How to Relieve TMJ Pain

Often jaw problems resolve on their own in several weeks to months. If you have recently experienced TMJ pain and/or dysfunction, you may find relief with some or all of the following therapies.

  • Moist Heat. Moist heat from a heat pack or a hot water bottle wrapped in a warm, moist towel can improve function and reduce pain. Be careful to avoid burning yourself when using heat.
  • Ice. Ice packs can decrease inflammation and also numb pain and promote healing. Do not place an ice pack directly on your skin. Keep the pack wrapped in a clean cloth while you are using it. Do not use an ice pack for more than 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Soft Diet. Soft or blended foods allow the jaw to rest temporarily. Remember to avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods. Do not stretch your mouth to accommodate such foods as corn on the cob, apples, or whole fruits.
  • Over the-Counter Analgesics. For many people with TMJ Disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your dentist or doctor can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants to help ease symptoms.
  • Jaw Exercises. Slow, gentle jaw exercises may help increase jaw mobility and healing. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate exercises based on your individual needs.  A recent study found therapeutic jaw exercises bring earlier recovery of jaw function compared to splints! 
  • Relaxation Techniques. Relaxation and guided imagery can be helpful in dealing with the pain that accompanies TMJ dysfunction. Deep, slow breathing enhances relaxation and modulates pain sensations. Some have found yoga, massage, and meditation helpful in reducing stress and aiding relaxation.
  • Side Sleeping. Sleep on your side using pillow support between shoulder and neck.
  • Relax Facial Muscles. Make a concerted effort to relax your lips, and keep teeth apart.
  • Yawning. Use your fist to support your chin as you yawn to prevent damage to the joint and prevent your jaw from locking open.
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Does Toothpaste Expire?

If you've run out of toothpaste and are tempted to grab your back-up travel tube, you may want to think again. Although toothpaste doesn't have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated expiration, most toothpastes have an expiration date of eighteen months to two years.


Why Does Toothpaste Expire?

In order for any toothpaste to be given the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, it must meet stringent requirements for safety and effectiveness. A shelf-life is determined only by the effectiveness of the ingredients in the toothpaste, so there's ... Read more

Dental Anxiety: 3 Ways to Stop Fearing the Dentist

If you ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist, you're not alone. Perhaps you're scared the visit might hurt or you haven't been in a while and not sure what the dentist will find. 

Whatever your reason, the right dental team will make sure your dental and your emotional health are taken care of. The more you delay or just don't go to the dentist, the higher your risk of developing dental problems that will make gearing up for future dental visits more difficult. In fact, seeing your dentist regularly can actually ... Read more

Can You Heal A Cavity At Home?

You feel a sharp pain when you bite down or try to eat. You think it's a cavity, but you're not 100 percent sure. Your dentist can see you, but it will be a few days. Meanwhile, you want relief and a solution now. The big question you have is, can you heal cavity pain at home, without help from your dentist?

Although there are steps you can take to remineralize your tooth enamel and halt the decay process at home, if you suspect that you have a cavity, the best thing you can do ... Read more

What is TMD and How Do I Know if I Have it?



TMD is complex, but it's worth learning about it and understanding its nuances because TMD doesn't go away or get better on its own. In fact -- it will almost always get worse with time.
By the way, your dental insurance will not cover treatment of TMD.

What is TMD exactly?

The best definition of TMD is a broad one: TMD disorder is a condition involving pain or tenderness in the muscles and/or joint that control jaw movement (this joint is referred to as the TMJ, or temperomandibular joint) with the pain sometimes referring beyond these areas. ... Read more

5 Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes


Lots of people these days use electric toothbrushes to keep their pearly whites nice and bright. But are they really better? Yes, say dentists, who overwhelmingly recommend them as the best means of keeping your teeth clean and free from plaque and its damaging effects. Yet simply purchasing an electric toothbrush doesn't guarantee great results. You also need to make sure you brush at least twice daily, spend at least two minutes a session brushing and use the proper brushing technique (yes, there's a technique to it).

