Dear Valued Patient of D&P Dentistry, 


We are happy to report that we are able to start the process of a soft reopening as of May 11th.  However, there will be many policy changes made within the office that will be utilized at least for the first several weeks of as we adapt to these uncertain times.  We will be seeing patients at half capacity in order to practice optimum infection control, social distancing and also to control the burn rate of our personal protective equipment as it will still not be readily available in the future. 


 If you have an upcoming appointment and plan to reschedule PLEASE call us asap! As we are continuing to work on the schedule and accommodate everyone. The following are important steps patients should be informed of...


1.  Please arrive promptly for you appointment, remain in your car and call the office at (352) 331-4626 when you arrive.  
2.  Please wear your face covering or mask in the office (pursuant to the state of Florida office of the governor executive order number 20-11 and Alachua County Commissioner. 
3. A staff member will meet you at your car where you will be screened. We will check your temperature and pulse ox and have you fill out a questionnaire.  
4. We will take you straight back to the treatment room for your procedure. 
5. We ask that anyone accompanying you remain in the car. 


  * Please bring a jacket or blanket if you normally get cold! The temperature will be down and we will be wearing added gear. 


While some things seem so different we hope you find comfort knowing that at we are taking all necessary steps to protect our patients and staff.  Under all the masks and face shields the same familiar faces you are used to seeing will be taking care of you! 
                           

Thank you for your support!

 D&P Dentistry Team
 

We will continue to provide updates as needed. 

Bruxism

Woman holding jaw in painBruxism is a common condition which affects both adults and children. Also known as teeth grinding or clenching, bruxism is an involuntary condition linked to a variety of other concerns, including stress and misaligned teeth. When left untreated, grinding or clenching your teeth can cause damage to your enamel, as well as the jaw and surrounding structures. In severe cases, it can lead to fractures or tooth loss. Bruxism often occurs while sleeping and can go unnoticed for long periods of time. If your dentist identifies signs of grinding or clenching, they can recommend a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms and protect your smile from further damage. 

Understanding Bruxism

Bruxism refers to a condition in which individuals clench or grind their teeth while awake or asleep. In most cases, patients are unaware of clenching or grinding but may notice associated symptoms, such as:

  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears
  • Sores on insides of the cheeks or lips from biting
  • Restricted jaw movement
  • Dull headaches that start at the temples
  • Clicking in the jaw joints
  • Enlargement of the jaw muscles, called masseter hypertrophy

Your dentist may also notice wearing or damage to your teeth due to excessive pressure, such as cracks, chips, loose teeth, or flattening of the chewing surfaces. If you have a sleeping partner, they may hear clicking, grinding, gnashing, or other sounds which are indicative of bruxism.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

While the exact reasons for bruxism are not fully understood, it is likely caused by a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. A common cause of grinding and clenching in adults is stress. Misalignment of your teeth can also result in bruxism. There are several risk factors for bruxism, such as:

  • Certain medications
  • Consumption of tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol
  • Recreational drug use
  • Negative feelings, such as stress, tension, and anger
  • Family history
  • Medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea

Bruxism is especially common in young children and usually resolves before adulthood. Of course, adults can develop the condition as well. 

What Are the Effects of Bruxism?

In some cases, grinding and clenching are so mild that treatment is not required. However, the constant pressure exerted on your teeth and jaw muscles can lead to serious health concerns. The consequences of untreated bruxism can include:

In some cases, the effects of bruxism fade as soon as the condition is treated. By lessening pressure on your teeth, for example, you can reduce or eliminate issues such as sensitivity and pain. However, damage to your teeth can have long-term, or even permanent, effects and require additional dental treatments in the future. 

Bruxism Treatment Options

For some patients, reducing their stress levels can provide sufficient relief from grinding and clenching.

Your dentist can examine your oral health and determine the optimal treatment plan for you. For some patients, reducing their stress levels can provide sufficient relief from grinding and clenching. However, in many cases, treatment is required.

Oral Appliance Therapy

There are a few ways to protect your teeth from the forces of grinding and clenching. Your dentist may recommend a custom night guard to wear while you sleep. This treatment is especially helpful if your bruxism symptoms mainly occur at night. In addition, splinting can redistribute the force of your bite by connecting multiple teeth together. Your dentist can place a temporary or permanent splint depending on your needs.

Orthodontics or Bite Adjustments

When your teeth do not fit together properly, you unconsciously adjust your bite throughout the day in an attempt to find a comfortable position. This process can cause you to grind or clench. If your symptoms are due to misalignment, orthodontic treatment or another form of bite adjustment can help reduce or eliminate bruxism. 

Medications

If your bruxism does not respond to other treatments, your dentist may recommend you take a muscle relaxant before bed. Additionally, if your clenching or grinding is related to anxiety, your doctor may prescribe a medication to relieve stress. Bruxism is also a side effect of certain medications. Switching to a different prescription may alleviate your issues. 

BOTOX® Injections

Woman receiving injection in her jawThere is some evidence to suggest that injection of BOTOX, a form of botulinum toxin, can help patients with severe bruxism that does not respond to other treatments. Since BOTOX limits muscle movement, it may be able to help reduce your symptoms. BOTOX injections are a temporary solution for bruxism and will require ongoing treatment.

Treating Underlying Conditions

Bruxism caused by another medical condition, such as sleep apnea or GERD, may resolve by simply treating the underlying condition. Be sure to provide your dentist with your full medical history so they can identify possible causes of your clenching or grinding. 

How to Prevent Bruxism

There are a few home-care techniques that can help prevent clenching and grinding, including:

  • Stress reduction and anxiety management techniques, such as meditation
  • Limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol, especially in the evenings
  • Special exercises to ease jaw tension
  • Developing a regular sleeping schedule

These methods may not work for everyone, especially if your bruxism is severe. Your dentist can evaluate your oral and overall health and recommend solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Protect Your Smile

Bruxism can have damaging effects but the condition can be treated. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about how you can find relief. 

D&P Dentistry

The team of dental professionals at D&P Dentistry provides exceptional dental work and patient education to help you and your family achieve your best smiles. Our doctors are affiliated with:

  • American Dental Association
  • Alachua County Dental Association

To schedule an appointment at our Gainesville, FL, office, please contact us online or call (352) 331-4626.

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