91 Main St. Port Washington, NY 11050

Opening Hours : M-Th: 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Sat: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
  Contact : 516-944-7000 Se Habla Español

senior dental care port washington long island - 3v dental associates

Dental & Oral Health Care As We Age

Ideally, good oral hygiene habits begin at an early age. However, if that hasn’t been the case with you, then now is an excellent time to start developing those habits. You’re never too old to go to the dentist or take good care of your teeth. Statistically, elderly adults are more likely to have poor dental health because many lost their dental insurance when they retired. According to the CDC, 20 percent of seniors who are 65 years or older have untreated cavities, and almost 68 percent of seniors have gum disease. These are unnecessary statistics and can be prevented with a regimen of good oral care. Missing or damaged or diseased teeth can negatively impact your self-image and self-esteem, so don’t delay in starting a program of good dental hygiene if you don’t already have one.

Does Age Adversely Impact Oral Health?

Age isn’t a determining factor in oral health except as it affects the ability to perform some tasks. For instance, arthritis can make it difficult to brush and floss properly, and diseases such as diabetes can lead to gum disease. Seniors who have diseases such as dementia may forget to brush and floss, and those who have diseases such as osteoporosis may be more susceptible to tooth loss. However, tooth loss isn’t an inevitable part of the aging process, and there are solutions to all of these problems.

  • Technological advances in dental appliances can make it easier to brush and floss.
  • Home health care assistants can ensure that their geriatric clients maintain good oral care.
  • Mouth rinses and mouthwashes can counteract the effects of some diseases such as diabetes and the effects of high glucose levels.

If you need any of these, don’t hesitate to speak to your dental professional about it and take control of your dental health today.

Are Seniors More Susceptible To Oral Health Issues?

Although most health issues can occur at any age, seniors may be more likely to develop some issues, such as the following, because of medications they take and the physiological changes that the medications can cause.

Gum Disease

Also called gingivitis or periodontal disease, gum disease is one of the major causes of missing teeth, and gum disease is very common in elderly adults. Years of poor hygiene can culminate in gum disease and missing teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, which is a severe stage of gum disease that can damage the facial structure and destroy the ligaments and tissues that secure the teeth. If you suspect you have gum disease, then you should immediately make an appointment with your dentist. The following are common signs of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Red, inflamed or swollen gums
  • Discolored gums that are red or purple
  • Receding gums
  • Perpetual bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive gums or teeth
  • Pain when you bite or chew

Delaying treatment can adversely affect both your physical and your oral health, so don’t procrastinate. Also, bacteria from gum disease can travel throughout your body and cause problems with all of your major organs, so don’t delay seeking treatment for gum disease.

Tooth Decay

Cavities aren’t restricted to children and young adults, they can occur to anyone at any age. Even if you haven’t had a cavity in decades, you can get one. If you have one or more cavities, then make an appointment with your dentist. If you delay, you can lose the tooth and possibly damage the tooth root. You can also develop an abscess, and the bacteria from it can have a deleterious effect on your major organs.

If you’re diabetic, an infection in your gums or in a tooth can disrupt your blood glucose levels, and conversely, if your blood glucose levels are out of balance, then that can cause dental problems. Maintaining good dental hygiene can help stabilize your blood glucose levels and encourage a healthy body.

If you have dentures instead of natural teeth, it’s equally important to clean them daily and remove them for four hours each day so that your mouth stays healthy. Food particles can accumulate underneath your dentures and cause an infection or gum disease, so make sure you keep your dentures clean and use the recommended cleaner for them.

If you still have your natural teeth, then a process known as attrition, which is wear and tear, can cause your tooth enamel to erode, which increases the likelihood for cavities to develop. Your teeth may become more sensitive as a result, and you may need to switch to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Dry Mouth

Aging doesn’t ensure that you’ll develop dry mouth, but it’s a common side effect of many medications that are prescribed for elderly adults. If you have dry mouth or think you may have, then consult with your dentist or your physician for methods of adding moisture to your mouth. It may seem a small matter, but dry mouth can encourage the formation of cavities, so it’s important to maintain good hydration. Medications are available to help counteract this condition and some lifestyle changes may help.

Good Oral Hygiene Practices

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the same no matter your age.

  • Brush and floss at least twice each day
  • Use a good quality toothpaste
  • Change your toothbrush at least quarterly
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Have regular checkups with your dentist
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Limit snacks and sugar intake
  • Drink plenty of clear water
  • Get enough calcium
  • Avoid sodas and sugary drinks
  • Maintain your dentures in good condition if applicable

Nutrition

It’s difficult to have an appealing, well-balanced diet when you lack the teeth to chew your favorite foods. Dentures aren’t always the answer because they can make it difficult to bite and chew, so many in the geriatric set stick to soft foods rather than fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Maintaining good dental health may improve your physical health because you’ll be able to eat a variety of foods and you’ll find more enjoyment in eating.

Do You Have Difficulty With Brushing And Flossing?

Many older adults find it difficult to care for their teeth and gums as well as they’d like. Age-related diseases such as arthritis can make these tasks difficult but your dentist can recommend dental aids that will facilitate your regimen of good oral care.

You’re Never Too Old…

No matter your age, it’s never too late to start taking good care of your teeth and gums. Your teeth aren’t just for aesthetics, they’re the first stage in your digestive process, so you need them in order to properly digest your food. In addition to the manual care of brushing and flossing, it’s essential to have at least annual checkups with your dentist so that potential problems can be addressed before they develop into large issues. Start today by scheduling a checkup with 3V Dental Associates today and get started on the road to a healthy mouth and body.

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Searching for the Best Long Island Dentist?

The Quest for a Fantastic Long Island, New York Dentist Near Me

Are you searching high and low for five-star dental care anywhere on Long Island in New York? It doesn’t matter if you need general or cosmetic dentistry service. You need to take your quest for first-class dental care 100 percent seriously. Fortunately, there are certain things that can make finding a top-notch local dental clinic a lot easier for anyone. If you’re interested in the best dental care Long Island has to offer, then you have to take numerous things into consideration.

Assess “Best Dentist Long Island” Reviews on the Internet

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Reviews can mean the world!

The Internet can make an amazing device for people who want to make smart oral health team choices. It’s critical to meticulously assess patient ratings online. It’s just as critical to meticulously assess patient reviews. Check prominent sites that tend to feature an abundance of honest and clear reviews. Examples of these are Facebook, Yelp and even Google. You should be on the lookout for reviews that discuss quality of care, expertise, hygiene, safety, equipment, staff member behaviors and the whole nine yards. If you come across reviews that discuss unfriendly representatives, antiquated equipment, lack of sanitation and anything else similar, you should immediately cross the questionable clinic off your list.

