Complimentary Smile Consultation: (818) 334-2974
05Mar

There are a number of different underlying dental problems that can manifest as jaw pain; while you may not be able to tell exactly why this pain is occurring on your own, our Glendale dentists want to encourage you not to ignore it. Seeking prompt treatment for jaw pain can help you avoid more severe, and costly, dental health problems down the road.

Jaw pain may pop up due to:

  • Increased stress, which causes dental grinding
  • A misaligned bite
  • Temporomandibular joint damage or inflammation
  • A cavity near the back jaw
  • Periodontal disease

When patients ignore these warning signs, they risk developing more serious damage as time goes on:

  • Untreated TMJ problems often get worse over time. Some patients eventually have trouble opening their mouths all of the way or chewing comfortably. It is vital that your dentist assesses whether you’re dealing with underlying TMJ damage that needs to be addressed.
  • The same misaligned bite that causes jaw discomfort can also cause your teeth to wear down prematurely and unevenly. When our bites are poorly aligned, we unconsciously change how we bite and chew in order to compensate. Unfortunately, this is hard on the dental enamel, and can lead to cracks and chips. This type of damage can also result from bruxism (chronic dental grinding), whether it is caused by a structural imbalance or stress.
  • Cavities and periodontal disease do not go away on their own. Restorative treatment will stop the infection in its track, and repair damaged areas of your smile. When these types of infections are left untreated, they can spread to other teeth, gum tissue, and even the jawbone.

If you are experiencing jaw pain, think of it as a helpful warning sign or red flag; you know something is off with your smile, so now is the time to get the help you need! As always, you can contact our Glendale dentists to learn more, and to schedule a personal consultation. 

19Feb

Many of us consider a crooked, crowded smile to be purely aesthetic problem. However, the truth is much more complicated

Looking at your oral health comprehensively, all of the parts of your smile are interconnected. When one part of your mouth is not functioning well, it can create a domino effect of health problems. Our Glendale dentists aim to correct structural imbalances in our patients’ smiles before these issues create too much damage.

If, for example your back molars are not coming together evenly and naturally, you will likely end up altering your bite in order to chew effectively. These slight alterations happen unconsciously, so you may not even notice that you’re doing it. Unfortunately, even small dental shifts can lead to big problems, such as:

  • Uneven, premature dental wear: as you alter how you chew, certain teeth will be put under additional strain, and are thus likely to accumulate damage
  • TMJ damage: your temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect your skull to your lower jaw. When your top and bottom teeth do not come together your TMJs are negatively affected—you may deal with discomfort, popping/clicking sensations, and limited jaw mobility.
  • Bruxism: many patients with bite problems also suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding and clenching. Grinding and clenching can happen while the patient is sleeping, as the patient’s body searches for a natural “resting” position for the top and bottom teeth.

When you optimize your dental alignment, and treat bite issues in a timely manner, you give your smile its best chance of aging well: with healthy teeth and minimal damage.

Our Glendale dentists utilize a number of treatments to correct bite issues. Orthodontic treatment is a tried and true option, as it moves the patient’s natural teeth into better alignment. Additionally, restorative treatments like personalized crowns, dental bonding, and veneers can improve bite balance. Give our team a call to schedule a personal consultation and get started! 

05Feb

As the saying goes, knowledge is power! Our Glendale dentists truly believe that the more our patients know about the root causes of oral health problems, the better equipped they are to proactively protect their smiles. With that in mind, here is some useful information about how dental decay develops…

The dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth; it is tasked with protecting more vulnerable tooth layers, like dentin and tooth pulp, from irritants and infection. Enamel is comprised of minerals, and while these minerals are quite resilient, they are not indestructible.

Dental decay occurs when a patient’s dental enamel is compromised and infiltrated. Harmful bacteria in your smile release acids as they feed and grow; these acids cause enamel demineralization. When you consume a lot of sugars and refined carbohydrates, you provide oral bacteria with the exact substances they need to thrive. This is why it’s best to limit your consumption of sweets and highly processed foods.

Additionally, acidic foods and drinks—as they come into contact with a tooth—temporarily weaken dental enamel, and leave the tooth susceptible to damage. Long-term acid exposure will cause the enamel to wear way and become thinner.

As portions of your teeth become weaker, bacteria will colonize these vulnerable tissues. Dental bacterial decay generally begins in the dental enamel, and then works its way through the dentin to the dental core. Alternatively, decay can start at the tooth root, and move up into the tooth that way.

Protecting your smile from damage and decay means:

  • Following your dentist-recommended oral hygiene plan
  • Staying hydrates, so that your body can produce enough saliva
  • Rinsing your mouth after eating or drinking anything other than water
  • Seeking prompt treatment for developing decay, so that it can be stopped before it becomes severe

To learn more about how dental decay occurs, and to get additional information about how you can protect your smile, please feel free to call our Glendale dentists