Can Problems with Teeth Give You a Headache?

curly haired girl holding her jaw with a toothache that has led to a headache

Sometimes, dealing with the side effects of a dental problem can feel like a headache. Other times, your teeth may be directly responsible for your headache! Today, we want to discuss some of the ways your teeth and mouth can be responsible for your headaches so you can get the answers and treatment you need to feel your best.

Grinding Your Teeth Can Lead to Headaches

Do you grind your teeth at night? In addition to potential damage to your teeth from grinding, nocturnal teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) can lead to headaches during the day. Grinding your teeth at night puts additional strain on your jaw muscles that can cause tension headaches. In order to treat tooth grinding and alleviate the resulting headaches, our team will work to determine the root cause of your teeth grinding. Common causes include stress, bite alignment issues, and sleep apnea.

Jaw Issues & Headaches

A misaligned bite can cause ripple effects throughout your head and mouth. When your bite is off, the muscles in your jaw need to work harder to help you chew and talk. This results in muscle strain along with popping, clicking, and locking in the jaw. Even worse, this can cause pain to radiate throughout your head and cause headaches. To treat alignment issues, Dr. Desai may turn to orthodontic options or a custom oral appliance that gently shifts the position of your jaw while you sleep.

Toothaches & Headaches

Toothaches resulting from cavities and infections can also lead to headache pain. However, headaches caused by tooth decay are typically just on one side of the head and can be eased by treating the damaged tooth through root canal therapy, fillings, or through other means.

Contact Us for Treatment Options

If you’ve been living with regular headaches, our team wants to help. The first step in treating your headaches will be to determine the root cause. Then, we will work together to come up with a treatment plan that gives you the relief you need. To ask our team any questions or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Are Invisalign or Braces Better?

For patients interested in a straighter smile, the decision between Invisalign and traditional metal braces can be a difficult one. The two treatments have many differences and it can be tough to determine which one is the best fit for you. If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment, a consultation with Dr. Desai can recommend the better option depending on the type of treatment you need, your personal goals, and your budget.

What Kind of Orthodontic Treatment Do You Need?

Invisalign is a system of clear aligners that uses a new aligner every two weeks to gradually straighten your teeth. Invisalign can treat issues like misalignment, gaps, and overcrowding. However, more severe issues may require traditional metal braces for effective treatment. Our team can tell you which treatment is the best fit for you depending on the scope of the work you need.

invisalign teeth straightening treatments

What Are Your Goals?

If your goal is for your orthodontic treatment to be as subtle and convenient as possible, you may opt for Invisalign. Unlike traditional metal braces with their brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners are invisible. You can also remove Invisalign while you eat, allowing you to continue to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks during your orthodontic treatment.

What Is Your Budget?

Once we determine the scope of your orthodontic treatment, our team will have a better estimate of the cost. Typically, traditional metal braces are the more affordable option. We offer multiple payment and financing options to help you fit orthodontic treatment into your budget.

During your consultation for orthodontic treatment, our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your goals, fits your budget, and delivers you the smile of your dreams. To ask us any questions about orthodontic treatment or to schedule your consultation, contact our office today!

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Suffer From Chronic Snoring? Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Help!

Has anyone ever told you that you’re a major snorer? Or maybe your partner is currently being driven crazy by your chronic snoring. If that’s the case for you, you might want to consider getting diagnosed for sleep apnea. While snoring doesn’t definitely mean that you have sleep apnea, it is a common symptom of those with the condition. Sleep apnea treatments won’t just help you sort out your snoring issues, but it’ll also ensure you don’t suffer negative effects from a serious health condition.

cartoon man snoring with sleep apnea

The Connection Between Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Snoring happens when your airway is partially blocked and this leads to vibration during breathing, which in turn causes the snoring sound. Obstructive sleep apnea is the form of the sleep disorder where your throat muscles relax to the point where your airway gets blocked and causes pauses in your breathing. This commonality of a blocked airway is why many people who have obstructive sleep apnea also snore.

Basics of Sleep Apnea Treatment

The goal of sleep apnea treatment is to stop your airway from being blocked so you can breathe seamlessly while you sleep. To do this, a dental professional can make you a custom mouthpiece that repositions your jaw and opens your airway. Opening your airway can also take care of the cause of your snoring! Getting to enjoy uninterrupted sleep and no more snoring sounds like a win-win to us!

If you’re curious to know more about sleep apnea treatment, or you’d like to get started on your own treatment, contact North Richland Hills Dentistry today. We are happy to answer any and all questions you have, and we can provide our patients with sleep apnea relief.

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The Pros & Cons of Chewing Gum

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we have mixed opinions on chewing gum. On the one hand, it can be a great quick fix to freshen breath and clean teeth. On the other hand, it can lead to tooth decay and excess wear on your teeth. Today, we want to take a closer look at the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to chewing gum and your oral health.

girl blowing a bubble gum bubble

The Good: Freshen Breath & Fight Cavities

When you chew gum, it stimulates saliva production in your mouth. Saliva can not only wash away leftover food residue on teeth before bacteria have a chance to feed on it and produce acid — it also contains an enzyme that can fight off the number of bacteria in the mouth. When fewer bacteria are present, your breath smells fresher!