Some of the Best Dentists on Long Island Have Great Insurance and Payment Options

If you want to make the best choice, then you should pay attention to insurance coverage matters. It can give you peace of mind to go with an office that takes the majority of insurance plans out there. If you don’t want to have to panic about your insurance not covering any type of emergency, general or cosmetic dentistry treatment, then you should research matters in advance. It can be a nightmare to realize seemingly out of the blue that you have to pay for treatment out of pocket. Did you know 3V Dental also offers in-house insurance options?

Paperless Sign Registration

Paperless dental forms are becoming more and common in clinics all around the country. These forms can make getting brand new patients all set up a breeze. What makes paperless systems optimal for people who are searching for strong dentist choices? These systems can decrease wait times at offices considerably. They can make reception areas a lot more organized. They can make handling registration a lot more streamlined and basic for all new patients. They can even safeguard patient data well. These systems abide by guidelines that safeguard the privacy of all patients. People who don’t want to have to agonize over security threats often appreciate the paperless route.

The Best Dental Clinics are Proud of Their Team!

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can communicate so much about dental offices and all of their team members. Social networks in many cases feature video clips and images that illustrate the ins and outs of offices. Pay attention to clues you receive regarding a clinic’s team members. Do these professionals seem enthusiastic and willing to please? You should strive to find a clinic that makes you feel as though you’re part of one big, happy family.

Dental Scheduling and Appointment Booking on Long Island Made Easy

It can be such a hassle to deal with dentist offices that make it a time-consuming pain to reserve appointments. Making an appointment for dental service shouldn’t be a complex or stressful process for anyone. There are many clinics that accept appointments through email messages and standard telephone calls. There are many others that accept them through additional channels as well. Examples are platforms such as NexHealth and ZocDoc. Remember, the more appointment reservation options you have, the easier scheduling will be for you.

Rock-Solid Dental Advice and Tips

People aren’t exaggerating when they say that top-notch blog content is critical on the Internet. It’s critical regardless of whether you’re searching for an oral healthcare office, a fitness center or anything else along those lines. If you want to make a fantastic choice, you should pay close attention to the dental clinic’s blog content. A reputable and reliable clinic should post blogs that offer genuine and tangible value to any and all patients. These blogs should cover topics that are pertinent to people who are in need of oral care assistance. If you want to pick a first-class dentist, you should look for blogs that offer oral hygiene suggestions. You should look for blogs that cover pertinent topics that relate to the teeth and the mouth in general. It can help to zero in on blogs that talk about subjects such as signs of the need for emergency dental care service. It can even help to prioritize offices that notify their patients regarding brand new advancements in the oral care industry.

Procedure Availability to Meet Your Schedule

You should never make the mistake of settling for a dentist office that doesn’t present patients with a vast menu of procedures. You should limit yourself to offices that give patients access to any and all significant procedures. Look into offices that are known for thorough dental cleanings, root canals, teeth whitening, cavity fillings, TMJ treatment, Zoom teeth whitening, Invisalign and anything else along those lines. Your aim should be to select an office that can cater to any and all of your specific oral healthcare requests.

A Long Island Office That Has a Fresh, Contemporary, Airy and Welcoming Vibe to All

It’s crucial to put a lot of attention into how dentist offices look. The last thing you want is to make an appointment at a clinic that has a dull, drab, dark and unsanitary ambiance. You should zero in on offices that are bright, airy and contemporary. Zero in on offices that utilize all of the latest and most advanced equipment pieces. Zero in on offices that utilize all of the most effective and safe disinfection and sanitization methods in general. If you want to select a clean and hygienic office, then you should assess images you find online thoroughly. It can help to pay attention to mentions of cleanliness in any and all online reviews. If you come across a review that discusses equipment sterilization problems or anything else similar, that may be a warning sign. Be sure to consider staff member attitudes, too. It can be a joy to receive dental care from professionals who are consistently courteous, upbeat, helpful and dependable.

A Wonderful Oral Health Destination on Long Island

It’s not easy to hide greatness in this world. If you discover a rock-solid dental clinic on the Internet, then it should be more than apparent to you. You should never tolerate a dentist office that just isn’t up to par for any reason. Your oral wellness is worth a lot more than that.

Contact the Team at 3V Dental Without Any Hesitation

What specific Long Island dental clinic epitomizes all of the positive things we just mentioned? 3V Dental in Port Washington, New York is the correct answer. We’re an office that has some of the most seasoned and qualified dental powerhouses on our staff. Our clinic is immaculately clean and enticing. Our choices in dentistry treatments run the gamut. We even make it a walk in the park for our patients to reserve upcoming appointments. It doesn’t matter if you need emergency assistance or a standard cleaning. We can make your oral health wishes come to fruition. Schedule an appointment with the 3V Dental staff. Our user-friendly site says it all.

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As Long Island Dentists Reopen, Learn How You Can Visit Safely

During the coronavirus pandemic, Long Islanders have seen tremendous changes to their usual ways of life. Nassau and Suffolk county are typically filled with a robust menu of activities in which to participate, especially as the temperatures rise and the joys of living on an island amplify with beautiful beaches and preserves. Our local Long Island neighbors have also had to change how they approach their health care. For example, dental practices have been unable to schedule routine appointments.

Now, however, your favorite local dentists, includin 3V Dental in Port Washington, have started reopening and can accommodate both emergency visits, cosmetic and regularly scheduled appointments like dental cleanings and check-ups. As you pick up the phone to reschedule an appointment that was cancelled due to COVID-19 or to book a new appointment, you may have some concerns about your health and safety. Fortunately, you can safely visit 3V Dental Associates for all elective and emergency services. Follow some guidelines to assist in this endeavor.

Ask about Protocols

When you schedule your appointment, simply ask about the protocols that the practice is following. Then, you can conduct research online to ensure that the protocols are the required ones. Simply knowing that your dental doctor is listening to the recommendations of the CDC can bolster your confidence in a safe appointment.

For instance, according to the American Dental Association,  ADA guidance includes ways dentists and hygienists can reduce aerosols such as:

  • hand scaling when cleaning teeth rather than using ultrasonic scaling,
  • use of high velocity suction whenever possible and
  • use of rubber dental dams whenever possible

Trust Your Dentist

Of course, asking about protocols is only effective if you trust your dentist. When you ask the receptionist about the protocols being followed at the practice, you need to feel a sense of trust in what this individual is saying. In the event that you find yourself questioning the practice’s honesty, you should seek out a more reputable practice.

