Easing Dental Anxiety Starts in Childhood

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Whether it’s the sound of the dental drill or the prospect of pain, it’s an understatement to say that many children fear the dentist. Many dentists understand that this can be a problem, so some offer sedation dentistry. 123dentist.com goes into what sedation is and how it can help:

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for you?

With sedation, the dentist administers a drug before or during the dental procedure. Only one type — general anesthesia — renders the patient completely unconscious. The other forms will relax you, but won’t knock you out completely.

 

The most common types of sedation dentistry include the following:

  • Nitrous oxide: A gas that relaxes you during the procedure. It wears off quickly, so your dentist might let you drive yourself home after the appointment.
  • Oral sedatives: Oral sedatives, such as diazepam, also help relax patients during dental procedures. You typically take them an hour or so before your appointment. You’re fully awake but less anxious, and you might feel a little sleepy until it wears off.
  • Intravenous sedatives: Intravenous, or IV, sedatives can put you in varying stages of consciousness. This is also known as general anesthesia and, as mentioned above, will put you into a deep sleep until it wears off. Other IV drugs, however, can put you into a “twilight sleep.” You’re less aware of your surroundings, you might feel sleepy, and you might not remember much of the procedure once it’s over.

 

Some patients assume that general anesthesia offers the best solution. However, it also comes with more potential side effects than the other methods, so you might want to consider a lesser form of sedation dentistry. If your dental care provider mentions sleep dentistry, he or she likely means general anesthesia.
You might prefer dental sedation or sleep dentistry, but talk to your dentist about it first. Mention any allergic reactions you’ve experienced in the past, especially to anesthesia, so your dental professional can make safe, educated recommendations.

Read more at 123dentist.com . . .

But since some offices don’t offer sedation dentistry and since some parents don’t want their children to use sedatives, what can be done?

According to a study by Professor Maha AlSarheed, it was found that many fears manifested themselves in children–but if these kids had positive interactions with their dentist, they didn’t carry fears over into adulthood. This information may seem pretty straightforward and obvious, but one might wonder: what constitutes a good dentist interaction? Drbicuspid.com has an interesting study that answers this question. Certain words can be both reassuring to patients and parents:

What Can You Say to Reassure Pediatric Patients?

Practitioners who provide more positive reinforcement and reassurance when speaking with pediatric patients were perceived by caregivers to be more patient-centered and empathetic, according to a new study conducted in Hong Kong.

 

In addition, the inclusion of caregivers in conversation, such as the clinician mentioning the parent or caregiver present, was a key factor in producing a quality clinical experience, the study authors reported in PLOS One (January 3, 2017).

 

“Unlike the conversations focusing on the treatment procedures, those offering positive reinforcement and reassurance appeared to the caregivers that the clinicians were providing more patient-centered care and showing more concern to the patients, thereby creating more clinician-patient interaction,” wrote Hai Ming Wong, PhD, DDS, and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong. “Engaging patient-centered care can help clinicians build stronger clinician-patient relationships for productive engagement in preventive care.”

 

Dr. Wong is a clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry at the university. Researchers from disciplines such as dental public health, psychology, and education at the university participated in the study.

 

Saying ‘mommy’ is helpful

The authors noted that good communication has been found to result in improved patient cooperation, self-care skills, and treatment plan adherence, as well as better treatment outcomes and a lower likelihood of dental anxiety. However, good communication may not be sufficient to achieve these results, with other active ingredients likely embedded within good communication underpinning those effects, they explained.

Read full article here . . .

If parents and dentists are careful about projecting fears and use reassuring words, then children will be more likely to avoid phobias into adulthood.

However, the study by Maha AlSarheed said that some procedures, like local anesthesia and tooth extraction, seemed to be the top causes for developing fears. If parents can get their children adapted to the dentist’s office early before the need for these procedures occurs, then children will be more adaptable to potentially uncomfortable procedures later on. In fact, children should be seeing their dentists as soon as baby teeth erupt!

If worse comes to worse, then sedation dentistry could be considered for children who cannot be soothed by both a parent and dentist. To learn more about preventative dentistry and pediatric dentistry services, check out allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/ for more information.

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The article Easing Dental Anxiety Starts in Childhood was first published on: http://www.allin1dental.com/

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The U.S. Wants More Dentists–Seize The Opportunity

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Dentists take No. 1 spot in 2017 best jobs list

For the third year in a row, dental professionals topped the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list ranking the best jobs of the year, according to ADA News.

