, , , , , ,

Common Dental Problems

Virtually all teeth problems can be solved by the dentist. The result is not only an improvement in the smile but also an improvement in appearance and the overall quality of life. Having beautiful teeth enhances self esteem and one will no longer have to feel awkward when meeting new people or speaking in front of others. With perfect teeth, one can eat, talk, and laugh with confidence.

One of the most common teeth problems encountered is discolored teeth. There are several reasons why teeth lose their whiteness. Certain drinks like coffee, tea, and wines can stain teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth. Poor dental hygiene and inadequate brushing is also a contributing factor. Genetics also plays a role in the color of the teeth and some people just have naturally whiter teeth. With age, the outer layer of the teeth naturally wears away, revealing the dentin layer, which is naturally yellowish in color. One can prevent teeth discoloration by improving dental hygiene, regular flossing, and visiting the dentist for checkups and cleaning twice a year. Today, there are also treatment options available to whiten the teeth. Applying a bleaching agent to the enamel can remove discoloration. A light activated bleaching gel can also significantly whiten teeth in less than an hour although follow up treatments are needed. The teeth can also be covered with bonding materials. Another treatment method is by applying veneers, which may be thin composite or dental porcelain shells that are placed on the outer surfaces to cover the stained natural teeth.

Worn or cracked teeth are usually due to grinding and chewing on hard objects. The teeth can hurt when chewing or when the teeth are exposed to extremes in temperature. The treatment will depend on the type and extent of the crack. Sometimes, severely cracked teeth can no longer be repaired and would need to be extracted. This is the reason why regular visits to the dentist are very important. The dentist can spot hairline cracks, thus preventing further damage. Cracks can sometimes be restored with filling materials. If the damage has reached the nerve, a root canal treatment is done and a crown is placed to restore the tooth. In vertical breaks or split tooth or when the tooth has weakened from a cavity, the tooth may have to be removed.

Crooked teeth can adversely affect self confidence. Conventional braces have been used for years to move the teeth gradually and eventually straighten them. Typically, it takes two to three years before these can be removed. Today, there is an option not to wear these ugly metal wire braces. Especially for adults, metal braces across the teeth can be deemed unattractive. Invisible braces are made of clear plastic and are removable teeth aligners. These also require fewer return visits to the dentist or orthodontist so they are suitable even for busy people.

Another common problem is misshapen teeth. Teeth can be misshapen either naturally or as a result of extensive wear and tear. Teeth that are naturally misshapen can be covered with veneers or can be reshaped using dental bonding techniques. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that fit snugly over the natural teeth and are very effective in hiding misshapen teeth. The result is a perfect smile.

Dental implants are the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are long term or permanent replacements. A dental surgeon places a titanium metal in the jawbone. After three to six months, this is naturally and completely fused with the jawbone. An abutment is then fitted over the implant and a crown is fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance. Dental implants are becoming the preferred choice over bridges or removable dentures because they not only look and feel natural, they prevent bone loss that would generally occur with tooth loss.


Get a Bright Smile

Cosmetic dentistry can generally be defined as the process of fixing the appearance of a person’s teeth. The procedure involves improving/treating a person’s oral disorders relating to gums. It may include removal or addition of dental material or may involve treating a person’s teeth to improve their appearance (bleaching) or straightening of teeth according to one’s face structure.

There are several reasons for which people opt for cosmetic dentistry. Some are desirous of age-old visually appealing smile to improve their overall appearance while some seek this to improve their dental defects like gap between teeth, mouth reconstruction to solve problem related to bite, mending broken or chipped tooth or whitening stained teeth.

Previously, dentist or orthodontist as they are known in medical parlance were mainly concerned with oral hygiene but the modern field of cosmetic dentistry encompasses not only identifying or treating oral disorders but improving the overall dental appearances through the application of various methods involving the usage of porcelain or composite materials for indirect fillings, veneers for gaps, implants for tooth replacements or aligners for correcting teeth misalignment almost invisibly.

One of the dental problems that most people have is malocclusion i.e. Misalignment of teeth or the condition where teeth are crowded. In simple language, occlusion means the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. If they aren’t you are having crooked teeth. The upper and lower teeth are ideally aligned in a way that protects the cheeks, lips and tongue from getting bitten.

