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Bruxism/Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is the dental term for teeth grinding. Most people grind their teeth from time to time with little to no damage to the teeth or jaw. However, those who continually grind their teeth can cause serious damage to their teeth and other oral health complications can arise.

Bruxism refers to any type of forceful contact between the teeth. This can be a loud and grating contact or a silent and clenching contact. Either form can cause serious damage to the teeth. Many aren’t aware that they have the condition because they grind their teeth only in their sleep. However, bruxism can occur during waking hours as well.

Adults and children both can suffer from the condition. Alcohol, drugs, and certain sleep disorders can exacerbate the condition, making it worse. Children usually develop bruxism as a result of a cold or infection. Often pain from teething or earaches will induce bruxism in toddlers and children.

Why do I grind my teeth?

The cause of bruxism is still unknown. However, it is believed that increased stress and anxiety can greatly increase how often and how severely you grind your teeth. Having an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth are also thought to contribute to teeth grinding.

Why is bruxism bad?

Occasional bruxism usually does not result in damage to the teeth or jaw. However, chronic teeth grinding can cause serious dental issues. In some cases, grinding can result in tooth fracture, loosening of teeth, or the loss of a tooth or teeth. Grinding over years without treatment can wear the teeth down to stumps, which will require bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, or possibly even Dentures to repair.

Not only is bruxism bad for your teeth, it is also damaging to the jaw. Grinding can result in hearing loss, change the appearance of your face, and TMJ.

What can I do to stop grinding my teeth?

Being fitted for a mouth guard/night guard will help protect your teeth from the effects of grinding while you sleep. However, in order to cease grinding completely it’s important to treat the triggers for why you grind your teeth.

If stress is causing your bruxism, ask your doctor or Dentist about stress reduction techniques and options. Exercise, stress counseling, or prescription muscle relaxers may help reduce how often or severely you grind your teeth.

Other tips to help reduce bruxism include:
• Cut back or eliminate foods that contain caffeine from your diet. This includes coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate.
• Avoid alcohol. Alcohol tends to increase the severity and frequency of bruxism.
• Don’t chew on anything that is not food. This includes gum, pencils, or pens. Constantly chewing conditions your jaw muscles to stay clenched and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
• Pay attention to your mouth. If you notice that you grind or clench your teeth during the day, train yourself to relax. Position the tip of your tongue between your front teeth to make it harder to clench or grind your teeth.
• Relax your jaw before bed. Using a warm washcloth on the face at night will help relax the jaw prior to sleep. Position it on your check in front of your earlobe to get maximum results.

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Anti-Aging Dentistry

Our goal is always to provide each of our patients with a healthy smile that is free from disease and decay. However, simply having a healthy smile is not always enough. Many of our patients also want a beautiful smile that they can be proud to show off. A brighter, straighter, and more youthful smile can boost your self-esteem and benefit all aspects of your life.

As you age, your teeth naturally yellow and shift in the mouth. What were once beautifully straight and white teeth may now be crooked, worn down, broken and dull. Grinding can make the teeth smaller and ill fitting dentures can make the face look sunken in. However, these effects of aging do not have to be permanent!

Anti-aging Dentistry focuses on the use of Cosmetic Dentistry to reduce the signs of aging without the surgery required for a facelift. The use of invisible aligners, dental implants, whitening, dentures, and healthier gums are just a few of the treatment options we employ to make your smile look more youthful.

During your consultation, the doctor will take into account every aspect of your face, not just your smile. The treatment plan the doctor presents will not only improve your smile but can also smooth the wrinkles around your mouth, fill out the jawline, and balance the appearance of your smile. Anti-aging dentistry can instantly remove 5-10 years off of your appearance!

Best Dentist at San Marcos, California
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All-On-4 Implant Supported Dentures

All-on-4 Denture Implants are an ideal solution for San Diego dental patients who have an insufficient amount of bone. Besides using just four implants, All-on-4 denture implants maximize existing bone and do not typically require bone grafting, making them a good fit for patients with less bone density.

