Today's Dental of Boxborough

Teeth Grinding: Causes and Preventative Care Steps

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Oyster Point Dentistry - Dental Implants in Newport News, VA

Whether you're stressed or just anxious, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism , comes in many shapes and forms. And while the occasional grinding doesn't hurt and is quite common, constant grinding can wear down your health in more ways than one.

The worst part of the condition is that it can be difficult to know whether or not you're affected. Why? Because most grinding occurs during rest, meaning that while there are symptoms of a dental issue, it is not immediately apparent what the cause is.

By understanding the causes of and preventative care for bruxism, you can find relief from the condition and ensure that both your teeth and your general health are as vibrant as possible.

What is Bruxism?

Put simply, bruxism is a condition characterized by the clenching and grinding teeth. Most often, the condition affects individuals at night in a condition specified as sleep bruxism, however it can also occur during the day.

For many, the condition goes unnoticed but when symptoms begin to surface, the issue becomes more obvious. Symptoms may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which is often loud enough to wake others
  • Flattened, fractured, chipped or loose teeth
  • Increased sensitivity of the teeth
  • Soreness or tightness in the jaw or face
  • A dull headache or earache
  • Ringing in the ears known as tinnitus

Why Does Bruxism Occur?

Bruxism is a quite mysterious. In fact, many health professionals find it incredibly difficult to identify a specific cause for the condition.

However, several psychological and physical causes have come to the forefront:

Emotions – Anxiety, stress, anger, or frustration, can trigger bruxism.

Coping or Focus Strategy – Some clench or grind teeth to alleviate pressure or help them focus. While this often occurs during the daytime, individuals may still be unaware that they're doing it.

Oral Structure – Individuals with poor teeth alignment, also known as malocclusion, may develop bruxism.

leep Conditions – Individuals with sleep apnea may also experience bruxism as part of their condition.

Other Medical Complications – Grinding can also be caused by specific psychiatric medications, complications from other medical disorders, and even acid reflux.

There Are Three Major Treatment Options You Can Turn to for Relief

If you suffer from bruxism, there's no need to fret. Some individuals actually grow out of the disorder, whereas others suffer such minimal disruption that no treatment is required.

But if you must seek treatment, rest assured that you have options:

Dental Approaches – A visit to your dentist can give you access to splints and mouth guards to prevent damage to your teeth. Of course, you can also consult your dentist to determine if misalignment is causing your problems and, if it is, you can determine an appropriate treatment solution.

Therapies – For bruxism due to psychological factors, stress management, behavior therapy, and/or biofeedback may help address the underlying cause and eliminate teeth grinding in the process.

Medications – Medications aren't a common treatment for bruxism but in some extreme cases, doctors will prescribe muscle relaxants or Botox injections to relax the muscles and prevent grinding.

As a disorder that manifests most commonly during sleep, it can be incredibly difficult to recognize what is causing your discomfort or dental complications.

By better understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments of bruxism, you can ensure that you find the relief you need, protect your smile from damage, and rest easy knowing that grinding isn't wearing down your health. For more information, contact Today's Dental.

Dental Implants: What you Need to Know

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Today’s Dental of BoxboroughDental implants are a good long-term solution to replacing lost teeth. Patients need to consider their options and make educated decisions when they are deciding between bridges and implants.

1. An implant beats bridges or dentures

Bridges, dentures, and implants replace missing teeth.

A bridge requires filing two adjoining teeth, which can make them weaker and prone to decay. Dentures often have fit problems and can interfere with taste. For an implant, a titanium screw is placed in the jawbone and a prosthetic tooth is attached. A proper implant has no physical downsides and has good longevity.

2. Implants are more expensive generally.

One of the biggest ‘problems’ patients see with implants is the cost. Implants are rarely covered by insurance. But when considering cost you need to consider value. Implants are a permanent, long-term solution that exactly matches your existing teeth. Implants are for the rest of your life, and can replicate your teeth in appearance and functionality.

If you need an implant near a nerve or sinus cavity, it's worth paying for a dentist who has specialized training.

3. Not all implants are equal

Most dentists use implants made by the original Swedish manufacturer; studies have found that these implants have high success rates (90% or more).

There are also some newer, generic implants that are cheaper but may not have been studied yet. So ask your doctor what kind of implant he uses and the success rate he's had with it.

4. Timing can also help

Implants are usually a two-part process -- first putting in the implant, then covering it with a crown six to 12 weeks later.

