Posts for: June, 2020
Eating is like breathing: We often do it without much thought. But if you suffer from chronic jaw pain, every bite can get your attention—and not in a good way. What's worse, in an effort to avoid the pain associated with a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) you might make less than nutritious food choices.
But there are ways to eat healthy without aggravating the symptoms of TMD—not just your choices of food, but also how you prepare and actually eat the food. Here are 4 tips that can help you manage eating with TMD.
Choose moist foods in sauces or gravy. A lot of chewing action is intended to mix saliva with tough or dry foods to make them easier to digest. But this extra jaw action can irritate the jaw joints and muscles and increase your discomfort. To help reduce your jaws' work load, choose foods with a high moisture content, or cook them in a sauce or gravy.
Peel foods with skin. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, but their tough outer skin or peel is often hard to chew. Although these parts may also contain nutrients, removing them allows you to gain most of the nutritional benefit of the food while making it easier to chew it.
Cut foods into bite-size pieces. A lot of discomfort with TMD occurs with having to open the jaws wide to accommodate large pieces of food. To minimize the amount of jaw opening, take time to cut all your food portions down into smaller pieces. Doing so can help you avoid unnecessary discomfort.
Practice deliberate eating. All of us can benefit from slower, more methodical eating, but it's especially helpful for someone with TMD. By chewing deliberately and slowly and doing your best to limit jaw opening, you can enhance your comfort level.
Eating often becomes an arduous task for someone with TMD that increases pain and stress. But practicing these tips can make your dining experience easier—and more enjoyable.
If you would like more information on managing TMD in everyday life, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What to Eat When TMJ Pain Flares Up.”
You already know the basics for healthy and attractive teeth and gums: brush and floss every day; and have your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist every six months. But there are also some lesser known things you can do to improve what you're already doing—and some of them may go against popular wisdom.
Here then are 3 counter-intuitive tips for turbo-boosting your teeth and gum health.
Avoid brushing too hard and too often. While it may not seem like it, “The more, the better” isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth. Vigorous brushing several times a day could actually damage both your teeth enamel and your gums, eventually leading to problems like sensitive teeth. So, easy does it on the brushing pressure—let the mild abrasives in your toothpaste do the work removing disease-causing dental plaque. Likewise, avoid brushing more than twice a day.
Wait on brushing right after eating. If your first instinct right after a meal is to head to the sink to brush your teeth, curb your enthusiasm. Your enamel is actually in a slightly softened state right after eating and drinking because of an increase in mouth acid (especially if you've consumed sodas, sports drinks or juices). Saliva restores the mouth's pH balance and helps remineralize enamel in about an hour. If you brush before then, you could be sloughing off microscopic bits of enamel—an eventual problem if this is a regular habit.
Stop snack “grazing.” If you're one of those that likes to munch on food throughout the day, you could be thwarting your overall efforts to maintain good dental health. Remember saliva? As mentioned, it effectively neutralizes acid in a few minutes. But continuous snacking maintains a constant high level of acid in the mouth—saliva has little chance to catch up. As a result, your mouth stays acidic, which can lead to higher risk of dental disease. If possible, limit your snacking to mealtimes.
These tips might be surprising, but they're based on sound science and research. Incorporating them into your regular, ongoing dental care, could increase your chances of healthy teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on how best to clean and care for your teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”
Not all individuals have that perfectly white and even smile for different reasons, perhaps due to poor oral hygiene, damage from an injury, or the way their teeth naturally came in. Fortunately, dentists can employ various tools to aid you in getting that flawless smile. Here at Karls Family Dentistry, our dentists, Dr. Matthew Karls and Dr. Stanley Karls, commonly utilize dental veneers in our Waunakee, WI, practice to correct or conceal teeth deficiencies and give patients the smile they deserve.
What Exactly are Dental Veneers and How Do They Work?
Veneers are customized, ultra-thin shells crafted from composite resin or porcelain. They’re specifically made to fit snugly over the front teeth, enhancing their look. They are particularly useful in beautifying the smiles of individuals with discolored, misshapen, cracked, or chipped teeth. Likewise, although their main function is cosmetic, individuals usually opt for them as a part of their smile makeover plan that involves gum disease treatment.
Composite veneers, also called direct dental veneers, are composite resin coatings that are applied in just one dental appointment. These last for up to seven years with proper maintenance and care. Porcelain veneers, or indirect dental veneers, are customized porcelain shells and require two appointments—one for fitting your teeth and the other for installing them. These are more expensive than composite resin veneers since they can last for up to 15 years or more.
Both of these veneer options offer excellent benefits. Composite dental veneers require less enamel removal, can be completed in just one appointment, and are more affordable than its porcelain counterpart. Porcelain veneers are significantly more durable than composite resin veneers, don’t stain easily due to their natural stain-resistant properties, and look more natural.
With this in mind, the most qualified individual to help you decide on which specific type of dental veneers will work best for your needs and personal preferences is your dentist in Waunakee, WI.
Extending The Life of Your Dental Veneers
Maintaining your veneers, whether they’re porcelain or composite resin, is the same process for caring for your natural teeth. You might, however, need to visit your dentist more regularly for checkups and professional cleanings and use certain products that have been specifically proven to safeguard your veneers and prolong their service life.
To Learn More About Dental Veneers, Give Us a Call
Dial (608) 849-4100 to reach Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI, and set up your consultation with Dr. Matthew Karls or Dr. Stanley Karls.