H Charles Jelinek Jr DDS - August 2019

How Your Jaw Pain Can Influence Your Well-Being TMD and Your Body Your mouth is powerful. It allows you to enjoy your favorite treats and chat with friends. It’s the main gateway to the rest of your body, but it also leaves you susceptible to disease and pain. Those living with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) know exactly what this means. When you have TMD, the pain in your jaw can be insurmountable. You may struggle to eat the foods you love or to chat with your friends, but there are many components of your body that can be influenced by TMD. Let’s start with the obvious: your teeth. Because TMD affects your jawbone, it’s only natural that teeth, which are anchored to the bone, can feel the effects of its dysfunction. In fact, many patients see the dentist for symptoms of an abscess or toothache only to discover their jaw joint has been compromised. In addition, TMD pain can travel to the ears. Patients may visit their doctor convinced they are suffering from an ear infection and are often shocked to leave with a dental recommendation instead of a prescription. This pain can also appear as a constant buzzing or ringing in the ears. If you haven’t caught onto the theme yet, your face is very connected, and any pain you feel in your jaw can translate to pain elsewhere, including your eyes and your throat. As such, symptoms of TMD can include light sensitivity, tension behind the eyes, and bloodshot eyes. It may feel like your eyes are bulging out of you skull. And if you are constantly clearing your throat, your TMD may be to blame. Headaches in your temples, forehead, neck, back of your head, and near your sinuses can also appear with TMD pain. This pain can worsen your TMD flare-ups and can also translate into shoulder and neck pain. It can be overwhelming when you realize how TMD influences the remainder of your body. But there are variable treatment options, outside of surgery, that can target the source of this pain, and the treatments are created to fit into any lifestyle. Learn more about these options by visiting our website at NorthernVirginiaDental.com or calling 703-584-5996.

THE ART OF STARGAZING HELPING HUMANS SLOW DOWN AND LOOK UP

Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. THE HIGHER, THE BETTER If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. EXTRA SET OF EYES While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope. 3. UTILIZE ASSETS Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. MARK YOUR CALENDAR In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.” The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.

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