January 2023

Treat Your TMJ, Not Just the Pain

young man feeling pain holding his cheek with hand Do you have jaw problems? They can be very painful, and a quick and easy way to find relief is to take medication. However, it is important to treat your jaw problems and not just the pain.

What Is TMJ?

You may have TMJ if you have pain and tenderness in the jaw, constant headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth, and/or a jaw that locks up. “TMJ” stands for “temporomandibular joint,” but it has also come to be a catch-all term for disorders of the jaw. There are many possible reasons for developing TMJ – it might be inherited, or it might be the result of years of tooth grinding or misaligned teeth.

Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can be an inexpensive and easy-to-find solution for jaw pain, but years of taking pain medication can end up doing more harm than good:

  • It can do damage to the rest of your body. If you constantly take more than you should when you are in pain or if you take it for years and years, you can end up with serious heart, digestive, or kidney problems.
  • It is possible you shouldn’t take it at all. If you are pregnant or have a heart condition, any amount of over-the-counter pain medication might be too much.
  • It is easy to take too much. For instance, if you take ibuprofen because of jaw pain and then soon after take a medicine that has ibuprofen in it (such as Advil PM), you can end up with a double dose. This can result in symptoms ranging from nausea to difficulty breathing.

Instead of depending on medication for the rest of your life, speak to your dentist about treating your jaw pain instead. It can help jaw pain to have teeth straightened, to replace a lost tooth, or to start wearing a night guard to prevent tooth grinding.

Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center can help you to find a healthier, more permanent solution for your jaw pain. Contact the office in East Norriton, PA, at (610) 272-6949 to make an appointment today.

Do Root Canals Deserve Their Painful Reputation?

happy hispanic woman satisfied patient of dental clinic. If you are having tooth pain, you might be afraid to go to the dentist, just in case he or she tells you that you need a root canal. You may want to hide under your bed instead of making that appointment, but read this information first – it is possible that root canals aren’t as painful as most people think.

What Is a Root Canal?

It is unclear where exactly root canals got such a bad reputation. Most patients who have had it done report that it only hurts as much as having a cavity filled, and in a recent study, less than 20% of people said that it was the most painful dental procedure they had ever had.

So what exactly is a root canal, anyway?

A root canal removes damaged and infected pulp within a tooth. The pulp makes up the inside of the tooth, and it consists of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. It can become infected if you have an untreated chip or crack in the tooth and bacteria has a chance to get into the pulp. In the worst case scenario, this bacteria can get into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. If it damages the tooth pulp, though, you may have swollen gums, sudden sensitivity to hot and cold, and pain when you chew.

In a root canal procedure, the infected pulp is removed, the tooth is cleaned out and given an antibiotic treatment, and then filled with dental material. A porcelain crown is then placed on top of the tooth. Your tooth will look and function just like your other teeth, and it won’t be in pain anymore!

Root canals are an important procedure to keep your teeth healthy, and it is just possible that they aren’t as painful as they have been made out to be. If this does little to comfort you, you should know that Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center offers sedation dentistry to help alleviate patient anxiety. If your teeth are in pain, don’t hide under your bed — contact the office today to make an appointment. Call the office in East Norriton, PA, at (610) 200-6449.


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