Tooth Decay Prevention and Treatment

Tooth decay, also called dental caries, is the breakdown of a tooth’s structure and is one of the most common health issues in the world. Since your teeth cannot regenerate themselves, decay will continue to get worse once it starts, unless you seek treatment. It’s important to practice good dental hygiene to prevent decay and to see your dentist if you notice any signs of an issue so that it can be resolved as soon as possible.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

When you eat foods that contain carbohydrates (sugars and starches), the bacteria in your mouth break them down into acids. These acids can combine with food particles, saliva, and bacteria to form plaque, a sticky substance that sits on the surface (enamel) of your teeth. The plaque will continually produce acid which, over time, breaks down the tooth structure. This will eat through the tooth enamel first and then progress into the dentin below. When this results in a hole in the tooth, this is known as a cavity.

Symptoms of Cavities

If you notice any signs of tooth decay, you should call your dentist to schedule an appointment.

These can include:

  • Toothache
  • New or increased tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when biting down
  • A visible pit or hole in a tooth

You should be aware that it is possible to have a cavity without noticing any symptoms. This is one reason why it’s important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Dental Hygiene at Home

To prevent decay, practice good oral hygiene at home. Although preventive in-office care is beneficial, your day-to-day habits make a huge difference. You should brush your teeth twice daily using a soft-bristle brush. Make sure to clean all the different areas of your teeth, including the front, chewing surfaces, and back. Flossing is also incredibly important for your oral health and you should do this once a day.

How Your Dentist Helps Prevent Cavities

At your regular check-ups, your dentist will check for signs of decay and can address any issues before you even notice them. They also complete professional cleaning to remove dental plaque and calculus, which is a harder form of plaque. Fluoride treatments are common for children, although some adults can also benefit.

Treatments for Tooth Decay

Fillings

One of the most common treatments for decay is a filling. In the past, these would be made of metal but recently, tooth-colored composite fillings are most common. At our dental office, we use our Solea Laser® to prepare the tooth for the filling.

Dental Crowns

If the decay is more advanced, a crown may be appropriate. This is a porcelain cap that covers and protects the tooth. The crown will be designed to look natural and match nearby teeth.

Tooth Extraction

When decay is left untreated, it will continue to spread and damage the tooth more and more. After a while, this could progress to the point where extraction is necessary. If this is the case, your dentist can work with you to find a solution to replace the lost tooth. This could include a dental implant or bridge.

Dental Care in Oro Valley, AZ

If you suspect that you are suffering from tooth decay, contact our Oro Valley dentist office today.

 

Finding the Best Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening can help you get a brighter smile. Compared to store-bought whitening strips or toothpaste, dentist-supervised whitening treatments are often stronger, safer, and tailored specifically for you. At Smith Dentalworks, we offer three different types of whitening treatments. We can help you find the best teeth whitening option for you during your appointment. This article also gives a brief overview of the methods available at our office so you can get a general idea of which might be a good fit.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

How It Works

We use a highly-concentrated whitening gel for our in-office treatments. This is significantly stronger than any of the products you can get over-the-counter. We will apply to this your teeth while protecting your gums. After we complete the treatment, we will often apply fluoride to help reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity. This depends on your specific needs. With only one or two visits, teeth can become six to eight shades lighter using this method.

When This Method Could Be Best

In-office gel application could be the best teeth whitening method for you if you need quick results for an upcoming event. However, one thing to keep in mind is that no whitening treatment is permanent. Over time, your teeth will start to stain again. If you think you will need to make touch-ups in the future, you may prefer a take-home method.

Custom-Fit Take-Home Whitening

How It Works

In our office, we will fit you for a custom whitening tray by taking a digital impression of your teeth. This prevents the whitening agent from coming into contact with your gums. We will then give you a high-strength gel and clear instructions for how to use this kit at home. The tray will be yours to keep and you can pick up more of the gel as you need it for touch-ups.

When This Method Could Be Best

If you are looking for a highly-effective and safe method for getting whiter teeth, a custom-made kit can be an excellent option. Since the process is supervised by a professional, it’s easier to make sure everything is progressing as it should. Although the whitening agent is not as strong as our in-office treatments, it is well-suited for at-home application.

