12 Reasons to Visit the Dentist Right Away

12 reasons to visit the dentist right away

In this post, we review a list of 12 reasons to visit your dentist right away instead of waiting for your next annual appointment.

We hope that you are keeping up the habit of visiting your dentist at least once a year for an annual check-up.

There are so many dental problems that can be prevented by finding them early, especially serious issues like gum disease and oral cancer that can be treated if discovered as soon as possible.

In case you find your self wondering if it is necessary to see a dentist now or wait till your annual exam, here is a list of signs that we think should cause you to visit the dentist right away.

 

Reasons to visit a dentist right away

  • Pain or swelling
  • Gums are puffy or bleeding
  • You’re hiding your smile
  • You’ve recently had work done
  • Ongoing medical issues
  • You are pregnant
  • Trouble eating
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco use
  • Jaw pain
  • Spots or sores
  • Annual check-up time

 

TMJ Headache Treatment PlanoPain or swelling

If you are suffering from pain or swelling, there is no reason to put off that visit that may be scheduled for a month or longer away. Make that visit right away. Toothaches, swelling, and pain are all symptoms of issues that you should have treated right away. The sooner the better. You can end that pain and also improve your long-term health.

Related: Causes of toothaches

 

Gums are puffy or bleeding

If your gums are puffy or bleeding when you brush, it’s time to visit the dentist. These are signs of gum disease and the sooner you can have it treated the sooner you can stop the damage. It can’t always be reversed but you can keep it from causing more serious damage.

Related: What are the types of gum disease

 

You’re hiding your smile

If you are hiding your smile, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to get some work done to address the issue. Don’t hide your smile, get it fixed and start feeling great again.

 

Tooth ExtractionYou’ve recently had work done

If you have recently had fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures, you need to follow up with your dentist as recommended for a follow up so they can make sure everything has worked out the way it should.

 

Ongoing medical issues

Your dental health can tie in with your overall health and each may influence each other. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or an eating disorder, or undergoing medical treatments, you should make sure your dentist is a partner in your treatment and health. Symptoms of other health issues can show in your mouth or your gums could point to other potential health issues.

 

You are pregnant

If you weren’t sure, it IS safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. It is recommended you do so because pregnancy can make some dental issues worse. Make sure you schedule an appointment so that you will have one less thing to worry about.

 

Trouble eating

If you are having trouble eating or drinking, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with your dentist. Stop living with discomfort and don’t take a chance that you’ll make your issues worse by waiting.

 

Dry mouth

Sometimes dry mouth can be a symptom of another medical issue. It can also be a side effect of medications you are taking. Check with your dentist and get to the cause of this so you can find a solution.

Related: What causes dry mouth?

 

Tobacco use

Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can affect your dental and physical health. If you are a regular tobacco user, you should have an oral cancer screening in Plano to check for any early signs or oral cancer so it can be addressed as soon as possible.

 

Jaw pain

It is time to visit the dentist if you are having jaw pain or popping when you are opening and closing your mouth, waking up in the morning or chewing. These could be symptoms of TMJ and your dentist can help you find a TMJ treatment in Plano that can work for you and ease your TMJ pain. Another reason to schedule an appointment could be an uneven bite.

Related: TMJ headache treatment

 

Spots or sores

If you notice a spot or a sore in your mouth that isn’t normally there and it lasts for a week or longer, you should see your dentist about it. Different types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis. These can all vary in their seriousness and have different causes. Mouth sores can be the symptom of a disease or disorder. They can also be an infection from bacteria, a virus or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.

 

Annual check-up time

Have you had your annual dental check-up in Plano, TX? We sure hope so! It’s simple to schedule and will help keep your mouth healthy and contributes to your overall physical health.

 


Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774


What is Bruxism?

What Is Bruxism

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for what is commonly known as “teeth grinding”. 

Bruxism (pronounced BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which a person grinds, gnashes or clenches their teeth. This is usually an unconscious clenching that can occur either when a person is awake (awake bruxism) or when they are asleep (sleep bruxism).

Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are likely to have other sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea.

Related post: Can a Dentist Help with Sleep Apnea?

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. For some people, however, bruxism can be severe enough to lead to jaw disorders such as TMJ, headaches, damaged teeth and other more serious problems which require further treatment.

If you require bruxism treatment in Plano, please call today: (972) 964-3774

 

Bruxism Symptoms

Symptoms of bruxism

  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Front teeth are worn down so they are flat and even in length
  • A headache and aching jaws
  • Cracked teeth and broken fillings
  • Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
  • Sleep disruption
  • Loose teeth

Bruxism Symptoms

It is important to know the signs of bruxism (teeth grinding) because if you have sleep bruxism, you may not even be unaware of the condition until serious complications develop.

