What Causes Sensitive Teeth and Best Solutions

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What causes sensitive teeth?

Do you have sensitive teeth? Teeth can become sensitive due to gum recession, which is the exposure of root surfaces above the gumline. This can happen due to grinding and clenching the teeth, brushing aggressively with abrasive toothpaste and medium or hard bristle toothbrushes, or a history of orthodontic treatment resulting in receded gums.

When aggressive toothbrushing techniques are used, it is possible to remove thin layers of dentin, which is the tooth structure that is exposed in recession. This allows liquids, acids, and air to move through the tooth through the dentinal tubules more easily, reacting with the nerve within the tooth.

Other reasons teeth can become sensitive are the erosion of enamel by acids from food, diet or stomach problems, gum disease, grinding teeth, whitening teeth or cracked teeth or fillings.


sensitive teeth after teeth whitening

Sensitive Teeth and Whitening

Many teeth bleaching agents contain peroxides which can cause sensitivity. Sensitivity from whitening usually goes away after stopping application for a few days. There are professional whitening products that contain desensitizing agents as well as methods you can use to manage sensitivity during your whitening at home. Talk to your Lincoln, NE dentist about any concerns you may have about sensitivity during whitening. 

Find out more about Professional Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth at: https://nebraskafamilydentistry.com/professional-teeth-whitening/



sensitive teeth discomfort after appointment

Sensitive Teeth and Recent Dental Work

Recent deep cleanings and placement of fillings or crowns can result in postoperative sensitivity. This should be short-term and is a normal part of the healing process. If this discomfort persists, talk to your Lincoln, NE dentist.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh0dH4DzYgs

Find out more at: https://nebraskafamilydentistry.com/dental-pain-toothache-management/


cracked tooth cause for sensitive teeth

Sensitive Teeth and Cracked teeth or fillings

Chewing ice, biting into hard candies, or having large older fillings in the teeth can eventually lead to cracked or broken teeth. Cracks and fractures can allow bacteria from the oral cavity to enter the inner part of the tooth, leading to inflammation of the nerve.


night guard for sensitive teeth

Sensitive Teeth and Grinding / Clenching Your Teeth

Clenching and grinding can cause enamel to wear away as well as accelerate gum recession. Wearing a nightguard can help minimize damage to the teeth and dental restorations over time.


sensitive teeth and tooth decay

Sensitive Teeth and Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can expose the inner layers of your teeth to temperatures from foods and liquids and allow bacteria inside of the tooth. This can cause sensitivity and if untreated, more severe tooth pain. Practicing excellent home-care, eating healthy and seeing your dentist on a regular basis can help prevent cavities.


Is it normal to have Sensitivity after Dental Work?

Cavities and New Fillings Post Operative Directions on Managing Dental Pain


What can I do about sensitive teeth?

To prevent further recession or abrasion of teeth, it is a good idea to avoid abrasive kinds of toothpaste and instead use sensitivity toothpaste. Brushing gently with a soft or extra soft toothbrush will prevent burnishing the exposed root surfaces further.

Many healthy foods are high in acid like tomatoes and citrus. These acids can erode tooth enamel and irritate exposed dentin. It is a good idea to rinse with water after eating an acidic meal. Do not brush teeth immediately after eating sour foods, as this can cause further erosion. Wait at least 45 minutes to brush after a high acid meal.


sensodyne sensitive teeth and repair

Toms of maine for sensitive teeth

What kind of sensitivity toothpaste is best for sensitive teeth?

There are many brands of sensitivity toothpaste on the market. Sensodyne is made with potassium nitrate salts and fluoride, which have been shown to help desensitize teeth by blocking the dentinal tubules and preventing stimulation of the nerve. For patients who would like a natural, fluoride-free option for sensitivity, Tom’s of Maine has one of the best products on the market. Recent research has suggested a more rapid and long-lasting effect from the ingredient arginine and calcium carbonate than more commonly used potassium nitrates. Tom’s Sensitivity Rapid Relief toothpaste contains arginine and calcium carbonate.

Regardless of what sensitivity toothpaste is used, it is important to use it on a daily basis for best results. Labels on sensitivity toothpaste often state to only use them for a few weeks.This statement is only made to discourage patients from putting off seeing their dentist if they are experiencing dental pain. There are no health risks with continued use of desensitizing agents.

Gently brushing sensitivity toothpaste on for two minutes and not rinsing after brushing to allow the toothpaste to stay in place is the recommended application method. If patients have areas with more severe sensitivity, they may apply a small amount of paste with a finger and allow it to stay on the tooth.

Gentle Dentist for sensitive teeth

What can dentists do about sensitive teeth?

Depending on the reasons for sensitivity, your Lincoln, NE  dentists can apply fluoride varnish or prescribe rinses or toothpaste for you to use at home that contains higher levels of fluoride or potassium nitrates and arginine calcium carbonates. If the sensitivity does not go away, it is possible to bond composite material to the exposed dentin.

Best Dental Plans and How To Find Them

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Best Dental Plans and How To Find Them

No dental insurance? No problem! Even if it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, you don’t have to feel bad. It is crucial to find the best dental plans for you and your family, since avoiding the dentist could cost you more in the long run.

And that’s where we come in.

At the end of 2016, nearly 77 percent of Americans had some kind of dental insurance, according to the National Association for Dental Plans. However, that means that about 1 in 4 people had no dental insurance at all.

If you aren’t seeing the dentist regularly because you’re lacking dental insurance, we can help! Read on to learn more about our partners at Lincoln Dental Plans, how their plans help those without dental insurance, and what it means to be a member below.

The Best Dental Insurance Option For Those Without Dental Insurance

The options are limited for those who can’t afford dental insurance. You can pay for treatment out of pocket, but that gets expensive quickly. Alternatively, you may find the best dental plans within arms reach. However, in our experience, patients who don’t have dental insurance have trouble getting the dental treatment they need and deserve. So what’s the solution?

best dental plans for affordable dentistry

Not long ago, we began partnering with Lincoln Dental Plans. Lincoln Dental Plans is a Lincoln dental discount plan which offers free and discounted services to members. It’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t have dental insurance, since it lowers the cost of several different treatments.

The Trouble with Dental Insurance

Unfortunately, dental insurance isn’t built like regular health insurance. It won’t usually cover the entire cost of a particular treatment. Many times it will cover a certain percentage of your treatment, and the rest of the balance will be left to you.

It’s important to know that your dental insurance company isn’t necessarily looking out for your best interest. Although you may have out-of-pocket expenses, it’s crucial not to base your treatment decisions on what your insurance will cover. Doing so can be hard on your teeth, and besides, Lincoln Dental Plans offers a solution. No more need to base dental treatments on what you can afford!


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Benefits of Lincoln Dental Plans

There are plenty of benefits with Lincoln Dental Plans that you won’t find with dental insurance. For one, you won’t need to adhere to the tough necessities of a dental insurance plan. Alongside that, below are some of the main benefits of Lincoln Dental Plans.

Goodbye Monthly Premiums With Lincoln Dental Plans, you’ll no longer have to meet monthly premiums. Instead, members pay a single yearly fee and gain access to several free and discounted services all year long.

No More Waiting Periods You’ll have access to new procedures the very day you sign up for Lincoln Dental Plans. This is different than dental insurance companies which will often make patients wait for treatments. Again, even necessary treatments are often buried by waiting periods. There’s no need to wait for the treatment you need with Lincoln Dental Plans.

No More Paperwork Thankfully, once you sign up for Lincoln Dental Plans you won’t have to do any more paperwork. This is unlike dental insurance, which has patients doing and looking through paperwork all the time.

Discounted Common Dental Treatments The purpose of Lincoln Dental Plans is to make dentistry affordable again. We do this by offering discounts on common dental services, such as root canals, dental fillings, removal of teeth, dental crowns, deep cleanings ( Periodontal disease treatment) and many other services.


Dental Insurance vs. Lincoln Dental Plans

For many of our patients, Lincoln Dental Plans has changed the way they pay for treatment. With dental insurance they were often left high and dry. Others may not have had insurance at all. However, the best dental plans out there can even be similar or better, depending on your needs. Lincoln Dental Plans, in particular, is a great dental discount plan with many offerings that are unavailable from insurance:

 Dental InsuranceLincoln Dental Plans
Yearly maximum limit paid toward treatmentYesNo


100% Guarantee on Treatment CostsNoYes
Claims and EOBsYesNo
Limitations or Procedure DenialsNoYes
Waiting PeriodYesNo
A “Missing Tooth” ClauseYesNo
Yearly FeeYesYes


Becoming a Lincoln Dental Plans member is easy. All you have to do is make an appointment with your local provider, and ask them about Lincoln Dental Plans. Then, your dentist, hygienist, or other dental staff provider will help you decide the best dental plans depending on your needs. They’ll talk you through the different Lincoln Dental Plans, and ultimately they’ll help you choose a plan for yourself.


Annual Plan Benefits

All of X-rays

Comprehensive exams

2 Regular cleanings

23% off all treatment 

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Ready to become a member?
Schedule an appointment below with any of our partnering locations.


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Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Dental Plans


I need to have a root canal. What are the best dental plans for root canals and crowns?

Lincoln Dental Plans is our best recommendation if you see our offices regularly. With Lincoln Dental Plans, you’ll receive discounts on treatments like root canals and crowns.

Do all Lincoln Dentists take Lincoln Dental Plans?

At this time, only Nebraska Family Dentistry locations accept Lincoln Dental Plans. In order to utilize your membership, be sure to see our providers here in Lincoln.

Can I use two dental insurance plans?

In most cases, insurance companies will let you double up on insurance plans. It can sometimes reduce what you pay out of pocket. However, like anything it has certain caveats. For one, many dental insurance companies will include a “Non-duplication of benefits” clause in their contract with you. If your dental insurance has this, the secondary plan cannot cover anything if the primary plan has paid the same or more to cover a given treatment.

