Do you know how your teeth work? Well, picture this. you are 26 years old. You are working hard at your first job out of college. There is no time for anything but work and attempting to keep up with the giant social calendar you were able to maintain back in college. At some point this thought may come up:
“I haven’t been to the dentist since high school. That was eight years ago. My breath stinks. What is this stuff building up on my teeth?”
Maybe it’s because you saw an ad for a dentist that made you realize this. Perhaps you broke a tooth. Or, you ran into me and thought
“Oh yeah, this guy is a dentist, I guess I should go have my teeth checked.”
Whatever the way or reason is that led you to begin thinking more about your dental care, I’d like to reiterate why you should go to the dentist and what to expect while you’re there.
We will focus on three important components of dentistry:
- Your overall biting system: muscle jaw joint and jaw bone
- Your gums and bone around your teeth
- Your teeth! Of course!
Call it the TMJ joint. All other joints in the body move fluidly, but the hardness of your teeth puts a lot of load and forces on the jaw joint and bone
If you grind your teeth at night or clench your teeth during the day, you may be causing damage to the joint which can lead to severe headaches and jaw muscle soreness. It can also lead to your teeth wearing down to nothing over time. So, hang loose… (that’s the surfer in me talking).
Hang your jaw loose that is. Your teeth should only touch when you eat! Some people will need a night guard if they grind their teeth subconsciously at night.
So, everyone: Go see your local dentist, and don’t forget to brush with an electric toothbrush and floss!
Want to learn more? Check out my article, A Smile is the Shortest Distance Between Two People!