According to the CDC, dentists are required to follow strict hygiene to minimize the spread of germs. Examples include:

  • Before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and after removing personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves. Hand hygiene after removing PPE is particularly important to remove any pathogens that might have been transferred to bare hands during the removal process.

  • Use ABHR with 60-95% alcohol or wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water before returning to ABHR.

  • Dental healthcare facilities should ensure that hand hygiene supplies are readily available to all DHCP in every care location

Help Thy Neighbor and Cancel When Feeling Ill

You want to visit the dentist in a safe manner, and so do the other patients. Therefore, you must cancel your appointment if you are feeling sick. Pay particular attention to symptoms related to coronavirus. In other words, note any coughing, chills and so forth. Of course, if you have a fever, you should certainly cancel. When you call the office, do let the receptionist know why you are cancelling. Ask how long you should wait to reschedule the appointment.

Evaluate Your Circumstances

If you have concerns about going to the dentist right now, you should then talk to a representative from the practice beforehand. For example, if you or your partner is an essential employee, you should convey this information to the receptionist. Find out if you need to take additional protocols. Furthermore, in the event that you have been around infected individuals, you should let the practice know. Waiting the required period of time to ensure that you are not ill is the responsible step to take.

Wash Your Hands and Reduce Contact

Before you go to the dentist, you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. While you cannot entirely eliminate the possibility of bringing germs into the office, you can certainly reduce the likelihood as much as possible. Of course, you do need to travel to the dentist, which means that you could be touching keys, car doors, bus seats and so forth. Aim to reduce contact in whatever ways are feasible.

Call When Arriving

The receptionist will likely convey this information to you. However, in the event that you aren’t told in advance, call the practice when you arrive. For example, practices can reduce the number of people in the office at the same time by requesting that patients call when they arrive. If you call when you arrive, the receptionist can tell if it the previous patient has left yet. Even when multiple people are in the office at once in separate rooms, a call can help to deal with traffic flow. In other words, scheduling exactly when patients will walk into the office can prevent individuals from crossing paths as one leaves the office and the other enters.

Wear a Mask

As you likely know, wearing a face mask or other face covering is imperative right now when being in spaces with other people. This mask will help you to reduce your chances of falling ill and of potentially spreading disease to other people. Of course, you cannot wear the mask the entire time that you are at the office since the dentist needs to work on your teeth. Leave the mask on until you absolutely need to take it off. Then, you can put it right back on as soon as the work is over.

Use Gloves

You are going to have to touch items as you go into the practice. For example, you may need to open the door, hold a rail as you climb the stairs or put your car keys into your bag. In order to reduce the risk of exposure, you can wear gloves as you perform these endeavors.

Prepare for Paperwork

Whether you are going to the practice for a major procedure or a routine cleaning, you may need to sign some paperwork. Bring your own pen with you so that you don’t have to share. Also, make sure to put your paper planner in your bag. By doing so, you won’t need to take an appointment card; you can write the information for your next appointment with your own pen in your own planner. If you are concerned about having to hand over your credit card, ask if you can pay over the phone. You should discuss payment options when you are initially booking the appointment.

Are you a new patient at 3V Dental? Consider filling out your new patient forms online! Click here take of this essential process 100% online.

Wash Again

Find out if the restroom at the dentist’s office is available for use. Once you arrive at the clinic, you can wash your hands again, and you could do so on your way out too. The practice is likely to have hand sanitizer available, and you may even be required to use the hand sanitizer when you get there. In fact, when you are booking your appointment, ask if hand sanitizing is a part of protocol upon arrival. An affirmative answer to this inquiry can better assure you that the practice is following the necessary safety requirements.

Get a Temperature Check

Another good sign is if your dental practice is requiring temperature checks upon entering the clinic. This type of screening assists in seeing if you can continue with your visit. Of course, you may want to consider going to a different practice in the event that your regular one isn’t conducting temperature checks. This procedure is now a fairly standard one for improving health and safety.

Maintain Social Distance When Possible

You simply aren’t going to have the ability to maintain social distancing the entire time that you’re at the practice. For example, the dentist needs to complete the work on your mouth, and you will likely have a dental hygienist or two nearby as well. At other times, however, do maintain social distancing. Find out what protocols the practice has in place for creating this type of environment. If you have to sit in the waiting room, you want to know that doing so is safe and that you will have the appropriate amount of space between you and the next person.

Going to the dentist is an important part of maintaining your health. Follow these guidelines and the suggestions of your local dental team and you’ll minimize your risk.

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Dental Emergencies During Covid-19

The coronavirus outbreak is changing everything. A lot of aspects of life are being affected, mostly on the negative side. Social patterns have been affected the most, with the worry over the economic impact still looming overhead. Even though the medical aspect was not as severely affected, it seems that only a dental emergency is worthy of scheduling an appointment with your dentist.

Generally, our patients are used to visiting our dental clinic on scheduled appointments, but at the moment, routine care has to be put on hold. According to the American Dental Association and the CDC, oral offices should hold on non-urgent surgeries and appointments that don’t require immediate attention. If the covid-19 caught you off-guard and you had not yet gone in for a routine check-up, it seems that you will have to wait for a few weeks, or maybe more. This move is an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The primary reason you are not allowed to visit your dentist regularly is based on covid-19. How so, you ask? Coronavirus, the virus responsible for spreading covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Whenever you sneeze or cough, these droplets fly through the air, and should someone breathe them in, the individual can get sick.

Furthermore, the disease causing virus is also present in the saliva and mucus in your throat and mouth. On a typical day, your oral care provider and their tools will come into contact with these fluids. There is a high chance of these tools spraying the droplets around.

Even though dental offices are medical spaces, not all of them are designed for high levels of protection. Most Long Island oral clinics lack:

i. Enough N95 face masks

ii. Isolation rooms

iii. Individual rooms for clients

Furthermore, by skipping routine treatments, the dentists can focus on emergency dental care. This reduces the workload for the health workers at the hospitals since they only have to deal with covid-19 patients and acute treatments. More so, they will be reduced the use of personal protective equipment. As the epidemic continues to rage on, health care workers are running short on PPE’s.

