Posts for: July, 2016

By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
July 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
ChrissyTeigensTeeth-GrindingTroubles

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”


By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
July 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   bridges  

Whether you've lost a tooth or are concerned about a damaged or unattractive tooth, dental crowns and bridges can help restore your crowns and bridgessmile. Dr. Clark Wright, your Venice, FL dentist, explains how you can benefit from these dental restorations.

Crowns strengthen and improve the appearance of teeth

Have you ever bitten into a piece of food and cracked your tooth? If you don't take care of that crack, you're more likely to break the tooth the next time you eat an apple or other type of hard food. A crown from your Venice dentist provides a simple way to strengthen your tooth and prevent if from breaking. If the tooth has already broken, a crown will protect and restore it. Crowns are often recommended after you've had a large filling or root canal procedure, as these treatments can weaken teeth.

They're also a good choice if you want to conceal a cosmetic issue, such as an unusually shaped tooth, a short tooth, chips or discolorations. Crowns slip over your teeth and cover them completely. They're made with a variety of materials, including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, ceramic, nickel and gold.

Bridges replace missing teeth

You may be tempted to ignore the gap in your smile, particularly if you lost a tooth at the back of your mouth. Unfortunately, failing to replace a missing tooth can cause your other teeth to drift and become crooked. When this occurs, your appearance not only suffers, but you may also be more likely to develop cavities because it's much harder to remove plaque from teeth when they overlap.

You may also notice that it's hard to bite and chew when a tooth is missing. If you've lost several teeth, you may not be able to chew your food thoroughly, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Bridges effectively replace missing teeth and help you avoid these issues. Bridges consist of one or more artificial teeth, called pontics, that are connected to crowns on either side. They're usually made of porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal because these materials are very strong and durable.

Could you benefit from crowns and bridges? Call Dr. Wright, your Venice, FL dentist, at (941) 493-5923 to learn if these restorations are a good option for you. Improve your smile with crowns and bridges!


By Clark J Wright, DMD, PA
July 05, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  
ConsultYourDentistforHelpwithDiagnosingandTreatingSleepApnea

Sleep — you'll spend a third of your life in its blissful embrace. But it isn't a luxury: you need it as much as nutrition and exercise. An occasional bad night's sleep leaves you irritable and drowsy; a bad night's sleep every night could endanger your health.

One of the most common causes for chronic poor sleep is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the airway becomes blocked and you stop breathing temporarily. The blockage may be due to an oversized tongue, tonsils or uvula, an abnormal jaw or chin structure, or nasal polyps and congestion. When your brain notices you're not breathing, it rouses you just enough to relieve the blockage. These incidents can occur and end in seconds several times a night without you being aware of it.

This interrupts your normal sleep patterns, including the critical rapid eye movement (REM) of deep sleep that occurs at different times during the night. The results of not getting enough REM sleep are quite unhealthy: besides irritability and reduced concentration, poor REM sleep is linked to depression, headaches, decreased sex drive, acid reflux, high blood pressure or the onset of diabetes. Your night time experience — as well as your sleep partner's — won't be pleasant either as you may experience night time sweating and snoring.

Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated. Our first considered treatment is a custom-fitted night guard you wear while you sleep that holds the tongue back from the airway. If your apnea is more severe, you may need to consider continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which uses a machine to pump pressurized air through a mask you wear while sleeping to force the airway open. You might also benefit from surgery to remove excess soft tissue obstructing the airway.

If you or your family has noticed any of these symptoms mentioned, make an appointment to see us — we're trained to look for oral signs in the mouth that may indicate sleep apnea. The sooner we can implement a treatment strategy, the sooner you'll begin experiencing a good night's sleep and better health.

If you would like more information on sleep apnea and what to do about it, 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 “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”




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