 

Dentists, which ranked No. 2 in 2016’s list, took the No. 1 spot in 2017. It last held the top spot in 2015. Orthodontists, which ranked No. 1 last year, is this year’s fifth best occupation; oral and maxillofacial surgeons rounded up the top 10 with a tie for No. 9.

 

Occupations are ranked based on U.S. News’ calculated overall score, which combines several components into a single weighted average score between zero and 10. These components are: 10-year growth volume; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; job prospects; employment rate; stress level; and work-life balance.

 

Dentists scored an overall score of 8.2; orthodontists, 8.1; and oral and maxillofacial surgeon, 7.7.

 

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings,” according to the U.S. News & World Report. “A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to a top position on our list of best jobs.”

 

The magazine also reports that orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are expected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, with about 1,500 new job openings for orthodontists and 1,200 new jobs for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

For more information about how to build a career in this sector, check out different services/specialties you’re interested in. You can learn more at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

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The U.S. Wants More Dentists–Seize The Opportunity is courtesy of: All In One Dental

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Is Mouthwash Actually Helpful?

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If you run a few searches on Google, you will find that there are many different studies and sites that say that mouthwash is very helpful in conjunction with flossing and brushing. And these studies aren’t wrong–mouthwash can kill cavity-causing bacteria. And strangely enough, one Australian study found that it could even kill STI-causing bacteria!

Can Listerine prevent STIs? Researchers want to find out

Rinsing with the antiseptic mouthwash Listerine for one minute can significantly reduce the prevalence of gonorrhea-causing bacteria, according to a new study. Now, researchers want to know whether Listerine can also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

 

“If Listerine has an inhibitory effect against N. gonorrhoeae in the pharynx, it could be a cheap, easy to use, and potentially effective intervention for gonorrhea prevention and control,” wrote the authors, led by Eric Chow, MPH, PhD. Chow is a senior research fellow at the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic.

 

“The two studies presented here are the first to demonstrate Listerine can inhibit the growth of N. gonorrhoeae in vitro and in a clinical study and raise the potential that it may be useful as a control measure,” Chow and colleagues wrote.

So mouthwash is just beneficial, right? Not quite. Since mouthwash is excellent at killing bacteria, it not only takes the bad, but the good as well. Your body actually needs certain kinds of bacteria in the oral cavity and digestive tract to keep everything running smoothly. Drbicuspid.com has more on this topic:

Yes, I tell them antibacterial mouthwash kills bacteria. Yes, bacteria can cause gum disease. Yes, you should want healthy gums.

 

But you know that bacteria serve many purposes in the mouth, when the good bacteria balance out the bad kinds. Healthy gums are dependent on a healthy balance of bacteria. One underrated bacterial benefit is to allow a specific pathway of digestion to occur that is critical for health.

 

Mouth bacteria

When bacteria are killed indiscriminately, both harmful and good bacteria are killed, and the mouth’s delicate balance of bacteria goes awry. This means that tooth decay and gum disease may be more likely to occur.

 

To address their concerns, I talk with my patients about the benefits of mouth bacteria and the unique role they play in the chemical pathway of certain foods. Specifically, the chemical pathway of “nitrate-to-nitrite-to-nitric oxide” is dependent on specific anaerobic bacteria in the mouth . . .

 

So I tell my patients, if you kill the bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue with antiseptic mouthwash, salivary nitrates wouldn’t be converted into nitrites. With less nitrites in your system, you would produce less beneficial nitric oxide.

It’s best to err on the side of caution and ask your dentist whether or not your mouthwash is helping or harming. You can learn about other preventative dentistry methods at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

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Is Mouthwash Actually Helpful? is courtesy of: www.allin1dental.com

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Dentists Can Help U.S. Adults Tackle GERD

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Healthline says that about 20% of the population suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While GERD can affect all ages–babies, children, teens, adults–it is typically more common in aging populations.

And while the condition mainly affects your GI tract, it also has negative effects on your oral cavity. Sometimes stomach acids will just seep up into the esophagus, but other times these acids can make their way up to the throat and mouth, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay.

And most adults don’t need one more thing that wears down their enamel, according to 123dentist.com:

Oral issues you need to be aware of as you get older

Wearing down enamel

All the chewing, grinding, and hard impact that your teeth are put through over the years can take a real toll on their health. Not to mention any breakages, chips, or other trauma your teeth may have been exposed to which may result in even worse consequences down the line. Over time your teeth are gradually worn down from continued use or from damage, and this erosion diminishes the hard protective outer layer of teeth – the enamel – which cannot be naturally regained once it’s lost.

