How Is TMJ Disorder Treated?

It is estimated that more than 10 million Americans are suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Unfortunately, many of these individuals fail to obtain the proper treatment. They are instead forced to endure a significant amount of pain and discomfort. 

Thankfully, there are a host of innovative solutions which are capable of providing the relief that you have desperately search for. Let us first examine some of the causes of TMJ before moving on to discuss how this condition can be effectively treated. 

The Causes and Symptoms of TMJ

There are a handful of reasons why an individual may develop TMJ. Here are some of the most common:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Incorrect lifestyle habits (such as incorrect posture)
  • Chewing hard or gummy foods
  • A misaligned jaw

A clinician will therefore examine your current situation in order to determine if these conditions are present. He or she may also perform in-depth procedures such as x-rays or CT scans if another issue is suspected. 

Of course, the concurrent symptoms will also be used to diagnose the presence of TMJ. These can include (but may not be limited to) clicking or grinding sensations within the jaw, difficulty chewing food, pain around the face, or the inability to fully open your mouth. 

What Are Your Treatment Options?

Let us imagine that you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder. What treatment options are at your disposal? The most common involve non-invasive procedures. These include monitoring the types of foods that you eat, wearing an appliance in order to avoid grinding your teeth and managing your levels of stress (if this is a perceived cause).

There can still be times when the solutions mentioned above fail to provide relief. In such scenarios, more targeted solutions may need to be considered. For example, a dentist or orthodontist may recommend corticosteroid injections or surgery. In rare instances, your pain may be caused by other underlying health issues such as arthritis or a localised tumour. The best way to rule out these situations is to speak with a professional sooner as opposed to later. 

There is no reason why anyone who has been diagnosed with TMJ disorder should continue to suffer in silence. There are many unique options at your disposal and these can offer amazing results. Make it a point to consult with a specialist if you feel that a problem is present.

Fixing a Gap Between Your Teeth

If you have a gap between your teeth, you may be having trouble chewing food. You may be unhappy with the look it gives your smile. Whether the gap occurred naturally at birth — or as the result of a missing tooth — you will be happy to know that there are several options to correct it. 

Orthodontics

A tooth gap can result from a misalignment, and can often be corrected by using orthodontics like 6 Month Smiles. This is a type of braces made of clear brackets and white wires which are very discreet. Although they are not completely invisible, they are much less obvious than conventional braces. These will quickly and effectively move your teeth (gently) and transform your smile — filling in the gaps between teeth. 

Invisible aligners may also help; these are a clear and removable form of braces, much like a dental retainer, and also gently push teeth into the correct position. 

Veneers

Veneers can cover a very small gap, especially if the front teeth are involved. 

Veneers are ultra-thin ‘sleeves’ that are cemented to the enamel of your existing tooth with a very strong bonding agent. It is virtually impossible for others to notice a veneer and they are extremely sturdy. The majority of veneers are made from either porcelain or ceramic and they can withstand years of abuse if maintained properly. 

Dental Bonding

Bonding is the most cost-effective option when dealing with a gap. A dental bond consists of specially formulated resin that matches the colour of a tooth. It is then applied to the area that needs to be filled in. 

While quite effective in regards to the end results, we should mention that these dental resins will normally only address smaller gaps.

Dental Bridges

A bridge is essentially a means to anchor an artificial tooth to one or more surrounding teeth. This option is commonly employed when a tooth has been lost. A bridge is a great option if there are one or more large gaps within your mouth and if maintained properly, they can last for decades at a time with few issues. 

Talk with Danny the Dentist to discuss which method is the most logical solution for you.

What Causes of a Child’s Crooked Teeth?

A common perception is that genetics is the primary factor in why a child develops crooked teeth. However, recent research indicates the cause may be an abnormal lip, jaw, or tongue position during rest, swallowing or speech. prolonged oral habits like thumb or finger sucking can be the root of the orthodontic problems.

Dentists refer to these as “myofunctional habits” and they can affect the natural development of the teeth and jaws. The Myobrace System was developed to treat these underlying causes in order to aid natural tooth growth and help prevent the need for orthodontics.

