Yawning in the shower and all of a sudden your jaw joint makes some crazy popping and clicking noises – that’s one way to wake up in the morning.
Calgary TMJ Dentists are familiar with hearing patients describe the assortment of noises and range of discomfort they experience from a sore jaw joint or jaw joints. From ringing in the ear(s) to limited range of opening and movement and loud clicking when eating – TMJ dysfunction presents itself differently in each patient.
SW first presented to Dr. Danny Secter – a Calgary General Dentist who focuses on diagnosing and treating the signs and symptoms of bite dysfunction and TMJ issues in Calgary - she was suffering from daily headaches that she was coping with by taking Advil and Motrin several times a day. Her other symptoms were general earache, the feeling that a “screw driver is pressing in to the joint”, needing to sit with mouth open so teeth stayed apart, muscle pain of the face and neck and lots of clicking upon waking.
This patient also shared that she was aware of grinding and clenching her teeth which seemed to create more tightness of facial muscles. She explained that when she was clenching, her teeth didn’t feel to be in a “natural bite”.
Upon examination it was also noted that the patient had very limited range of motion when moving her jaw to the side and when facial muscles were palpated she scored herself a ten (highest level of pain).
Due to the level of discomfort, SW elected to move forward right away with splint, or bite, therapy to help relax muscles and create a more balanced bite. Splint therapy involves wearing an acrylic splint on the top teeth. The device has two primary functions – the first function is to reduce the level of discomfort a patient is experiencing. When wearing the splint, top and bottom teeth can’t touch – when teeth don’t touch facial muscles have an opportunity to relax which allows jaw joints to seat in a healthier, more stable position.
A weekly appointment is required during splint therapy to ‘challenge’ the splint – making sure the bite is stable and jaw joints are continuing to seat in a healthy position. Ideally jaw joints, ligaments, muscles and teeth function together in harmony. When one element is not in harmony the others have to compensate – resulting in possible wearing of teeth, gum recessions, bone loss (without disease), muscle pain and/or jaw joint issues.
SW was off pain medication within the first three weeks of splint therapy and all original symptoms had diminished or subsided by the four month mark. Due to the severity of this patients TMJ discomfort, therapy took longer than the average patient. Most patients reach a level of comfort and stable bite within an eight to ten week time frame.
Once the patient’s jaw joints were in a stable position and she was no longer in pain – Dr. Secter was able to discuss dental options. The second function of splint therapy is to provide a blue print for any needed dentistry. The goal is not to wear the splint forever – but it’s use allows all subsequent dental treatment to be built in to a stable bite – creating the same level of comfort the splint provided.
SW is now five years post treatment and is feeling great. The clicking, popping, earaches, facial tension and daily headaches are long gone and her dentistry that was completed five years ago is still looking good.
Don’t suffer with TMJ pain and discomfort in Calgary – there are solutions available.
Contact Dr. Secter’s office today for a consultation – 403.245.9099
Free patient parking available and electronic submission to your insurance plan.
Constant headaches, neck and shoulder pain along with facial tension that just won’t go away may well be indicators that you are suffering from TMJ dysfunction.
TMJ issues aren’t always neatly wrapped in symptoms of clicking and popping jaw joint, decreased range of opening, and facial muscle tenderness. Sometimes symptoms fall outside of ‘the mouth’ and are more subtle and therefore, harder to diagnose.
A patient who is experiencing constant ringing in the ear may not realize that TMJ dysfunction could be the cause. Ringing in the ear happens when the jaw joint is not seated in the correct place – it’s usually seated in a posterior manner and is too close to the inner ear. The resulting sensations of fullness and ringing can be addressed when the jaw joint is placed in a more stable position.
Bite Therapy, that involves wearing a splint, is the first step in creating a more stable position for the jaw joint. Wearing a splint prevents teeth from touching and allows muscles to relax. When muscles are relaxed the jaw joint is able to seat itself in a more harmonious position.
Dr. Danny Secter is a General Dentist in Calgary who focuses on diagnosing and treating the many signs and symptoms of bite dysfunction and related TMJ concerns. Dr. Secter is accepting new patients – call today 403.245.9099
Calgary Dentists who focus on diagnosing and treating the many signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction will agree that there isn’t one clear symptom that comes with TMJ or TMD issues; but rather a mixed bag of issues that all add up to the diagnosis of TMJ dysfunction.
