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Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress can arise from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious.

Too much stress is known to play a role in our overall health but did you know that stress can also cause issues to your smile?

Stress Induced Dental Health Issues

Poor Dental Hygiene

When a person is under a lot of stress they tend to lose focus on basic habits and this can include maintaining optimal dental hygiene. If you do not take care of your dental hygiene on a daily basis, your dental health along with your overall health will begin to suffer and consequences can develop. This is especially important if you already have an issue with periodontal disease. Neglecting any part of your dental hygiene regimen can cause your periodontal disease to worsen. Another issue that can occur from stress is changes to your nutrition. Most people under heavy stress tend to develop very unhealthy eating habits. This can include frequent snacking on greater quantities than normal of sugary foods and drinks. These dietary changes will increase the risk of tooth decay.

An excellent way to defend against stress in your life is to regularly exercise. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help you relieve some of that built up stress and give you an extra energy boost to fight back. Exercise will also boost your immune system which will keep you stronger and healthier over the long haul.

Teeth Grinding (also referred to as Bruxism)

A main factor for people who grind their teeth is due to stress. Bruxism or teeth grinding can occur any time of day or night but it is usually an act we are unaware we are doing. Stress is not the sole cause of bruxism but it can make it worse. Dental issues associated with bruxism can include:

-Headaches

-Pain In Ears

-Wearing down of teeth.

-Temporo mandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues

Sensitive Teeth

-Chipped or cracked teeth

Receding gums or teeth with notches along the gum line

Your dentist following a thorough examination may recommend a night guard to wear while you sleep to minimize the damage to your teeth. Generally, if stress is the root cause the bruxism will stop when the stressor(s) are removed.

Sores In The Oral Cavity

Mouth sores come in multiple forms. These forms can include:

-Canker sores. These are tiny ulcers with a white or grayish base and a red border.  There has been extensive debate among scientists regarding what is the root cause of canker sores. Some believe it is an immune system deficiency, bacteria, or even an underlying virus. The consensus belief is that stress can increase the risk of them appearing. Canker sores are not believed to be contagious.

Canker Sores Marielaina Perrone DDS

Canker sores generally last about a week to ten days. Spicy foods along with highly acidic foods should be avoided as they may irritate the sores. Your dentist can recommend a prescribed medicine called Debacterol. This prescription medicine is applied directly to the mouth sore and can reduce symptoms as well as thetime that the sores are present in the mouth.

-Cold sores (also called fever blisters). This type of sore is caused by the herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. These sores are blisters that are filled with fluid that often appear on or around the lips. They are also seen under the nose or around the chin area. Emotional stress can trigger these sores to develop. Other triggers for these sores include fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.

Cold sores generally heal on their own in about 7 days time. Many treatments are available for relief, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Talk to your doctor or dentist if these medications could help you. It is imperative to start treatment as soon as you feel or visually notice the cold sore forming. The sooner you begin treatment the effects of the cold sore can be decreased.

Periodontal Disease (also Known as Gum Disease)

Stress can often lead to depression. Scientific studies have shown that patients who are dealing with depression have 2 times the risk of poor treatment outcomes from periodontal disease treatment compared to those who are not depressed. Most doctors agree that learning healthy strategies to cope with bouts of depression can help reduce the risk of periodontal issues getting worse.  Also, people who are in a depressed state tend to have poor overall hygiene including dental hygiene.

Stress Conclusion

Remember, we all have events that trigger stress during our daily lives. Development of techniques to deal with stress can make a marked difference in the maintanence of our dental health as well as our overall general health. As always, see your dentist for regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings to ensure you can keep your smile looking and feeling as healthy as can be!

Reminder:

-Eat a balanced diet

-Regular Dental Visits

and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily.




Orthodontics have become a new tool to recreate our smiles. For the longest time, orthodontic braces was a treatment only for children. Advances in orthodontic materials have led to changes in the appearance of orthodontic appliances, and increased speed of movement of our teeth. Orthodontics have become a treatment of choice for many teens and adults. There are multiple options for orthodontic treatment today to make them as aesthetic as possible with shorter treatment lengths along with more cosmetic appearance. While teeth are being moved, changes occur to the mouth, lips, chin, and cheeks. The million dollar question is…..Can Orthodontic treatment change a person’s facial appearance?

