My Blog

Posts for tag: sensitivity

There’s nothing sweeter than a sleeping child. The peaceful look of contentment, the gentle breathing, a small smile as they enjoy a happy dream – it all seems perfect. Until you hear it. A loud grinding and gnashing noise that comes from their small mouth? What is that? And is it as bad as it sounds?
 

Bruxism- What Is It?
 

Bruxism is the medical term from grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. For children, it’s more common for these behaviors to be displayed during sleep, rather than while they are awake. Sleep Bruxism is actually considered a sleep-related movement disorder. The disorder is also called nocturnal bruxism, nocturnal tooth-grinding and nocturnal tooth-clenching.
 

While bruxism in children is fairly common, the exact cause of sleep bruxism is unknown. It has been linked to improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth, stress, anxiety, a response to pain, such as an earache or teething and other medical conditions.
 

Because most children display these behaviors only when sleeping, it’s nearly impossible for them to know that they do it. You will need to observe your child while he or she sleeps. Symptoms that your child is suffering from sleep bruxism include:
 

  • Abnormal wear of the teeth
  • Sounds associated with bruxism (Think loud chomping and grinding noises in their mouth!)
  • Jaw muscle discomfort
  • Complaining of headaches
  • Tooth sensitivity
     

Impact of Bruxism on Child’s Health:
 

Most children will outgrow bruxism, and sometimes, it may go totally undetected. However, even if they don’t complain of jaw pain or other symptoms, bruxism can still have negative effects on your child’s teeth and general health. The grinding and gnashing can cause headaches and earaches. Over time, it can also wear down the tooth enamel, chip teeth and cause temperature sensitivity. Children that exhibit more severe bruxism may even have TMJ problems.
 

What Can You Do?
 

While there may not be a lot you can do to stop your child from clenching or grinding in their sleep, there are ways you can help lessen the frequency and intensity of incidences. If stress or anxiety is the cause of the bruxism, encourage your child to relax before bedtime with warm baths, soothing music, relaxing books and stories. Try to identify the areas causing stress and anxiety and help your child through it.
 

If you think your child is grinding his or her teeth, schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist, who will examine the teeth for chipped enamel and unusual wear and tear. They may spray air and water on the teeth to check for unusual sensitivity. In severe cases, your pediatric dentist may recommend a nighttime mouth guard for your child to wear while he or she sleeps. Since most children won’t be excited to keep this in their mouth, it’s not likely that your pediatric dentist would recommend this for very young children. For young children, relieving stress and anxiety, encouraging relaxation at bedtime and monitoring damage are the best options. Eliminating afternoon caffeine and turning electronics off two hours before bedtime may also help them sleep better.
 

If you are looking for a dental home for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to be your trusted partner in your child’s oral health. Call us today at 864-760-1440. Let us give you Something to Smile About!

 

 

Summer is upon us. That means ice cream, popsicles and cold drinks. For some, even the thought of ice cream touching their teeth is enough to send them over the edge. That’s because they are experiencing the symptoms of sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth are usually a sign of an underlying dental issue, such as tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel or an exposed tooth root.

Our teeth are protected by enamel, which forms a barrier and defense against hot, cold, sour and acidic foods. Under the gum line, the tooth root is protected by a thin layer called cementum. Under both the enamel and cementum is a layer called dentin. The dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains small hollow canals.

When the enamel or cementum of a tooth is worn down, the dentin loses its protective covering. The hollow canals in the dentin allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. The result can be hypersensitivity.

Enamel can become weaker with age, a diet high in sugar or acidity and a history of acid reflux disease. Receding gums, which are typically a side-effect of gum disease or gingivitis, can also expose dentin and lead to sensitivity.

 

Tooth hypersensitivity is almost always a sign of a broader dental health concern. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to live with sensitive teeth forever. Sensitive teeth can be treated. Depending on what is causing your sensitivity, your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste

Toothpaste made for sensitive teeth contains potassium nitrate, an ingredient that, according to the ADA, helps to "depolarize" nerve endings in the teeth.
 

  • Fluoride gel
    Applied in-office, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
     
  • Crown
     May be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
     
  • Root canal
    If sensitivity is severe and persistent and does not respond to other treatment options, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

As with all dental issues, proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet are key. If your child is experiencing dental pain from sensitive teeth, or you have questions or concerns, we would love to help. Contact Anderson Pediatric Dentistry today at 864-760-1440.

 

What You Need to Know About Chlorine

 


It’s summertime and we are all excited for school to be out and pools to be open! As temperatures climb and summer activities begin, we want to start discussing some summer safety tips for your teeth. That’s right. I said safety tips for your teeth. Chances are, when you head to the pool this summer, you aren’t going to be thinking much about your teeth. You’ll pack your sunscreen, hats, pool floats and flip flops, and your teeth won’t even be on your list of concerns. But maybe they should be!

 

Pools with too much chlorine contain pH levels that can cause enamel erosion as water occasionally seeps into your mouth during your swim session. When you and/or your children are swimming frequently, this constant exposure can cause long term damage. When the enamel wears downs, teeth can become discolored, the edges can become transparent and you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold.

 

How can you tell if a pool is over-chlorinated?

 

Chlorine is not noticeable to the naked eye and only ph testing can reveal accurate results. However, you can look for telltale signs when in a public pool or on vacation. Take notice of pool linings, railings and ladders that are eroded. It’s likely due to acidic water eating away at the surfaces. Pool water that's too acidic may do the same damage to your teeth.

 

If it’s your home pool, regularly test your ph and make sure to keep water between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale.

 

How can you prevent chlorine damage to your teeth?

 

The biggest thing you can do to prevent chlorine damage on your teeth is to keep your mouth shut while you’re in the pool.

 

While it’s not possible to keep pool water from ever touching your teeth, you should avoid opening your mouth under water as much as possible. Teach your kids not to drink the water, hold it in their mouths or spray it from their mouths. So, when your kid comes up with a mouthful of water and sprays it at you like a sprinkler, remind them that not only does the water likely contain urine (eww!), but it’s also damaging their teeth! The less amount of pool water you get in your mouth, the better!

 

It may seem like a hard habit to start, but pack your toothbrush and brush your teeth as soon as you get done swimming. Long hours spent poolside are often accompanied by sugary drinks and snacks. Bacteria and sugar, combined with chlorine, is a disaster waiting to happen! Brushing right after you finish swimming will remove the bacteria and sugar, as well as the chlorine, lessening the chances of staining and decay.

 

Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants everyone to have a wonderful and safe summer, full of great memories and beautiful smiles. If you notice staining on your child’s teeth after hours of swimming, or if you have any questions about how to keep your child’s smile safe this summer, please give us a call at 864-760-1440.