Treat TMJ

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  • Feb 18

    Cosmetic dentist Dr. John Nosti, DMD, FAGD, FACE, is one of the leading dentists for the treatment of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder in South Jersey. He has an indepth knowledge treating TMJ patients, including more than 1,000 hours of continuing education, Dr. Nosti is respected throughout New Jersey and frequently speaks on 1400 AM WOND talk radio on TMJ disorders.

    Dental Care of South Jersey which is located in Vineland also caters to TMJ disorder patients.

    At Beautiful Smile, LLC, located in the Voorhees Gibbsboro area, they price all of their treatments competitively and try to offer the best deal while keeping our technology, safety, and equipment standards high. Neuromuscular treatment may be covered under some insurance policies, and they also offer affordable monthly financing plans to help you fit treatment into your budget.

    There are various treatment options that Dr. Levine in Priceton  utilizes to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Levine will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment at the Princeton facility always works best with a combined approach of professional care and self-care.

    The initial goals are to alleviate the muscle spasm and joint pain. This can usually be accomplished with a pain reliever, muscle relaxant, or anti-inflammatory. On occasion, steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce the pain and inflammation.

  • Feb 14

    Canton Dentists Bring Dentistry to a Whole New Playing Field

    The latest in sports gear! The Pure Power Mouthguard (PPM), a high tech mouthpiece, is custom created for each athlete to place the jaw in its correctly aligned position so that the head neck and jaw muscles are completely relaxed.

    There is only one thing on an athlete’s mind: winning.

    Athletes train every day to try and obtain various techniques to help their game so they can capture glory. Now, there is a scientifically proven tool that pros like Terrell Owens and Olympic champion Michael Redd are using to get an edge. The Pure Power Mouthguard (PPM), a high tech mouthpiece, is custom created for each athlete to place the jaw in its correctly aligned position so that the head neck and jaw muscles are completely relaxed.

    This alignment delivers balance, power, flexibility and increased range of motion because when muscles are relaxed, stored energy that was previously compensating to hold the body’s posture together, is released. The results are stunning. Professional trainers say that it takes an average of 60 days for an athlete to become flexible. The PPM does as soon as it’s placed in the mouth. Most people think that a professional athlete has reached the peak of athletic ability that is humanly possible, but the PPM increases even a pro’s capabilities by 30% to 100%. If the guard can significantly improve a training program valued at millions of dollars, imagine the power that the PPM can deliver to an average person. –

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    "It’s not the actual mouth guard that makes you stronger and more flexible, it’s the body equilibrium that the mouth guard achieves, which allows you to reach your full potential" states Dr. Konstantin Ronkin, a PPM dentist and owner of Dream Smile Dental in Canton, MA.

    The PPM also prevents injury more than the common mouth guard that can be purchased at a sporting goods store. "The mandible, or jaw bone is linked to the skull. If the jaw bone is in its optimal and safe position, concussions are less likely to occur" confirms Dr. Evetta Shwartzman, who is also a PPM dentist and owner of Dream Smile Dental in Canton.

    This concept, known as neuromuscular dentistry, has been used by Ronkin and Shwartzman since 2001 to treat symptoms of TMJ, including headaches, neck and back pain, grinding, facial pain and ringing in the ears. Now that neuromuscular dentistry has made its way to the sports world, they’re happy to offer Canton Citizens a new facet of high tech dentistry.

    "Research shows that ninety percent of the population suffers from an unbalanced bite and suffer from symptoms of TMJ. If you feel you belong to that category, the best thing to do is consult a neuromuscular dentist" recommends Ronkin.

    Dental insurances don’t generally cover, but depending on the plan, medical insurances might pay for some procedures. Regardless of insurance, patients who proceed with treatment say the relief from chronic head aches and pain, or the competitive edge of the PPM is priceless.

    For more information please call (781) 828-4568

    Dream Smile Dental

    By David Demick
    Published: 11/1/2008

  • Feb 14

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Cardiovascular Consequences, and Treatment Options

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea affects approximately 20 million people in the U.S. alone, and millions more are affected worldwide. Over the last 10 years, significant research has been performed and now there is overwhelming evidence of the connection between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, people affected by sleep apnea are at increased risk for hypertension (also known as high blood pressure), coronary artery disease (AKA atherosclerosis), heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, diabetes, and even death.

    This scary list of adverse health outcomes demonstrates the significance of diagnosing sleep apnea in a timely manner, in order to initiate treatment t. This last comment is actually the point — fortunately, sleep apnea is a treatable condition. And you might be surprised that there are different options for treatment. With the right guidance from qualified experts, successful treatment is readily attainable.

    First of all, we must dispel any myths, which prevent many people affected with sleep apnea from seeking the appropriate medical attention. The biggest myth is that only overweight or obese people get OSA. That is simply not true. In fact, many people who are considered to be at their ideal body weight, based on BMI (Body-Mass Index), are in fact diagnosed with OSA or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). UARS is a form of sleep-related breathing disorder in which a person has frequent arousals from sleep due to respiratory airway collapse or obstruction. Often, the events are not as obvious as seen in OSA, and in many cases, a person affected by UARS may not even snore. However, people with UARS may complain of unrefreshing sleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, or excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue. UARS, like OSA, is a treatable medical condition.

