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Posts Tagged: TMJ Symptoms

How Smoking Affects Your Mouth (and Ways to Treat This)

If you think smoking is bad enough because it destroys your lungs, then you haven’t gotten to the most obvious effects yet.

Tobacco and cigarettes contain tar and nicotine that build up inside your mouth. These gather in between teeth, allowing more bacteria to take refuge in these spaces and attack the surrounding teeth. Since there are about 600 bacterial species that make up the oral microbiome, just imagine how much the act of smoking further aggravates the problem by boosting the growth of the bacteria.

One of the most important things to understand about how smoking affects your mouth is that it also has other effects on your teeth. When plaque or tartar accumulate and harden around your teeth, for example, they create stains, usually yellowish and black in color, that can give you a less attractive smile.

The stains can be very difficult to remove and often cause damage to the surface of your teeth as well. Your teeth are coated with a protective layer called enamel; once the enamel is damaged, bacteria can freely contaminate and infect the core of your teeth, which eventually leads to rotting and extraction.

Another serious effect of smoking is gum disease. Because the nicotine coats the teeth and gums in plaque, oxygen is blocked from properly reaching the bloodstream. This prevents gums from healing as fast as it can, causing in the further development of different kinds of oral diseases. Although smoking can severely damage one’s dental condition, there are ways that can help you treat the damage it has done on your gums and teeth.

Brushing and flossing the right way

Brushing your teeth and flossing should be done the right way in order to achieve optimal results. Brushing three times daily and flossing after every meal is the typical advice, but keep in mind that you also have to do these correctly — you have to use the right strokes and perform the right procedures to remove every bit of tartar stuck on the surface of your teeth. By making a real effort to make a habit out of brushing and flossing regularly, you prevent the cavities from spreading further to your other teeth.

Installing crowns or veneers

When the degree of staining on your teeth is too serious too remove, you can simply cover it up with dental crowns or veneers. These dental solutions can be easily installed by your dentist and would not take too much time to accomplish. They serve as protective coverings and come in a porcelain white color to improve not just function of the teeth, but also their appearance.

Do not allow your teeth to deteriorate and completely lose their beauty. Visit a Prescott, AZ dentist today; these credible dental experts have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help bring back the perfect smile you lost from smoking.

Signs You Need to Worry About Tooth Pain

Tooth PainWhen to Worry About Tooth Pain

A toothache is a kind of pain that’s just impossible to ignore. Anybody who has experienced this pain will tell you that there’s simply no way of functioning normally when your teeth and gums are throbbing. It’s the equivalent and sometimes feels like a migraine.

When your tooth is aching, you simply cannot avoid worrying about it — you won’t be able to prevent your brain from thinking about all the possible reasons why you’re in such pain and how you can be free from it. However, not all toothaches are really that worrisome – sometimes, the causes are not anything too serious and life-threatening. So, when to worry about tooth pain — as in really worry?

Tooth pain caused by decay and cavities definitely hurt, but they’re not included in the list because they have easy solutions (fillings, root canal and crowns, and extraction). The truly worrisome reasons for tooth pain are the following:

Gum Disease 

While this can be treated by a dentist easily, (though it will require a long process,) there are serious complications that may arise due to periodontal disease. Therefore, this needs to be treated properly and as soon as possible in order to prevent potential complications.


This can cause severe toothaches and swelling and it’s usually due to common dental issues not being treated appropriately right away. Like periodontal disease, this can lead to serious complications if left untreated. The complication may prove fatal, especially if it’s accompanied with fever. It’s worth mentioning as well that a tooth infection is never a laughing matter as the mouth is in close proximity to the brain; infection can easily find its way to the brain and that will certainly have an impact on the organ.

TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder 

This can cause great physical discomfort and a person’s quality of life can become diminished because of it. It’s imperative for people with TMJ to get dental surgery in order to get rid of persistent pains and chronic inflammation that make everything from talking to eating extremely difficult.


The issue with this one is that it’s not a problem with the teeth and gums; however, it makes the gums swell, and there’s this persistent throbbing pain from the mouth that radiates to the ears and the head. The pain will persist until the right medication is provided.

Heart Disease

People with heart disease may experience severe tooth pains, which are accompanied with light-headedness and/or sweating. When these physical discomforts are experienced, have yourself checked by a dentist right away to prevent a full-blown flare-up of the disease.

For any kind of physical pain, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whether the reason is something serious or just typical dental issues, it’s better to know what it is so you can do the appropriate thing and finally find relief from the ache.

If you find yourself suffering from tooth pain it’s important to see your Prescott dentist at Horizon Dental Group today.


TMJ Syndrome Symptoms and Relief

TMJ Syndrome SymptomsTMJ Syndrome Symptoms and the Treatments Your Dentist Can Provide for Relief

Your jaw is an important area of the body because it plays a major part in your ability to speak and eat. And while it’s not a body part that you would commonly associate with aches or pains, there are instances when your jaw may not be functioning as properly as it should, resulting in discomfort and inconvenience.


