Our teeth are hard and strong. We use them to chew dense foods, hard foods, and sometimes to chew our fingernails (tsk, tsk!). We’re so used to using our teeth that, when a rogue kernel of popcorn causes a crack, we may feel betrayed and confused. How is it that a perfectly stable tooth could suddenly break? More often than not, the problem began long before the injury.
The Mouth Problem
You may already be aware of the fact that there are tiny organisms living in your mouth. The issue of oral bacteria is often discussed as the broader subject of gum disease. Because of the focus on bacteria as the cause of gum inflammation and infection, we may easily forget that these microorganisms also degrade the enamel that coats our teeth. There are two ways that the natural oral environment can be hazardous. First, oral bacteria themselves deposit acidic matter onto teeth. Then, to make matters worse, many of the food and beverages we consume are also acidic. All this acid softens enamel and makes our teeth susceptible to injuries such as chips and fractures. The solution: brush and floss every day. Also, rinse your mouth with water after meals and other beverages.
The Mind Problem
What goes on in mind eventually affects the physical body. Stress is a prime example. Often, people who are living with unmanaged stress (and that is a lot of us these days) clench their jaw or grind their teeth while they sleep. They do not know they are doing this. Even when they notice a tooth has cracked or chipped. Bruxism is very damaging to the mouth, affecting not only teeth but also the gums and the joins of the jaw. The solution: talk with your dentist about a custom-fit night guard. Worn during sleep, this comfortable mouthpiece softens the force of clenching. Also, develop stress management techniques that help you release tension daily.
Schedule a Consultation
Our friendly staff is committed to helping our patients avoid dental injuries with routine care and ongoing support. To schedule a visit in our Sherwood office, call (503) 925-9595.