Advanced DDS Blog
Do you have jaw pain, clicking noises when you open and close your mouth, or headaches? You may have TMD, also known as temporomandibular disorder or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Anywhere from 5 to 12 percent of people suffer from TMD, which affects the joints, nerves and muscles in the jaw.
What is TMD?
You have two temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, on each side of your face. They connect your jaw to your skull. TMD occurs when these joints are damaged, or when the muscles surrounding the joints malfunction. Often, the cause of a person’s TMD is unclear. However, it could be caused by stress, trauma, clenching the jaw, or improper bite. For unknown reasons, TMD is 4 times more common in women than it is in men, and most people who suffer are between the ages of 20-40. TMD is the second most common reason for facial pain after toothaches.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of TMD include but are not limited to:
- Jaw pain associated with chewing, biting, and/or yawning
- Jaw pain most prevalent in the morning and/or early afternoon
- Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing the mouth
- Headaches, earaches, backaches and/or neck pain
- Difficulty moving, opening, and/or closing the mouth
- Locking or stiffness of the jaw
- Toothaches or tooth sensitivity not related to a dental problem
- Uncomfortable bite
If you have any of these symptoms on one or both sides of your face, you should visit your dentist.
How can I treat my TMD?
Thankfully, there are many ways to treat TMD.
CHANGING YOUR DIET
- Eat soft foods
- Avoid hard foods
- Chew evenly on both sides of your mouth, avoiding the front teeth
CHANGING YOUR HABITS
- Avoid chewing gum
- Avoid biting your nails
- Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth
- Avoid leaning your jaw into your hand while sitting
- Maintain good posture
- Over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen can be helpful in relieving pain (take as directed)
- Other medications such as muscle relaxants or antidepressants (take as directed)
- Physical therapy
- Practicing stress relief techniques
- Heat packs
- A custom made night guard
Sometimes, TMD goes away by itself or with home treatments. However, TMD is often a cyclic condition, returning in times of stress. Your dentist can help you monitor your disorder and manage your care.
Fact: 4 out of every 5 adults will develop periodontal disease in their lifetime.
Because periodontal disease is so common, it is important that you know what exactly periodontal disease is, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammatory disease that affects the structures that support the teeth. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
There is a simple cause for gum disease: poor oral health.
Bacteria and other particles in our mouth cause plaque, which can be removed by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and properly. However, plaque that is not removed hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Soon, the tartar will cause gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. Gingivitis can be avoided or reversed by going for your continuous care appointments.
If you have gingivitis, your teeth may be swollen, red, and may bleed during brushing. Left untreated, gingivitis will advance to periodontitis.
Symptoms of periodontitis include:
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Pain during chewing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
You are more susceptible to gum disease if you are a smoker, have decreased immunity, are on certain medications, have poor nutrition, are older, or are pregnant. If any of these describe you, you should be especially aware of any of these symptoms.
What can happen if you develop gum disease?
If left untreated, the bones, gums, and tissues supporting your teeth may be destroyed. This could lead to needing a tooth extraction. This is an expensive procedure that you want to avoid!
To treat periodontal disease, your dentist will use a special deep cleaning method. A surgical procedure may also be necessary. Additionally, your dentist may suggest you cease certain behaviors, such as smoking, to improve treatment results. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to stop infection.
Preventing periodontal disease is simple: take care of your teeth! Brushing for two minutes twice daily, flossing regularly, and going for your regular continuous care appointments will help prevent gum disease from affecting you.
During the nine months of pregnancy, the last thing on your mind may be your oral health. However, it is especially important to pay attention to your teeth during pregnancy.
With pregnancy comes hormonal changes. These hormone changes increase your risk for periodontal disease- also known as gum disease- as well as gingivitis. The truth is that more than half of women will develop gingivitis while they are pregnant. The condition is called “pregnancy gingivitis.” Be on the lookout for:
- Redder gums
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums during brushing
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
Pregnancy gingivitis can eventually lead to what is known as a “pregnancy tumor.” This is NOT a cancerous tumor. It is just an intense inflammatory reaction to food or plaque that makes it uncomfortable to eat. The condition usually resolves itself after the pregnancy.
Morning sickness can also impact your oral health. Your stomach acid can cause cavities. If you experience nausea syndromes, be sure to rinse your mouth with water rather than brushing your teeth, as brushing can cause the acid erode your enamel.
