Friday, February 24, 2012

Clenching teeth, TMJ, Tooth Grinding, and Headaches - Crystal Lake Dentist

Clenching Your Teeth
Ever noticed that familiar scene at the movies when the camera goes in for a close-up on the gangster’s face during a tense moment in the film and you can see him clenching and his jaw muscles throbbing?

Clenching teeth is on the rise

He probably has headaches!
You may not know that the action of biting down on your teeth (other than chewing and swallowing) is called "clenching" or "grinding your teeth" and can cause TMJ problems and headaches.
[Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) - causes, symptoms headaches, sore jaw, ear clicking, facial pain] 

A high percentage of the headache sufferers are also ''clenchers'' but most are not even aware they had the habit. You may know you grind your teeth if your partner wakes you up when they hear you grind your teeth at night, you experience jaw pain and/or headaches, or the dentist has pointed out that you have cracked teeth or excessive tooth wear.

How do you know when you are clenching and what do you do?

Headaches related to TMJ and clenching are on the rise

You pay attention. Here are some clues to look for if you think you don’t think you are clenching but have headaches.
1) You sometimes wake up with sore teeth or jaw muscles 
2) When you relax your jaw and let you chin drop, it feels more uncomfortable than when your mouth is shut. 
3) You can’t open your mouth as wide as you should be able to. 
4) You chew gum everyday. 
5) Just touching your teeth together without biting down is enough pressure to be a problem.

If you think you are having problems with TMJ, ask us about TMJ splints.

TM splints are a simple effective treatment for TMJ and headaches in many cases

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Headaches, Clenching and TMJ at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pregnancy Gingivitis Crystal Lake Dentist

Pregnancy Changes your Chemistry
For expectant parents the Joy of pregnancy cannot be matched. Picking our names, decorating the baby's room,  and baby showers dominate the parents thoughts. The physical changes occurring in the mother that accompany pregnancy need to be dealt with as well. One of those changes is how the body deals with inflammation and infections.  Hormonal changes in the mother lead to an exaggerated response to bacterial plaque in the mouth.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis
 pregnancy tumor 
During pregnancy, many women experience increased sensitivity and puffiness of the gums. Pregnancy causes an alteration in the estrogen and progesterone levels that, when coupled with plaque that is present in the mouth, can cause an exaggerated form of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). In some cases, the infected gum can form a benign growth called a pregnancy tumor. The pregnancy tumor does not usually require treatment, and resolves after the child is born. Professional dental cleanings twice during your pregnancy, as well as frequent daily brushing (three times a day) and flossing, will greatly reduce gum swelling, sensitivity, and the risk of developing a pregnancy tumor. 

Gingivitis, Periodontitis and Low Birth-Weight Complications

Low Birth-Weight

Pregnancy gingivitis untreated can become periodontitis which causes bone destruction. These conditions are harmful to both the pregnant mother and the unborn child. Gum disease is linked to heart disease and diabetes along with a multitude of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis. Gum disease is also linked to Low Birth-Weight. Low Birth-Weight is linked to premature death of the child, extended hospital stays, and many chronic health complications which are emotionally and financially devastating to the family.

Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

Most dental treatment can be safely completed during pregnancy. Despite the extremely low radiation of dental X-rays, routine checkup X-rays are usually avoided during pregnancy if the expectant mother has received routine dental care and is in good dental health. If the expectant mother is in pain, dental X-rays can be safely taken, but I advise using two lead aprons to shield the radiation. Dental anesthetics at regular doses are not harmful to the unborn child. Some obstetricians advise dentists to use anesthetics without epinephrine during pregnancy

Medications During Pregnancy

Most antibiotics used by dentists during pregnancy do not put the unborn child at risk. Acceptable antibiotics include penicillin, amoxicillin and clindamycin. Dentists should avoid prescribing tetracycline and narcotic pain medication, and not recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil®). Dental pain should be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol®) in most cases. 

Best time for Dental Treatment

The best time for dental treatment during pregnancy is in the second trimester. Elective dental treatment such as cosmetic dentistry should be postponed until after the child is born. Always consult your obstetrician if you have any questions about medications or treatment provided by your dentist. 

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about pregnancy and dental care at Crystal Lake Dental Associates

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dental Treatments for Sleep Apnea-Crystal Lake Dentist

Dental Treatments for Sleep Apnea 

Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea

Daytime drowsiness is a sign of sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea...What is It?

 It is estimated that millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but far fewer know very much about what it is or how it can be treated. Quite simply sleep apnea is the disruption of normal breathing during sleep and can become a very serious problem if gone untreated.  Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose since no one remembers how his or her breathing was the night before.   

People suffering from sleep apnea also may choke or gasp during sleep to draw in breath, experience loud snoring, awake suddenly to restart breathing, sweat frequently through the night, experience headaches, sore throat, or dry mouth in the morning, and even may experience daytime sleepiness

Causes of Sleep Apnea 

Causes of sleep apnea vary. Large tonsils, obesity, relaxation of the tongue and throat muscles, smoking, nasal congestion, and heredity are some of the major causes.  Sleep apnea can also develop from other physical ailments such as weak immune system, severe heartburn, acid reflux or high blood pressure.

Simple airway tests for sleep apnea

Recordings from portable home testing for sleep apnea

Home testing device  for sleep apnea 
Testing for sleep Apnea 

In our office, we screen patients for sleep apnea with a simple questionnaire regarding their sleep quality of sleep and symptoms of daytime sleepiness. A simple series of airway tests can help determine if your airway collapses. A take home monitor can be used to assess the quality of sleep. This information is then sent electronically to be evaluated by a qualified sleep physician. A diagnosis and recommended course of treatment is then available very quickly and economically.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Example of simple oral appliance for sleep apnea

While not usually associated with sleep apnea, dentists can actually play a large and successful role in the treatment of sleep apneaDentists, working along with other health professionals can control the symptoms or reverse sleep apnea. In fact dental treatments are some of the most common and affordable ones.  There are different dental appliances, lower jaw adjustment devices, and oral devices that can help treat and fight mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Many dental devices for treating sleep apnea are much like athletic mouth guards or appliances used for orthodontics and are made of acrylic, fitting inside the mouth that when fitted properly can reposition jaw bones and facial muscles.  Others actually fit around the head and chin to reposition the jaw, much like headgear for braces.  Two of most common dental treatments for sleep apnea include the Tongue Retaining Device and the Mandibular Repositioning.  These two devices help open your airway while you sleep. It moves your lower jaw or tongue forward.  Often, the lower jaw and tongue move too far back thus blocking the flow of air during sleep.

treatments and devices for sleep apnea can make a huge difference in treating mild to moderate cases. Call our office and ask us how we can best help you treat your sleep apnea for a more rested night’s sleep.

Please share your comments!

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Sleep Apnea and Oral appliances at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Madonna a Diastema Now Fashionable?-Crystal Lake Dentist

Diastemas are becoming more popular among celebs.

In honor of Madonna's amazing career and her recent appearance at the Superbowl Halftime Show, I thought It appropriate to comment on how the space between her front teeth is becoming more acceptable among celebrities

Madonna the Gap-toothed Pop Idol 

Madonna is the most successful artist in the history of the Billboard chart. 

Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone (English pronunciation: /tʃik̚ˈkoːne/ chee-co-nay); August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983. She followed it with a series of albums that attained immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on the record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes". Critics have praised Madonna for her diverse musical productions while at the same time serving as a lightning rod for religious controversy.
Her career was further enhanced by film appearances that began in 1985, despite mixed commentary. She received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other film roles. Madonna's other ventures include being a fashion designer, children's book author, film director and producer. Madonna has been acclaimed as a businesswoman. In 1992, she founded entertainment company Maverick as a joint venture with Time Warner. In 2007, she signed an unprecedented US $120 million contract with Live Nation.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. According to theRecording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the Billboard chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. Considered to be one of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. (Madonna's mini bio courtesy of Wikipedia)
Other celebritiewho have been sporting  gaps in their smiles for years:
Lawrence Fishburne

Condoleezza Rice

David Letterman

Lauren Hutton

Michael Strahan

Though I have never had a patient ask me for a space between their front teeth, the presence of one does not always detract from beauty. Clearly fashion trends are changing in the modeling industry.
Popular Female Models Now Sporting Gapped Smiles:

Abbey Lee Kershaw

Ashley Smith
Vanessa Paradis

Lara Stone

Lindsey Wixson

Georgia May Jagger

Chelsey Hersey
Jessica Hart

Anna Paquin

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Cosmetic Dentistry and Smile Makeovers at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.