Dental Trauma hits home, because I am an orthodontist that suffered a serious accident as a child during my routine bus ride to school. It created a career passion and something that I am considered to be an expert in my profession, based on my specialized training to manage accidents.
Dental Injuries – Epidemiology
An average of 22,000 accidents occur annually among children, less than 18 years of age
Over 80% of all dental injuries involve the upper teeth
30% of Pre-school age children have a dental injury of some kind
The most common sports injuries are in baseball, basketball, fights, vehicular & women’s volleyball reporting high numbers
Children with primary teeth, less than 7 years of age, sustained over half of the injuries in activities associated with home furniture
Outdoor recreational products and activities with related dental injuries are among children ages 7-12 years of age (ie. trampolines)
A Quick 5 Step Guide to help you determine what to do:
If there are any concerns for medical attention- Always seek first by calling 911 or visiting your closest trauma center/emergency facility. Never dismiss a head injury, even if there is blood involved.
Partially Avulsed teeth/fractured teeth- call your orthodontist or dentist immediately. If the trauma involves the loss of tooth -determine if it is a baby tooth or permanent. Baby teeth should never be reimplanted, but consult immediately with your general dentist or call your orthodontist that specializes in trauma. If a tooth cannot be located, mandate a chest x-ray to rule out aspiration(inhaling tooth) at your local ER center.
The key factor to dental trauma success is minimizing the amount of time that the permanent tooth is outside of the mouth(avulsion). Success rate is directly related to re-implantation within 5-30 minutes. Rule of thumb- 1% of successful reimplantation lost for every 1 minute out of socket (dry). NEVER dry /clean tooth or clean(even if dirty). Immediately submerge tooth in any isotonic solution which could include: milk, contact solution, or breast milk, or room temperature water(poorer result) to name a few. Storage of tooth in a liquid medium will buy you time. Regular milk has been seen in cases to be almost as good as an immediate re- implantation. Do not handle root surface- only touch clinical crown if possible. If tooth is outside of mouth, call your oral surgeon or periodontist for reimplantation.
If tooth is partially avulsed(not out of mouth) -Call your dental specialist and inquire if they technology to take a 3D radiographs orCBCT(Cone Beam) to determine if tooth is fractured and if splinting is necessary. Splinting is stabilizing the tooth for 2-3 week period with a semi-rigid medium/wire. Orthodontic braces count as stabilization, if seen by a trained specialist in the recommended time above. There are a high number of false negatives reported with traditional dental x-rays
Root resorption(deterioration) is directly associated with the amount of time the tooth is outside of the mouth or untreated(storage medium dependent) For example: Shorter time = Better Prognosis. Root resorption should be monitored by your dental specialist. NO activities are suggested during splinting of teeth.
Tips for success:
A mouthguard must be worn immediately following injury
Root Canal Therapy is a high possibility and your dental specialist should guide you when to seek a consult. The endodontist will traditional follow guidelines/protocols associates with the AAE(American Association of Endodontists)
Remember that a hopeless tooth is not a Worthless tooth, because children typically cannot have dental implants placed until after the cessation of the individual’s craniofacial growth around the age of 19-22
Locate a Board Certified Specialist by researching online
Thanks to Dr. Joseph K. Vargo, a Board Certified Orthodontic Specialist from Vargo Orthodontics, for his insight into dental injuries.
Temporomandibular joints or TMJ disorder is a painful jaw condition that affects many people. Pain can affect talking, sleeping or eating and have serious repercussions. TMJ has a variety of causes, and treatment aimed at resolving pain and reducing recurrence is best. TMJ can exacerbate other medical ailments such as a headache and tooth and neck pain. TMJ is similar to another condition known as Upper Cervical Dysfunction, and the two share overlapping symptoms, causes, and treatments. A chiropractic physician will perform a thorough physical exam and understand your history to diagnose and treat this painful condition accurately.