Once orthodontic treatment is completed, many patients will look in the mirror and notice changes in their facial appearance. The bigger change happen when exhibiting a full smile, as this will show off the new found symmetry of your smile. The change will be even more noticeable if there are major corrections during your orthodontic treatment.

 Orthodontic Corrections = Changing Facial Appearance

Correction Of Overbite.  An overbite can cause the upper lip to protrude otward. In very extreme cases the upper lip is so far advanced that the lips are not able to completely cover and close the mouth at rest. In side profile the upper lip flares and the convexity of the mid face is pronounced. After completion of orthodontic movement, the facial area from nose down to chin flattens and the appearance can soften.

Correction Of Underbite. An underbite causes the chin to protrude and lower lip to retrude, giving you a “Moon Shape” profile. After orthodontic movement, the face loses much of this concavity. This again helps to flatten and soften the features, bringing the lips together in a more natural look. Underbite correction may in some cases require surgery.

Open Bite Correction. Prior to correction, the mouth and lips may seem a bit overstretched. In more severe cases the lips do not touch at rest. After movement, The mid face appears more relaxed and the lips come together at rest. Severe open bite may require surgery to be fully corrected.

Upper Or Lower Jaw Expansion. There are times when a patient has too little space in one or both of their arches.  The middle of the face may be narrow, and cheeks a bit hollow. If space needs to be opened, a device is custom fabricated called an orthodontic expander. If it is used on top jaw it is referred to as a palatal expander and if used on lower jaw it is called a mandibular expander. Expanders are used more often on children but they can also be used on adults in coordination with surgery. The expansion is usually done in very small increments and usually will go unnoticed by many. A more symmetrical smile and wider mid face will be the end result.

Conclusion

Orthodontic treatment can change a person in multiple ways. These changes can include a bigger smile, straighter teeth, and balancing of one’s facial appearance. The changes to a person’s face are usually more pronounced when surgery is involved.  A person’s side profile is what changes most dramatically. When teeth are in proper alignment, the profile of a person will be more in line with the rest of their facial features creating a more symmetrical balanced appearance.

The facial changes can usually be predicted prior to treatment. Ask your dentist what changes you can expect based on your individual smile



Cosmetic surgery is a very popular specialty of medicine that has been growing steadily for decades. Youth is associated with vitality and beauty. For many of us, aging is not an easy thing to do and we seek out help to keep us looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. When seeking out cosmetic surgery, many often overlook the role our teeth play in our appearance. As we age, our teeth become darker, get worn down, and may even change alignment. This can create not only cosmetic issues but functional ones as well. These functional issues can lead to Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, and muscle pain.

How Can My Dentist Make Me Look Younger?

As our teeth wear down over our lifetimes, it can result in a shorter looking face, longer looking teeth, and stained teeth. The resulting appearance may make some of us look like we are aging prematurely. The breakdown can be caused by tooth erosion (high acid wear), attrition (flattening and fracturing due to grinding, clenching, and other oral habits), and abrasion (overly aggresive brushing), recession (loss of gum tissue making teeth appear longer) . The length and shape of our faces and teeth, as well as the position of the jaw are determined by the teeth, skeletal bones, and a person's bite. So, when a person's teeth wear down it will give the appearance of a shorter face. Discomfort and pain are also often associated with wearing down of teeth and gums, as they become more sensitive, prone to increased fractures, and to development of TMJ and headache pain.

Your dentist can give you the ability to change all of this, allowing the patient to look more youthful while correcting dental issues.  The patients oral hygiene must be good and the mouth should be in a healthy state before any work can be completed.  This should include control of periodontal disease, removal of any loose teeth, addressing gum loss issues, ascertaining desired whiteness, and correcting dangerous oral habits, .  Great care must be taken while returning someone to their proper tooth height (vertical dimension) as it can create even more TMJ and headache issues if not done properly.

Some of the procedures involved in making you look younger include:

-Porcelain Crowns. This type of crown will give the cosmetic appearance most patients are longing for but also give the strength and stability to open one's bite .  One type of strong porcelain which is used where teeth grinding has been a problem is a Bruxzir crown. When utilized properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their bite and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen.