Ready-Made Teeth Whitening Trays

How It Works

Our office also offers ready-made take-home teeth whitening kits. These feature strong whitening agents and you get all the benefits of dentist supervision, but don’t have to wait for a custom impression.

When This Method Could Be Best

Ready-made whitening is quicker than custom trays, although not as quick as in-office treatment. This is the most cost-effective option and still provides effective and safe results.

Get a Bright and Beautiful Smile

If you want whiter, beautiful teeth, Smith Dentalworks can help. We offer a variety of cosmetic treatments, including whitening, that can help you love the way your smile looks.

Schedule an appointment and we can help you find the best teeth whitening treatment.

Causes and Solutions for Cracked Teeth

Many dentists across the country are reporting that cracked teeth are becoming more common. Because of increased stress levels, more individuals may be grinding their teeth, which contributes to cracks and other wear and tear. If you are noticing this or any other issues with your oral health, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a dentist. These problems typically become worse over time and seeing your dentist sooner can help prevent the need for more extensive work.

Different Types of Cracked Teeth

Cracks can range from very small lines on the surface of your teeth to deep fractures that impact the entire tooth structure. The causes and solutions vary depending on the severity of the chips or cracks.

Craze Lines

If you look closely at the front surface of your teeth, you may notice tiny cracks in the enamel. These are very common and form over time due to natural pressure on your teeth from chewing. They can occur more quickly if you grind your teeth or have any misalignment. These do not cause any pain and unless you are specifically looking for them, you probably won’t even notice them.

Treatment is not usually necessary for craze lines except for cosmetic reasons. If you are self-conscious about surface-level cracks, porcelain veneers are a great way to cover these imperfections.

Cracked Teeth Above the Gum Line

Cracks that are deeper in the tooth are not only unsightly, they can cause tooth sensitivity and pain. If you have a crack that extends beyond the enamel and into the dentin (the next layer of your tooth), you will likely begin to notice it. Over time, it is likely that the crack will extend below the gum line and become even more serious. These cracks can be caused by trauma to the tooth, long-term grinding, or continued pressure from misalignment. If you see any cracks in your teeth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Cracks above the gum line may be treated with dental bonding. During this process, your dentist will use a composite resin material, which is the same type for tooth-colored fillings. We will make sure that it matches your tooth and looks natural while also sealing the crack and stopping further damage.

Deep Cracks and Split Teeth

A crack that starts above the gum line can extend downward if left untreated. It’s also possible for an impact or serious trauma to the tooth to immediately cause a deep crack. In severe cases, this can cause the tooth to split in half. If the crack is very painful, bleeding heavily, or if any portion of the tooth has fallen out, this is a dental emergency. You should save any portion of the tooth that fell out and place it in a glass of milk if possible.

The available treatments for a severely cracked tooth depend on how much of the tooth structure has been impacted. If the crack extends into the root, extraction may be necessary. An implant and crown or a bridge can be used to restore your smile after removing the damaged tooth. It might also be possible to save some of the tooth and cover it with a crown. This is highly dependent on the circumstances of the crack and your dentist will likely need to take X-rays and fully examine the damage to determine what your options are.

Repairing Cracked Teeth

At Smith Dentalworks, we offer cosmetic dentistry services for minor cracks and can also conduct more extensive repairs for seriously cracked teeth. If you are a current patient with us, emergency dental appointments are available in some cases.

If you have cracked teeth, contact us today.

When to Consider Porcelain Veneers

Your smile is often your first impression, so you want to make sure it looks its best. If there are issues with your teeth that make you feel self-conscious, it may make you hide your smile. This can affect your relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry is more effective and accessible than ever before. Porcelain veneers are one type of cosmetic procedure that can dramatically improve how your smile looks. These are thin, yet incredibly durable, porcelain shells that are placed on the front side of your teeth.

Here are some situations when you may want to consider porcelain veneers:

Discolored or Stained Teeth

If you want a brighter smile, teeth whitening is often a great option. However, this may not work for you if your teeth are severely discolored or stained. Porcelain veneers can cover this and whiten your smile. Our cosmetic dentist will work with you to find a shade the looks natural and that you are happy with.

Mild Crowding

Veneers can improve your smile if you have mildly crooked teeth. They can be placed over any teeth that are too close together to create a more uniform appearance. However, this cosmetic dental treatment is not generally suited for patients with severe crowding or misalignment. In these cases, orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign clear aligners may be necessary.