The reason for this may be hereditary, childhood habits, extra or lost teeth, injury to jaw bones etc. The effects may vary depending on the severity of the condition that may range from being mild to severe. Mild problems can be treated with simple cosmetic dentistry procedure while severe require elaborate orthodontic treatment.

If one is suffering from this problem Cosmetic dentistry can be the solution. Many of the dental imperfections like crowding or crookedness can be treated through cosmetic dentistry.

However, the idea of having teeth straightened leads to images of braces and brackets which is quite unappealing to many and a person may think twice before allowing a foreign apparatus to be fixed to their teeth for over a year and sometimes even more depending on the severity.

However, due to the recent advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry it is now possible to have your teeth corrected without the need of wearing braces or brackets anymore in mild or moderate cases. There are aligners which involve unique processes that provide a hygienic and convenient solution to the problem of teeth alignments.

The new technique in cosmetic dentistry of brace-less or wire-less or bracket-less corrections have been put under several clinical trials successfully and therefore now introduced for clinical usage which in turn have proven a success in a variety of malocclusion.

So from now onwards one need not worry about the braces and wires anymore for the new techniques have made them redundant. Say hello to a beautiful smile.

, ,

Invisible Braces For Teeth Are The Top Choice For Adults

Many adults did not get the orthodontic treatment that they needed as a child or teen. They may have an overbite, crooked teeth or noticeable tooth gap. When someone feels self-conscious about the condition of their teeth, they often avoid smiling or laughing when they are around other people. They may even avoid having their photo taken or attending certain social situations because they are embarrassed about the way that their teeth look. It is never too late to get the perfect smile. Orthodontists have many adult clients.

In the past, most adults avoided getting braces because they did not want to have a mouth full of metal. Having to wear metal braces for a couple of years is not a good option for those who work in a professional environment. Today, adults can get invisible braces for teeth that can barely be seen by others. Invisible braces are a great option for adults who do not want their braces to be noticeable. Famous actors like Tom Cruise and Robert Pattinson have chosen to wear invisible braces as adults.

Invisible braces for teeth are also perfect for self-conscious teenagers who do not want their smile to stand out. The cost for invisible braces is not too much greater than the price of the metal variety. The best part about clear braces is that most people do not even notice when someone is wearing them. From a distance, they are completely unnoticeable, and they are even difficult to notice up close.

An adult who gets invisible braces for teeth will not only end up with a perfect smile, but they may also be preventing future teeth, jaw, gum or mouth problems. Orthodontic treatment is not only about beauty it is also about dental health. Adults who decide to get braces should make an appointment with their local orthodontist. The orthodontist will take x-rays, measurements and dental impressions in order to properly evaluate the bite. They will then explain whether or not braces are a good idea and provide information on a treatment plan. Most people wear braces for one or two years, but in some cases individuals must wear them for a longer period.

Once someone gets invisible braces for teeth they may experience some level of discomfort. Although everyone with braces experiences soreness now and then, most people do not find the process to be too painful overall. Very few people regret wearing braces once their treatment plan is finished. They love being able to show off their gorgeous new smile.


Bruxism – Teeth Grinding

What Is It?

bruxismBruxism is clenching or grinding your teeth, often without being aware that your are doing it. In the United States, bruxism affects an estimated 30 to 40 million children and adults.

Some people grind their teeth only during sleep; this condition is called “nocturnal bruxism” or “sleep-related bruxism.” Others grind their teeth during the daytime as well, most often during situations that make them feel tense or anxious. People with severe bruxism can fracture dental fillings or cause other types of tooth damage. Severe bruxism has also been blamed for some cases of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), mysterious morning headaches and unexplained facial pain.

Bruxism can have a variety of psychological and physical causes. In many cases, it has been linked to stress, but it can also simply be the body’s reaction to the teeth being aligned wrong or a poor bite (the way the teeth come together). Bruxism can sometimes occur as a complication of severe brain injury, or a symptom of certain rare neuromuscular diseases involving the face. Bruxism also can be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, including antidepressant medications, including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil).


Symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles
  • A grinding sound at night, which may disturb the sleep of someone who shares a bedroom with a “bruxer”
  • A dull morning headache
  • Jaw muscles that are tight or painful, especially in the morning
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Damaged teeth, fractured dental fillings and injured gums


Your dentist will ask about your current life stresses, your general dental health and your daily medications. He or she also will want to know whether you routinely drink beverages containing alcohol or caffeine, because both of these chemicals seem to increase the tendency to grind your teeth.

If you share your bedroom, the dentist also may want to ask that person about your sleep habits, especially about any unusual grinding sounds heard during the night.

Your dentist will examine you, paying special attention to your mouth and jaw. During this exam, your dentist will check for tenderness in your jaw muscles, as well as for any obvious dental abnormalities, such as broken teeth, missing teeth or poor tooth alignment. If your dentist suspects that you have bruxism that is related to dental problems, he or she may conduct a more detailed assessment. In addition to checking your “bite,” the dentist will examine your teeth and gums for damage caused by bruxism. The dentist will also take a series of mouth X-rays.

If your child grinds or clenches his or her teeth, discuss the problem with your family dentist. Although many children eventually outgrow bruxism, even short-term tooth grinding can cause damage to your child’s permanent teeth.

Expected Duration

Of all children who brux between the ages of 3 and 10, more than half will stop spontaneously by age 13.

In teenagers and adults, how long bruxism lasts depends on its cause. For example, bruxism can last for many years if it is related to a stressful life situation that doesn’t go away. However, if bruxism is being caused by a dental problem, it should stop when the teeth are repaired and realigned — often within a few dental visits.


If your bruxism is related to stress, you may be able to prevent the problem by seeking professional counseling or by using strategies to help you learn to relax. Also, try cutting down on stimulants such as tobacco and caffeine.

In both children and adults, tooth damage related to bruxism can be prevented by wearing a night bite plate or a bite splint (a dental appliance worn at night to stop teeth grinding).


The treatment of bruxism varies depending on its cause:

  • Stress — If you have bruxism that is stress-related, your dentist or physician may recommend professional counseling, psychotherapy, biofeedback exercises or other strategies to help you relax. Your dentist or physician also may prescribe muscle relaxant medications to temporarily ease the spasm in your clenched and overworked jaw. If conventional therapy does not help, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon who may inject botulinum toxin directly into your jaw muscles (to temporarily interfere with muscle contractions).
  • Dental problems — If your bruxism is related to tooth problems, your dentist will probably treat it with occlusal therapy (to correct tooth alignment). In severe cases, your dentist may need to use onlays orcrowns to entirely reshape the biting surfaces of your teeth.
  • Brain injury or neuromuscular illness — Your bruxism may be especially hard to treat if you have these medical problems. Your oral surgeon may give you injections of botulinum toxin if more conservative treatments fail.
  • Medication — If you develop bruxism as a side effect of antidepressant medications, your doctor either can switch you to a different drug or give you another medication to counteract your bruxism.

When To Call A Professional

Call your physician or dentist if you have symptoms of bruxism, or if you are told that you grind your teeth while you sleep.

Also, make a dental appointment immediately if you fracture a tooth, lose a filling, or notice that your teeth are becoming abnormally loose in their sockets.


Even without special treatment, more than half of young children with bruxism stop grinding their teeth by age 13. Until your child stops bruxing on his or her own, your dentist can fit your child with a night bite plate to prevent excessive tooth wear. This device is effective in almost all children who use it as directed.

In teenagers and adults, the outlook is excellent if bruxism is treated properly. Even if all other therapies fail, injections of botulinum toxin can temporarily stop bruxism in most patients.

For more information, please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.


Bringing Teeth into Alignment with Orthodontic Treatment

crooked teethThe American Association of Orthodontists reports that in the United States 4.5 million people are wearing braces or other dental appliances to straighten teeth and provide a healthy, beautiful smile (1). As many of us know, an orthodontist is a dentist with additional clinical training to treat malocclusions (improper bites), which may result from tooth irregularity and jaw issues.

Why Do Teeth Become Crooked?