    So how does one get sleep apnea? Well, most people who have sleep apnea are predisposed very early in life. It is actually the size and shape of the jaw and upper airway that determines whether a person will develop OSA. A narrow jaw and upper airway (i.e., oral cavity and throat) results in less space for air to flow during breathing. When a person sleeps, the soft tissues and muscles of the upper airway relax and collapse, leading to increased airflow resistance and airway obstruction. The airway obstruction is what causes OSA

    OSA is simply a repetitive, cyclical pattern in which a person stops breathing or nearly stops breathing for periods of longer than 10 seconds each time. The following is a description of what happens during an episode. As a person sleeps, the upper airway and jaw relax, resulting in collapse of the upper airway (i.e., the back of the throat). The lower jaw often relaxes and drops back a few millimeters when we sleep. Since the tongue base is attached to the lower jaw, the tongue will also drop back a few millimeters further during sleep. This combination of events leads to a very narrow passageway for air to flow through the back of the throat during sleep. Occasionally, the upper airway is so collapsed that little or no air can pass. These episodes are called apneas (complete obstruction with no air movement) or hypopneas (partial obstruction with minimal air movement). When an apnea or hypopnea occurs, it lasts for a period of 10 seconds or more. In some cases, the episodes can last for over a minute! During this time, the blood oxygen saturation starts to drop, because no fresh air or oxygen is being delivered to the lungs. As the blood oxygen saturation drops, the body goes into a fight-or-flight response, resulting in increased heart rate and elevation of blood pressure. In essence, the heart is beating faster in an attempt to bring in more fresh blood and oxygen from the lungs. This sequence of events continues until, ultimately, a person has an arousal from sleep, resulting in a change in body position, a deep breath or gasp, or a brief awakening from sleep for 2-3 seconds (which most people don’t recall). This cycle of events may then repeat itself several times per hour or even hundreds of times per night, depending on the severity of the case. These cyclical arousals not only disrupt and fragment one’s sleep by resulting in a very shallow and unrefreshing sleep, but they also cause repetitive stress on the cardiovascular system with the elevations in heart rate and blood pressure. This repetitive stress causes the heart to work harder. Night after night, this chronic extra stress on the heart is what many scientists believe leads to the long-term adverse cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrhythmias) and the impairment of blood pressure and blood sugar control.

    Fortunately, as stated before, sleep apnea is a treatable condition. Further, effective treatment of OSA results in reductions in daytime blood pressure. Effective treatment not only reduces the risk of cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, but it can also reduce the risk of recurrent episodes of arrhythmias. The incidence of stroke and death is also significantly less in people treated for OSA. As compared to those who remain untreated for OSA, people who are treated have lower levels of blood glucose. Studies have highlighted how closely linked OSA and diabetes are. Therefore, people with OSA and diabetes who undergo treatment for OSA have much better control of their diabetes. Finally, treatment of OSA improves sleep quality and duration, associated with deeper and more refreshing sleep. This improvement in sleep carries on into the daytime, resulting in reduced daytime sleepiness and increased energy levels.

    In fact, there is more than one form of treatment available. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recognizes three forms of treatment that have been demonstrated to be effective for sleep apnea. The first of these options is known as CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is still the gold standard of treatment for OSA, because it is a very safe and effective form of treatment. It is also generally successful for all degrees of OSA severity, including mild, moderate, severe, and very severe. CPAP is a device weighing less than 10 pounds that sits on your nightstand and filters the air in your room. Once it filters the room air, it blows it out at a higher, fixed pressure through a tube that connects to a mask. The mask, which can come in a multitude of varieties, either sits on your nose, under your nose, or over both your nose and mouth. The device is used during sleep to keep the upper airway stented open, using the higher, fixed air pressure delivered from the machine, through the tube, to your mask. It is not a ventilator, so it does not force you to breathe (although there are some models which do have this feature for very unique cases). However, it does make it easier to breathe, by keeping the upper airway open and preventing its collapse during sleep.

    It does take time to get adjusted to using CPAP. Most people become adjusted to CPAP within 2-3 weeks. The real issue is getting used to sleeping with a mask on your nose, or under your nose. Once you get used to this new habit, then treatment with CPAP becomes easy. Generally, most people become comfortable using CPAP within one month, and at that point, they are able to sleep with CPAP for 4 or more hours per night. Research studies have shown that using CPAP for at least 4 hours per night results in associated health benefit. Therefore, it is important to sleep with CPAP for at least 4 hours per night, once the initial adjustment period is over. Further, the more time spent using CPAP during sleep, the more beneficial it is for your health. There are over 1 million people across the United States successfully using CPAP on a regular and continual basis, and if you ask one of them how well they sleep, they will likely tell you how CPAP has dramatically improved their sleep and changed their life for the better.