How To Stop a Cold Sore Fast

How To Stop A Cold Sore Fast

Are you prone to cold sores? If so, you’re right alongside about 90% of the US population. Learning how to stop a cold sore is crucial. However, it isn’t as tough as it can sometimes seem! This Lincoln dentist is committed to your wellbeing. So, today on the NFD Wellness Blog we’ll talk about how to stop a cold sore in its tracks, how to hide them and make them go away, and the virus that causes them.

90% of the population may seem high to many people. After all, a person would be hard-pressed to find that many people on the street with cold sores. However, that number represents the approximate percentage of people who have been exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). HSV-1 is the virus which causes cold sores, and it’s closely related to HSV-2, also known as genital herpes.

So if 90% of the population has the virus, why don’t 90% of people have cold sores at any given time? The reason has a lot to do with what causes cold sores, and the mistake that most make when thinking about them.

how to stop a cold sore trigger

What causes cold sores on lips?

When we talk about how to stop a cold sore, there are a few things we should talk about before moving on. First, we should note that cold sores are always caused by HSV-1. This is because HSV-1 remains dormant inside the body until a cold sore is triggered. Certain things can trigger a cold sore. But at the end of the day, they’re all caused by HSV-1.

So how can 90% of people have HSV-1 if we only see a few cold sores out on the street? This is where triggers come into play. Because certain things predispose people to cold sores, people must be exposed to these things. So what are the things that can trigger a cold sore? There are a handful of underlying conditions, as listed below, that can trigger cold sores.


Exposure to Sunlight

Believe it or not, overexposure to sunlight can often trigger a cold sore breakout. The sun’s UV rays are hard on skin. This often leads to the development of cold sores.


Fevers are a part of the body’s reaction to sickness. When the immune system encounters certain foreign bodies, it heats up the body in an attempt to weaken and expel the foreign agent. When fevers arise, they often leave behind cold sores. For that reason, cold sores are often called “fever blisters.”

Hormone Changes

When a person’s hormones become imbalanced, it often brings about cold sores. The reason being is similar to both triggers listed above: Hormonal changes can be hard on the body’s immune system. This allows cold sores to slip through the cracks and form, in spite of the body’s hard work against it.

Viral Infection

Similarly, viral infections put the body’s immune system to the test. Both colds and influenza have been known to come along with cold sores for those with HSV-1.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamin deficiencies are another common complaint of those with cold sores. Specifically, the immune system is at its best with healthy doses of Vitamin D and C. When the body doesn’t have enough Vitamin D or C, the immune system’s response can have a tough time keeping with preventing cold sores.

how to stop a cold sore fast

How To Stop A Cold Sore Fast, From the Experts

Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry way to stop a cold sore fast. But there are ways to prevent and conceal them that can work excellently. Below is how to stop a cold sore fast from your local family dentist, the Lincoln dentist’s perspective.

Use Abreva Using Abreva can significantly reduce the time it takes for a cold sore to heal. The antiviral agent called “Docosanol” is manufactured for this very purpose. In a clinical study, Abreva was shown to reduce cold sore length by up to two days.

Avoid Hot, Acidic, or Salty Foods and Drinks – Hot, acidic, or salty foods and drinks can irritate a cold sore, often causing it to last longer. To figure out how to stop a cold sore fast, you’ll definitely want to avoid these.

Don’t Touch – Touching a cold sore is another simple way to keep it alive and worsen the infection. Keep your hands off to help it heal!

Use Hydrogen Peroxide  Using hydrogen peroxide on a cold sore can dry it out and stop it from spreading or growing!

Apply Ice – Especially good for those with swelling, using a cold compress or ice will bring down the growth of a cold sore.

See The Emergency Dentist – A qualified Lincoln emergency dentist can use laser removal to reduce the length of a cold sore and prevent cold sores altogether!

Lincoln Emergency Dentist: Cold Sore Laser Treatment

If you’re looking for a cold sore treatment that’s sure to work, laser treatment might just be for you. Our emergency dentist can use a special laser on cold sores which fights HSV-1. The procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes. During this time, the emergency dentist heats up the cold sore to kill the virus. Not only will it kill the virus, but it’ll also help the cold sores heal more quickly, and prevent them from coming back for a longer period of time.

You can reach our emergency dentist at 402-840-9783. You can also schedule with any of our Nebraska Family Dentistry locations day or night here. below, or using the at the bottom of the page.

How can lasers treat cold sores?

While other cold sore treatments tend to treat the cold sore itself, laser cold sore treatment fights off HSV-1. By heating the cold sore’s temperature, the precise laser works to kill the virus and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser is highly concentrated, so the surrounding area remains completely safe.

The laser not only helps the cold sores heal, but it also prevents them from reappearing. This is because the laser attacks the virus, rather than just the cold sores. In addition, this method streamlines the healing process, giving patients immediate relief from the symptoms of a cold sore. By doing so, this treatment also causes cold sores to stop spreading, preventing the breakouts of loved ones.

The procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes, and is a single appointment. You can also claim cold sore treatment under some insurances – contact your insurance company to see if they do, or check out Lincoln Dental Plans.

Nebraska Family Dentistry Locations

Did you know that Nebraska Family Dentistry locations are scattered all across Lincoln? You can find excellent dental care all over the city of Lincoln! The following are Nebraska Family Dentistry locations:

Coddington Dental  (West Lincoln dentist ): 402-438-5555; 1320 West A St.

Lincoln Family Dentistry (Central Lincoln dentist) : 402-467-1000; 5500 O St.

Northstar Dental (North Lincoln dentist): 402-742-0000; 5800 N. 33rd St

Preserve Family Dentistry (East Lincoln dentist): 402-413-7000; 4303 S. 84th St.

Southpointe Dental (South Lincoln dentist): 402-423-3333; 7940 S. 13th St.


best ways how to stop a cold sore

Prevent A Cold Sore

Realistically, a huge component of avoiding cold sores comes in the form of prevention. Preventing a cold sore is truly the best strategy when it comes to how to stop a cold sore fast. To prevent cold sores, there are a handful of different strategies. However, they almost all revolve around taking care of your body and avoiding cold sore triggers. Below, we’ve listed how to prevent a cold sore next time.

The best way to prevent cold sores is to avoid the triggers which make them appear. These include the things listed below

What causes cold sores on lips? 

In general, doing anything to bolster your immune system can help you prevent cold sores. This includes supplementing any necessary vitamins, getting plenty of sleep, utilizing healthy stress reduction practices, and washing your hands often.


Strengthen Your Immune System

how to stop a cold sore with immune system

Strengthening your immune system will also help prevent cold sores. You can find more information about the immune system here, or check out some quick tips below:

Sleep – Getting plenty of sleep also benefits the immune system. Sleep is well-considered a health must. The body does most of its healing at night, so the immune system needs the sleep to repair the body.

Nutrition – Practicing good eating habits can seriously improve a person’s immune system. Eating iron-rich foods like fish or poultry, as well as probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut will have a positive impact on the immune system. Avoiding things like soda, sugary foods and drinks will help benefit your gut and immunity. You can also try taking supplements of probiotics and other vitamins to bolster immunity.

Oral Hygiene – While some may not realize it, we do as a Lincoln dentist: the state of a person’s oral health has a lot to do with the health of their immune system. If a person doesn’t take care of his or her oral health, it’s common to develop a low-grade (or sometimes high-grade!) infection, which puts a general strain on the immune system.

how to stop a cold sore and conceal

When cold sore does happen, what is the best way to conceal the cold sore?

Once your cold sore has begun healing, you can use a highly concentrated heavy concealer to lessen its appearance. Follow these steps to conceal cold sore:

  • Use a concealer with a creamy, not liquid, texture.
  • Only use a small amount of heavy concealer.
  • Try using two different shades of concealer: A yellow-based concealer to neutralize redness, and a concealer that matches your skin tone. Start by dabbing the yellow concealer with a disposable makeup sponge. Then add a little bit of the skin-colored concealer.
  • After applying concealer, top it with a very light dusting of finishing powder.

how to stop a cold sore FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Stop A Cold Sore

What are some foods to avoid with cold sores?

When you have a cold sore, be sure to avoid anything spicy, salty, or overly acidic. These kinds of foods can all irritate the cold sore and cause it to heal more slowly.

When are cold sores no longer contagious?

A cold sore is most contagious if or when it ruptures. If a cold sore bursts, it becomes much more likely for it to spread. Unfortunately, cold sores remain contagious until they completely heal. If you can still see the cold sore, it’s still contagious.

What’s the quickest way to get rid of a cold sore?

While there’s no simple way to get rid of a cold sore fast, the steps below How To Stop A Cold Sore Fast, From The Experts is a great set of steps to speed up the healing process. By using Abreva, avoiding certain foods, keeping your hands off,

How common are cold sores?

Cold sores are relatively common. HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores, is estimated to be carried by about 90% of the US population. This means 90% of the population have or will have at least one cold sore in their lifetime.

What are some good vitamin supplements for cold sores?

As we mentioned above, Vitamin C and D deficiencies are often associated with cold sores. For that reason, Vitamin C and D are great supplements to avoid and reduce the lifespan of cold sores. Other good supplements for managing cold sores are Lysine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Zinc. Similarly, many will recommend eating foods rich in arginine, including oats, wheat, chocolate, nuts, and even pumpkin seeds. Good sources of Lysine include pistachios, black beans, lentils, tempeh, quinoa, and soy milk. You can find Vitamin B6 in fish, beef liver, potatoes, and avocados.

Is a cold sore on the roof of the mouth normal?

Yes! While it isn’t the most common place for a cold sore to form, it does happen from time to time. Don’t be alarmed if you develop a cold sore on your mouth.

How are cold sores spread?

HSV-1 spreads through skin contact. This means that when the affected skin touches any other part of a person’s body, it can spread. Common ways it spreads are through kissing, sharing drinks, food, etc., or from close contact.

What’s the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore?

