What is TMJ?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint which connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the bone at the side of your head (temporal bone). When someone has a temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, they may experience pain in the jaw joint and muscles, stiffness, limited opening, clicking and popping of the joint when opening or closing, and sometimes a change in how the upper and lower teeth overlap. The exact cause of TMJ disorder is not known, although trauma to the jaw or joint may play a role and it can be more prevalent in those with higher stress levels.
While many people look forward to the spring and the warm weather that accompanies it, for allergy sufferers, it can be a difficult time. The pollen produced by trees, flowers and grasses can trigger an immune response that causes runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and congestion. But what many people don’t know is that seasonal allergy flare ups can contribute to dental discomfort.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked either by the tongue or muscles in the airway, causing the cessation of breathing during sleep. As the patient falls asleep, the airway collapses causing Oxygen levels to drop. The body then goes into flight or fight response, which arouses them, enabling them to breathe, increase their Oxygen levels and fall back asleep. The average sleep apnea patient has hundreds of these events per night.
Most people recognize the advantages of implants over dentures. But when does it make sense to choose an implant over a bridge to replace a single missing tooth? An evaluation of the condition of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth can help answer this question. If these teeth have no decay and no existing restorations, then an implant may be the optimal treatment for this scenario. By placing an implant, you would avoid filing down the enamel on healthy teeth.
Everyone knows that a great smile can boost your confidence and self esteem. That is why having straight teeth is desired by many patients. In the past, some patients with crowding or spacing in their mouth, may have avoided treatment due to a dislike for metal braces. They were apprehensive about the appearance of metal in their mouth, the perceived feel of the metal, or the potential for discomfort from the wires.
White spots, that are often observed as milky white areas on the front teeth, are generally the result of demineralized enamel. There is a loss of minerals from the tooth structure. There may be other causes as well, which your dentist will identify during a review of your dental and medical history and upon clinical examination.
Depending on your available time, your budget, and the shade change that you are trying to achieve, there are now multiple options available to brighten your smile. The following highlights the four main whitening choices. (more…)
Some patients wonder why yearly dental radiographs are necessary, particularly when they may have never had any oral health issues. For a dental examination to be complete and comprehensive, a clinical evaluation must be combined with dental radiographs.
Many oral conditions can be missed when radiographs are not taken. These include cavities, cysts, abscessed teeth, tumors, and bone loss. Certain dental radiographs also enable the clinician to view the sinus cavities and temporomandibular joints and any abnormalities that may exist in these structures.
To maintain good oral health and enable your dentist to conduct a thorough, complete exam, follow the recommended protocol and have dental radiographs taken yearly.
Crowns and bridges have traditionally been made of full metal or porcelain fused to metal, both of which provide durability and strength. However, the presence of metal in the oral cavity is not esthetically pleasing to all patients. Metal crowns can sometimes cause a gray hue in the gum tissue surrounding the crown. Some patients with metal crowns experience more tooth sentitivity when eating and drinking cold and hot foods and liquids.
For patients who grind their teeth and who may be more prone to break their natural teeth or porcelain restorations, there is a new choice in crowns called BruxZir Zirconia. It is a tooth colored material, that has no porcelain fused to it, and is has proven to be much less likely to break, chip, or crack than porcelain. It is very natural looking, and blends in easily with the surrounding teeth. If you have had porcelain crowns in the past that have cracked or metal crowns that have worn on the chewing surface or that have contributed to tooth sensitivity, consider having a BruxZir Zirconia crown made as a replacement. It is a strong, esthetic alternative to traditional crown materials.
Unlike general anesthesia and intravenous sedation, nitrous oxide will not put you to sleep. It will, however, decrease your awareness of and sensation of what is occurring during your dental visit.
Nitrous Oxide can do all of the following: reduce your anxiety level, enable you to feel more relaxed, and decrease your gag reflex. Most importantly, it raises the pain reaction threshold, making you more tolerable of the injection and other procedures that would usually feel uncomfortable.
Nitrous oxide is a gas that is delivered through a nose mask. It is given simultaneously with Oxygen. Some refer to it as “laughing gas”. It has a quick onset of action. Patients often feel it working within a few minutes after inhalation. It is one of the safest forms of sedation and can be used on patients whose medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, asthma, etc.) might exclude them from other forms of sedation. It is eliminated from the body in as little as five minutes, thus making it possible for you to drive yourself home shortly after your appointment.