If you know you need one, schedule the initial procedure at the end of a calendar year, then have the crown put on in the following year. That way you can use two years' worth of your pretax flexible spending account at work to pay a chunk of the cost. You'll reap as much as 30% savings if you're in a high tax bracket.

For information on dental implants, contact Today's Dental.

Excerpts –

Your Smile is Your Best Asset

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Today's Dental of Boxborough, MA

The first thing people notice about you is your smile. Nothing is as noticeable as a beautiful set of teeth. White smile are more attractive and they present a more healthy appearance. If you have not been born with a perfect smile, you can get one fairly easily.

It has never been easier to get that beautiful smile, from teeth whitening to dental veneers to one day dental crowns, you can get that smile with minimal dental visits.

In office teeth-whitening gives you results that are not available over the counter. They are also safer and more effective than over the counter whitening products. In office whitening also protects your gums from ill-fitting trays and bleaching agents. Gums are very sensitive, and using an poorly fitting whitening tray is asking for gum trouble. A dentist will give you custom-made whitening trays which reduces the contact of the solution and your gums.

Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are adhered to your teeth. Veneers can give your teeth the appearance of being larger or brighter, they can also cover uneven, discolored or chipped teeth.

Whatever dental procedure you choose to improve your smile, be sure you talk to your dentist and choose the procedure that is an effective, long lasting and a healthy option for your mouth. Contact Today's Dental.

Back-to-School Dental Tips for Kids

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 04, 2018
Today's Dental of Boxborough, MA

Your child may have the latest wardrobe, school supplies and sports equipment for the new school year, but does she have a healthy mouth and the tools they need to maintain it?

A dental examination for kids is as important as immunizations and booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. Tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease and 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay. Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning as well as millions of hours of missed school.

Your child's back-to-school checklist should include:

Regular dental examinations to diagnose and treat or prevent dental problems. Parents and teachers may not realize there's a dental problem, so regular checkups are important. Your dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or dental sealants to prevent decay and can diagnose and treat dental problems to save your child pain and lost school time. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. head for the dental care aisle when you're out shopping for notebooks, binders and pencils. If parents buy several toothbrushes they could have their child change to a new one every three months or so, or after an illness. If it's hard to remember when to change a brush, you could try to change it every time report cards come out. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on how often to change toothbrushes.

Eating healthy lunches and snacks. Include portable healthy lunch items and snacks in your child's sack lunch, including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him before the first day of school. Cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks.

Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in organized sports, PE classes or playground activities.

For more information on your child's dental health contact Today's Dental.


Invisible Composite Fillings Look Like Your Natural Teeth

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Today's Dental of Boxborough, MA

Not surprisingly, when it comes to fillings, most people think silver. Dentists have used amalgam (silver) to fill cavities for over 150 years. This is because Amalgam is one of the most durable and long-lasting restorative materials used in dentistry.

Amalgam may be affordable and it can endure, but it lacks in aesthetics. However, invisible fillings, made from composite resin, matches your natural tooth color. No one will be able to see composite fillings.

Composite resin is made of a tooth-colored plastic mixture and glass. Early on, composite fillings were only used to restore front teeth.

Today's composites look more natural and are stronger and tougher, and more versatile so they can be used to:

  • Restore small- to mid-sized cavities
  • Reshape chipped teeth and broken teeth
  • Replace amalgam fillings

There are other benefits to composite fillings, too. If you have sensitive teeth, composite fillings may make them less sensitive to hot and cold. And with composites, more of your tooth structure stays intact – that’s not the case with silver fillings. Composite fillings are also easily fixable if they’re damaged.

For more information on invisible fillings, contact Today's Dental.

Start School With a Smile

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 21, 2018

3 Back-to-School Tips

Today's Dental of Boxborough, MA

It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health. Add these dental health tips to your back-to-school checklist.

  1. Take your kids to the dentist
    Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your pediatric dentist about dental sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school. A third of children miss school because of oral health problems, according to Delta Dental.
  2. Pick the right snacks
    Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots and cubes of cheddar cheese.
  3. Make brushing and flossing fun
    To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:
  • Use a sticker calendar. Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
  • Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
  • Personalize. Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
  • Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable.

For more information on back-to-school tips for your child's smile, contact Today's Dental.


Benefits of Dental Implants

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Today's Dental of Boxborough, MA

Dental implants are one of the most common and long lasting treatments for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants function similarly to a real tooth by replacing the missing tooth with an artificial tooth and root. In this process, the root of the tooth is replaced with a titanium screw. It is inserted into the jawbone and attached with an artificial tooth.