Gaps Between Teeth

Do you have a gap between one or more pairs of teeth? If so, veneers can cover the gap and improve the way your smile looks. If there are only two teeth that need correction, we can use porcelain veneers for this area of your smile and will make sure to match the shape and color of your natural teeth. We can also cover a gap as part of a full smile makeover.

Short or Small Teeth

Wear and tear can shorten your teeth over time, or you may have one tooth that is noticeably smaller than those around it. In both of these cases, porcelain veneers can add length and create a more consistent, beautiful smile.

Cracks or Chips

Surface-level imperfections on your teeth can easily be covered by veneers. Whether you have a chipped tooth, a small crack in the enamel, or another issue, we can discuss whether veneers are the best option. Other types of dental care may be more appropriate in the case of significant damage. For example, we may suggest a dental crown.

The Process of Getting Veneers

If you think porcelain veneers could be a good fit for you, the first step is a consultation at our dental office. We will examine your teeth, discuss your cosmetic goals, and develop a treatment plan. If this includes veneers, we will prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of tooth enamel. We will preserve as much tooth structure as possible during this process and will fit you with temporary veneers to wear while you wait for the permanent set. Once the final porcelain veneers are ready, you will return to our office for placement. We will make sure you love your new smile and then will provide you with care instructions to help ensure that your veneers last as long as possible.

Ready for a New Smile?

Schedule an appointment to discuss porcelain veneers or other cosmetic dental procedures.

The Process of Getting a Tooth Crown

A dental crown is a porcelain cap that either covers a natural tooth or is placed on top of a dental implant. This type of dental restoration is an excellent option for a single missing or damaged tooth. At Smith Dentalworks, we consider both form and function to help ensure your new tooth crown looks and feels natural. We will also discuss the process with you so you understand what to expect. Each case may be a little different depending on your specific circumstances, but the general elements are relatively similar.

The process of getting a crown:

For a Missing Tooth

Dental Implant

If you are getting a crown to replace a missing tooth, you will also need a dental implant. This is a titanium post that is placed in your jaw and acts as an artificial tooth root. It helps support your jaw health while also providing a strong base for your crown. Your dental implant will be placed by an oral surgeon. We will attach a temporary crown, depending on your circumstances. After a few months, the implant will heal and integrate with your bone and we will be able to proceed with the rest of the process.

Exam and Impressions

At our dental office, we will examine your implant to make sure it is ready for the crown. We will then take impressions to make sure the crown will fit properly and we will match the color and shape of the crown to surrounding teeth. A dental lab will fabricate the porcelain crown which usually takes a few weeks.

Final Tooth Crown Placement

When your crown is complete, you will return to our office for the final placement. In the case of dental implants, this can be accomplished either with an abutment or a screw. We work to ensure that the crown looks natural and that you are satisfied with its appearance. After the crown is placed, you can begin enjoying your new smile.

For a Damaged Tooth

Tooth Crown Preparation

We can usually complete dental crowns to cover damaged teeth over the course of two visits. During the first visit, we will examine your tooth and make sure a crown is the best option for restoration. If it is, we will prepare the tooth by shaping it. We use our Solea Laser and other state-of-the-art technology to make this process pain-free. Once the tooth is shaped, we will take a digital impression, match the color and shape of your crown to nearby teeth, and send this information to the dental lab. While you wait for your permanent crown, we will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth.

Dental Crown Placement

At your second appointment, we will remove the temporary crown and then attach the permanent porcelain crown to your tooth. We will make sure the fit is secure and that you are happy with the appearance of your new tooth.

Restore Your Smile at Smith Dentalworks

Smith Dentalworks provides compassionate and skilled dental care. We can use a dental crown to replace a missing tooth or to cover a damaged tooth.

Contact us today to discuss the process of getting a tooth crown.

What is a Dental Bridge?

If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a dental bridge is one possible solution. This restoration consists of two dental crowns, either placed on natural teeth or supported by dental implants, with one or more artificial teeth suspended between them. This option can restore your smile both visually and functionally.

Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant

To replace one tooth, your two main options are a bridge or a dental implant topped with a crown. A bridge uses the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support a false tooth in the middle. A surgeon will then place a dental implant in your jaw where the original tooth used to be. Your dentist will then top the implant with a crown. If you have a larger gap you need to fill, you can also use two dental implants as support for a dental bridge.

