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Your questions answered by local area professionals.

Do You Have Muscle Tension Headaches?

 Headaches are the number one symptoms reported by patients and have a cause. Medication usually only camouflages the cause of the pain by reducing the cause and not really identifying the source of the problem.  There are basically three kinds of headaches.  There are severe headaches inside the skull known as migraine headaches.  Patients use the word migraine to communicate the severity of the headache when in reality it may not be a migraine headache at all. The most common headaches are muscle headaches better known as muscle tension headaches. The muscles on the surface of the skull and the face are the muscles that move your jaw.  Place you fingers over the muscle of the face and the side of the head and bite down hard. The chewing muscles will move as they cause the teeth to clench together. Press firmly!  Firm pressure on the muscle should not be any more painful than pressure on another muscle elsewhere on the body. The third kinds of headaches are from referred pain headaches. Referred pain usually come from a distant site such as muscle knots in the shoulders, back or neck that can cause headaches. Take a moment and press around and identify the tender points. Many of my patients are amazed at the extensive relief from finally identifying not only where the pain is, but more importantly what is the source of the pain and eliminate the future referral of the pain. For answers to your questions call The TMJ Sleep Center concerning chronic pain, TMJ, migraines, sleep apnea, headaches, snoring or related subjects  drdwight@thetmjcenter.com  call 234-PAIN.

 

It is true that after a tooth is taken out that the bone that used to support it begins to dissolve away. This is usually a slow but progressive problem that may continue throughout one’s life.  In most situations the ideal time to have an implant placed is at approximately 6 months after the tooth is removed (if not at the time of the extraction). However, there are many times when one may be unable to proceed with the procedure until several years have passed which increases the chance of bone loss in the area. Fortunately, even if there is significant loss of bone in an area that would benefit from an implant, minor bone grafting may often be used to replace the missing bone, creating a sound foundation in which to place the implant. Some people show much less bone loss than others, and even though many years may have passed, they still may have sufficient bone to proceed with the placement of the dental implant. Evaluation of the bone is one of the first things that your implant surgeon will look at when the consultation is performed, and fortunately replacement of lost bone is usually a relatively simple problem to fix.

 

Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. The most common are the use of tobacco and alcohol. Others include poor oral hygiene, irritation caused by ill-fitting dentures and rough surfaces on teeth, poor nutrition, some chronic infections and combinations of these factors.  Because changes can be seen easily in the mouth, diagnosis of oral cancer can be made in its early stages allowing for suspicious areas to be treated and prevent progression. It is recommended that everyone perform a monthly oral exam looking for irregularities, specifically non-healing sores as well as white or red lesions. This should be performed with a bright light and a mirror. Closely examine all areas in your mouth including the roof of your mouth, cheeks, gums, and all surfaces of the tongue and floor of the mouth. In addition to this it is recommended that everyone have an oral screening exam at least once a year, especially if you have any of the above risk factors.

 

Do you use a CPAP?

Frequently our new patients have recently been seen by their ear doctor and their eye doctor for an explanation for the eye pain or the ear pain and pressure. Predictably the doctors inform the patient there is nothing wrong with the eyes or ears and then amazingly the doctor will offer a prescription to relieve what they did not find in the first place. The most frequent TMJ symptom is occipital headaches which can also refer pain to the eye and the side of the head and ear.  Regularly I find triggers in the neck and chewing muscle that also refer pain to the eyes or the ears. Frequently restoring the muscles to optimum health often eliminates the eye pain and/or the ear pain.  The occipital muscles can refer pain to the top of the head, the back of the eye, and to the ear. Knowing the source of the pain allows one to treat each of the trigger points and eliminate each of the associated painful area. Too good to be true!  Many of my patients are amazed at the extensive relief from finally identifying not only where the pain is, but more importantly what is the source of the pain and eliminate the future referral of the pain.   For answers to your questions call The TMJ Sleep Center concerning chronic pain, TMJ, migraines, sleep apnea, headaches, snoring or related subjects drdwight@thetmjcenter.com call 234-PAIN.

 

Addressing weight issues at an early age is crucial.   Look for a higher BMI-for-age, excess weight in the belly area, and/or a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans (a darkening of the skin across the knuckles, the underarm area, the back of the neck, or the groin area).  Your healthcare provider and/or our office can help you understand the risk factors.  Many insurance companies now provide a benefit for overweight and/or obesity and Medicaid offers the PHA (Preventive Health Assistance) benefit.  At EXCEL, we know it’s important to involve the family, so nutrition counseling visits are designed to help everyone learn and work together.  We also offer a fabulous Family Fitness Class that includes physical actiivty as well as nutrition education. Call our office at 233-0593 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

 

If left in the mouth, impacted wisdom teeth may damage neighboring teeth, or become infected. Because the third molar area of the mouth is difficult to clean, it is a site that invites the bacteria that leads to gum disease. Furthermore, oral bacteria may travel from your mouth through the bloodstream, where it may lead to possible systemic infections and illnesses that affect the heart, kidneys and other organs. Research has shown that once periodontal gum disease is established in the third molar areas, the problem is persistent and progressive, but may improve following extraction of the teeth. In some cases a fluid-filled cyst or tumor may form around the untreated wisdom tooth. As the cyst grows it may lead to more serious problems as it hollows out the jaw and damages surrounding nerves, teeth and other structures. (AAOMS.org) By taking the wisdom teeth out before their development is complete, most of these problems can be prevented.

 

Is eye pain & ear pain & pressure really TMJ?

Frequently our new patients have recently been seen by their ear doctor and their eye doctor for an explanation for the eye pain or the ear pain and pressure.  Predictably the doctors inform the patient there is nothing wrong with the eyes or ears and then amazingly the doctor will offer a prescription to relieve what they did not find in the first place. The most frequent TMJ symptom is occipital headaches which can also refer pain to the eye and the side of the head and ear.  Regularly I find triggers in the neck and chewing muscle that also refer pain to the eyes or the ears.   Frequently restoring the muscles to optimum health often eliminates the eye pain and/or the ear pain.  The occipital muscles can refer pain to the top of the head, the back of the eye, and to the ear.  Knowing the source of the pain allows one to treat each of the trigger points and eliminate each of the associated painful area.  Too good to be true!  Many of my patients are amazed at the extensive relief from finally identifying not only where the pain is, but more importantly what is the source of the pain and eliminate the future referral of the pain.   For answers to your questions call The TMJ Sleep Center concerning chronic pain, TMJ, migraines, sleep apnea, headaches, snoring or related subjects drdwight@thetmjcenter.com  call 234-PAIN.

 

 At EXCEL we look at the traditional physical aspects of our health as well as the emotional and energetic aspects. Join us on Thursday September 25 6:30 am to 9:30 am for our reduced fee health fair and get your cholesterol, blood sugars, and many other tests done for a very reduced fee rate.  And, to balance your emotional and energetic body you won’t want to miss our Mindful Eating Self Discovery Class beginning September 3, 2014.  The class is taught by Daphne Larsen our Tai Chi and Healing Touch Practitioner.  To learn more go to excelweightloss.com or call 233-0593 for more information.

 

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. While mouthguards are most commonly used for contact sports, the ADA suggests athletes might need a mouthguard when participating in any of the following activities: acrobatics, baseball, basketball, bicycling, boxing, equestrian events, extreme sports, field hockey, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, inline skating, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, shot-putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, softball, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.  When considering a mouthguard it is important to recognize ones options. Most are familiar with the semi-custom mouth pieces which you “boil and bite”. These work well but may be a little bulky and lead to decreased use. Custom mouthguards may be made which are fabricated in a lab to exactly fit the person’s mouth. While these are more expensive, they do offer an improved fit and many people find it easier to breath well and tolerated the custom forms. The most important thing is to have a mouthguard in place, whether custom or semi-custom, whenever there is a chance of being struck in the face. Think of your mouthguard as cheap insurance for your teeth and jaws.

Is your poor quality of sleep killing you?

Is it possible that several of your most concerning problems are caused by poor quality sleep?  Too tired, can’t lose weight, the list of prescription drugs is way too long and too expensive, catch everyone’s bug and can’t stay well, don’t have time to eat right and exercise, my significant other won’t sleep with me.  Sleep is essential to healthy survival and sleep is robbed from; for everything else in our lives.  We stay up too late, and maybe get up to early.  My partner snores or yes, worse you may snore.  Snoring sounds are caused by resistance air flow to the lungs.  Worse yet are those who snore and stop breathing. Yes, it’s Sleep Apnea!  Many different things cause a decrease in the quality of our sleep.  Light, sounds, worries, hot nights, poor bed, all result in diminished quality of sleep.  Fifty percent of mature married couples do not sleep together due to snoring. I don’t have a statistic for the contribution of snoring to divorce, but I am confident it is very significant.  Poor sleep leads to weight gain, lowered immune system response and more illness and disease including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  Poor sleep leads to increased insulin resistance, hunger and not feeling and knowing when you have eaten enough. For a complimentary Sleep Apnea consumer guide or for a TMJ information guide on pain and “The Great Imposter”  call The TMJ Sleep Center concerning headaches, TMJ, migraines, sleep apnea, snoring or related subjects drdwight@thetmjcenter.com   call 234-PAIN.