WHAT THE HECK IS TMJ? / affordable dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on July 2, 2015 , Comments Off on WHAT THE HECK IS TMJ? / affordable dentist

image credit: pinterest/kyorthodontics.com

You may have heard the acronym “TMJ”.  But what does is stand for and what in the world does it mean??  TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints and they are actually the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull.  More specifically, they are the joints that slide and rotate in front of each ear.  They include the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and the base of the skull.)  When the mandible and the joints are properly aligned, a smooth muscle action, such as chewing, can take place.  When the joints are not lined up properly, the result may be a TMJ disorder.


TMJ disorders can cause a variety of signs and symptoms.  This includes:

  • Chronic pain in the jaw muscles
  • A stiff jaw
  • Jaw “locking”
  • Painful clicking or popping when moving the jaw
  • A change in how the upper and lower teeth fit together


In many people, dental experts are not sure what causes TMJ disorders.  While stress may play a role, many cases of jaw problems come about for no apparent reason.  Pain for existing medical conditions may overlap with and cause increased risk of TMJ pain.


First, a definite TMJ diagnosis  is needed.  This can be obtained through a clinical examination, oral history of the problem, medical history, x-rays and study casts.

Treatment can vary depending on the risk factors, severity of the problem, condition of the bite and relationship of the jaws.  Usually, it is necessary to refrain from chewy foods such as bagels and pizza for awhile.  Of course, chewing gum is taboo.  Sometimes the bite is adjusted (smoothed down.)  Certain mouth exercises and relaxation techniques may play a part.  Often moist heat is applied to the back of the mandible or on the face, or over the TMJ joint.  Medication can be used to minimize pain.  If it is determined that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, an appliance called a night guard can be custom fabricated to cover your teeth at night to absorb the force of grinding.  Most people get relief within a few days.  If the problem has been longstanding, treatment will probably take more time.  Just remember, it’s not a life or death matter – but it could mean some adjustments to your life style.

(reprinted in part from Delta Dental Oral Health Library)

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by Lee Anne Austria on June 10, 2015 , Comments Off on SO WHY DIDN’T PEOPLE SMILE IN OLD PICTURES? Xenia Ohio Dentist

image credit: deltadentalnjblog.com

June is National Smile Month (at least according to Delta Dental!)   And “Check It Out!”…

Check out our Pinterest page for more terrific infographics.

Check out our Blog page for some great dental articles that apply to YOU!

And finally, check out our website to contact us to see how we can help you improve your oral health and overall health because YOU are the reason WE smile!

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So Why Are They Called “Wisdom Teeth”? Xenia Dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on June 1, 2015 , Comments Off on So Why Are They Called “Wisdom Teeth”? Xenia Dentist

wisdom-teethThird molars have been referred to as “teeth of wisdom” since the Seventeenth century and simply “wisdom teeth” since the Nineteenth century.  The third molars generally appear much later than other teeth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 when a person reaches adulthood.  It is generally thought among linguists that they are called wisdom teeth because they appear so late, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and is “wiser” than when other teeth have erupted.

Lately, science has added some credence to the idea that the third molar does indeed erupt when a person is “wiser”.  Recent research has shown the brain continues to grow and develop right on through adolescence:  in fact, most researchers believe the brain does not reach full maturity until the age of 25.  Perhaps, then, our ancestors weren’t so far off the mark – that the eruption of “wisdom teeth” is a sign that the carefree days of childhood have given way to the responsibilities of adulthood!

(Reprinted from http://www.deardoctor.com/dentistry/blog/why-are-they-called-wisdom-teeth)

Click here to gain more wisdom about how we can serve all of your dental needs!


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by Lee Anne Austria on May 21, 2015 , Comments Off on STRESS AND YOUR MOUTH – THE CONNECTION/ XENIA DENTIST
Chill out

image credit: quickmeme.com/meme/359v45

“Today I will live in the moment unless the moment is unpleasant in which case I will eat a cookie”-unknown

Reprinted from (Delta Dental Oral Health Library)

De-Stress for Better Oral Health

A furrowed brow, a tense look, a fresh acne breakout – you can often tell on sight when someone is under pressure.  If you could look into a stressed-out person’s mouth, you might learn even more of their story.