It’s not uncommon for people to confuse canker sores and cold sores. However, they’re two entirely different conditions. Canker sores are small open sores which occur on the insides of the mouth and on the gums. This is unlike cold sores, which are typically outside of the mouth. Canker sores also look quite different from cold sores, appearing yellow or gray in the center. Cold sores, however, are typically completely red and appear filled with fluid. Another major difference is that canker sores are not contagious, unlike cold sores.

Is a cold sore the same thing as herpes?

As we mentioned above, cold sores typically come from Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). Genital herpes is usually from a related classification, HSV-2. Still, it is possible to spread HSV-1 through oral sex. For that reason, it’s important to avoid oral sex during a cold sore breakout.

Can I still have dental treatment if I have a cold sore?

If you come in for laser removal of your cold sore, then yes! However, we won’t perform other dental treatments if a patient has an active cold sore. This is because an active cold sore carries HSV-1, and coming in for these appointments puts your dental professionals at risk. If you do have an active cold sore, be sure to reschedule your appointment.

Can laser removal work to stop a cold sore?

As we mentioned above, laser removal is a great way to stop a cold sore! Our emergency dentist is an excellent option for anyone looking to remove a cold sore.


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How To Reduce Snoring and Improve Sleep

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How To Reduce Snoring and Improve Sleep

When it comes to snoring, many people imagine a giant man with a booming nighttime snore. However, this image isn’t the reality. In fact, about half of the US population snores at least occasionally. This includes men and women of all kinds. Snoring is a widespread phenomenon, and many who snore aren’t even aware of it. But the loved ones of those who snore are almost always wondering how their partner can reduce snoring.

If you or a loved one snores, you probably already know how much of a nuisance it can be. In severe cases, it can seriously affect you and your partner’s sleep quality. And while many of us have lived with this habit, you may not have to! There are a handful of different ways people attempt to stop snoring for good. Read on to learn how to reduce snoring, improve sleep quality, and stop bothering your partner in the middle of the night.

woman reduce snoring

What is snoring?

If you don’t already know, snoring is the hoarse breathing you may hear when a person is sleeping. It can be anything from a quiet whir to a noisy snorting sound. Many people don’t realize they snore until they share a bedroom with someone. And when they do share a bedroom, it usually doesn’t take long for snoring to come up.

Snoring usually happens when a person enters a deep sleep, and the throat and palate, or roof of the mouth, muscles relax. When heavy breathing flows out through the mouth, it causes these relaxed muscles to vibrate. This produces the low, hoarse sound of snoring.


reduce snoring : Snoring risk factors

Snoring Risk Factors

Several factors can affect whether or not a person snores. Certain factors can also affect how loudly a person snores. For one, a person’s anatomy may be related to snoring. Some people have airways which predispose them to snore. If a person’s airway is naturally thin, their soft palate is thick, or their uvula hangs extra low, it’s easier for breathing to become obstructed. Similarly, those who are overweight may have excess fat at the back of the throat, causing them to snore.

Although there may not be a single thing causing a person to snore, there are a few risk factors that can contribute to it. Some of them are factors which are controllable, and others are not. Those that are can often be changed or influenced to reduce snoring.

Alcohol Intake

Heavy alcohol consumption relaxes the mouth and throat muscles. As a result, drinking in the evening can cause a person to snore.


As we mentioned above, anatomy has a lot to do with a person’s snoring habits. One example (aside from those listed above) is a person’s nasal makeup. If a person has a deviated septum, or chronic congestion, they will be much more likely to snore. A narrow airway, thick palate, or large tonsils can also make a person more likely to snore.


Gender is another risk factor for snoring. In general, men are more likely to snore than women.

Family Medical History

If your family has either a history of snoring or sleep disorders, then you may be genetically predisposed to snore.


A person’s weight can also impact whether or not they snore. In general, overweight or obese people are more likely to snore. They’re also at a higher risk for developing sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

Remember: even if you have some risk factors that you can’t control, there are always some you can control. For example, you may not be able to have an impact on your family’s medical history, but you can always improve your eating habits or your alcohol intake to reduce snoring.

reduce snoring

Is snoring bad for you?

In most cases, occasional snoring is nothing serious. However, recurrent snoring can impact a person’s sleep quality. They can also impact the sleep quality of others.

For that reason, many regular snorers will elect to see a doctor about their snoring habits. In some cases, snoring can also signify a bigger problem, as is common with sleep apnea patients. While it may not be accurate to say that “snoring is bad for you,” it’s possible that it isn’t inaccurate either.

If you are concerned about snoring or other sleep disorders, we recommend seeing a doctor. If you’re interested in seeing a sleep doctor in Lincoln, Nebraska, there are many to choose from!

how to reduce snoring at home

How To Reduce Snoring at Home

Unfortunately, patients can’t always stop snoring. However, it is possible to reduce snoring! Below are a few of our best tips on how to reduce snoring.

Change Your Sleep Position

Changing the position in which you sleep can reduce snoring significantly. If you sleep on your back, you can try sleeping on your side instead. This allows your tongue to rest on the side of your mouth rather than in your throat, and will also tend to minimize the snoring effect.

Clear Your Nasal Passages

Clearing out your nasal passages will increase the chances of breathing through your nose at night. Using nasal decongestants, vapor rubs, or a neti pot can all effectively help you keep your nasal passage clear.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

As we mentioned before, drinking alcohol can make a huge difference with snoring. Sleeping pills and other sedatives have a similar, relaxing effect on the body’s airway. All three of these substances will significantly increase snoring.

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking plenty of water can also help minimize snoring. When you’re congested, dehydration causes mucus to “gunk up” your nasal and oral passages. Congestion can definitely increase snoring. On the other hand, maintaining a good level of hydration can help keep your mucus wet, and keep your airways as clear as possible.

Elevate Your Head

Elevating your head 3-4 inches can ease your breathing and push your tongue forward. Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to settle into the back of your throat, decreasing the airflow in your throat. However, when you sit up, it can sometimes help clear your airway and keep your tongue out of the way.

Lose Weight

As we mentioned above, being overweight is a risk factor for snoring. Losing some weight can clear some of the fat cells stored around your neck and clear your airway to minimize snoring.

See a Professional

If you’ve tried all of the above and none have worked, or you have greater concerns regarding your sleep habits, it may be best to see a doctor.

dentist explaining reduce snoring

Professional Methods To Reduce Snoring

While home remedies can be very helpful, some cases require professional help. If you’re concerned about sleep disorders or have a serious snoring problem, seeing a doctor is your best bet. Below are some of the treatments doctors can use to help you reduce snoring.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine is commonly used for patients with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. It goes over the patient’s mouth and helps their airway stay open through the night.

Custom Jaw Positioners

If your jaw is what’s causing you to snore, doctors or dentists can prescribe jaw positioners to keep your airway open at night.

Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)

This method utilizes a laser to modify the uvula. As you can likely infer, this is a common course of action for those whose uvula is enlarged and is affecting sleep quality.

FAQ how to reduce snoring

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Reduce Snoring

Can someone stop snoring permanently?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a hard and fast way to stop snoring permanently. However, there are a few ways to help reduce snoring. These are listed above, under How To Reduce Snoring At Home and Professional Methods To Reduce Snoring. These will help you tame your snoring.

What’s the best way to sleep if a loved one snores?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect way to sleep through snoring either. However, there are some things you can try to improve your if you are having trouble sleeping. Some great ways to improve your sleep are to get up at the same time each day, exercise, monitor what you eat and drink, or try supplementing melatonin. If none of these help, it might be worth seeing a doctor or sleep doctor and asking for their advice. They’ll be able to listen to your particular symptoms and help you find the right solution.

reduce snoring patient

Is there a way to stop snoring naturally?

The best ways to stop snoring naturally are also listed above! They can be found under How To Reduce Snoring At Home and Professional Methods To Reduce Snoring.

What makes you snore?

As we explain above, snoring happens as a result of vibrating inside the airway. This happens in either the throat, soft palate, roof of the mouth. They vibrate as a result of deep sleep causing the muscles to relax.

Does a humidifier help with snoring?

While there isn’t any research to support that a humidifier helps with snoring, it wouldn’t hurt! Sometimes we snore because of congestion or sickness. Especially if that’s what’s causing the snore, a humidifier can loosen things up and help you breathe more easily. Try it out to see if it helps you stop snoring.

Can you have sleep apnea without snoring?

Yes, a person can still have sleep apnea if they don’t snore. There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring most commonly occurs in OSA cases, although not always. It’s possible to have snoring either way. For that reason, if you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s worth seeing a doctor, even if you don’t snore.

To share story and blog ideas, you can reach out to NFD Wellness Blog’s curator and editor Zachary Visconti at nebraskafamilydentistryzach@gmail.com. You can also email NFD‘s founder, Dr. Kathryn Alderman, at nebraskafamilydentistry@gmail.com.

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Best New Year Resolution?

best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Looking for the best New Year’s resolution?

Cutting out sugar and added fructose from your diet could be the best new year resolution you could make this year.

Are you looking for the best New Year’s resolution? Another year has come and gone. For most of us, it feels like just yesterday that we were crafting the perfect New Year’s resolution list for 2017, and now it’s already time to start thinking about the next one!

Many of us hope for mental clarity, happiness, and motivation to help achieve our New Year’s resolutions in 2018. Experts suggest that to help achieve your 2018 New Year’s resolution goals, you may need to give up sugar, particularly hidden amounts of added fructose commonly found in the typical American diet.

Cutting out sugar and fructose are not typically on our list of New Year’s resolutions, but here are some benefits to trying it:

  • Feeling More Energetic
  • Looking and Feeling Better
  • Preventing Cavities and Periodontal disease
  • Feeling Less Sluggish
  • Living Longer & Having a Better Quality of Life


Best New Year Resolution Lincoln NE dentist

According to Statistic Brain, healthy eating was the top New Year’s resolution in 2017. In our opinion, the major contribution to healthy eating is limiting sugar intake in the form of added fructose. Added fructose intake accounts for a huge part of our diets, and it can be harder to avoid than most people imagine. The typical American diet is packed with hidden sugars, particularly fructose.