Related post: Teeth Grinding

 

What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?

According to Web MD, here are some tips to stop grinding your teeth:

  • Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
  • If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.
  • If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit.
  • Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
  • Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

 


Ready to learn more about teeth grinding treatments in Plano, Texas area?

Contact usPlano Dentist David Wilhite today to set up your free TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years of experience in testing, diagnosing, and treating TMJ Disorders. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


TMJ FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions TMJ

Are you suffering from TMJ disorder or suspect that you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ?

If so, it’s natural that you have some questions about TMJ, it’s causes and treatment options.

In this post, we respond to the most common TMJ questions that we frequently hear.

These are general TMJ questions and answers. They may not apply to every patient or situation. That is why we recommend you schedule a TMJ consultation with Dr. Wilhite or with your medical doctor for answers that are specific to you.

Want to learn more about bruxism treatments in Plano, TX? Schedule your consultation: (972) 964-3774

 

TMJ Frequently Asked Questions

TMJ Disorder SymptomsWhat is TMJ?

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. (Also known as TMJ Disorder, TMJ Syndrome, and TMJ Dysfunction) The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to the skull. Dysfunction can lead to pain and discomfort in the jaw and surrounding muscles. It can also cause headaches and migraines.

 

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ symptoms may include: headaches, pain or tenderness in your jaw, jaw clicking and popping, pain in your jaw joints, pain in or around your ears, earaches or ear pain, popping sounds in ears, pain while chewing, facial pain or aching, locking of the jaw joint, neck stiffness or aches.

Related post: What are the symptoms of TMJ?

 

TMJ Headache Treatment PlanoCan TMJ cause headaches and migraines?

Yes, headaches and migraines are known symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ pain can cause pain in the jaw and neck, which can radiate to the shoulders as well. Pain often occurs near the ears, and sometimes forehead and scalp. Sometimes TMJ headaches can be mistaken for tension headaches.

Related post: TMJ Headaches and Migraines

 

Can TMJ cause neck or back pain?

Neck pain and back pain are often included in the list of TMJ symptoms. Sometimes when you have neck pain or upper back pain and you’re not sure what is causing it, it might be caused by TMJ

 

Who can diagnose TMJ?

TMJ can be diagnosed by a dentist, medical doctor, an oral and maxillofacial specialist, or an otolaryngologist (also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or ENT specialist). There is no medically designated name for a TMJ specialist. There is also no specific test for diagnosing TMJ disorder. This can often cause issues with the diagnosis of TMJ.

 

TMJ Pain ReliefWhat causes TMJ?

The cause of TMJ symptoms is not completely understood. There are multiple factors which can contribute to TMJ. It may be caused by an injury to the jaw or face, grinding of teeth during sleep, stress, anxiety, arthritis, or excessive gum chewing.

 

Can TMJ be caused by stress or anxiety?

Stress is considered to be a cause of TMJ. Stress can cause many physical symptoms, TMJ pain being one of them. Stress can also cause teeth clenching and grinding, which are known to cause TMJ as well. TMJ, stress, and anxiety may all cause similar symptoms, sometimes making a diagnosis challenging.

 

How can I treat TMJ?

There are many potential treatments to TMJ pain, from medical treatment to home remedies. Most treatment begins with the most conservative, least invasive procedures. This would include things such as stretching exercises. Other options may include using Botox injections to end TMJ pain.

Related post: TMJ Headache Treatment in Plano

 

Can TMJ go away on its own?

Many people who have TMJ my only experience pain temporary and sometimes the recurring pain that may go away on its own. Some people may suffer in long-term TMJ problems.

 

Botox for TMJ Migraine Headaches Plano TXHow can I relive TMJ pain?

There are home remedies you can use to relieve pain before visiting with a dentist or doctor for TMJ treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, can relieve TMJ pain and swelling. Using heat packs or ice packs on the side of your face or temple area can provide relief. Stretching exercises can help some patients. A night guard may benefit people who’s TMJ is caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep. For some patients, dental work can provide relief from TMJ.

Related post: TMJ Pain Relief

 

Do mouthguards help for TMJ?

An NTI Mouthguard created for you by your dentist can help ease TMJ pain. The mouth guard reduces the clenching force of your jaw, which minimizes the stress to your temporomandibular joint, the source of your pain.

Related post: Botox for TMJ Migraine Headaches Plano

 

TMJ Exercises for pain reliefDo TMJ exercises work?