When you feel that there’s something wrong with your jaw, it’s best to have your trusted dentist look at your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint connects the jaw to your skull’s temporal bones and is responsible for making the lower jaw move forward, backward, and from one side to another — essentially, it lets the jaw operate as a “hinge” with the help of a system of ligaments, muscles, bones and discs. When you experience signs of problems with the muscles of your face and jaw, then TMJ syndrome or disorder could be a possibility.

What Causes TMJ Syndrome?

The exact cause of TMJ disorder is difficult to pinpoint because the symptoms can be present in other conditions. According to a seasoned dentist (Chino Valley), the disorder may be brought about by damage to the joint’s cartilage from a strong blow or impact, from arthritis, or from the erosion or misalignment of the shock-absorbing disc in the joint (the disc helps keep the jaw’s movements smooth).


The following are the common TMJ syndrome symptoms:

  • A popping or clicking sound each time you open or close your mouth
  • Pain when you yawn, chew or open the mouth widely
  • Tender jaw muscles
  • Jaws that lock or get stuck together
  • A noticeable change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
  • Facial swelling
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Pain or pressure behind the eyes


It’s best to seek the attention of your dentist if the pain or tenderness is persistent or if you are having difficulty completely opening or closing your jaw. There is no single treatment, cure or home remedy that can entirely address TMJ disorder, so one or more of the following options may be recommended:


  • Applying ice or moist heat to eliminate muscle pains and spasms.
  • Wearing a dental appliance such as a splint or bite plate. Customized to fit your mouth, this appliance will keep the upper and lower from grinding together and can reduce the harmful effects of clenching.
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers (like aspirin and muscle relaxants) or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Eating foods that are soft or have been cut up into small pieces, and avoiding foods that are chewy and sticky.
  • Trying relaxation techniques, counseling or training to eliminate stress and reduce tension in the jaw.
  • Performing massage and stretching exercises that can help stretch and strengthen the jaw muscles.
  • Undergoing jaw joint surgery (as a last resort, if the joints of the jaw are involved and all other treatment options prove unsuccessful).


If you suspect you are suffering from TMJ syndrome symptoms, don’t allow it to get any worse. Contact your Prescott Valley dentist today!


TMJ Syndrome Symptoms


3d rendered illustration – jaw bone – side view

TMJ Syndrome Symptoms and Other Relevant Facts About the Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ syndrome is a disorder that affects the jaw muscles and the nerves on the temporomandibular joint.

Common Symptoms

Patients who suffer from this condition experience pain while chewing, as well as clicking and popping of the jaw. Other TMJ symptoms include headaches, swelling of the sides of the face, nerve inflammation, blurred vision, ringing or popping sounds in the ears, stiff or saw jaw and/or neck, pain in the tongue, shoulder pain, dizziness, and pain at the base of the tongue. In some cases, patients who suffer from TMJ syndrome may have their temporomandibular joint dislocated.

Causes Of TMJ Syndrome

TMJ syndrome may be caused by different factors that all lead to tightness in the jaw muscles. To date, experts remain unsure whether causes like malocclusion, teeth grinding, poor posture, stress and anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders and excessive chewing lead to TMJ syndrome or come as a result of the disorder.
People who are at a higher risk of succumbing to the syndrome include:

  • Those with poor neck and upper back posture
  • Those who are under stress
  • Women aged between 18 and 44 years old
  • Those who have been diagnosed with chronic inflammatory arthritis
  • Those with poorly positioned teeth
  • Those who have suffered jaw trauma
  • Those who are genetically predisposed to have high pain sensitivity and increased stress response.

How To Diagnose TMJ Syndrome

In order to diagnose whether you are indeed suffering from TMJ syndrome or a similar condition called trigeminal neuralgia, a doctor will need to assess your medical history as well as conduct a physical exam. In most cases, your doctor may refer you to a dentist, an oral and maxillofacial specialist, or an ear, nose and throat doctor. In other cases, your doctor will recommend an MRI in order to check the condition of the temporomandibular joint and rule out other issues.

TMJ Treatment

TMJ is often treated with a combination of over-the-counter medications, stress relief, and relaxation techniques like massage. You may also be asked to switch to soft food and avoid chewing gums.
If you do not respond to these home remedies, your doctor may recommend the use of a dental splint which resembles a mouth guard. This helps keep the teeth in alignment and prevent bruxism. You may also undergo physical therapy in order to help strengthen and improve the flexibility and range of motion of your jaw muscles. In lieu of over-the-counter drugs, your doctor may prescribe prescription-strength pain medicines. For severe cases, jaw or dental surgery may be recommended.