Clenching? Grinding? Headaches? Migraines?
These problems are all in your head – literally!
They can also be related. Read on to learn in what way and how they can be treated
An estimated 45 million Americans suffer with chronic headaches, approximately half of these people experience headaches so severe that they become as disabling as migraines. Migraines affect 28 million people with three times as many sufferers being women and men.
In many cases these headaches and migraines are the result of problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Problems involving the TMJ can arise from anatomical problems in the joint as well asa malocclusion, also called a ‘bad bite’; a situation where upper and lower teeth are misaligned.
During biting and chewing, misaligned teeth distribute muscle energy unevenly through the jaw, face, head and neck. Over time, this leads to muscle tension and ultimately headaches, jaw pain and even migraines.
SYMPTOMS OF TMJ DISORDERS CAN INCLUDE:
- Frequent Headaches or Migraines
- Face or Neck Pain
- Painful Jaw Joints
- Chipped, Worn or Broken Teeth
- Grinding or Clenching
- Clicking or Popping Jaw
- Ringing Ears or Vertigo (dizziness)
OVERCOMING THE PAIN
Neuromuscular Dentistry, a type of dentistry in which Dr. Barbat is highly trained, follows a set of principles and uses sophisticated instruments to re-establish proper occlusion for a patient’s teeth. Re-establishing proper occlusion enables the muscle energy associated with chewing or biting to be distributed through the jaw, face, head and neck in a balanced manner.
The first step in establishing proper occlusion is to find the position of the jaw where the muscles are relatively rested and relaxed. Dr. Barbat records your habitual or, where-you-are-today, occlusion using a K7 computerized diagnostic system. This establishes how you open, close, chew and bite as your muscles effectively work to accomplish those tasks.
The next step is to relax those hard working muscles using a myo-monitor. This sends rhythmic pulsing to increase blood flow to stimulate the jaw, head and neck muscles. Dr. Barbat then uses the K7 to evaluate your relaxed bite to determine the position where your muscles are most balanced. This position is the basis on which your corrections are made.
Many Americans spend years seeking relief from painful headaches and migraines without success. The solution may exist in being effectively and thoroughly evaluated by a neuromuscularly trained dentist.
Call Dr. Barbat’s office at (586) 739-2155 to request a no cost TMJ evaluation (for yourself or perhaps another person with TMJ disorder symptoms you know).
Spending A Fortune On Drug Store Whiteners? And Getting Nowhere?
For many reasons, an increasing number of adults are having their teeth whitened. White teeth provide a more youthful appearance as teeth tend to become stained yellow or brown as we age. Discoloration often occurs from coffee, tea, red wine, colas, and tobacco but can also result from trauma or antibiotics.
When you lighten your teeth, it tends to brighten your face overall, resulting in a more youthful appearance. “Our patients who have had their teeth whitened claim they smile more often, too!” states Dr. Barbat.
Over the counter selections of whitening aids now include toothpaste, floss, strips, and bleaching systems. All give some level of whitening; however, to achieve the degree of whitening most desire, the investment in these over-the-counter versions can be as much or more than what they could have received under a dentist’s supervision.
Dental offices offer systems that provide a much higher level of whitening and, with trays custom-fitted to each person, a more comfortable method. “These trays can also be used for touch ups later, if needed,” adds Dr. Barbat. For those who want immediate results in-office ZOOM 2 can be completed in one, brief visit.
For those with sensitivity, most in-office whitening processes cause minimal, if any, discomfort. For those who prefer at-home versions, wearing trays filled with toothpaste for sensitive teeth an hour a day the week prior to the actual whitening process may decrease or eliminate the problem. Also, some who have sensitivity when the trays are first inserted say their sensitivity wanes in about 10 minutes, so you may wan to give it some time.
Whitening systems make wonderful gifts for those you love to see smile! To treat someon to a whiter smile call our office at (586) 739-8111 to request a gift certificate.