TMJ exercises or stretching do work for some patients at easing pain or helping build up strength in the jaw. They are a good starting point for pain relief treatments because they are simple. If exercises don’t work, then you can systematically move on to other TMJ treatment methods.

Related post: TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief

 

Will braces cure TMJ?

TMJ can sometimes be cured by using braces. Braces or Invisalign can correct issues with your bite or alignment of teeth, which can relieve pressure that causes TMJ, easing or eliminating your pain.

Related post: Tinnitus and TMJ

 


Ready to learn more about TMJ treatment options in Plano, Texas area?

Contact usPlano Dentist David Wilhite today to set up your TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience in testing, diagnosing, and treating TMJ Disorders. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


TMJ Resources

TMJ Disorders – The Mayo Clinic

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ) – Web MD

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome – eMedicine Health

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) – MedicineNet\

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders) – NIDCR

TMJ Headache Treatment in Plano – David Wilhite


 

TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief

TMJ Exercises for pain relief
TMJ Pain ReliefIs it possible that there are exercises that could ease the pain of TMJ?

Certainly, if you are one of the millions of people who suffer from reoccurring TMJ pain symptoms such as painful migraine headaches, you’d like to think so.

Live in Plano, TX and want to learn about TMJ treatments? Schedule your consultation by calling (972) 964-3774

Sometimes when the pain is caused by a jaw injury, discomfort can go away on its own with time. When the root cause of TMJ pain is less obvious, some people have found that TMJ exercises can help ease the pain.

TMJ pain symptoms are different between patients; some experience continuous pain, others have pain that comes and goes, some experience a locking, stiff jaw, or experience a popping when they open and close their mouth.

Related: TMJ Headache Treatments

Because of the various causes of TMJ and the symptoms people experience, there is no universal exercise for TMJ pain relief.

TMJ Headache Treatment PlanoThat doesn’t mean that TMJ exercises might not work for you. They do work for some patients at easing pain or helping build up strength in the jaw. They are also a good starting place for pain relief treatments. If exercises don’t work, then you can move on to other TMJ treatment methods.

Related: Botox for TMJ Migraine Treatment

Let’s review the most common TMJ exercises and how they work. They may just help ease your pain.

 

Types of TMJ Exercises

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Stretching exercises
  • Mobility exercises
  • Relaxation exercises

The different types of TMJ exercises exist to achieve four basic goals: strengthen the jaw, stretch the temporomandibular joint, improve the mobility of the temporomandibular joint or provide relaxation to treat stress-induced TMJ pain.

Related: TMJ Frequently Asked Questions

 

TMJ exercises you can do at home

 

Relaxed jaw exercise

Rest your tongue gently on the top of your mouth behind your upper front teeth. Allow your teeth to come apart while relaxing your jaw muscles.

 

Goldfish exercises (partial opening)

Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and one finger in front of your ear where your TMJ is located. Put your middle or pointer finger on your chin. Drop your lower jaw halfway and then close. There should be mild resistance but not pain. A variation of this exercise is to place one finger on each TMJ as you drop your lower jaw halfway and closed again. Do this exercise six times in one set. You should do one set six times daily.

 

Goldfish exercises (full opening)

Keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth, place one finger on your TMJ and another finger on your chin. Drop your lower jaw completely and back. For a variation of this exercise, place one finger on each TMJ as you completely drop your lower jaw and back. Do this exercise six times to complete one set. You should complete one set six times daily.

 

Chin Tucks

With your shoulders back and chest up, pull your chin straight back, creating a “double chin.” Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.

 

A resisted opening of the mouth

Place your thumb under your chin. Open your mouth slowly, pushing gently against your chin for resistance. Hold for three to six seconds, and then close your mouth slowly.

 

Resisted closing of the mouth

Squeeze your chin with your index and thumb with one hand. Close your mouth as you place gently pressure on your chin. This will help strengthen your muscles that help you chew.

 

Tongue up

With your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, slowly open and close your mouth.

 

Side-to-side jaw movement

Put a ¼ inch object, such as stacked tongue depressors, between your front teeth, and slowly move your jaw from side to side. As the exercise becomes easier, increase the thickness of the object between your teeth by stacking them one on top of each other.

 

Forward jaw movement

Put a 1/4 inch object between your front teeth. Move your bottom jaw forward so your bottom teeth are in front of your top teeth. As the exercise becomes easier, increase the thickness of the object between your teeth.

These TMJ exercises are suggested by the website Healthline. Visit the article and view images showing you how to perform these TMJ exercises correctly.