    For people who do not succeed with CPAP or for those who prefer a different option, surgery can be an effective form of treatment. Generally, there is about a 50-70% chance of successful cure of sleep apnea with surgical intervention. This number takes into account all cases, including mild, moderate, severe, and very severe degrees. This statistic also accounts for the varied skills of surgeons who perform these types of procedures. In most cases, surgery usually improves the impairment in sleep-related breathing disorders, and generally, there is a reduction in the severity of OSA after surgery. It is important to discuss your individual situation with the ENT surgeon who will be performing the surgery. The risks and benefits of surgery should be examined prior to moving forward with surgery. Some risks associated with this type of surgery are bleeding, infection, and the risks commonly associated with general anesthesia. Further, it is vital to make certain that the ENT surgeon you choose has a breadth of experience in the type of procedure you plan to undergo. Not all ENT surgeons receive specialized training in sleep apnea surgery, so it is important to make sure that you find someone with extensive training and experience in this area for better results.

    So what exactly do they do for surgery? Well, the most common surgical procedure for sleep apnea is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). It basically means removing the uvula that hangs in the back of the throat, along with any excess tissue around the soft palate. At the same time, any residual adenoid or tonsil tissue will be resected, to increase the size of the airway to improve air flow. This type of surgery is quite painful due to the sensitive nerve fibers in that area, so recovery time is usually about 1 week after surgery. Your doctor will provide you with medications for pain during this time. You should then repeat a sleep study 2-3 months after surgery to reassess for any persistent, residual sleep apnea. If the UPPP is not completely successful, then a second phase of surgery may help to resolve the problem. The most common second phase of surgery is called genioglossal advancement (GA) with or without hyoid suspension. This surgery involves making a small window in the bone at the front of the lower jaw, to pull it forward a few millimeters. By fixing this part of the lower jaw forward, it also brings the tongue base forward a few millimeters, thus opening up space in the back of the throat. This procedure can be performed with or without a hyoid suspension, which is a surgery to done to bring the hyoid bone in the throat forward, thereby increasing the space in the upper airway.

    Again, these surgical interventions can help to successfully treat OSA, especially in mild to moderate cases. For very severe cases, other more involved surgeries may be the only way to a surgical cure. For individuals who are extremely obese with OSA, gastric bypass surgery or lap-band gastric surgery may be the only realistic surgical option. This type of surgery is considered a major surgery and careful planning and discussion with both your sleep disorders doctor and the surgeon is necessary.

    A third option for treating sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy, also known as mandibular advancement splint. These oral appliances look very similar to retainers. They work by holding the lower jaw in a slightly forward position during sleep. This helps to increase the space for air flow in the upper airway, thereby reducing the frequency of respiratory events during sleep. It is important to be aware that oral appliances are only approved to treat snoring and cases of mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. They have not been shown to be successful in treating severe cases of OSA, due to the limitations on forward movement of the lower jaw.

    The oral appliances are custom-made by dental labs. Generally, to get an oral appliance made for yourself, you will have to visit a dentist who is familiar with the use of these devices for the treatment of snoring or sleep apnea. You can talk to your sleep disorders doctor to find a dentist with this specialized training in your area.

    Oral appliances can sometimes cause dental pain, TMJ pain, or jaw discomfort. These issues can usually be resolved with further adjustments of the device by your dentist. Often 2-3 regular follow-up visits with the dentist can help to prevent problems from developing. However, there are some cases in which an individual is unable to adjust to this form of treatment. Another issue with oral appliance therapy is that health insurance companies, historically, have not covered the cost for this type of treatment. Further, dental insurance has never provided coverage for oral appliance therapy. Nevertheless, with the growing medical evidence for oral appliance therapy, some health insurance companies are beginning to recognize this as a viable medical treatment alternative. Just as with surgery, a follow-up sleep study should be performed 2-3 months after starting treatment with an oral appliance, to ensure adequate treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

    Hopefully this review of obstructive sleep apnea, the significant cardiovascular consequences, and the treatment options will bring more awareness and understanding to this very important health issue. OSA is a treatable condition. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk for hypertension (or high blood pressure), heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and diabetes. People with hypertension and untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have higher blood pressures. People with diabetes and untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have higher blood glucose levels. If you or someone you know may have sleep apnea, please consult a sleep disorders specialist with formal training in sleep medicine. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (www.aasmnet.org/) and the American Board of Sleep Medicine (www.absm.org/) are helpful resources for finding a board-certified sleep disorders doctor near you.

    Author: Dr. Raj Kakar, M.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Kakar is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine (D.ABSM) and he is board-certified in both Sleep Medicine and Internal Medicine. He is the medical director for the Dallas Center for Sleep Disorders in Plano, TX.
    Resources: Sleep Apnea TreatmentSnoring TreatmentSleep Disorders

    By Bharat Bista
    Published: 11/5/2007
  • Feb 13

    What Are A Few Of The Usual Causes Of Headaches?

    All of us experience headaches occasionally but some of us suffer from headaches more than others. So just what causes headaches?

    When you consider the numerous different types of headaches and headache sufferers it should not be surprising that the causes are just as diverse. There are literally hundreds of possible reasons for a headache including medical problems like the thankfully rare instances of cerebral aneurysms and brain tumors. However the most common headaches also have common causes.

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    In all too many instances simple eyestrain such as that seen when staring for too long at a computer screen can lead to a headache. At other times, a sinus infection due to a head cold or allergy can be the cause. Taking certain prescription medicines can also result in a headache.