Elective procedures, cosmetic dental procedures, or non-urgent treatments are dental procedures that will not affect your health immediately if not fixed as scheduled. Therefore, you can reschedule them as far off as possible. Examples of elective oral procedures provided in New York include:

• fixing cosmetic issues

• X-rays

• Check-ups for braces

• teeth whitening

• teeth examinations and cleaning

• minor treatment like tooth removal and fixing cavities

Visiting oral clinics is not entirely restricted, so you can still see your 3V Dental dentist for severe problems. According to the ADA, emergency treatment is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate treatment. The dentists get to decide what defines emergencies. Most urgent cases reported in New York involve:

• if parts around and in the mouth are swollen, e.g. neck, gums, face

• you need relief from severe pain

• signs of infection

• broken teeth that are painful and have caused tissue damage

• the tissue in need of biopsy

• cancer-related dentist work

• painful braces

• dentures that do not function right

• a broken or lost temporary crown

• post-surgery care you are unable to do alone

Make sure to call or contact our Port Washington office first to confirm what is covered. Visit a hospital or an emergency care centre if the dentists can’t see you. Nonetheless, there is no need to go into the ER as the first resort.it is critical to differentiate between mild oral discomfort that can wait and emergencies that are a threat to your health.

According to recent statistics, about 23% of the population has experienced oral or dental pain the past half-year. This is an indication of how common oral emergencies crop up. Nonetheless, not every dental discomfort is an emergency. Oral emergencies involve the need for saving a tooth, pain relief, stop bleeding, and treat an infection.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, you are at risk of contracting covid-19 every time you leave your house. Health care providers are expected to adhere to health guidelines and regulations, and your dentist’s office is no exception. Most oral clinics in Long Island are taking extra steps that might help to curb the spread of covid-19. For instance:

• individuals working at the dental office should ensure always to wear protective gear

• ensure to disinfect tools and contact surfaces constantly

• clean and cover tools between uses, and safely dispose and replace necessary tools and equipment

• everyone should cover their mouths with rubber dental dams

• furthermore, the clinic should space appointments and schedule them appropriately to avoid overcrowding

• they should ensure to take the patient’s temperature and ask about recent travel schedules

If an emergency visit to your oral service provider can’t be avoided:

• ensure to use personal protective equipment

• stay six feet apart from other patients

• If you require follow-up appointments, discuss with your oral caregiver to create a custom treatment plan.

During an epidemic, it is better to keep safe in every way possible. Even though you cannot have routine dental check-ups, it does not mean that you cannot practice common oral hygiene to prevent the need for immediate medical attention. Standard practices to carry out without the dentist’s help include

• Paying attention to your oral health- check for signs of oral disease, or infection

• Be proactive- brush your teeth, floss and eat the right food

• During sports activities, ensure you wear a mouthguard. This way, your teeth will not be broken, knocked out, or chipped.

• do not chew on hard food that may fracture your teeth

• Before travelling for indeterminate periods or extended vacations, ensure you get a routine check-up. Your oral care provider will ensure that you do not have decay, loose teeth or crowns, and any infections.

• if you are experiencing any discomfort, they will check for the cause and give you proper treatment

Nonetheless, it is almost impossible to avoid an oral-related emergency, so it is better to be prepared. A small dental kit would come in handy at such a moment. It should include:

• Acetaminophen (ibuprofen and aspirin should not be used since they act as blood thinners. Thus they will cause excessive bleeding)

• Handkerchief.

• gauze

• the name and phone number of your oral care provider

If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency, or have questions as to what might be a dental emergency, contact our office and we would be happy to assist.

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A Guide To Common Dental Emergencies

You could deal with a dental emergency at any time, but you need to know what to do when it happens. If a dental emergency should arise, contact 3V Dental immediately. We provide immediate dental emergency service in Port Washington and surrounding local Long Island communities. Some emergencies are worse than others, and that is why you should use these tips to protect yourself before you get to the doctor.

Respond To The Emergency First

You should call your dentist when you experience a dental emergency, but you also need to deal with the emergency as it is happening. You can provide yourself with immediate care that will make the pain and discomfort easier to manage, and you can even wait for the dentist to open the next day when needed.

When responding to your emergency situations, you should try to ice the area, pack the area with gauze or tissue, flush your mouth with water, and try not to irritate the area. You can take over-the-counter pain medication for some quick relief, and you should try to rest.

Follow Your Dentist’s Orders

When you call or contact the 3V Dental office, our team can provide immediate instructions. We will do our best fit you into our schedule. If you have an after hours dental emergency, we will advise on the best pat forward depending on the situation.

Common Dental Emergencies

These common dental emergencies happen every day, and many of them do not require immediate care. You can see the dentist the next day or that week when you have time for an office visit:

  • Broken tooth
  • Broken crown
  • Loose filling
  • Lost or loose veneer
  • Broken bridge
  • Cracked dentures
  • Abscesses
  • Intense toothaches
  • Lockjaw

If you have broken a tooth or a crown, you can wait until you see the dentist to get treatment. You should make certain to flush your mouth with water and pack the area with gauze if it is bleeding. Otherwise, you should try to eat on the other side of your mouth. If you have lost a tooth, you can pack the area with gauze until you see the dentist, and you can remove your dentures to prevent further cracks. IF you lose a veneer or it is loose, you should try to peel it away carefully. If it does not move, you need to come to the office immediately.

Intense toothaches, abscesses, and lockjaw should be treated right away. You can ask the office for a time to come in, and they might fit you into their schedule that same day. Broken bridges might present a problem if you can feel the appliance moving in your mouth. Ask when you can be seen so that you do not need to eat around the bridge or try to remove any broken pieces.

Calming Children Who Have Dental Emergencies

There are times when your children need attention because they have a broken tooth or their mouth is bleeding. You can use these tips to help your kids when they are scared and their mouth is bleeding. You should have their wash out their mouth, and you can help them pack the bleeding area with a tissue. Kids do not need to come to the office if they have lost a tooth, and you can tell them about how you lost your teeth when you were a kid.

If your child has broken a baby tooth, they can have it repaired in the office. These teeth will eventually fall out, but the office can help your kids have a normal smile until that happens. If something happens to your child’s permanent teeth while they are still young, you can work with the office to schedule a cosmetic procedure when the child is old enough.

You can use children’s medication to help them relax if they feel any discomfort. This might be the easiest way to help them calm down after a traumatic experience.

What Do You Do If You Are Out Of Town and Not Close to Our Port Washington Dental Office?

When you are out of town, you can call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to get information on local dental offices. In some cases, the nurse line or concierge service can call the office for you. If not, you can call the office, tell them why you are in town, what the problem is, and ask for help. This is the best way to get the care you need because you should not try to travel home while experiencing any serious pain or discomfort.

If you must go to an office in a city you have never visited, you should ask the office for directions. They can tell you the best way to get there, and you might want to use a ride-sharing service to get there. Ask the office to give you a treatment that will help you get home. They can send your records to your regular dental office back home, and you can follow up with the people you know when your trip is over.

