Posts for category: Uncategorized
Do you grind your teeth? If you're not sure, ask your family—sometimes the sound of teeth grinding against teeth might make enough noise to be keeping them up at night. You might also be waking with sore jaw muscles and joints.
If you suspect you have this habit of involuntarily grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth, it's a good idea to get it checked. Here are 3 things you should know about this odd habit.
Teeth-grinding more prevalent among children. Children are more likely than adults to grind their teeth in their sleep, thought to be a consequence of their developing swallowing mechanism, but usually grow out of it without any long-term effects. Adults with the habit seem to grind their teeth for different reasons, one of the most significant being a response to high stress. Tobacco could be another factor: users are twice as likely as non-users to grind their teeth. Adult teeth-grinding may also be associated with high caffeine consumption, illicit drug use or Parkinson's Disease, which impairs brain nerve function.
Sleep apnea can be an underlying cause. There's one other major underlying cause to add to that list: obstructive sleep apnea. One international study of thousands of patients from different countries found both high anxiety or stress and sleep-related breathing disorders were two of the most significant risk factors for adult teeth-grinding. It's believed the physical stress generated by these temporary episodes of breathing obstruction occurring several times a night could trigger teeth-grinding.
Teeth-grinding can cause dental problems. While having a teeth-grinding habit doesn't automatically mean you'll have dental issues, your risk can increase dramatically. Due to its chronic nature, teeth-grinding can lead to excessive tooth wear, dental work damage or jaw joint dysfunction. In some extreme cases, it could cause tooth fracture.
If you grind your teeth, your dentist may be able to help by creating a custom-made occlusal guard that can reduce biting forces while you're wearing it. You might also minimize teeth-grinding by quitting tobacco and other lifestyle changes, or getting a better handle on stress management. And if you're also diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, getting treatment for that condition will not only improve your overall health, it could help put an end to your teeth-grinding habit.
If you would like more information on bruxism, 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 “Teeth Grinding: Causes and Therapies for a Potentially Troubling Behavior.”
When my first daughter was born, breastfeeding was extremely difficult for both her and my wife. We saw numerous lactation consultants. Our pediatrician had no suggestions. Despite the pain, constant nursing, and poor sleep cycles from constant hunger, both of them persevered and breastfed for years. Several years ago, my second daughter was born, this time at home. Within 3 days, an almost identical experience was developing for my wife. This time, however, our midwives identified a potential anatomical reason for why it was so painful. We saw Melissa Cole with Luna Lactation, who very quickly identified a tethered upper lip and tongue as the cause of our problems. At 7 days of age, my daughter underwent release of these two tethered frenula and nearly immediately, breastfeeding began to improve.
During my paternity leave, I watched my wife and daughter's nursing experience improve gradually. Looking retrospectively, it became apparent that my first daughter was also tongue- and lip-tied. How did different hospital lactation consultants, her pediatrician, and her ENT dad (presumably a specialist in all aspects of mouth problems), completely miss her problems?
It boils down to a complete lack of education.
In four years of medical school and five years of residency training, I received exactly 0 lectures on breastfeeding. It's appalling. The more and more I thought about it, the angrier I became. So I decided to do something about it.
Over the last two years, I have dedicated myself to understanding and treating babies who are having difficulty with breastfeeding. I have many goals. I want to make any medical professional who comes into contact with a breastfeeding dyad aware of the potential problems that tongue-tie and lip-tie can cause. I want to debunk the nonsensical myths that have been propagated from medical generation to medical generation. I want to generate studies that can help determine why some have problems with breastfeeding and others don't.
Slowly, I'm making progress. It will take some time. But I'm confident that I will help those who don't understand why breastfeeding shouldn't be painful or a struggle.Coming soon.