Which Type of Restoration is Right for You?

Both bridges and implants can be beneficial, so which is best for you depends on your unique situation. In general, a dental implant is a good choice for a long-term solution. This is because it continues to stimulate your jaw, which prevents bone loss. Bridges have the benefit of typically taking less time to place and may be a better fit if you already have teeth needing crowns on both sides of a gap or if existing bone loss makes dental implant surgery more difficult. In order to get a dental bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap must be strong enough to support the bridge and have long enough roots.

The Process of Getting a Dental Bridge

If you are getting a dental bridge using natural teeth as supports, we will typically complete the process in two appointments. Note that if you are getting dental implants as well, the surgery will be completed separately and your implants will need to fully heal before we can proceed with the final bridge placement.

First Appointment

During your first appointment, we will prepare your teeth for the bridge and will take impressions that will be sent to a dental lab. We will also match the shade of your bridge to your natural teeth and will make sure you are happy with the color choice before moving forward. To protect your natural teeth while you wait for the permanent restoration, we can fit you with a temporary bridge.

Second Appointment

Once your bridge is ready, you will come in for a second appointment where we will actually place the final restoration. We will make sure that everything fits perfectly and that you love your new smile. We will also go over care instructions to help ensure that your bridge lasts for as long as possible.

Restorative Dentistry at Smith Dentalworks

Missing teeth can have a huge impact on your confidence and can make it harder to eat and speak. A dental bridge is one way to restore your smile and improve your oral health.

Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss getting a dental bridge.

The Benefits of Implant Dentures

If you are missing all or nearly all of your upper and/or lower teeth, dentures are generally the best option for tooth replacement. Conventional dentures are removable and form a seal through suction with your gums. A skilled dentist can create comfortable and natural-looking conventional dentures and this is a great option for many patients. However, implant dentures may be a better fit depending on your situation. These are rows of artificial teeth that are secured in place using dental implants, which are titanium posts that are surgically placed in your jaw and act as an artificial tooth root.

Here are some of the benefits of implant-supported dentures:

Support a Healthy Jaw

Losing your teeth means that the roots are no longer stimulating your jaw. This can lead to bone resorption, a process where the body absorbs bone tissue in the jaw that is no longer being used. Bone loss can change the shape of your gums and face. Conventional dentures are not as effective at preventing this because the pressure that chewing with dentures exerts on your jaw is significantly less than it would be with natural teeth. Dental implants can help prevent bone loss and support jaw health.

Eat Comfortably

Conventional dentures may slip around in your mouth while you eat. This is especially common for lower dentures since there is less surface area for them to adhere to your gums. The movement of your dentures may make eating certain foods difficult and can make you self-conscious eating around others. Implant dentures have solid support and won’t move around, so you can enjoy all of your favorite foods.

Speak More Easily

In addition to making it harder to eat some foods, dentures that slip around in your mouth can result in trouble speaking. This can impact your confidence and is often frustrating for patients. Implant-supported dentures may make it easier to talk and pronounce sounds that are difficult with conventional dentures.

Longer Lasting

Conventional dentures typically need to be replaced every 5-8 years, whereas implant dentures can last for 20 years or more with proper care. This makes them a great investment in the long run.

Smile with Confidence

We can create beautiful implant dentures that look natural. In addition to the functional benefits of tooth replacement, one of the biggest positive outcomes is the renewed confidence that many patients feel.

The Process of Getting Implant Dentures

If you are interested in getting implant-supported dentures, your dentist can go over the process in detail. We will work with a trusted oral surgeon for your dental implant surgery and will support you throughout the process. Although you will need to wait for your implants to fully integrate with your jaw bone before we place your permanent implant dentures, we can create a temporary denture so you can enjoy your new smile sooner.

Restorative Dentistry at Smith Dentalworks

At Smith Dentalworks, we can help you get your smile back. There are many options available, including conventional and implant-supported dentures.

Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss implant dentures.

Using a Dental Implant for Tooth Replacement

Losing a tooth can have a serious negative impact on your oral health and self-esteem. Luckily, modern dentistry makes it possible to restore your smile. There are two main options for the replacement of a single tooth: a bridge or a dental implant with a crown. A bridge attaches to the two natural teeth on either side of the gap, whereas an implant is placed in your jaw with the crown on top of it. Although dental bridges can be a good choice, dental implants have the added benefit of preserving the health of your jaw.

