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All Posts Tagged: dentist Peterborough

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ), joint of the lower jaw)

Common Causes of Jaw Joint Pain – And How to Prevent It

The joints in the jaw are a delicate mechanism that can easily be injured or worn down due to chronic stress. The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body. When malfunctioning, chewing can become torture. As much as looking after our teeth is important, so is looking after our jaw also a top priority. The three most common causes of jaw discomfort are sports injuries, car accidents, and stress.

  • Sports Injury

Cricket balls and hockey pucks are great fun! But not so much when they cause trauma to the jaw. Trauma to the jaw can lead to a variety of dental problems including:

  • A broken jaw,
  • A dislocated jaw, or
  • A temporomandibular joint disorder.

The TMJ is a set of paired joints on each side of the face in front of the ear canals. Temporomandibular joint disorder(TMD) occurs when there is damage in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or the muscles associated with it.

TMD involves jaw pain that is often accompanied by a muscle spasm in one or more of the large muscle groups on either side of the jaw. Following stress or an injury, the body attempts to prevent further damage by locking the muscles and restricting jaw motion.

To minimize sports injuries, it is important to wear an athletic sports guard. Made from soft materials to absorb the force of a sudden impact; the sports guard will distribute and absorb the force over a large area, protecting the jaw and teeth against trauma.

  • Car accident

A common side effect of a car accident is the accompanying jaw pain. In many cases, the jaw is struck as it impacts the vehicle or airbag. Pain in the jaw or facial area, trouble opening and closing the mouth, or having a jaw that seems to click or get stuck can happen after an accident. You do not have to directly hit your jaw during the accident for this to happen. A car exposes you to many types of movement not normally experienced. These sudden deaccelerations, twists, and falls that happen when you are involved in a car accident can damage your joints. The temporomandibular joint is particularly susceptible.

Temporomandibular joint disorder after a car accident can be treated as follows:

  • The use of night guards, and
  • Regular physiotherapy.
  • Modified diet
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

Night guards, as the name indicates, are worn at night. They protect the teeth against wear-and-tear from grinding and clenching the jaw. Unnecessary pressure and parafunction (abnormal movements) can aggravate this condition. A few simple jaw exercises, some dietary modifications and regular physiotherapy can reduce inflammation in the jaw and muscles.

  • Stress

Stress is a common cause of the temporomandibular joint disorder. When we are stressed, we tend to grind our teeth and clench our jaws – often without realizing this. After doing this for a long period of time, the temporomandibular joints take on a lot of extra pressure and the associated muscles often go into spasm. This can cause limitation in jaw motion and lead to pain with opening and closing and especially when eating hard foods.

While you may need a combination of therapies,  a night guard is part of the solution. Built to withstand repeated grinding and wear-and-tear, the hard shell of a night guard will help calm your stressed muscles and allow the joint to recover and heal.

If you are suffering from jaw pain, either from a sports injury, accident or stress, Dr. Ralph Bastian, at Bastian Dentistry, is experienced in providing this form of therapy and is ready to treat this type of pain and speed up your recovery.  For more information, contact us today.

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Emergency dentist

5 Dental Emergencies That Require Fast, Professional Treatment

You really thought you could play hockey without your mouth guard. Unfortunately, the puck has hit your face and a trip to the dentist is in order -.

Luckily for you, Dr. Ralph Bastian, an active emergency dentist in Peterborough’s on-call system for over 30 years, is ready to help. Dr. Ralph is quick to respond to emergency dental cases. Here are 5 situations which require emergency help from an on-the-ball dentist:

  1. Trauma to The Tooth

A fall on your face, a hockey puck to the mouth or any traumatic tooth injury requires immediate dental attention. These injuries can range from minor chipped teeth to major injuries like dislodged teeth or an exposed pulp. If timely treatment is rendered to cover the pulp or reposition the tooth in the socket,  the damaged tooth may be saved.

  1. Abscess of The Tooth

Anyone who has had the misfortune of an abscess of a tooth is well aware of the swelling and pain that comes with it. An abscessed tooth is an infection of the tooth which has spread to the root tip and the bone. It originates in the tooth’s inner chamber known as the “pulp” chamber. As the tooth loses its ability to fight off infection, the bacteria multiply spreading through the bottom of the root into the bone.

Dr. Ralph will treat this by making a small opening in the tooth. This allows access to the infection and to remove the deceased tissue. When the infection has progressed this far, a root canal treatment is necessary. It is highly advisable to contact us sooner rather than later to avoid further problems.

  1. Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is more commonly known as gum disease. It is an inflammation of the gum line that can spread to the bone if treatment is not rendered in a timely fashion. It occurs in three stages:

  1. Gingivitis,
  2. Periodontitis, and
  • Advanced periodontitis.

You will notice you have the periodontal disease when you have swollen, tender, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth and, an exudate surrounding the teeth…

Dr. Ralph can treat this by first performing scaling and root planning (SRP). The earliest this is addressed may help to prevent further complications. In some cases, antibiotics will be required.

  1. Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is a bacterial infection often surrounding the crown of a wisdom tooth. The plaque and bacteria build up here because the area cannot be adequately cleaned, and often there is trauma to the area because of the opposing bite. Since the gum tissue is not fully formed around the wisdom tooth, it can break down easily.  Pericoronitis is often seen in young adults ages 18 to 25.

Proper evaluation by a dentist is essential to treat this infection. In non-severe cases, Dr. Ralph will most likely flush away plaque and debris. Often antibiotics are prescribed or an antibacterial oral rinse. It is so important to catch this early on so further spread of bacteria can be prevented. In many cases, the final treatment is often the removal of the wisdom tooth.

  1. A Fractured Filling Cutting Your Tongue

A bite of crusty bread or hard nut can sometimes cause a filling or tooth to break. It is then common to have the sharp areas cutting into your tongue and/or cheeks. This can be painful. It is best to get immediate dental care. The filling needs to be replaced and sometimes a crown is also required. It is important to cover a damaged tooth because bacteria can invade the dentinal tubules and lead to nerve death.

Dr. Ralph Bastian would be pleased to provide timely treatments for your dental emergencies. Genuine emergencies are usually seen on the same day.  For more information, contact us today!

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