Popular to contrary belief, pregnancy does NOT cause you to lose teeth! If calcium levels are low, your bones will provide you with the needed calcium – not your teeth as many believe.
However, it is still important to maintain good oral health during this time because it can actually affect your baby. Studies have shown that women with gum disease are more likely to give birth to premature and underweight babies. Other studies have shown that tooth decay can be passed on to your child. What you eat can also affect the development of your baby’s teeth in utero, so try to avoid sugary snacks and choose healthier options such as yogurt or raw veggies.
As always, be sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, floss, and visit your dentist if you have any dental problems or concerns. Maintaining good oral health is key to keeping yourself and your baby safe and healthy during your pregnancy.
April 2, 2014
It is our mission at Advanced DDS to provide our patients with the highest quality of care while taking care of their oral health.
At our brand new state-of-the-art office you will find:
1. Green CT scanner:
- Low X-ray Radiation (up to 60% less)
- FDA approved for children
- Eco-friendly (safer material and less impact on environment)
2. VistaClear Water Filtration System:
- Removes 99.9999% of bacteria and chemicals (reducing any
chance of infections)
3. Sterilization Room
- Hydrim (instrument washer)
- Autoclave (used to sterilize – high pressure saturated steam at
- Sterilization of Dental Instruments Area
Your oral health can affect your whole entire body and this is why we provide our patients with specialized equipment!
April 1, 2014
You’ve probably heard of the phrase “root canal” before, but do you really know what it means?
A root canal occurs when the space within the tooth’s root becomes infected. When this happens, you need to get endodontic therapy. This procedure is also commonly referred to as a root canal or as root canal treatment.
Why do root canals happen?
People need root canal treatment after trauma to the tooth. Often times this is a result of a cavity left untreated for too long. Additionally, dental trauma can happen during sports injuries or car accidents. If you think you may have a cavity, or if you injure your teeth or mouth in any way, you should see your dentist to prevent a root canal.
What are the symptoms of a root canal?
- Severe toothache
- Sharp pain when biting down
- Long-lasting sensitivity from hot or cold temperatures
- A pimple-like bump on the gum
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
What does root canal treatment entail?
After ensuring that you are numb and comfortable, our dentist at Advanced DDS will treat your tooth. Our dentist will remove the infected pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerves from the tooth. After the tooth is cleaned, it is then filled and sealed, usually with a crown. This procedure will relieve your symptoms while also protecting your natural tooth.
Most people hear the term “root canal” and cringe. Because the symptoms of a root canal, people believe that the procedure will be painful as well. The truth is, many patients report that root canal treatment is pain free.
How do I prevent a root canal?
Root canal therapy can be costly. Avoid having to pay this extra money by brushing your teeth for two minutes twice every day, flossing daily, and coming in regularly for your continuous care. If you or your child play sports, a custom fitted mouthguard is highly recommended to prevent dental trauma that can often lead to root canals (for more information, check out our blog on mouthguards). Always make sure to see your dentist if you have any oral pain or discomfort so they can tell you what is wrong and how to fix it. We always want to see you before a dental emergency rather than during.
March 28, 2014
With this winter’s cold and snowy weather, it’s hard to picture sunny days ahead. But the truth is summer is right around the corner! For many parents and their children, this means having fun outdoors: playing sports, climbing on the jungle gym, going bike riding.
Unfortunately, summer also means that your child’s beautiful smile could be at risk.
The team at Advanced DDS is here to help preserve your child’s smile this summer with a custom made mouthguard
When your child plays a sport such as soccer or softball, they risk injuring teeth. Such injuries vary from minor chips in the tooth to having the tooth knocked completely out of socket. A customized mouthguard can prevent these things from happening to your child. Additionally, mouthguards can prevent laceration and bruising from occurring in the mouth. If your child has braces, a mouthguard will also prevent them from breaking. Taking the smart precaution of getting a mouthguard will help you avoid having to pay for expensive corrective procedures for your child’s teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard for sports such as:
Basketball, Bike Riding, Boxing, Equestrian Events, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Lacrosse, Martial Arts, Rugby, Skateboarding, Soccer, Surfing, Volleyball, Wrestling, and more.
Athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when they are not wearing a mouthguard.
It is also important to know that oral injuries can occur even during daily activities. Even if your child does not play sports, they could still suffer from dental trauma. If your child likes to play on the playground or maybe if they are going to camp this summer, it would be a good idea to get them a custom made mouthguard.
