All | B C D G M O P S T X
There are 4 names in this directory beginning with the letter T.
Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, usually happens at night while you sleep. Most people with bruxism are not aware that they are grinding their teeth in their sleep – unless a partner is awakened by the noise. This habit of bruxism is extremely destructive and in time may wear away your teeth, strain your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or tire the muscles used in chewing. Studies have shown that bruxism tends to be related to stress, and people generate much greater forces when grinding their teeth than they do during normal jaw function. The movements of the jaw during bruxism are more exaggerated than the more limited movement of someone’s normal jaw function. Although no cure for bruxism is available, your prosthodontist can produce a device that will protect the teeth, support your TMJ and provide relief from muscle fatigue. This device has many names, but generally is referred to as a splint. A splint helps with bruxism through careful control of the interaction of your teeth and through providing something else to damage rather than your teeth. Splints can easily be adjusted or replaced, making them a better recipient of these destructive forces.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder & Facial/Jaw Pain
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), when not functioning properly, can cause a tremendous amount of pain. The tissues behind the joint (retrodiscal tissues) have many nerves that run through them. Once they become inflamed, any slight pressure will cause pain and perpetuate the problem. Treatment involves unloading these tissues to allow them to recover and try to avoid allowing the problem to recur. Depending on your history and symptoms, your prosthodontist may recommend a stabilization splint (bite guard) to treat your pain. This custom-made plastic device fits over the upper or lower teeth and is used to control the interaction between the top and bottom teeth and maintains the joint in a healthy position. Stabilization splints are the most common treatments for TMJ disorders, including facial pain. Facial or jaw pain in the chewing muscles or jaw joint is a common symptom of temporomandibular joint disorders. Facial pain may also be caused by dislocation or injuries which are internal changes to the joint involving a displaced disc, a dislocated jaw, or injury to the muscle. Arthritis and degenerative or inflammatory joint disorders also may lead to facial pain. Facial pain may be relieved by eating soft foods, applying ice packs when pain occurs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements (including wide yawning, loud singing, and gum chewing). Since facial pain is often associated with stress and/or cramps in the chewing muscles, techniques to reduce stress and practicing gentle jaw stretching and relaxing exercises to increase jaw movement may be helpful. Short-term use of common pain medicines may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort and facial pain.

Tooth/Teeth Discoloration or Stains
Tooth discoloration may be caused by problems with the formation of the tooth enamel, problems within the tooth, or by simple stains from food, beverages, or habits. Certain medications or chemicals taken by a pregnant woman or by a very young child can disrupt the development of tooth enamel and result in the tooth becoming discolored, mottled, or pitted. Tooth discoloration also may be caused by a tooth that is chronically infected or necrotic with the tooth taking on a uniform grayish hue. In this situation, the infection must be treated first and then the color can be corrected by bleaching or a restoration. The simplest form of tooth discoloration is the stains caused by external factors such as food/beverages or tobacco use. Tooth discoloration may be managed by a professional cleaning, tooth whitening procedure, and/or the placement of porcelain veneers. These procedures may remove the discoloration and restore the teeth to their original brightness and whiteness.

Tooth/Teeth Sensitivity or Pain
Ideally, our teeth will function without any discomfort throughout our life, but unfortunately, most of us will experience at least one of the many conditions that can cause tooth pain. There are many causes of tooth pain, including: dental decay, fractured or cracked teeth, damaged or leaking fillings, gum disease or grinding. The type of tooth pain varies based on the condition, but may range from a fleeting sensitivity to a persistent dull ache. Only a dental professional can determine the exact cause of your pain and the appropriate treatment. If you are experiencing pain from a tooth, it is recommended you see your dental provider to have the area assessed. Sometimes the problem is larger than you might believe and you are weeks, days, or hours away from increased pain.