Incorrect Myofunctional Habits and Teeth Development

A very common habit for a child to develop is thumb sucking. Yet this is a prime example of an incorrect myofunctional habit as it can impede jaw development. 

Anything which prevents the tongue and lips from performing normally can result in tooth alignment issues and underdeveloped jaws. Further examples of incorrect myofunctional habits include:

Mouth breathing

If a child primarily breathes through their mouth, it not only means the mouth is often open, but the tongue is not in its natural position of rest. The outcome is a restriction of the correct forward growth of the surrounding muscles, with the jaws being narrower as well as developing in a downward manner. This ultimately means less space in the mouth and the potential for misaligned teeth.

Incorrect Tongue Position

When you are not chewing or talking, the tongue rests naturally in the mouth. This is key as the tongue helps form the shape of the developing jaw. 

This resting position is in the roof of the mouth, but if it is often positioned in the lower part of the mouth instead, for example as with mouth breathers, then there will not be enough space for the upper teeth to come through correctly. The lower jaw will also be forced back and downwards, affecting the shape of the face.

Reverse Swallowing

The correct forward growth of the jaw is also affected by reverse swallowing. This is when a child swallows the wrong way, with the tongue moving forward and the lips back. On average, a child swallows twice each minute, therefore when reverse swallowing, the face will not develop properly, as the muscles are being forced in the direction opposite to natural growth.

Poor Lips and Cheek Control

The lips and cheeks help with positioning the teeth and poor control of either, or poor muscle tone, makes it harder to close the lips when swallowing. This can result in teeth alignment problems.

The Myobrace System

The Myobrace system was developed to treat these underlying conditions to prevent need for braces later on in the teen years. The system involves a  removable device which is worn overnight and for up to two hours each day. 

Best suited for ages 3 to 15, our highly experienced practice specialises in this treatment. We will explain how Myobrace is a preventive pre-orthodontic treatment which aids natural teeth and bone development. 

By addressing the underlying habits which cause crooked teeth we aim to prevent your child from requiring orthodontics like braces or tooth extractions.

Ways to Help Prevent a Child’s Dental Anxiety

A visit to the dentist can lead to anxiety for some children, just as much as it can for some adults. Dental anxiety as we grow older can result in not booking regular appointments with a dentist. This can increase the risk of oral health issues not being diagnosed at an early stage when they are easier to treat. Yet there are ways to help prevent or overcome a child’s dental anxiety.

Start Them Young

Your child will tend to have their first tooth by the age of 6 months and this is when it is recommended they should first see a dentist. As well as ensuring your child’s teeth develop properly, introducing them at such an early age to a dental practice will help familiarise them with this setting. With regular appointments as they grow up, your child should become more comfortable and confident when visiting the dentist, reducing the anxiety they may originally have experienced.

Anxiety is Normal

A degree of anxiety when visiting the dentist at any age is to be expected. Therefore, your child feeling anxious prior to their appointment is normal and understandable. As a parent, you can help influence the child’s level of anxiety, so it does not become difficult for them to cope. Try to remain calm yourself, as your child could react and feed off any anxiety you display. On the whole, show understanding of their anxiety and reassure them, telling them how nice the dentist and dental nurses will be.

Find the Right Dentist

To help allay dental anxiety it is important to find a dentist in which both you and your child are comfortable. Take the time to visit a prospective practice to meet the team and look around. Both you and your child should like what you see. A child-friendly dental practice will also often have toys and equipment such as special sunglasses to make children feel more at ease, helping to reduce potential anxiety.

Leave Explanations to the Dentist

A child-friendly dentist with experience treating children will know how to best explain the process of the visit to allay any fears. It is best to avoid explaining the dental procedures in detail to your child, leaving it to the experienced experts instead. Your job can be to keep reassuring them ahead of any visit about how nice and caring everyone at the practice is.

Grind Your Teeth? Try These Tips

Bruxism, the habit of teeth grinding, can be very harmful to the teeth and should always be treated by a dentist. Grinding exerts extreme pressure on the teeth and can lead to inflamed gums, loss of tooth enamel, chips, fractures and even loose or broken teeth. 

