By Mark Levy | August 28, 2012
Remember when chewing gum was bad for you? Not anymore! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as the American Dental Association have endorsed the use of chewing gums containing xylitol and sorbitol. New research shows that the use of such chewing gum can have a positive effect on the reduction of dental plaque.
Researcher Rosalien Keukenmeester from the Department of Periodontology at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, led a team that reviewed six non-brushing and four brushing studies on the effects of sugar-free chewing gum regarding plaque formation and gum inflammation. The non-brushing studies showed no significant results on plaque or gingival inflammation but the brushing studies displayed a considerable effect in supporting the use of the sugar-free chewing gum with regard to plaque scores. So evidence shows that chewing gum can’t replace brushing (and flossing) but adding sugar-free gum can help.
How much gum to chew, how long to chew for, and how many times a day you should be chewing are all good questions. The science agrees that chewing one piece of gum for ten minutes, fives times a day will have a positive effect on the reduction of plaque scores when added to a regular brushing routine. Remember, this doesn’t let you off the hook for brushing or flossing!
In a world of “sugar-free,” “fat-free,” and “no trans-fat,” how do you know which sugar-free is the right one? Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on packaging and check the ingredient list for xylitol or sorbitol – they will be listed on the label. The brands currently given a thumbs up from the ADA are: Dentyne Ice Sugarless Gum, Stride Sugarless Gum, Trident® Sugarfree Gum, Wrigley’s Extra Sugarfree Gum, and Wrigley’s Orbit Sugarfree Gum.
One word of caution about chewing gum. If you experience jaw clicking, facial or neck pain or headaches you may have a problem with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which is your jaw joint. Chewing gum can irritate the jaw and increase muscle spasms and pain. Talk to your neuromuscular dentist before chewing gum regularly.
Please contact Columbus cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your next dental hygiene appointment and then go pick up a pack of sugarless gum.
By Mark Levy | August 7, 2012
Neuromuscular dentistry has helped many people resolve their chronic pain, but is neuromuscular dentistry right for you?
A neuromuscular dentist is specially trained to understand the complex relationship between the jaw joint (TMJ), muscles, teeth and basically the entire neuromuscular system. Many patients come to a neuromuscular dentist after they have visited many other specialists seeking help for their chronic head and neck pain.
Symptoms that can be alleviated by neuromuscular dentistry include:
- Facial or jaw pain
- Headache, including migraine
- Ear “fullness” or tinnitus
- Neck pain
- Upper back pain
- Tingling in the arms or hands
- Jaw locking or cracking
As a Columbus, OH neuromuscular dentist I have extensive training in the workings of the incredibly complex human jaw joint and its surrounding tissues. Everything in our body is connected and the jaw joint connection to chronic pain is no different.
The reasons why the jaw joint and surrounding muscles cause these painful problems vary. Accidents including falls and auto crashes are responsible for many painful symptoms. Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, can cause damage to the jaw joint and teeth. A poor bite caused by old dental work or broken or missing teeth seems like a simple thing but is one of the most common causes of facial pain and headache. Restoring the muscles to their proper resting position and ensuring the bite is correct can resolve the pain.
If you are experiencing head or facial pain including headache, neck or jaw pain or ear problems please contact Columbus, OH neuromuscular dentist Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care today at 614-476-6696. We’ll be happy to schedule your consultation to see if neuromuscular dentistry is right for you.
By Mark Levy | October 11, 2011
Living with your cellphone glued to your ear has now been linked to tinnitus. No, the ringing you may hear is not another call coming in but is a persistent noise or buzzing in the ears called tinnitus. Studies are now showing that people who have been using cellphones for at least four years for 10 minutes a day are hearing ringing in their ears. The risk of developing this incredibly annoying condition increases 70% if you are in the cellphone user group.
Ten to fifteen percent of adults have tinnitus and while most doctors tell their patients to live with the condition because there is no cure, Dr. Mehmet Oz suggests that anyone afflicted with tinnitus get a total medical and dental exam because tinnitus can sometimes signal other problems, including jaw disorders. Dr. Oz feels that eliminating them can eliminate the noise.
