My Hills Dentist https://myhillsdentist.com Wed, 11 Dec 2019 16:49:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 https://myhillsdentist.com/x/lc-content/uploads/2019/08/cropped-Favicon-32x32.png My Hills Dentist https://myhillsdentist.com 32 32 Can TMJ Really Cause a Locked Jaw? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/can-tmj-really-cause-a-locked-jaw/ Wed, 11 Dec 2019 14:00:36 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52040 Have you ever experienced an inability to open your jaw? What about an inability to close your jaw? If so, you might have asked yourself, why does my jaw lock? Frightened and nervous, you rushed to Google, typing “how to unlock your jaw” into the search engine. Unfortunately, a locked jaw is a shocking, scary [...]

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Have you ever experienced an inability to open your jaw? What about an inability to close your jaw? If so, you might have asked yourself, why does my jaw lock? Frightened and nervous, you rushed to Google, typing “how to unlock your jaw” into the search engine.

Unfortunately, a locked jaw is a shocking, scary experience that not many people suffer from. Many people confuse jaw lock with lockjaw, a more common symptom of TMJ. Actually, muscle spasms cause lockjaw (trismus) while joint dislocation causes a locked jaw. Our dentist fixes all symptoms related to TMJ at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, NSW.

A man suffering from lock jaw may need treatment at My Hills Dentist in Sydney Australia

Why Does Your Jaw Lock?

A locked jaw is one of the many symptoms of temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ). Most TMJ patients experience jaw pain, tinnitus, and headaches. Very few people suffer from the unexpected and nerve-racking experience of a locked jaw. That’s why you need a cosmetic dentistry specialist when you experience jaw lock. 

When your jaw works correctly, the smooth movements come from your two temporomandibular joints, one on either side. These joints have a wide range of motion, moving side to side, up and down, and back and forth. In between the two joint bones sits the articular disc, a disc of cartilage to enable smooth movements. 

Some TMJ patients experience clicking and popping when this disc moves. These noises mean that the disc is shifting but then your ligament snaps the disc back into place. When your ligament cannot snap the disc back into place, you experience a locked jaw. Your jaw locks open or closed because that disc is what enables movement in your joints. 

How To Unlock Your Jaw

When you experience a locked jaw, your first step is to try to relax. We know that it is a frightening experience when your jaw locks. However, stress and anxiety can actually create more tension in your jaw. 

First, you must calm down. Practice meditation by breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, breathing out for four seconds, and holding again. Try repeating this process for a few rounds, breathing in and out of your nose. Next, apply heat to your jaw and try to slowly wiggle it back and forth. Sometimes, your locked jaw will pop back into place itself. And that’s how to unlock your jaw at home!

Though we encourage gentle wiggles, don’t ever force your jaw back into place. Much like adding extra tension, this will only cause more problems. After you experience a locked jaw, it’s imperative that you make a dentist appointment with us immediately. Even if you get your jaw to unlock on your own, this is a serious issue that could happen again. If you have a locked jaw, your damaged articular disc needs treatment immediately to regain jaw function and relieve pain.

Visit My Hills Dentist

If you suffer from a locked jaw in Baulkham Hills, NSW, you need a cosmetic dentistry specialist. He has the most advanced technology on the market for TMJ treatments. Call My Hills Dentist at (02) 9686 7375 or make an appointment online.

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In-Office Teeth Whitening vs. Take-Home Teeth Whitening https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/in-office-teeth-whitening-vs-take-home-teeth-whitening/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:33:31 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52995 Drinking coffee and tea, smoking cigarettes and eating can all discolor your teeth. As a low-cost, minimally-invasive treatment, teeth whitening is one of the most common reasons to visit a cosmetic dentist. If you are unhappy with the discoloration of your teeth, it’s time to seek solutions.  Your Options Our cosmetic dentistry office [...]

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Drinking coffee and tea, smoking cigarettes and eating can all discolor your teeth. As a low-cost, minimally-invasive treatment, teeth whitening is one of the most common reasons to visit a cosmetic dentist. If you are unhappy with the discoloration of your teeth, it’s time to seek teeth whitening solutions. 

Charming girl holds up her hands, weighing her options for teeth whitening

Your Options

Our cosmetic dentistry office offers solutions for different budgets and timelines. Whether you choose in-office teeth whitening or take-home whitening trays, results are almost immediate and last several months. 

Your whitening results also depend on the type of staining your teeth have endured. The thickness of your enamel, your genetics, or developmental problems could all play a role in your tooth whitening. If the maximum level of whiteness for your teeth is unsuitable, you might consider porcelain veneers instead. It’s up to you to decide how you conduct your whitening in Baulkham Hills, NSW.