If you’re looking for benefits of chewing gum, reach for a pack of sugar-free gum sweetened with Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar free sweetener that can neutralize the pH of your mouth and keep acid from wearing away on teeth and causing cavities.

The Bad: Chewing Gum May Loosen Dental Work

For folks with retainers, oral appliances, or dental work like fillings and crowns, chewing gum can create more problems. It can loosen fillings, crowns, and bridges or limit their longevity. If you have had dental work done, consult with our office if you are unsure whether you can chew gum.

The Ugly: Chewing Gum Can Lead to Tooth Decay

If you chew gum that contains sugar, you may be unknowingly contributing to the growth of cavities in your mouth. Bacteria feed on sugar to produce acid, so chewing gum with sugar may result in more bacteria and acid in your mouth. Without proper care, this can lead to cavities and tooth decay.

While chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to clean teeth and freshen breath, chewing gum that contains sugar can actually damage teeth. If you do decide to chew gum, choose wisely! To ask our team any questions about chewing gum or to schedule your next appointment, contact our office today!

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What Is a Dead Tooth?

Of all the tooth trouble you could be faced with, a dead tooth might sound the most dire by name, and certainly the creepiest. In this blog post, we’ll let you know how to spot a dead tooth, and help you understand why you might have one.

What’s a Dead Tooth?

When a tooth is healthy, the pulp and the nerves that reside within its hard, outer shell are healthy, and it’s considered alive. When that matter within the tooth is damaged, thanks to decay or injury, it is possible for blood flow to the tooth to halt, causing the tooth to die.

woman punching man in the jaw with boxing gloves causing a dead tooth

What Causes a Dead Tooth?

One possible cause is trauma. If you have an accident and your tooth gets hit with enough force, the tooth might end up dying. That death can occur quickly, or it might take months. Poor dental care is another common cause of tooth death. If you fail to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist for your biannual cleaning and exam, you’re putting your teeth at risk and a dead tooth can come as a result. Without proper oral hygiene, cavities are nearly inevitable. If left untreated, that decay targets and infects the tooth pulp, leading to that loss of blood flow and the eventual loss of the tooth’s vitality.

Spotting a Dead Tooth

The most apparent and outward sign of a dead tooth is discoloration. While healthy teeth should be a shade of white, if a little bit yellow, a dead tooth will stand out amongst the other teeth as discolored. Dead teeth can be yellow, brown, gray, or black, and that discoloration tends to deepen over time. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a dead tooth, you may feel pain, experience foul breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth, or see swelling around the affected tooth.

If you think you might have a dead tooth, it’s crucial that we tend to the tooth quickly so that the problem doesn’t spread. Make an appointment to come see us here at North Richland Hills Dentistry as soon as you can.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Is Chocolate Bad for My Teeth?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means that you can expect to eat (or at least be tempted by) lots of chocolate over the course of the next few weeks! But if you’re trying to maintain a strong, healthy smile, will an uptick in chocolate consumption harm your efforts? We’ll share the truth behind chocolate’s effect on your teeth, and ways you can keep your smile sparkling this Valentine’s Day season.

heart shaped box of valentine's day chocolates

Is Chocolate the Problem?

You’ve probably heard that chocolate and other candy can “rot” your teeth, but this isn’t entirely true. Yes, eating too much candy can harm your teeth and cause cavities in the long run, but it’s because of its high sugar content above all else. When sugar sits on your teeth for too long, it attracts plaque and bacteria that secrete acid when they snack on the sugar. This acid in turn corrodes your teeth, making it easier to develop cavities and decay. If left untreated, you can lose your teeth down the line.

How to Curb the Effects of Sugar

The number one way to avoid sugar damage to your teeth is to avoid eating sugar entirely. It’s understandably hard to do this time of year, so if you must indulge in a little chocolate here and there, you should opt for dark chocolate or even sugar free options (like chocolates sweetened with stevia or coconut sugar).

Another way to protect your teeth is to make sure that you thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after eating sugary foods. That way plaque and bacteria won’t have much time to develop on your teeth and won’t have much to consume if there is no sugar sitting on your teeth to begin with.

Other Foods to Avoid

Aside from sugary chocolate and candy, other foods you should generally avoid in order to protect your teeth are foods that are high in acid like certain fruits (including dried fruit, which is loaded with sugar), coffee and soda, and alcohol.

Foods to Eat Instead

Want something healthy that feels indulgent this Valentine’s Day? Try dipping strawberries (which are full of malic acid that can whiten teeth) in dark chocolate for a guilt-free snack. Other foods to eat year-round are fresh fruit, nuts, cheese and dairy products, dark leafy greens, and crunchy vegetables. All of these foods contain fiber and vitamins and minerals that support strong teeth!

Show love to your teeth this Valentine’s Day by opting for less sugary snacks. If you’re in need for a dental checkup this year, pay us a visit at North Richland Hills Dentistry. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!