Posts for: September, 2016
Suffering from Temporomandibular Joint issues in Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ?
Consider making an appointment with Dr. Scott Sutton and Dr. Shawn Monahan of Waterfront Dentistry and let him help you find the end to your jaw pain.
TMJ disorders actually refers to a number of conditions that cause pain and/or dysfunction in the jaw or side of the face or head. These conditions not only cause problems with your overall oral health but often causes a number of annoying and potentially painful side effects and chronic jaw pain. In some cases, TMJ disorders are the cause of chronic headaches and migraines!
Temporomandibular joints are the ball and socket joints on either side of the skull that connect and allow the jaw to move. If it becomes misaligned, that joint and the muscles that surround and connect it can become sore, to the point of causing intense pain. Occasionally the jaw can even become dislocated – in some people the jaw can be stuck or “locked” in one position. If your jaw is locked open, call our office immediately.
Clicking and popping sounds that occur while you are chewing or whenever you open or close your mouth might be symptomatic of TMJ disorder. However, if it is not causing pain or impeding or otherwise limiting or restricting the movement of your jaw movement, it probably does not need treatment.
No one knows the exact causes of TMJ disorders. However, they tend to occur more frequently in people who clench or grind their teeth – particularly while they sleep and don’t know they’re doing it – as well as people who have significant bite alignment issues. People with chronic conditions such as arthritis and people who have suffered traumatic injury to the jaw can also suffer from TMJ disorders.
Treatment options can include, but are not limited to:
- Rest and over the counter pain relievers
- Removable mouth appliances to inhibit teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Prescription muscle relaxers/pain relievers
- Physical therapy
Drs. Sutton and Monahan are experienced with treating TMJ disorders in Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale. Generally, Dr. Sutton and Dr. Monahan will want to start with the least intensive or invasive options but he will help you find the end of your TMJ pain.
Are you ready to end your jaw pain or headaches, today? Call or click to make an appointment with Dr. Scott Sutton and Dr. Shawn Monahan at Waterfront Dentistry in Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ.
There's a lot of emphasis — well-placed, of course — on preventing and treating tooth decay. But there's another dental disease just as dangerous to your oral health and nearly half of U.S. adults have it. It's actually a group of diseases known collectively as periodontal (gum) disease.
Gum disease is similar to tooth decay in one respect: they're both triggered by bacteria. These microorganisms thrive in a thin film of food particles called plaque that collects on tooth surfaces.
Certain bacteria can infect gum tissues and trigger inflammation, a response from the body's immune system to fight it. As the battle rages, bone loss can occur and the gums weaken and begin to detach from the teeth. Without treatment, you could eventually lose affected teeth.
Like tooth decay, the best approach with gum disease is to prevent it, and by using the same techniques of daily brushing and flossing. These actions loosen and remove plaque built up since your last brushing. It's also important you visit us at least twice a year for cleanings that remove hard to reach plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits).
If despite your best efforts you do contract gum disease, the sooner you see us for treatment the lower the long-term impact on your health. The treatment aim is the same as your daily hygiene: to remove plaque and calculus. We use specialized hand instruments or ultrasound equipment to mechanically remove plaque; more advanced cases may require the skills of a periodontist who specializes in caring for structures like the gums that support teeth.
So, defend yourself against gum disease by brushing and flossing daily, and visiting us regularly for dental cleanings and checkups. If you notice bleeding, swollen or painful gums, see us as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Don't let tooth decay's evil twin ruin your oral health or your smile.
If you would like more information on the prevention and treatment of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When to See a Periodontist.”
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”