MyHillsDentist Teeth Whitening Christmas Sale-min

In-Office Teeth Whitening

At My Hills Dentist, we offer the most advanced technology. We use Zoom! Teeth Whitening, which ensures drastically whiter teeth in just one hour. We guarantee that your teeth will look and feel great after the safe and reliable treatment performed by cosmetic dentist professionals.

First, we prepare your teeth by cleaning debris and plaque with a general tooth cleaning. Next, we expose your teeth and cover your gums with a rubber dam to protect them from the whitening compound. After we shield your gums, we will then apply a hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel to your teeth.  Finally, a high-intensity light catalyst activates the whitening compound to enhance the bleaching process. 

Your dental professionals will replace the whitening compound every 15 to 30 minutes, as soon as it becomes deactivated. By using multiple high-concentration bleaching treatments and light activation, in-office treatments tend to work faster and have a stronger effect.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening

When people think of teeth whitening, they often think of going to the cosmetic dentist’s office. Another popular option is over-the-counter (OTC) solutions. However, not many people know about take-home teeth whitening treatments. Take-home trays are a feasible prescription-strength tooth whitening option in Baulkham Hills, NSW.

These trays are a more gradual application process. With take-home treatments, you will reach maximum whiteness within several weeks instead of the immediate results you will receive in our cosmetic dentistry office. This is due to lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide per treatment over longer periods of time. 

The process is similar to the in-office treatments, without the light application. First, we recommend a general tooth cleaning appointment. Then, your cosmetic dentist will fit you for your trays. The custom-molded tray will protect your gums from the whitening compound. Some OTC treatments damage your gums and could lead to gum disease. Take-home trays, rather, offer dentist-prescribed strength and even whitening at a lower cost than in-office whitening.

Learn More About Tooth Whitening

Your smile is important. We want you to be happy with the whiteness of your teeth. To learn how teeth whitening can rejuvenate your smile, please call (02) 9686 7375 or email My Hills Dentist today for an appointment at our office in Baulkham Hills, NSW.

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Avoid Acidic Foods to Protect Teeth https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/avoid-acidic-foods-protect-teeth/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:55:32 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=867 Our modern diet has many dangers for your teeth. The high carbohydrate content in many foods feeds oral bacteria that then produce an acidic excretion that attacks your tooth enamel, leading to cavities that or worse. However, many foods are acidic on their own, and should be consumed with caution. How Acidic Is [...]

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Our modern diet has many dangers for your teeth. The high carbohydrate content in many foods feeds oral bacteria that then produce an acidic excretion that attacks your tooth enamel, leading to cavities that need fillings or worse. However, many foods are acidic on their own, and should be consumed with caution.

A bunch of fresh citrus foods. Our modern diet has many dangers for your teeth, among them many acidic foods that although help with things like vitamin C, it can destroy your teeth.

How Acidic Is Too Acidic?

Acidity is measured using the pH scale, which indicates the concentration of free H+ ions in them. These free ions are what attack and can break down your tooth enamel. Seven is neutral, and the lower the pH, the more of them they are. It’s a logarithmic scale, so every number you go down represents a tenfold increase in pH. Technically, your teeth can start to break down at a pH of 5.5, but the foods and drinks you consume don’t necessarily drop your mouth pH to the level of their acidity. You don’t have to be too concerned about the acidity of foods and drinks until it drops below 4.

Not All Citrus Is Created Equal

Consuming citrus fruit is good for you because it contains vitamin C and other nutrients. However, they can also be very acidic. The good news is that they’re not all equally acidic.

For example, oranges can have a pH of about 3.7-4.3, so either mildly damaging or relatively safe for your teeth. Marmalade, though, is lower, about 3.0-3.3, so spread it thin.

On the other hand, grapefruits are a little stronger, ranging from 3.0-3.8 and lemons and limes are much stronger: their pH could be as low as 2.

If You Like It Hot

It’s worth noting that many chili sauces have vinegar included, as well as other acids that help prevent the growth of bacteria. Sometimes these sauces can be very low on the pH scale, a 2.8, more acidic than a grapefruit. If you’re eating food with a lot of vinegar-filled hotsauce, this could be damaging your teeth.

Grapes not so Great for Your Teeth

Grapes can be quite acidic, with Concord, Niagara, and Seedless grapes all having pH below 3.0. It’s worth noting that this acidity is actually further intensified in jams and wines.

