August 2020

10 best tmj exercises to relieve tmj pain 62a2103eef0ba

10 Best TMJ Exercises to Relieve TMJ Pain

TMJ disorder is more common than you might think.

At least 5 to 12% of the U.S. population lives with some form of TMJ pain or discomfort. That works out to be roughly 10 million people who suffer from this painful jaw joint condition. Jaw pain can make it hard to talk, chew, and enjoy everyday life. For some sufferers, they experience frequent headaches or neck pain.

The question is, what can you do to ease the pain?

Luckily, there are some exercises you can try right now to get relief. Read on to learn about TMJ and how jaw exercises can help.

What is TMJ?

Your TMJ or temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to your skull. That joint makes it possible for you to chew, talk, laugh, and sing. While TMJ technically refers to the joint itself, many people use it to refer to the painful disorder that can result from an issue with the joint. You might also hear these joint problems called TMJD or TMD.

If your jaw muscles often feel sore or you have trouble opening your mouth all the way, you might have a TMJ issue. Cracking or popping sounds or pain when you chew are also symptoms.

How can TMJ exercises offer some relief?

Have you ever noticed how your joints and muscles feel better after a brisk walk? That’s because exercise is an important part of staying healthy. That’s also why the CDC recommends adults get 150 minutes of strength training and aerobic exercise every week. It’s also important to exercise properly so you don’t injure yourself.

You can apply that same line of thinking to your TMJ pain. TMJ pain happens when there’s an issue with your jaw joint. That’s usually caused by an imbalance in the muscle movement that controls your jaw. Jaw exercises can stretch out your muscles, encourage healing, and help your jaw joint move better.

While TMJ exercises may not help in all cases, they can offer immediate relief for many people. That said, please see your dentist if pain worsens or persists.

1. Jaw Muscle Massage

Use your fingers to gently massage the muscles in your jaw. Focus on the hinge area and along your jawbone. Massage your jaw using a downward circular motion. If the muscles in your face feel sore under this gentle pressure, this technique can relieve some of the tension. You can also use a warm or cold compress for 10 minutes at a time.

2. Slow Alignment Exercise

Stand in front of a mirror and slowly open your mouth. As you do this, try to keep your two front teeth in alignment with your two bottom teeth. You can repeat this up to 5 times. This helps strengthen your jaw muscles while maintaining proper jaw alignment.

3. Side-to-Side Exercise with Object

Get a small object like a pencil or a stack of three tongue depressors (or craft sticks). Whatever you use, it should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Put the object between your teeth and move your jaw from side to side without dropping the object. As it gets easier, you can use a thicker object. This improves your jaw’s flexibility and range of motion.

4. Forward-and-Backwards Exercise with Object

Use the same object from the exercise above and set it between your teeth. Slowly move your jaw forward so your bottom teeth stick out past your top teeth. Repeat this at least 5 times.

When it gets easier, you can upgrade to the same thicker object from exercise 3.

5. Chin Tucking Neck Exercise

Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Push your chin down until it looks like you have a double chin and hold for a few seconds. You can repeat this up to 10 times.

TMD pain can also feel like neck pain. This exercise will strengthen and add mobility to your neck and jaw joint.

6. Wide Mouth Exercise

Put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Open your mouth as wide as you can. Then, move your tongue toward your tonsils and then forward so it’s sticking out of your mouth. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your lower jaw.

7. Open Mouth with Resistance

Place your thumb underneath your chin. Slowly open your mouth while gently pressing up with your thumb. Hold for about 3 seconds and repeat at least 3 times. You should feel a bit of pressure, but no pain. This will strengthen your jaw joint.

8. Close Mouth with Chin Pressure

Open your mouth and press your index fingers against the front of your chin. Try to close your mouth against the resistance of your fingers. This will strengthen the specific muscles you use for chewing.

9. Open and Close Mouth Exercise

First, open your mouth as wide as you can and close your mouth. Then, open your mouth half as wide and do it again. This will improve the range of motion in your jaw..