If you are trying to limit or eliminate sugar in your diet, you may start by cutting out fructose.  Today, we’ll discuss the best New Year’s resolutions, the health implications associated with diets high in fructose, and share 6 simple tips for cutting down the amount of fructose you consume.  


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

The Scope of Sugar:

The science explains why sugar is so difficult to give up

Sugars are simple carbohydrate molecules. While sugars are essential for cell and organ function, our bodies have the ability to break complex carbohydrate molecules into simple sugars for use throughout the body. Therefore, our diet does not require any form of sugar to be added for healthy organ function.  American Heart Association (AHA) states that “our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar, mainly added fructose per year. And this is only the average person – not just those who are consuming more sugar than their neighbor. That’s a lot of sugar!

It is important to note that all processed foods have added amounts of fructose. Fructose is not just in cakes, candy bars or donuts. Hidden amounts of sugar can be found in almost every processed food

Check out this video about why “Sugar is Killing Us” by Sikuvideo


High Fructose Diet and mental health:

A toxic combination?

Giving up sugar/added fructose could lead to more clarity in thinking and feeling happier. Whats the science behind it?

best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Sugar and neurons
Neurons are very sensitive cells and are not well prepared for sugar level spikes. In fact, individuals with high sugar/added fructose diet are at risk of neuronal damage, and scientists are beginning to understand how high blood sugar might cause this.

A study by researchers from the Department of Neurobiology at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, showed that consumption of high levels of sugar/added fructose led to inflammation and neuronal damage and death of neurons in the brain,  supporting the claim that sugar/added fructose toxicity has a role in brain health.

High sugar diet and depression. 
Last week, Medical News Today reported on a study published in the journal Scientific Reports that identified a greater risk of depression among men who consumed significant amounts of sugar/ added fructose in their diets.

It is important to note that all/ processed foods have added and hidden amounts of sugar/ fructose.  For example, consumption of processed and fast food – including hamburgers, pizza, and fried foods – was found to be higher in both youngsters and adults with increased rates of depression.

High Sugar/Fructose  Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease

Research over the past few years has created a growing concern over the relationship between Alzheimer’s and high sugar/ fructose diet. 

In this study, researchers compared brain samples of those with and without Alzheimer’s. The researchers found that high sugar diet causes damage to a specific enzyme. This enzyme, called Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), is partially responsible for the body’s insulin regulation. The researchers noticed that this damage played a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s. The team is now looking at other research possibilities to further prove this link

If you want to think more clearly, to stay motivated or to feel better, cutting sugar/added fructose is important as a part of your wellness program.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

High Sugar Diets and Dental Problems:

Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease

Every human mouth is filled with good and harmful bacteria. The harmful bacteria are the ones responsible for tooth decay, cavities, and developing gum/periodontal disease. These bacteria feed on sugars. That means that when you consume high levels of fructose, you’re helping sustain the bad bacteria. If this occurs regularly, it can lead to serious tooth decay. In other words, sugar destroys tooth enamel or the outer layer of teeth. Tooth decay can also lead to future dental issues, including gum, or periodontal, disease. Our Lincoln dentist can help you to prevent and treat those dental problems.


Best new Year resolution Lincoln NE dentist

What About High Sugar/ Fructose Diet and Medical Problems? 

Although it’s delicious, high sugar diets/added fructose are responsible for a whole array of problems besides mental health. It’s linked to adverse effects in almost every part of the human body. It has particularly violent effects on the body’s inflammation response. People with diets high in sugar have increased levels of serum CRP, TNF-alpha, proinflammatory growth factors,  body fat, higher BMI, glucose intolerance, insulin sensitivity, and lipoprotein profiles.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Cardiovascular Disease

Many studies have now confirmed a link between cardiovascular disease and high sugar diets/added fructose intake. One of these studies was a 15-year study conducted by Harvard. Researchers found that participants whose daily high sugar intake accounted for 25% or more of their daily calories were twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose sugar/added fructose only accounted for 10% of their calories. 


Diabetes is another disease that most people know to be related to high sugar diets/ fructose intake. In the past few years, scientists have shown that this link is much more direct than we had once thought. 

It is important to note that not every person with diabetes has consumed too much sugar/ added fructose. But while that isn’t true, it is true that eating too much sugar can influence the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. That said, we know that eating too much sugar can influence the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.



Most people know that high sugar diets/ added fructose consumption has a lot to do with weight gain. As of this year, 36.5% of US adults are obese, and 70.7% of US adults are overweight. This news came to us in August from the Center for Disease Control. The numbers are quite alarming, putting obesity at an all-time high in America.

Liver Disease

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affects approximately 30 million US citizens. While sugar consumption isn’t considered “directly related” to this issue, it is a major contributor.

The overconsumption of alcohol sugar causes a buildup of fat cells, which in turn can allow fat cells to build on the liver. Ultimately, this can lead to even more severe liver disease.

More information on negative effects of sugar here: https://www.healthambition.com/negative-effects-of-sugar/

New Year's Resolution List to six tips for cutting out sugar

Ready to start the best New Year’s resolution? 6 Tips for Cutting Sugar/ Added Fructose from your diet.

Although we know that eating too much sugar is bad for us, cutting it out of our diets can be easier said than done. But don’t worry! We believe that with some practice and hard work, anyone can do it! Here are a few of our best tips for cutting down sugar/added fructose in 2018.

The easiest way to avoid high sugar diet/added fructose is to avoid any processed foods such as breakfast cereals, sauces (including ketchup and pasta sauce), flavored milk, wholemeal bread, and many products labeled as low fat, such as fruit yogurts.

Eating unprocessed and healthy foods is the easiest ways to avoid diets full of sugar/added fructose.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

1. Read Nutrition Labels

Trying to cut out sugar, but not sure where to start? Reading nutrition labels is a good starting point. Practice reading the nutrition labels for everything you buy and consume. If you’ve had trouble cutting out sugar before, this one can be a good New Year’s resolution on its own!

Be aware that most processed foods have added sugar and the names of sugars are often hidden. Most innocent looking foods may have high levels of hidden sugar, particularly fructose.

A good example of hidden sugar on the label of The Cream of Wheat. The amount of sugar is listed as carbohydrates, but most of it is added fructose and the total amount is 54 grams, which makes it an unhealthy breakfast.

best new year resolution from Lincoln NE dentist

It is almost impossible to avoid processed foods with added sugars. Again, the easiest way to reduce sugar intake is to eat fresh, unprocessed foods.

2. Learn the Names of Hidden Sugar

As you read through nutrition labels, you’ll see some recurring ingredients. A few of these are disguised sugars. Things like glucose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener/syrup, barley malt, rice syrup, and mean table sugar are all hidden forms of sugar. Look for these on nutrition labels before you buy! 

3. Use The Grocery Store Wisely

Your time at the grocery store is crucial! If you’re careful, you can avoid keeping sugary foods and drinks around the house. In particular, be sure to use the first two tips in conjunction with this one. By spending a little extra time at the grocery store reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you can sugar-proof your home! But be sure to buy something healthy and sweet for times when you’re craving something sugary. For instance, keep fresh fruit around the house. Then you can get into the habit of going for an apple, orange, banana, or otherwise instead of ice cream or other sweets!

best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

4. Set a Limit For Yourself

However, you measure them, setting personal goals or limits for sugar intake can be an effective way to cut out sugar. Many people will only allow themselves a certain amount of sugar per day. This approach requires a few extra moments reading nutrition labels. Try paying attention to the amount of sugar in anything you eat for a week at first, then see how you do!

5. Use Meal-Planning Apps as a Resource

Meal-planning apps can be a great resource, especially for those who are trying to limit sugar intake. Some apps make cutting out sugar easy by giving you the tools to count your consumption on the go. CalorieKing is a great place to start when it comes to nutrition apps and websites.

6. See a Nutritionist or Dietitian

If nothing else, you can always see a nutritionist or dietitian in Lincoln! Sage Nutrition in Lincoln, Nebraska works on nutrition habits, active and mindful living, and more. If you’re curious about their services, give them a call today!

New Year's Resolution List FAQ about cutting Out Sugar banner

Best New Year’s Resolution FAQs on cutting out sugar/added fructose from a diet

How much sugar is in fruit?

Wondering how much sugar there is in your favorite fruit? Well, it depends on what your favorite fruit is. In general, it’s good to keep in mind that fruits do tend to have a high level of natural sugars/fructose. With that being said, below are a few fruits and their average sugar contents per single piece.

Avocado – 1g sugar (And yes, avocados are considered a fruit!)
Apple – 19g sugar
Banana – 14g sugar
Orange – 9g sugar
Pineapple – 89g sugar (16g/cup)
Strawberry – 0.6g sugar


deciding on New Year's Resolution List

How much sugar is too much?

This will vary depending on several factors. For instance, men are typically allotted a little more sugar per day. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, doctors will usually recommend between 23 and 40 grams of sugar per day.


For reference, the average person usually consumes double their daily sugar limit. To truly know how much sugar you should be consuming, we recommend asking a medical professional.

How can I stop sugar cravings?

Ultimately, the best way to stop your sugar cravings is to consume less sugar. Sugarless gum makes a good replacement for sugary foods when you’re feeling the urge. You can also try setting goals for yourself. Keep track of your total sugar each day for a week, and each week reduce that number. That’ll help you cut out sugar in the long run.


New Year's Resolution List : using stevia plant sugar option

What’s the best sugar substitute?

Cutting out sugar often means finding the best sugar substitute. For most, the best sugar substitute is Stevia. It’s made from a plant and doesn’t have any added chemicals. It’s also been known to improve insulin sensitivity. 

How can I lower my blood sugar naturally?

If you are at risk for or have diabetes, you know it can be tough to lower blood sugar naturally. Try filling your diet with high-fiber and high-protein foods. Foods with lots of fiber and protein tend to keep a person’s blood sugar levels down in the long run. You can also try apple cider vinegar to help you feel full and reduce your blood sugar after a meal. However, if you do use apple cider vinegar, we recommend mixing it with some warm water, as it can be very potent on its own.