Not Berry Nice

Many types of berries have a naturally low pH. These include raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries, and loganberries. The pH also intensifies when juiced or made into jam. While we’re on the subject, pomegranates also have a pH below 3, as do many types of plums.

Hydrate with Water

Another type of drink that has a surprisingly low pH is sports drinks. These drinks can be a 2.0 or less on the pH scale, equivalent to straight lemon juice. They’re also a problem because if you drink them when you’re exercising and at the edge of dehydration, you might have less saliva than usual to counteract the acid, and  your saliva might be acidic, too.

Drink It Up

Many other drinks have a low pH. We’ve noted some juices that have low pH, but don’t forget that soda has a low pH, ranging from 2-3, with colas being at the lower end. And don’t think skipping the sugar will save your teeth: sugar-free versions can be just as damaging to teeth.

Wine has the lowest pH of alcoholic drinks, sometimes below 3. Although hard liquors have a higher pH, if you start mixing them with sodas and fruit juices, you end up with a damaging pH as well.

For a tooth-healthy relaxer, stick to a good lager, with a pH around 4. Lighter beers also stain the teeth less.

If You Eat Acidic Foods

You don’t have to completely give up on these foods, but you should be aware of them. Cut down on consuming them, and when you do, chase with a cup of water. Chase them relatively quickly, too, since it only takes about 30 seconds for acidic damage to occur. Don’t brush your teeth right after eating these foods.

And, of course, remember to make your dentist appointments. If it has been too long since your last cleaning, please call (02) 9686 7375.

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Why Duchess Meghan’s Smile Continues to Charm https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/the-charm-of-duchess-meghans-smile/ Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:11:43 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52976 The smile of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, often still called Meghan Markle, makes headlines everywhere she goes. From the WellChild awards in London a couple weeks ago, to a South African beach a couple days ago, people are fascinated by her smile. It was predicted to be the most requested smile look of 2019, and [...]

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The smile of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, often still called Meghan Markle, makes headlines everywhere she goes. From the WellChild awards in London a couple weeks ago, to a South African beach a couple days ago, people are fascinated by her smile. It was predicted to be the most requested smile look of 2019, and it has certainly produced continued attention. People can’t seem to get enough of the Duchess’ pearly whites.

Why is this? What is the secret to the ongoing appeal of her smile?

Britain's Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle. Her smile makes headlines everywhere she goes!

Pool | Reuters – stock.adobe.com

Celebrity Has Power

Of course, we can’t discount the sheer power of her celebrity. When she married Harry, the Duke of Sussex, she stepped into a powerful limelight. Prince Harry was named the world’s most eligible bachelor for many years by many different sources. Any woman who won his heart was bound to get a lot of scrutiny.

When you add to that Duchess Meghan’s previous celebrity, and the quirkiness of their romance and relationship, it’s going to create a lot of attention. Anyone receiving this amount of attention is going to become an inspiration, either of what to do and be, or what not to do and be. With a few positive characteristics, it became virtually inevitable that Duchess Meghan’s smile would become a worldwide favorite.

Her Smile Seems Genuine

But what are the positive characteristics that make most people admire and want to emulate her smile rather than condemn it? Perhaps more than anything, it’s that her smile conveys a sense of genuineness.

The question of whether a celebrity’s smile is real or fake becomes essential to our perception of them. We’ll look below at the physical aspects of the smile’s appearance that make the smile look genuine as well as beautiful. But in addition, people look at characteristics of her personality to prop up the notion that she has a genuine smile. Focusing on personality traits like a regimented schedule, reflection and meditation, “happiness from within,” and “deep love,” seem like putting rather a fine point on the question, when what’s really going on is that her smile looks genuine.

“Natural” and Harmonious Beauty

So what gives Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, a smile that comes off as genuine? There are many factors. We should first acknowledge that her smile has all the characteristics of a traditionally beautiful smile: bright white teeth, straight teeth, etc.

But what it doesn’t have are the markers of traditionally “manufactured” smiles. Her smile is indisputably white, but it isn’t too white. There are slight variations in the color of the teeth–very minute, but still perceptible, that convey a sense of natural variation. And while her teeth are straight, they’re not perfectly straight, with her right lateral incisor overlapping the central incisor ever so slightly from some angles.

The beauty of her smile is also appropriate to her facial structure. Her teeth aren’t excessively large–her face wouldn’t look natural with larger teeth. She also has a pleasant feminine curvature to several of her teeth, including the canines. This helps her smile look appropriate to her appearance.