All-on-4 Procedure

Before the treatment begins, Dr. Valentina Obradovic numbs the area to prevent patients from feeling any discomfort or pain during the procedure. She then places four denture implants in areas where the bone is most voluminous. Once the implants are placed, Dr. Obradovic creates a framework for a temporary set of teeth using a new or existing denture.

Full integration between the bone and implant usually takes three to four months. At this juncture, Dr. Obradovic will replace the temporary teeth with a new, custom-made, permanent set that is anchored into place.

Advantages of All-on-4 Denture Implants

• Tested. All-on-4 denture implants have been used for over a decade.
• High success rate. At the four year follow-up, All-on-4 has a 98.5 percent success rate.
• Affordable. All-on-4 denture implants are less costly than single implant procedures.
• Easy maintenance. All-on-4 denture implants do not have removable appliances, making for easy care and maintenance.
• Balance. All-on-4 denture implants balance and stabilize bone level.
• Greater confidence. A beautiful smile can make you feel more confident and boost your self-esteem.
• Quality of life. With All-on-4 denture implants, you can enjoy all of your favorite foods once again.

Dr. Obradovic offers All-on-4 denture implants and a variety of other treatments at Adriatic Dental, a full-service San Diego Dental Practice.

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Introduction to Dental Implants

If you are searching for missing teeth help, you are not alone. 69 percent of adults between ages 35 and 45 have lost at least one tooth due to gum disease, decay, or injury. This number only continues to rise as we age, and postponing treatment can jeopardize the health of your remaining teeth, so it is important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. Due to advances in dental implant technology, implants are now regarded as the preferred treatment for replacing missing teeth. Although dentures and fixed bridges are still commonly used, both present complications that make them less favorable long-term solutions. Dr. Valentina Obradovic of Adriatic Dental is well-equipped to provide you with the missing teeth help you need. The San Marcos dental practice specializes in implant dentistry and Dr. Obradovic can help you identify the best treatment for your individual needs.

San Marcos Dental Implants 101

Dental Implants are unique in their natural compatibility with the body. Because they are constructed from titanium, implants are capable of integrating with your jaw bone once they are surgically placed there. Dentures and bridges are made from incompatible materials like cast metal, plastic, and acrylic, which can aggravate the gum tissue. Since implants are surgically embedded in the gums, they also provide a level of stability that other replacement solutions cannot compare to.

Dental implant technology has continued to evolve over the last two decades, but even patients who received implants in the 1980s and 1990s still report optimal functionality. Not only do implants have a 97 percent success rate, they lack the complications that often accompany alternatives like bridges and Dentures.

Adriatic Dental, a San Marcos Dental practice, can provide you with missing teeth help through implant dentistry.

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LANAP® Laser Treatment

The effects of gum disease can reach far beyond your mouth; Periodontal Disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and low birth weight babies in addition to increasing your risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as 64 percent. Gum disease affects millions, yet many people postpone treatment due to the invasiveness of traditional treatments. However, by harnessing advanced laser technology, Dr. Valentina Obradovic can now offer the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®), a ground-breaking gum disease treatment that is minimally invasive, highly effective, and can assist with tooth loss prevention.

Tooth Loss Prevention: Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease and how LANAP® can help!

Gum disease begins when tartar and bacteria trapped beneath the gum line lead to infection. Periodontal disease evolves over time, but can be reversed in the early stages with intervention. By gaining insight into this progression, patients may be able to recognize the signs and seek appropriate gum disease treatment to aide in tooth loss prevention.

1. Gingivitis. The mildest form of periodontal disease, a pocket is formed between the gum and tooth, and symptoms include inflamed gums that may bleed while brushing or flossing. At this first stage, gingivitis can usually be reversed with cleanings and stricter adherence to dental hygiene, so it is important to be on the lookout for these signs to increase the chances of tooth loss prevention.

2. Periodontitis. As Gum Disease progresses, infection and inflammation spread to the bone supporting the teeth. Gum recession may occur as ligaments break down. Pockets deepen and you may experience redness, swelling, and bleeding as bacteria multiplies and the infection starts destroying the bone.