New Year's Resolution List lose weight

How does sugar make you gain weight?

Most people are aware that sugar makes a person gain weight. Sugar/added fructose is stored as energy or fat in the body’s fat cells. It also affects the way the body releases insulin. When you consume sugar, it causes a drop in blood sugar. As a result, the body craves more sugar, in order to replenish blood sugar.

What does high blood sugar feel like?

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has a handful of symptoms. These can include thirstiness, difficulty focusing, fatigue, urinating often, and headaches. Those with diabetes typically use a glucometer to test their levels. However, if you have these symptoms and aren’t diagnosed with diabetes, it’s worth seeing a doctor. High blood sugar impacts the body in a handful of ways. Higher risk of infection, reduced healing, reduced vision, and other, longer-term health effects are possible as a result of chronic high blood sugar.


best new year resolution from Lincoln,NE dentist

Final Word on the Best New Year’s Resolution 

Now that you have some good ideas for this year’s New Year’s resolution list, will cutting out sugar/added fructose make the top? For us, it will. Whatever you decide to add to your New Year’s resolution list, we believe in you. We believe in your success in 2018, and we hope you feel empowered to succeed all year.

Our dental professionals would be happy to visit your business, community group or school with interactive and powerful presentations on improving dental and overall health. Our most popular presentation is Live Longer & Better. 

Contact our community education coordinator at nebraskafamilydentistry@gmail.com

best new year resolution from your Lincoln, NE dentist

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What Causes Teeth Grinding?

what causes teeth grinding lincoln ne

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What causes teeth grinding?

If you’re someone who struggles with teeth grinding, clenching, or morning jaw pain, you know it isn’t fun. Not only is it not fun, but it can also damage your teeth, keep you from sleeping, and cause widespread pain. Thankfully, you don’t have to endure this pain forever. Today we’ll talk about what causes teeth grinding and how you can solve it.

Teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, is a somewhat common sleep movement disorder. Affecting close to 15% of the population, bruxism isn’t something new. However, what causes teeth grinding is still new and uncertain knowledge. Experts are still researching what causes teeth grinding, and they’re finding a few things they didn’t expect.

For one, they’ve found a few different potential categories for what causes teeth grinding. This means that the “cause” is not yet clear. Researchers are looking at three main causes of teeth grinding. These causes are lifestyle factors, sleep disorders, and general stress or anxiety.


what causes teeth grinding in people

What causes teeth grinding: Lifestyle?

When it comes to lifestyle factors, there a few things that researchers have found to be related to teeth grinding. Primarily, research has shown that bruxism is higher in those who use certain psychoactive substances. 

For example, medications for sleep, depression, or anxiety are all considered psychoactive substances, in this case. Similarly, those who smoke, drink, or consume caffeine are at a higher risk for bruxism. Other lifestyle circumstances like age and education also seem to have an effect on bruxism.

What causes teeth grinding: Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders also play a role in bruxism. Those with sleep apnea commonly suffer from bruxism. Similarly, other sleep disorders may be related to bruxism based on patient reports. However, when it comes to sleep disorders, experts consider sleep apnea the most common risk factor for teeth grinding.


what causes teeth grinding in patients

What causes teeth grinding: Stress and Anxiety?

Perhaps the most important piece of the bruxism puzzle is stress and anxiety. Particularly, one study found that stress and anxiety, rather than neuroticism or other mental health issues, was related to bruxism. 

It’s estimated by some that as many as 70% of bruxism cases are related to stress and anxiety.


night guard for 75

Symptoms of Bruxism

There are a handful of symptoms related to bruxism. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, we recommend seeing a dentist or doctor about your teeth. Note that most of the symptoms can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. Some of the symptoms are even detrimental to health. If you think you may grind your teeth at night, you can reach out to us at 402-413-7141. Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with bruxism.

If you’re currently experiencing serious pain, you can find more information about managing dental pain here. If it’s an emergency, call our emergency line immediately at 402-840-9783.

Back Pain

Patients with bruxism often report back pain. While it may seem abnormal, it actually makes a lot of sense from a medical perspective. Many of the muscles in the upper body and head utilize surrounding muscles when tired. The back is a common muscle to take on the extra strain.

If you do have back pain, it might be worthwhile to see a chiropractor. You can find chiropractors in Lincoln all over town. However, we recommend seeing the good folks at Mosier Timperley Chiropractic. They’ll have you fixed up and back to good health in no time.


In many cases, teeth grinding can result in severe headaches. Because the jaw is connected to the base of our skull, it isn’t hard to develop a headache from bruxism. However, people don’t necessarily develop headaches from general chewing or talking. On the other hand, the recurrent motion of teeth grinding and clenching can easily leave people with a headache.

Interrupted Sleep

One of the most common symptoms of bruxism is actually waking up. Many who grind their teeth will wake up throughout the night. Often, this happens without the person even being aware of their own teeth grinding. Similarly, grinding teeth can interrupt the sleep of a partner too. At times, the grinding can become so loud and abrasive that it wakes up a partner.

Jaw Pain

This one may seem obvious, but jaw pain is a major symptom of teeth grinding. If you wake up with serious jaw pain, teeth grinding is a likely cause.

Neck Pain

A stiff or sore neck is another common symptom of bruxism. When you clench your teeth, it puts a strain on more than just your jaw. Many who grind or clench their teeth also use the muscles in the neck.

Ringing Ears

Unlike many of the other symptoms, the cause of ringing ears in bruxism is still unknown. However, patients with bruxism often report ringing ears. It could have to do with the structure of nears in and around the jaw.

Sensitive Teeth

Those with sensitive teeth often feel uncomfortable with hot or cold temperatures. This is a common side effect of tooth sensitivity. Bruxism wears down the enamel, or outer layer, of teeth. In effect, it can expose the tooth’s dentin, or the layer of teeth which leads to the nerves. Typically, exposed dentin causes sensitivity due to the direct connection to the nerves.


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Stiff Shoulders

In the same way that it can affect your back, teeth grinding can lead to stiff shoulders. When the jaw is working hard, it often makes the neck work hard too. If the neck becomes overtired, it will continue down to your shoulders. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for patients to wake up with stiff or sore shoulders.

Tooth Fractures

One of the biggest dangers of teeth grinding is damage to teeth. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for bruxism patients to crack or chip their teeth. This ultimately leads to more extensive dental work in the future. If you’re afraid you may have a broken or fractured tooth, you should see your dentist immediately.

Worn-Down Teeth

Another common tooth problem associated with bruxism is wear and tear. Grinding and clenching can take a huge toll on a person’s teeth. It’s called grinding for a reason, after all! Teeth which are exposed to grinding and clenching often become worn-down. Sometimes this happens to such an extent that a person may require surgical repairs.


what causes teeth grinding during sleep

Treating Bruxism

While bruxism can be an abrasive disorder, there are a handful of solutions out there. However, because it isn’t yet known what causes teeth grinding, so it may take some time to find the perfect solution.

Another complicated matter regarding bruxism is that it can be caused by other issues. As we mentioned above, many cases of teeth grinding result from stress or anxiety. In these cases, it’s important for the doctor or dentist – or both – to treat the underlying issue.


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One common way to treat bruxism is by using a mouth guard. A mouth guard is an acrylic, or similar material, mouthpiece which patients wear at night. This mouthpiece separates the teeth from each other. While a mouth guard won’t stop a person from trying to grind their teeth at night, it will stop the teeth from making contact with each other.

Other ways professionals may treat bruxism include taking muscle relaxants before bed for a short period of time, anxiety medications, behavioral changes, or more involved treatment like biofeedback.

If nothing else works, some will treat bruxism with a botox injection into the jaw. This can reduce the strength of the masseter muscles, or the muscles in the back of the jaw. As a result, the hope is that the jaw won’t be as harsh at night. Over time, if a patient continues receiving botox injections, it will cause the muscles to shrink permanently. As a result, patients tend to need less and less botox in time.


what causes teeth grinding at home remedy

Tips to Improve Bruxism at Home

There are a few home remedies and other tips that may be effective for patients in reducing bruxism. Below are some things you can do to prevent teeth grinding.

  • Manage Your Stress – Because so many cases of bruxism are caused by stress, stress reduction is a great strategy for reducing your symptoms. Whether you practice yoga, exercise, meditate, or anything else, knowing how to manage your stress is key in avoiding teeth grinding.
  • Avoid Evening Stimulants – Consuming caffeine late in the day or in the evening can worsen bruxism symptoms. While it isn’t a stimulant, alcohol has also been linked to worsened teeth grinding. Avoid these to decrease the likelihood or severity of grinding your teeth at night.
  • See Your Dentist Often – Perhaps the best way to identify signs of teeth grinding is to see your dentist. In most cases, the dentist will be able to see worn-down teeth, fractures, or other signs that may indicate nighttime grinding and clenching. You’re welcome to call us at 402-413-7141, or text us at 402-413-8649.
  • Practice Good Sleep Habits – A good night’s sleep is also a great way to reduce grinding symptoms. If you have trouble sleeping at night, take the time to figure out why and fix it. This should reduce, if not eliminate, your symptoms of bruxism.


Frequently Asked Questions about What Causes Teeth Grinding

Remember, the causes of teeth grinding are still being researched. Those of us in the medical field don’t definitively know what causes teeth grinding. However, we do have a few answers that have been helpful to patients in the past. These are frequently asked questions about what causes teeth grinding.

Why do people grind their teeth?

As we mentioned above, what causes teeth grinding is still unclear to experts. The medical field has been able to agree that most cases are somehow linked with stress and/or anxiety. A second potential cause of teeth grinding is sleep disorders. Researchers estimate that about 70 million Americans have some sort of sleep disorder. These can be a risk a factor for bruxism. Finally, teeth grinding seems to be linked to certain lifestyle factors. These can include whether a person smokes, drinks caffeine or alcohol, takes certain medications, and the person’s mental health.

what causes teeth grinding in children

Is teeth grinding in children common?