The doctor is correct in pointing out that jaw problems such as TMJ disorders can cause tinnitus. Many of our TMJ patients report hearing ringing or chirping in their ears and often report a feeling of “fullness” in their ears. The good news is that TMJ problems can be treated. Your Columbus, Ohio treatment center for TMJ problems is StoneRidge Dental Care where Dr. Mark Levy will put his advanced LVI neuromuscular training to work diagnosing and treating your TMJ disorder.
If you are experiencing tinnitus, headaches, jaw clicking, facial or neck pain please contact us today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your consultation.
By Mark Levy | September 9, 2011
About 45 million Americans suffer from headaches each year robbing them of time at work, school or with their families. Attempting to discover the reason for the headaches can be a long, frustrating process which often leads to many visits to physicians and specialists without receiving a diagnosis.
Continual headaches or migraines, especially in the morning, may be a sign of temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ. The temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) is the joint that connects your lower jaw with your skull and is one of the most complex in the human body. A common cause of TMJ pain is a poor bite which is also called malocclusion.
Malocclusion can occur for many reasons. Teeth may not fit together properly because of old, broken dental work, teeth may be missing or misaligned. A dentist who has specialized training in neuromuscular dentistry has the ability to correct the improper bite and relieve stress on the temporomandibular joint. This relieves the recurring headaches and the neck and shoulder pain that often accompany them.
If you suffer from frequent, recurring headaches please contact StoneRidge Dental Care in Columbus, OH at 614-476-6696 today. Freedom from headache pain is within your reach.
By Mark Levy | August 25, 2011
This is the longest recession in modern history and almost everyone has experienced increased levels of stress. One sign of this stress that we are seeing more frequently is a condition called bruxism, or teeth grinding. Patients clench or grind their teeth, usually at night during sleep, so they don’t even realize they are doing it until a tooth breaks or daily headaches cause them to seek treatment.
Normally, 10 to 15 percent of people grind but during the economic downturn many dentists who treat bruxism have seen an increase in stress-related grinding. Traditionally, grinding appears in middle-age and women have typically been the ones seeking treatment. Today however, more neuromuscular dentists are reporting an increase in male patients.
The damage caused by untreated bruxism can be severe. Normal chewing puts about 68 pounds of pressure per square inch on the back teeth, grinding unconsciously at night can cause up of 900 pounds of pressure. Little wonder that teeth break and wear down. This pressure also causes inflammation and damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) leading to facial pain, jaw clicking and headaches.
The treatment for bruxism? For many cases a custom orthotic (sometimes called a night guard) protects the teeth from wear and places the jaw in a position that reduces stress on the temporomandibular joint. For patients who have been grinding their teeth for a long time a full-mouth reconstruction may be needed to correct the damage.
In the Columbus area your neuromuscular dentist is Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care. Please contact us today at 614-476.6696 if you are experiencing the signs of tooth grinding. Speedy treatment will allow us to stop further damage and start the healing process.
By Mark Levy | August 6, 2011
Migraine headaches have been in the news lately and there have been many discussions about just how debilitating these headaches can be. Many migraine sufferers never discover the reason they get hit with these painful headaches they only know that time is lost from work, family and relaxation.
One often overlooked reason for migraine headache is tooth grinding during sleep. This condition is known as bruxism and has several causes. Some bruxism starts with stress or anxiety, for others it may be a sign of an underlying sleep disorder and for many it is characteristic of a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). The temporomandibular joint or jaw joint is among the most complex in the human body.
Chronic grinding and clenching of the teeth usually occurs during sleep and most patients do not know they are grinding. More than half of adults grind or clench occasionally but even children suffer from bruxism. Obvious side effects of grinding are severe headache, often misdiagnosed as migraines, worn and broken teeth, clicking in the jaw and severe neck and facial pain.
Treatment for TMJ disorders may include a custom orthotic device that protects the teeth and jaw muscles while sleeping. An experience neuromuscular dentist can diagnose and suggest appropriate treatment for bruxism and TMJ disorders.
To find out more information about solving your headache problem once and for all please contact our Columbus area office at 614-476-6696 today.
By Mark Levy | July 29, 2011
Clenching our jaws and grinding our teeth is often blamed on stress but many times the cause is not easily found. Most people who grind their teeth do so during sleep and may not even realize they are doing it until a bed partner comments on the noise or a visit to the dentist shows wearing of the teeth. Because bruxism (tooth grinding) occurs at night some have tried to label it a sleep disorder, others think it is simply habit.