While professional help from a dentist is required, there are also a number of measures that can be taken to minimise the effects of bruxism.

  • Reduce stress by identifying the triggers that cause anxiety and leads to grinding the teeth
  • Exercise the jaw muscles with gentle stretching and use correct sitting posture to prevent tension of the jaw, neck and shoulders
  • Physical therapy can also be helpful with exercises targeted on reducing tension in the shoulders and jaw

Massage can also help with chronic tension in the jaw muscles and this can be done by a professional therapist or even by oneself once given the proper instruction. 

Although these methods can be useful in limiting the frequency and effects of bruxism it is a serious dental condition with possible long-term harmful effects. 

If teeth grinding is starting to become a habit then it is time to consult a dentist who can decide on the most effective course of treatment for each individual case. 

More information can be found at https://yourdentalhealthresource.com/reduce-your-teeth-grinding-with-these-simple-exercises/

What Are The Benefits Of Dentures?

Tooth loss is a common occurrence, often caused by tooth decay, gum disease and accidents. Like other dental restoration treatments, dentures are used to replace missing teeth. Below are some of the major benefits of receiving dentures.

Key takeaway:

Dentures are mostly used in people who have lost all their teeth. One of their greatest benefits is helping people chew their food properly. Dentures also help strengthen facial muscles and restore youthfulness.

Severe tooth loss can affect speech. Fortunately, getting dentures can help you speak better without feeling ashamed or tense. Dentures are also less expensive than other dental restoration treatments.

Missing teeth often cause self-esteem and self-confidence issues. You may be afraid of smiling or laughing in public. However, dentures have a well-designed natural appearance that will help restore your confidence.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist to talk about custom dentures.

For more, read here https://yourdentalhealthresource.com/restore-your-smile-this-holiday-season-with-custom-dentures/

The Risks to Your Oral Health from Crooked Teeth

Compared to our ancestors, our jaws have become smaller as we have evolved. This reduction in jaw size means there is now less room for our teeth to come through properly. Therefore, having crooked teeth or slightly misaligned teeth is quite a common occurrence.

And while for the majority there will not be any direct pain or discomfort from this, crooked teeth can still result in oral health issues.

One of the main issues arising from crooked teeth is the increasing difficulty in brushing the teeth thoroughly. The more significant the misalignment of teeth, the harder they become to clean adequately when brushing and flossing. 

It becomes harder to reach all surfaces of the teeth and gums which allows plaque to build in areas missed. The result is an increased risk from gum disease, irritated gums and cavities due to tooth decay.

A practical problem from crooked teeth is difficulty chewing. Being able to properly chew your food is important for your digestion. However, it can be more difficult when teeth are crooked — which makes you more prone to swallowing food which that not been sufficiently broken down. 

Another practical issue — you may struggle to pronounce words correctly. If you often mispronounce words, this can understandably knock your self-confidence.

Jaw disorders are also more common with crooked teeth. The temporomandibular joints sit at the base of the skull and connect the lower and upper jaws. These joints allow you to move your jaw in order to speak and chew comfortably. 

Those who have misaligned teeth are at more risk of suffering with disorders of this jaw joint. These disorders can result in jaw pain, headaches, muscle issues and could also potentially restrict how far you can open your mouth. 

Crooked teeth may also accelerate teeth shifting beyond their natural rate. Our teeth do shift over time but this can be hastened beyond the normal rate because of misaligned teeth.

You can do something about crooked teeth and their consequences. In consultation with your dentist, you will be advised of the treatments available to best correct your misaligned teeth. 

Regardless of how old you are, modern dentistry offers a range of treatment options. From metal and ceramic braces to clear aligners, your dentist can realign your teeth — helping you to prevent any discomfort and dental health issues arising from having crooked teeth. 

With straight teeth, you’ll also have a nicer smile! If crooked teeth are bothering you, talk with Danny the Dentist about orthodontic treatment. No-one ever regrets having a nice smile.