More information on tooth implants:

What is a Dental Implant?

A diagram of a tooth, showing where the tooth root, which a dental implant replaces, is
The structure of a healthy natural tooth

A dental implant is a titanium post that an oral surgeon places in your jaw bone. It acts as an artificial tooth root. The root, as shown in the diagram above, is the portion of the tooth below the gum that extends into your jaw. The implant itself does not look or function like a tooth, so it is often paired with a crown, which is a synthetic tooth made of porcelain.

The Process of Getting an Implant and Crown

The first step in the tooth replacement process is a comprehensive oral exam, including X-rays. Your dentist will then create a customized treatment plan and will go over the process with you. The implantation process is performed by an oral surgeon, who will place the titanium post in your jawbone. If you have been missing this tooth for a long period of time, a bone graft may be necessary first to create strong enough support for the implant. Your surgeon and dentist will discuss this with you if the procedure is necessary.

Before your dentist can create and place a crown, the implant will need to fully heal and fuse with your jawbone. This is called osseointegration and generally takes several months. It may be possible to be fitted for a temporary tooth replacement during this time.

After you are done healing, your dentist will take an impression of the abutment, which is the portion of the implant above your gums, and the surrounding teeth. They will then create a custom porcelain crown. This tooth replacement is incredibly durable and looks natural. It can be cemented or screwed onto the abutment, giving you a beautiful new smile.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

A dental implant has many benefits, including:

Helps Prevent Bone Loss

When you lose a tooth, your jaw is no longer being stimulated by the root. Over time, your body may resorb the bone, causing nearby teeth to shift and possibly changing the shape of your face. An implant stimulates your jaw and helps prevent this.

Looks and Feels Natural

The combination of an implant and crown looks like a real tooth. It also makes it easier for you to eat and speak and doesn’t slip around like other types of restoration.

Long-Lasting

With proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime. The crown will usually need to be replaced after 10-15 years, although this depends on where it is placed. Crowns in the front of mouth typically last longer than those in the back.

Smile Restoration by Smith Dentalworks

Pairing a dental implant with a crown is an excellent choice for single tooth replacement. At Smith Dentalworks, we can help you replace your missing tooth or teeth so you can eat, speak, and smile confidently.

To discuss getting a dental implant and/or crown, contact us today.

In-Office Membership vs. Dental Insurance

At Smith Dentalworks, we want to help you improve and maintain your oral health. We accept a variety of payment methods and are happy to assist you in determining the best way to pay for your treatment. While we are an insurance-friendly practice, we also accept patients who do not have insurance. To help reduce the cost of your care, we offer an in-office membership plan. This plan has many benefits compared to dental insurance and may be a better choice for your needs.

How Dental Insurance Works

When you have dental insurance, you pay a monthly premium for access to coverage. The plan will typically pay for basic preventive treatment and a portion of other necessary care. This will often be subject to limitations and restrictions. Additionally, there is usually a waiting period before you can take advantage of benefits for major procedures and there are limits for how much the insurance company will pay. This may include a yearly maximum and caps on lifetime benefits per tooth.

How Our In-Office Plan Works

When you sign up for our membership plan, you pay $250/year per adult (15 years and older) or $200/year per child (14 years and under).

The plan includes the following each year:

  • Two professional cleanings
  • Two dental exams
  • Necessary X-rays
  • One emergency exam if needed
  • Two fluoride treatments for patients who are 14 years old or younger

Additionally, you get 20% off all in-office procedures.

Benefits of Membership vs. Dental Insurance

Some of the benefits of our membership plan compared to insurance:

Easy to Understand What’s Included

With dental insurance, it can be difficult to determine what is and is not covered. This can be frustrating if you are trying to plan your treatments. Our membership plan includes the preventive care mentioned above, plus a 20% discount for any care you receive in our office. This is the same for all types of procedures, so it’s easy to understand.

No Waiting Period

Because insurance often includes a waiting period, you may need to wait to get coverage for necessary treatments. This can have a negative impact on your oral health and addressing a problem sooner rather than later is usually the best option to avoid additional damage. Our membership plan does not have a waiting period, so you can start taking advantage of the benefits right away.