Terry Pracht, DDS, past president of the American Association of Orthodontics says that both heredity and environmental factors can create crooked teeth and bite problems. Dr. Pracht mentions that hereditary factors include crowded teeth, teeth where there is too much space and malocclusions. He also mentions that crooked teeth can be caused by thumb sucking and tongue thrusting as well as accidents occurring to the jaw (1).

What are Treatment Options to Straighten Teeth or Malocclusions?

There are three stages of orthodontic treatment. The first is when appliances are used to gain space in the mouth. For example, palatal expanders are used to expand the width of the palate and lingual bars are used to expand the lower jaw. The active corrective stage is next when the braces are placed on the teeth. The teeth are then adjusted and then straightened and malocclusions are corrected over a period of time based upon the severity of the irregularity of the teeth and jaw issues. The third stage is the retention stage after braces are removed and when the teeth are monitored through the use of a retainer (removable or fixed) and semi-annual orthodontic visits are conducted to maintain the straightened smile.

Types of Braces

Braces from over 30 or so years ago included large metal bands that were enclosed and cemented around each tooth. Braces can be attached to the cheek side of the teeth as well as the tongue side of the teeth depending on what your orthodontist recommends to you for treatment. Braces, arch wires and bands can be colorful and a lot of fun for children, adolescents and teenagers to choose from.

Today, tiny brackets are placed onto the front surface of the tooth and are made of metal or ceramic. The brackets are bonded to the front tooth surface with a glue-like material and metal bands can be used on the back teeth. Arch wires are placed inside the brackets and are made of a heat-activated nickel-titanium source that can become warm due to the temperature in the mouth, which will allow it to apply constant pressure on the teeth as well as when the arch wires are adjusted at the orthodontist’s office.

Another newer alternative to braces is the Invisalign system which uses a series of clear removable aligners that are worn during the day and night to help in moving teeth into the correct alignment. When eating or brushing and flossing, the aligners may be removed.

Caring for Braces

Your orthodontist, dentist or dental hygienist will provide you with thorough instruction of how to properly clean your braces. There are many toothbrushes you can use both manual (specifically designed for orthodontic patients), power, electric or sonic. Ask your dental professional which is be best for you. Brushing should be conducted at least 2-3 times per day at a 45 degree angle in a back and forth motion. Be sure to remove plaque at the gum line to prevent gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue). Be sure to angle the toothbrush at the gum line and then gently brush around the brackets to remove plaque and food debris.

It is very important to clean in between your teeth with a floss threader and floss, a stimudent (tooth pick cleaner) or a proxabrush (interproximal cleaning brush) may be used if there is space between the teeth. Oral irrigators may be recommended to remove food debris and irrigate the gum tissue to remove disease and odor-causing bacteria that may be there if you have gingivitis. An antibacterial toothpaste and over-the-counter antimicrobial mouth rinses could also be used with the oral irrigator or alone.

How to Maintain a Smile After the Braces are Off

After your orthodontist has determined that your braces can be removed, it is very important that a retainer (a plastic appliance) be worn during the day or night as recommended by them. The retainer can be cleaned with warm water or toothpaste and a toothbrush after you wear it and placed in a plastic container when not in use.

See your dental professional for a twice a year professional cleaning and the orthodontist for regular maintenance appointments.

For more information, please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.

, ,

Mouth Guards and Maintenance

Once you have had your mouth guard adjusted to fit your teeth you must learn to properly maintain your mouth guard. A mouth guard should only be worn during sport practices and games. Do not chew on the mouth guard because you could weaken the effectiveness of the plastic or laminated material.

Your dentist should make sure that your mouth guard does not have sharp edges

because it could irritate or damage the gum tissue or cheeks. After wearing your mouth guard, check it for damage. If your mouth guard is damaged, replace it so it doesn?t irritate the gum tissue. Your mouth guard will last longer if you properly care for it.

After wearing your mouth guard, you should clean it with cool water and use your toothbrush and toothpaste to eliminate bacteria that may develop during usage. Rinse your mouth guard and place it in a container to keep it until the next practice or game at room temperature.

Be sure to visit your dental professional for regular dental appointments and to discuss any concerns or questions you have regarding mouth guard usage in sports.

Please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.