Posts for: November, 2019
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that produces widespread pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. The pain, muscle spasms and tingling it causes can disrupt sleep, alter moods and impair memory function.
Dealing with just this one condition can be overwhelming. But did you know 3 out 4 fibromyalgia patients also develop chronic pain and dysfunction involving their jaw joints? Known collectively as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), these jaw joint problems cause pain, muscle spasms and difficulty moving the jaws that can interfere with eating and speaking. TMD can also contribute to headaches and earaches.
Many researchers believe this prevalence of TMD among fibromyalgia patients stems from both conditions originating from the same primary cause—a malfunction within the central nervous system. In both cases, the brain and spinal cord may not be able to process pain signals in a normal fashion. This malfunction could also be generating and amplifying pain signals even when nerves are receiving no stimulation.
For decades now, the most effective treatment strategy for TMD has been to manage the symptoms with physical therapy and exercises, thermal therapy or medications. Relief for fibromyalgia has depended on medication and relaxation techniques like biofeedback therapy. But with the evidence of some connection between the two conditions, it may be helpful to coordinate treatment for both with a team approach involving all your healthcare providers, rather than treat them separately.
To that end, make sure both your dentist or physician treating you for TMD and your physician treating your fibromyalgia each know about the other condition. Consulting together, your healthcare team may find treatments (like certain drugs that counteract neurotransmitter imbalances) that might help reduce symptoms in both conditions. And cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation and other therapeutic pain management techniques can help you cope with the pain.
Continued research into these two debilitating conditions and the possible links between them may have an effect on how we treat both. A holistic approach to treating them could be the wave of the future.
If you would like more information on the links between TMD and other chronic pain conditions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fibromyalgia and Temporomandibular Disorders.”
Whether she’s singing, dancing or acting, Jennifer Lopez is a performer who is known for giving it all she’s got. But during one show, Lopez recently admitted, she gave a bit more then she had planned.
“I chipped my tooth on stage,” she told interviewers from Entertainment Tonight, “and had to finish the show….I went back thinking ‘Can I finish the show like this?’”
With that unlucky break, J-Lo joins a growing list of superstar singers—including Taylor Swift and Michael Buble—who have something in common: All have chipped their teeth on microphones while giving a performance.
But it’s not just celebs who have accidental dental trouble. Chips are among the most common dental injuries—and the front teeth, due to their position, are particularly susceptible. Unfortunately, they are also the most visible. But there are also a number of good ways to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth short of replacing them.
For minor to moderate chips, cosmetic bonding might be recommended. In this method, special high-tech resins, in shades that match your natural teeth, are applied to the tooth’s surface. Layers of resin, cured with a special light, will often restore the tooth to good appearance. Best of all, the whole process can often be done in just one visit to the dental office, and the results can last for several years.
For a more permanent repair—or if the damage is more extensive—dental veneers may be another option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that cover the entire front surface of one or more teeth. Strong, durable and natural-looking, they can be used to repair moderate chips, cracks or irregularities. They can also help you get a “red-carpet” smile: brilliant white teeth with perfectly even spacing. That’s why veneers are so popular among Hollywood celebs—even those who haven’t chipped their teeth!
Fortunately, even if the tooth is extensively damaged, it’s usually possible to restore it with a crown (cap), a bridge—or a dental implant, today’s gold standard for whole-tooth replacement. But in many cases, a less complex type of restoration will do the trick.
Which tooth restoration method did J-Lo choose? She didn’t say—but luckily for her adoring fans, after the microphone mishap she went right back up on stage and finished the show.
If you have a chipped tooth but you need to make the show go on, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”
Is it really that important to see your dentist every six months? Hint: It is!
While you should always visit the dentist when a problem arises, the goal of preventive dental checkups is to keep your mouth healthy so that you are less likely to deal with problems that could cost you money and time. If you’ve ever wondered what the specific benefits are of visiting your Montclair, Glen Ridge and Bloomfield, NJ dentist, Dr. Paul Dionne, every six months, then this post is for you!
Here are some of the top reasons why getting preventive dental care at least twice a year is important for people of all ages:
Save Time, Money and Your Teeth
While a goal of dentistry is to prevent problems from developing in the first place, sometimes issues still occur. By catching these problems early on during a routine checkup, however, we can treat them before they cause serious damage and end up requiring more in-depth and expensive treatments.
Achieve a Brighter Smile
Have you been noticing that your teeth are a little dull or maybe even a little yellow? If so, this may be something that a simple dental cleaning could fix. Our office in the heart of Montclair, Glen Ridge and Bloomfield has just the right tools and techniques to remove surface stains that your at-home toothbrush simply cannot remove. You will most definitely leave our office with a whiter smile.
Prevent Wear and Tear
Many people clench their jaws and grind their teeth, yet don’t even know it. This is because these actions often occur while patients are asleep. Sometimes patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea may find themselves grinding as well. While you might not notice a difference, our dentist can easily pinpoint excessive enamel wear due to these unconscious habits. To prevent weakness and fractured teeth, Dr. Dionne can create a custom-made mouthguard to be worn during a night's rest.
Need Dental Care? Give Us a Call
When was the last time you saw your dentist? If it’s been more than six months, then it’s time to schedule your next visit. Call Glen Ridge Dental Arts in Montclair, NJ, today at (973) 748-7790 to set up your next appointment!