No Annual Maximum

Certain restorative procedures can exceed your yearly maximum for dental insurance. This leaves you responsible for 100% of the remaining cost. This is in addition to your deductible for any portion of the treatment that your insurance does cover. An in-office membership with Smith Dentalworks doesn’t have a maximum.

No Exclusions for Pre-Existing Conditions

Most dental insurance plans include exclusions for pre-existing conditions. This means that if you were missing a tooth when you signed up, you will not be able to take advantage of coverage for any restorations. In some cases, this also applies to teeth lost during the waiting period. When you sign up for our in-office membership plan, there are no pre-existing condition exclusions to worry about.

Covers Cosmetic Dentistry

It is rare for dental insurance to cover cosmetic dentistry unless it is related to necessary restorative treatment. The 20% discount included with our membership applies to all types of procedures, including cosmetic dentistry. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, veneers, or any other option to improve the way your smile looks, our plan can help make the cost more manageable.

Work Directly With Your Dentist

When you use dental insurance to pay for treatment, you may need to work with both your dentist and the insurance company to determine what is and is not covered. If you have questions, it may be difficult to determine who can help you find the answers. We are always happy to help whether you use insurance or our membership, but in the case of our in-office plan, there’s no need to work with a third party. All considerations related to your treatment and payment can be handled in our office.

Sign Up for Our In-Office Membership

If you are looking for a way to reduce the cost of your dental care without insurance, you should consider our in-office plan. The benefits are easy to understand and there are no maximum, pre-existing condition exclusions, or pre-authorization requirements.

You can sign up online or call our office for more information about how our plan is a great alternative to dental insurance and if it would be a good option for you.

 

What Bruxism Is and How We Treat It

Bruxism is when you clench or grind your teeth unconsciously. Occasional grinding is common and not usually a cause for concern, but if your bruxism is more severe it can cause serious damage. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, this can also interrupt your sleep and impact your health.

More information about bruxism and possible treatments:

Types of Bruxism

There are two main varieties of teeth grinding: awake and sleep bruxism. Both of these can be caused by stress. Grinding your teeth during the day can also be a habit when you are concentrating. Nighttime bruxism often occurs with other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sleep-related bruxism may also have a genetic link.

How to Tell If You Grind Your Teeth

Many people who grind their teeth while sleeping do not know that they are doing so until a loved one hears the noise at night or a dentist notices signs of damage. However, there are some warning signs you can watch for. If you usually wake up with jaw pain or have a constant, dull headache, it may be due to teeth grinding. A dentist can confirm whether or not there are any visible signs.

The Effects of Teeth Grinding

One of the acute effects of grinding or clenching your teeth is tooth pain. This can start minor and progress to a severe toothache if left untreated. You may also notice increased tooth sensitivity, pain in your jaw muscles and temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and even fracturing of teeth. Additionally, bruxism can reduce the longevity of any crowns, bridges, or veneers.

In the long term, persistent grinding can shorten your teeth. This is both a cosmetic and functional issue. Severe wear can deteriorate the structure of your teeth and even cause tooth loss or resorption of the bones in your jaw over time. This condition also disrupts your sleep which can lead to fatigue, lower immunity, and other health issues.

Treatment Options

Awake Bruxism

One of the most effective treatments for daytime teeth grinding is reducing your stress level. You can ask your doctor or dentist for recommendations if you aren’t sure where to start. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is also beneficial. You should also try to be aware of when you grind your teeth and, if you catch yourself doing so, place your tongue between your teeth to relax your jaw and stop the clenching.

Sleep Bruxism

Reducing stress and avoiding caffeine/alcohol consumption are also helpful for nighttime teeth clenching. In this case, a mouth guard is a good option to minimize the amount of damage that can occur. The best choice is to be fitted by a dentist for a custom occlusal night guard. The options you can find in your local drug store may worsen TMJ problems.

Struggling with Teeth Grinding?

If you are having problems with grinding or clenching your teeth, Smith Dentalworks can help. We can discuss your options with you to find treatment solutions that protect your teeth. We want you to have a beautiful, healthy smile and are here to guide you through the process of improving and maintaining your oral health.

If you have daytime or nighttime bruxism, contact us today to schedule an appointment.