Before you rush out to buy an electric toothbrush, do a ... Read more

Do You Have These 5 Bad Dental Habits?

bad dental habits

You practice good dental care: You brush your teeth, floss fairly regularly, and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Good for you! But you're probably also engaging in one or more bad habits that can undermine the good ones and compromise your dental health. Here's our list of five of the worst dental habits, why they're harmful, and what you can do to stop them.


Dental Care Problem 1: Crunching, Sucking, and Sipping

You slurp down an ice-cold soda or iced tea and then crunch, crunch, crunch the leftover ice. ... Read more

What Are The Signs Of Gum Disease?


Gum disease is a common oral health issue that is surprisingly easy to overlook. Not only do people tend to focus more on tooth health than gum health, but gum disease is often painless, making it even more likely to go unnoticed. Failing to spot this condition early on could have serious consequences, since it's one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults. Fortunately, there are several signs of gum disease that can help you catch it while it's still in its early stages.

About Gum Disease

Gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis, is ... Read more

The Importance Of Dental X-Rays

Dentists want to provide the best possible dental care to their patients, but a visual examination doesn't tell us everything we need to know. Thanks to dental X-rays, dentists can accurately diagnose and treat dental problems early before they become more serious. And if after examining your mouth and reviewing these images, we finds no cavities or growth issues, you can rest assured we have seen the whole picture.


Valuable Diagnostic Tool

X-rays, also called radiographs, give us the ability to see between and inside your teeth. We can also view the tip of your roots and bone underneath your gums places not normally visible to the naked eye. Although they are used as part of a routine examination to rule out dental disease, X-rays also aid us in diagnosing any specific or isolated dental problems you might be experiencing.

Radiographs are used to check for cavities and evaluate the extent of decay. And because some X-rays show the root of the tooth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the presence of any cysts, abscesses and other masses can be diagnosed. Congenitally missing or impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth are often identified this way, and the presence and extent of bone loss due to periodontal disease is easily seen through dental X-rays as well.
 

Types of X-rays

Bitewing, periapical and panoramic radiographs are the most common X-rays used in the dental office. During routine exams, we may take two to four bitewing x-rays which show the crown portions of your teeth to check for early signs of decay between your teeth. When we want to get a good look at your teeth's bone height or root tips, periapical X-rays provide the best view. A panoramic X-ray, according to the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), is taken from outside of your mouth and produces an image of the entire oral cavity on one large X-ray. Because the image shows all of the teeth, as well as the upper and lower jaws and sinus areas, this type of X-ray can identify impaction, cysts, tumors, jaw disorders and bone irregularities.
Other radiographs include occlusal X-rays, which are occasionally taken in children to evaluate their developing teeth; and cephalometric X-rays, used by orthodontists when planning orthodontic treatment.

How Often Are X-rays Needed?

Everyone's oral health varies, and as a result, we will evaluate your needs and recommend an X-ray schedule accordingly. If you're a new patient, the dentist may advise taking a full series of X-rays to assess your current oral health state, and use this as a baseline going forward. As you continue your regular checkup visits, fewer X-rays are needed to monitor the status of your oral health.

Dental X-rays Safety

Because X-ray machines and other sources of dental radiographs are designed to minimize radiation, these processes are safe and your exposure is negligible. Our office, in fact, is now using digital X-rays, which further reduces radiation exposure, as well as intra-oral cameras to get a clearer view. Nonetheless, the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site recommends patients have the added protection of a leaded apron to cover the abdominal area and a leaded collar to protect the thyroid. Always let your dentist know if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, though necessary X-rays don't have to be avoided as long as you're wearing a fitted lead apron and thyroid collar.
 
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10 Amazing Uses for Your Old Toothbrush

different use for toothbrushHow many toothbrushes do you think you have thrown away during your life? We are advised to change our toothbrush every three months, so in theory by the time somebody is 30 they will have already tossed around 120 toothbrushes. 

That's a very big pile of plastic, but have you ever thought what happens to them? The Oral Health Foundation has taken a look at the potential uses for your toothbrush after it has finished its primary job of cleaning your teeth. What they have found is that we can be remarkably creative when it comes to prolonging the usefulness of our little bristled friends.... Read more

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