We all can admit that a telltale sign of old age is wrinkles. It’s a fact of life and there is nothing we can do to reverse time. They appear in various areas on our face – one such area is the corners of our mouth. There is a muscle that attaches the corners of our mouth to the border of the lower jaw that motivates facial expression. Specifically, it allows us to frown. And if we frown a lot, we are likely to over-develop this muscle. The consequence is “jowl lines”, wrinkles from the corners of the mouth to the bottom of the lower jaw.
Unfortunately, jowl lines don’t mean you’re a grumpy person. You can get jowl lines just from unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth, especially during sleep, but even during the awake hours. This unconscious habit is called bruxism. Your dentist can, with some confidence, diagnose you as having bruxism if you have obvious signs of excessive wear on your teeth that cannot be attributed to what you eat and chew. If you are told you have bruxism, don’t fight it. Excessive wear of your teeth is forensic evidence you are unconsciously doing it during the daytime, or you are doing it while you are in certain stages of sleep.
So, what do you do with this newfound habit? Well, your dentist can make you a custom, calibrated oral appliance that gives you an ideal bite. This ideal bite will lessen the tendency to clench and grind. The bite appliances are not obtrusive nor obviously visible, especially if your dentist makes it to fit over your lower teeth. To repair developed jowl lines, ask your dentist about botox injections or dermal fillers at your next checkup.
When we begin to develop jaw pain, it can be cause for worry. After all, this is our jawbone – it helps us speak, chew and loads of other essential daily activities. If something is wrong with it and it goes untreated, it can cause issues down the road.
If you find that your jaw is slipping out of joint, you may be developing TMJ disorder. For some patients, the jaw can slip back into place; for others, it needs to be manually popped back into place by a physician. Eventually, this will begin to wear down the tendon, muscles and cartilage. In order to get a proper diagnosis, you will need to get a professional evaluation. This will likely include a CT scan and/or an MRI.
If it is diagnosed that you have developed some form of TMJ disorder, the treatment will depend on the progression that has already taken place. For the milder conditions, prescriptions are given for inflammation and pain. And because TMJ can be caused by stress, exercise and meditation can also help aid in the alleviation of pain. Night guards and hot or cold therapy are also some DIY options that can also help. Botox injection can be used to
relieve pain caused by TMD by relaxing the muscles.
If you appear to have a more acute condition, you may need to have some surgery. TMJ arthroscopy or arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done as outpatient surgery. The recovery time for this procedure is about a week. A total joint replacement may also be the ultimate treatment. It will require a hospital stay and recovery is close to six weeks. So, if you are beginning to feel some jaw pain, be sure to get it checked as soon as possible.
When it comes to sleeping, we all know that it is important to make sure a solid night’s sleep each and every night. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from some sort of sleep issue. And for many, that sleep issue is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when tissue in the back of the throat collapses, blocking the airway and reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to major organs, like your heart and brain. In severe cases, it will necessitate a CPAP machine while you sleep; for others, it can be aided through the use of essential oils. Here is a crash course in what you need to know about these various essential oils and the ways you can utilize them as you sleep:
Rubbing the oil into your chest, neck, beneath your nostrils and the heels of the feet
Diluting the oil in a glass of water as a gargle mixture or a spray
Using a diffuser near your bed — a diffuser this a great solution as oils can be inhaled over longer periods of time.
Valerian root. An herb used for calming and sedating properties, valerian is shown to be useful for insomnia and chronic sleep disorders.
Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted from the brain’s pineal gland. The gland regulates a person’s biological clock, particularly day and night cycles.
Kampo extract. Kampo is a concoction consisting of five medicinal herbs: Pinella, Hoelen, Magnolia bark, Perilla, and Ginger.
Vervain. Vervain is oftentimes used to relieve anxiety and depression. It has been shown to improve mild sleep apnea symptoms.
We all want to stop the hands of time, but sadly, it doesn’t. We age each and every day, no matter how much we don’t want it to. So, we have tips and tricks we do to give the appearance that we are more youthful than we are. Cosmetic procedures do not only involve a plastic surgeon. But, what do facial fillers, like Botox® or Juvederm®, have to do with dentistry? It’s not like teeth have wrinkles.
These days, more and more dental professionals have realized that function and esthetic go hand-in-hand in achieving optimal health. Our faces and mainly, our jaws do have muscles and they’re prone to suffering from constant muscle spasms. Conditions such as bruxism, TMJ and others involving facial pain have been proven to benefit from these injections, though not all dentists are aware of this.
Safe for treating conditions involving facial pain, dermal
fillers have been effective to some extent in treating high line cases without
having to resort to far more invasive and aggressive forms of treatment. In
orthodontics, the teeth of patients with strong mentalis muscles are prone
reverting back to pre-therapy positions. Botox can help with this by making the
muscles weaker to allow more normal movement and prevent the undoing of the
effects of the current treatment. Patients who are still getting used to
dentures can benefit, especially if they suffer from strong and consistent
If you are worried about risks, know that local anesthesia, which is far more frequently used by dentists, is also a lot more dangerous and have greater potential for complications.
If you would like more information about facial fillers, call Dr. Katia Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.lesplanadedental.com.
Dr. Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.