10. Relaxed Jaw Opening Exercise

Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth. Let your mouth open without straining the muscles in your jaw. Repeat this at least five times. This gentle exercise is a great way to exercise your jaw without causing too much strain.

Still not getting the relief you want?

TMJ pain can be frustrating to live with. It takes the enjoyment out of everyday pleasures like eating and talking. It can even make sleeping difficult. Luckily, these exercises can provide some relief. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist whether these exercises bring you relief or not. It’s always a good idea to have your jaw joints evaluated.

If you’re looking for jaw pain relief, contact us today. We specialize in caring for patients with TMJ disorder.

10 advantages of e4d crowns veneers and other restorations 62a21048537f7

10 Advantages of E4D Crowns, Veneers, and Other Restorations

Start smiling with these tooth-restoration solutions.

Science has given us another reason to smile: smiling can really make us feel happier. It also eases stress levels while helping boost immunity.

Smiling may be easier said than done for many people who have cracked, chipped, or stained teeth, though. But here’s some great news: same-day restorations like veneers and crowns are now a reality thanks to dental technology such as E4D.

Ready to learn the benefits and advantages that E4D restorations can provide? Let’s start with 10 of them then!

1. No Need for Messy and Uncomfortable Dental Molds

The innovative E4D technology utilizes an accurate handheld laser scanner. This device allows the dentist to capture 3D images of the inside of your mouth. With the scanner’s precision, there’s no more need for goopy dental putty.

2. Custom-Designed for the Best Fit

The E4D Dentist system also comes with computer-aided design technology. It uses a program called E4D DentaLogic software that uses the 3D images of your mouth to make a virtual model of the restorations. This allows you to not only see the end results before you begin, but the precision of the technology will ensure you get the best and most comfortable result.

3. Chairside Production of Veneers, Crowns, and Other Restorations

The E4D Dentist System is so innovative that it can even fabricate your veneer or crown itself. It does so through the built-in Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) technology. This is the system that creates physical restorations based on the virtual model.

4. Restorations Made from Metal-Free, Milled Ceramic Materials

The E4D system creates metal-free, all-ceramic veneers and crowns on the spot. According to studies, these ceramic restorations deliver an excellent aesthetic appearance. Their translucency and transparency make them look like natural teeth.

Metal-free, E4D ceramics are also “biocompatible.” This means that they are safe and aren’t harmful to the body’s tissues. So, you don’t have to worry about mercury being in your ceramic veneers or crowns.

5. Materials Designed to Closely Mimic the Functions of Natural Teeth

Aside from being tooth-colored, metal-free restorations are also strong and durable. They closely resemble the structure and composition of your natural teeth. As such, they can help you regain not only confidence in your smile but also restore your biting and chewing ability.

6. Milling Takes Only a Few Minutes

In dentistry, the term “milling” refers to the cutting and shaping of restorations. The E4D Dentist System has its very own milling machine. Since it’s computer-aided, it finishes the entire milling process within a few minutes.

7. Single-Day Process

Traditionally, dental restorations required multiple visits to the oral healthcare specialist. During a first visit, for instance, the dentist takes dental molds, which are sent to a separate laboratory. The laboratory manufactures the restoration and then sends it to the dentist, at which point  the patient visits the dental office for the second time to have the veneer or crown placed. The dentist may make a few more adjustments, either to the teeth or the restoration.

All these steps are necessary to create properly fitting, traditional veneers or crowns. However, they also require quite a lot of time for both the dentist and the patient. The process is even lengthier for multiple restorations.

All this has changed with the E4D Dentist System. Since it’s an all-in-one device, you can have everything done in a single visit. From taking dental molds to placing the veneer or crown, your dentist can perform all these in one day.

8. Fast and Convenient Way to Get a Complete Smile Makeover

A smile makeover helps fix multiple dental issues such as chips, cracks, stains, and gaps. It gives patients a way to restore not only the beauty of their smile but also the health of their mouths. However, since it involves several procedures, the entire treatment can take many weeks.