Yes! Teeth grinding is fairly common in children. According to some, three out of every 10 children will grind or clench their teeth. So if your child is grinding his or her teeth, be sure to keep an eye out for stressors. These may be causing your child difficulty sleeping as well as unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth.

Is there a children’s mouth guard for grinding teeth?

While there are many different mouth guards for grinding teeth, dental labs don’t make any specifically for children. However, your Lincoln children’s dentist or pediatric specialist can help you decide if a night guard may be best for your child.

Fortunately, there are tons of different night guards, so if you do decide with the help of your dentist a night guard is best, there’s no need to worry. Most night guards will be custom for the patient, even if it’s for a child.


schedule online day or night for what causes teeth grinding

If you need to see a dentist in Lincoln about grinding teeth, you can reach us by phone at 402-413-7141. If you’re more comfortable with texting, you can also text us at 402-413-8649. Finally, you can schedule online using the form at the bottom of this page. No matter how you reach out, we’ll be sure to get you or your child in as soon as possible!

How can I stop grinding my teeth naturally?

All of our tips mentioned under Tips To Improve Bruxism At Home are natural. These natural solutions are geared toward teaming your oral health with your overall health. This is what we’re all about here at Nebraska Family Dentistry. And when it comes to teeth grinding, here are some of the best natural things you can do:

  • Manage your stress
  • Avoid evening stimulants
  • See your dentist often
  • Practice good sleep habits

These will help improve your body’s contribution to sleep. Trial and error should help you find what works and what doesn’t.

How can I stop grinding teeth with home remedies?

As mentioned above, you can find plenty of suggestions under the heading Tips To Improve Bruxism At Home. These include:

  • Manage your stress
  • Avoid evening stimulants
  • See your dentist often
  • Practice good sleep habits


night guards: a what causes teeth grinding remedy

How can I stop grinding teeth without a night guard?

While there isn’t a surefire way to solve teeth grinding, your dentist will have some suggestions for you. If you don’t want a night guard, they can do their best to help you find what you need.

So, what causes teeth grinding?

In conclusion, there are tons of things which can cause you to grind your teeth. Unfortunately, we may not even know some of them yet. However, by trying different solutions listed above, you may be able to get to the bottom of your bruxism.

In health and happiness,
Dr. Kathryn Alderman
Nebraska Family Dentistry
Changing Dentistry, Changing Lives

Zachary Visconti is the editor and curator of the NFD Wellness Blog. You can reach him with story ideas or anything else at nebraskafamilydentistryzach@gmail.com. You can reach Dr. Kathryn Alderman, NFD‘s founder and lead dentist, at nebraskafamilydentistry@gmail.com.

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Your Dental Health and Overall Health: It is All Connected

The Role of a Biological Dentist

When you hear the word “health,” what comes to mind? Perhaps you think about exercise. Or maybe you think about trying to eat more healthy. Few people would say the dentist. A truly biological dentist knows the impact of a person’s mouth on their overall health. But it isn’t enough for them to simply know the truth; we work hard to educate others, helping our community understand it too.

biological dentist oral health patient

Most people underestimate the impact of a person’s oral health on their overall health. While many people separate the two, the body doesn’t.

Experts tell us that oral and overall health are closely linked. Many dentists and doctors have been suspicious of this for years now. In recent research, we’ve seen this relationship in action. Within the past 20 years, a few overall health conditions have been linked to periodontal disease. Because of this, we know the two are related. These include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and a handful of less severe health problems too. The surgeon general has now stated that good health requires excellent oral health.

We use the term “biological dentist” because it takes a comprehensive view of the body to gain optimal health. Your body is a single, complex system. Its ability to function correctly depends on each part. A biological or natural dentist takes this into account. They’ll understand that your oral health is not only crucial on its own, but also as the gateway to the rest of your body. Today, we discuss the impact of your teeth on your body and how Kelly Thelen APRN, FNP at Regeneration PC can help.

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biological dentist family wellness

What is Inflammation?

Kelly Thelen APRN, FNP at Regeneration PC explains.

Inflammation is one of the most important topics of discussion that we hear about today in medicine and dentistry. We know that it is connected to almost every chronic disease. We have known about the links to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but studies are now showing links to even more conditions like mental illnesses, cancer, and autism.

Allergies, asthma, arthritis, periodontal disease, and many autoimmune conditions are increasing at very dramatic rates. As medical providers, we are taught to help patients reduce inflammation by prescribing anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, Advil, Motrin, steroids and increasingly powerful immune-suppressing medications that come with serious side effects. However, often we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of the inflammation related to these chronic diseases. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, inflammatory diet, and stress, can all contribute to these inflammatory conditions.

Autoimmune Disease

It is now estimated that autoimmune disease affects 24 million people. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, thyroid disease, IBS, and others are among those listed in this category.

Often, these conditions are treated by prescribing powerful immune suppressants like biologics, but unfortunately, this does not address the cause of the inflammation. If we want to control the wildfire that is inflammation of the body, we must find the origin. We should treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine and dentistry, we are primarily taught to diagnose disease by the symptoms, often missing the underlying causes of those symptoms.

Autoimmune diseases are connected by one central biochemical process: An uncontrolled immune response that results in the body attacking its own tissues.

When patients are able to cure their autoimmune diseases by identifying and eliminating the causes of the inflammation whether it is in their diet or environmental sources it seems that their remissions are dismissed by the medical community as “spontaneous remissions.”

Kelly Thelen APRN on the oral-systemic link

Taking good care of teeth and gums is not only about preventing cavities, gum disease or bad breath. The mouth is the window into the body and can show signs of systemic disease. Two of the most common inflammatory-related conditions we see in the oral cavity that may reflect systemic inflammation are gingivitis and periodontal disease. A periodontal disease is a form of an auto-immune condition.

Autoimmune diseases currently affect about 50 million Americans, according to the AARDA. That makes up about 15% of the entire US population.

Research is showing a relationship between periodontal disease and other autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as:

  • Heart Disease: atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes 2
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hashimoto: Thyroid disease
  • Alzheimers’s
  • Celiac disease
  • Dementia
  • Premature Birth

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Functional Medicine: Biological Dentist and Physician

biological dentist healthy mouth healthy body

On the other hand, a biological, functional physician (or biological dentist) focuses on the underlying causes of inflammation and chronic disease: namely, the hidden allergens, toxins, and inflammatory diet options that are so accessible today.

Functional medicine is the modern medical practice of treating the causes, rather than just the symptoms. For example, physicians who practice functional medicine would try to prevent future health issues while also treating current issues related to inflammation.

The biological dentist and physician are looking to solve the greater problems. Specifically, we treat inflammation as the systemic response that it is. The inflammation response is all interconnected within our bodies. To reduce the inflammation response, a biological dentist or physician would search for the causal factors of the inflammation. If you would like to learn about an Anti-Inflammatory lifestyle, click here.



Dr. Kathryn Alderman

is our biological dentist and is a proud member
of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology

Solving Systemic Chronic Inflammation with  Kelly Thelen APRN

It isn’t always simple to solve systemic chronic inflammation. However, below are a few steps you can take toward controlling or stopping chronic inflammation:

– Get tested for hidden sensitivities and allergies

Stop eating processed foods

Take Vitamin D

Stop smoking or vaping

Treat your gut well by eating fresh whole foods and taking probiotics

Exercise regularly

Schedule with Nebraska Family Dentistry Biological Dentist Day or Night Online

Kelly Thelen APRN  and Overall Wellness

Kelly Thelen APRN, FNP is a fellow believer in functional medicine. Her practice, Regeneration PC in Lincoln, Nebraska, offers a handful of treatments to cover a multitude of health problems. These include testing for metal toxicity, allergies, and many other issues.

“We’re taking a little bit of a different approach than just giving patients medication to band-aid over their problems,” says Thelen of the approach they take with their patients. We offer many preventive tips to improve overall health.

The anti-aging center is working hard to offer a place where patients can learn about their health. Since opening in November 2012, Thelen’s clinic has grown from a one-room office to its current setup with five full treatment rooms. Kelly Thelen says it hasn’t changed too much, though. The team is still small and functions with its patients like a family.

“We like to get to know every single patient,” says Kelly Thelen APRN, FNP

Together with her team, Kelly Thelen has helped many patients feel confident in their own skin. By offering a friendly team and an array of wellness and cosmetic services, her team is working towards a healthy body and mind for each patient.

We often refer patients with periodontal disease to Kelly Thelen to have their blood work done. Her team can test a patient’s level of Vitamin D, which acts as an anti-inflammatory. They’ll also check to see if patients have increased levels of reactive protein C, which is a marker for overall inflammation. For more information about Kelly Thelen and her team at Regeneration PC, find her website here.

A biological dentist can help you floss more regularly, like this woman.

A Call to Action: Simple Self-Care with Good Oral Health

If this information seems a little intimidating, don’t worry. Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be as daunting as it can seem. Start small and build off of your strengths! If you’re having trouble taking good care of your teeth, start simple: make it a point to brush your teeth twice a day and then adding flossing.  One by one, add good habits alongside each other.  All it takes is a few simple habits and some forgiveness for yourself. This will help you make lasting changes to benefit your health.

While you’re still feeling motivated, schedule a cleaning with our biological dentist!

And the next time someone asks what you think about when you hear the word “health,” share your story and tell them why the word “teeth” comes to mind.

Schedule with Nebraska Family Dentistry Biological Dentist Day or Night Online

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Stay Healthy on Fright Night

Best Halloween Candy: Stay Healthy on Fright Night

Another Fright Night is just around the corner. We’re all ready for another excuse to enjoy some tasty treats, but it’s important to consider our health a bit before we do. Unfortunately, the best Halloween candy isn’t always the best for us. Similarly, some of the healthiest candies might surprise you.

