Bye-Bye, Buck Teeth! How to Overcome an Overbite

“Overbite”, “overjet” or simply “buck teeth”– protruding teeth can go by many names, but “pretty” isn’t one of them. And they aren’t comfortable either; upper teeth that extend well past the lower teeth can often make it difficult to close the mouth, chew or speak easily.

It’s a common condition, but not one that people have to live with. In fact, there are just as many corrective methods for this dental problem as the names it has been given! If you (or a loved one) has buck teeth, get an in-depth look at what may have caused it and what you can do to prevent it from becoming a lifelong burden on your looks, oral health and self-esteem.

Causes of Buck Teeth

Buck teeth can easily be identified at a very early age, and can be due to a variety of factors including:

  • Genes: a person can inherit the problem if born with naturally uneven jaws
  • Habits: teeth can jut out after constant pacifier/thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
  • Crowded teeth: crookedness, facial injury and/or tooth abnormalities can play a role

The severity of the condition can vary from mild to extreme, and may gradually become worse over time if left untreated.

Treatment Options

Age and the depth of a patient’s overbite are two primary factors that can dictate the type of treatment an orthodontist chooses to correct the problem. New techniques are always being explored, but here are a few of the most common recommendations:

1. Braces
Whether metal, ceramic or clear, it’s a popular route many orthodontists take to fix protruding teeth. Teeth that are jutting out are straightened and forced closer in alignment with the lower jaw by tightening the braces over time.

2. Aligners
In mild cases of protruding teeth, clear, removable aligners may be a more comfortable and convenient option. Aligners use less force (and thus result in less pain) than braces and can be removed for added ease when brushing or flossing.

3. Surgery
Extreme cases in which the overbite is due to skeletal/jaw structure may require surgery. Patients who fall into this category are referred to an oral maxillofacial surgeon, and surgery usually involves pushing the maxilla bones (which form the upper jaw) behind, or moving the mandible (lower jaw) forward.

Surgery aside, the length of time it takes to achieve results is largely due to when the problem is treated. Younger patients whose jaws are still developing typically require less time to correct an overbite compared to adults whose jaws are not as malleable.

Benefits of Treatment

Even the mildest cases of overbite can reap significant benefits from professional treatment. Perhaps the most noticeable improvement is cosmetic in nature. Once treatment is complete, any bulging around the mouth disappears and patients may experience less strain in their facial muscles.

Being able to open and close the mouth more easily can also vastly improve speech, especially for those who adopted a slur or lisp due to an overbite. And last but not least, better alignment of the teeth can have a profound effect on oral health, making it easier to clean the teeth and minimize the risk of jaw-related disorders such as TMJ.

If you’ve been battling a case of buck teeth, get it fixed for good by finding an orthodontist near you.

Sources:

http://dentaloptionspa.com/orthodontic-disorders-aventura-fl.html

http://www.beecroftortho.com/2014/06/overbite-causes-treatments/

Not a Fan of Flossing? Try These Alternatives.

First there was the toothpick, then there was floss, and now there are a bevy of new dental tools making their way to the shelves of your local stores. Why the need to keep innovating? Simply put: plaque removal is just not fun…but these alternatives sure help!

For those fed up with flossing, or the many who fail to follow through with it altogether, gingivitis is not inevitable. Give these new solutions a try and say goodbye to knotted string, cramped fingers and excessive plaque build up for good.

1. Floss Picks

If you’re overwhelmed by all the new dental care products available, this could be a solid upgrade for you. Floss is strung tightly between two points to provide optimal tension no matter your angle of approach, with a handle for added comfort. Some varieties even come with a tongue scraper as an added bonus, and most are sold in convenient bags that make sharing more hygienic and easy.

2. Electronic Flossers

Now you can completely forget manual flossing and let an electronic device do the job. Similar in appearance to the floss pick but attached to an energy source, vibrations are emitted to remove plaque quickly and efficiently. Having the flossing motion done for you can make the process faster, but you should pay extra attention to the speed setting and pressure applied to your gums to avoid bleeding and other oral injuries.

3. Interdental Brushes/Flossers

It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Instead of using string, a small brush with fine bristles is inserted between the gaps of your teeth. One swift motion in and out is all it takes, quickly removing plaque and gently (but effectively) stimulating your gums in less time than floss. No sawing and string winding are necessary, and it can be done with one hand.

4. Water (or Oral) Irrigators

For comfortable, yet efficient plaque removal, oral irrigators are your best bet. Instead of floss, picks or brushes, strong pulses of water are directed between your teeth to dislodge bacteria and stuck food particles. Oral irrigators are also effective at removing tonsil stones, a common cause of halitosis (bad breath). Home devices can range in size with varying speed options, but portable options also exist for added convenience.