The E4D Dentist System helps reduce the time needed to complete a smile makeover. Depending on the number of crowns or veneers the patient needs, it may just take one day. Moreover, this innovative technology can also create full bridges, inlays, and onlays.

9. Eliminates the Need for Temporary Restoration

Patients wear temporary restorations while waiting for their permanent veneers or crowns. These “stand-ins” help protect the prepared teeth while also reducing sensitivity to temperature, which is why they’re a crucial part of traditional dental restoration procedures. With E4D you don’t need temporary restorations. You can have the permanent version of your pearly whites within the same day.

10. Reduced Need for Materials

One of the best things about the E4D system is that it helps lessen the demand for raw materials. One way it does this is by creating proper-fitting restorations on the first attempt. This is all thanks to the accurate 3D-images of your mouth.

Another way it reduces waste is by getting rid of the need for temporary restorations. Since you can get the permanent ones in one visit, the dentist doesn’t have to use more materials.

E4D restorations also last a long time because of their milled ceramic materials. Since they have a longer-lasting life, there’s less need for replacements.

Same-Day Dental Restorations to Help You Feel Better and Happier

Smiling is one of the best ways to improve your outlook on life, and there are plenty of reasons to smile. Being thankful for the time you have with your loved ones, for example, is sure to make the corners of your mouth perk up.

If you feel the need to hide your smile due to dental flaws, though, then it may be time to think of getting them fixed. With E4D restorations like veneers, you can start beaming as soon as you leave the dentist’s chair.

Are you interested in learning more about E4D treatments? Then please feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to answer all your inquiries!

see your dentist if you have these tmd symptoms 62a21052a29b5

See Your Dentist If You Have These TMD Symptoms

Don’t let your TMD symptoms stop you.

Did you know the human jaw has a powerful bite force of about 1,100 to 1,300 Newtons? That’s much stronger than what the orangutan or the gibbon can manage! So, it’s thanks to our jaw that we can chew through tough meats and grind down nuts.

As amazing as the human jaw is, however, it isn’t impervious to diseases or injuries. Factors like arthritis and jaw trauma can all result in the development of TMD symptoms. Researchers estimate that in the U.S. alone, over 10 million people have TMJ disorders. The good news is most disorders of the jaw are treatable without the need for surgery. If caught early, a dentist can help treat TMJ problems to keep them from worsening or happening again.

With that said, please get in touch with your dentist as soon as you experience any of the TMD symptoms we’ve listed below.

TMD can result in jaw getting stuck or feeling out of place.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) serves as a hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. The joint is present on both sides of the head, sitting right in front of the ears. You can feel it by placing your fingers near the tragus (the small pointed flap of your outer ear).

While you have your fingers there, try to close and open your mouth. You should feel something moving; that’s the temporomandibular joint. It should move smoothly and shouldn’t get stuck or feel like it’s moving too much to one side. If it is, then something may be wrong with the joint or the structure of your jaw. It’s best to get in touch with your dentist as soon as you notice this symptom. Please do so even if only one side of the joint gets stuck or feels like it’s out of place.

TMD can cause clicking or popping sounds from the jaw.

Sometimes, the jaw can make popping sounds when you yawn or open your mouth wide to chomp down on something. These noises result from the jaw becoming overextended. It’s usually not a cause of concern, so long as it doesn’t happen every single time.

If the clicking or popping happens frequently, take that as a cue to call your dentist. This is even more important if the sounds occur when you’re only eating or talking normally. Your dentist can use 3D imaging technology to see what’s going on with your TMJ. From here, the good doctor can develop a treatment plan to make your jaw stop popping.

Tightness or tenderness in the jaw area is a warning sign.