    Despite the fact that the precise cause is not always known, narrowing of the blood vessels is also believed to be the culprit in a range of cases. Nerve fibers in the head that are sensitive to pain line the walls of the blood vessels and when they contract the nerves are activated and send signals to the brain. As luck would have it, the brain itself cannot feel pain because it does not contain any pain sensitive nerve cells and tension-type or cluster headaches are the result.

    However your blood vessels can dilate as well as contract and when they do so one theory at least holds that cluster headaches and migraines can result. Present research suggests that there are also other more important factors at play when it comes to migraine headaches.

    Tension or more accurately tension-type headaches can result from other sources like tension in the muscles of the shoulder, neck and even the jaw. Individuals who have experienced TMJ disorder which is a disorder resulting from tension of the temporomandibular joint causing the jaw to tighten against the skull are all too familiar with this.

    In serious cases headaches will arise out of some underlying disease and these are often labeled as ‘secondary headaches’. The catalogue of diseases that can cause headaches is lengthy and will include everything from irritable bowel syndrome to scarlet fever.

    Commonly environmental factors also play an important role. Carbon monoxide poisoning such as that resulting from the gas produced by many water heaters or a car exhaust can produce severe headaches and indeed a headache is one of the main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other causes include allergies, lead poisoning and food poisoning.

    Even where food is not actually toxic as would be the case with food contaminated with a bacterial infection some individuals may be sensitive to compounds which will not affect the general population. Such common foods as chocolate and cheese can cause a headache in some individuals as will caffeine, some preservatives and red wine.

    However position, posture and various other controllable factors may well be some of the most common causes. As a growing number of people are working with computers every day so we are seeing more eyestrain, neck tension and jaw stress.

    Almost 85% to 90% of headaches are common tension headaches that are usually the result of one or more of the factors detailed here. That means that in the overwhelming majority of cases the cure for your headache is easy and is within your control.

    TheMigraineHeadacheCenter.com provides a wide range of information about headaches including ocular migraines and migraine headaches

    By Donald Saunders
    Published: 4/7/2008

  • Feb 13

    Holistic, Natural Dentistry and Oral Care

    Nothing says good health so much as a bright-looking, happy smile. And these days, it’s possible to achieve a healthy smile without using toxic chemicals.

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    By Anastacia Mott Austin

    Health experts recommend regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and oral health maintenance. But so much of current dentistry has the potential to add to the toxic build-up of the human body.

    With issues such as mercury amalgam fillings and fluoride toxicity coming to light recently, many people have been questioning the methods of traditional dentistry and turning to more natural, holistic options when it comes to their oral care needs.

    Though widely used in the past, amalgam fillings, which are equal parts silver and mercury, have received a bad rap as of late. Mercury toxicity has been linked to neurological damages, gastrointestinal problems, immune system weakening, kidney damage, blood cell disorders, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

    Studies have shown that the average person receives far more exposure from existing amalgam fillings than from say, certain types of fish, which we are advised to consume rarely.

    Another, less-publicized issue in the dental industry is that of fluoride. Added to drinking water supplies for decades and found in toothpaste, fluoride is actually the ionic form of the reactive gas fluorine. The United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or (ATSDR) lists fluorine compounds as among the top 20 materials most harmful to human health. Fluoride is the primary ingredient in rat poison, some pesticides, and nerve gas.

    Most humans receive a cumulative exposure to fluorine compounds and fluoride through the environment, as well as the water we drink. Household products, as well as pesticide sprays and Teflon pans all create exposure to fluoride.

    Over 90% of the fluoride that we get in our drinking water is made up of sodium fluoride, hexafluoro silicic acid, and sodium fluorosilicate. These, believe it or not, are obtained from industrial waste primarily from the aluminum industry, which has never been approved for human consumption. If it wasn’t sold to the government to put into our water, these industries would have to pay to remove their excess fluoride as toxic waste.

    Even the American Dental Association is revising its recommendations for the amount of fluoride used in children’s dental treatments, because in our modern world, a toxic, cumulative build-up of fluoride, called fluoridosis, is more common than not enough fluoride. Too much fluoride can cause mottling or darkening of teeth, weakened bones, and neurological problems.

    Aside from mercury and fluoride, the dental industry uses many chemicals, plastic compounds, metals, etc., which cannot be good for our collective health.

    As a result, many people are turning to mercury-free dentistry, or holistic (also called biological) dentists for their oral health needs.

    One of the first tasks holistic dentists may undertake is to remove the mercury fillings of their patients. They then provide nutritional support to help detoxify the body, such as chlorella and vitamin supplementation. They may also use a process called chelation, by which certain peptides or vitamins are ingested which bind to heavy metals and carry them out of the body.

    Cranial-sacral work can either be done with the holistic dentist or referred to a specialist. Cranial-sacral manipulation can realign the skull and spinal bones, relieving toothaches, jaw pain, or TMJ.

    Holistic means "concerned with the whole," rather than just the parts, of a person in terms of their oral health and dental care needs. So a holistic dentist may recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to better support general health as well as specifically oral/dental care.

    Holistic dentists may also support an emphasis on mental/physical/spiritual well-being of their patients, and recommend various techniques such as yoga, meditation, or chakra alignment to further improve the body’s relationship with the mouth and teeth. In addition, many dental patients have painful emotional memories from negative dental experiences, and a holistic dentist will look at that as well.

