The Do’s and Don’ts for TMJ Sufferers

tmj treatment temporomandibular joint disorder tmdIf you suffer from a TMJ disorder, or think that you might, then it is likely that you are desperate for advice on reliable ways to manage the pain and improve your condition. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts that may be helpful for anyone experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms.

DO see your dentist for a thorough evaluation of your TMJ and to discuss your particular symptoms. No one is better than a dental professional to diagnose and treat this condition.

DON’T put off evaluation or treatment of your condition. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to complete and long-term recovery. The longer you delay, the more extensive and more expensive the treatment is likely to become.

DO be proactive at home. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and dysfunction and put you on the path to recovery.

DON’T take treatment into your own hands. Avoid the tendency to self-diagnose and self-treat the problem with medication and/or at home remedies.

DO eat liquid foods like shakes, smoothies and soups. This will provide some much needed relief to the exhausted muscles and ligaments that are working overtime to compensate for the problems in the joint.

DON’T eat chewing gum, hard and crunchy foods or sticky candies that can exacerbate and accelerate damage to the joint.

DON’T eat large foods that require you to overstretch in order to stuff them in your mouth (sorry, no triple decker cheeseburgers). Instead, get used to cutting your food into smaller bites and consider eating smaller portions of food to limit the overall number of chews necessary to consume your food.

DO make a diary or journal to monitor and track the conditions that cause painful episodes. This may include certain types of food or times of day that make you particularly vulnerable to flare-ups.

DON’T ignore symptoms or allow your stomach to overpower your better judgment when it comes to choosing foods that could worsen your condition.

While Temporomandibular Joint problems are not life threatening, they can definitely be life altering. Even if it seems to cramp your style so to speak or be particularly inconvenient, simply following the above list of dos and don’ts as well as using good ol’ common sense can help you avoid painful episodes.

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Diagnosing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

tmd temporomandibular joint disorder tmjThere are a number of common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). If you are experiencing some or all of the following complaints, it is possible that you may be suffering from TMD.

- Pain in the jaw joint

- Clicking and grinding in jaw joint

- Limited mouth opening

- Head and neck pain

- Migraines

- “Phantom” toothaches

- Change in bite

- “Lock Jaw”

- Swelling on one or both sides of the face

- Clenching/Bruxism

To find out definitively you will want to visit your family dentist for a TMJ evaluation. Depending on the comfort level and expertise of your particular doctor in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders, you may or may not be referred to a specialist for more in-depth analysis.

In either case, here are some key aspects of what they will be looking for and how they will find it.

Manual exam. The dentist may begin by manual examination of the joint using his hands and fingertips to “feel” for any deviations upon opening and closing. Also, don’t be alarmed if the dentist leans his head in close to yours. He is probably trying to listen closely for clicking, popping or grinding noises that could indicate dysfunction.

Oral evaluation. Often times, a dysfunctional jaw joint will not allow the teeth to come together in an ideal position during chewing or speaking. Over time this will result in the “tell-tale” signs of wear patterns in the teeth themselves. These may include wear facets, chipping, cracking or even broken teeth. An oral evaluation should be performed with the aid of dental loupes and magnifying intra-oral camera photos to document the extent of the breakdown.

Routine full mouth x-rays and panoramic x-rays are typically required to rule out toothaches or other potential causes of the symptoms as well as to survey the jawbone and jaw joint for indications of breakdown to the hard-tissue or boney structures in the area. The damage that results from TMD often causes actual physical alteration to these structures that are only evident in radiographs.

Cat scan. If there is any observable damage on the x-rays, a cat scan may be prescribed in order to provide greater detail of the damaged hard-tissue structures of the jaw joint.

MRI. While cat scans provide some limited detail of disc and muscles around the joint, a MRI can give a much more accurate and detailed depiction of what is happening to the these soft-tissue structures.

Questionnaire. A significant aspect of evaluating TMD is based on subjective patient responses to key questions. Therefore, it is imperative that you are prepared to respond as honestly and accurately as possible. Taking notes or keeping a journal of how and why symptoms occur can be helpful during this part of the diagnostic process.

The symptoms of TMD and the accompanying treatments vary so greatly from person to person that a thorough and comprehensive evaluation is vital in order to accurately assess the extent of the problem BEFORE any treatment is recommended. When it comes to TMD, it is much better to spend extra time and money during the evaluation phase than to jump into unsuccessful treatments or extensive surgeries that have limited benefits, or in some cases can even exacerbate existing conditions.

Cosmetic Dentistry Creates Brilliant Smiles

cosmetic dentistry dentistTeeth are not only important as a functional part of eating and speaking, but their role in our appearance is also extremely important. Having a bright, beautiful smile increases confidence and positively impacts our social standing in the world.

Cosmetic dentistry is the field of dentistry related to the aesthetics of teeth — their alignment, appearance and health. Cosmetic dentists are responsible for a wide variety of cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening (particularly ZOOM! Whitening), teeth straightening (particularly with Invisalign braces) and porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, porcelain dental bridges, tooth-colored fillings and dental implants.

Here are some common services that are offered in cosmetic dentistry:

1. Tooth bonding, crowning or capping, gum grafting where some addition of dental materials to the teeth and gums are performed.

2. Removal or alteration of associated tooth structure like enamel or covering of tooth, gums {gigngivectomy}

3. Teeth whitening: where teeth which are yellow stained and plaque filled are gradually brought into shiny and whitish look .The dentist uses a chemical bleaching process which deactivates staining and plaque and dissolve it on many applications so that tooth reflects out with its original enamel coat .Each visit may take more than 60 minutes and the number of visits depends on dentist as well as client`s capacity to afford and level of whitening he or she needs.

4. But one of the important fact one need to remember is that brushing, flossing , rinsing should be continued along with whitening agents in order to have effect sustainably.

5. Bonding is gelling them together in order reduce spaces or gaps between them, it looks nasty for anyone to have malformed teeth with spaces between them and it is one of the most common cosmetic issue affecting the young population, models, actress , beauticians, because well aligned teeth is the basic need for anyone to look good. Dentists will use some bonding materials to fill those small cavities or to protect the exposed root of a tooth.

6. Tooth reshaping will remove parts of enamel to correct a small chip or to alter the length, position and shape of the tooth; it can be done by enameloplasty.

7. Other procedures include bonding, gum lift, clipping, veneer applications, dental bridges or false teeth implantation.