While we know that Duchess Meghan has had cosmetic dentistry, the results are subtle enough that they don’t call attention to themselves. Subtle changes like closing a gap with orthodontics or covering teeth with veneers or crowns that are properly designed don’t have to make your smile look artificial.

Your Own Genuine Smile

The best takeaway from looking at Duchess Meghan’s smile is that you can get cosmetic dentistry and still have a smile that looks natural and genuine. In fact, these are the types of smiles that we help our patients achieve at My Hills Dentist. If you are looking for a smile that is uniquely yours and uniquely beautiful, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with a Sydney cosmetic dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Face from Shrinking with Dentures https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/5-ways-to-keep-your-face-from-shrinking-with-dentures/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 09:50:17 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=2045 One of the things that people fear most about getting is the way their face may shrink as a result. With smaller bones, they end up with excess skin that sags and folds, sinking in around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and other places. Although some amount of bone loss is inevitable, here are [...]

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One of the things that people fear most about getting dentures is the way their face may shrink as a result. With smaller bones, they end up with excess skin that sags and folds, sinking in around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and other places.

Although some amount of bone loss is inevitable, here are five good strategies that you can use to reduce the loss of bone and the shrinking of your face.

Romantic middle aged couple smiling with their dentures, cuddling and hugging in their kitchen on a sunny day. Although some amount of bone loss is inevitable, here are five good strategies that you can use to reduce the loss of bone and the shrinking of your face that can result.

1 – Supporting Dentures with Teeth

If you don’t remove all your teeth, you’re not going to experience as much bone loss. The teeth you retain can not only hold your dentures in place, but they can also continue to stimulate your jaw bone, keeping it healthy and firm to support your skin.

But this strategy is limited because it isn’t always advisable to retain some of your natural teeth. If they’re cracked, infected, threatened by gum disease, or otherwise unable to perform the job of supporting your dentures, then they’ll have to go.

And you can’t use this strategy if you’ve already had your teeth pulled.

2 – Implant Dentures

Next to natural teeth, dental implants are the best way to support your jawbone to prevent it from being lost. And for most people they’re better, because you get a chance to start fresh. Bone grafts can help make sure there’s good support for the implants, and they can be placed to provide optimal support for your dentures, rather than just being where your natural teeth happened to be in the best shape. Implant dentures also let you bite and chew normally. This makes it easier to eat a balanced diet that supports healthy bones. And with our new digital dental implant system, the process is easier than ever.

But implant dentures may not completely prevent bone loss, and if they’re poorly fitted, you might see more bone loss than you’d like.

3 – Improve Denture Fit

Poorly fitted dentures don’t just allow bone loss — they can speed it up. When you are biting down in a way that irritates your gums, the odds are good that you’re also irritating bone, which can lead to accelerated bone loss. There are two main mechanisms your body uses to determine which bone to maintain. First, it responds to the positive stimuli of teeth that tell your body the bone is needed. Next, it responds to negative stimuli, such as excessive pressure or irritation, to determine what bone to remove. Without teeth and with irritation, your bone might be removed much more quickly.

That’s why it’s crucial to have good fit with your dentures. Neuromuscular dentistry helps us measure your bite properly so dentures don’t just sit inside your mouth, they are designed to fully fit your bite, which is what makes the fit of FOY® Dentures so good.

4 – Get Good Nutrition

Your body needs good nutrition to help maintain your bone — the same way it needs nutrition to heal bone. The best way to get good nutrition is to eat a varied diet that includes meats, vegetables, fruits, and other nutritious unprocessed foods.

This can be a bit of a challenge, though, if you don’t have properly fitting dentures or dentures with dental implants to support them.

5 – Wear Your Dentures Less

We hate to even bring this up because it seems like admitting defeat. Having to live without your dentures whenever you’re at home and only putting them on when you go out can really impact your quality of life.

But if your dentures are so poorly fitted that they’re speeding bone loss, then it’s the only good option.

Don’t live with dentures you can only wear sometimes. To learn more about quality dentures in Sydney that can help reduce bone loss and other complications of poorly fitting dentures, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an appointment with a denture dentist at My Hills Dentist  in Baulkham Hills.

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Yes, Even Nicotine-free E-cigarettes Are Bad for Oral Health https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/e-cigarettes-are-bad-for-oral-health/ Wed, 25 Sep 2019 22:26:06 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52953 E-cigarettes have been making waves once again, after the seventh death related to e-cigarettes and vaping was confirmed in America. Here in Australia, the sale of liquid for e-cigarettes that contains nicotine is illegal, which lowers the risk associated with the habit significantly. But while we’ve all heard stories of friends or acquaintances using e-cigarettes [...]