If you are in a foreign country, you should contact their national health service. Most developed nations have a national system that provides medical care to the public. You can reach out to their system for help, and they can refer you to someone who can see you the same day. You should be prepared to pay their out-of-network costs, but many of these systems keep their costs very low.

Some Emergencies Are Symptoms Of Other Dental or Oral Conditions

You may notice that your teeth hurt or your mouth feels odd because you are getting sick. You should consider the other medical conditions that you might be dealing with before calling an emergency hotline. There is quite a big difference between someone who has a chipped tooth or a broken filling and someone who is simply getting the flu or a head cold. You can use over-the-counter medication to handle most of these symptoms, and you can call the dental office only when you think the situation is not getting any better.

Nothing feels worse than spending money on a visit that you did not need. You do not want to turn your life upside down unless you know that you have a major problem.

Conclusion

You need to seek medical attention the moment you realize you have a problem with your teeth. You can go to the office that you visit twice a year, or you can call your insurance company to find an office that is near your location. Try to take a deep breath, wash your mouth out with water, and pack the bleeding area with gauze. You can take over-the-counter medications for the pain, and you can call the office for assistance. You can get on the schedule that day, or you can wait until the next day if the problem is not serious. You can take the same approach when you are out of town or offering your children some relief.

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Gum Disease: Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Causes of gum disease

Gum disease is also known as periodontitis and refers to inflammation of the gums (also called gingiva) which may become severe and cause loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. This process starts as a sticky film known as plaque that is constantly created on your teeth when the bacteria in your mouth mix with saliva.

This bacterial plaque accumulates on your teeth and turns the sugary and starchy foods you eat into the energy they need and create acids as a by-product. The sticky nature of the plaque keeps this acid attached to your teeth’s surface and causes the gradual breakdown of your tooth enamel. Most of these acids are created after eating each meal or snack; your teeth will tend to build up more plaque in as little as 20 minutes.

The bacterial acids which destroy the tooth enamel will also create an infection in your gingiva and the bone around your teeth. If this bacterial plaque is not removed from the teeth it hardens into a substance called tartar. The build-up of tartar creates an environment in which bacterial plaque can thrive.

The build-up of tartar and plaque causes the following signs and symptoms:


• Cavities – Holes is in the teeth that destroy the structure
• Gingivitis – includes bleeding, inflamed, sore, and swollen gingiva
• Periodontitis – damage to the bone and ligaments that support the teeth and results in tooth loss
• Bad breath – known as halitosis
• Pain, abscess, and inability to use the teeth
• Serious health problems ranging from preterm labor to heart disease.

The first stage of periodontitis is referred to as gingivitis. When this occurs the gums become swollen, sore, red, and may bleed easily because of the plaque attaching to the gumline of the tooth and causing inflammation around the teeth.

When plaque and tartar buildup is not removed from underneath the gumline, the bacterial toxins will start attacking the ligaments and bones that surround the teeth.

As periodontitis becomes more advanced many severe related conditions are experienced. Common signs and symptoms include:
• Bad breath odor
• Loose teeth
• Gaps between the teeth and gingiva
• Tooth sensitivity
• Shiny looking gums
• Gums are reddish-purple or bright red
• Gums are tender to the touch but otherwise painless
• Brown green-white or yellow hard deposits on the teeth
• Shifting teeth
• Swollen, sore gums

Prevention of periodontitis

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontitis. At times some additional medical and dental treatments may be necessary.

Good oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice every day after meals and before bed for about 2 minutes each time. Manual or electric toothbrushes can be used depending on your preference.

Using a soft bristle toothbrush is recommended and attention should be paid to the plaque at the gumline. You should replace your toothbrush frequently, and when it becomes worn or frayed. Worn toothbrushes will not clean properly and may harbor bacteria.

Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing your teeth to aid prevention of bacterial growth and to decrease inflammatory reaction in the mouth.

Using fluoride toothpaste helps protect and strengthen your tooth enamel and protects against bacterial acids. Your dentist will advise you of different sources of fluoride you may use including fluoridated water, mouthwashes, and supplements.

Floss your teeth or use interdental brushes daily, before brushing your teeth. If the spaces between your teeth are too tight for you to use interdental brushes, flossing is a good alternative.

Your dentist will advise you of the best way to floss your teeth if you are unsure. Care should be taken not to floss too aggressively as doing so will damage the gingiva. Regular flossing removes debris and plaque from hard to reach areas in the mouth before the plaque hardens into tartar.

Eating a healthy diet that is low in refined sugars will help reduce the quantity of sugary starchy foods available for bacteria to thrive on and produce acids that cause periodontitis and tooth decay. A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and whole grains.

Non-surgical gum treatments are also available, so speak with your 3V Dental dentist or hygienist for more information.

Complications of smoking

Smoking puts you at great risk of developing periodontitis regardless of the form of tobacco you use. Cigarettes, pipe, and smokeless tobacco all raise your risk of developing periodontitis. The more cigarettes you smoke, and the longer you smoke the greater your risk of developing periodontitis.

Smoking weakens your body’s immune system and makes it harder to fight periodontitis. In addition, it prevents proper dental treatment – as much as 90% of patients who do not respond to periodontitis treatment are smokers.

Extra Care should be taken when cleaning around uneven surfaces such as crowns dentures, fillings crooked teeth, and closely-packed teeth. These areas may be challenging to clean and they could easily accumulate plaque and tartar.

Regular professional cleaning is important to remove plaque and tartar buildup around your teeth and under the gumline before they develop periodontitis conditions. At these cleanings, your dentist will examine the condition of your gingiva and teeth and will detect and treat any gumline or tooth decay issues before serious problems develop.

Non-Surgical Treatments of periodontitis

When you receive a diagnosis of periodontitis, the first attempt to treat the infection would be with non-surgical methods. The main purpose of treatment is to remove plaque and tartar from pockets formed around the teeth and to stop further destruction of tissue and bone.

Scaling and cleaning

Scaling is done to remove tartar and plaque buildup and to restore periodontal health. Your dentist will perform this procedure to remove the infection from below the gumline.

Root planing is done to smooth rough areas on the roots of the teeth. This is done to prevent the build-up of bacteria within the rough patches where they may cause periodontitis.

It may take one to two visits to your dental doctor’s office for the scaling and healing process to be completed depending on the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth.

It is normally recommended to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleaning depending on your plaque accumulation.

Use of medications

There are many medicated types of mouthwash and antibiotic treatments available to help control bacteria and to treat periodontitis.

