On the big screen, Australian-born actress Margot Robbie may be best known for playing devil-may-care anti-heroes—like Suicide Squad member Harley Quinn and notorious figure skater Tonya Harding. But recently, a discussion of her role in Peter Rabbit proved that in real life, she’s making healthier choices. When asked whether it was hard to voice a character with a speech impediment, she revealed that she wears retainers in her mouth at night, which gives her a noticeable lisp.
“I actually have two retainers,” she explained, “one for my bottom teeth which is for grinding my teeth, and one for my top teeth which is just so my teeth don't move.”
Clearly Robbie is serious about protecting her dazzling smile. And she has good reasons for wearing both of those retainers. So first, let’s talk about retainers for teeth grinding.
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding affects around 10 percent of adults at one time or another, and is often associated with stress. If you wake up with headaches, sore teeth or irritated gums, or your sleeping partner complains of grinding noises at night, you may be suffering from nighttime teeth grinding without even being aware of it.
A type of retainer called an occlusal guard is frequently recommended to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. Typically made of plastic, this appliance fits comfortably over your teeth and prevents them from being damaged when they rub against each other. In combination with stress reduction techniques and other conservative treatments, it’s often the best way to manage teeth grinding.
Orthodontic retainers are also well-established treatment devices. While appliances like braces or aligners cause teeth to move into better positions, retainers are designed to keep teeth from moving—helping them to stay in those positions. After active orthodontic treatment, a period of retention is needed to allow the bite to stabilize. Otherwise, the teeth can drift right back to their old locations, undoing the time and effort of orthodontic treatment.
So Robbie has the right idea there too. However, for those who don’t relish the idea of wearing a plastic appliance, it’s often possible to bond a wire retainer to the back surfaces of the teeth, where it’s invisible. No matter which kind you choose, wearing a retainer can help keep your smile looking great for many years to come.
If you have questions about teeth grinding or orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
A loose permanent tooth is not a good thing—and not something you should put off having examined. That’s because a loose tooth could soon become a lost tooth.
How we treat it depends on its underlying cause, which could be one of two types. One is primary occlusal trauma, meaning the affected tooth has experienced accidental trauma or higher biting forces than it normally encounters. This usually happens because of teeth grinding habits.
It could also be secondary occlusal trauma. Unlike primary trauma where the supporting gums and bone may be reasonably healthy, secondary trauma occurs because these structures have been severely damaged by periodontal (gum) disease. As the gums begin to detach from a tooth and its underlying bone deteriorates, even normal biting forces can loosen it.
If gum disease is present, our first priority is to bring it under control. We do this primarily by removing all dental plaque (a thin film of bacteria and food particles that triggers the infection and sustains it) and calculus or tartar (calcified plaque). This can take several sessions and, in the case of deep infection, may require a surgical procedure.
On the other hand, if teeth grinding is the primary cause, we’ll focus on minimizing the habit and its effects. One way is to create a custom-fitted guard worn to prevent upper and lower teeth from making solid contact. You may also need to improve your management of stress—another factor in teeth grinding—through medication, therapy or biofeedback.
In either case, improved periodontal health will help the gums naturally regain their strong attachment with help, if necessary, from gum tissue or bone grafting surgery. But this healing process can take time, so we may need to secure a loose tooth in the interim by splinting it to neighboring stable teeth. This usually requires bonding rigid material or metal across the back of all involved teeth or in a channel cut along the teeth’s biting surfaces. In this way the more stable teeth support the loose one.
Splinting may be temporary as the mouth heals from disease or trauma and the teeth regain their stability. In some cases, though, it may be permanent. Either way, dealing promptly with a loose tooth can help ensure it’ll survive—so see your dentist as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on treating loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”
How your dentist in Manhattan, KS, can relieve your tooth pain
Root canals can save your smile and alleviate chronic tooth pain! Thanks to root canal therapy, your tooth pain will disappear, you can keep your tooth, and your smile will look better than ever. Dr. David Craft at Craft Dentistry in Manhattan, Kansas offers state-of-the-art root canal therapy to make you want to smile again—read on to learn more!
More about Root Canals
So, how do you know if you may need root canal therapy? There are some noticeable signs and symptoms which you can recognize, including:
- Continuous tooth pain even after dental treatment
- Chronic throbbing, pressure, or tooth pain
- Sharp, stabbing pain in your tooth when you bite down
- Tooth pain when you consume hot or cold foods and beverages
- A red or white bump appearing on your gums next to a tooth root
- Blood or pus draining from the elevated bump
- Darkening of a tooth's complexion
It’s important to remember that you may also not experience any of the signs or symptoms listed above, and may still need a root canal. That’s because a tooth can begin to die naturally, and for no apparent cause.
