Teeth Grinding Do you wake up in the morning with a dull, constant headache or a sore jaw? Or worse, do you wake up in the morning on the couch after being booted out of the bedroom by your partner who can no longer stand the annoying grinding noise? If you answer yes to these questions, you may suffer from nighttime teeth grinding or “Bruxism”. Teeth grinding can cause big problems. Chronic teeth grinding can cause broken teeth, loose teeth, or even loss of teeth. You can wear your teeth down to just stumps. Even more serious, teeth grinding can alter the function of your jaws, cause hearing loss, headaches, muscle soreness and can cause or worsen TMD. TMD is Temporomandibular Disorder. The temporomandibular joint is a sliding hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the bone of the skull. The joint lies immediately in front of your ear.

When should my child first see the Orthodontist?

Many parents are confused by the mixed messages they receive regarding the best time to seek orthodontic treatment for their child.  Should they see an orthodontist when their child still has their baby teeth or wait until all the permanent teeth have erupted?  At what age should their child start treatment?  What types of problems need treatment early and which can wait until their child is older?  The answer to these questions is that there is not one best age/time to start treatment because each child presents with their own unique problems and will need a custom treatment plan to fit their needs. Our goal as orthodontists is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.  The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children have an orthodontic check-up by age 7.  This is because, at this age, a child has reached several key

Athletic Dental Injuries in Kids

Sporting accidents are a common cause of tooth injury and it is important to ensure the teeth are protected while being active. This means a mouth guard is a must while playing contact and collision sports. The mouth guard, weather professionally made or over-the-counter, shields the teeth as well as helps to concussions. In collisions the lower jaw will often forcibly collide with the upper jaw, sending a shockwave through the skull and can result in a concussion. Other injuries could include breaking teeth, fractures of the jawbone, displacing teeth, and tooth loss. When any of these occur it is vital to see your dentist as soon as possible. When a tooth is broken or fractured it can be very painful if the fracture is close to the pulp (nerve tissue inside the tooth.) It is important to have a dentist evaluate the tooth, checking that it is properly positioned and inspecting for additional damage. Repairing the fracture may be a

Fluoride and Children’s Health

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element and it has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel. This is especially important for children when their teeth are developing. In the mouth teeth are exposed to acid, causing the teeth to de- mineralize and break down. Saliva helps to buffer the pH and the minerals that are available in your mouth re-mineralize teeth. When fluoride is available, it is incorporated into teeth as they re-mineralized making them 16 times stronger. The teeth are better resistant against future attacks. Community water fluoridation began in 1945 and according to the American Dental Association fluoride is the “single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.” The past 65 years have repeatedly shown that fluoridation is safe and effective for children and adults. The Anne Arundel County public drinking water is fluoridated and is a great source of drinking water. If you drink well water it may or may not have the proper amount of fluoride.

What is the difference between regular x-rays, digital, and 3-D x-rays?

Traditional x-rays capture images on film and once exposed cannot be modified. Digital x-rays have two distinct advantages: They use much lower radiation, this means you are exposed to less radiation, and they can be manipulated using software on a computer. They can be magnified and altered to enhance view ability such as having the contrast changed. This makes a significant difference in the way your dentist evaluates the x-ray and diagnosis your health. With technological advances it is now possible to house 3-D CT machines within dental offices. These cone beam machines are used for evaluation/diagnosis as well as planning for treatment, often for implant surgeries. The 3-D machine not only allows the dentist to take precise measurements in all dimensions, it also provides information on density. This means not only are bones and hard tissues visible but soft tissue as well. When dental implant planning is done utilizing this technique often the surgery can be performed “flapless” meaning there