 

To combat enamel loss, be aware of habits that may be speeding up damage done to your teeth and try to stop them as soon as possible. These habits included chewing ice or other hard things like pens and pencils, grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, and playing high impact sports without an athletic mouthguard. If you are prone to unconscious teeth grinding or clenching, ask your dentist about being fitted for a mouthguard you can wear while sleeping to protect your teeth. Frequent consumption of highly acidic foods such as fruit juices, citrus fruits, coffee, and soft drinks is also a culprit for enamel erosion as the acids eat away at the protective layer. Try to substitute water for acidic beverages and brush your teeth 30 minutes or so after consuming acidic foods to stop the acids from attacking your teeth before they can start. Since the acids weaken enamel, waiting before brushing is important to avoid causing extra harm.

If you suffer from GERD along with 123dentistry.com’s previously mentioned habits, it may be beneficial to make some lifestyle adjustments to prevent decay. It’s also important to keep your dentist appointments, since teeth cleanings, sealants, fluoride, and the like can all help. You can learn more at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

Along with worn-down enamel, GERD can cause dry mouth. Adults with dry mouth not only have bad breath, but their mouths are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria . . . which of course, leads back to decay. However, denticle.com has a good solution to the problem:

Study Shows OraCoat® XyliMelts® Oral Adhering Discs Effectively Treat Acid Reflux

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, describes a chronic digestive condition in which an accumulation of stomach acid in the esophagus creates symptoms. Acid reflux affects about 30 percent of the population on a weekly basis and is known to contribute to or cause a number of medical and dental problems including heartburn, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, halitosis, and tooth decay. The condition is also associated with sleep disturbance and can have a negative effect on nighttime comfort and overall quality of life.

 

The study aimed to prove if XyliMelts, recently rated by a Clinicians Report® survey as the most effective remedy for alleviating dry mouth could produce similar results in treating patients suffering from acid reflux, which is often managed by prescribed and over-the-counter medications that prevent excessive acid production . . .

 

XyliMelts are formulated from all-natural ingredients commonly used in foods. As tests prove that salivary stimulants can decrease the perception of nighttime dry mouth, tests also suggest increased saliva can diminish nighttime reflux . . . Test results displayed that both the disc and gel reduced the taste of reflux, heartburn sensation, morning hoarseness, perceived reflux severity, and the number of antacids taken during the night.

Read full blog post here . . .

GERD may be a problem for many adults, but it doesn’t have to be unmanageable. Again, talk with your dentist for more information.

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Dentists Can Help U.S. Adults Tackle GERD is republished from: http://www.allin1dental.com/

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It’s Vital for Seniors To Stay Up-to-Date with Oral Healthcare

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It’s an understatement to say that many Americans have struggled with finding the right healthcare for their families. And even if someone does find the perfect fit for their family, some of these health plans don’t include dental coverage.

And let’s be frank: when you have illnesses, you most likely consider seeing your family physician for every kind of ailment out there, while dentists are often cordoned to strictly oral issues. However, people need to realize that their oral cavity isn’t an isolated system. If something goes wrong, there’s a good chance that it can affect your overall health as well. And since the decline of oral health can possibly translate to poor overall health, it is imperative for certain groups, like seniors, to prioritize their dental visits.

Sadly, one recent article says that only 10% of older Americans actually have coverage, making it that much more difficult to get the care they need:

Infographic: U.S. Seniors Lack Dental Care

A new study published in the December edition of Health Affairs analyzed access to dental care for Medicare beneficiaries, and the findings don’t look good. Only about 10% of older U.S. adults have dental insurance, and, of those who do, they still pay half of all their dental costs out of pocket.

 

The researchers looked at Medicare data to see how seniors with different income levels and types of insurance access dental care. They attributed the overall lack of coverage and high percentage of out-of-pocket spending to larger policy trends, including the exclusion of dental care in Medicare and the changing of insurance benefits for retirees.

 

“Despite the wealth of evidence that oral health is related to physical health, Medicare explicitly excludes dental care from coverage, leaving beneficiaries at risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease and exposed to high out-of-pocket spending,”

 

“Until dental care is appropriately considered to be part of one’s medical care, and financially covered as such, poor oral health will continue to be the ‘silent epidemic’ that impedes improving the quality of life for older adults.”

Along with grassroots campaigning, dentists and insurance companies need to work together to make dental policies more affordable and accessible for aging populations.

Although dental care is of course needed for people of all ages, seniors are at a higher risk for certain diseases–like oral cancer–which means that dental care is even more vital. Delta Dental says that those over the age of 50 are at high risk but can be saved with early intervention:

Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know

Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting for 30,000 newly diagnosed cases each year – and 8,000 deaths. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, facial and oral disfigurement and even death.

