Posts for: June, 2015

By James Hutson, DDS, PC
June 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ Pain  
TMJ pain can be managed using one or more of these tips from your Marietta, Georgia dentist.

Do you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction? This disorder, often abbreviated to TMJ, causes pain in the jaw, neck and head,TMJ  which can interfere with your daily life. If you've recently been diagnosed, you likely have some questions about how to manage the discomfort associated with TMJ. Dr. James Hutson, a cosmetic dentist in Marietta, Georgia, has some suggestions for soothing TMJ pain.

Heat and ice application

Moist heat, such as from a hot water bottle, can reduce pain and restore mobility to the jaw. Ice packs, when wrapped in a clean cloth, can also be applied to diminish pain and swelling. A word of caution from your Marietta cosmetic dentist, however: don't overheat the water and only keep ice packs on the area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

Stay away from certain foods

Trying to chew sticky foods like gum or taffy can cause your TMJ to flare up. The same goes for hard foods like candy and ice cubes. It's best to stay away from these items to avoid overworking your jaw muscles. Don't try to open your mouth wider than is comfortable when eating foods such as corn on the cob or apples. These should be cut up and eaten in small, manageable bites.

Relaxation equals relief

Clenching the jaw may be an inherent reaction for TMJ patients. However, Dr. Hutson recommends keeping the upper and lower teeth from gritting together by relaxing the facial muscles. Relaxation techniques, such as deep, controlled breathing and meditation, may help you release this tension. Many people dealing with TMJ have seen benefits from yoga and therapeutic massage.

Exercise your jaw

For extra relief, your Marietta cosmetic dentist Dr. Hutson may refer you to a physical therapist. At these appointments, you will learn how to practice exercises for your jaw. These exercises, when done consistently, can be very helpful in restoring mobility of the joint and promoting healing of the affected area.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can also be helpful in reducing TMJ symptoms. These are intended for short-term use and should be monitored by a physician. If you're wondering if your jaw pain or headaches might be from TMJ, contact the office of Dr. Hutson in Marietta for a thorough evaluation.

TMJ is most often caused from muscles that cannot relax. A primary treatment option, Dr. Hutson utilizes is a ‘splint’ to relieve muscle pain and soreness. Custom made splints are the best method to achieve long-term success for TMJ joint sounds and protect teeth. Visit  Dr.Hutson to hear how you can get relief from the constant problems of TMJ disorders.

By James Hutson, DDS, PC
June 15, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!

It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?

Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.

Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.

For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.

IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.

Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”

If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”

Dentist - Marietta
707 Whitlock Ave. SW,
Suite B22 Marietta, GA 30064
(770) 424-7525