When was the last time you checked in with your jaw? In these stressful times, perhaps you’ve noticed that you clench or grind your teeth more frequently, or that your jaw has begun to pop as you chew or talk. While occasional grinding or clenching may not be harmful, regular grinding can cause damage to your teeth and impact your jaws and joints. Sounds scary! However, you’re not alone! Some 30 to 40% of Americans have jaw pain or grind their teeth. Talking to Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos is a great first step to addressing the aches in your jaw and face. Here are some symptoms to look out for and some tips to keep your jaw from causing you pain.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, often happens at night while you sleep. Even if you’re not aware of grinding and clenching your teeth, you’re probably experiencing some symptoms in the daylight hours. Here are a few common symptoms:
- Dull headache
- Sore jaw, neck, or face muscles
- Popping or cracking when moving jaw
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
- Chipped or flattened teeth
There are steps you can take to stop grinding your teeth and Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos should be part of your plan. If you feel like you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, come in for a comprehensive dental exam so we can help develop a special treatment plan for you. For example, we can prescribe and fabricate a night guard to help protect your teeth. We can also help you address your stress, as well as find resources and support for relaxing your mind and your jaw muscles. Some tips to consider include:
- Exercise for whole body health and stress reduction
- Counseling to help with stress and anxiety
- Warm compresses to help ease jaw tension
- Jaw exercises to help relax the muscles before bedtime
So, remember to brush your teeth, floss, and relax your jaw! If you need help addressing your jaw pain or teeth grinding, give us a call at 207.781.5900. We are here to help you have dental care that treats you and helps you have a healthy mouth and a healthy life!
Spring may be a joyous time, but for many it can bring stress in the form of school exams, job hunts, and home renovations. Like it or not, some stress is a normal part of life. However, excessive stress negatively affects every area of your health.
When it comes to your mouth, anxiety and stress can cause you to develop TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction). This is especially true if you grind your teeth when stressed.
TMJ is a painful, life-interrupting disorder caused by dysfunction of the muscles and joints that allow the mouth to open and close. In addition to jaw pain, TMJ can cause headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, and more.
Stress is a major contributor to TMJ, but symptoms can also manifest due to arthritis, whiplash, injuries to the face, genetics, and more. There is no cure for TMJ, but at Falmouth Dental Arts we offer custom appliances that can relieve TMJ symptoms and help keep you comfortable and pain free.
Call today at 207-781-5900 to set up an appointment and see what options are available to you. With Falmouth Dental Arts on your side, you don’t have to put up with TMJ pain.
Do you dread the dentist? Millions of people have a dental-related fear that prevents them from receiving the care they need. In some cases, the fear can be so strong that it prevents them from even getting through the office door! Often times, these fears are developed because of a childhood trauma or uncomfortable experience at the dentist. Here are some of the most prevalent examples of dental phobias:
Lack of Control
Lying prone in a chair while a dentist works on your teeth can make patients feel as though they have no control over the situation. We believe that communication is key, and we take the time to address your concerns and learn more about you before any dental work is done. More importantly, after we are about to make an assessment of your teeth and mouth, we make a plan together to address your dental needs so that you do have some control over the situation.
Painful Past Experience
There are few things harder than overcoming a fear based on a past experience. But beginning at our very first appointment with you, we are completely focused and dedicated to building a trusting relationship with you, in order to break down those barriers. Dr. Brian Brunacini and Dr. Glen Knock are highly trained and qualified, and always maintain a consistent dialogue with patients in order to avoid an uncomfortable procedure.
Side Effects of Treatment
General anesthesia, numbing agents like Novocain, and painkillers can leave you with various side effects after a procedure, and some people feel the effects more than others. We always make sure that we find out whether you’ve had a negative reaction to any sedatives or painkillers so that we can find the best way to ease your mind and make you completely comfortable before, during, and after all of your dental procedures.
Sometimes, hearing a “horror story” about another’s experience at the dentist can lead to heightened anxiety over your own visit. Even something as simple as a negative portrayal of dentists in TV shows or movies (thanks, Marathon Man!) can affect your perception of the process. Many cases of mishandled care are the result of a lack of communication between dentist and patient, and we make it our number one priority to ensure that our interaction with our patients is both pleasant and thorough.
When fear gets in the way of an individual’s physical health—we know there’s a problem to be addressed. At FDA, we know how debilitating fear can be and we do our best to bond our experience and expertise with compassion and understanding.
It wouldn’t be January without New Year’s Resolutions.
It is said that the concept of a New Year’s Resolution dates all the way back to the Babylonians. The custom originated as a gesture involving “moral favors” which were essentially personal promises to be good to others – the purpose was mostly to please God. It eventually evolved into dedicating time to reflect upon the previous year, and to contemplate the year to come. The goal, once again, was to make better use of personal talents to please God, treat people well, and to avoid habitual sins in the future.
Pretty cool stuff, and it seems pretty similar to the New Year’s Resolutions that we make today. We resolve each year to better ourselves in at least one important aspect of life – physical health, mental health, spiritual health, personal finance, family life etc. But if these resolutions are so important, then why do so many people seemingly fail?
It is believed that one of the main reasons is because we are too secretive. We don’t tell others what our resolutions are, and instead we bottle it up and keep it to ourselves. Now, some resolutions can certainly be personal and you might want to keep them to yourself. However, if you share your New Year’s Resolution and make it well known to family and friends, then you are much more likely to stick with it because they will help hold you accountable.
That is where we come in! In 2014 you should make your smile a priority. Whether it is committing to coming in religiously for all of your scheduled regular cleanings, or getting those veneers or that invisilign that you have always wanted to finish off that perfect smile…2014 is your year and we are here to help you every step of the way. Light up a room this year with your brilliant smile.
Call our office to set up an appointment today!
Dr. Knock and myself visited Tufts Craniofacial Pain Center on the 1st of February. We saw patients there who have been treated effectively for headaches, migraines, sleep apnea and TMJ problems. They are one of the largest centers of its kind in the United States, they incorporate true multidisciplinary approaches to the treatment of complex pain problems. So many grateful patients are walking through their doors. It is great to experience it.