What Can Cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, is a painful condition that can cause annoying symptoms such as popping, clicking and tenderness of the jaw. Perhaps most alarmingly, it can make it difficult to move the jaw. Some common causes of TMJ include stress, injury, and misaligned jaws. For example, stress can cause teeth grinding that can alter the way the teeth fit together, leading to jaw misalignment. Injuries and a dislocated jaw can also cause such misaligning changes to the jaw structure. As is the case with any joint in the body, the temporomandibular joint can also develop arthritis that makes it painful and difficult to move. Fortunately, TMJ-related pain often responds to non-invasive measures such as stress reduction exercises, heat packs and dietary changes. For persistent pain, your dentist can prescribe a night guard designed to reduce teeth grinding, jaw strengthening exercises and...

The Most Surprising Contributor to Bad Breath

In order to maintain excellent dental health, your entire digestive system should be working in tip top shape. Your internal flora are the front line of your immune system and your health (and your breath) can be affected in surprising ways by the health of your internal bacteria. This does not mean that you should have only “good” bacteria in your digestive system. Your gut flora should have a good balance of “bad” (destructive) and “good” (constructive) bacteria to maintain optimal functioning. An imbalance in your gut can be expressed in your breath. For example, diabetes can lead to a sweet, fruity odor in one’s breath. In addition to an imbalance in your gut, an imbalance in bacteria in your mouth can lead to health concerns: not only bad breath, but also diseases like thrush. You should maintain your digestive health to prevent embarrassing diseases and...