mouth. The causes are
numerous, from everyday medications to common health conditions, and people
who take multiple medications are more likely to suffer from it.

If you have the following symptoms it is time to talk to your dentist and discuss
treatment of dry mouth.
1. My mouth is and throat feel dry and sticky
2. I have an ongoing need to drink water to quench my thirst with temporary
3. It is difficult to speak or swallow
4. My lips are dry and cracked
5. I have been told I have bad breath
6. There is a burning sensation in my mouth
7. My tongue is dry and rough
8. I am getting more cavities

Dry mouth makes it difficult to chew, taste, swallow and speak. It also increases
the risk of cavities. Dry mouth can silence you from speaking. If you have the
symptoms listed, talk to your dentist and hygienist about your symptoms. They
can help you fight back and get effective and convenient relief.

Dr. Chanin at Diamond Dental Associates can help you evaluate your dry mouth
conditions and symptoms. Then we can discuss treatment solutions and options
to relieve your dry mouth and protect your teeth from cavities. Don’t put it off,
get a solution today.

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

    Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.

Possible causes include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root

    In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line, a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.

    Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity. In addition clenching and grinding your teeth can cause gum recession that can result in increased sensitivity. Clenching and grinding can cause tremendous forces on your teeth which causes sensitivity.

Sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means,         we may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.
  • Occlusal Guard.  The occlusal guard or night guard, will prevent the consequences of grinding and clenching and distribute forces more evenly and prevent enamel and dentin wear.

    Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Call Dr. Chanin at 908-838-0004, if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity. We have a solution for you that will make you SMILE.