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Some Common Dental Problems
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are trained in diagnosing and treating these specific conditions. Each of these requires a thorough history, examination and sometimes investigations/tests for an accurate diagnosis, after which patients are provided with a specific treatment regimen.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
TMJ is a joint which is present in front of the ears on the right and left side of the face. It connects the lower jaw to the skull. The joint along with the muscles permit the jaw to open wide and move back & forth while you chew, talk or yawn. It is the only paired joint in your body that functions simultaneously.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome (TMJDS)
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome is a term for pain and dysfunction of the muscles that open and close the jaw and TMJ. A bang to the jaw or overuse can result in pain. Causes of overusing your jaw could be clenching or grinding (caused by stress, anxiety or depression), chewing gum, Nail biting, Yawning, Chewy foods, Wind instruments and Singing with a wide open mouth.
TMJ click or lock
This joint has a disc that moves backward and forward in a manner similar to door hinge which allows your jaw to open and close. After a bang or over use of your jaw joint, the disc increases in size due to irritation and because of that the disc no longer fits as smoothly in the space between your jaw joint and the base of your skull.
This type of pain could be due to dental problems, muscular (facial muscles or muscles associated with TMJ) or nerve related.
Neuralgia is a pain in the nerve pathway. Generally, neuralgia isn’t an illness in its own right, but a symptom of injury or particular disorders. In many cases, the cause of the pain is not known.
Trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that usually affects one side of the face only, is said to be one of the most painful medical conditions. There is a stabbing, burning, or shock like pain Occasionally spontaneous, or environmental, or brought on by applying makeup, shaving, eating, drinking, smiling. Neuralgia can be managed with medication and physical therapy. Surgery is an option in some resistant cases
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome is a persistent, often painful sensation, or soreness. It most commonly affects your tongue, but may also affect your lips, gums, palate, throat or whole mouth. You may feel a burning or scalding sensation, taste changes in your mouth, such as a bitter or metallic taste, loss of taste, tingling, stinging or numbness in your mouth. It is important to know that burning mouth syndrome usually doesn’t cause any noticeable physical changes to your tongue or mouth. It is seen more often in peri- and post-menopausal women.
It is a long-term (chronic) inflammatory skin disease. It can occur in the mouth as well. This condition may look like white, lacy patches, red, swollen tissues, or open sores. These lesions have a tendency to cause burning sensation, pain or other discomfort.
Salivary Gland related problem
Salivary glands make saliva. Saliva is mostly water. It also has minerals and proteins that help break down food and keep the mouth and teeth healthy. There are three major salivary glands and there are also a large number (600-1,000) of minor salivary glands widely distributed throughout the mouth. Problems related to salivary gland can range from an infection to stone or a cyst. A salivary gland stone can form as a result of poor salivary flow.
Cancers of the mouth and face have become common. There are different types, squamous cell carcinoma being the most common. It can begin at but not limited to, the lip, tongue, inner lining of the mouth or at times can be in the salivary or lymph glands, muscle, bone and other tissue. The key to successful treatment is accurate early diagnosis and treatment thereafter. Hence we recommend regular reviewing especially to people who consume Pan, Chalia (Betel nuts) and/or Cigarettes.
Jaw Tumors or Cyst
Jaw tumors and cysts are relatively rare growths or lesions that develop in the jawbone or the soft tissues in the mouth and face. They can vary greatly in size and severity. These growths are usually noncancerous (benign), but they can be aggressive. Treatment can require monitoring and a surgery.
Wisdom teeth/ third molars, are the final teeth to develop in the mouth, usually in our late teens or early twenties. There are four wisdom teeth, two on the top and two on the bottom jaw. These are the last teeth in the back of your mouth. Oftentimes, they become trapped and do not come through the gums completely causing discomfort, pain and infection. In these cases, it is advisable to get your wisdom tooth/teeth removed as it gives relief from pain and prevent decay in the tooth next to it.
Healthy gums are pink in color. When brushing is inadequate, plaque settles down on teeth and gums which causes gums to become inflamed (red in color, swollen and at times painful) also leads to having a bad breath and bleeding gums. Once it develops, it requires a cleaning session at the dental clinic followed by a specific prescription. This condition can easily be avoided by brushing adequately and regular dental checkups.
Sensitivity is an uncomfortable sensation felt upon taking cold or hot food/liquid or at times simply while brushing. There are many reasons as why teeth become sensitive. It could be related to a single tooth or may involve many teeth. Treatment primarily depends on identifying the cause and providing appropriate treatment thereafter.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. It is recommended to use fluoride containing toothpaste as it reduces chances of developing decay in your teeth. Fluoride gel application professionally at a dental office can help reduce sensitivity in certain situations. The gel also has the potential to strengthen your tooth.
Jaw fracture is a break through the bone of your upper or lower jaw. These injuries need close checkup of your mouth, teeth, eyes, nerves and underlying bony structures and require an emergency treatment.
It is one of the greatest advancement in medical technologies where x-rays of teeth can now be captured and displayed on a screen. The best part of digital x-rays is that they have the ability to capture the teeth/bone with around 90% less radiation exposure than conventional x-rays.
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