Surgical Treatments for periodontitis

Treatment for advanced periodontitis. When non-surgical treatment and good oral hygiene are not effective in treating periodontitis, surgical options will need to be explored.

Flap surgery is used to remove plaque that has accumulated in deep pockets or to decrease the size of the pockets to make their cleaning easier. This is done by lifting back the gums and scraping out the tartar. The gingiva is sutured back so they fit very close to the tooth. Once the surgery is completed the gingiva will heal with a tight fit around the tooth. This will give the teeth a longer look than before.

Tissue and bone grafts are performed to help regenerate gum and bone tissue that has been destroyed. Synthetic or new natural bone is placed where the bone was lost to promote bone growth.

A soft tissue graft may be suggested and this usually involves using tissue from another part of the mouth using synthetic material to cover exposed tooth roots.

The success of these surgical treatments depends largely on how advanced your periodontitis is, and how well you adhere to a good oral hygiene program, including other factors such as whether you are smoking or not.

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wisdom teeth and molar impaction extraction causes signs symtoms port washington new york

Wisdom Teeth: Causes, Prevention, Treatment & Care

Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is standard practice in the United States. In fact, wisdom teeth removal is a rite of passage for many American teens. That said, does everyone need to have their wisdom teeth removed?

Many dentists today recommend extraction, but what if the teeth do not hurt? What if they emerged completely – without incident or pain? If they are not causing problems, is wisdom teeth removal really necessary?

To answer that question, it is important to know something about wisdom teeth. What are they? Where, when, and why do they come in? And what happens next?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars people get. From infancy to adolescence, teeth emerge in stages. First come incisors, then canines followed by premolars and molars. Wisdom teeth emerge last, usually when people are in their late teens or early twenties.

Most people develop four wisdom teeth – one in each quadrant of the upper and lower jaw. This happens between the ages of 17 and 21, according to the American Dental Association.

Some wisdom teeth partly erupt, while others stay buried in the gum tissue. How they emerge differs for everyone. When wisdom teeth that remain in the jaw – covered by tissue or bone – the diagnosis is “impaction.”

Wisdom teeth can cause problems, and they are not needed for chewing. As a result, dentists speculate about their purpose. In early human history, the typical foods were abrasive to teeth. Wisdom teeth may have replaced worn-out molars. Modern diets are softer and teeth do not wear down as fast, so today’s wisdom teeth have no gaps to fill.

Prevention Strategies

Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing pain, infection, tooth decay, gum disease and other complications. When cysts form below the teeth, they can cause bone loss or nerve pressure in the jaw.

Certain actions – such as brushing with a long, slim toothbrush – are prevention measures. They address dental problems before they can start. A doctor may opt to remove healthy molars to prevent future problems.

Even if wisdom teeth do not hurt, it does not mean there is nothing wrong. The jawbone may encase the teeth, or the mouth may be too small for them to erupt in the right position. Teeth that grow at an angle can damage adjacent teeth and make it harder to remove.

People who wait to have their wisdom teeth removed may run into problems after surgery. Heavy bleeding, fractured teeth, numbness and loss of jaw movement are potential problems. These symptoms could last for days or for life.

When Is Removal of Wisdom Teeth Necessary?

When wisdom teeth cause problems – or an Xray shows potential problems – the teeth must come out. A good reason for extraction is damage to other teeth. An extra set of molars can push the other teeth around and cause pain or bite problems.

Jaw damage is another reason to remove wisdom teeth. Permanent damage may occur if cysts form around the new teeth. Untreated, they can hollow out the jaw or damage nerves in the area.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth cause sinus issues. Common signs are pain, pressure or sinus congestion. These conditions may make it necessary to remove the teeth.

Inflamed gums and cavities are two more signs that may call for teeth removal. Inflammation causes gum tissue to swell, making it hard to clean the teeth. Swollen gums may also create pockets between teeth that are magnets for bacteria.

Food and debris can get trapped in these pockets, encouraging bacteria to grow. This can cause dental cavities that are hard to fill or crown. Extraction may be the only option.

Tooth alignment is a another consideration. When teeth remain in the gum tissue or grow in crooked, crowding can occur. Some cases may even need treatment to straighten other teeth.

What Can Patients Expect When Removing Wisdom Teeth?

A dentist looks at the shape of the mouth and position of the teeth to make a decision about wisdom teeth. What are signs, symptoms and conditions are at play? Age and general health have a role, too.

Most people have wisdom teeth surgery when they are teens or young adults. Yet, older adults can also have the procedure. It all depends on the diagnosis – or prevention.

Wisdom teeth first show up on X-rays when people are in their mi-teens. The teeth are easy to feel as they push against the back gums. Sometimes they cause unbearable symptoms: pain, swelling, sore jaw, cavities and gum disease.

When teeth must come out, it is usually due to partial eruption, infection or overcrowding. For most people, extraction is a short and painless procedure. A special dentist called an oral surgeon removes the teeth in a dental office.

The surgery takes less than 45 minutes. Sometimes, sedation is needed. The doctor will use one of three types of anesthesia: local, general, or IV sedation. Depending on the type, a patient may feel drowsy after surgery – but no pain at all during the procedure.

If the surgeon must cut the gums or bone to remove the teeth, and he will close the wound with stitches. Then, he will place gauze pads in the mouth to absorb the blood and encourage clotting.

The mouth usually heals in a few days, and people can go back to work or school the next day. Some people drive themselves to and from the dental office. If the surgery involved general anesthesia or pain medication, another adult must drive.

Most people have very little pain after wisdom teeth removal. To reduce swelling and fight infection, doctors recommend using an ice pack on the first day. After that, moist heat can relax a sore jaw.

For a few days after surgery, people should eat soft foods and drink plenty of fluids. They should not drink through a straw, as sucking can loosen the blood clots that help the mouth heal. Smoking is also a no-go as it can also slow healing.

Doctors encourage gentle brushing of the teeth on the day after surgery – taking care not to dislodge a clot. Gentle saltwater rinses after the first day soothe the mouth and promote healing.

Pain and Complications Associated with Wisdom Teeth Removal

Some people receive antibiotics to help prevent infection. A doctor may prescribe medication to relieve pain and swelling. For most people, over-the-counter medicine is effective for pain relief. Patients should call the doctor if they have a fever, or if pain or swelling does not improve.

Complications are rare, but when one occurs, it is likely dry socket. This is when the blood clot that formed in the tooth socket breaks down or is dislodged. Less than five percent of people develop dry socket, and a dentist can address it. With rest and proper care, it should heal in a week or so.