For some patients signs of TMJ issues are exhibited in the mouth – Gum Recession, Abnormal Wear on Teeth, Bone-loss (in the absence of disease), Abfractions or Notching at the Gum line and Failing Dentistry.
But for other dental patients their TMJ concerns present outside of the mouth and are therefore easily misdiagnosed. For some, TMJ issues consist of Headaches, Neck and Shoulder Pain, Facial Pain and Tension, Ringing in the Ear, Eye Pain and Facial Asymmetry. Facial asymmetry is usually noted when jaw joint degeneration has occurred – this causes one side of the face to appear shorter, or longer, than the other.
The complex symptoms of TMJ dysfunction can sometimes delay a patient receiving a correct diagnosis. Symptoms like Ringing in the Ear might lead someone to only focus on the ear and potential ailments. The fact is that the ear can be involved in a TMJ case due to the incorrect positioning of the jaw joint during movement. Once an ENT Specialist has established that the ear is in normal health – then a visit to a Calgary Dentist who focuses on TMJ dysfunction may be required.
Dr. Danny Secter, a General Dentist in Calgary, has a special interest in diagnosing and treating all signs and symptoms related to TMJ dysfunction. His South West Calgary Dental office is accepting New Patients and welcomes your referrals. Call today 403.245.9099
There’s nothing more annoying than waking from eight hours of sleep, only to feel exhausted and weary with a pounding headache. If your life doesn’t involve staying out until 3:00am while enjoying Tequila shots, your morning headache may well be due to clenching and grinding and other jaw related issues.
TMJ dysfunction in Calgary can present with many different signs and symptoms, ranging from worn, broken down teeth, ongoing need for dentistry, headaches, ear pain, facial tension, neck and shoulder stiffness, upper back pain along with the usual clicking, popping and sometimes limited range of opening. Each individual lives with their own unique set of symptoms depending on the severity of the dysfunction.
Dealing with ongoing headaches, facial tension and other pain related symptoms is no fun. Taking anti-inflammatory painkillers and other pain medications is just a short term solution to a potential debilitating condition. Even the subtle discomfort of teeth not fitting together properly and having to move the jaw in a certain way to avoid a jolt of pain can become nothing less than exhausting and depressing. Interestingly taking antidepressants can exacerbate the situation due to the behavior of certain antidepressants.
So what do you do when you live with daily jaw pain, are unable to chew your food, have digestive issues and other signs that reveal potential TMJ dysfunction?
Dr. Danny Secter, a Calgary Dentist, treats patients who present with all, or a combination, of the above mentioned TMJ symptoms. Providing treatment that addresses the need for pain relief while developing a treatment plan to correct the underlying ‘dental concerns’, Dr. Secter may be the solution to your ongoing issues.
If you are tired of living in pain and discomfort, call Dr. Secter today and begin the journey towards pain free living. 403.245.9099
What does your smile and your heart have in common?
Both are affected by the bacteria present in your mouth. Studies reveal that patients who experience bleeding gums have a higher risk of developing heart disease.
The bacteria that is present in the mouth, travels around the body in the blood stream, and can therefore create systemic issues such as heart attack and stroke. So how do you lower your risk for heart disease – by reducing the bacteria in your mouth.
Quitting smoking, controlling diabetes, watching medication intake and controlling your level of stress can all help in reducing gum inflammation and bleeding. But seeking regular cleanings, with an experienced hygienist, to remove and control bacterial levels is essential.
Remember when you have inflamed, bleeding gums you have a compromised system.
Don’t let bleeding gums put you in cardiac arrest – seek a Calgary Dental Team who can help you move towards a healthier mouth and a healthier body.
Dr. Danny Secter and his team are experienced in addressing the many causes behind periodontal (gum disease) concerns and look forward to helping you attain whole body health.
Our last blog described the air purification unit that Dr. Danny Secter has installed in his downtown Calgary dental office to remove mercury vapors from the environment.
