Smile Consultation: (509) 590-0909
    20Feb

    When our dentists talk about “oral health threats” many patients think of external factors, like bacteria. There, however, a number of threats to your oral health that are actually habits you’ve developed, or structural imbalances that are built into your smile. That’s why our Cheney dentists are here to give you more information about a condition called bruxism. Bruxism, if left untreated, can cause significant dental damage over time.

    We use the term “bruxism” to refer to chronic dental grinding or clenching. Bruxism can manifest day or night, and, in fact, many people suffer from bruxism but don’t realize it because they are grinding their teeth at night.

    Sometimes, people develop bruxism short periods of time only—say, for example, during times of increased stress. However, many patients are dealing with chronic bruxism, and that’s where our dental team can help.

    Bruxism can be caused by existing TMJ damage, uneven bite surfaces, and sleep disorders. When you meet with our dental team, we’ll talk to you about your symptoms, and complete an assessment in order to determine the root cause of your bruxism.

    Treatment may include:

    • adopting stress-reducing measures, especially as you get ready to fall asleep
    • wearing a protective mouth guard when you sleep to protect your enamel from tooth-on-tooth contact
    • improving your dental alignment, so that your top and bottom teeth come together more naturally
    • pursuing treatment for TMJ disorder, to improve the functioning of your temporomandibular joints

    As with most oral health issues, it is hugely beneficial to seek treatment for bruxism as soon as you notice problems or changes to your smile. Prompt treatment can help you avoid a range of bruxism-related problems: from cracked teeth to thin enamel. Our Cheney dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need—give us a call!

    06Feb

    Many dental patients do not come in to see a dentist until their faced with a problem—like a cavity or broken tooth. This is a big mistake, because regularly scheduled preventive treatments with your dentist can help you avoid developing these issues in the first place. Patients who are diligent about their preventive dentistry treatments reap the benefits for years to come. Today, our Cheney dentists are giving you some additional information about what preventive dentistry is, and how you can get your smile back on track.

    Preventive dentistry refers to dental care that is designed to preserve your smile’s health by minimizing harmful bacteria, and protecting your teeth from damage. When you brush and floss your teeth at home, you are engaging in daily preventive care.

    Here in our office, our dental team offers a range of preventive treatments to help our patients smile confidently. It all begins with the semi-annual cleaning. The American Dental Association recommends that patients of all ages complete professional cleanings and assessments every six months or so. During these meetings, our dentist clears away plaque and tartar, and also screens your mouth for signs of developing problems.

    Other preventive treatments are designed to bolster your smile’s ability to fend off threats. Topical fluoride application, for example, strengthens dental enamel, so that it is harder for bacteria to penetrate the top dental layer. Sealants are another commonly utilized preventive option. This treatment involves our dentists covering vulnerable dental enamel with a thin layer of dental resin. Sealants are commonly used on back molars, which are both hard to reach (to clean) and deeply grooved and pitted.

    The key to successful preventive dentistry is partnering with a dentist who can give you recommendations based on your unique dental needs. As always, please feel free to reach out to our Cheney dentist to learn more, or to schedule your personal consultation. We look forward to meeting with you!