Which One is Right for You

Any of these solutions is better than not flossing at all, but a little research and even a few product trials can help you figure out the best floss alternative for your budget and lifestyle.

Consulting with your dentist can also help narrow down your options based on your oral health. He or she may recommend one option and advise against others due to individual factors such as gum sensitivity, past dental work and orthodontic hardware.

For added assurance on the safety and effectiveness of the product you choose, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on the packaging. Finally, always proceed with extra care, and stop immediately if you notice excessive bleeding, receding gum lines or other issues you think may be linked to a flossing/plaque removal product.

Sources:

http://www.oralb.com/topics/dental-floss-picks.aspx

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/flossing-alternatives_n_1119217

Why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?

By: Jennifer Berry, Medical News Today

🤒 Is tooth sensitivity after a filling normal?

Learn the reasons why it occurs, treatments to help relieve tooth sensitivity, and when to see us viaMedical News Today! The Oral Surgery DC Team

A filling is a dental procedure that involves a dentist cleaning away any decay from the tooth and then filling the space with new material.

After injecting a numbing agent around the tooth, the dentist will then clean out the decayed area of the tooth, usually with a dental drill. They will then fill the space with gold, silver amalgam, a composite, or porcelain.

For several hours after having a filling, a person’s face may still feel numb, tingly, itchy, or puffy. They may have difficulty eating, swallowing, talking, or moving their face.

Sometimes, dentists recommend that people avoid eating or drinking for a few hours, as this may result in a person accidentally biting their tongue or cheek.

Once the numbing agent has worn off, these feelings will go away. But, in the following days and weeks, a person may notice some new sensations as they adjust to the new filling.

Sensitivity in the filled tooth or area around it is one of the most common occurrences during this time.

What does sensitivity after a filling feel like?

When a person has a sensitive tooth, they may notice that certain triggers cause a temporary, uncomfortable sensation in the filled tooth or surrounding area. It may feel like a shock of cold or sudden pain that comes on quickly and goes away.

Factors that can trigger tooth sensitivity after a filling include:

  • cold foods or drinks, such as ice cream, popsicles, or beverages with ice
  • hot drinks, such as coffee or tea
  • air hitting the tooth, such as when breathing through the mouth, which may be worse with cold air
  • sugary foods, such as candy
  • acidic foods and drinks, including fruit, juice, and coffee
  • biting down when eating

Why do fillings cause tooth sensitivity?

Some sensitivity after a tooth filling is normal and temporary. Sometimes, however, sensitivity after a filling is due to other causes that need treatment or repair.

Below, we discuss possible reasons for this symptom and when to see a dentist.

An irritated nerve

Short-term tooth sensitivity after a filling usually occurs because the filling procedure has aggravated or caused inflammation in the nerve inside the tooth.

Usually, the tooth’s outer layers — the enamel and cementum — protect the nerve from exposure. But fillings, especially deep ones, can get close to the nerve endings and cause irritation and uncomfortable sensations.

As the nerve heals, the sensitivity will go away. This may take a few days or weeks. Once the nerve has healed fully, a person should feel no difference between the filled tooth and the other teeth.

Incorrect bite alignment

A dentist must ensure that the filling lines up with the other teeth in the mouth. If the filling is too tall, it can cause extra pressure as a person bites down. This can cause pain and sensitivity that is often more severe than normal post-filling sensitivity.

It is quite normal for a person to experience some minor sensitivity when biting down in the days following the procedure. Typically, the bite will correct itself within a few weeks.

However, if a person experiences severe sensitivity, or they have difficulty eating or putting their teeth together, they should ask their dentist to check the bite. The dentist may decide to smooth down the high point of the filling to properly fit the bite and eliminate discomfort.

Pulpitis

Pulpitis is inflammation of the pulp deep within the tooth. It can cause tooth sensitivity and pain.

Pulpitis does not regularly occur with minor fillings, but it might happen if:

  • the tooth has had trauma, such as from an accident that resulted in a cracked or broken tooth
  • the cavity was very deep, reaching the inner pulp layer
  • the tooth has undergone multiple fillings or procedures

There are two types of pulpitis:

  • reversible pulpitis refers to mild inflammation where the pulp remains healthy, and the tooth will heal on its own
  • irreversible pulpitis is when there is a damaged nerve that starts to die, in which case a person will need a root canal to save the tooth

A dentist can usually resolve pulpitis with a new filling or a restorative procedure, such as a root canal. A person may also need to take antibiotics to clear any bacterial infection.

How to treat a sensitive tooth

When a person experiences normal, post-filling sensitivity, a dentist may recommend that they use a desensitizing toothpaste.

These products contain an ingredient called potassium nitrate that helps stop the sensations on the surface of the tooth from reaching the nerve endings inside.