Remove Your Mercury Fillings Today
Why are some dentists concerned about the presence of mercury? This Calgary Dentist can answer this question easily “We are often asked why we don’t use amalgam (mercury) in our practice. There are many answers to this question but the bottom line is that it’s considered bio-hazardous waste. We can’t throw it out in our regular garbage so it doesn’t belong in the human body.” Dr. Danny Secter
Calgary Dentist Installs Professional Air Purification Unit
Ever wondered about the quality of air in your dental office? Calgary Dentist, Dr. Danny Secter, doesn’t want his patients to ever worry about air quality so he’s installed the latest air filtration device.
The IQAir Dental Hg FlexVac was specifically developed for pollution control in dental offices.
This room air purifier uses five filtration stages to help eliminate common dental office contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, VOCs, disinfectant odors and mercury vapors. It is designed to be placed anywhere in a dental office and clean the air by constant recirculation within the office.
The Dental Hg FlexVac is a mobile air cleaning system with a flexible suction duct. The unit is designed to capture drill aerosols, abrasion powder and mercury vapors during dental procedures. The flexible suction duct is typically placed on the patient’s chest from where it directly captures drill aerosols and mercury vapors before they can spread.
This additional step in providing comfort to patients is recognized by the IAOMT – International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology – and is being used as an effective step to removing mercury vapors when replacing amalgam fillings. Dr. Secter has been providing mercury free dentistry for over twenty years and understands the impact it has on a patient’s overall wellbeing.
Dentists in Calgary are often questioned by their patients on how to treat ongoing headaches, neck, muscle and jaw pain. These symptoms are usually present when an person is suffering from bite dysfunction and/or TMD (temporal mandibular disorder).
Bite dysfunction refers to a lack of balance between upper and lower arches and teeth. If someone is missing teeth, or teeth are not in correct alignment, anatomy is lacking from teeth due to grinding and clenching, of ill fitting dentistry is not fixed, an imbalance in the bite is present. This causes the jaw to either avoid moving in a certain way, or for the muscles of the head, neck and face to become over worked and stressed due to having to help compensate for the imbalance. If you’re wondering why you always wake up with a headache and stiff neck and shoulder muscles, it might not be your mattress, but symptoms of an imbalanced bite and jaw joint instability.
Can relief be offered to address these symptoms and live pain free – yes. The first step is to focus on treating the cause of the discomfort – not the symptoms – to bring pain control and relief. Once the pain has gone, a plan for making sure it doesn’t return is formulated.
Dr. Danny Secter and his team have spent years helping patients address the signs and symptoms of bite dysfunction and jaw pain. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call today for a consultation and start the process of discovering a pain free day.
TMJ or Temporal Mandibular Joint is the joint in the body that allows the lower jaw to hinge to the skull. It’s also a joint that can take a beating when the movement of the lower jaw is not smooth and balanced.
Do you ever get clicking, popping and a grinding sensation when you open or close your mouth? These are classic indicators that the joint is not in a stable position and/or the protective disc is not doing it’s job.
If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms you are probably suffering from TMD – Temporal Mandibular Disorder – a condition that is common amongst people of all ages. It isn’t always associated with someone who has ‘bad teeth’ but can also present in people who have a healthy dentition. That’s because this condition is to do with the mechanics and tissues of the jaw joint. But, there are solutions available to individuals who suffer from TMD.
Dr. Danny Secter has a special interest in diagnosing and treating all signs and symptoms associated with TMJ issues and TMD.
Straighten out your jaw pain by Straightening out your teeth
What is the link between crooked teeth and jaw pain?
The relationship between your teeth and jaw joint comfort, or discomfort, should never be overlooked. The dental system, like all other systems in the body, works in harmony with teeth, ligaments, soft tissue and bone. When the system is not functioning optimally, signs and symptoms of this dysfunction appear. One symptom is jaw joint pain along with clicking, popping and other ‘joint’ discomfort.
When we start to unravel the reason behind the jaw joint discomfort, we often find teeth out of alignment, or crooked teeth. Teeth are meant to be in correct alignment with opposing teeth (teeth in the opposite arch) and teeth on either side of them. This correct alignment creates the natural arch form.
But when teeth are not in their proper place, due to crowding, drifting, over eruption or missing teeth we often develop ‘jaw issues’ due to the system not functioning in harmony. Seeking treatment to straighten teeth and address any bite dysfunction proves to be highly successful in relieving the stress and force on the jaw joint; so reducing pain and discomfort.