Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.


Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is often viewed as a harmless, though annoying, habit. Some people develop bruxism from an inability to deal with stress or anxiety.

However, teeth grinding can literally transform your bite relationship and worse, severely damage your teeth and jaws over long periods of time.

Teeth grinding can cause abrasion to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. This abnormal wear and tear will prematurely age and loosen your teeth, and open them to problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin). Bruxism can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches.

If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:

  • Your jaw is often sore, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.
  • Your teeth look abnormally short or worn down.
  • You notice small dents in your tongue.

Bruxism is somewhat treatable. A common therapy involves use of a special appliance worn while sleeping. Less intrusive, though just as effective methods could involve biofeedback, and behavior modification, such as tongue exercises and learning how to properly align your tongue, teeth and lips.


Laser Use In Dentistry:

Most small cavities can be completed without numbing using a laser. The WaterlaseMD Laser can be used to numb the large majority of teeth by simply shining the low power laser light on the tooth. Then, at a higher setting, the laser can be used to get the cavity out of the tooth, or a regular dental drill can also be used. We have been using the laser in the office for 6 years now and nearly all the patients report the same when asked: "On a scale of 1-100, with 100 being very uncomfortable, how do you rate the laser just used?"

  • I didn't feel a thing, I rate it zero discomfort.

  • All I felt was some cold, maybe a two or a three.

  • I didn't feel a thing, this is great, no pain at all.

  • This is great, I really don't like being numbed up.

We have found that people do not like the feeling of being numb, and the laser is a great tool to get their small fillings done, pain-free without numbing.