Grinding teeth, called bruxism, may develop at any age. It is usually done unconsciously in sleep, but it can also occur when a person is awake.
Stress, anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol, caffeine, depression and sleep disorders are all possible causes of teeth grinding. Bruxism is found more frequently in people who snore or suffer from obstructive sleep and in people whose lifestyle includes smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine.
The treatment for teeth grinding depends on its cause, which is evaluated by dentist with a comprehensive exam.
If you’re still not sure what’s causing you to grind your teeth, see your general dentist. Not only will your general dentist help you find the solution to your problem, but regular dental visits will allow your general dentist to check for its signs and help you control it before the damage gets out of hand.
Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected and most people experience it at least once. It is much less common in children. As per Canadian Dental Association (CDA), 7 out of 10 Canadians develop gum disease at some time in their lives. The incidence of gum disease is very high. It is seen in all types of people, all races and cultures, regardless of where they live or their level of education
People who do not go to a family dentist are frequently unaware they have a problem — an estimated 20 per cent of Canadians have active periodontal disease and do not know it.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic infection that can result in a number of health problems, from mild inflammation to severe gum damage to tooth loss, if left untreated. In addition, gum disease can affect your overall health, and has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
It is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth, and is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated, a condition called periodontitis can develop. This affects the tissues that support teeth and hold them in place.
Signs of Gum Disease:
Your oral health is critical to your overall health. If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek care from a dentist who is knowledgeable about treating gum disease:
A sour taste in your mouth or persistently bad breath
A change in how your partial dentures fit
A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite down
Gum tissue that pulls away from your teeth
Loose teeth or increasing spaces between your teeth
Pain when chewing
Unusually sensitive teeth
Swollen and tender gums
Gum Disease Treatment Options:
Regular professional deep cleanings
Medications that are either taken orally or are inserted directly into infected tissue pockets
Surgery, in more severe cases of gum disease.
Good oral hygiene home practices i.e. brushing + flossing.
Despite following good oral hygiene practices, people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. If anyone in your family has gum disease, it may mean that you are at greater risk, as well. If you are more susceptible to gum disease, your dentist or periodontist may recommend more frequent check-ups, cleanings, and treatments to better manage the condition.
Everyone suffers occasionally from bad breath. Bad breath is most commonly caused by conditions in your mouth, such as the food you eat, and how often you clean your teeth, gums and tongue. This is a dental problem, which you can probably fix yourself.
Read these tips on how to keep your breath fresh:
Floss and brush your teeth, gums and tongue daily to prevent bad breath. Clean as far back on your tongue as you can, as that’s where bacteria often collect. If you don’t clean your mouth, any remaining food particles will attract bacteria, which cause bad breath and contribute to tooth decay.
Brush and floss your teeth after eating. If you can’t do a thorough cleaning, drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum are good options.
Use fluoride mouth rinse for fresher breath. Not only can decayed teeth hurt, they may have an awful odor. Tooth decay can be prevented with fluoride toothpaste and proper dental care.
Be aware that certain foods — such as garlic, onions and some spices — can contribute to bad breath for up to 72 hours after eating.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Keep your nasal passages free. Blowing your nose and making sure you are breathing through your nose rather than your mouth will contribute to fresher breath.
Eat more fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables. The act of chewing on raw, healthy foods enhances saliva flow and also pushes food debris out from between teeth and spaces between the gums and teeth.
Bad breath can also be an early symptom of periodontal or gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that affects the gums and jawbone, which can lead to a loss of gum and teeth. If left alone, the bacteria will build up on your teeth and irritate the gums. Flossing helps removes food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Be sure to also visit your dentist for periodic cleanings and exams.
Dry mouth leads to bad breath. Saliva inhibits the growth of bacteria that contribute to bad breath by cleansing the mouth and removing odour-causing food particles. Dry mouth is also caused by some medications, alcohol and breathing with your mouth open. Drink plenty of water or chew sugar-free gum or candy to keep your mouth moist.
Chronic bad breath however, can be a visible sign that something is not right. If bad breath persists, schedule an appointment with your dentist. It can be an indicator of gum disease or dry mouth. If it is due to an oral condition, your dentist can develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.