TMJ and TMD: What’s the Difference?

Until you experience jaw pain, the abbreviations TMJ and TMD are most likely meaningless to you. However, once you experience the intense discomfort associated with TMJ and TMD, you will want and need to understand the difference between these commonly confused acronyms. Let’s set the record straight!

TMJ: The Temporomandibular Joint

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bone. Though you probably didn’t know it by name, you’re most likely familiar with the temporal bone located in the front of each ear. When your TMJ works properly, it allows you to move your jaw up, down, and side to side. Most people take their TMJ for granted as they smile, yawn, chew, and talk without any pain or difficulty. Continue reading “TMJ and TMD: What’s the Difference?”

Tooth Extraction 101: Preparing for Your Appointment and Home Care

Getting your tooth extracted might not be your favorite way to spend a morning, but it’s an important component of your oral care if you are suffering from the pain and discomfort of a loose, broken, impacted, or severely decayed tooth. The good news is that dental extraction procedures have become so routine, your oral surgeon can complete them quickly, efficiently, and painlessly! By properly preparing for your appointment and post-extraction home care, you can ensure that your extraction experience isn’t difficult or unpleasant.

Get Ready For Your Appointment

Once your dentist determines that you need to have a tooth pulled, he will provide guidelines for preparing for your appointment. You will need to inform your oral surgeon of any medications you are currently taking, any systemic disorders you may have, and any artificial joints or heart valves in your body. This knowledge helps your dentist ensure that your extraction will not cause unexpected side effects. Continue reading “Tooth Extraction 101: Preparing for Your Appointment and Home Care”

How to Communicate with Your Dentist about Dental Anxiety

If you suffer from dental anxiety, then you know just how debilitating the condition can be. Knowing that you need dental attention is not enough to compel you to visit the dentist, given the terror and panic that you feel at the simple thought of walking into the office. This is a serious phobia that many adults experience, and you risk serious oral health complications if you can’t find a way to overcome your anxiety and seek dental care. By finding a dental practice that offers compassionate care to patients with dental anxiety and by communicating with them about your fears, you can better cope with your anxiety and give your mouth the attention it deserves.

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Coping with Your Dental Anxiety: Prepping Yourself for an Appointment

There isn’t a single adult who isn’t familiar with the burden of stress, whether from financial problems, job responsibilities, or family complications. However, dental anxiety brings stress to an entirely different level that many patients have difficulty overcoming. Sometimes known as dental phobia, dental anxiety can be identified as feelings of panic and terror at the mere idea of visiting the dentist. Because of this, most people suffering from dental anxiety rarely see the dentist, unless forced to by extreme and debilitating pain. If you count yourself among the adults who experience dental anxiety, try these preparation tips to walk into your dentist appointment feeling cool, calm, and collected.

Prepare Distractions

Just like doctors are trained to distract young children before they receive a shot, you can prepare different methods of distraction before heading into your dental appointment. Bring along headphones to your appointment and listen to your favorite music or audiobook. Not only will this give you something different to focus on, but it will also drown out those unpleasant dental noises that are known to cause fear. In today’s tech world, you could even watch a movie on your phone or tablet during your appointment! Playing with a stress ball or fidget spinner might also help to alleviate your nerves. Continue reading “Coping with Your Dental Anxiety: Prepping Yourself for an Appointment”

Dental Implants: Are You a Good Candidate?

Healthy teeth are easy to take for granted until they are gone. Only then does it become apparent just how vital strong and functional teeth are to eating, talking, and feeling confident. If you have suffered tooth loss yourself, you could be a great candidate for dental implants. Thanks to their durability, natural appearance, and permanence, dental implants are the ideal solution for tooth loss. Find out if you meet the basic standards to receive dental implants so you can regain full use and function of your mouth once again. Continue reading “Dental Implants: Are You a Good Candidate?”

Wisdom Teeth Removal: What You Need to Know about Dry Sockets?

The mouth can only hold a certain number of teeth, and for many teenagers and young adults, wisdom teeth simply cannot fit in the mouth without causing crowding and discomfort. If wisdom teeth aren’t extracted and removed in a timely manner, they can cause significant pain and damage. Since wisdom teeth are extracted more frequently than other teeth, the removal procedure is very routine. However, extraction always poses the risk of certain complications like dry sockets. Since dry sockets can be very painful, it is important to understand how to recognize and treat them.

What is a Dry Socket?

Any hole in the bone that used to hold a tooth is called a socket. After a tooth is pulled from the mouth, a blood clot develops to heal the area and keep the bone and nerves underneath protected. If the blood clot stays in place, then the healing process continues without issue. However, if the blood clot becomes dislodged or dissolved, it leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, and fluids in the mouth. This is called a dry socket, and it can trigger infection and significant pain for up to a week. Continue reading “Wisdom Teeth Removal: What You Need to Know about Dry Sockets?”

Why Is It Important to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

Your teeth help you chew, talk, and smile every day, but there are actually four teeth that may cause more harm than good. They are called wisdom teeth, but that name is misleading. Wisdom teeth have the potential to cause significant pain, discomfort, and damage inside of your mouth if they aren’t removed in a timely manner.

What Are Wisdom Teeth? Continue reading “Why Is It Important to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?”

Should I Consider Sedation Dentistry?

There’s no denying that regular dental visits are essential to long-lasting oral health, but you may not love and embrace your semi-annual appointments. Dental anxiety is a very common problem that unfortunately prevents many people from receiving the dental care that they need.  If you can relate to the crippling feeling of anxiety at the mere thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair, you could benefit from sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry? Continue reading “Should I Consider Sedation Dentistry?”

What You Need to Know about TMJ Disorders

When a person is able to chew, speak, and swallow without any difficulty or pain, it means that the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are working properly. However, as many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders that cause pain and dysfunction when the jaw moves. Fortunately, oral surgeons specialize in treating TMJ disorders to restore comfort and function.

What Are TMJ Disorders? Continue reading “What You Need to Know about TMJ Disorders”

Treating a Fractured, Broken, or Dislocated Jaw

It’s easy to take your jaw for granted until it fractures, breaks, or becomes dislocated. Any problems with the jaw can result in excruciating pain, breathing problems, eating difficulties, and other unwanted effects. Fortunately, oral surgeons are specially trained to treat jaw injuries and restore the mouth back to health.

How Does the Jaw Become Injured?

The jaw consists of two joints known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect the lower jawbone to the skull. Any strong force or trauma, such as physical assault to the face, vehicle accidents, and sports injuries, can lead the TMJ to crack, break, or become unhinged and dislocated from the skull. All three injuries are serious and require immediate medical care. Continue reading “Treating a Fractured, Broken, or Dislocated Jaw”