Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Our Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Answers Questions About Living With Jaw Dysfunction

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

For many people, when they think about oral health, they think primarily about teeth and gums. However, in reality, all of the parts of your smile, including bone structure, are interconnected. This is why it’s so important to be mindful about jaw health, and stay alert for signs of TMJ issues, so that you can seek treatment before your smile is compromised. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst TMJ dentists.

How and why do jaw problems develop?

There are a number of potential causes of jaw dysfunction. Sometimes jaw damage is the result of a discrete injury—like a bike or sporting accident. In these cases, it’s pretty clear that the jaw joint is injured, and it is crucial that you undergo treatment so that ill-effects do not linger. Other causes of TMJ problems are subtler. Uneven teeth for example, will put strain on your bite, and cause structural problems. Also, people who suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding, often deal with jaw damage as a result.

What are some common symptoms of TMJ damage?

Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may be chronic or they may come and go. Regardless, you should speak to your dental team if you notice:

  • A popping or clicking sensation when you chew
  • Jaw pain or discomfort
  • Limited jaw mobility: some people are able to feel their jaws “lock” when they try to open their mouths all of the way
  • That you are unconsciously altering your bite to compensate for jaw dysfunction

How does Dr. Scharfenberg treat TMJ problems?

Effective TMJ treatment begins with identifying the underlying cause of jaw dysfunction. Our dental team always matches the treatment to the root source of jaw damage. If, for example, a poorly aligned bite is putting strain your temporomandibular joints, then orthodontic treatment or customized restorations can help alleviate this pressure. Patients who suffer from bruxism may benefit from protective dental appliances.  

TMJ problems can be effectively and comfortably treated by our Elmhurst TMJ dentists. Please, don’t hesitate to contact our team to schedule a personal consultation! 

Our Elmhurst Dentist Give You More Information About Cold Sore Development And Treatment

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Cold sores are undoubtedly uncomfortable and annoying, but they’re also exceptionally common. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost half of the adult population of the United States has HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores. Keep reading to get more information from our Elmhurst dentists.

Many people will experience an onset of symptoms shortly after contracting the virus—this is called “primary herpes,” and for some people this will be the only observable outbreak they ever have. Keep in mind, however, that the virus is still present in the patient’s body, so the patient should still take proactive measures to keep from spreading it.

Other people will experience recurrent symptoms, usually individual cold sores, periodically after the initial outbreak. Cold sores most frequently appear on a patient’s lips; however, it is possible for them to develop on other areas of the face, including the chin, inside of the nose, and the cheek.

There are certain factors that can trigger cold-sore development:

  • Increased stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Illness, such as cold or flu
  • Sun exposure and sunburn

When you have an active cold sore, it is best to let it run its course with minimal interference. You absolutely do not want to pick at the lesion, as this can lead to scaring and delay the healing process. Try using over-the-counter creams as well as ice to keep the swelling down and numb sensitive skin.

While you have an active outbreak, you want to be especially careful not to spread HSV-1.

  • Refrain from kissing
  • Do not share drinks or utensils
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Try not to pick at the sore

At Scharfenberg Dental, our Elmhurst dentists can help you make a plan to deal with cold sore development. Please give our office a call, or use the Contact Us page on our site to reach out to our team!

Our Elmhurst Dentist Dispels Common Myths About Oral Health

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

In order to properly care for your smile, you need to have all of the accurate, quality information that you can get. Misinformation about dental health is rampant, and, unfortunately, it prevents many people from achieving long-term oral health.

Today, our Elmhurst dentists are addressing some common misconceptions about oral health. We hope that you find this information in your own life!

“It’s always a good idea to brush; I should do it as much as I can.”

We’ve all know that we have to brush our teeth in order to stay healthy, so, at first blush it makes sense that more brushing = better teeth. However, this isn’t necessarily true. First of all, brushing is actually slightly abrasive, so over-brushing may lead to dental erosion and gum damage. Plus, you need to be mindful about brushing after eating or drinking. Keep in mind that our dental enamel is actually slightly softened directly after acid exposure; brushing during the first 20 to 30 minutes after you eat or drink something acidic may cause your enamel to thin.

Additionally, there are a number of good reasons as to why the ADA recommends that patients brush once in the morning and once right before bed—this schedule is designed to refresh your smile at critical points in the day. If you feel like your brushing routine isn’t cutting it, talk to your dentists before you make any alternations to your existing oral hygiene plan.

“Too much dental whitening can make my teeth look fake”

Some patients avoid whitening their smiles because they worry that their teeth will end up looking “too white.” The truth is that the professional whitening treatments we use are designed to life discoloration from your natural tooth’s surface. This means that whitening treatments simply work to restore your smile to its previous level of whiteness; we are not painting a new shade over your enamel. If you’re concerned about whitening results, please talk to our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists; we’ll design your treatment plan to meet your specific needs.

As always, our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you any additional information that you may need to make sound decisions for your smile. Give us a call to get started! 

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