72 Hughes Road., Madison, AL 35758    (256) 772-5757

 

Many people struggle through life with headaches, jaw pain and trouble chewing without understanding why. These symptoms could be stemming from issues with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint.) The TMJ is the joint that slides and rotates in front of one's ear, consisting of the temporal bone and mandible (lower jaw.) When this joint becomes compromised through bruxism (clenching and grinding) or trauma, pain can become a chronic problem called TMD (Temporomandibular disorder.)

TMD can cause issues while chewing food, opening and closing the jaw, headaches, neck aches, muscle spasms and more. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for chronic TMD. Most patients, even with treatment of symptoms, still may have days where symptoms worsen. Some patients may exhibit signs of bruxism or TMD, but may be unaware and experience no symptoms. This is normally discovered during dental examinations when wear on the teeth is present. It is recommended in these cases to treat so that further deterioration is prevented.

Usually, the best way to treat initially is to wear a custom fit night guard (also known as a “splint”) to help protect the teeth and to let the jaw rest overnight. These night guards are made by a dentist and lab. This requires two appointments; one for impressions and one to deliver the appliance. Most patients find that once they get used to wearing this at night, they start to have much better days, free of constant pain and irritation. Other ways to help lessen symptoms of TMD include warm moist compresses, anti-inflammatory medication, and a soft food diet.

If you feel you may be experiencing signs of bruxism or TMD, please give our office a call at 256-772-5757.  

 

Did you know that an unhealthy mouth can adversely affect your overall health and well being? Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection and inflammatory process that destroys the bone and soft tissue attachment around the teeth.  Often it is asyptomatic and undetectable without a thorough dental examination.  Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other systemic diseases:

Heart Disease

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease.  While a cause and effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.  Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.

Diabetes

Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.                                                   People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections.  In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes.  Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.

Osteoporosis

Researchers have suggested that a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw.  Studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may decrease, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation.

Respiratory Disease

Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease.

Cancer

Researchers have found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.

Pregnancy

Pregnant women with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to have preterm birth or a low birth weight baby.

Stroke

Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke.

Arthritis

Some researchers believe that inflammation of the gingiva could cause inflammation of other areas of the body.  Arthritis could occur based on the inflammation of the joints.

 

Proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are important in the prevention and management of periodontal disease.  This can have many positive implications for your teeth, gums and overall health.  Call us today to schedule your checkup!   256-772-5757

September 25, 2013
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Many people don't truly understand the benefits and necessity of floss.  Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on flossing:

Why should I floss?

    If you're not flossing, you are allowing plaque and food debris to adhere and pack into the spaces and gum tissue between the teeth.  Flossing is as important as brushing in preventing periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease occurs when the attachment of the gum tissue to the tooth starts to deteriorate.  Flossing under the gumline will help keep the attachment apparatus free of bacteria.  You can not keep your teeth and gum tissue healthy without good brushing AND flossing habits.

There are so many different types of flossing tools available.  What should I be using?

    There are so many different types of flossing tools because every tool serves the flossing needs for a specific person.  If you are healthy and have no motor issues with your hands, you should be using regular floss.  If you have any issues with your hands, like arthritis or numbness, you might want to try a flossing aid with a wide handle that would be easier to hold.  If you have braces or bridges, floss threaders and/or Superfloss would be good to add to your grocery list.  If you have gum recession and spaces between your teeth at the gumline, interdental brushes would be a good option.

How should I floss

    If you are physically able to use regular floss, start with a piece about 18" long.  Wrap the ends of the floss around the tips of your middle fingers until the middle of the floss is only a few inches long and taut.  Next, use your index fingers and thumbs to help push the floss in between the teeth.  Don't push too hard or you might harm your gum tissue.  Using a sawing (back and forth) motion with light pressure is best to get the floss through the contact of the teeth.  Now that you're through the contact, you're not done yet!  Bend the floss in a "C" shape against each tooth and rub the floss up and down the side of the teeth, making sure to go under the gum tissue as well.  This is the most effective way to clear interproximal bacteria and debris. If you are using a flossing aid where the floss will not bend, just make sure you are "scrubbing" the sides of both teeth at each contact and going under the gumline with the floss available.