Searching for a Gentle Dentist on Long Island or in the Port Washington Area?

It can be hard to decide if wisdom teeth removal is necessary. Without the typical signs and symptoms, such as pain, surgery may seem pointless. But sometimes, prevention is the best strategy. Contact our dental clinic and gentle dental team. Together, we can find the right treatment for your wisdom teeth.

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How to Diagnose and Treat Mouth Sores and Infection

Have you noticed a sore on your mouth, and you don’t know what to do? There are many kinds of mouth sores. Some are painful and unsightly but harmless. Others seem benign but can lead to complications. Regardless of how it looks or feels, make a dental appointment with our Port Washington dental team if it is still there after 10 days or if you think it could be an infection. Serious complications can often be prevented if you act early.

What Are The Most Common Mouth Sores and Infections?

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Just as the name indicates, people with this condition feel oral burning sensations without any apparent lesions or blisters. Sufferers describe the feeling as similar to scalding from drinking a hot beverage.

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Areas affected include:

  • the tongue
  • the back of the throat
  • the palette
  • the gums
  • inside the cheeks

Diagnosis of this condition is a process of elimination. Blood tests, cultures, biopsies and a complete health history can be used to help pinpoint your condition.

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

The causes are unknown, but this syndrome has been linked to certain conditions.

  • diabetes
  • menopause
  • malnutrition
  • oral thrush
  • nervous system disorders

According to the American Dental Association, this condition has even been linked to some cancer therapies and psychological disorders.

Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Because the exact cause is unknown, comfort measures are prescribed based on managing the related conditions. There are some things you can try at home.

  • Stop using mouthwash for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
  • Don’t chew gum, as this may be causing irritation.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Stay away from acidic drinks like sodas, coffee and fruit juice.
  • Change your toothpaste, making sure to use an ADA-approved brand.

Prevention of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Although the cause is unknown, preventive measures include avoiding triggers that make your condition worse.

Candidiasis

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Also called “thrush”, Candidiasis is a fungal infection. If you get Candidiasis, you may experience:

  • white spots on the tongue or other oral surfaces
  • cracked skin at the corners of your mouth
  • a sore throat and problems swallowing

Candidiasis is a common infection. Your doctor or dentist will most likely diagnose you by the appearance of your mouth and your description of what you are feeling.

Causes of Candidiasis

Oral thrush is caused by an overabundance of yeast in the mouth or throat. This natural part of our body’s flora can grow out of control in people who wear dentures, those with a compromised immune system and people who suffer from dry mouth. Antibiotics also trigger oral thrush.

Treatment of of Candidiasis

It is treated with antifungal medications and medicated mouthwash. In addition, excellent oral hygiene is an important tool for keeping Candida at bay. If you wear dentures, make sure to clean them well and remove them at night.

Prevention of Candidiasis

Prevention is focused on good oral hygiene. Follow the suggestions above. If you have dry mouth, ask your dentist for prescription solutions that mimic natural saliva.

Canker sores

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

These are shallow, round, painful lesions with red borders that can show up on the inside of the cheeks or lips, on your tongue or on your gums. They can appear one at a time, or you can have up to 10 or more at once.

If you get canker sores frequently, your doctor can run some blood tests to diagnose blood, skin or connective tissue disorders. You may also be tested for drug reactions.

Causes of Canker Sores

Their cause is unknown, but scientists suspect they are related to an immune disorder. They take 2-3 days to form, and usually go away after 2 weeks.

The larger ones can last longer and leave scars.

Treatment of Canker Sores

  • Specialized mouthwashes can reduce the pain.
  • Over-the-counter gels and creams help numb the area for pain relief.

Prevention of Canker Sores

Because the specific causes are unknown, prevention involves monitoring what seems to trigger your outbreaks and staying away from those triggers. To keep the cankers from worsening, try these steps.

  • Refrain from eating spicy, scalding or acidic foods. These can irritate the tissues even more.
  • Ask your dentist if antibiotics may help
  • Ask about oral bandages so that you can prevent secondary infections.

Following these suggestions can alleviate your symptoms and shorten their duration.

Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

These are small, contagious blisters filled with fluid that break out around the lips, nose or chin. You may also experience:

  • burning, tingling or itching lips
  • oozing and crusting after the blisters burst

Usually your dentist can diagnose these lesions by their appearance. They may swab the sores and send the swab to a lab for confirmation of the diagnosis.

Causes of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

They are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Once a person is infected (usually in childhood), the virus remains in the body. It stays mainly dormant with occasional outbreaks.

When to See a Dentist About Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

If you are concerned about infection, consult with your dentist right away. Other signs that you should make a dental appointment include:

  • the lesions last more than 2 weeks
  • you have severe symptoms
  • the recurrences are frequent
  • your eyes are also irritated

Your dentist will evaluate you to determine the best therapeutic options.

Treatment of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Cold sores and fever blisters most often heal on their own within a week. Try these treatments to heal faster and minimize the frequency of outbreaks.

  • Cold compresses help speed healing, and reduce the associated crust and redness.
  • Over-the-counter pain creams can help with the discomfort. Look for creams that contain benzocaine or lidocaine, as these medications help numb the skin
  • Lip balms and creams containing zinc oxide help keep your lips moisturized and minimize cracking.
  • The Mayo Clinic recommends over-the-counter cold sore remedies that help dry out the lesions with alcohol.

In addition to the milder treatment options above, you may also get an antiviral prescription from the dentist to control the outbreaks and heal faster.

Antiviral medications you might get from your dental office include acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir. These all target the herpes simplex virus.

Prevention of of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

The Mayo Clinic reports that HSV-1 spreads through skin-to-skin contact, even if lesions are not visible. Because of this, prevention is difficult. Antiviral medications will not prevent contracting HSV-1, but they can reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

Sialadenitis

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

People with this condition have one or more salivary glands that have suddenly become hard and painfully swollen. You may experience pain when eating or notice drainage from the salivary gland.

Your primary care doctor or dentist might order an ultrasound, CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to diagnose this condition. A biopsy (tissue sample) may be taken as well.

Causes of Sialadenitis

One cause of acute sialadenitis is bacteria (most often Staphylococcus aureus) that blocks the opening of a salivary gland, causing infection. The infection can become systemic and cause flu-like symptoms. Other possible causes include:

  • mumps
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • tumors that can be benign or malignant
  • obstruction by a stone or duct narrowing

According to 2014 research published in the American Family Physician, some people are predisposed to getting this condition:

  • diabetics
  • people with hypothyroidism
  • people in renal (kidney) failure
  • people taking medications to treat allergies, urinary incontinence or Parkinson’s disease

Make sure your doctor knows your health history and the medications you take so they can offer the best treatment options.