Who gets oral cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer. Heavy drinkers and people who smoke or use other tobacco products are at higher risk. Though it is most common in people over age 50, new research indicates that younger people may be developing oral cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV).

Early detection can save

The good news? The earlier oral cancer is detected and treated, the better the survival rate – which is just one of the many reasons you should visit your dentist regularly. Twice-yearly dental checkups are typically covered with no or a low deductible under most Delta Dental plans.

As part of the exam, your dentist will check for oral cancer indicators, including feeling for lumps or irregular tissue in your mouth, head and neck. A biopsy will be recommended if anything seems concerning or out of the ordinary.

If you have a senior family member, talk with them about the need for preventative dentistry, so they can get oral screenings and teeth cleanings to lower their risk of cancer, as well as gum diseases. Take a look at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/ to learn more about preventive care.

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It’s Vital for Seniors To Stay Up-to-Date with Oral Healthcare is available on: All In One Dentistry Blog

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In the Future, Caries May Be Not Always Be Treated with Fillings if Prevention Fails

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While many of us may run to the dentist as soon as something painful, the truth is, we should be more eager to go when things are alright. Preventive dentistry services are really where patients focus should be–while restorative procedures are a blessing for dental caries, nothing can restore the functionality of your enamel.

Besides going to the dentist, what else can you do to prevent decay from taking hold? An article released in December has some good ideas:

Which Treatments are Most Effective for Caries Prevention?

The most widespread diseases in “civilized populations,” with a prevalence of 40% in 7-year-old boys and 85% in 17-year-old boys, the study authors noted. However, some evidence has shown that dental caries incidence in 5- to 17-year-olds has decreased around 36% in recent decades, with half of children caries-free.

With that in mind, the researchers from Italy conducted a comprehensive literature search in four databases for systematic reviews of treatments for preventing caries conducted by “renowned” scientific institutions and published from 2002 through 2015.

They found 30 eligible systematic reviews that met all of the study’s requirements, 20 of which were conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group. Four researchers independently reviewed the articles that were identified.

The researchers summarized the results of the reviews, dividing them into three categories by treatment:

  • Fluoride gel, toothpaste, and mouthrinses
  • Pit-and-fissure sealants
  • Fluoridated supplements, water, and milk

Overall, they found that topical application of fluoride gel and fluoride supplements appear to be convenient and inexpensive methods of reducing caries. Also, pit-and-fissure sealants and fluoride varnishes appear to effectively reduce caries risk, they concluded. Read full article here . . .

Fluoride gels and supplements are not only convenient, but much more affordable than major restorations. For more information about fluoride and other preventative care, be sure to look at: allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

You may be wondering, what if these preventative methods fail, what are your options? Thankfully there are quite a few different fillings materials (silver amalgam, porcelain, gold, composite) which can be used depending on your budget, aesthetic needs, insurance coverage, etc. And perhaps one day, patients may be lucky enough to repair their teeth through other means after decay. Take a look:

Study Offers New Treatment for Larger Caries

January 9, 2017 — Soon you might be treating your patient’s caries with a collagen sponge filled with a drug — first tested to treat Alzheimer’s patients — that stimulates the natural ability of teeth to restore dentine.

A study published January 9 in Scientific Reports by researchers in the U.K. documented a new method of stimulating the renewal of living stem cells in tooth pulp. While still needing human clinical trials, this approach may allow large cavities to be repaired without the use of cement or fillings.

“The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine,” stated lead study author Paul Sharpe, PhD, in a press release. “In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

Sharpe is the head of the craniofacial development and stem cell biology division at the King’s College London Dental Institute . . .

After removing caries decay, a tooth’s soft inner pulp is exposed, and a natural dentine repair process begins. This process uses a form of stem cells in the patient’s mouth that becomes new cells. These cells release a form of reparative dentine, according to the study authors. Read the full here . . .

There isn’t any news about this kind of approach being given to the general public, but because Paul Sharpe (the study author) says that it’s been used in clinical trials, this treatment is definitely a possibility in the future. This kind of treatment would be amazing for patients who try their hardest at preventative methods but still get caries despite their best efforts.

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In the Future, Caries May Be Not Always Be Treated with Fillings if Prevention Fails is courtesy of: http://allin1dental.com

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What’s Causing Your Jaw Pain?

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There are numerous causes for jaw pain, so it can be a little frustrating figuring out what the problem is. For instance, if you grind your teeth at night, you really have no way of knowing that’s the cause unless you sleep with a partner who hears it or if a dentist sees wear on your x-rays.

