Many people suffer from a condition known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). One common cause of TMD involves grinding or clenching teeth. As the holiday season approaches, more and more people could experience increased levels of stress and anxiety. Your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, discuss how they can diagnose and treat TMD.
What causes Bruxism?
People grind teeth for a few different reasons. Many people simply consume too much caffeine prior to bedtime. If you wake up and experience jaw tightness, the cause of your bruxism could involve caffeine consumption. Minimize your sugar and caffeine intake after 4 pm to reduce the effects of caffeine-related bruxism. Many patients whom use tobacco and alcohol products also increase their risk of bruxism-related TMD.
Planning a vacation or business can trip can cause an extreme amount of stress. Packing luggage, finding a parking spot, and moving through airport security can all prove stressful enough without the addition of a toothache. Many people report toothaches when they fly, but the types of pain experienced can vary. Your Mansfield dentists, Drs. Jones and Harris, discuss why people suffer from toothaches when they fly.
The simplest explanation for the reason behind airplane toothaches involves cabin pressure. The practice of gum chewing or yawning acts as a way for people to balance their body’s internal pressure during time of rapid change. Most people report their worst tooth pain during an airplane’s climb or descent. Sinus pressure commonly causes tooth pain. Air traps itself in the human body in various areas. When an airplane rapidly changes altitude, the body attempts to relieve this pressure by expunging air.
Dental checkups typically occur once every six months. Assessing patients’ dental health twice yearly enables dentists to detect any problem areas and develop treatment plans. Dentists or hygienists usually administer blood pressure tests to patients. Testing blood pressure in dental offices occurs for a number of reasons. Mansfield dentists, Drs. Jones and Harris, outline the reasons behind dental blood pressure tests.
Detecting Problems with Blood Pressure Tests
Many patients visit their dentist without expectation of learning about overall health problems. However, thanks to blood pressure tests administered during dental visits, hypertension detection can occur. Many patients visit their dentist more frequently than their primary care physician. Often, dental hygienists provide the first diagnosis of hypertension for patients.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes sufferers to experience snoring and pauses in their breathing during sleep, sometimes up to 100 times per night. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA – a form of the condition in which excess fat tissue narrows the inside of the airway – is prevalent in the obese. Although OSA can occur in non-obese individuals, the study below focuses on obese patients.
The Facts About Sleep Apnea and Pregnancy
- It was previously believed that more men suffered from sleep apnea, by a large margin, than women. In those studies, eight or nine men were diagnosed with OSA for each woman with the condition. However, recent studies indicate a substantial shift in that thinking. The actual ratio is closer to two to three men with OSA for each woman with the condition.
Have you been noticing a decidedly large amount of candy available at your local stores lately? It’s that time of year – the onset of the holidays. First, our children will be tempted by door-to-door candy collection on Halloween night. (And let’s not pretend we won’t be sneaking a handful ourselves). Then the rest of the year’s holidays will offer an onslaught of other sugary delights. Will you be keeping up with bi-annual dental cleanings for you and your family? Your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, invite you to brush up on your cavity knowledge before the sugar binges ensue.
Sugar is Only Part of the Cavity Conundrum
Have you ever looked at a child’s Halloween candy haul and said, “that’s enough sugar to keep a dentist in business for a year?” Many people believe that sugar contacting your teeth is the sole cause of tooth decay. Sugar definitely plays a big part in the cause of cavities, but there would be no tooth decay without the bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans. These bacteria feed on sugar, and turn it into lactic acid. Acid is what weakens tooth enamel, and allows tooth decay to happen. Normally tooth enamel, the hardest substance in your entire body, can keep the inner workings of your teeth protected. When sugar-fueled bacteria have their way, however, cavities become imminent.
All Candy is Not Created Equally (more…)
Grinding your teeth can be a subconscious reaction to stress and anxiety, a result of an abnormally aligned bite, or a side effect of extremely crooked teeth. In some cases, an orthodontist might need to be consulted to help realign the jaw. Many times, the solution is simply a mouthpiece from your dentist that you wear at night, while you sleep. Here’s a quiz from your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Harris and Dr. Jones, to see how much you know about the nightly grind.
Teeth Grinding Quiz
Q1. What is the medical term for grinding your teeth?
Q2. True or false – Most cases of teeth grinding occur during the day in moments of great stress.
Q3. True or false – Teeth grinding is annoying, but harmless.