Tight or tender jaw muscles can lead to pain that spreads throughout other parts of the body. You may feel some discomfort in your mouth too, as well as your ears or even your neck. The unpleasant sensations can also get worse while you speak, chew, or yawn. Sometimes tightness on one side of the jaw can occur if you sleep on your side with your hand under the jaw. Staying in this same position for hours can put excessive pressure on the facial muscles.

If you feel pain on both sides of the jaw, however, that may already indicate a TMJ disorder. Let your oral healthcare provider know as soon as you can about your dilemma. A digital dental X-ray will help your dentist discover any issues with your jawbone or jaw joints.

Migraine-like headaches are often triggered by TMD.

Migraine attacks often feel like throbbing or pulsing pain on a specific area of the head. Many people who get these also experience vomiting and nausea. The attacks can last for many hours, sometimes even for consecutive days.

Worse, migraines are so common that 25% of all U.S. households have a member who suffers from them. Many things can cause and trigger migraines, including TMJ disorders. In people with temporomandibular joint dysfunction, the jaw muscles tend to tense up. This tension can then place severe pressure on the muscles, which, in turn, can cause pain. The pain can then move to the other muscles near and above the cheeks, including the top of the head.

TMJ headaches are often recurring, which is why they resemble migraines. If you also experience jaw popping, however, it’s more likely that you have a TMJ disorder. Migraines (or migraine-like headaches) can be debilitating. As such, if you experience these, it’s a good time to visit the dentist.

TMD can cause limited or impaired mobility of the jaw.

The pain that results from TMJ disorders can be so severe that it impedes the jaw’s movements. Even just opening the mouth can cause agony. As such, some researchers believe TMJ disorders can create risks of malnutrition. The pain, after all, can be too much to bear to eat a proper meal. To reduce such risks, ask your dentist for advice if your jaw pain is making you forego your meals.

TMJ disorder can lead to actual locking of the jaw.

This is different from tetanus, an infection that affects about 30 people in the U.S. each year. However, TMJ disorders can also cause the jaw to “click” and then “lock” in place. If this happens, you may be unable to open or move your mouth at all.

Most cases of lockjaw are painful and can cause severe complications like choking. Also, a delay in TMJ disorder treatment may involve surgical procedures. Early TMJ diagnosis and treatment, however, can prevent lockjaw.

Get prompt help for your TMD symptoms.

As you can see, TMD symptoms can be very painful to the point of being debilitating. The good news is it’s also highly treatable with non-medicated and non-surgical procedures. Early diagnosis and treatment will give you the highest chances of recovery, though.

If you’re feeling any of the symptoms above, our dental team can help determine if it’s a TMJ disorder. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can help make your jaw healthy and mobile again.

the top 10 things we love about philadelphia 62a2105e00483

The Top 10 Things We Love About Philadelphia

Fall in love with the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia is the setting of over 80 films, including Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky. It’s also the first-ever World Heritage City in all of the United States. The Center City alone boasts more than a thousand food establishments.

Those are just a few facts and stats about this incredible city, but we have plenty more to share.

Ready to learn all about this beauty of a city, what to do in Philadelphia, and its precious, hidden gems? Keep reading to learn why we love this city with a history spanning three centuries!

1. Many of the United States’ “firsts” took place in Philadelphia.

The people of Philly take pride in being the residents of the birthplace of the United States. They are proud to have been the first people to have heard the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia was also the first-ever capital of the United States. During that time, it was the largest city in the entire country.

Being the first U.S. capital, the then-City of Brotherly Love was also the site of the First Bank of the United States. The founding of the first U.S. Mint and the writing of the U.S. Constitution also took place here. However, even after over three centuries from Penn’s arrival, Philly’s landscape remains lush.

2. Philadelphia is not only the City of Brotherly Love.

“Philadelphia” comes from a mix of two Greek words — “phileo,” which means love, and “adelphos,” which means brother. That’s how the nickname “City of Brotherly Love” came to be.

Fast forward to 2020, and the country’s first-ever capital has adapted another nickname. “The City of Sisterly Love” will remain its honorary term for the entire year.

