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Ingrid Viljak DDS January 2012 Newsletter Forward to a Friend   Submit Question
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Maintaining Space: When a Child Loses a Tooth Too Soon
If you have children or are around children who still have their baby teeth, here's something useful to know. A child's mouth is rather pliable and each tooth is a "guide" for the permanent tooth to follow. If a baby tooth is lost because of an injury or if it was removed due to decay, the remaining teeth may begin to occupy a portion of that vacant space.

That can pose a problem when the permanent teeth come in, possibly causing them to drift or erupt incorrectly and grow in crooked. Crooked or crowded teeth can cause children problems with speaking or chewing. And crooked teeth are costly to correct down the line.

Once again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We have a simple solution that will help your child develop more even and regular permanent teeth through the use of a space maintainer. There are several different kinds including removable and fixed ones, depending upon the child's circumstances.

A space maintainer will hold the neighboring teeth in place until the permanent teeth begin to develop. At that time, we remove the space maintainer. Of course, not all instances of a lost tooth require a space maintainer. And the decision to install one depends on several additional factors.

The important thing to remember is this: if your child or a child you know experiences a loss of a baby tooth, it is important that a dentist takes a look to determine if an intervention is needed.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
You may be grinding or clenching your teeth and not even know it. Tooth grinding, or bruxism, is very common but it can lead to serious dental damage. Stress, diet, and misaligned teeth can also contribute to bruxism.

Tooth sensitivity, headaches, earaches, a sore jaw or even ringing in your ears can be clues. We can often tell if you are grinding your teeth so get regular checkups. We have several ways of helping you resolve this condition.

New Hope For Gum Disease Sufferers
Those with gum disease may be in line to benefit from the intersection of technology and healing. Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a way to regenerate gum tissue via gene therapy.

Gum disease can adversely affect teeth because you need healthy gums to support and hold teeth in place. A breakthrough in tissue engineering has potential for gum disease sufferers that may extend the life of their teeth.

Ingrid Viljak DDS | | 503-472-7900
819 NE Baker St, McMinnville, OR 97128



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