    In short, a holistic dentist will examine the whole picture of a patient, including his or her emotional attachments, physical health, alignment, diet, lifestyle, etc., in deciding upon a treatment plan.

    At the Holistic Dental Association website (www.holisticdental.org), you can find a directory to a holistic dentist near you.

    There is also a lot that the average person can do at home to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

    Gum disease is a very common, yet preventable problem. Gingivitis, or simple gum irritation, is caused by improper dental hygiene. If not treated or reversed, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, in which the pocket between the gums and teeth grows larger, harboring infection and causing bone loss around the teeth. The number one cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease.

    In addition, poor oral hygiene can create far more serious problems, as the tissue around the teeth is a direct link to the bloodstream. Heart problems have been linked to periodontal infections, as well as premature births in pregnant women, and those with chronic inflammatory conditions. Holistic dental practitioners would argue that it is not possible to have a healthy body with unhealthy gums.

    But with simple, proper care, gums can remain pink and healthy, which also helps with issues such as bad breath and tooth decay.

    In fact, overall good oral hygiene can be easily accomplished naturally, at home:

    The three most important actions one can take to keep teeth and gums healthy are 1) floss, 2) floss regularly, and 3) floss every day. The importance of flossing cannot be overstated – it’s the most important thing you can do to maintain the health of your mouth.

    Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Dental experts say that the gum erosion they are seeing is likely due to too-forceful brushing, or brushing with a toothbrush that is too firm. It’s important to gently stimulate gums, not scrape them away!

    Buy a toothpaste that is made from natural ingredients, and if possible, fluoride-free. Many toothpastes use ingredients like baking soda, carrageenan (a seaweed thickener), glycerin, propolis, and anti-bacterial herbs to clean teeth, or silica particles for whitening toothpaste. Tom’s of Maine has a good line of natural toothpastes, including some formulated without fluoride. Jason’s offers non-fluoride toothpastes with anti-bacterial seed extracts or tea-tree oil, though the website doesn’t say which of the pastes are fluoride-free. Or, you can make your own natural toothpaste by mixing baking soda, salt, and glycerin. This recipe is also good for all-natural at-home tooth-whitening. (Hydrogen peroxide can be used, but isn’t recommended for at-home use because some say it can facilitate tooth erosion).

    Buy an inexpensive rubber-tipped gum stimulator. These can be found easily at any drugstore, and when used properly, can be a beneficial tool in your arsenal for healthy gums.

    If you must use a mouthwash, consider one which uses natural ingredients, and no alcohol. With proper brushing and oral care, bad breath shouldn’t be a problem. But some people still like to use mouthwash. Alcohol, which is found in many mainstream products, serves only to dry the mouth, which ultimately worsens bad breath and limits the mouth’s ability to flush bacteria. Both Tom’s and JASON have alcohol-free mouthwashes, as does Desert Essence, which also carries fluoride-free toothpaste.

    If you think about it, there isn’t much that’s more important than having a healthy mouth with clean teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath. Our smiles are our first impression to the world. With a little information, we can make smart choices that are the most natural and the healthiest for our teeth and our overall well-being.

    By Buzzle Staff and Agencies

    Natural TMJ Treatment

    You’re about to discover what might be the most effective holistic TMJ cure ever developed. It’s the same program thousands of people just like you and me used to get rid of their TMJ and achieve permanent freedom from all pain.

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    He is a holistic dentist whose practice includes cosmetic dentistry, oral rehabilitation, TMJ therapies, fillings, crown and bridgework, root canals, non-surgical periodontics, pediatric dentistry, nutritional pharmacology and oral care.

  • Feb 10

    What is Ortho-Bionomy?

    Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle, non-invasive form of therapeutic bodywork developed to relieve pain, chronic tension, and stress.

    Have you been experiencing pain? Maybe you’ve got some low back pain, neck pain, or hip pain? How about chronic tension in muscles and joints? Would you like to be able to bend over to put on socks or shoes? Do you want to feel good again? If so, you might be ready to try a type of therapeutic bodywork called Ortho-Bionomy. For several years now I’ve used Ortho-Bionomy in my San Antonio Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice to relieve pain and stress.

    What Is Ortho-Bionomy and How Does It Work?

    Ortho-Bionomy is a non-invasive, gentle, and very powerful type of therapeutic bodywork. Ortho-Bionomy works with the body’s own self-corrective reflexes to effectively relieve acute and chronic pain, chronic tension patterns, and stress. Ortho-Bionomy is done most often with the client relaxing fully clothed on a comfortably padded table while the Ortho-Bionomist performs releases by positioning the client’s body and joints in positions of comfort then applying gentle motions and/or compression. The result of an Ortho-Bionomy session is less pain, reduced muscle tension, greater circulation, greater flexibility, and an overall sense of wellness and relaxation.

    Where Did Ortho-Bionomy Come From?