Regular dental examinations including x-rays are the only way to determine for sure whether you may need a root canal. Your dentist will take x-rays of the roots of your teeth and look for dark areas around a tooth root. These dark areas indicate an abscess (infection) and the need for a root canal. Your dentist may also perform temperature and vitality tests on your painful tooth.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
If you think you may need a root canal, you should talk to an expert! Call Dr. David Craft at Craft Dentistry in Manhattan, Kansas, today at (785) 370-4662 to get rid of your tooth pain!
There’s one sure thing about tooth decay: you can’t ignore it. In fact, the best outcomes result from finding it early and treating it before it enters the pulp in the center of the tooth, often a filling or similar treatment.
If it does advance to the pulp, you may need a root canal treatment to save the tooth. This is a moderately invasive procedure where we access the pulp and root canals, tiny passageways leading to the root and supporting bone. We then remove all the diseased tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling. Later we’ll crown the tooth for added protection against future infection or fracture of the tooth.
But there’s also another less-invasive method than a root canal called pulp capping. It’s only appropriate to use, however, if the pulp has become exposed or almost exposed by decay, but hasn’t yet shown signs of disease.
Pulp capping can be either direct or indirect. We use direct pulp capping if the healthy pulp has been exposed by the disease process. We first isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination and then proceed to remove all of the tooth’s decayed dentin structure. We then apply a biocompatible material directly over the pulp to protect it from further decay and to facilitate healing. We then restore the tooth, usually with a filling, to its proper function and life-like appearance.
When the pulp is threatened by decay but not yet exposed, we may then use the indirect method. In this approach we first remove most of the decayed dentin, but leave a small amount next to the pulp to keep it covered. We then treat this remaining dentin with a material to help it heal and re-mineralize, followed by a temporary filling of the tooth. A few months later we’ll remove this filling and inspect the treated dentin. If it has regenerated sufficiently, we remove any remaining decay and permanently restore the tooth.
As we said, pulp capping is only used with patients with deep decay whose pulp tissue is healthy. But when we can use it we can avoid some of the permanent alterations that often come with a root canal treatment and still save the tooth.
If you would like more information on treatments for tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pulp Capping: A Procedure that May Save a Decayed Tooth.”
Has your smile lost its luster? Cosmetic dentistry procedures can correct flaws, repair damage, and even improve the color of your teeth. Your Manhattan, KS, dentist, Dr. David Craft, offers all the cosmetic services you need for an attractive, healthy smile, including teeth whitening, veneers, crowns, and other tooth restoration options!
No matter what your complexion, yellow is never a good look for your teeth. Luckily, professional teeth whitening can brighten your smile in just about one hour! During your whitening session, your Manhattan dentist uses professional-strength hydrogen peroxide gel to safely break apart stain-causing pigments in your tooth enamel. The result is a brighter, whiter smile that you'll be proud to share with the world.
Concealing imperfections behind a thin layer of porcelain is the easiest way to hide flaws in your tooth enamel. These tooth-shaped porcelain shells are called veneers and they are cemented to the fronts of your teeth to keep problem areas hidden from view. They're a good choice if you want to hide small chips or cracks in your teeth, conceal slight gaps, or fix the length or shape of teeth. Veneers also offer an alternative to tooth whitening and can be used to cover a discolored tooth or whiten your entire smile.
Do you need to protect a fragile molar, repair damage to an incisor, or hide flaws in a tooth? Versatile dental crowns can take care of all of these problems. These hollow crowns are designed to fit your mouth perfectly and are created using impressions of your mouth. The restorations cover teeth completely and prevent fragile teeth from fracturing and breaking. They're also used to restore the normal appearance and function of fractured or broken teeth, and to conceal cosmetic issues such as discolorations or too-short of teeth.
Many people are understandably concerned about changes in their appearance after tooth loss, but losing a tooth can also affect your ability to chew and may cause your remaining teeth to drift. Bridges, dentures, and dental implants fill these gaps in your smile and make eating a much more pleasant experience.
Revitalize your smile with cosmetic dentistry procedures! Call your Manhattan, KS, dentist Dr. David Craft at (785) 370-4662 to schedule your appointment.
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