These products do not work immediately, but a person should notice relief within several days if they use the toothpaste twice a day.

A person may also try the following methods at home to help relieve tooth sensitivity:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Topical numbing ointment designed for the mouth.
  • A toothbrush labeled for sensitive teeth. These are softer than standard toothbrushes and will be less harsh on the tooth enamel.
  • Brush with gentle, circular strokes on the teeth and gums. Avoid scrubbing back and forth or aggressive pushing of the brush on the teeth.
  • Floss once a day, taking care to be gentle on the gums and teeth.
  • Take note of which foods or drinks cause sensitivity and avoid them if possible.
  • Avoid whitening toothpaste and products, which can make sensitivity worse.
  • Rinse the mouth out with water after consuming acidic foods or drinks, such as coffee and fruit. Acidic foods and beverages can wear away the tooth enamel.
  • Avoid brushing the teeth immediately after eating acidic foods, as it may remove more of the enamel.

If tooth sensitivity does not improve in the days following a filling, talk to a dentist. It is essential that the dentist rules out other potential causes of sensitivity that may not be related to the filling.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324267.php?fbclid=IwAR37moOZnm3Wmycc8r74nZN-5ynCfIwvInvdmzh2XnpVYpI_ze86rTtjT4g

8 Everyday Habits That Harm Your Smile

Your teeth are supposed to last a lifetime. But some common habits could be reducing the durability of your teeth without you even realizing it.

By recognizing the habits that can compromise the structure and health of your smile, you can take steps to protect it.

1. Avoiding Regular Dental Care

Many individuals skip regular dental cleanings or avoid getting necessary procedures due to anxiety, a lack of time, or other personal reasons. However, doing so can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other common oral health issues.

As such, you should be sure to visit the dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and also, as necessary, if you notice a change or issue with your teeth.

2. Brushing Too Hard

Brushing is an essential component of good oral health, but not when done incorrectly. Brushing too hard can wear down enamel, irritate your gums, increase your teeth’s sensitivity, and cause cavities.

By purchasing a soft bristled or an electronic toothbrush, you can avoid the damage while still cleaning your teeth and removing plaque.

3. Using the Wrong Materials to Clean Teeth

Have you ever had something stuck in your teeth and not had floss? If so, you might have reached for things like paper clips, toothpicks, or even pieces of paper that easily slide between your teeth. However, each of these items can cause gum and tooth damage.

You can easily resolve this problem by keeping a small container of floss or an interdental cleaner in your purse, backpack or car.

4. Grinding Your Teeth or Clenching Your Jaw

Many Americans grind their teeth or clench their jaw, which can cause fractures or other damage and may lead to headaches and jaw pain. If grinding or clenching happens while sleeping, a night guard that cushions your teeth and reduces impact on your jaw can help. If it happens during the day, chewing gum may help to prevent it.

5. Biting Your Nails, Pens, Ice, or Other Hard Objects

When you bite your nails, chew on pens, or crunch ice or even hard candy, you could be causing splinters and cracks in your teeth. But that’s not all!

In fact, biting any foreign object can also introduce bacteria into your mouth and cause infections. By eliminating these bad habits, you can keep your teeth protected and eliminate additional germs in your mouth.

6. Using Your Teeth Improperly

How often do you bite open a package or try to cut something with your teeth? You may do it without thinking twice and probably more frequently than you realize.

Biting even just a thread off of your shirt could cause micro cracks that, over time, can lead to more serious structural damage. It’s easy to avoid this by grabbing for a can opener, knife, or pair of scissors instead.

7. Drinking Soda, Sports Drinks, and Alcohol

While everything is acceptable in moderation, soda, sports drinks, and wine can cause significant damage when consumed in large amounts. Sports drinks and soda, which contain acid and sugar that feed bacteria and erode enamel, leave teeth susceptible to cavities.

Alcohol contains acid that produces similar effects. Additionally, because alcohol dries out the mouth, it reduces saliva production and allows bacteria and plaque to thrive.

By limiting your consumption of all of these drinks, you can do your part to keep your teeth protected.

8. Tobacco Use

If you smoke cigarettes or cigars or use chewing tobacco, you’re also at risk. Nicotine not only yellows teeth, it also can cause oral cancer. Chewing tobacco is even worse because carcinogens directly contact gum tissues and can remain there for a long time.

While quitting any tobacco use is difficult, it’s worth it when you consider the oral (and general) health risks of daily, or even infrequent, use.

Transform Your Everyday Habits From Harmful to Beneficial

While the habits described above are harmful, there are simple ways to correct them. Transforming destructive habits into protective measures can keep your teeth looking great for years to come.

Sources:

http://www.nusmiledentalfl.com/blog/2014/november/everyday-habits-that-can-harm-your-teeth.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits?