My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

By George L. Landress, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
July 27, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj  

What your dentist in Danbury wants you to knowjaw pain

Jaw pain is a common and debilitating problem. It can sideline you with stabbing pain that radiates into your head and facial muscles. It can put you on the couch from chronic, aching pain that makes it difficult to open and close your mouth.

There are a few causes of jaw pain, and fortunately, there are also effective treatments depending on what the cause is. Dr. George Landress at Danbury Smiles in Danbury, CT wants to share causes and treatment options for your jaw pain.

If you’ve never had orthodontic treatment, you may have poor jaw alignment. You may not notice bad jaw alignment, but over time, the effect becomes more obvious. Jaw alignment problems cause stress and wear-and-tear on one or two areas of your mouth, including your jaws. The stress of eating isn’t spread evenly across your jaws like it should be. Orthodontic treatment can correct this type of jaw pain and Dr. Landress offers a full range of orthodontic treatments to create perfect jaw alignment and straighten teeth.

If you notice your jaw pain is worse early in the morning after you wake up, you could be grinding your teeth at night. Chronic grinding and clenching your teeth can damage your teeth by wearing them down, and can also cause jaw stress, resulting in tight muscles, ligaments and tendons. If you are a night grinder, Dr. Landress can help by making you a custom-fit nightguard to wear while you sleep. The nightguard prevents damage to your teeth while relaxing your jaws.

A third cause of jaw pain is problems with your temporomandibular joint, also known as the TMJ. The TMJ uses a sliding action to open and close your jaw. Because of its motion, it can be displaced easily, causing friction and wear to the joint. Increased friction and wear causes inflammation, swelling, and pain, which can be severe. Dr. Landress can help jaw pain from TMD with several effective treatments including hot and cold therapy, custom-fit night splints, medications and other treatments.

If your life has suffered because of jaw pain, it’s time to take action by calling Dr. Landress at Danbury Smiles in Danbury, CT. Call today and start enjoying your life again!


ActorDavidRamseySaysDontForgettoFloss

Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.

“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.

Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.

“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.

Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?

Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.

Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a third to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.

Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”

Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.

If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”


5ThingsyoucandotoImproveYourChildsFutureDentalHealth

A child's formative years have an immense impact on their physical, mental and emotional well-being. As a parent you want them to have every advantage possible.

That should include a healthy mouth — actions you take now could determine the long-term soundness of their teeth and gums. Here are 5 things you can do to ensure your child's present and future oral health.

Begin oral hygiene habits early. By early, we mean even before their first teeth appear. Wipe their gums after every feeding with a water-soaked cloth or gauze pad; when teeth appear switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste on the end of the brush.

Start dental visits around their first birthday. Early dental visits increase the chances of detecting and treating developing problems before they become worse. And starting may also help your child become comfortable with visiting the dentist — waiting until later increases the chances of anxiety and an aversion to dental visits that might carry over into adulthood.

Adopt dental-friendly home and lifestyle habits.  Don't allow your child to sleep with a pacifier or bottle filled with sugary fluids, including breast milk or formula: fill them with water instead. Limit their sugar consumption to small amounts and only at meal times. And be sure to “childproof” your home against hazards, especially sharp-edged furniture that could damage teeth if they make hard contact with it.

Teach them to care for their own teeth. Although you'll need to brush their teeth for them in the beginning, be sure you eventually teach them to perform this vital habit for themselves. To ease the transition try modeling the behavior or make it into an activity you can do together.

Partner with your family dentist. Your dental office can do more than prevent or treat dental disease — they're an important resource in helping you manage your child's dental needs at home. They can coach you on brushing and flossing techniques, and provide information to set your mind at ease about concerns like teething or thumb sucking.

If you would like more information on complete oral care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”