JAW JOINT DISORDER CAN CAUSE MANY PROBLEMS
Persistent symptoms – those that don’t clear up in a couple of weeks – are indications that something is wrong.
When frequent headaches, jaw pain or discomfort in the jaw joints when chewing arise, it’s fairly obvious that the temporo-mandibular (TMJ) joint is likely the culprit. However, for people who have symptoms such as frequent headaches, ear pain or dizziness, the jaw joint is not always assumed to be a source of the problem. Many individuals go from specialist to specialist trying to determine why as they seek relief.
Most TMJ disorder patients cannot trace an injury to blame. This may be because it can take years for trauma to the jaw joint to emerge as obvious symptoms. Unlike neck pain after an auto accident or a pulled shoulder muscle after a rigorous tennis match, TMJ disorder develops slowly, in most cases.
When jaw joints are stressed or stained, a domino effect occurs, which typically encompasses adjoining muscles, bones and nerves. TMJ disorder is often the cause of worn, chipped or broken teeth as well as grinding or clenching teeth during sleep.
While medical specialists may order CAT scans, examine the ears and sinuses, prescribe muscle relaxers or recommend heat-&-ice therapy, you may experience some relief. However, to get to the true source and eliminate the problem for good, failing to consider the TMJ is a recipe for re-occurrence and continual visits to doctor after doctor.
As a neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Barbat has successfully treated many people who have had decades of headaches, migraines, facial pain, jaw pain, earaches, dizziness and ringing ears. Her training enables her to see far beyond your teeth and gums.
To detect true TMJ disorder, our diagnostic process is designed to be comfortable and thorough so we’ll have sufficient information to accurately determine the cause of your symptoms. We begin by evaluating your bite alignment, which can also cause TMJ disorder. Once the source is determined, we’ll make recommendations to help you overcome these problems and resume your life with comfort.
Having a healthy, appealing smile is beneficial to your overall health and well-being. However, it is equally important that muscles, joints, bones and teeth work together in order to avoid costly and painful problems in the future.
If you have experienced ear ringing, dizziness, sore jaw joints or frequent headaches or migraines, call us for a free Consultation. We’ll discuss the best way to determine the true source of your problems and methods to restore you to a healthy smile!
DENTAL FEAR CONQUERED IN SMALL STEPS
Although an estimated 75% of American adults have some level of dental anxiety, approximately 10% of the adult population are categorized as dental phobics. These are people who have such severe fears that the mere thought of going to the dentist is unnerving. Many dental phobics can’t even bring themselves to call a dental office without breaking into a sweat or even crying. As a dentist, I find it as no surprise that the high number of adults with some level of gum disease is about the same percentage of those with dental phobia, fear or anxiety.
Most dental fears stem from a past traumatic experience in the dental chair, often as a child. These memories become so ingrained that anything associated with dental visits recreates the trauma in their minds.
Today’s dentists are more sensitive to individuals who have dental fear and phobia. However, before we can help fearful patients achieve a healthy smile, it is necessary to get them into our office in the first place.
For those who have dental fear or phobia, here are a few suggestions that may make that first step easier …
- Have a close friend or family member call and ask questions (Is the dentist trained and experienced in treating fearful patients? What comfort options are available? Do they offer a consultation so fearful patients can get to know the dentist before scheduling? Etc.)
- Consider visiting the dental office after hours. Walk to the front door and become familiar with the location and building’s appearance.
- When a dentist does not have a consultation room that is removed from the clinical section of the office, certain noises and smells can create discomfort for fearful patients. If the consultation must take place in a treatment suite, it may be best to look for another office.
- Most dentists experienced with fearful patients understand their need to share concerns. They will listen without rushing the patient and answer their questions using easy-to-understand terms. The individual should leave feeling reassured about the dentist’s commitment to their comfort.
- Some offices offer Oral Sedation, which is in pill form and taken prior to the visit. This helps the patient to be in a relaxed state by the time they arrive at the office. A few offices (like ours) also offer twilight sleep through I.V. Sedation. Ask if that is available.
- When any sedation is used, ask about safety monitoring equipment and training of staff members who will be assisting the dentist. Your safety is as important as your comfort.
Taking small steps at a comfortable pace is typically how most patients conquer dental fears and phobia. While some people will never be able to have dental care without anxiety, in the proper hands, treatment for a healthy mouth and confident smile can be accomplished.
If you know someone who has not seen a dentist due to fear, suggest they visit us at: WhereLastingSmilesBegin.com or call (586) 739-2155 to arrange a free consultation. A pleasant conversation in our private consultation room is often the first step to terrific smiles.
PULL A TOOTH OR SAVE IT WITH A CROWN?
Each tooth in your mouth plays an important role in maintaining your overall health.
When a new patient comes because of a ‘problem’ tooth, some feel they’d be better off by having the tooth removed. Unfortunately, ridding yourself of one problem can open the door to a long list of others.
Each tooth in your mouth holds other teeth in proper position. This includes the teeth on each side and the one above or below. A missing tooth enables these ‘neighboring’ teeth to move, which eventually leads to movement of their adjacent teeth as well. Misaligned teeth can lead to chips, broken teeth, night-time clenching or grinding, headaches, worn teeth, jaw joint pain and a higher risk of cavities.
It is a fact that when a tooth is removed, if not replaced, the tooth next to the open space will be the next you’ll lose. Thus, the process for replacing a missing tooth should begin as soon as possible. This can be done by a crown-&-bridge combination or Dental Implant. We recommend Dental Implants since they use the jawbone as their foundation, just as natural tooth roots. A Crown-&-Bridge combination requires the crowning of natural teeth on each side to serve as supports for the bridged missing tooth.
Dental Implants also give another advantage. Since they are held in the jawbone, they recreate the presence of a tooth root. This stimulates the bone so the jaw is able to maintain depth and mass. Like the gap left by a missing tooth, bone loss from missing tooth roots create a ‘drifting’ potential of neighboring teeth.
ANY TOOTH IS WORTH SAVING, if at all possible. In the long run, extraction is far from the easiest and cheapest method to deal with a problem tooth. Once we determine why a tooth is experiencing problems in the first place, we can discuss ways to solve the problem, saving you time and money due to future challenges. For a free consultation, call (586) 739-2155.