    Ortho-Bionomy, both the name and the body of work, is based on the work of Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls. Dr. Pauls was an Osteopathic Physician and Judo instructor. After a presentation of the work of Dr. Laurence Jones regarding "Spontaneous Release By Positioning", Dr. Pauls became fascinated with the body’s self-corrective reflexes. He drew upon his knowledge of Osteopathy, Homeopathy, and Judo to find ways to work with the body instead of attempting to force change. After several years of work and experimentation Dr. Pauls began teaching Ortho-Bionomy in the U.S. and Europe. Today Ortho-Bionomy is taught and practiced around the world.

    What Can Be Treated With Ortho-Bionomy?

    Ortho-Bionomy is generally used to treat various painful conditions, postural distortions, chronic tension and stress. That covers a lot of ground doesn’t it? As a Licensed Massage Therapist who has studied Ortho-Bionomy for some time I’ve used Ortho-Bionomy to successfully treat:

    1. Back Pain – low back and upper back

    2. Neck Pain including whiplash

    3. Hip and Knee Pain

    4. TMJ Dysfunction – Jaw Pain

    5. Headaches and Migraines

    6. Shoulder Pain and Rotator Cuff issues

    7. Leg Length Discrepancy and Functional Scoliosis

    8. SI Joint Pain and Sciatica

    9. Chronic Stress and Tension

    …and more.

    As you can see, Ortho-Bionomy is effective in treating a wide range of complaints. However, while Ortho-Bionomy is very gentle, non-invasive, and compatible with all healing systems you should consult with your physician prior to receiving an Ortho-Bionomy session or any other form of massage or bodywork. Ortho-Bionomy practitioners welcome working in conjuction with your health care team.

    Where Can I Get An Ortho-Bionomy Session?

    If you’re in San Antonio, Texas or the surrounding area you can get an Ortho-Bionomy session from me at my Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice Massage By Ben. If you don’t live in the San Antonio area you can find an Ortho-Bionomy practitioner near you by contacting the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International at Ortho-Bionomy.org where you will find listings of practitioners around the world.

    Ortho-Bionomy is a registered trademark of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International (SOBI) and is used with permission.

    Massage By Ben
    Homepage for the author.

    By Ben Crabtree
    Published: 9/3/2007

  • Feb 10

    Coping with Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) in Teenagers

    Signs and symptoms of TMD clearly make an early appearance in children between the ages 12 and 18. The key words to keep in mind about TMD treatment for children are "conservative" and "reversible."

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    Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a generic term for several clinical signs and symptoms involving the masticatory muscles, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and associated structures.
    Signs and symptoms of TMD in children and adolescents have been investigated since the beginning of the 1970s. The most frequent clinical signs of TMD are:

    • TMJ noises (on palpation by dentist);
    • Limitation of mandibular movements;
    • TMJ and muscle tenderness;
    • Headache;
    • TMJ clickings (when open or close the mouth);
    • Bruxism;
    • Limited opening of the mouth;
    • Jaw pain; and
    • Facial pain.

    Clinical signs and symptoms of TMD above were present in teenagers. Muscle tenderness and joint sounds were the most prevalent, respectively. There are both local and systemic factors associated with TMD development. The forecast from various TMD signs that may become a severe disorder later in life is unclear.

    The etiology of TMD has been considered to be one of the most controversial issues in clinical dentistry. Currently, TMD is regarded not an individual entity, but a group of different diseases of varying etiology and pathology. The debate still exists in this day and age because of the limited knowledge regarding its etiology and natural progression.

    The role of gender in TMD is also extensively discussed in academic literature. TMD is rated to be 1.5-2 times more prevalent in women than in men. Furthermore, the predominance of women seeking treatment for TMD pain is even higher, with a ratio of 4:1. In my practice about 80% of the patients treated for this disorder are women. Moreover, the most striking gender differences have been encountered in women aged 20-40 years. It is not common for children, adolescents and the elderly to have TMD.

    TMJ disorder is a complex chronic debilitating illness. Dentists have strategically developed many treatments for this condition over the years. Depend on the basic cause or causes, either one or the combination of the following treatment methods are used. They include:

    • Pain medications to ease acute pain. These, also known as the NonSteroidal Anti-inflamatory Drugs or NSAID’s, are the "first" drugs of choice. Examples of these drugs are Aspirin, Motrin and Advil.
    • Skeletal relaxer medication (for example flexeril) to downgrade muscular tension.
    • Steroid injection (hydorcortisone) to reduce inflammation.
    • Soft diet to lower the workload for the joint.
    • Apply external heat to the joint to relax the muscles around the joint.
    • Occlusal splint or Orthotic appliance to reposition the joint to its ideal arrangement.
    • Orthodontic treatment to fix teeth malalignment.
    • Physical therapy (posture training) to straighten the neck.
    • Arthroscopic surgery to remove scars inside the joint.
    • TMJ surgery to repair damages of the joints.
    • Total joint replacement surgery to replace the real joint with an artificial one.

    The key words to keep in mind about TMD treatment for children are "conservative" and "reversible." Conservative treatments are as simple as possible and are used most often because most young patients do not have severe, degenerative TMD. Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw or joint. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent, or irreversible, changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth.

    Signs and symptoms of TMD clearly make an early appearance in children between the ages 12 and 18. Routine dental examination should include evaluation of these signs and symptoms to identify them. These youngsters should be watched more closely. Because most TMD problems in teenagers are temporary and do not get worse, simple treatment is all that is usually needed to relieve discomfort.