More and more researchers have been studying the link between stress and gum disease.  When you’re anxious or depressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol.  This compound harms your teeth and gums, contributing to the risk for periodontal (gum) disease.

There is also evidence that stress and depression impair your immune system, making chronic infection throughout your body – including your mouth – more likely.  In addition, hard times lead to bad-for-your-teeth habits.  These include smoking, drinking alcohol, and skipping your nightly brushing and flossing.

The following dental conditions also have been linked to stress, depression, or anxiety:

  • Burning mouth syndrome.  This is a painful condition that sufferers describe as a scalding feeling in the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth.
  • Canker sores.  Small, painful ulcers develop inside the mouth.  Doctors aren’t sure what causes canker sores, but they are thought to appear more often when the individual is stressed or very tired.
  • Cold sores.  These fluid-filled blisters are caused by the herpes virus.  If you’re infected, you’ll often experience an outbreak in response to being upset.
  • Bruxism.  People who grind their teeth (a problem called bruxism) tend to do it more when under stress.  Grinding can wear and chip teeth and put pressure on jaw muscles and joints.

You Should Relieve the Pressure!  But How??

Don’t let your mouth take the brunt of the stress.  Try positive stress-reducing techniques instead.  Here are some strategies:

  • Change your outlook.  Some things, like the weather, are out of your hands and for that reason are not worth getting worked up about.  Try to see life events as positive challenges rather than threats.
  • Keep your body healthy.  Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and get enough sleep.  And exercise on a regular basis.  Not only will you get in shape and feel better overall, you’ll release anxiety and produce mood-boosting brain chemicals.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.  These include meditation, stretching, and deep breathing and progressive relaxation of muscle groups.

The Moral of the Story:  Put these techniques into practice and not only will your oral health benefit, but your whole body and mind will feel the positive effects as well!

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by Lee Anne Austria on May 4, 2015 , Comments Off on YEAH YEAH YEAH, DON’T EAT SUGAR: ADVICE FROM YOUR FAMILY DENTIST

image credit: gobuydental.com

Wait a second, there’s more to it than just sugar.  Plaque is a thin, invisible film of sticky bacteria and other materials that cover all the surfaces of your teeth.  When sugar or starches come in contact with plaque, the acids that result can attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating.  Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth leading to tooth decay.  Plaque also produces toxins that attack the gum and bones supporting the teeth.  Learn the difference between different foods and help protect your entire mouth from the bad stuff!

Click here to learn more about Brilliant Smiles and the services we provide!

(Reprinted in part from gobuydental.com)

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by Lee Anne Austria on April 2, 2015 , Comments Off on THE INFO ON IMPLANTS

image credit: RW Implants & Cosmetic Dentistry

For many people, a dental implant is a great solution to replace missing teeth.  A dental implant takes the place of a tooth’s root.  A crown or bridge can then be secured to the implant providing a functional and esthetic solution.  Click here to learn more about the benefits of dental implants and be sure to check out our Pinterest page for more fun infographics!

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by Lee Anne Austria on March 26, 2015 , Comments Off on “HEALTHY” SWAPS THAT AREN’T-YOUR DENTIST ADVOCATES OVERALL HEALTH!

eat thisAt Brilliant Smiles, we are advocates for your overall health.  With that being said, we are always on the lookout for good recommendations to pass along to our patients!  Check out this advice from Eat This Not That, the world-wide best selling series of books that guide readers to nutritionally sound food and menu choices.  This latest list grabbed our attention because many of the substitutions which would normally be considered better choices on paper, may not actually be better for you!  Click here to see why some of those “healthy” suggestions may be misleading!

As a dentist that provides the highest quality of dental care along with top-notch customer service, we are excited to expand our focus to include overall health and wellness.  Click here to learn why!

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Oral Health IS Health-Visit Your Dentist!

by Lee Anne Austria on March 17, 2015 , Comments Off on Oral Health IS Health-Visit Your Dentist!

image credit: infographicsonly.com

We cannot emphasize it enough!  Poor dental hygiene and gum disease are much more common than you might think and both can pose serious consequences to your overall health.  Make regular visits to your dentist and hygienist.  Click here to be taken to our Pinterest page where you can view this infographic and learn more!

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