Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Ringing in the Ears - Is it TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction...the long name for TMJ, is a very real disorder with some specific characterizations.  TMJ affects the joints in the jaw bone close to the ears. One of the common symptoms is Tinnitus, or, ringing in the ears. Many people accept it as a natural aging process.  Consequently, it can go undiagnosed for years, resulting in hearing loss and permanent damage to the inner ear.  It is frequently misdiagnosed as another disease or disorder such as Meniere's Disease.  

TMJ is treatable and can be managed when detected early.  Don't delay!  Hearing loss and ringing in the ears are not always a result of aging!   

Visit your dentist to find out if this could be affecting you.  

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Oral Cancer Screening At Home

Six easy steps to check for oral cancer at home!

  1. Tongue - Extend your tongue as far as it can go, examine the sides and underside for white and red patches, and feel your tongue for lumps.
  2. Lip and Cheek - Feel for lumps or bumps while looking for white and red patches.
  3. Double-Digit Probe - Examine the floor of your mouth from the top to bottom simultaneously for lumps and red and white patches.
  4. Palate Tickle - Check the roof of your mouth for lumps and areas of softness on the hard palate, looking for white and red patches.
  5. Neck Caress - Palpate your neck for enlarged lymph nodes.
  6. Tonsils - Depress the tongue and check for enlarged tonsils and any white or red patches.
Remember this does not replace seeing your dentist, this is just a cautionary screening. If you notice any unusual patches or unexplained soreness contact your dentist immediately.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Dental Office Decor - Just How Important is it?

Have you ever wondered why your dental office is decorated a certain way...or maybe why it isn't?  The fact is, color can make a waiting room or an operatory look inviting, or make you want to turn and run!  Imagine that you walked in to a dental office for the first time and the walls were, say, a dark shade of ming orange and the chairs were red.  You might immediately turn around and head for the door and see that the accent wall is, eeek!  A deep shade of purple.  Now, there is a dentist in serious need of a decorator!

So, would you immediately distrust that dentist?  He or she may be the best technical dentist in the state, but the fact is, color speaks volumes to a patient in a waiting room, and first impressions are everything. There is actually a psychology to color in the medical/dental world.

Green, in pale variations, is a relaxing color.  Seafoam is very popular and is also relaxing.  Blue denotes honesty and security and softer shades of pink and mauve are calming. In contrast, red in darker shades is an angry color...it can enhance an already bad mood, or make an anxious patient more anxious. The idea is that it should be inviting and you should have a sense of being in good hands immediately when you walk in.
Now, that is not to say that you should turn and run if the colors are wrong, but in case you ever wondered why you may feel a certain way or get a certain impression when you walk into a dental facility, it could be the decor!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

By definition, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine,  Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of practice that focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, through the use of oral appliance therapy and/or upper airway surgery.

More and more dentists are entering into this field of treatment.  The way it works is this: A qualified physician diagnoses the condition through a series of studies done on the patient, then the dentist provides treatment; ( i.e. usually a custom fitted oral device, worn during sleep and designed to keep the airway open by supporting the jaw and tongue.)

A loved one may notice heavy snoring or interrupted breathing patterns that can happen many times during the sleep cycle, however, if you live alone the following signs could be an indication that you may need to be checked out:

                  Mild to heavy daytime sleepiness
                  Morning headaches
                  Decreased libido
                  Inability to concentrate

Additionally, if you are overweight  you may have a higher risk for sleep apnea.  Essentially, through oxygen deprivation and lack of refreshing sleep, this disorder can wreak havoc on your body over time. It can put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke and even heart attack, not to mention the risk of sudden death while sleeping due to the closing of the airway.

Many people have this disorder and are unaware of the danger it poses.  It is effectively a silent killer.  If you think you or a loved one may have this, contact your healthcare provider and arrange for a screening.  
It could save your life!

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Facts, Disorders, and Treatments For TMJ

TMJ is your Temporomandibular Joint that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull.  This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and from side to side. 

  • 1 in 8 Americans are currently affected by TMJ. 
  • TMJ is 4 times more common in women than men.
  • Men are found to have more wear on their teeth and bite. 
  • Head, neck, and jaw misalignment
  • Genetics
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Trauma
  • Diseases like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Headache
  • Aching pain in or around the ear
  • Jaw locking or popping
  • Tenderness in the cheek and jaw
  • Pain and difficulty eating
  • Dizziness
  • Sharp facial pain
  • Facial swelling
  • Neck and upper back spasms
  • A dental splint helps keep the teeth in alignment and prevents tooth grinding
  • Physical therapy with the jaw
  • Trigger point acupuncture
  • Botox to help relax the muscles of the jaw
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above see your dentist right away!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Coenzyme Q-10 for Fighting Periodontal Disease

 I am always looking for natural, effective ways to heal the body without the use of drugs.  I found this while searching for a supplement to help heal gum disease.

Coenzyme Q-10 is essential to the body to help build new cells.  It is a component that can reduce inflammation and assist in healing infection. Gingivitis and Periodontitis are bacterial diseases of the gums.  There are lots of ways to prevent and treat gum disease, such as regular cleanings, scaling, root planning and topical rinses. However, for those who prefer a more holistic approach, consider Coenzyme Q-10. 

Here is a link to an article explaining the dental health benefits of taking a Coenzyme Q-10 supplement.

Always check with your doctor and/or your dentist before taking any supplement, and, as always,
Keep smiling!

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Troubled By A Toothache?

We all know tooth pain is the worst possible pain. It makes eating and drinking very difficult, and may also cause an infection in or around the tooth called an abscess.

Here are some warning signs of an abscess:
  1. Throbbing pain
  2. Tender tooth
  3. Gums are red and swollen
  4. Swollen face
  5. Fever
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call your dentist right away!