How often should I floss?

    Preferrably, you should floss every time after you eat.  Most people don't carry around their floss, though, so at least once a day will suffice.  It is best to floss at night in order to clear the bacteria and debris that could have collected throughout the day.

We hope this helps answer your questions and motivate you to floss every day!

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our office at (256) 772-5757.

August 26, 2013
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Dental implants have become the standard of care to replace missing teeth in suitable patients.  Although more and more patients are experiencing the implant process, most patients still don't fully understand implants and the overwhelming benefits they provide.  Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on implants and why they are a good option for replacing missing teeth. 

Q~ Why should I replace my missing teeth?

    There are many reasons to replace missing teeth, even if the spaces don't bother you cosmetically.  All the teeth in the mouth work as a team to provide an ideal chewing situation.  If one of the members of the team is lost it can cause other teeth surrounding that open area to shift and drift causing your bite to change, difficulties in chewing and bone loss issues. 

Q~ What exactly is a dental implant and what is the process?

    A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium screw that is placed into the bone under general anesthesia by a specialist (oral surgeon or periodontist).  The area is the allowed to heal as osseointegration occurs (integrating of the implant into the surrounding bone).  After osseointegration has taken place, the implant is restored with an abutment and crown by your general dentist. 

Q~ Do dental implants only replace single teeth?

     No!  Dental implants are utilized in many different situations including multiple missing teeth and even patients that are completely edentulous (missing all of their teeth).  Dental implants can be placed as supports for a bridge (connected crowns) or as support for a denture.

Q~ What makes a patient "suitable" for implants?

    A patient who wants to pursue implants must have an updated medical history filed with his or her general dentist and a current examination including x-rays.  The patient also needs sufficient bone or gum tissue.  The specialist will determine whether there is enough bone or gum tissue to place an implant or if a tissue/bone graft would be necessary.  Adolescents may be suitable once facial structure has matured. 

If you have any questions about implants or the implant process please feel free to call our office at (256) 772-5757.

By Madison Family Dentistry, PC
August 14, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  
FiveThingstoKnowaboutOrthodonticTreatment

A beautiful smile has been proven to enhance your confidence and self-esteem. However, not everyone was born with the perfect smile. If you have an overbite, crowding of the teeth, too much space in between your teeth or missing teeth, then you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment. With orthodontic treatments, teeth are moved into proper alignment by placing continuous, gentle forces in a carefully controlled direction with an orthodontic appliance.

Here are a few things you should know about malocclusions (bad bites) and orthodontics:

  1. Causes. In many cases, bad bites are simply inherited. Malocclusions can also be caused by skeletal growth problems, and in these cases, early intervention with orthodontics can make a big difference. Acquired bite problems can be caused by trauma, thumb sucking and any premature loss of teeth.
  2. Options. Nowadays, there are many different options available for those that require orthodontic treatment. In addition to traditional braces, which are applied to the front of the teeth, there are now braces that can be attached to the back of your teeth. Another popular option is clear orthodontic aligners, an alternative system to traditional braces that use a sequence of clear, removable and custom-fitted trays to gradually straighten your teeth.
  3. Age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should be evaluated for orthodontic problems no later than age seven, as early detection and action helps to avoid more difficult treatment later in life. One out of every five orthodontic patients today is an adult, so remember that it is never too late.
  4. Time. While treatment time will vary, you can expect it to range from one to three years, depending on the severity of the problem. However minor tooth movement may take as little as six months.
  5. Maintenance. Remember that once your treatment has concluded, the work is not done. We will often recommend that you wear a retainer for a prescribed period of time to maintain your new, straight smile.

If you would like more information about orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”





This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Dentist - Madison
72 Hughes Rd
Madison, AL 35758
(256) 772-5757