Might TMJ Cause Your Teeth to Change Place Over Time?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ)  is one of the most important structures within your face. As it enables your jaw to function properly, it plays a key role in chewing and even breathing. 

However, many individuals suffer from a condition known as TMJ disorder. Some of the most common symptoms include pain or stiffness in the jaw, inexplicable headaches and a “clicking” sensation when chewing. 

If you have this condition, might your teeth also be at risk of shifting over time? Let us take a closer look at this understandable concern in order to better appreciate when the opinion of a specialist is required. 

Is There a Link with Bruxism?

Those who grind their teeth will frequently be diagnosed with a condition known as bruxism. The main question is whether or not there is a definitive link between bruxism and TMJ. This is a rather complex issue, as some with bruxism can develop TMJ over time — while in other situations, TMJ could very well lead to bruxism. 

It is nonetheless a fact that either of these situations will place an undue amount of pressure upon your teeth. As a result, they are more likely to shift if the underlying conditions are not treated with a proactive approach. 

Determining the Root Causes of Your Symptoms

One of the first steps is to discover what actually may be caused your TMJ. This is normally quite an easy task with the help of a dentist or oral care specialist. They will closely examine the structure of your jaw as well as the mechanics of your bite. 

They may also take other related factors into account such as:

  • The anatomy of your skull and jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Stress in your life

During this session, it is also likely the dentist will take a closer look at your teeth in order to determine if you might be concurrently suffering from bruxism. Assuming that the underlying factors are found, there will normally be a host of excellent treatment options. 

Are you suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above? If so, it’s important to get treatment to improve your dental health — and your quality of life. You will then be able to treat a minor issue before it becomes a major problem that requires more in-depth medical intervention. 


Why Is Laser Dentistry Popular?

The technology behind dentistry has evolved at a nearly unfathomable pace in recent years. Not only has this progression enabled professionals to provide more targeted solutions to their patients, but minor issues can now be corrected before they develop into more serious concerns. 

One of the latest breakthroughs involves the use of lasers in dentistry. What are some of the most interesting benefits associated with these amazing techniques? Let us take a look at why a growing number of people from all walks of life are opting for these procedures. 

The Issue of Comfort

Many of us harbour a phobia of the dentist. Whether due to a past experience or simply resulting from the belief that we will experience pain, this mindset often prevents us from obtaining professional advice when we suspect that a problem is present. 

Laser dentistry removes the notion of pain from the equation. Drills and other sharp instruments have now been replaced with non-invasive lasers. Not only is this a much more comfortable solution, but lasers will not inadvertently damage your teeth (as may sometimes occur due to the vibration of a drill). 

More Rapid Healing Time

Lasers preclude the need for traditional solutions such as cuts, stitches and sutures. As a result, patients will experience extremely fast healing times. It is just as important to mention that situations such as swelling, pain and bleeding are also dramatically reduced. 

We should likewise point out that only many other traditional procedures, a laser treatment can normally be completed within a single visit. This will enable you to return to a sense of normalcy in no time at all. Even complex treatments can generally be finished within entirely amenable time frames. 

A Versatile Approach

There are few limits in regards to modern dental lasers. While these techniques were often reserved to topical issues such as teeth whitening in the past, they can now be employed to address numerous scenarios. Some common examples include:

  • Treating infections
  • Performing root canal surgery
  • Removing cavities and tooth decay
  • Dealing with issues related to the gums

It should now be clear to see why laser dentistry truly represents a “cutting-edge” solution to oral problems. It is always a good idea to speak with your dentist if you hope to learn more about what is involved or if you believe that a problem exists. 


Teeth Grinding: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Teeth grinding or bruxism occurs when you clench your jaws. It is usually done unconsciously during sleep, but it can also occur when you are awake. 

Occasional teeth grinding does not usually cause harm to our oral health, but if left untreated it may quickly turn into a regular habit that may result in a few oral health complications. 

What are the symptoms?

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, there are some few major symptoms you can be on the lookout for and they include facial pain and morning headaches. You might also experience minor earaches and jaw pain that can lead to a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). 

Another symptom includes tooth sensitivity, fractured teeth and fillings plus gum inflammation. 

All these can lead to tooth loss and that’s why bruxism is a much complex subject than people realize. You should see your dentist as soon as you notice any of these signs. He or she will conduct an oral exam and guide you through any extensive dental treatment you might need.

What causes teeth grinding?

It is not always clear what causes bruxism but it has been linked to stress and anxiety in many patients. Bruxism can also develop from an abnormal bite. When teeth rest against each other abnormally, they tend to cause a crossbite or an overbite. This can cause a lot of discomfort in the mouth that may later lead to teeth grinding. If you snore or have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, you are also more likely to develop bruxism. Other factors that can make you more likely to grind your teeth include drinking alcohol and smoking.

What are the treatments?

There are several treatments available for teeth grinding. They include using a mouth guard, practising stress-reducing techniques and obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants. 

If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it early is bound to eliminate the habit. Other tips that can help you include cutting back on foods that contain caffeine and avoiding alcohol. You should also resist chewing on pencils and pens and chewing gum. 

Last but not least, you can simply train yourself not to clench your jaw by positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth. Do this and you will see some drastic changes very soon.


Might Thumb-Sucking Affect A Child’s Bite?

Is your child in the habit of sucking his or her thumb? If so, there is normally nothing to be worried about. This behaviour will generally end between the ages of one and three. 

However, this habit might become an issue if it is allowed to continue for an extended period of time. 

Were you aware that prolonged thumb-sucking may lead to problems with the teeth and the overall development of the jaw? What are some potential concerns and when should parents (and dentists) actively intervene? Let us quickly examine what the industry experts have to say. 

The Issue with Chronic Thumb Sucking

The main problem is that constant thumb-sucking can cause baby teeth to improperly enter once they break through the gum line. There can even be times when the teeth begin to grow “around the thumb” due to its constant presence. 

This can result in crooked teeth at an early age, possibly requiring dental intervention as the child ages. 

The other major concern is that thumb sucking can affect the bite of a child. This is known as a “malocclusion” and it is particularly worrisome if the habit continues once the permanent teeth have begun to enter. 

The most common situation is a condition referred to as an “open bite”. This is characterised by teeth that do not properly align even when the jaw is completely closed. In other words, a small space is present between the upper and lower teeth. 

Other problems which can arise as a result include discomfort, difficulty chewing or even speech problems. So, when should parents seek the help of a dentist?

When to Intervene

Most experts recommend that intervention should take place if your child has not stopped sucking his or her thumb by the age of five. By this point, the teeth may still be able to return to their normal position (although orthodontic options might also be considered). 

A dentist will be able to determine what steps need to be taken as well as the severity of any issues with the teeth that may already be present.

Of course, thumb sucking represents a normal stage of childhood development. The main issue involves when this habit does not cease on its own. If you hope to avoid any future orthodontic problems with your child, it is a good idea to consult with a dentist to learn more.