Our patients are awesome. Truly. They are consistent in maintaining regular check-ups and cleanings and try their best to brush and floss their teeth. Our patients understand the importance of good oral hygiene, and they understand that coming in for frequent check-ups and cleanings helps prevent dental issues from worsening.
Routine dental cleanings can help to prevent periodontal disease. Most people have heard of periodontal diseases and terms such as “gingivitis” and “periodontitis”, but they aren’t aware that more serious health issues can result from poor oral care and infrequent exams and cleanings.
But did you know...
Your first visit in our office will include a set of x-rays and a clinical exam that includes measuring gums. These measurements are taken regularly to help us diagnose periodontal disease. During initial appointments, we also discuss treatment and home-care recommendations
Almost all my patients see improvements in their oral health and gums after they come to see us. I strive to build relationships with patients where they are motivated to improve and maintain their oral health. As they return for frequent check-ups and cleanings, my patients are excited to see the positive changes as a result of committing to their dental care, both in-office and at home.
Do you clench and grind your teeth? Are your teeth sensitive?
We've received quite a few phone calls from emergency patients these past few weeks. An overwhelming majority of our calls have the same issues - patients have been fracturing their teeth. Furthermore, they notice their jaws hurt and their teeth are sore when they wake up in the mornings.
As we’re entering our seventh (!!!) week of sheltering in place in Sunnyvale, I’m noticing that a lot of our patients are under high amounts of stress. Many of them are grinding or clenching their teeth (many times without realizing it). The term we use when referring to teeth grinding is bruxism.
Bruxism is a term for the involuntary and unconscious clenching and grinding of your teeth that occurs either when you are awake or asleep. It is often associated with stress, fatigue, anxiety, or caffeine/alcohol use during the day. Most people who exhibit this behavior are completely unaware of it.
Common effects of bruxism include:
As dentists, we are able to diagnose and discover if you have bruxism through a visual exam. There will be noticeable wear patterns on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. As we’ve seen recently, there may also be damage in the form of chipped or fractured teeth.
If you are a patient who is experiencing bruxism or the symptoms from it, we can make you a custom fitted night guard. These night guards are worn on your upper teeth when you sleep and work by redistributing the unwanted forces from clenching and grinding. Early intervention will lead to longevity of your teeth and oral health. Prevention costs less than treatment.
Across Sunnyvale and the Bay Area, we’ve been sheltering in place, and I’ll admit - this is new for me! For some of our patients in Sunnyvale, it’s business as usual, except they've been working from home rather than the office. Others, including ourselves, have had to make major changes to their routines. I’ve loved reading everyone’s tips on how to use this time to keep routine schedules and to do meaningful things, and I wanted to chime in with tips of my own.
As we do our part to #flattenthecurve, many patients have reached out to ask - what can they do at home to avoid dental emergencies?
We are here for you, your families, and our Sunnyvale community during these unexpected times. We remain as reachable and committed to you and your oral health as before - we are available via email and text (in addition to traditional phone calls). We are also available for teledentistry consultations to help you with your concerns. If you have any questions, please reach out to our office.
Good luck sheltering in place, and stay healthy. We’ll see you soon!