TMJ Exercises & Stretches to Relieve Jaw Pain

TMJ Pain Relief with Simple Exercises & Stretches

Disclaimer: These videos are not medical advice or a treatment plan and are intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. They should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Do not use these videos to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained in these videos. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless David Wilhite for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of these videos.


Ready to learn TMJ Treatment Options in Plano, Texas area?

Contact usPlano Dentist David Wilhite today to set up your TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years of experience in testing and diagnosing TMJ Disorders. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


Botox for TMJ Migraine Headaches Plano

Botox for TMJ Migraine Headaches Plano TX

BOTOX is the only FDA-approved preventive treatment for chronic migraines. 

With Botox treatment, many TMJ headaches can be prevented before they even start.

When Botox is injected into facial muscles suffering from soreness and discomfort, it relieves TMJ and jaw tension for many patients.

To learn about TMJ Treatments in Plano, TX, schedule your consultation: (972) 964-3774

Prevent TMJ headaches with Botox

The injections can often eliminate headaches resulting from TMJ, teeth grinding, and, in cases of severe stress, may even minimize lockjaw.

Related: What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

It is not a painful procedure and most patients compare it to getting a small pinprick. After treatment, you should be able to return to your normal routine almost immediately.

Most patients will experience noticeable improvement within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take a week or more.

Related: TMJ Headache Treatment Plano

This is not the right treatment solution for all people. Botox has shown best results with people who suffer from chronic headaches. It is most effective for those who suffer from headaches (including tension-type) 15 or more days of the month, of which eight or more is a migraine.

Some patients have experienced side-effects from Botox treatments. You will need to discuss treatment and possible side effects with your doctor.

Botox injections for treatment of TMJ is not a permanent solution. You will need to new treatments every 3-4 months.

Botox is FDA approved for migraines

Botox TMJ Treatment Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor

These questions are provided for your reference so you can be prepared for your Botox TMJ headache treatment consultation.

  • How many days were you totally headache free last month?
  • How do your headaches and migraines make you feel?
  • What other treatments have you tried for headaches?
  • How often do you take over the counter or prescription treatments for headaches?
  • Will Botox work for me?
  • Any other questions you may have about Botox treatment.

As with many medical procedures, your results may vary.

Related: TMJ Frequently Asked Questions


Ready to learn more about Botox headache treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder. He will be able to discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


TMJ Headache Treatment Plano

TMJ Headache Treatment Plano

Seeking TMJ Treatment in Plano, TX? Call for a consultation: (972) 964-3774

TMJ is a very broad term with multiple causes and multiple symptoms or presentations.

The patient can have pain in the joint itself, migraine headaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), stuffiness of the ears, sore chewing muscles and/or limited mouth opening, and vertigo.

Related: Tinnitus and TMJ

TMJ symptoms can be caused by a bad bite, chronic clenching, a constricted airway, stress or arthritis.

TMJ Headache Treatment Plano

If you have headaches, migraines, cracked teeth, sensitive teeth, chronic sinus problems, multiple root canals, loose teeth, worn teeth, or chipped teeth, then you may have TMJ.

There have been instances when a patient had been suffering from chronic or recurring sinus infections that went away once the patient received treatment for their TMJ problem.

Related: TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief

The management of the pain involves treating the underlying cause or causes of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms with medication alone. Full night guards or the NTI device can be used depending on which is appropriate for you. Clenching helps some people to open a constricted airway. If you do clench and grind due to sleep apnea, then an oral appliance may be considered. These are also beneficial for those who snore.

Related: What can be done about my headaches and TMJ problems?

For those who cannot control their daytime clenching, Botox often produces good results by reducing the intensity of muscle contractions.

For some people, a possible treatment is equilibration or adjusting the bite. Some patients will find that their symptoms improve or subside after equilibration. Clenching and grinding on a bad bite will cause a lot more damage to the teeth than clenching on a good bite. So, for those whose symptoms are not completely relieved by the bite adjustment, the incidence of wear and cracked teeth will be greatly reduced.

Tooth ExtractionThe patient is encouraged to participate in the treatment by:

    • Going on a soft diet for a limited time
    • Avoid chewing gum
    • Using heat or ice packs
    • Seeking stress reduction therapy if necessary

Most treatment begins with the most conservative, least invasive procedures.

One very successful treatment for migraines is the administering of Botox. Injected in specific areas a patient will find that the injections are not uncomfortable and the result is the pain relief they have been seeking. Botox is an ongoing treatment. It is not a one-time application.

In my office, I have been providing this treatment for well over 10 years with excellent success.


Seeking TMJ headache treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder. He will be able to discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.