Treatment of Sialadenitis

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics for this condition. Other therapies include:

  • massaging the salivary glands
  • staying well-hydrated
  • sucking on lozenges that stimulate salivation (called sialagogues), like vitamin C lozenges or lemon drops
  • surgical removal of tumors, whether benign or malignant

Prevention of of Sialadenitis

The wide variety of causes makes prevention of this condition difficult. Taking care of underlying conditions and using the treatment methods listed above can reduce the frequency of occurrences.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that mouth tissue disorders and related conditions are common. The pain they can cause and their often unsightly appearance can make you want to hide away from other people.

But don’t lose hope!

The good news is that there are ways to combat them.

  • Work closely with your denstist
  • Maintain good dental hygiene
  • Educate yourself about the causes, prevention and treatment

Arming yourself in this way can help you prevent infection, keep related conditions at bay and treat them when they appear.

If you have questions about your oral health or mouth sores specifically, contact our dental team today for your consultation.

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TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment and Relief Options

TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ occurs when there are facial issues concerning the jaw and muscles. The TMJ joint is what connects the skull’s temporal bones to the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is similar to a sliding hinge. The TMJ is what enables the individual to open and close their mouth. When the TMJ is not performing correctly, the result is discomfort and pain.

According to the American Dental Association:

Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of the dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Depending on the diagnosis, the dentist may refer you to a physician or another dentist.

The Symptoms and Signs of TMJ

There are a lot of symptoms and signs experienced when an individual has TMJ. Determining if the individual has TMJ is not simple. This is because there are so many issues that can cause the exact same symptoms and signs. The best way to receive an accurate diagnosis is to see a dentist. The dentist will take the appropriate steps. This includes:

• Taking a complete dental and medical history

• Taking all necessary X-rays

• Completing a thorough clinical examination

The most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder include:

• A jaw that is locked in place, goes out of place or becomes stuck

• Headaches impersonating migraines, pressure in the back of the eyes and earaches

• Facial swelling

• Tenderness in the muscles of the jaw

• Discomfort in facial areas including the ear and jaw

• Difficulty biting and chewing

• A popping or clicking noise when the mouth is opened or closed

• A swift change in dental occlusion or the way the upper and lower jaws come together

Diagnosing TMJ

The only way to diagnose TMJ accurately is for a dentist to perform a complete evaluation of the jaw joint, the surrounding structures and to look for an occlusion. The dentist may look for inflammation by checking the tissues and muscles of the neck and head. In most cases, panoramic X-rays are necessary. The dentist may recommend specific movements and exercises.

The individual may receive a referral to a maxillofacial surgeon for further diagnosis and evaluation.

Methods to Relieve the Discomfort of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

In some cases, medication will be prescribed to offer the individual relief from the discomfort. Certain medications can be purchased over the counter. The dosage and type of medication are determined by the specific issue. The individual needs to discuss any medications they are currently using for safety. This includes vitamins, supplements and herbs. The most common medications for treating this condition include:

Analgesics and Anti-Inflammatories: Analgesics offer relief from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and discomfort. Anti-inflammatories decrease discomfort, heat, swelling and pain while helping restore function. (NSAIDs) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories relieve both discomfort and inflammation.

Antidepressants: This medication helps with (bruxism) teeth grinding and decreases discomfort. A higher dosage is often prescribed for the treatment of depression. Lower dosages offer relief from the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. This can also decrease pain in the muscles. A body chemical shown to improve sleep called serotonin is increased. This is what helps with bruxism while the individual is sleeping.

Muscle Relaxants: These are for the treatment of myofascial pain. This discomfort is common in the muscles or soft tissues around the TMJ. Muscle relaxants help ease the tension in the muscles to decrease pressure on the TMJ resulting from tight jaw muscles.

TMJ Treatment Options

This type of therapy focuses on the TMJ. The joint can be treated in several different ways. This includes:

• Exercises to strengthen the jaw and facial muscles.

• Gently manipulation to restore motion and decrease discomfort. The medical profession will relax the ligaments and muscles surrounding the joint with their hands. These are often the cause of the discomfort.

• The individual can manage and treat their symptoms through a self-care program. This usually includes exercise. Heat and ice can be used to provide relief from pain.

• The sound waves emitted by ultrasound can decrease swelling and discomfort. This will also improve the swelling.

The Treatment for Painful Muscles

One of the trigger points is tight muscles. These can be painful when touched, causing pain in other areas. The medical professional concentrates on trigger points through the use of:

Palpation: The application of pressure on specific areas of the face and jaw using the fingers.

Massage: Massage outside and inside the mouth is important for improving circulation and relaxation.

Stretching and Cold Spray: This is used to relax the muscles.

Pain Relief: Anesthetics may be injected by the dentist to relieve discomfort.

The Treatment for Inflammation

Movement is difficult to impossible once the joint becomes inflamed. The medical professional may recommend treatments including:

A Cold Pack: This decreases pain and reduces swelling. A cold pack is applied for between ten and twenty minutes. This process is repeated three to four times per day. A cold pack is made by putting ice cubes inside of a plastic bag with a seal. A thin cloth or towel is used for wrapping the bag. A cold pack should never be placed right onto the skin.

Gentle Exercise and Rest: This will increase motion. One of the most frequently used exercises is isometric exercise. The pressure is placed on the jaw while the movement is resisted.

Biofeedback: This is important for treating TMJ because it teaches the individual which muscle activities are inappropriate or excessive. The individual is taught skills for muscle relaxation for proper functioning of the TMJ. When the contraction and tightness of the muscle are decreased or eliminated, it can remove the pain. Sensors are used to monitor the heartbeat, breathing, brainwaves and blood pressure of the body.

Stretching May Help Your TMJ

Physical function and flexibility can be improved through stretching exercises. Two stretching exercises are defined below.

• Place your thumb beneath your chin while pressing downwards. Keep the force of your thumb at a moderate level. Open and close your mouth against this force. Hold your mouth open for five to ten seconds.

• Open your mouth as wide as possible without causing any discomfort. Place you index finger between your lower lip and chin.

Acupuncture as a Form of TMJ Treatment and Relief

Acupuncture has been effectively used for the treatment of TMJ. Acupuncture will not eliminate the cause of any structural anomalies including disc displacement or degenerative changes. Acupuncture can help decrease the discomfort and pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorder.

If you are experiencing pain due to TMJ, contact our office today and speak with your dental care associate.

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