Headache and Jaw Pain: The TMJ Connection.

Headaches are one of the most common health problems in the world. The problem crosses age, race, geographic and economic lines.  Jaw pain, while less common, affects a large volume of people is more common with women then men.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 to 75 percent of all people age 18 to 65 have had at least one headache within the last year. Of those adults, 30 percent report a headache disorder, which means recurrent headaches, such as migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches.

Many factors and combinations of factors can cause headaches, so the root cause is often hard to identify. However if you suffer from recurrent headaches and from jaw pain, it is possible that the pain could be caused by TMD syndrome affecting your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

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Treatment for Loose Teeth

Explaining the treatment of loose teeth is actually much more complicated than this brief review will allow. For this reason, it is important for you to see your dentist or a periodontist for a detailed assessment and correct diagnosis of what is causing your teeth to be loose. However, what you are experiencing sounds like the end result of periodontal (gum) disease, in which bone that normally supports the teeth (together with the periodontal ligament that attaches bone to the teeth) is progressively lost.

Looseness of teeth is the result of occlusal trauma (“occlusal” – bite; “trauma” – injury) that can literally damage the remaining periodontal structures of the teeth. Occlusal trauma comes in two varieties:

  • Primary occlusal trauma — an excess force applied to normal periodontal structures that is usually caused by parafunctional forces (“para” – beyond; “function” – normal range) such as clenching or grinding habits.
  • Secondary occlusal trauma — normal biting forces applied to a tooth that has lost significant bone support or periodontal attachment.
  • A combination of both, in which excessive biting forces are applied to weakened or reduced periodontal structures (teeth that have lost bone due to periodontal disease).

Looseness of teeth is mostly caused by secondary trauma, as a result of bacterial plaque-induced periodontal disease. The approach to treatment of loose teeth is both biologic and mechanical. The biological approach involves treatment of the gum disease that must be addressed first to provide an environment in which the periodontal attachment can heal.

The mechanical approach involves modifying forces applied to the teeth, treating the effects of the force on the periodontal ligament (the attachment mechanism of the teeth to the bone) and also by modifying the amount of biting force generated by the jaw muscles and received by the teeth during biting. This can be achieved in a number of ways, depending upon the degree of looseness of the teeth. Here is a summary of current methods:

  • Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment: First, the bite or occlusion (how the teeth meet together), can be adjusted by minor reshaping of the biting surfaces of the teeth so that they receive less force. This procedure is known as occlusal adjustment by selective grinding and requires knowledge and skill of how bites work and function.
  • Splinting: If the teeth are very loose, they can be splinted or joined together like pickets in a fence so that any biting force is distributed among groups of teeth rather than individual loosened teeth.
    • Temporary Splinting can be achieved by joining the teeth together with:
      • Extra-coronal Splints (“extra” – outside; “coronal” – crown): With this approach, splinting materials are attached to a group of teeth generally by bonding to the enamel, thus making them more rigid.
      • Intra-coronal Splints (“intra” – inside): These splints involve cutting a small channel into the teeth, inserting a rigid custom formed metal splint and bonding or cementing it in place to stabilize the teeth.
    • Permanent Or Fixed Splinting: This method literally (and permanently) “fixes” loose teeth together by crowning the affected teeth and fabricating a splint in which the crowns are joined or fused together.
    • Occlusal Splints Or Guards: If parafunctional clenching or grinding habits are evident, then a removable occlusal splint or bite guard may further protect the teeth from the consequences of too much biting force. Since parafunctional forces and habits tend to be stress related, these removable guards can be used during times of tension, stress or when these bad habits are evident.

Another approach that is sometimes used to treat loose teeth is by orthodontic treatment — to reposition teeth so that they receive forces more evenly and appropriately. However, it can be a complicated process — especially if there is underlying periodontal disease that must be controlled before orthodontic treatment can be successful. When applied correctly, the controlled forces used in orthodontics to move the teeth can actually be used to regenerate lost bone and create new periodontal attachment.

The long term outlook or prognosis of the teeth must be considered before deciding upon treatment options. While temporary splinting options may buy you some time, the teeth themselves may need to be replaced if the damage to the periodontal structures is severe. See your dentist or a periodontist for a complete examination and consultation to learn all your options.

 

Dental Abscess – Causes And Symptoms

Dental abscess is characterized by pus formation in the teeth or the gums. This infection may occur either in the gums or the apex (tip) of the tooth. It usually occurs due to a bacterial infection which may enter the mouth through food, thus causing accumulation of plaque. If the plaque is not removed by following proper dental hygiene, then it may result in abscess.

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Bleeding Gums are a Warning Sign.

Bleeding Gums ,Periodontitis is an early warning sign of liver disease, which is a warning sign of pre-diabetes, then Type 2 diabetes.

The last place you would ever expect getti ng an early diagnosis of diabetes is at the dentist’s office. Yet the more we learn about the connection between oral health and overall health and understand that the mouth tells its own story about what’s going on in the body, it could very well become a reality that your dentist could warn you of the early onset of diabetes. This will not only help to prevent tooth loss, which is common with progression of periodontitis, it may just save your life. Continue reading Bleeding Gums are a Warning Sign.

 

Preventing Gum Disease for Overall Health Worth Smiling About

If you’re not taking care of your oral health, you could be jeopardizing a lot more than your pearly whites. That’s because researchers have linked gum disease with a host of health problems throughout the body.

According to the National Institute of Dental Research, up to 80 percent of Indian adults have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. The disease is caused by the natural build up of bacteria, mucus, and other particles on the teeth as plaque. If plaque is not properly cleaned away, it can infect the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth.

Gingivitis Can Lead to Health Problems

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Preventing Gum Disease

What can you do to prevent periodontal (gum) disease or to get the best result if you need periodontal treatment?

First, completely clean all teeth surfaces at least once a day to break up and remove gum disease-causing bacterial plaque. This means you need to use a toothbrush and dental floss or another device that gets to the between-the-teeth and under the gumline surfaces.

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Preventive Dentistry: Sealants

Applying sealants on the chewing surface of permanent teeth may offer some children supplemental protection against tooth decay. Sealants are thin plastic coatings that seal off the pits and fissures (depressions and grooves) on the biting surface of the posterior (back) teeth.

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Do You Need Antibiotics Before Your Dental Visit?

You may have heard that some people should take antibiotics before they visit the dentist for a cleaning or extractions. This is called antibiotic prophylaxis.

But the rules have changed in recent years. Here’s what the experts say.

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Older Adult Dental and Oral Health Care

Prosthodontics

Teeth that are severely broken or decayed can be restored by removal of the decay, tooth preparation, and coverage with a crown. Some other indications for a crown are:

  • A previously filled tooth in which more filling than tooth remains. The existing tooth structure has been weakened and can no longer support the filling.
  • Discolorations or compromised esthetics
  • Cusp fractures
  • Abutments (supports) for a bridge
  • After a root canal filling because teeth are structurally weaker; they  tend to dry out and become brittle and are more apt to fracture.

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