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Posts for: July, 2016

By S & G Family Dentistry
July 30, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj disorders   tmd   tmj  

A blow to the face can result in a variety of injuries to your jaws and the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that join the lower jaw to the skull. Only a thorough examination can determine the type and extent of the injury, and how to treat it.

The pain you feel in your jaw may indicate a direct injury, usually near the joint. This could mean the joint head (condyle) has dislocated, or moved out of the joint space. It could also mean you’ve fractured your lower jaw, most commonly just below the head of the joint.

Jaw pain can also indicate structures near the jaw and joint have been damaged and the jaw is indirectly affected. In some cases a damaged tooth may be radiating pain signals through the jaw (along similar nerve paths). More likely, trauma to soft tissue near the jaw joint has swelled with inflammation, putting pressure on the joint and temporarily stopping the condyle from seating fully in the joint space.

Any of these injuries can also cause painful muscle spasms, a defensive reaction from the body that causes muscles on either side of the jaw to limit movement preventing further damage (a natural splint, if you will). Thus, the pain may be compounded by a diminished range of motion when you try to chew or speak.

It’s important, therefore, to determine the exact cause of pain and limited movement before commencing treatment. Spasms and inflammation are usually treated with muscle relaxant drugs and anti-inflammatory pain relievers. In the case of a dislocation, gentle manipulation can ease the condyle back into the joint space. A fracture would require more extensive treatment, including repositioning broken bone and immobilizing the jaw from movement to allow healing. In the most severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to internally immobilize the joint.

If you sustain an injury that results in jaw swelling and pain, you should see us without delay. The sooner we can diagnose and begin the proper treatment for your injury, the less likely you’ll encounter long-term problems and the sooner you’ll be pain and swelling free.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of jaw pain, 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 “Jaw Pain.”

By Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center
July 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sleep apnea  

Find out how we could help you get a better night’s rest.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that not only causes the sufferer to stop breathing up to hundreds of times throughout the night, but can also cause some major health issues including stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks. If you are looking for a way to treat your sleep apnea, it’s time you talked to our Leawood dentists Dr. Nancy Addy and Dr. Jarret Grosdidier.

That’s right! Your dentist can also help treat your sleep apnea problems. It might sound weird, but once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a medical professional we can work with them to determine if oral appliance therapy is the right way to treat your sleep disorder.

What is oral appliance therapy?

When you first look at this mouthpiece it may be reminiscent of a mouthguard, but this appliance is worn only when you sleep and provides support for the jaw while also repositioning it to keep the upper airways open and free of obstruction. This makes oral appliance therapy a great way to treat those who snore or have obstructive sleep apnea.

What are the benefits of getting oral appliance therapy in Leawood?

This non-invasive therapy is a great way to treat your sleep apnea symptoms without it affecting your lifestyle. There are many reasons someone may choose oral appliance therapy including:

  • It fits comfortably
  • It’s easy to travel with
  • It’s simple to care for and maintain
  • It’s small and non-invasive
  • It’s easy to wear

Who is right for this sleep apnea treatment?

Our Leawood dentist will work with your doctor to make sure that you could benefit from oral appliance therapy. It can be a great option for some patients who either can’t use CPAP equipment or have found it ineffective for treating their symptoms.

When you come in for your first visit, we will conduct a thorough physical exam to check the jaw, tongue, and airways. X-rays may also be taken in order to determine if your condition could be treated with this therapy.

Want to know if oral appliance therapy is right for you? Then call the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center in Leawood, KS to schedule your next appointment. Don’t let sleep apnea keep you from getting the rest you deserve.

By S & G Family Dentistry
July 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health

A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.

“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”

That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.

Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:

  • Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
  • Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
  • Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!

So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”