3. Advanced Periodontitis. In the advanced stage, bone loss continues and teeth begin to loosen due to the loss of ligament and bone. The periodontal pockets deepen even further, often filling with pus. Your teeth may hurt when brush and feel sensitive to heat or cold. In some cases, removing teeth may be necessary to stop the infection from spreading, but choosing a gum disease treatment like LANAP® might allow you to keep your natural teeth.

Dr. Valentina Obradovic offers the LANAP® gum disease treatment at Adriatic Dental in San Marcos, CA. If you would like to learn more about gum disease treatment and tooth loss prevention, call to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Obradovic.

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Tooth and Bone Loss

Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons. Anything from disease, injury, birth defect, to decay can result in teeth being lost or removed. However, many dental and health problems can result from tooth loss or removal.

Diet

Without properly aligned teeth, an individual might not be able to chew correctly, and diet could be affected. With missing teeth, or no teeth altogether, chewing becomes very difficult or impossible. The diet then becomes restricted to soft, easily chewed foods. This kind of diet might not meet the nutrition needs of the body which can cause constipation, weight loss, arthritis, indigestion, and rheumatism.

Teeth are important to meeting the nutritional needs of the body. Without them, the health of the body can be severely impacted.

Speech

Teeth play a major part in speech. Some letter sounds such as s, z, d, x, n, th, and sh are made with tongue-to-tooth contact. Without teeth, these sounds will not be able to be made easily and may result in a lisp. Lisping can be an embarrassing condition and may make it hard for you to be understood.

The tongue is also affected by lost teeth. With no teeth to keep it in place, the tongue will broaden out and fill in the newly open space. This thickened tongue makes it harder to control and may also result in difficult-to-understand speech.

Bone Loss in the Jaw

Teeth do more than just help us chew our food and speak. They actually serve to stimulate the bone in the jaw. Each time you chew, the teeth stimulate the bone. Without this natural stimulation, the alveolar bone–the portion of the jawbone that anchors teeth in the mouth–begins to break down and is re-absorbed into the body. Since there are no longer teeth there that “need” the jawbone, the bone deteriorates and disintegrates.

The rate of deterioration varies per person; however, it begins almost immediately after a tooth is lost or removed and continues throughout life. Once deterioration reaches a certain point, dental prosthetics–such as Dentures–will no longer be useful because there will not be enough bone to support them.

Misalignment

Misalignment occurs when teeth no longer have an opposing tooth structure. The tooth with no counterpart can become loose, and the bone supporting it may begin to deteriorate because of lack of stimulation. Losing even one tooth may cause the remaining teeth to shift their position, altering an individual’s bite pattern and leading to pain in the head, neck, and jaw.

Facial Appearance

Teeth are also designed to hold the lips and cheeks in place. When teeth are missing, the lips and cheeks do not have their natural support system. When closed, the mouth will appear “sunken in” without the support of the teeth. This can age the appearance of the person greatly.
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Stroke

What is a Stroke?

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and the leading cause of death in older Americans. It is estimated that an American suffers from stroke every 45 seconds. With one in four men and one in five women over the age of 45 suffering from a stroke, reducing your risk of having one is very important.

Stroke occurs when the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen are damaged or compromised. Restricting the brain of oxygen, even briefly, can result in a stroke. Strokes are widely feared because of their debilitating aftermath. Even minor or mini-strokes can result in life-altering consequences, such as paralysis, weakness, aphasia (losing the ability to speak, write, or understand language), and mental health changes.

Stroke and Periodontal Disease

Recent studies have shown that people with moderate to advanced Periodontal Disease are at a greater risk for having a stoke. One study published by the American Stroke Association in 2004 showed that patients with severe periodontitis, or gum disease, had a 4.3 times higher risk of stroke than those with mild or no periodontal disease. The bottom line is: If you have an infection in your mouth 24 hours a day for 7 days per week, then it is going to spread to your entire body!

New studies are released every year linking periodontal disease and stroke. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable and treatable and is an easy way to eliminate one risk factor you may have for stroke.