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Dental Prevention

Mouthguards and Bruxism

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can cause long-term damage to teeth. Constant grinding wears down the hard enamel surface of the tooth, exposing the soft dentin beneath. Some of the damage that can occur includes:

•  Cracked teeth
•  Fractured teeth
•  Tooth flattening
•  Cracked, loose or broken fillings
•  Tooth loss
•  Gum recession and bone loss

Bruxism may be nocturnal (occurring at night) or a result of stress. Many patients may not even be aware of their grinding habits until the dentist shows them the signs in their mouth.

athletic mouth guard


When it comes to protecting your teeth, a mouthguard is an essential appliance. Mouthguards prevent further wear of natural dentition and protect dental work such as veneers or implant crowns. Athletes, especially those participating in contact sports, benefit from the added protection a mouthguard provides.


Dental enamel is made from a calcium crystal structure called hydroxyapatite. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria metabolizes sugar into acid and dissolves the crystal structure of enamel. Repetition of this cycle results in a cavity, or hole, in the tooth surface. The addition of fluoride into the hydroxyapatite structure makes enamel more resistant to damage from the acid produced by bacteria. Topical fluoride gel or mouth wash can help strengthen the outer layer of enamel. Fluoride tablets taken during tooth formation protects the tooth from the inside-out. Fluoride treatment dramatically reduces the incidence and rate of tooth decay in children! Ask your hygienist or one of the doctors at Dougherty Dental how fluoride can help protect your teeth.


Molars often have deep grooves and fissures that trap food debri and bacteria. Without preventive treatment, these deep grooves and fissures provide pathways that lead to tooth decay. Sealants provide an excellent, non-invasive way to prevent the spread of tooth decay. Without dental shots or drilling, the dentist places a tooth colored filling in the deep grooves and fissures, making them smooth and cleansable. Sealants dramatically reduce the rate of tooth decay in children and can be placed on adults too!

Caries Risk Kit

•  Fluoride toothpaste
•  Fluoride mouth rinse
•  Chlorhexidine (Peridex) antibacterial rinse

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Dougherty Dental | | (503) 221-1973
1809 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209
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