3. It’s where health and education are huge priorities.

Philadelphia, which is a little over 141 square miles, is home to 10 medical centers. It also boasts six medical schools and four NCI-designated cancer centers. All in all, this specific health sector alone accounts for 4% of the city’s total GPR.

All of that makes the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love a leader in the life sciences sector. The city’s focus on health care is also one of the main reasons retirees love Philly. All the city’s residents can rest easy knowing they’re in the heart of a place where health is of the utmost importance.

In addition, education makes up a considerable 12% of the city’s employment sector. In the suburban area, 7% of Philadelphians work in the education field.

4. Philadelphia takes good care of its pedestrians.

This is the city that has the most comprehensive pedestrian sign system in all of North America. That not only makes it safe for pedestrians but also super navigable. So, it’s no wonder Philly is one of the best cities for walking in the entire United States.

5. Philadelphia makes taking the sub easy and convenient.

Another great thing about the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love is its subway. One branch covers north to south, while the other runs from east to west. No matter where you need to go, the train can take you there for the least transportation cost.

6. It’s home to the country’s largest public art program.

Philadelphians also lovingly call their place of residence “The City of Murals.”

Dotting the greenery of Philly are structures artfully dabbed and splashed with paint. The city’s murals, which now has a count of over 4,000, includes the only Keith Haring piece still in place in the U.S.

The city’s Mural Arts’ Art Program continues to share the love for creativity with 1,500 students every year. The organization itself offers various enjoyable tours to 12,000 people each year.

If you’re looking for something new to add to your exercise regimen, you may want to join the MA’s bike tour. This will take you around the city to see some of its most striking, vibrant public art masterpieces. It may just be the kind of self-care you’re looking for and the kind your brain and body need.

7. Philadelphia boasts some of the rarest books and manuscripts.

Along the stunning residential block of Delancey Place are two demure-looking structures. They may look like any other building, but they house gems that can make any bibliophile gasp in delight. These two buildings comprise none other than the Rosenbach Library.

This free library has some of the grandest collections of written literature in the U.S.

For starters, it’s here where you’ll find handwritten notes of Bram Stoker for Dracula. Tucked in one of the library’s shelves is one of the rarest literary pieces around, the Bay Psalm Book. Rosenbach is also home to the greatest collection of manuscripts from Robert Burn.

The Rosenbach Library has had to close due to the current health situation; however, it offers a lot of virtual resources, which you can enjoy right at home.

8. Philadelphia offers a sneak peek of Japan.

The Japanese are masters of meditation, a practice that shows potential health benefits. Some studies found it can help ease stress, anxiety, and depression. It may even help relieve pain and also boost heart health!

The great news is Philly is home to an incredible Japanese Garden. Even if February is Heart Month, you can celebrate it anytime at the Shofuso Japanese Garden. Here, you can enjoy time in a socially-distanced green space.

The Garden is open to a limited number of visitors so you can enjoy the majestic outdoors at ease. It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays, and seniors get to enjoy a discounted entry fee.

9. It has plenty of breathtaking green spaces.

Speaking of green spaces, Philadelphia also boasts the 2,000-acre Fairmount Park. Stunning waterfront views, as well as gentle and advanced trails, await you here. The park’s expert members also hold regular forest therapy walks, which you may want to take part in.

10. There’s a treat for almost every kind of diner.

The Philly cheesesteak is world-famous, but it’s not our only favorite. Over the years, the city’s gastronomical delights and healthy food options have grown. There’s a treat for everyone, from meatless meatballs to vegan pastries, and even chai with roses in it.

Sharing the Love of and for Philly

There are many other reasons we love Philadelphia, but these are our top 10. We hope this encourages our fellow Philadelphians to explore the city’s hidden gems. And, as a friendly reminder, please always wear masks and bring sanitizers anywhere you go!

If there’s anything we can do for you, please know we’re always ready to help. Connect with us today, and we’ll be happy to answer any oral health questions you may have!


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