How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

DID YOU KNOW THAT STRESS can have an effect on your oral health? As if you needed any thing else to stress about! Knowing how stress and oral health are connected can help you combat many problems that might arise.  Stress May Contribute to Teeth Grinding Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching. For some people, clenching and grinding are natural responses to stress and frustration. Teeth grinding, however, usually occurs during sleep, meaning that people are often unaware of the problem. Flatter tips of the teeth, a sore jaw and waking up with a headache or sore neck muscles are common signs of bruxism. Stress Can Worsen Symptoms of TMD TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, affects the jaw joint and associated muscles used in moving the jaw and [...]

By | 2016-05-04T10:26:24+00:00 May 4th, 2016|Oral Health, TMJ|Comments Off on How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

Massage Therapy for TMD – Part 2

To better understand TMD let’s talk about the anatomy of some very important muscles: The Muscles of Mastication. Together with the muscles, joints, ligaments and blood supply make up the TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint). They might look small, but they are extremely strong and help us chew our food and speak to each other. Without these muscles we would not survive.   The four muscles that I am referring to are the masseter muscle, temporalis, medial pterygoid, and lateral pterygoid. The Masseter (Greek for “to chew”) muscle is the most superficial muscle and is the strongest of the four; it attaches from the facial bones to the mandible. It is quadrilateral in shape and its main function is to elevate the jaw into the closed mouth position. Next is the Temporalis [...]

By | 2015-06-30T07:25:45+00:00 June 30th, 2015|Oral Health, TMJ|Comments Off on Massage Therapy for TMD – Part 2

Massage Therapy for TMD – Part 1

      Lets start with what is massage therapy? Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of soft body tissues including muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments to enhance a person's health and well-being. So now you know. When most people think of massage therapy, the common notion is that, that person has had a sports injury, car accident or over did it at the gym. There are many people who will also seek out massage therapy for chronic back pain caused by hours at the computer or behind the wheel of a car. But we forget the muscles we use thousands of times over and over again every day, the ones we use for chewing and speaking.   The majority of people do not actively seek out massage therapy until [...]

By | 2015-06-20T07:58:32+00:00 June 20th, 2015|Oral Health, TMJ|Comments Off on Massage Therapy for TMD – Part 1

How Acupuncture Treats Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

For many people experiencing pain and dysfunction in their Temporomandibular joint and the muscles that control jaw movement - a condition commonly called “TMJ”, acupuncture serves as one of the most effective drug-free treatments available. TMJ can be caused by a combination of muscle tension (teeth grinding or bruxism), anatomical problems, and injury. Sometimes, there may be a psychological component from someone clenching their jaw during a time of emotional tension, intense determination, or desperation, with most people completely unaware these muscles can remain contracted for long periods of time. Over time and repetition, the symptoms include everything from severe headaches, neck/shoulder pain, earaches or dizziness to pain whist chewing or opening your mouth. Fortunately, for those suffering from TMJ, acupuncture is extremely helpful in relieving the inflammation, pain and [...]

By | 2015-06-09T07:59:41+00:00 June 9th, 2015|Oral Health, TMJ|8 Comments

TMD Headaches –Putting The Bite On Pain

I have patients come in complaining of headaches; of course I ask if they have been under any more stress and if they have noticed if they are clenching or grinding their teeth. Unfortunately, people are under a lot of stress these days and most clenching or grinding occurs while we are sleeping and unaware so most people aren’t sure how to answer. Many have managed their headaches with over-the-counter painkillers and prescription drugs, but few have considered their pain may stem from their jaw (Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)) and they never thought to mention it to me. Often, they have heard the term, but have no idea how it might apply to them. As a dentist, I’m trained in all structures related to oral health and dentition including the muscles [...]

By | 2015-06-01T13:09:17+00:00 June 1st, 2015|Oral Health, TMJ|Comments Off on TMD Headaches –Putting The Bite On Pain