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E-cigarettes have been making waves once again, after the seventh death related to e-cigarettes and vaping was confirmed in America. Here in Australia, the sale of liquid for e-cigarettes that contains nicotine is illegal, which lowers the risk associated with the habit significantly.

But while we’ve all heard stories of friends or acquaintances using e-cigarettes to quit traditional cigarettes, these are anecdotal; to date, there is no empirical evidence that e-cigarettes actually help smokers quit. Plus, e-cigarettes aren’t without their risks; they’re not a perfect or approved alternative to smoking.

If you’re still considering ditching the pack for an e-cigarette, consider the following: while better than smoking, especially if going nicotine-free, e-cigarettes are still bad for your oral health.

E-Cigarette and vaping juice sitting on a countertop. Even Nicotine-free E-cigarettes Are Bad for Oral Health

What Is in E-cigarettes?

E-cigarette vapor is typically made with a few simple ingredients: glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals. Here in Australia, all legal vapor drops the nicotine, but the other compounds found in e-cigarette vapor can still cause cancers of the mouth and lungs, and that makes them a still-unsafe alternative to cigarettes.

On top of all that, a study by the American Heart Association found that flavourings found in e-cigarettes may even impair blood vessel function.

E-cigarettes and Oral Health

Take the addictive nature of nicotine out of the equation and you’re still putting your oral health at an increased risk if you’re a regular e-cigarette user.

E-cigarettes can increase your risk of suffering from dry mouth, for example. Saliva helps you break down food, cleans the mouth of bacteria, and keeps gums healthy. Without the right amount of saliva, you’re encouraging bacteria to grow and thrive, and gum disease is common for people with chronic dry mouth.

E-cigarettes also increase gum inflammation and other potentially painful ailments in the mouth, and can irritate the mouth and throat. Some research suggests that several of the chemicals found in e-cigarettes can cause inflammation in gum tissue, which has been associated with oral cancer.

How to Maintain Great Oral Health

Now that we’ve discussed the dangers of even nicotine-free e-cigarettes, let’s talk about the ways to keep your mouth healthy and disease- and pain-free.

Naturally, you should be practicing excellent at-home care, which includes brushing twice daily and flossing once each day. Especially if you’re still a traditional or e-cigarette smoker, you should pay close attention to any changes to your oral health, monitoring your gums and ensuring your teeth and gums cleaned regularly to discourage bacteria from festering.

You should also come to visit us at My Hills Dentist for regular dental cleanings every six months. We’ll monitor your oral health and provide a deeper clean than you’re able to achieve at home.

Be Proactive about Your Oral Health

If you’re unhappy with your oral health, if you have tooth discolouration that requires a dental implant, or if you’re ready to quit smoking and need extra support, our expert general and cosmetic dentists can help.

To schedule an appointment for a regular dental cleaning, a discoloured tooth or teeth, or for any general dentistry questions in Baulkham Hills today, please call My Hills Dentist at (02) 9686 7375 or click here.

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4 Reasons You Wake Up With a Headache https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/3-reasons-you-wake-up-with-a-headache/ Wed, 11 Sep 2019 13:00:55 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52129 Lots of people wake up in the morning feeling well-rested and ready to tackle the day. But for those who wake up with , it can be difficult to get off on the right foot in the morning. If you tend to experience early morning headaches, there could be a few possible reasons why. [...]

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Lots of people wake up in the morning feeling well-rested and ready to tackle the day. But for those who wake up with headaches, it can be difficult to get off on the right foot in the morning. If you tend to experience early morning headaches, there could be a few possible reasons why.

Young man waking with with a headache. For those who wake up with headaches, it can be difficult to get off on the right foot in the morning. If you tend to experience early morning headaches, there could be a few possible reasons why.

Depression and Anxiety

You may already know that depression and anxiety can disrupt sleep, causing insomnia, or even oversleeping. But according to some research, an early morning headache could also be a result of depression and anxiety. Over 9,000 study participants were screened for depression, anxiety, and headaches. Researchers discovered that medication overuse headaches, tension headaches, and migraines were all common in people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or both.

If you wake up with a headache and are diagnosed with depression or anxiety, they could be linked. This would be a good thing to address with your doctor, particularly if you are taking medication for mental illness. Medications could be the cause of your headache.

If you have not been diagnosed with depression, look for other symptoms, such as:

  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest

If you have some of these symptoms, ask your doctor whether depression or anxiety could be linked to your headaches.