Jaw pain from TMJ occurs when the temporomandibular joint in the mouth is injured or damaged. Sufferers may experience pain in the head, face, ear, jaw, or mouth. This painful syndrome is caused by arthritis to the temporomandibular joint, tooth or jaw injury, misalignment to the teeth or jaw, tightness in the mouth musculature, and tooth grinding. Stress, poor posture, and gum chewing contribute to TMJ. Pain can be chronic. Tell your chiropractic physician about any mouth and head pain you have as TMJ is a treatable syndrome that can have serious repercussions if left untreated. Your chiropractic physician will review your health history and palpate muscular areas related to your pain area. Tightness in facial muscles surrounding the mouth or around the neck and upper back are frequently found in both TMJ and Upper Cervical Dysfunction. Additionally, painful joints in the mouth, throat, and head may cause or be caused by the two conditions.
The tightness of the masseter muscle and tenderness of the TMJ joint can be relieved with hands-on techniques designed to mobilize irritated joints and relax and soothe tight muscles. Inflamed vertebral units in the neck and upper back contribute to jaw pain; this region can be adjusted with chiropractic techniques to take stress off these important supportive structures and help the nervous system fully function to heal the area. Stress reduction techniques may be helpful to reduce nighttime tooth grinding. Disposable or prescription mouth guards may assist in the healing process.
Chiropractic care aimed at relieving joint and muscle inflammation, posture and balance will help the dual syndromes of TMJ and Upper Cervical Dysfunction. Call a chiropractor and headache doctor Chapel Hill, NC relies on today to get the care you need.
Of the many conditions that chiropractors can help with, the jaw does not typically come to mind. Chiropractors are usually associated with helping individuals relieve their back, neck, and even nerve pain. However, did you know that chiropractors could also help you find pain relief for temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, also referred to as TMJ?
What is TMJ?
According to the National Institute of Health (https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/winter10/articles/winter10pg15a.html), temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders are a group of conditions that affect the muscles controlling jaw movement. The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull, acting like a sliding hinge. This allows you to talk, chew, and swallow. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is difficult to pinpoint for any individual, as there are many factors that can contribute to this condition such as genetics, arthritis, and jaw injury.
The discomforts of TMJ can range from mildly annoying, to completely debilitating. Individuals who have jaw pain also tend to clench and grind their teeth. This may lead to additional dental issues over time. Besides the grinding of teeth, TMJ can cause pain and discomfort both temporarily and chronically. The following are signs and symptoms of TMJ:
Pain or tenderness of the jaw
Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
Aching pain in the ear, face, jaw, or cheek
Clicking, grating, or popping sounds in the jaw when you open and close your mouth
Locking of the jaw joint
Why a chiropractor for TMJ?
As mentioned, there are many factors that can cause TMJ. Meeting with a chiropractor can help explore the potential causes and treat the issue rather than just the symptoms. The most common causes of TMJ include injury, and rheumatoid arthritis. In the case of an injury, a chiropractor can help asses if your body is misaligned, which may be contributing to TMJ. Specialized exercises, as well heat and cold treatments may also be provided to help strengthen the necessary muscles and provide pain relief. For cases where rheumatoid arthritis is the culprit, a chiropractor can help relieve not only the pain associated with your TMJ, but also with your rheumatoid arthritis. This not only aids with your TMJ condition, but also improves overall body health.
If you are experiencing any pains or discomforts associated with TMJ, consider a consult with the chiropractic doctor Shawnee, KS offers. Treatments, advice, and exercises given are specifically designed to help eliminate the underlying cause of the problem and reestablish normal jaw function.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at LifeWorks Integrative Health for their insight into alternative medicine and how a chiropractor can help with TMJ.
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We trust dentists to provide safe and professional care, and most of the time they do. However, sometimes dentists commit malpractice, inflicting tremendous pain and possibly causing permanent damage. When this happens, it's important to hold the dentist accountable by filing a malpractice claim. Doing this gives the patient an opportunity to receive justice, and may also protect future patients from the unprofessional behavior of the offending dentist. When a dentist injures a patient by deviating from what is considered to be standard care in the dental community, malpractice has occurred.
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