The natural appearance of dental implants is one of the greatest advantages of this treatment. They look incredibly similar to the natural teeth and look and work better than bridges or dentures. Compared to other treatments for replacing missing teeth,  dental implants have a significantly more natural appearance.

For most patients, dental implants are easy and a more convenient solution than other options. They can also be used as a support for dentures because the titanium root is securely screwed into the jaw. Today, most dentists are choosing implants to replace missing teeth and enhance overall appearance.

Though dental implants are more expensive than other treatment options, they last a lifetime when properly cared for making them very cost effective. For one or more missing teeth, consider dental implants for a younger, healthier more natural appearance. Contact Today's Dental.

Solutions for Improving your Teeth and Smile

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Today's Dental of Boxborough, MAWith appearance becoming more and more important, cosmetic dentistry procedures are gaining in popularity. In fact, a straight and attractive smile can do much for your self-confidence. In fact, a crooked teeth is one of the biggest reasons that people contact cosmetic dentists.

For the following teeth problems, you may want to seek orthodontic straightening.

Overcrowded teeth – this can happen when there is not enough room on your jaw for teeth to fit. This can be fixed with braces, and in many cases, overcrowding can be fixed with clear aligners.

Spaces between teeth - usually this is caused by genetics, there are several options that can correct spaces between teeth such as invisible braces and dental veneers.

Crossbite – When the lower tooth grows on the wrong side of the corresponding upper tooth. This can happen with one or more teeth and is most often fixed with braces.

Overbite - Usually caused by genetics, an overbite results in upper teeth that fall over the lower teeth. This can most often be fixed with invisible braces.

When people are not happy with their smile, their lives are affected. Self-confidence wanes and many are uncomfortable in social situations. Luckily though there are so many alternatives that can give you a straighter smile. Ask Today’s Dental if invisible braces or dental veneers are appropriate for you.

Dental Implant or Should I Keep the Tooth?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Today's Dental of Boxborough, MAMany people call us when they have tooth problems. When they are advised to have their tooth extracted and replaced with a dental implant they often wonder if this is necessary, or if they should keep their natural original tooth. Well, that depends on the problem. There are scenarios where dental implants are a better option.

Dental implants are great for tooth-replacement. As far as tooth replacement, you have lots of options, but dental implants best mimic a natural tooth as far as look and functionality. They also help the jawbone and the jawline to maintain its density and volume.

The key word to consider when discussing dental implants is the word replacement, not substitution. Dental implants have a ‘root’ and they have been in use for about 30 years. Over time they have been developed and perfected. However, nothing can totally replace your natural tooth. But, dental implants are the best, most natural looking option.

If you have a tooth that is broken down and cannot be saved, the best choice for replacement is a dental implant. If you had periodontal disease which is compromising your jawbone, then the best avenue would be to extract the teeth, preserve the jaw, and use implants as tooth substitutions. Dental implants can use the remaining jawbone and are healthier and safer than the natural teeth.

If your teeth are salvageable with no further damage to your jaw, teeth and mouth, get the natural teeth fixed. If your teeth and jaw are compromised it would be best to replace those teeth with dental implants.

For more information, contact Today's Dental.

Cavities: Frequently Asked Questions

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Today's Dental of Boxborough, MADental cavities and tooth decay is increasing among children and among seniors. In fact, most of us have had at least one cavity. While sugary food doesn’t help, cavities are usually caused by not brushing your teeth enough, by not flossing enough and from skipping regular dentist appointments. is not enough brushing your teeth, flossing and dentist appointments.

The following are some cavity FAQs:

Q: Is there a difference between tooth decay and a cavity?

A: Tooth decay and cavities are actually not the same thing. Tooth decay is the gradual process in which bacteria in the mouth produces acids that destroy the surfaces of teeth. Over time, tooth decay can erode the tooth enamel causing a hole, or cavity.

Q: How do I know if I have a cavity?

A: During a regular dental exam, one of the first things your dentist will look for are dental cavities. Dental X-rays can help your dentist diagnose whether you have cavities and how extensive those cavities are. Sometimes a dental cavity is visible to the naked eye. Visible black holes or spots in your teeth, or a toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks could be signs of cavities.

Q: How are dental cavities treated?

A: Treatment for cavities depends on the size and the degree of damage to your tooth. Although many cavities are treated with silver fillings or invisible fillings, onlays may be necessary to treat large cavities that affect the cusp of the tooth. Cavities affecting the areas in between the cusps can be treated with inlays. Dental crowns are also used in some cases to protect a tooth from further damage. In children dental sealants can be applied to prevent against cavities.

Do you have questions about cavities or dental treatment? Contact Today's Dental.