-Porcelain Veneers. A staple of cosmetic dentistry but used in conjunction with porcelain crowns to lengthen and restore the length of front teeth. Porcelain veneers are less invasive and more conservative than porcelain crowns. For teeth that do not require a full coverage crown, porcelain veneers can adequately lengthen and reshape, and change the color of your smile.

-Orthodontics. Limited or full orthodontics may be necessary to remove any bite issues that can cause undue stress or trauma to the teeth before new restorations are placed.

-Dental Bonding. Used to restore any teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, staining or slight wear. Dental bonding is a cosmetically pleasing option that will look very natural when completed.

-Facial Asymmetry – In many of us, the muscles of the face may be asymmetrical leading to an imbalanced look to the face. Botox can restore that symmetry by balancing the facial muscles. Eyebrow lift, or depression of the brow can be enhanced with properly placed botox.

-Gummy Smile – This is shown as a smile that shows too much gum tissue. This usually is the result of the lip rising too high when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the retractor muscles of the upper lip so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced.

-Crown Lengthening. A surgical process to expose more tooth structure so that there is enough room to properly place a crown. This is often necessary in severe grinding cases.

-Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Lost bone and gum tissue can often times be grafted to help regrow them. They can also be reshaped surgically to be healthier, easier to work with, and more cosmetically appealing.

-Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration.

Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry will change not only how your teeth function but how you feel about yourself. Many dentists often overlook the relationship between our teeth and our bite. If the bite is not in alignment, your teeth and face will never look and feel their best.



Botox

Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis. Infection with the bacterium causes the disease botulism.

Living with long-lasting facial pain can be very hard for the sufferers and their loved ones. Often, (identification of a disease or problem, or its cause) and treatment of long-lasting pain can be hard to diagnose.

The source of the pain may be related to infection, nerve, or muscle tissue.  muscle. Botox may be the answer for many muscular issues.

What Can Botox Do?

Botox (BoNT-A) is injected directly into a specific muscle group. Once botox enters the muscle it prevents the muscle from recieving nerve commands. Without this command the muscles will not contract thus leaving them paralyzed temporarily. The most popular use of Botox is to relax facial muscles, removing wrinkles to give a more youthful appearance. Botox can be used throughout the facial muscles to paralyze the painful, spasming muscles related to grinding, clenching, headaches, etc. This paralysis can give much needed pain relief from overactive muscles for as long as 3 months at a time.

Botox Marielaina Perrone DDS

What Types Of Dental Pain Can Botox Treat?

Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain. The temperomandibular joint is susceptible to disorders, as it consists of delicate moving parts. When any of these moving parts are not in proper alignment pain can be the result. The major reason for damage is due to chronic bruxism (teeth grinding) or teeth clenching. With Botox use in the TMJ area, the muscles of the jaw are allowed to relax and prevent it from contracting, decreasing the grinding or clenching, and in turn decreasing pain.

Myofacial Pain Syndrome. This is considered a chronic pain disorder. This syndrome occurs when pressure is placed on sensitive points in your muscles. These are called trigger points. When this “trigger point” pressure occurs, the pain can does not always occur at the source, but may begin at a different location from the source of the pressure. This is called referred pain and may be very difficult to accurately diagnose. Myofacial pain syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress. Myofacial pain can stem from problems with your TMJ / jaw muscles, or forehead muscles. Myofacial pain can be sudden and debilitating.

Arthritis. Early studies have shown that Botox injections appear to reduce arthritis pain in the shoulder, knee and hip. These results are promising, and may be helpful in patients with arthritis along with TMJ pain, but further research is needed. A new study shows that Botox injections may significantly reduce chronic neck pain when used in combination with physical therapy.

Conclusion

When it comes to chronic pain it is difficult to predict how each patient will respond. It is important to note that an infection should always be ruled out, and diagnosis by your exceptional dentist or medical doctor should be conclusive before trying  Botox treatment. Botox may just be the answer to many to relieve them of their chronic pain in the short term. While still being studied, it could be a key component in relieving the symptoms of those suffering from chronic pain.