Posts for: November, 2015
As many as 36 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of chronic jaw pain. What’s more, many of these may also experience other painful conditions like arthritis or chronic fatigue in other parts of their body.
Chronic jaw pain is actually a group of difficult to define disorders collectively referred to as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD or also TMD). TMD not only refers to pain symptoms of the temporomandibular (jaw) joints but also of the jaw muscles and surrounding connective tissue. Most physicians and dentists agree TMD arises from a complex range of conditions involving inheritable factors, gender (many sufferers are women of childbearing age), environment and behavior.
A recent survey of approximately 1,500 TMD patients found that nearly two-thirds of them also suffered from three or more related health problems like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, depression and problems sleeping. The understanding of TMD’s connection with these other conditions is in its early stages of research, but there’s avid interest among healthcare providers to learn more and possibly devise new treatments for TMD in coordination with these other related conditions.
In the meantime, TMD patients continue to respond best with the traditional approach to treatment, including physical therapy, thermal (hot or cold) compresses to the area of pain, medication and modifying the diet with more easier to chew foods. In extreme cases, jaw surgery may be recommended; however, success with this approach has been mixed, so it’s advisable to get a second opinion before choosing to undergo a surgical procedure.
Hopefully, further study about TMD and its connection with other conditions may yield newer treatments to ease the pain and discomfort of all these conditions, including TMD. You can stay up to date on these and other developments for coping with the discomfort of TMD at www.tmj.org and through your healthcare provider team.
If you would like more information on TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”
Alexandria, VA family dentistry protects all aspects of a healthy mouth. Checking for decay, gum disease and other health concerns, plus professionally cleaning to remove harmful plaque, preventative family dentistry preserves smiles for years. At Gibberman Dental, Paul Gibberman DDS, Lauren B. Gibberman DDS and Bindu Vemaraju DDS place a high priority on prevention and offer a comprehensive list of restorative and cosmetic services, too.
Prevent Problems with Alexandria, VA Family Dentistry
The American Dental Association says that dental decay is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the country today. Even children between the ages of 5 and 9 have at least one cavity or one filling in their mouths. Plus, advanced gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in American adults.
To keep ahead of these threats to oral health, Dr. Paul Gibberman and his associate dentists advise all their patients--from young children to older adults--to have routine dental exams and cleanings twice a year. The idea is to spot issues, such as decay, while small and easily treated. As such, a regular check-up at Gibberman Dental includes:
- visual inspection for decay
- periodontal probing of gum pockets to check for gum disease
- assessment of bite and jaw alignment
- a quick and painless check for oral cancer on the tongue, roof of the mouth, cheeks and gums
- gums to swell, bleed and be tender
- pus at the gum line
- gum recession
- destruction of the supporting bone in the jaw (alveloar ridge)
- tooth mobility and tooth loss
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Gibberman Dental is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Bindu Vemaraju to the staff of our Alexandria, VA dental office!
Dr. Vemaraju has years of experience creating beautiful, healthy smiles, and we are pleased to add her as a member of our team.
Before joining Gibberman Dental in October, Dr. Vemaraju spent two years as a general dentist in the northern Virginia area.
A graduate of the New York University-College of Dentistry, Dr. Vemaraju is a certified Invisalign provider, and is talented in a number of aspects of dental care including root canal treatments, oral surgery, implant restorations and cosmetic dentistry.
At New York University, she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree with honors in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. She also participated in volunteer work with the NYU College of Dentistry Henry Schein Cares Global Student Outreach Program providing oral health care education, emergency dental services, screenings, prevention, sealant application, and restorative treatment in Puebla City, Mexico. Before attending NYU, Dr. Vemaraju earned her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree with honors in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.
Dr. Vemaraju is an active member of the American Dental Association, Virginia Dental Association, Northern Virginia Dental Society, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry. She also continues to stay current with advancements in dentistry attending continuing education courses.
Away from the office, her interests include cooking, reading, and traveling.
Please help us welcome Dr. Vemaraju to the Gibberman Dental family!