Monthly Archives: March 2017

How do you prevent TMJ?

tmj

What is TMJ?

Feeling stressed out?  Your not alone.  A survey released on February 15, 2017 by the American Psychological Association reports that Americans say they’re feeling more stress than ever before.  Unfortunately, there is quite a down side to lot’s of stress.  It will ultimately affect your health in one form or another.  This stands true with dental issues as well.  TMJ problems are rising due to high stress levels in the world. TMJ or Temporomandibular Disorder is a condition that indicates the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly.

So what behaviors contribute to TMJ?

Many people who are stressed tend to develop some bad behaviors.  Biting on fingernails, pen caps, or the inside of your mouth can cause jaw pain. Other conditions such as when that feeling of anxiety kicks in, we find a cheesy pizza, bag of chips or even ice cream.  Let’s face it, there are many stress eaters out there.  Unfortunately, when “stressing out”, people tend to eat larger bites while eating.  To alleviate symptoms of TMJ, you need to avoid the behaviors.  Stop chewing on your nails, or pen.  While eating, take smaller bites.  You can also regularly massage your jaw, cheeks and temple muscles.

Another symptoms of TMJ is spasms. Most patients find heat is helpful in relieving pain and muscle tension.  This pain may radiate to your neck or shoulders. It can also cause ear pain, ringing the the ears and hearing loss.  Symptoms typically manifest when talking, yawning or chewing.  If symptoms occur, apply moist heat to the spasm area.  Also, try to maintain good sleep posture with neck support.  Good sleep posture is achieved when you maintain the curve in your lower back.  It is recommended that a person lye on their back with a pillow under their knees.  If that doesn’t work for you, try sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent.

Another habit that adds to TMJ symptoms is teeth grinding.  Teeth grinding and clenching is a habit over time that will damage your teeth and will also add to TMJ symptoms.  The best way to resolve this issue is to see your dentist and ask about a night guard.  A night guard is a device that you where in your sleep and will prevent you from grinding.

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Warning Signs of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth

impacted wisdom tooth

Somewhere between the ages of 18-24 your wisdom teeth begin to erupt.   Depending on how these teeth come in will depend if they need to be removed.  It’s not necessary for you to get your wisdom teeth removed if they are correctly positioned in your mouth and do not cause any pain or dental problems. However, 85 percent of adults have their wisdom teeth removed to protect their over all oral health.  Unfortunately, the eruption of wisdom teeth can be a painful experience that disrupts your daily life.

Common Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Swollen gums that are tender and bleeding

An impacted wisdom tooth can make your gums swollen and tender to the touch.  They may even start to bleed.  This can make brushing and flossing feel like an impossible task.  As other dental issues can create the same symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist to have the situation evaluated.

Swollen Glands

Many times swollen glands accompany impacted wisdom teeth.  Most times these glands are located in your shoulders and neck area.

Pain in the back of the mouth

An impacted tooth or teeth can cause you an immense amount of pain.  As the tooth or teeth that are impacted continue to try and erupt, your pain and symptoms can become worse.  The pain should be at its worse towards the back of the mouth but could in fact radiate down your jaw.  The best way to diagnose a suspected emerging wisdom tooth is to visit your dentist.

Swelling around jaw

With swelling of your gums, many times impacted wisdom teeth can cause your jaw to swell.  As the symptoms progress, your mouth may become difficult to open.

What happens if you ignore the problem?

I highly recommend that you do not ignore the problem.  When impacted wisdom teeth are not removed, there could be complications.  Impacted teeth can force other teeth out of place.  They also can cause infection.  Impacted wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay so left untreated you could be looking at a serious problem down the line.

 

David M Glasscock DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610
Charlotte, NC 28262
Telephone:

704-510-1150

 Email:smile@glasscockdental.com