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Dental FAQs
TMJ Disorder Treatment FloridaHow do I know if I have a TMJ disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, your jaw joints. The pain, discomfort, or tenderness in or around the jaw joints is called a TMJ disorder.

Signs that you might have a TMJ disorder are:
  •  Facial pain or tenderness
  •  Jaw pain
  •  Pain in or around the ears
  •  Neck pain
  •  Jaw stiffness
  •  Discomfort while chewing
  •  Headaches
  •  Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  •  Jaw “locking up”
  •  Jaw makes a clicking sound
  •  Teeth that don’t come together properly when eating or chewing

There are a variety of treatment options for TMJ. Be sure to ask us about these.

Tongue piercings seem to be a very bad idea. How bad?
Tongue piercings are very popular, but they can cause major problems for your oral health. They can fracture your teeth and make it much easier to get a nasty infection of the tongue and lips. Dentists have estimated that up to 40% of people who have metal rings or other oral piercings have had big problems from tooth fractures and infection.

If fluoride is bad for you, why is it in toothpaste?
Fluoride is fine…in small amounts. Excessive fluoride can cause tooth enamel irregularities. Young children, especially, often swallow too much toothpaste while brushing. So parents, supervise your young kids while they brush. Kids (and even adults) often use way too much toothpaste (a pea-size drop is plenty). A little goes a long way.

Teeth GrindingI think I grind my teeth at night. What can I do about this?
Many patients who wake up with pain in their jaws or a nagging headache could be bruxing, or grinding their teeth, during sleep. Persistent bruxing can damage teeth and cause them to get shorter and shorter. It can also damage your temporomandibular (jaw) joints and even affect your hearing. If you suspect that you are a bruxer, give us a call. Our doctors may recommend a night guard or other oral appliance.

Is an oral cancer screening part of my exam?
Yes, it is! Dentists and hygienists are your first line of defense in detecting and treating oral cancer. Each year in the US, approximately 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral cancer. Worldwide, the problem is far greater, with new cases annually approaching 300,000. In the US alone, a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. If you add the sub category of laryngeal cancers, the rates of occurrence (about 10,000 additional new cases per year) and death are significantly higher. However, the good news is, when found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% cure rate.

Why is it important to have regular teeth cleaning?
Many patients aren’t aware that “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your teeth. Removing plaque is essential to preserving your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are, of course, vital, but everyone needs their teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Remember – only a dental hygienist can completely clean your teeth.

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Why is it harmful to chew ice and things?
Tooth enamel is very hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break it. Try to avoid eating “hard foods” such as popcorn. Don’t crack nut shells with your teeth or chew on ice. Opening packages with your teeth can also damage the enamel.

What makes soft drinks bad for your teeth?
Anything with sugar and acid attacks teeth. Examples include soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices, and candy. Because of the acid content, Mountain Dew seems to be the worst of the worst. Dentists even have a name for the damage it does – they call it “Dew Mouth.” These soften the tooth enamel, making it highly susceptible to decay. Parents, watch your kid’s consumption of these, because young children’s enamel hasn’t developed fully. This makes these drinks even more damaging for kids. As well as eliminating the above (or at least reducing their consumption), use a sugar-free xylitol chewing gum after meals. Also, rinse your mouth with a high-quality dental mouthwash.
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