Bruxism

Bruxism is just a fancy word for clenching or grinding your teeth. While some people experience bruxism during the day, it’s also common for people to have sleep bruxism, where they unknowingly clench or grind their teeth while asleep. Creating that tension in your jaw can translate into headaches overnight. Of course, sleep bruxism can also cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth, and can even lead to the development of TMJ.

If your headaches are a result of bruxism, you will probably also wake up with jaw soreness, and your dentist will be able to see the impacts of it on your teeth when you go in for a checkup or cleaning. You might also experience other TMJ symptoms like ringing in the ears, vertigo, ear pain, ear fullness, joint sounds, or tingling in the fingers.

Migraine

Many people who have migraines have their attacks first thing in the morning. Endorphins are chemicals in your brain that act as natural pain relievers. Your endorphin levels can drop overnight, triggering migraines. Migraines might also be linked to your bruxism, either through the action of specific muscles, the pressure these muscles put on certain nerves, or the way they stimulate the nerves that control them.

If your headaches are migraines, you might also experience symptoms like:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Nausea
  • Vision problems

In some cases, sleep disorders might be triggering your migraines. If that’s the case, treatment of the sleep disorder might reduce your migraine frequency by more than 90%!

Sleep Disorders

Another common cause of morning headaches are sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea, your airway spontaneously closes while you sleep, cutting off your oxygen supply just for a few seconds at a time. That may not seem like a big deal, but when it happens over and over throughout the night, it can result in a host of dangerous health problems including elevated risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease.

One of the notable symptoms of sleep apnea is waking up with a headache. Other symptoms include:

  • Snoring
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Poor focus
  • Memory problems
  • Moodiness

While the standard treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP, some people find the treatment hard to live with. Light sleepers may find it difficult or impossible to sleep while wearing the device, and people often wake up with dry or sore throats and facial irritation, and even suffer from an increase in nightmares.

Thankfully, a trained sleep dentist can offer an alternative treatment in the form of a simple oral appliance. Similar to an athlete’s bite guard, an oral appliance can hold the jaw in a position that doesn’t allow the airway to collapse.

Do you think you might have sleep apnea? Call (02) 9686 7375 or contact us online to make an appointment and learn more about a sleep dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills can help.

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I Chipped My Dental Implant – How Serious is it, And What Do I Do? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/help-i-damaged-my-implant/ Wed, 28 Aug 2019 21:55:12 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52930 Dentistry isn’t magic, but with modern technology and advancements in medicine, cosmetic dentistry options like dental implants can sure feel like it. Dental implants look natural, can restore the bottom third of your face to make you look younger and they . But what happens if you chip or damage a dental implant? Should [...]

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Dentistry isn’t magic, but with modern technology and advancements in medicine, cosmetic dentistry options like dental implants can sure feel like it. Dental implants look natural, can restore the bottom third of your face to make you look younger and they don’t require any special care.

But what happens if you chip or damage a dental implant? Should you be worried, and can it be easily fixed?

Emotional young man with round eyes, open mouth and hands pressed to top of head, showing astonishment and shock as he's just damaged his dental implant. He's not sure what to do, can it be fixed?

What Are Dental Implants, Exactly?

While dental implants as they exist today are new, dental implants in general are not. In fact, as early as 2500 B.C., Egyptians were using gold wire to secure and stabilize teeth, similar to a dental bridge. It’s thought that the first dental implants were created by the Mayans, who used pieces of shell to restore their smiles in around 600 B.C. – an ingenious solution to a problem we still face thousands of years later.

Fortunately, what we use here at My Hills Dentist is a far cry from pieces of shell. A dental implant is, basically, made of two parts: the implant itself, which looks and functions like a screw and is made of titanium, and the crown, which is made of an advanced ceramic.

You can trust the modern dental implant design to work well in your mouth. The titanium base integrates naturally into your jaw and anchors itself in place as your jaw heals from the implant procedure. Osseointegration, or the process of an implant and bone to connect, allows your dental implant to be strong and stable. It’s the same process that helps amputees adjust to implanted prosthetics. Then, the ceramic crown looks and functions just like a natural tooth would, and it is stronger than a natural tooth.

It’s somewhat easy to damage natural teeth; it’s not uncommon to chip or break a natural tooth simply by biting down too hard or eating something hard like candy. Dental implants are a bit harder to damage, and it’s more common to see dental implant trauma as the result of a bad fall, sports injury or prolonged bruxism. But, what if you do manage to chip your dental implant?