If you aren’t sure what’s causing the pain, Dr. Alvin Danenberg–a guest writer at Drbicuspid.com–has eight ideas that might ring a bell:

8 possible causes of your patient’s jaw pain

As a periodontist, I frequently treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Many of the causes of this type of jaw pain also can damage the jawbone around the roots of teeth.

In my experience, between 60% and 70% of adults have experienced some symptoms of TMD. Their most frequent complaint is pain either in the jaw joint or the jaw muscles. Patients often experience discomfort when opening their jaw, along with popping and cracking sounds in the jaw joints when opening and closing. Some patients also experience buzzing or ringing sounds in their ears.

TMDs are multifactorial, and their sources may be difficult to identify. I initially focus on the following eight related causes for TMDs:

  • Trauma (such as a car accident) involving the jaw joint, which could damage the joint structures
  • Clenching and grinding the teeth
  • Teeth that have been improperly restored or are out of alignment
  • Poor nutrition and unhealthy digestion, which could cause chronic inflammation and affect all joints in the body, such as in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Emotional stress, such as illustrated by a study by Lei and colleagues in Cranio (April 28, 2016).
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive estrogen, although studies vary
  • Infection in the joint

Many factors affect jaw pain. The more obvious causes should be explored first. If grinding habits or bite problems exist, these must be corrected. Stress reduction, restorative sleep, and good nutrition to provide proper hormone balance must be implemented to reduce TMD symptoms. If symptoms persist, other treatment options should be considered to make the patient comfortable. Read full article here . . .

Besides the Dr. Danenberg’s ideas, you may also want to consider mouth breathing. You’re probably thinking what? Mouth breathing? How on earth could that cause jaw pain.

However, think about this, if you cannot breathe through your nose, then your go-to will be breathing through your mouth, which has been shown to change facial structures–especially in young children. If your jaws and muscles change to compensate this breathing pattern, they will have extra stress placed upon them. An article at NBC News goes into further detail–not only about jaw pain, but other mouth-breathing issues:

‘Mouth-breathing’ gross, harmful to your health

As Dr. Yosh Jefferson, a New Jersey functional orthodontist, explains, “Mouth-breathing also irritates the tonsils and adenoids, so you have a double whammy where the sinuses are congested, which causes further blockage of the upper airway.” Now you really can’t breathe out of that nose. What’s more, when you take in oxygen through your nose, it passes over the mucous membrane and into the sinuses, which produces nitric oxide, which your body needs for all the smooth muscles, like your heart and your blood vessels. So when you’re not breathing through your nose, your blood actually isn’t getting all the oxygen it needs to function properly.

Jefferson believes breathing though the mouth is often an overlooked root cause of many health and behavioral problems, particularly in school-age kids. (“Just think of the child,” he says. “How do you think they’re doing in school? These kids are tired, they’re irritable, they can’t concentrate in school. And a lot of these kids (may be) diagnosed with ADD and hyperactivity.”)

But here’s the absolute weirdest thing that mouth-breathing can cause: It can actually change the shape of kids’ faces, according to a report Jefferson published last year in the journal General Dentistry. “Severe mouth breathers develop what they call long face syndrome — long, narrow faces, very unattractive facial features. Also if their tonsils are swollen, they sometimes position their jaw in weird ways in order to get more oxygen into their bodies. It can happen in adults as well … but it’s more prominent in children,” Jefferson says. “People think they grew to this face because of genetics –- it’s not, it’s because they’re mouth-breathers.” It’s reversible in children if it’s caught early — an orthodontist might use a device to expand the jaw, which will widen the mouth and open the sinuses, helping the child breathe through the nose again. (This can be done in adults, too, but it’s more difficult.)

“It’s best to treat them early,” Jefferson says. “It drives me crazy that there are so many kids who are mouth breathers and no one is doing anything about it. Read full article here . . .

Although there have been no definitive studies that show that braces can correct TMJ, they can correct your bite and ideally put teeth in a position that will decrease strain on the jaws. Men and women who breathe through their mouths often have narrow maxillas and overbites–both of which can be corrected with a dentist’s help. In the meantime, your dentist can reduce some wear and tear by fitting you with a mouthguard.

While you can certainly get a bite-and-bile guard at the store, these may be cumbersome and actually encourage more mouth breathing since they aren’t custom-made. It’s best to talk with your dentist to see what the root of the problem is in regards to your jaw pain.

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The post What’s Causing Your Jaw Pain? is republished from: www.allin1dental.com

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