Potential Negative Side-Effects of Strress on our Teeth and Jaw - Complete Dental

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Let’s Talk About Gums

We celebrate Dental Health Month every August by visiting our community prep and kindergarten groups and by decorating our practice with the dental topic set by the ADA (Australian Dental Association).

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Celebrating New Mums

This month we celebrate mother’s day, so we’d like to congratulate all the new Mums everywhere as well as the Mums ‘in waiting’. And to the more experienced Mums we want to say we appreciate all you do to establish good dental hygiene at home and in providing access to regular dental care for your developing kids.

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Potential Negative Side-Effects of Strress on our Teeth and Jaw

As the financial year draws to a close many of us are caught up in extra tasks to prepare for the 30th June deadline. It’s not uncommon for the stress that accompanies any target to contribute to clenching and grinding of our teeth. Understanding the effects, treatment options and prevention is covered in our blog this month.

The dental term used to describe the above is Bruxism and like most dental concerns is best treated early before any irreversible affect occurs on our teeth or jaw.

We recognise that most excessive clenching and grinding may occur during our sleep and although it can be triggered by a few factors it can be associated with more stressful or anxious times (e.g. EOFY). During sleep our brain is often busy working on our impending ‘check list’. The result of this heavy pressure onto the tooth structure is a major cause of fractures, especially on the hard-working posterior teeth.

During your routine dental examination appointment we look for the following signs of bruxism:

  • Worn teeth presentation with a reduced height of the natural tooth structure, or a chipped appearance
  • Soft tissue visible change include: a horizontal line on the inside cheek where the teeth rest against that site and the outer tongue surface showing a scalloped pattern indicating clenching
  • Microfractures or stress lines visible in the enamel
  • Increased recession (shrinking back) of the gumline due to pressure onto the tooth
  • Loose teeth (often the last molar in the lower teeth) as result of intense pressure over time
  • If you report pain on biting hard foods, including small seeds, it is often as a result of a more major fracture in the tooth, which sadly sometimes extends into the root and therefore is not always restorable and can lead to the tooth needing to be removed
  • If you have been experiencing pain in the jaw muscles, jaw joint (also known as the TMJ short for temporal mandibular joint), headaches, neck pain and even ear ache may be reported as a result of clenching

Some of the treatment options include:

  • Repair of any broken teeth, including sometimes placing a strong crown over the tooth and then prevention of repeat dental trauma from ongoing bruxism
  • When important back teeth are missing, replacement options can reduce pressure onto the remaining teeth and achieve a more balanced bite. This may be achieved with a partial denture or implant placement
  • Having an occlusal splint (or night guard) made by us, that fits comfortably over your teeth to wear during sleep
  • Botox injections into the jaw muscle to release the force and tension and over-ride the pressure that the muscle can otherwise apply
  • If poor teeth alignment is contributing to grinding or broken teeth, orthodontics not only straighten teeth but also improves the way the jaws function together
  • 3D Radiograph or cone beam / CT scan of the jaw joint for assessment

Prevention of future Bruxism may involve:

    • Referral to a Physiotherapist who specialises in jaw treatments and prevention exercises
    • Requesting a sleep study to rule out Sleep Apnoea as a cause of night-time bruxism
    • Ongoing wear of a night guard (splint) or snoring device
    • Strategies for stress management or relaxation methods
    • Speaking with your GP if pain becomes unmanageable to discuss options with them

Please do not hesitate to book a time to discuss any of the above concerns and options in more detail. Prevention is far better than leaving unmanaged, which can lead to more complex treatment needs.

Dental treatments personalised for you

We go the extra mile to adapt our services to ensure your complete comfort. Should you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, we are always available for a reassuring chat — just give us a call on 3396 4094.

Preferred Provider for dental health insurance

Complete Dental is a Preferred Provider for several health funds, so you benefit from the best possible rebates on your dental treatments. It's important to note that we welcome and accept all health funds, making quality dental care accessible for everyone.

Our promise to you

At Bastow & Chye Complete Dental, we promise to provide you with exceptional dental care. We are committed to creating a welcoming, comfortable environment where your wellbeing is our top priority. From our personalised treatment plans to our patient-centric philosophy, we strive to make each visit a positive experience. As a Preferred Provider for multiple health funds and with two convenient locations in Wynnum West and Lota, we aim to make quality dental care both accessible and affordable. Our goal is to be your partner in maintaining a healthy, radiant smile throughout every phase of your life.

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