    You may also be interested in:

    1. Oral and TMJ pain-what causing it
    2. Dental bridge and TMJ interaction
    3. TMJ damage due to noctural grinding-bruxism

    For information, contact Houston dentist – Minh Nguyen, D.D.S. at drnguyen@softdental.com. Softdental, the Houston’s Professional Associaton of Cosmetic Dentists has provided award-winning dental services in Houston since 1993.

       By Minh Nguyen
    Published: 12/6/2006

    TMJ Headache Michigan

    Headache neck pain is more common than you think effective headache many suffer from headache neck pain. in fact, teenagers as well as adults both battle this stress-induced condition.

  • Feb 9

    Problems of the Teeth and Jaw

    Problems with teeth and gums should not be ignored, as they may be symptoms of underlying disease.

    Halitosis

    Halitosis is bad breath, possibly caused by tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), or digestive disorders.

    Treatment Herbal Medicine

    Chewing parsley and drinking peppermint tea sweeten the breath and neutralize odors.

    Homeopathy There are a large number of specific remedies to deal with bad breath, including Nux vomica, when the breath smells sour, especially after a stomach upset; Mercurius, when the breath and sweat are offensive, and the tongue is yellow and furry; Pulsatilla, after eating fatty food.

    Gingivitis

    This is a bacterial infection of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque. Symptoms include sore, bleeding gums. Occasionally gingivitis is caused by vitamin deficiency, drugs, or blood disorders. Avoid the condition by cleaning your teeth regularly and using dental floss.

    Treatment

    Homeopathy Remedies include Mercurius, when the gums are found to be spongy and the breath is bad; Kreosotum, when the gums are red, inflamed, and swollen, and are bleeding easily with the roots of the teeth exposed; and Natrum mur., when the gums are swollen, bleeding, and there are mouth ulcers and also a taste of pus in the mouth.

    Oral Thrush

    Oral thrush is small white patches inside the mouth, lips, tongue, and gums caused by a fungal infection, candida. It is most common in the young and elderly, and in the immunosuppressed. Oral steroids, long illnesses and antibiotics may also encourage infestation.

    Treatment

    Diet and Nutrition

    Starve this fungal infection by temporarily excluding sugars and refined carbohydrates from the diet. Adding garlic, olive oil, and live yogurt containing acidophilus to the diet will help kill the infection.

    Herbal Medicine For immediate relief, use natural mouthwashes containing aloe vera, myrrh, or marigold.

    Homeopathy

    Constitutional treatment is advisable but specific remedies may include Borax, to be used at the beginning of an attack; Capsicum, when the patches are hot and sore; Natrum mur., when there are cold sores on the lips; and Arsenicum alb., when there are mouth ulcers.

    Mouth Ulcers

    These are painful yellowish, round or oval spots inside the mouth. They are often a sign of being run down or under stress but can be caused by injury to the tongue and mouth, or by hot or acidic foods. In some cases they are caused by food allergy.

    Treatment

    Herbal Medicine Mouthwashes containing marigold, myrrh, and thyme are healing, or rub aloe vera gel over the ulcer.

    Homeopathy Constitutional treatment is suggested if ulcers are chronic, but specific remedies include Borax, Arsenicum alb., Mercurius, and Nitric ac

    Toothache

    Tooth and gum pain, which may extend into the head, is usually the result of an abscess, dental decay, sensitivity, gingivitis, and sinusitis.

    Treatment

    Herbal Medicine Rub in essential oil of cloves.

    Homeopathy Specific remedies which can be given every five minutes for up to ten doses include: Plantago, Coffea, Chamomilla, Mercurius, Pulsatilla, Staphisagria, Belladonna, Bryonia, Apis, and Calcarea.

    Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome

    TMJ syndrome involves pain in the head, jaws, and face, often caused by teeth grinding (bruxism).

    Treatment

    Hydrotherapy Using alternate hot towels and an ice pack on the painful area offers immediate relief.

    Autogenic Training This therapy involves special exercises that can successfully relieve muscle tension in the jaw.

    Homeopathy There are specific remedies for teeth grinding, including Cina, Santoninum, Phytolacca, Zinc, and Arsenicum alb.

    By Mike Hussey
    Published: 2/7/2008
  • Feb 9

    Can TMJ Cause Arthritis?

    Temporomandibular joint or TMJ can lead to arthritis. Be informed and learn what can be done if you suffer from TMJ disorder.

    TMJ or temporomandibular joint is located right in front of the ears, right on the spot where the lower jaw and upper jaw meet. Open your mouth and feel the ball and socket joints in front of your ears. Close your mouth. The bones that are moving there are your temporomandibular joints. You see, these joints are used several times in a day. You use it when you eat, speak, yawn, and bite. Indeed, it is one of the most used joints in your body. The TMJ is a very complex joint. It is composed of a complicated array of muscles, bones, and tendons.

    tmj and tooth painTMJ disorders or problems of these joints do occur. When that happens, stiffness, ear pain, headaches, clicking sounds, bite problems, and locked jaws can be expected. In worse cases, arthritis may also occur. TMJ can cause arthritis if not treated right away. The most usual underlying conditions of TMJ disorders are teeth grinding problems, habitual fingernail biting, too much gum chewing, dental problems, teeth misalignment, jaw trauma, and stress. It is very important that these conditions are addressed right away so that they won’t evolve into arthritis.