Q4. True or false – Chewing gum too often can lead to teeth grinding. (more…)
Now that the newness of going back-to-school has worn off, little things in our schedules can fall by the wayside. We might be tempted to give our children “just five more minutes” of sleep when they beg for it, but if that extra time translates into neglecting oral hygiene, we should think twice. Brushing and flossing are as important to overall health as any other element of the morning routine. In fact, poor oral health can actually lead to lower grades and diminished performance in school. Your Mansfield dentists explain the importance of keeping children’s teeth in tip-top shape.
Dental Decay in Children
The November 2011 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, reported that dental decay is the most common source of tooth pain in children. Preventing tooth decay is the ideal situation for avoiding childhood toothaches. Once tooth decay has begun, quick attention is important to keep cavities from going deeper. When undiagnosed, or ignored, tooth decay can enter the pulp of teeth, leading to sometimes excruciating pain, more invasive procedures, and possible tooth extraction. (more…)
Sugar is a sworn enemy of healthy teeth. Any food that contains large amounts of sugar will increase the production of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that adheres to your teeth, and can turn into tartar if left to harden. The presence of plaque and tartar on your teeth will result in tooth decay, over time. You know what foods to stay away from in order to avoid cavities. Are there foods that are actually good for your teeth? Your Mansfield dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, would like to inform you of a few culinary options that actually reduce plaque.
Raw Vegetables to Eliminate Excess Food Particles
Plaque is a mixture of food particles and bacteria. Munching on raw vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli, can actually remove food particles while you eat. These nutritional dynamos also take extra effort to chew. Chewing increases saliva production. Ample saliva adds to the elimination of food particles in the mouth, and also helps to neutralize acids.
Olive Oil to Fight Bacteria
Consider dipping those raw veggies in olive oil. Researchers at the University of Madrid discovered anti-cavity properties in olive oil by connecting low tooth decay and gum disease rates in the people that lived in towns that manufactured the oil derived from olives. Oleuropein is the name of the anti-bacterial compound in olive oil that not only has the ability to stop the bacteria that cause gum disease, but also bone loss. Additionally, the fat molecules in all oils help neutralize acids and prevent plaque from forming. (more…)
Dr. S. Blair Jones has been providing comprehensive dentistry to patients in the Mansfield area for over 28 years. Dr. Seth Harris joined the practice last year, and has recently expanded his hours. With dedication to their patients, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris have recently unveiled a new service called Patient Connect 365, to make the lives of their patients more convenient.
What is Patient Connect 365?
Have you ever been late to, or forgotten, an appointment? The details of life can become overwhelming, and sometimes you just need a reminder. That’s why we are now using a service called Patient Connect 365, which will email and text patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments.
Patients who sign up for the Patient Connect 365 program can access our secure Mansfield Dental Associates account online. With access to our patient connect portal, you can:
- View your appointment history
- View your treatment history
- Request appointments without having to pick up the phone
- Access insurance and financial information
- Make payments
We strongly encourage our patients to create their own free account at www.patientconnect365.com. Registration is quick and easy.
Extended Office Hours for Dr. Harris
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Seth Harris is now a full-time member of the Mansfield Dental Associates team. Dr. Harris shares our vision of fostering meaningful, lasting relationships with all of our patients. Expanded hours for Dr. Harris include Thursdays from 7:00am to 5:00pm, and Fridays from 7:00am to 2:00 pm.
Our entire team looks forward to helping you maintain your oral health at our comprehensive dental practice. We are dedicated to clinical excellence and devoted to providing our patients with individualized attention and all of the latest technology. Our services include general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, and we are focused on patient comfort.
Call our Mansfield dentist office at (817) 259-1357 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris. We serve patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and the 76063 area code.
When you don’t feel comfortable with the way your teeth look, the simple act of laughing at a joke or greeting a co-worker becomes something to dread. September is Self-Improvement Month, and if you feel like your smile needs a makeover, Mansfield Dental Associates offers an array of cosmetic treatment options that will renew your confidence.
The Importance of a Confident Smile
Smiling at someone is a fantastic way to make a connection, a good impression, or just brighten someone’s day. When your teeth are chipped, missing, or have unattractive gaps, you may tend to avoid smiling altogether. Not having the confidence to flash someone a warm smile will not only cause you discomfort, but is likely to give the wrong impression to others. Your Mansfield cosmetic dentists offer a number of dental treatments that will have you smiling again: