TMJ Treatment 101

TMJ Infographic


TMJ Treatment, Causes, and Symptoms

TMJ, also known as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, is some category of jawbone problems that often affects much more people than anticipated. According to experts more than ten million Americans suffer the TMJ condition and most of them do not have knowledge of this. The most fundamental TMJ characteristic is pain. This is followed by restrictive movement of the mandibular and some noises from TMJ when the jaws are in motion. Even though this condition is not dangerous it could cause detrimental effects on life quality. This is because the symptoms could become difficult to handle and even chronic.

TMJ can be analyzed as some symptom complex disorder instead of some single condition. The condition is thought to be founded from a number of factors. The factors are, however, not adequately understood. There are differences on the significance of the factors causing TMJ as well. TMJ has a number of treatment options even though there is absence of proof of effectiveness for any of the available treatments. To this date there has not been any universally accepted protocol of TMJ treatment. The common TMJ treatments include occlusal splints provision, pain medication, psychosocial interventions such as cognitive therapy on behavior, etc. Many sources concur that any treatment administered for TMJ should be reversible.

TMJ causes

Living with TMJ can be disturbing and often painful. The sooner a person is diagnosed, the better for them. Each patient has unique needs and the treatment expected will often be a bit different from what others get. The discomfort and pain should diminish with effective treatment. Many dentists believe that TMJ symptoms come from jaw muscle problems or problems with jaw joints themselves. An injury incurred by the neck and head muscles, joints, or jaw such as injury from whiplash or a heavy blow could cause TMJ. Some of the other pronounced causes entail:

  • The clenching and grinding of teeth, which exerts more pressure on joints
  • Disc or cushion movement between jaw joints socket and ball
  • Arthritis found in the joints
  • Stress which often causes tightened jaw and facial muscles or teeth clenching

TMJ symptoms

TMJ regularly causes acute discomfort and pain. The discomforting pain could occur temporarily or remain for a long time. Such pains can affect either side or one of the sides to your face. TMJ is a common problem both with men and women and the problem is often experienced by middle aged people who are aged twenty to forty years. The common symptoms may include:

  • Tenderness or pain inside the face, shoulders, neck, and jaw joints and can extend to the region around the ears during chewing, speaking, or when the mouth is wide open
  • Discomfort when you attempt to open the mouth wide
  • Stuck jaws or locked jaws when the mouth is closed or when opened
  • Grinding, popping, or clicking sounds from the joints of the jaw when opening or closing the mouth or when chewing. Such sounds may or may not be accompanied with pain.
  • Feeling of tiredness in the face
  • Chewing difficulty or an uncomfortable sudden bite or a feeling as though the lower and upper teeth are not quite fitting
  • Swelling on either sides of the face

Some of the other symptoms include headaches, toothaches, dizziness, neck aches, earaches, ringing of the ears, pains in upper shoulder, hearing problems, etc.

New Dental Tech – Digital X-Rays

digital x-ray

Traditional x-rays – the ones that you probably had when you were younger, and the ones that you see on TV – used film in order to take the ‘photographs’ of our insides. Now there is a new modern technology called digital x-rays, which do not need to take photographs and so can be looked at by your dentist only moments after it has been taken. Another great benefit of digital x-rays is that they use around 85% less radiation. As x-rays are a critical tool for diagnosis, digital x-rays are being used more and more by dentists in order to see underneath the surface, and check whether there are any problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Some dental problems do not cause pain until they are quite far along, which means that in many cases, digital x-rays are the first way that a dentist can detect bone loss, tumors, decay, gum problems, abscesses, cysts, and other developmental issues. As these can now be detected much earlier in their development, the dentist can therefore treat them more easily – and with much less pain and financial cost.

Of course, you cannot completely avoid absolutely all radiation exposure – in many ways, it is part of everyday life. On the other hand, digital x-rays are so far reduced when it comes to traditional x-rays and the amount of radiation they create, and even then, dentists will take precautions to protect the patient during the x-ray. You do not automatically need to have a digital x-ray; your dentist will decide that based on your previous history, and any problems that they have spotted in your symptoms or lifestyle. In most cases, a manual exam will tell the dentist whether or not it would be worth the minute amount of radiation to get a better view and use a digital x-ray.

What Are All On Four Dentures?

All on 4 Infographic


Permanent / All On Four Dentures: How They Can Help You

If your teeth are giving you immense dental pain, are cracked and rotting, or you are missing some, permanent dentures might be something you should look into using. This article will highlight more behind what they are and how they can help you get back to living pain-free.

What are Permanent Dentures?

Permanent dentures, also known as conventional or non-removable dentures, are a permanent fixture in your mouth to replace any broken or missing teeth.

How Do They Work?

They work and look like regular dentures but have a slightly different twist to them. When you go to have permanent dentures installed, you first need to have all of the necessary teeth removed. This will prevent them from getting in the way of the dentures and ensure they fit you properly. After the necessary teeth have been removed, you then have to wait about 7 weeks or so to let the gum area heal so the dentures don’t cause massive irritation. Once that time is up, a map of your mouth and a measurement of your jawbone will be taken so the dentist can install the correct implants in your mouth. After the implants have been put in, the permanent dentures can be attached to them so they stay put.

The Benefits of Them

There are plenty of benefits that come with using permanent dentures.

They Don’t Slip

Many often don’t like the idea of wearing dentures because of the fear that they might accidentally slip or fall out of their mouth. The great thing about permanent dentures is that you don’t have to worry about this. Because they are securely attached to the implants rather than just slid into the mouth, there’s no need to fear that they’ll suddenly fall out.

It’s Easy to Chew and Talk

Chewing and talking will be easy to do because these dentures are secured to your jawbone. This is unlike regular dentures that only stick to your mouth due to a slight adhesive that often needs to be replaced daily.

They’re Durable

These are made to last, so once you invest in them you can rest assured they won’t break easily. This is because they are made of a sturdy acrylic material to ensure they don’t chip or crack when you wear them.

They can be Customized

Many dentures are often a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. However, with permanent dentures you’ll be able to have a custom fitting for your mouth. This can help to make sure that they fit comfortably in your mouth so they don’t cause discomfort or look unnatural.

You Don’t Need to Remove Them to Clean Them

Probably one of the best things about this type is that they don’t need to be removed in order for you to clean them. This can help add to their durability because they don’t need to soak in a seltzer which can break down the denture materials. You can pretty much brush them off like you would with regular teeth.

Permanent dentures are a great investment to make and can help you to get back to living pain-free and normally. They are affordable and will give you back your natural smile.

New Dental Tech – 3D Scanning

3D scan patients teeth

Dentistry is being made simple with new technologies like the Carestream CS 3500 intraoral scanner. It may sound complicated, but it is a simple device that is used by dentist all the time to help with accurate dental restorations, creating fewer problems and causing less pain for the patient. After all, who likes to have dental impressions made? It’s a messy and uncomfortable process, and this new technology avoids it completely. Even better than that, it’s a carefully designed piece of equipment that is small and nimble, so it doesn’t frighten people who are a little nervous about going to the dentist.

It is so nimble and lightweight, in fact, that the CS 3500 can scan a patient at a depth of 16 mm at almost any angle, taking away the hard work from the dentist and ensuring absolutely accurate scans. Your dentist can focus on you. This technology is also compatible with all of the old technologies, and can scan any previous moulds that have been made of your teeth so that it can compare how previous dental work has been done.

The scanner is also useful to dentists because it is plugged directly into a computer, so all of the data that it collects goes straight to a digital record. There is no paperwork or admin for the dentist to complete. There is a projection screen so that the dentist can focus completely on the patient, and when it is in Feedback mode, it projects two lights to guide the dentist where to go. The projection is even in color! Once the scan using the CS 3500 is complete, the software will create an image of the patient’s mouth in detail, something that the dentist could never have done by eye – and completely without any hassle or pain.