    TMJ disorders have a set of symptoms. You know you have it if you experience recurring headaches. You would also feel facial pains from time to time. The pain may start on the joints and spread over the head and the face. It could get worse as you open and close your jaw. The contraction of the jaws is painful, more so if you’re exposed to the cold weather or relatively cold surroundings.

    Patients of TMJ disorders would also experience ear pain. Half of the people with TMJ will have ear pain without any signs of infection. The pain is usually associated to the joints and it can be felt somewhere below or in front of the ears. If there were no ear drainage or hearing loss associated with the ear pain you’re feeling, then TMJ is the most likely culprit.

    TMJ patients can expect to hear clicking, crunching, grinding, or popping sounds when they open and close their mouth. Pain may accompany these sounds too. Dizziness is also likely. People suffering from TMJ may experience balance problems and vague dizziness from time to time.

    Tinnitus and fullness of the ear may also occur to people with TMJ disorders. Their ears may feel clogged or muffled. This feeling is compounded during airplane landings and takeoffs. Ear fullness is associated with the dysfunction of the Eustachian tube. Because of the hyperactive muscles in that part on people with TMJ, this symptom becomes almost natural. On the other hand, patients with tinnitus due to TMJ would experience relief from their condition once the joint disorder is resolved.

    By Edward Chen
    Published: 9/13/2008
  • Feb 6

    Teeth Grinding – Bruxism

    Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by teeth grinding or clenching. Find out more about it here.

    teeth grinding,bruxism

    Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition wherein the affected person clenches or grinds his/her teeth unconsciously or involuntarily, either during sleep or while awake. People with bruxism are often not aware that this habit has developed until damage to the teeth, and other parts of the mouth, has been done. It is speculated that this habit develops due to the psychological effects of daily stress. In fact, the teeth can be so severely damaged that they become quite useless. About 5-20 percent of adults experience nocturnal teeth grinding, which is particularly problematic since it is generally not noticed until the damage has been caused to the teeth, which can take years.

    What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?

    The surface area of the lower and upper teeth, known as occlusal surface, is usually ground down to such an extent, that it creates an imbalance in the closure between the right and left sides of the mouth. This can lead to structural stress to the roots and tissues of the teeth and periodontal disease.

    One of the effects of the teeth grinding in bruxism is tempromandibular joint syndrome, TMJ, wherein the cartilage surrounding the joints of the lower and upper jaws get irritated. This, in turn, can result in pain in the ears and jaw. Headaches due to muscle and joint strain are one of the common symptoms of bruxism.

    In a nutshell, some of the symptoms of bruxism are:

    • abrasion of the teeth
    • damage caused to the tooth enamel
    • the inside part of the tooth, the dentin, being exposed
    • over-sensitivity of the teeth
    • pain in certain areas of the face
    • tense muscles of the jaw and face
    • jaw dislocation
    • headaches
    • indentations on the tongue
    • damage caused to the inside part of the cheeks
    • a clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joint

    Like other sleep disorders, it is the other people that live with the person affected by bruxism who feel the brunt of the disease. This is because the teeth grinding sound can be fairly loud and thus disrupt the sleep of partners or roommates. As a matter of fact, it is usually the partner of the affected person or a member of the family who detects the condition.

    Since many of the above symptoms occur in other conditions, it is best to consult a physician or dentist for an accurate diagnosis.

    What are the Causes of Bruxism?

    It is still not known what exactly causes bruxism, although it is thought that it occurs due to the presence of a number of factors preceding it. These are stress, oral or facial trauma, malfunction of the nervous system, and so on. It seems that certain types of personality traits may also be the root cause of teeth grinding, for example, those who are susceptible to nervous tension which cause frustration, pain, or anger. It also tends to affect people who are very competitive, have less patience, and are aggressive.

    What is the Treatment for Bruxism?

    The treatment for teeth grinding is based on two objectives: reducing the stress that is causing bruxism, and taking care of the teeth to prevent them from being damaged.

    Stress reduction can be achieved by the patient learning relaxation techniques. Activities that calm the body and the mind such as yoga and meditation can help in reducing the psychological stress which seems to exacerbate bruxism. The patient can also learn how to relax the facial muscles and jaws.

    Behavioral responses leading to teeth grinding can be changed with the help of biofeedback. People affected with bruxism can learn to control the effects of their involuntary nervous system by learning how to respond properly to the changes of the conditions that affect the body.

    A mouth-guard or splints can be worn at night which can help in absorbing the force of the teeth clenching or grinding, thus preventing the teeth from getting damaged.

    The treatment for bruxism will be based largely on the affected person’s ability for tolerating the above methods. The trouble is, treatments like mouth-guards and splints usually cause disturbance in sleep, thus exacerbating the stress, which can worsen the condition instead of alleviating it. If you do suffer from teeth grinding, it is best to decide upon the treatment after consulting with your dentist.

    By Rita Putatunda
    Published: 4/18/2008