What to Do If Your Dental Implant Is Damaged

First step: Don’t panic. No matter how badly damaged your dental implant is, we can fix it. Step two: schedule an appointment with us. We’ll help you determine the best way to repair your dental implant and get you smiling normally again.

Of course, the level of damage will determine how we restore your implant. Damaging the base of the implant is rare. In most cases, we can repair the crown with bonding material without removing it from the base. If your implant is cracked and it needs to be replaced, we can do that, too. In extremely rare cases, dental implants fail. Those cases may require surgery and bone grafting in order to stabilize and strengthen your jaw for a new implant. However, thanks to modern technology and the natural process of osseointegration, dental implant failure is extremely uncommon.

Restore Your Implant, Smile Again

If your dental implant has cracked or chipped, or you’re experiencing other issues with it, we can restore your smile, repair or replace your dental implant, and get you smiling again.

To schedule an appointment regarding your dental implant, if you have questions about dental implants, or are interested in learning how a dental implant can improve your quality of life and oral health, our cosmetic dentist can help. To schedule an appointment with My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills today, please call (02) 9686 7375 or email us today.

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Why Can’t I Stop Clenching My Jaw? https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/why-cant-i-stop-clenching-my-jaw/ Wed, 14 Aug 2019 08:14:19 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=2007 Bruxism is often described as a “bad habit,” like chewing fingernails or smoking. Your doctor or dentist might tell you that you need to quit doing it the same way you might be told to quit smoking or get more exercise. They may even give helpful tips about mindfulness or meditation that can help you [...]

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Bruxism is often described as a “bad habit,” like chewing fingernails or smoking. Your doctor or dentist might tell you that you need to quit doing it the same way you might be told to quit smoking or get more exercise. They may even give helpful tips about mindfulness or meditation that can help you relax.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy to stop clenching your jaw and damaging your teeth and jaw structure, causing jaw pain and headaches. Here’s why it can be hard to get control of your jaw clenching.

A young brunette woman with glasses places pressure on ther temples on her forehead with a stressful migraine due to bruxism and clenching her jaw. Bruxism is often described as a “bad habit,” like chewing fingernails or smoking. Your doctor or dentist might tell you that you need to quit doing it the same way you might be told to quit smoking or get more exercise. They may even give helpful tips about mindfulness or meditation that can help you relax.

It’s Not All About Stress

One of the common causes of jaw clenching is stress. In times of stress, you might clench or grind your teeth the same way that others might chew on their fingernails or other objects.

If this is a cause of your jaw clenching, then something like meditation or other stress relief techniques could help, but stress isn’t the only, or even the primary cause of teeth clenching.

You Use Your Jaw More Than You Think

You probably are clenching your jaw more than you realize because you’re not always aware of the function of your jaw. You might think that you’re only using your jaw when you’re talking or when you’re chewing, but you’re actually using your jaw all the time.

Swallowing to clear saliva causes your jaw to clamp closed. Setting yourself to lift a heavy weight also sets your jaw. Even breathing can depend on your jaw clamping shut, especially if you have sleep apnea and your body is working hard to hold your airway open.

Why does it matter how often you’re using your jaw? Every time you use your jaw, you can trigger unconscious jaw clenching.

Why Your Jaw Clenches Unconsciously

But why does your jaw clench unconsciously? Partly it’s because your jaw has its own control and feedback mechanisms. When you chew, you don’t need to consciously tell your jaw how hard to bite down — it knows how hard to chew and how to avoid hitting your teeth together as you chew. That’s because the body’s control mechanisms have that under control. Your jaw is designed to to take most of those chewing tasks and regulate them without any interference from your conscious mind.

But when your jaw’s feedback systems are not working properly, this can cause your jaw to clench unconsciously and uncontrollably. Some of your muscles are tensed when they should be relaxed, while others are relaxed when they should be tensed, and they can’t get to the proper balance because your teeth and bones are interfering. This sets your jaw muscles against your teeth and jaw, and that’s the cause of your unconscious clenching.

This could be related to your teeth. Ideally, your teeth should come together so that your jaw is at a position of maximum rest. However, for many people, teeth don’t come together so easily, and it keeps your jaw muscles from relaxing. This contributes to the imbalance in your jaw regulation system.

Change Consumption Habits

Some of your jaw clenching is likely related to things you consume regularly. Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol have been linked to jaw clenching. Caffeine is a stimulant, as is nicotine, one of the active ingredients in tobacco. Alcohol, on the other hand, is partly a relaxant, but also has a stimulant effect. While it might seem to relax you at first, it can cause excitation later that leads to jaw clenching. It may also be linked to sleep apnea.

Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing at night. This is usually because your airway collapses during sleep. Because your jaw partly supports your airway, you may clench your jaw to try to keep your airway open. Since apneas may happen hundreds of times a night, you essentially end up clenching your teeth all night long. Treating sleep apnea can help reduce clenching that happens overnight.

You Need to Change the Jaw System

Because you don’t have control over the self-regulating and feedback system in your mouth, when you have TMJ you may not be able to make yourself stop clenching your jaw, no matter how hard you want to.

Stopping this unconscious clenching requires restoring your jaw’s elements back to a configuration where your muscles, bones, and teeth are no longer working against each other. Instead, they will work together harmoniously, so that the optimal position for your jaw is good for all the parts involved, including the jaw, teeth, and muscles.

If you are looking for help restoring balance to your jaw and avoiding clenching in Sydney, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.

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Dancing With the Stars’ Courtney Act’s Dental Journey https://myhillsdentist.com/blog/courtney-acts-dental-journey/ Wed, 24 Jul 2019 22:43:03 +0000 https://myhillsdentist.com/?p=52896 This year, Brisbane-born Courtney Act took the stage on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars, blowing us all away. But Act wasn’t Dancing with the Stars’ typical female performer, because, well, she’s a drag queen. Act, or Shane Jenek, is no stranger to the stage, or to talent television. Act appeared on season one [...]

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This year, Brisbane-born Courtney Act took the stage on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars, blowing us all away. But Act wasn’t Dancing with the Stars’ typical female performer, because, well, she’s a drag queen.

Act, or Shane Jenek, is no stranger to the stage, or to talent television. Act appeared on season one of Australian Idol in 2003, was a runner-up on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race and took the No. 1 spot on Celebrity Big Brother UK’s 21st season.

Act won over audiences with her sweet but witty personality and stunning makeup and costuming. That’s why, when a longtime friend posted a picture of a young Shane in full headgear, fans went wild.

Dancing With the Stars’ Courtney Act’s Dental Journey

Skip the Headgear, Get A Beautiful Smile

The photo featured Shane as a child with messy hair, smiling straight into the camera. Metal protrudes from his mouth, toward his ears and around his head. A far cry from the polished diva we now see on TV.

While the throwback photo is both endearing and funny, to get a smile like Courtney Act, we luckily don’t need to wear full headgear anymore. In fact, thanks to recent advancements in dental technology, you have a swath of treatments to choose from. Patients with a variety of needs and goals can get a smile fit for the Dancing with the Stars stage.

One Size Does Not Fit All

In the past, there was just one answer to crooked teeth: braces, often accompanied by the dreaded headgear. We’ve learned that not every patient has the same goal for their smile, so one treatment plan doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why here at My Hills Dentist, we offer a number of cosmetic options to get you a smile you love.

The first step is determining your needs. If your goals are purely cosmetic, it makes things a bit easier. However, if you have a misaligned bite, or malocclusion, there are specific treatments that will help you sleep better, feel better and reduce pain in the future. Here are just a few treatment options we offer here at My Hills Dentist:

Smilefast

If you dread spending over a year or two in traditional braces, Smilefast is a speedy and efficient option. First, we take a 3D image of your teeth, and the software digitally adjusts your smile. Patients love this treatment plan because there are no surprises; you get to see exactly how your smile will look before we begin. Smilefast features brackets and a wire like traditional braces, but the 3D software helps us place everything precisely.

Six Month Smiles

It may sound unbelievable, but Six Month Smiles has revolutionized the braces game and can get you a straight smile in just half a year. The treatment focuses on your front teeth – the teeth you see when you smile – rather than trying to move hard-to-adjust back teeth and molars. Combined with sophisticated computer algorithms, this allows Six Month Smiles to work faster than traditional braces.

eXceed Clear Braces

If you hate the look of wires and brackets, eXceed Clear Braces may be right for you. They look like a thin, subtle mouthguard that you wear for 16-20 hours a day. You’ll receive a series of aligners to gradually shift your teeth.

Inman Aligner

The Inman Aligner is removable, just like eXceed Clear Braces. While it does have visible wires, treatment can finish in as early as six weeks. While the Inman Aligner offers unmatched speed, not everyone is a perfect candidate.

Smile Like Courtney

If you’re ready to have a beautiful smile like Dancing with the Stars’ Courtney Act, you can skip the headgear. Here at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve a whiter, straighter and stunning smile that you’re proud of.

To schedule an appointment to talk about what treatment plan is right for you, please call (02) 9686 7375 today, or book online.

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