New Dental Tech – Laser Cavity Detection

laser diagnostic


Many of us care for our bodies very well . . . until it comes to our teeth! We don’t give our teeth and gums much of a priority even though the longer there is a problem, the more costly it can be to heal it. By visiting a dentist regularly, your teeth can be cared for and any major dental problems prevented. A dentist will analyse your teeth by using a clever piece of technology called a DIAGNOdent laser, which has been designed to detect tooth decay before any visible signs have occurred. After all, tooth decay can happen to anyone, and it can often start from the inside out so it is impossible to see with the naked eye.

To prevent decay from destroying their patients’ teeth before they realize, dentists use the DIAGNOdent laser to see inside the tooth. It uses a special laser, and depending on the way that the light moves, the dentist can assess whether there is internal damage. This is a popular diagnosis model, as it is completely painless! There is no way that it can harm the patient, and as it is a simple tool the dentist can concentrate 100% on the patient rather than operating a complicated bit of equipment.

The DIAGNOdent is just one of the clever pieces of dental technology that dentists are using these days to support their patients in their drive to keep their teeth clean and healthy. Understanding exactly how much decay is inside our teeth is one of the missing pieces of the puzzle, and now thanks to this innovative technology, we are able to know without using something as unwieldly like an x-ray just how a patient is doing. Laser cavity detection is no longer just a pipe dream of the future.

The Dental Wand (A Tool For Painless Dentistry)

Dental Wand (Painless Treatment)Although there isn’t a magic wand that a dentist can simply wave and magically transform your teeth into white, straight, healthy teeth, there is something called a Dental Wand that can do something pretty incredible! The scientific name for it is the CompuDent and Single Tooth Anesthesia System, but many dentists have taken to calling it the Dental Wand because of the way that it looks, and the clever way that it can completely transform a dental appointment with just a small amount of movement! It is a special computer that can inject dental liquids in a completely controlled manner – far more controlled than a dentist would be able to do by hand. The stream is slow and steady, so the patient can completely relax knowing that there aren’t going to be any sudden spurts or gushes going into their mouth.

So why is this any better? Well, whenever you come into contact with a needle – whether you are getting blood taken, getting your ears pierced, or having a flu jab – the pain that you feel isn’t actually the needle, it is the reaction that your body makes when something new is forced into your body really quickly. It reacts thinking that it is being attacked, and so if we were able to inject something steadily and slowly then there would not be any pain. That is where the Dental Wand comes in: its clever control means that truly painless dentistry is right there before you – and the designers have even made sure that it does not look frightening by making it look more like a pen than a syringe.

Dentists up and down the country are now preferring to use the Dental Wand over any other method, and their patients love it too. Just wave the magic wand!

Tips For After A Tooth Extraction

rinsing after extractionThere are many different reasons why a person may have a tooth extracted: from getting rid of a baby tooth to make space for an adult tooth, to needing to for orthodontics, because it has been cracked or has decayed . . . the list is almost endless. Many people underestimate having a tooth out because of its size, but it is actually a relatively large dental procedure, and the more care and attention that you give your teeth as part of the aftercare process will hugely define how well and how quickly you recover. You want to ensure that you can reduce the risk of infection, and so listening to what your dentist says that you should do after the procedure is very important. Most of the time, they will ask you to follow these rules:

  1. Bite down on the gauze that they give you, even if it hurts a little, even if it is uncomfortable. It is there to prevent even greater pain and discomfort. If you start to bleed again, then you will need to get a new piece of gauze to apply until the bleeding stops.
  2. Sit up as much as you can, and do not do any intense movement for a few days. That includes sport, but also smaller things like running for the bus, and rushing to a meeting.
  3. Rinse out your mouth with warm salt water every hour, on the hour, for two full days after the surgery. This will keep the area clean and sterilised – do not use mouthwash, as this will damage the wound area.

Eat soft foods and brush but brush gently. Keeping hydrated is the key if you have lost a lot of blood, and you should be patient when you wait for the healing process to finish. For some people, it can take up to a week.