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Posts for: February, 2015

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
February 12, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.

“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.

Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.

Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.

Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.

If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.

When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.

Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
February 04, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sedation dentistry  

If you're like most people, taking a trip to the dentist isn't exactly your idea of "fun." With reminders of an upcoming dentist appointment giving way to defeated sighs, somber shakes of the head, or dreamy thoughts of rescheduling-- tonever-- it's no wonder even a routine dentist appointment is rarely looked highly upon. After all, the fear and trepidation of being attached to a dentist chair as Sedation Dentistrysome guy in a mask screws around - literally - inside your mouth isn't something to look forward to.

But at Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc., all those bad memories of the dentist can be no more - because you don't even have to have the memories in the first place! That's because sedation dentistry offers a unique new way to experience a relaxed, calm trip to the dentist by providing an ideal solution for even the most fearful patients. Using sedatives that can relax skittish patients even during invasive procedures, sedation dentistry invokes the use of relaxants like nitrous oxide or light oral sedation while the patient is alert. Not long after, the patient will slip into a controlled state of beautiful relaxation, and oftentimes come to not even remembering the details of the procedure that just took place in their mouth!

Patients who undergo sedation dentistry allow their dental professionals to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, too, as patients with dental phobia specifically are rendered cooperative enough for their dental specialist to make record time in their mouth. This allows patients young and old who particularly despise the dentist to finally achieve the smile they've been too scared to go under for - and they won't even have bad memories left over!

Sedation dentistry makes coming into the dentist's office a breeze, helping even those patients with extreme dental phobia grin wide about their upcoming smile makeover. For more information on sedation dentistry and how it makes each trip to the dentist that much easier, give Dr. Posey's office a call today at (559) 227-6755 for full dental relief right here in Fresno, CA!

Fresno, CA Dentist
Curt P. Posey, DDS, INC.
7078 N. Maple Ave. Ste #105
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 227-6755
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