Invisalign as a Mouthguard

What are the possibilities I can use my Invisalign aligners as a mouthguard? I just got Invisalign. I’m really excited about it because I have really bad teeth. I am soooo glad I’m getting them fixed. But, I’m on the wrestling team. I’ve been taking the aligners out to use my mouthguard. But, I’ve heard taking them out slows the treatment down. Can I use  my aligners as a mouthguard?

Aidan T. – Montana

Aidan,

It’s great that you’re trying to be so responsible with your treatment. And, yes, if you don’t wear your Invisalign aligners for the prescribed amount of time, then it can hinder your treatment. But it sounds to me like you’re wearing them properly.

Unfortunately, your aligners will not  serve as a mouthguard. They’re not designed to absorb shock that way sport’s guards do.  You could end up severely damaging your teeth that way.

Continue taking out the aligner out during wrestling. Just be sure you put them back in as soon as you’re done. Also, make sure they’re safe in a case during your matches.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

 

Did the Emergency Dentist Damage My Tooth?

I had a toothache and went to an emergency dentist. He did an x-ray and didn’t see a problem, though he said he suspected a tooth was cracked. He did a crown. I’m done with that and now, lo and behold the tooth next to it is suddenly gray. Did he damage it when he did the crown?

Justin L. – Nevada

Justin,

Before we address possible causes, I want to address the gray tooth. This tooth is either dead or dying. It needs treatment right away before it blows into a full blown infection. Don’t put this off. If you don’t trust this dentist, find another emergency dentist.

As for what happened, there are a few possibilities.

The first possibility is a misdiagnosis. It could have been the tooth hurting you all along. Your other tooth, the one that was crowned, could have referred pain. If you have another dentist look at the x-rays and they say it was a clear misdiagnosis, you could get a refund for the crown.

Another possibility is both teeth were injured simultaneously. Maybe when you traumatized the cracked tooth, you also injured the adjacent tooth, but it died slowly.

A third possibility is they are two completely separate injuries that happened at different times. That’s not the most likely, but is always  a possibility.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Pregnancy and TMJ

Is it possible my pregnancy is causing a TMJ flare-up?  I thought I had this under control.

Valera – Idaho

Valera,

Let me say congratulations right away.  Babies are the best!

There is no established connection between pregnancy and TMJ. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I can think of at least two circumstances during pregnancy that could cause a flare-up.

The first is stress.  Though the expectation of a new family member is joyful, it also comes with its own stress. Will we have enough money? Will we be good parents? Will we know what to do?  Which car seat is the safest?  You get the idea. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s likely that you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. That will aggravate your TMJ symptoms. Be sure you’re wearing your mouthguard at night.

The second is vitamin deficiency.  Calcium and magnesium are important when dealing with TMJ. When you’re pregnant, your body is careful to make sure the baby gets everything he or she needs. That could mean you’re not getting enough. This is an easy fix. Eat well and be sure you’re taking a great prenatal vitamin.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

What If My Dentures No Longer Fit?

I’ve had dentures for a long time. They’ve gotten to the point where they won’t stay in.  It’s like my jaw has changed.  Is there anything I can do?

Jeannette N. – Brooklyn

Jeannette,

I know exactly what was going on. When your teeth are removed, your body begins to reabsorb the minerals from the roots of your teeth to use elsewhere in your body. It’s a very efficient system…unless you happen to wear dentures. Eventually so much of your jawbone is gone that you can’t wear your dentures anymore.

There is a way to repair this. You’ll need to have some bone grafting done. This will restore bone structure to your jawbone. Then you can have your treatment restored. Ideally, you’d want to get dental implants to replace your teeth. This prevents your body from reabsorbing the minerals and protects your jaw.

If you can’t afford dental implants, you could get snap-on dentures. This will affix your dentures to your jaw using as few as two implants, which saves you a lot of money. Then, as you’re able to, you can add implants.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.