Today, we’ll rank the best Halloween candy to the worst, based on the sugar contents of each. We’ve also got some special tips, tricks, and treats for those looking to cut out some sugar this year.


best halloween candy with gummy bears

Before we do, it’s important to remember a couple things. First of all, even the candies with the lowest levels of sugar can lead to overeating. While you check the data out, don’t forget to pay attention to how much of any candy you or your family are eating. In a way, this is the most important tactic in avoiding sugar. Secondly, remember that the process can still be fun. You can still enjoy Halloween with your kids and/or family. Keep the Halloween spirit, without being haunted by the Halloween sweets!

The Best Halloween Candy Based on Sugar

Maybe it goes without saying, but it’s always good to be aware of what you put inside your body. There isn’t much out there in the way of “healthy candy.” However, you can start by learning which candies are better than others. We used CalorieKing to map out the sugar contents of 25 different candies to rank them from best to worst. Check out what we found below.


Graph of the best Halloween candy ranked by sugar level.

Note: Because different candies come in different portion sizes, it’s important to be aware of the portions for any candy you consume. For example, a package of two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups makes up about 1.5 ounces. On the other hand, a roll of Smarties only contains about 0.4 ounces. To better compare the actual sugar contents of each candy, we compared them all at the one-ounce level.


We all know that the best Halloween candy is irresistible. But perhaps some candies are lower in sugars than others! If you like Nerds, notice that by consuming one ounce of Sour Patch Kids at a time, you can cut sugar intake in half. The same applies across the board. If nothing else, use the following two tips to keep your sugar intake down this Halloween:

  • Eat candies that are lower in sugar content.
  • Reduce the amount of candy you consume.

Both are simple to practice! Just start small and try to improve day to day or week to week. Also, remember that it’s okay to struggle. Changing dietary habits isn’t easy, especially with access to the best Halloween candy. But with a little encouragement and accountability, we believe you or your family can do it!


best halloween candy and ice cream

Why Candy Isn’t Bad, and How to Eat it The Right Way

Contrary to popular belief, candy isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. But its sugar is known to cause some pretty serious health problems for those who overdo it. This includes damage to the teeth and gums. But perhaps worst of all, high levels of sugar are linked to chronic inflammation. Like anything, candy isn’t inherently bad. The biggest problem is overconsumption, but that can be said of anything. There are endless examples of foods, drinks, and otherwise, that are okay in moderation, but terrible in large doses.


While inflammation is a part of the body’s natural response to foreign organisms, chronic inflammation happens when there isn’t necessarily anything foreign to fight off. Any anti-inflammatory diet is sure to help master your inflammation levels. But bingeing on candy is a surefire way to heighten the body’s inflammation response.

With that being said, the best way to eat candy is to do so in moderation. Even as a dentist in Lincoln, we’d be hard-pressed to tell patients to avoid candy altogether. Instead, you should be aware of how much candy you eat, and be informed about how much you should. Besides – if you eat less candy at a time, it’ll last much longer!


best halloween candy component: sugar

Sugar and Inflammation

In 1999, the average American consumed 111 grams of sugar per day. That was the all-time high for American sugar consumption. Last year, sugar consumption was down to 94 grams per day, according to CBS. Thankfully, the trend seems to be slowly steering away from overconsumption of sugar.


But what is it that makes sugar so bad? Like we mentioned before, high sugar consumption is related to inflammation. When a person’s internal organs are inflamed as a result of sugar, it decreases the body’s ability to fight infection. As we approach cold and flu season, this can be of special importance. When you or your child consumes a lot of sugar, they’re more susceptible to diseases that make their way throughout the body.

Consuming high-sugar foods also causes immediate spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels. This results in a blood sugar crash. A blood sugar crash causes intense hunger and cravings for more sugar or carbohydrates. All too often, these cravings and hunger cause people to consume more sugar. This is why, when a person regularly consumes high levels of sugar, it can be tough to break the habit.

Another common American problem linked with sugar is obesity. The CDC has said that obesity affects more than one-third of American adults. Obesity, in turn, is related to heart disease and a whole slew of other severe diseases.

As you can probably see, it isn’t hard to stack up reasons to avoid sugar. While we need to be honest about that, we also recognize that all this data is meaningless without a solution. To really benefit our bodies, we need to talk about how to cut out sugar and reduce inflammation.

An Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Reducing the Inflammation Response

A simple way to reduce the inflammation response is by cutting out sugar. But how can a person do this? One tip is to fill your diet with other foods that are nutritious and anti-inflammatory. While the word “diet” seems intimidating, here we’ll just use it to describe the reality of what we’re eating.

For Americans, the main descriptor of an anti-inflammatory diet is reducing sugar intake. Even the best Halloween candy can be consumed in moderation! Further, filling your diet with these other foods will benefit the cause:


avoid best halloween candy with veggies


Leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, kale, or broccoli are a major part of any anti-inflammatory diet. Many of these vegetables are very high in antioxidants and healthy minerals. A diet with lots of vegetables will naturally benefit anti-inflammation.

avoid best halloween candy with real fruit


As little as half a cup of fruits can help fight inflammation. Like vegetables, many fruits are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that fight inflammation. Additionally, most fruits contribute to healthy flora in our gut, improving digestion. Blueberries and pineapple are especially beneficial in reducing inflammation.


avoid best halloween candy with fish oil

Fish or Fish Oil

Fish or fish oil contains high levels of omega-3s. Omega-3s are a potent anti-inflammatory. Combined with fruits and vegetables, a regular diet of fish will fight inflammation greatly.

avoid best halloween candy with mixed seeds


Seeds are linked to improved heart health and fighting arthritis. In particular, chia seeds are a well-known anti-inflammatory that has high levels of omega-3s and omega-6s.

avoid best halloween candy with mixed nuts


Nuts are similar to the role of seeds in dietary benefit. Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts all contain the fatty acids that help improve heart health and fight inflammation.

avoid best halloween candy with spices

Herbs and Spices

A handful of herbs and spices also play a role in fighting inflammation. Turmeric, for instance, has been linked to the prevention of metabolic syndrome. Other helpful herbs and spices include cloves, rosemary, cayenne, basil, and cinnamon.

avoid best halloween candy with mixed beans


Fiber-rich beans are another great, natural anti-inflammatory. They’re great for your digestive tract, and they’re linked to weight loss and general wellness.


With all of these, you’ll notice that the sugar contents are very low. By nature of practicing an anti-inflammatory diet, you’ll begin to weed sugar out of your diet altogether. Then, you can use sugar as a treat for special occasions, and it’ll be easier to count your sugars on a given day.

You can find more anti-inflammation information here.

Hidden Sources of Sugar Beyond the Best Halloween Candy

While candy is an obvious source of sugar, many other foods and drinks are not. In an American child’s diet, there are several hidden sources of sugar beyond the best Halloween candy. Below are some of the most common sources of sugar for children.

glass of milk: a common hidden sugar source

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Juice
  • Sports Drinks
  • Cereal
  • Bread
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Canned Fruit
  • Granola Bars
  • Noodles
  • Pop Tarts

Additionally, you can look for hidden sources of sugar in the ingredients. Some of the most common sugars in ingredients are disguised by their names. But make no mistake! The following ingredients are all forms of sugar:

best halloween candy ingredient: honey

  • Mean Table Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Raw Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple
  • Corn Sweetener
  • Dextrose
  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Any Word Ending in “-ose”
  • Barley Malt
  • Rice Syrup
  • Liquid Cane Sugar
  • Concentrated Fruit Juice

Another helpful tip is to ignore the word “organic” when it comes to sugar. Although organic or raw sugar is healthier, it’s still sugar. The negative effects of consuming organic sugar are very similar to those of processed sugars.

Best Halloween Candy:
Extra Tips, Tricks, and Treats for Cutting Out Sugar

While it’s definitely helpful to know how much sugar each candy has, it isn’t the whole picture. Be sure to follow these tips to keep you and your family’s health in check this Halloween.

1. Set a candy limit for yourself or your child.

Set goals for yourself or your kids, such as, “I can only eat two pieces of candy per night.” Start with what you regularly consume (i.e. one to five pieces). Then, choose a slightly smaller amount and try to keep yourself to that amount for a week. Each week thereafter, subtract one or two pieces until you’re at a comfortable spot. This will help you enjoy your candy more when you do eat it, and it’ll last much longer!

2. Check nutrition facts and ingredient labels.

As we briefly mentioned before, nutrition facts and ingredients can be a great resource. Even if you’re eating a lot of candy, start reading nutrition facts and ingredient labels. This can be helpful for all kinds of foods. But it’s especially helpful when it comes to candy. This will help you learn what you or your family are putting into the body. It’ll also help you make changes more quickly when you’re ready to start limiting your sugar intake.

3. Get rid of as much Halloween candy as possible the night of Halloween.

On Halloween night, don’t be afraid to be generous with trick-or-treaters! This will avoid leftover candy around the house. It’ll also help your trick-or-treaters appreciate your house as they come by.

4. Visit the dentist to keep a helpful eye on your health.

Maybe we’re biased because we’re dentists in Lincoln. However, seeing your dentist twice a year will help you ensure a healthy mouth. They’ll make sure you aren’t missing spots or accidentally damaging your teeth. Ultimately, it’ll help you avoid bigger dental problems in the future!

5. Enjoy the taste; not the quantity.

You can still taste candy with just a bite! Split the candy with someone you care about, and savor the small amount for a longer time.

At the end of the day, the best Halloween candy does have sugar. This time of year, that sugar has a tendency to haunt people. Its victims are often children and teenagers. However, as Jimmy Kimmel has shown the last few years, parents are known to eat candy too!

As you limit candy intake for you and your family, don’t forget to offer yourself some grace. These are tough habits to kick, but it can be done. And although it can be very hard work, remember the reward waiting on the other side – a long life and a happy, healthy Halloween.

Don’t see your favorite Halloween candy? Share it in the comments below, and be sure to check out CalorieKing to learn how much sugar it has!


cred preserve family dentistry ne


Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontal Health

How Healthy Teeth May Stop Rheumatoid Arthritis

catering to hands with rheumatoid arthritis

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you know it isn’t fun. If you don’t, you still might be at risk for the disease. Many people report that the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis is unbearable, often resulting in diminished ability to perform simple tasks. This autoimmune disease is unrelenting, and researchers are working hard to solve it.