WHY CUSTOM MADE?
You may have seen mouthguards for sale at sporting goods stores. These mouthguards are not as effective as customized ones. They come preformed, so they may not fit your child’s teeth properly. Since these mouthguards can’t be adjusted, this makes them less protective. Additionally, they are less comfortable; preformed mouthguards are often bulky and difficult to talk and breathe through, making kids not want to wear them at all. Custom mouthguards are the most comfortable option and most importantly the safest. A custom made mouthguard is the best way to protect your child’s summer smile.
When you go to the dentist, you expect to be treated with instruments that are 100% sterilized. Instruments that aren’t properly sterilized are hazardous and can lead to infection. At Advanced DDS, your health and safety is put first, so we make sure our sterilization process is as thorough as possible. We go above and beyond the standard protocols of ADA regulations.
1. RED ZONE: Used instruments are waiting to be sterilized.
2. HYDRIM washer: instruments are pre-washed –> washed –> rinsed –> dried.
3. AUTOCLAVE: instruments are wrapped and placed here.
4. The instruments are sterilized and ready to be used again.
In our office, we have an entire room designated for sterilization. When we place all used instruments in our HYDRIM washer, its special system uses rapid cycles to wash, rinse, and dry the tools at high temperatures. The HYDRIM washer uses a chemical called HIP that removes 99.9% of chemicals and bacteria. After being washed, the instruments are then wrapped and put in an autoclave. The autoclave uses high pressure saturated steam at 121⁰C to sterilize the instruments.
This process is used after every single use of all of our dental instruments. Not all dental offices use a powerful washer like HYDRIM. Instead they may scrub their instruments by hand, which is not as efficient. Advanced DDS is here to provide you and your family with the highest quality of care.
This could be detrimental to your health, but don’t worry – Advanced DDS is here to help you. Having good oral health means overall good health. Studies have shown that healthy teeth and gums can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke!
Maybe you know these things already, but are still too afraid to visit your dentist. Maybe you have sensitive teeth, or you have previously had a bad experience at another dentist. If this is the case, Advanced DDS has good news for you: we offer IV sedation dentistry.
IV sedation dentistry is a way for you to dream off and feel no pain during your dental procedure. After the procedure, you will have little to no memory of your visit.
Some dentists only use oral sedation rather than IV sedation. We use IV sedation for its many advantages, shown below:
Medication is given orally and takes longer to work
Medication is administered intravenously and works instantly
Takes longer to wear off
Up and moving a few minutes after your procedure
If the medication wears off, another pill needs to be administered. The procedure has to be stopped until the medication takes effect, which could be up to 40 minutes.
If the medication starts to wear off, more is administered and works immediately.
When more medication is needed, the dosage has to be estimated.
When more medication is needed, dosages are given in small increments so the doctor can monitor the effects.
If you have been avoiding the dentist out of fear, then Advanced DDS’s IV sedation dentistry is the perfect solution for you. Remember, good oral health means:
- Preventing gum disease
- Avoiding expensive procedures such as root canals or tooth pullings
- Reducing risk of oral cancer
- Reducing risk of heart attack or stroke
- Not to mention a brighter smile!
See what some of our patients are saying about sedation dentistry at Advanced DDS here:
Did you know that not all dental offices filter their water the same way? It’s disheartening to think that your dentist might not be providing you with the cleanest, safest water possible. At Advanced DDS, you don’t have to worry about that – we use VistaClear.
What exactly is VistaClear, and why is its use so important to our office? VistaClear is an award winning dental waterline treatment system. The water that is filtered through this system is extremely high quality because it’s designed to reduce bacterial contamination in water. The first portion of the filtration system creates an environment that makes certain microbes unable to survive. Then, the filter is able to reduce or remove any surviving heterotrophic microorganisms, yeasts & fungi, and protozoans. You’re probably wondering what these things do to us if we were to use unfiltered water. High bacterial populations are potentially dangerous, especially for patients with compromised immune systems. If the water used has a high heterotrophic bacterial count, there is a possible risk of infection.
The interesting thing is that treatment of waterlines is not currently mandatory, so many dental offices do not use VistaClear. This means that there could be hazardous bacteria in their water! Don’t you want the safest water in your mouth? Advanced DDS wants our patients to have clean, properly filtered water even if it isn’t legally required. This is why we have the VistaClear system in all of our treatment rooms. Your health is our priority, so we want to provide you with the highest quality of care.