Whatever the cause the outcome is usually the same. Bruxism causes the teeth to wear down and the stress on the jaw joint leads to temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction (TMJ) with symptoms including facial pain, headache, neck and back pain and even changes in hearing. Over time the teeth continue to wear which changes the bite, which adds to the stress on the jaw joint and can also include damage to the gums and facial muscles. Since stopping bruxism from happening is almost impossible, the answer lies in protecting the teeth, TMJ and muscles with a bruxism appliance created by a neuromuscular dentist.
A neuromuscular dentist is someone who has advanced training in how the musculature of the head and neck work together with the jaw joint and teeth. By finding the optimal position for your jaw and creating a custom appliance that will hold your jaw in that position during sleep the damage from bruxism can be avoided. For those patients who have already experienced severe damage to their teeth from this condition a full mouth restoration may be the answer.
If you are experiencing frequent headaches, facial or jaw pain you may be grinding your teeth. Early intervention is vital to protecting the health of your teeth and jaw joint. Please contact our office at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your evaluation.
By Mark Levy | June 10, 2011
About 45 million Americans suffer from headaches each year robbing them of time at work, school or with their families. More people complain about headaches than any other medical condition and attempting to discover the reason for the headaches often leads to many visits to physicians and specialists without receiving a diagnosis.
Migraines or frequent, continual headaches may be a sign of temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ. This is especially true of headaches that occur in the morning. The temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) is one of the most complex in the human body. Common causes of TMJ pain include accidents, bruxism (grinding teeth at night) or a bad bite (malocclusion).
Malocclusion can occur for many reasons. Teeth may not fit together properly because of old, broken dental work, misaligned teeth or missing teeth. A dentist who has specialized training in the field of neuromuscular dentistry has the ability to correct the improper bite and relieve stress on the temporomandibular joint, allowing the muscles surrounding the joint to relax. This relieves the recurring headaches and the neck and shoulder pain that often accompany them.
If you suffer from frequent, recurring headaches please contact StoneRidge Dental Care at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your appointment for a TMJ evaluation.
By Mark Levy | May 12, 2011
Classes are winding down at colleges and universities all over the country. If you’ve got a child in college they will soon be home for the summer. While most students joke about the “Freshman 15″ weight gain that can occur when they leave home and indulge all their unhealthy eating choices, at the office we typically see “Freshman Cavities”.
Students often have busy schedules, poor eating and sleeping habits and can find themselves extremely stressed, especially during exam time. All of these add up to more dental problems than they ever had back in high school. While teeth may be brushed twice a day (hopefully), most kids don’t take the time to floss. Toss in the high sugar soft drinks and coffee concoctions that are imbibed all day long and the high carbohydrate diet and you have given oral bacteria everything they need to thrive.
The stress of school may also cause some students to start grinding or clenching their teeth. If your student complains of frequent headaches, jaw noises or pain, a funny feeling in the ears, neck or facial pain this could be the reason. Left untreated, this grinding (known as bruxism) can wear down the teeth and cause severe problems with the jaw joint. A neuromuscular dentist can treat the bruxism before any long-term damage is done.
Please contact us today at 614-7476-6696 to schedule an appointment for your student. The summer will be over before you know it!
By Mark Levy | May 4, 2011
Headaches are a common reason for doctor visits leading to invasive tests, referrals to specialists and many times, no diagnosis. It is frustrating for patients to discover that physicians cannot pinpoint the reason for the intense pain that plagues them. While the causes of many headache episodes are never found, a lucky few find their way to a neuromuscular dentist. Neuromuscular dentists have been specially trained to work with the muscles and joints of the head and neck, particularly the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) or jaw joint. Problems with the jaw joint cause many symptoms but one of the most problematic are severe, chronic headaches.
A neuromuscular dentist uses various high tech diagnostic tools including computerized jaw tracking to find the optimal positioning for your jaw, a position in which the muscles are relaxed. To maintain this optimal positioning you may be fitted with an custom oral appliance or you may require replacement of old dental restorations or worn teeth.
If you suffer from chronic headaches you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Please contact your Columbus area neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Mark Levy at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your consultation.