While the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown today, we’re already taking big steps towards tomorrow. Recent research has begun suggesting links between rheumatoid arthritis and other health factors. One of the major health factors considered is the condition of a person’s teeth.

It turns out that tooth loss and periodontal disease may predict the onset and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

What exactly does this mean? For anyone worried about their own risk for rheumatoid arthritis, this new research offers a good rule of thumb for avoiding the disease: take care of your teeth to encourage healthy and happy joints. While the research has yet to establish any kind of certainty or causality, it has done well to offer a simple pointer to anyone trying to avoid RA.

a feet xray of rheumatoid arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating autoimmune disease which attacks a person’s joints. These attacks cause chronic inflammation to a person’s joints. As a result, the joint tissues grow thicker, often causing significant amounts of pain.


This joint tissue is called the synovium, and it plays an integral role in the mobility of joints. The synovium is supposed to produce fluids that lubricate the joint in order to preserve mobility. However, when a person has rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium isn’t able to produce the necessary fluids to keep the joint effectively mobile.

In general, chronic inflammation has some really harsh impacts on the body. But in many cases, chronic inflammation exists silently within our bodies. When a person has chronically inflamed joints, the inflammation manifests itself much more frequently. Since rheumatoid arthritis attacks a person’s joints, those with the disease often have trouble using their hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees, etc. Unfortunately, joints encompass a huge number of body parts which are necessary for mobility, so this disease can seriously reduce the amount a person can move.

Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis

To better understand this research, it’s important that we understand what “risk factors” are. Risk factors don’t necessarily cause a certain condition. Rather, they predict the likelihood of a certain condition, based on a handful of different criteria. Common risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include the following:

Gender – About three times as many women suffer from RA than men.
Age – RA usually occurs in people between ages 30 and 60.
Genetics – If a patient’s family member has RA, then that patient is significantly more likely to also have RA.

missing teeth, a rheumatoid arthritis causer

Periodontal Health and Rheumatoid Arthritis

The research in question has concluded that, in general, the more teeth a patient has lost, the greater their risk of rheumatoid arthritis is. In one particular study, those with severe arthritis tended to have fewer teeth left than those with mild arthritis. Patients who had one or more swollen joints as a result of the disease had 26 teeth on average, in comparison with patients who had no swollen joints and averaged 29 teeth. Tooth loss, being a natural result of periodontal disease, is more common amongst those with rheumatoid arthritis than those without the disease.


In another study, researchers attempted to treat RA patients for periodontal disease. They found that treating the periodontal disease tended to reduce the degree of arthritis pain patients experienced. This meant that the treatment of periodontal disease was at least a part of the solution to the autoimmune disease.

These instances aren’t the first time in history that scientists have tried to establish a connection between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Some research on the topic dates back to 1987, when medical doctors first attempted to document their suspicions. Since then, support has only grown for the idea that periodontal disease is connected to rheumatoid arthritis.

rheumatoid arthritis preventer, brushing and flossing

Our Body as a Single System

The best way to think about the relationship between oral and overall health is to think about your body as a single system. Each of your organs is a part of a smaller system within your body. Your mouth can be thought of as the very beginning of your digestive system, or the system in charge of bringing nutrients to your body to keep it running smoothly. Patients who consume high volumes of sugar often have chronic inflammation inside their bodies. Similarly, patients with poor oral hygiene often experience chronic inflammation too. Inflammation makes our bodies run on overdrive, which is hard on all of our systems.

We must remember that everything we eat passes through our mouths before entering our bodies. That means that we’re not only subjecting our internal organs to what we eat, but also to the oral bacteria our food picks up as it enters into our digestive system. A person with untreated periodontal disease is likely putting their body in serious danger with the negative bacteria that exists inside their mouth. To reduce this risk, and the risk of developing RA, be sure to limit your sugar intake and seek excellent home-care for your teeth.

bad breath , a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis

Fighting Bad Health with Good Oral Hygiene

While we can’t necessarily say that rheumatoid arthritis is caused by periodontal disease, we can at least say that they’re related. And this relationship is enough for the medical experts to chime in. Taking care of your teeth won’t necessarily prevent the disease, but it will prevent its risk factors. Do yourself a favor by taking care of your teeth. It doesn’t take much time, and it has the potential to prevent RA and other major health problems.


For medical news tips, article ideas for the blog, or simply to say hello, drop us a line at nebraskafamilydentistry@gmail.com.


cred preserve family dentistry ne


Metal-Free Dentistry

Metal-Free Dentistry
and Why It’s So Important

In the past, dentists frequently used a mixture of metals called amalgam in fillings. This mixture was the industry standard for the placement of fillings. Even today, dentists use amalgam fillings often, despite the fact that it is known to contain a dangerous chemical. This chemical poses significant health risks to our internal organs. So what is this chemical that is used so regularly inside patients’ mouths?

silver filling being placedThe answer is mercury. Even today, trace amounts of mercury exist in dental amalgam. Many people live with dental amalgam in their mouths, unaware of the silent hazard lurking within them. Instead of letting mercury into your body, find a dentist who only uses amalgam-free fillings.

Cue the metal-free dentistry.

What is a metal-free dentistry?

A metal-free dentistry is any dental office that minimizes the use of dental amalgam in the placement of fillings. Dental offices do this to avoid exposing patients to mercury.

It’s important to note that metal-free dentistry doesn’t exactly mean a dental office that is completely free of metals. In fact, a dentist’s very instruments are made out of different kinds of metal. Similarly, a small amount of aluminum oxide is included in both porcelain fillings and composite resin fillings. And on top of these two examples, the list goes ever on. Thus, for the average person, it’s important to understand that metal-free actually means free from dental amalgam and mercury. After all, many metals have found success in the dental world without being unhealthy, like the titanium posts used in dental implants.

When looking for a metal-free dentist, you should be intent on the fact that the dentist does not use dental amalgam with mercury. Other metals used in dentistry do not pose the level of threat that dental amalgam does. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist if they avoid the use of dental amalgam. If they do, you’re in good hands.

Biological Dentistrydentist lincoln ne nebraska family dentistry

The idea of a biological dentist is similar to that of a metal-free dentist. A biological dentist only uses biocompatible materials. Biocompatible materials won’t harm a person’s overall health, unlike mercury. Biological dentistry comes from a branch of dentistry in the mid-1980s. At this time, dentists attempted to treat oral health in a way that encouraged the body to heal itself. This origin of biological dentistry eventually gave way to metal-free dentistry. Because amalgam inherently damages the health of our organs, it isn’t consistent with these dental philosophies. Instead, biological and metal-free dentists use materials that empower the body’s immune system.



Dr. Kathryn Alderman

is our biological dentist and is a proud member
of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology


The mercury in dental amalgam can have some serious effects on the body. These effects are both on the mouth, and on the body’s systems as a whole. Although the ADA still considers dental amalgam a “safe dental material,” a growing body of research is showing the dangers of amalgam. Some naysayers have said that the amount of mercury in amalgam is too small to affect the body. However, since we chew with our teeth, mercury vapors are released from dental amalgam over time. These vapors flow right into our bodies through our mouth. And because amalgam is made from metal, these kinds of fillings are at a greater risk of fracturing or breaking. If that happens, mercury vapor will surely be released.

The most common alternative to dental amalgam is composite resin. Composite resin is white and blends in perfectly with a person’s teeth. These white fillings are much better for you than amalgam fillings. They don’t contain any mercury at all. In fact, all of the materials used in white fillings are completely biocompatible.

The Benefits of White Fillingsveneers smile beauty lincoln ne nfd

Good-looking. Compared to dental amalgam, white fillings are more aesthetic. They don’t draw attention to them like the shiny texture of amalgam. Instead, they’re white and blend right in with your teeth.

Long-lasting. While amalgam fillings tend to expand and contract due to their metal, white fillings don’t. Because of that, white fillings last longer in most cases. They also avoid the risk of expanding and breaking your tooth.

Mercury-free. Most importantly, white fillings are mercury-free. The composite resin in white fillings is made of completely biocompatible materials.

It’s up to each individual to decide if replacing amalgam fillings is for them. Personally, we think it can be worth it to replace these fillings with mercury-free fillings. The risk that mercury poses to the human body is simply too great to ignore.

Frequently Asked Questions about Metal-Free Dentistry

waiting nebraska family dentistry womanWhy is dental amalgam still used so widely?

The ADA has still said that research is too inconclusive to rule that amalgam is unsafe. Because it’s slightly cheaper to make, dentists continue to use it. However, it also expands and contracts significantly more than white fillings. This is because amalgam is made out of metal, and thus conducts heat very efficiently.

How does metal-free dentistry affect patients with a compromised immune system?

An already-compromised immune system is placed at a greater risk in the presence of mercury. Our bodies can often resist the ill effects of mercury vapor. However, if an immune system is already compromised, the presence of mercury will make it work even harder to keep our bodies healthy.

Where can I find a mercury-free dentist near me?

Luckily for you, Nebraska Family Dentistry partners with a handful of locations throughout Lincoln. If you’re interested in seeing a mercury-free dentist, we can point you in the right direction. Click the links below to learn about that specific dentistry.

Coddington Dental
(West Lincoln)
1320 West A St. Lincoln,
NE 68522

Northstar Dental
(North Lincoln)
5800 N. 33rd St. Lincoln,
NE 68504

Lincoln Family Dentistry
(Central Lincoln)
5500 O St. Lincoln,
NE 68516

Preserve Family Dentistry
(East Lincoln)
4304 S. 84th St. Lincoln,
NE 68516

Southpointe Dental
(South Lincoln)
7940 S. 13th St. Lincoln, NE 68512

To schedule an appointment with us, you can call any of the locations listed above, or you can use the form below. Whatever you do, avoid exposure to mercury, and keep your eyes out for the next set of wellness tips and tricks.