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Physicians of the Mouth
Why Your Dentist May Be Best Suited to Treat Your Headaches
This month, we’ve asked our associate Dr. Allan Gross to share his knowledge of dentistry with us Conventional wisdom used to state that doctors and dentists played different roles in our lives. Our dentists helped ensure our teeth were clean and didn’t have cavities, but it was doctors who monitored our overall health and wellness. Thankfully, that misbelief is steadily being dispelled. As the link between oral hygiene and all sorts of health issues is revealed, we’re beginning to see dentists for what they really are: the physicians of our mouths.
Have you ever thought your dentist would be more suited to diagnose and treat the cause of your headaches than your general practitioner?Well, with TMD, that’s the case. The role of a dentist has become more comprehensive, and helping people with TMD correct their bite and feel better is increasingly becoming part of our practice. At Gardens Dental Care, we have the tools to accurately pinpoint and treat the cause of your TMD. I like to think of TMD treatment as your road map to a better bite. The first step in creating that road map involves calibrating three important coordinates: your teeth, your muscles, and your joints. We use sophisticated imaging devices to observe how your muscles are functioning and if there is any misalignment or dysfunction with your TMJ. These dynamic, high-tech images allow us to eliminate guesswork during the diagnostic process. Rather than throwing a few different treatments at the wall and seeing what sticks, we can pinpoint exactly why you’re suffering from TMD and precisely address the issue. Once we know where the mechanics of your bite can be improved, we create an orthotic appliance to retrain your jaw so it can function optimally. Once you replace your less-than-ideal biting habits with better ones, you’ll outgrow the need for the appliance. For many of our patients, years of headaches and dizziness —which are usually chalked up to stress or some other external factor — subside after TMD treatment. We still have a long way to go in terms of raising awareness about all the ways dentistry can help patients improve their overall health and quality of life. As practitioners, we need to ask better questions of our patients and educate them on all the services we provide. Still, we’re making leaps and bounds from where we were just a decade ago. Maybe I’ll convince Dr. Yates to make everyone on our team wear a button that says, “Ask us about your headaches.” It can’t hurt, right? Dr. Allan Gross is an expert in the treatment of TMD. For a number of years, he was a clinical instructor at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies. When he’s not helping patients feel better, he enjoys playing tennis, golf, and pickleball and spending time with his family. We’re honored to have Dr. Gross as part of our team. You make the button and I’ll wear it! And together we’ll continue to provide the best services for our patients. –Dr. Allan Gross –Dr. David Yates
One area outside of the mouth where we’ve seen the potential for dental treatment to alleviate issues is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to the front of your skull. You can feel it working by pressing your hand in front of your ear and opening and closing your mouth. We use the term temporomandibular disorder (TMD) to describe problems that occur from this joint malfunctioning or moving improperly.
Gardens Dental Care • 561-529-4655
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