Complete Family Dentistry Blog - Waukesha , WI
Posts for: November, 2017
We don’t often think about it, but eating is a multi-staged process. It starts, of course, with food that’s hopefully high in nutritional value. But you also need coordinated jaw action to chew and shred your food that when combined with the enzymes in saliva can then be effectively digested in the stomach.
But what if you’re unable to chew some foods because you suffer from chronic jaw pain and dysfunction? This is the situation for millions of people who suffer from problems associated with the jaw joints—temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). It’s not just the chronic pain and discomfort TMD can cause that’s a real issue—it may also be preventing you from eating foods that are healthy for you.
Because TMD can make it difficult to open your jaws wide or causes pain when you bite down, you might especially have trouble with certain fruits and vegetables as well as many meats. Many people opt to skip otherwise healthy foods because they’re too difficult to eat. That, however, could lead to lack of proper nutrition in the long run.
But with a few techniques and modifications, you can still include many of these foods in your diet even when TMD discomfort flares up. For one, be sure to cut all your food portions (including toast) into small, bite-sized pieces. These should be small enough to limit the amount of jaw opening required to comfortably place the bite in your mouth and chew. When preparing your food, be sure to peel fruits and vegetables that have skin, which is often hard to chew.
You should also try cooking crisper fruits and vegetables to a soft, moist texture. Choose meat cuts, poultry or seafood that can be cooked to a tender, moist consistency—you can also use gravies and sauces to further moisten them.
And don’t forget to chew slowly. Not only does slower eating aid in digestion, it will help you avoid overworking your jaw joints.
With a few adjustments you can have a normal, nutritious diet and minimize the discomfort of your TMD symptoms. Continual healthy eating is a must for overall health and quality of life.
If you would like more information on reducing the impact of TMD on your life and health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What to Eat When TMJ Pain Flares Up.”
Hate waiting around? You'll love CEREC same-day crowns. Our Waukesha, WI, dentists, Dr. Joel Jahimiak, Dr. Cathleen Raz and Dr. Kendra Loch of Complete Family Dentistry, explain how the CEREC process works.
A crown in just one appointment
If you've ever received a crown, you know that the process used to involve two dental appointments spaced two or three weeks apart. During the first appointment, your tooth was reduced in size, then your teeth were covered with soft dental putty to create an impression of your mouth. Once the impression was ready to send to the dental laboratory that would make your porcelain crown, your dentist created a temporary crown that you wore until your permanent crown was ready.
During the next several weeks, it was always in the back of your mind that your temporary crown could break or loosen if you accidentally ate the wrong thing. Steak, crusty bread, pizza and other hard and tough foods were all added to the list of foods that needed to be avoided. When the crown was finally ready, you returned to the dental office, where a few alternations were made to the fit before the restoration was cemented on to your tooth.
Thanks to CEREC, the long wait has been eliminated. When you visit our Waukesha office, we'll use innovative CAD/CAM technology to create your new crown while you wait. Because the entire process is computerized, uncomfortable dental putty is no longer needed. We'll use a digital camera to create a scan of your mouth, which will appear as a 3D image on our digital screen.
While you occupy yourself with a magazine or a game on your smartphone, we'll design and produce your crown in an hour or less. Once the design is finalized, it will be sent to our in-office milling machine, which shapes a block of ceramic or resin into a crown that will fit your mouth perfectly. We'll check the fit of the crown and make adjustments as needed. You'll leave the office with a brand new permanent crown and won't need to return until your next regular dental exam.
CEREC crowns take the waiting out of the crown process. If you've been putting off getting a crown because of the time commitment involved, call our Waukesha, WI, dentists, Dr. Jahimiak, Dr. Raz and Dr. Loch of Complete Family Dentistry, at (262) 549-6850 to schedule an appointment.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive bacterial infection caused primarily by bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces not adequately removed by daily oral hygiene. In fact, nearly all of us will develop gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissues) if we fail to clean our teeth and gums for an extended period of time.
Some people, however, have a greater susceptibility for developing gum disease because of other risk factors not related to hygiene. Patients with diabetes are at particular high risk for acute forms of gum disease.
Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body can’t adequately regulate the bloodstream’s levels of glucose, the body’s primary energy source. Type 1 diabetes is caused by inadequate production in the pancreas of the hormone insulin, the body’s primary glucose regulator. In Type 2 diabetes the body develops a resistance to insulin’s effects on glucose, even if the insulin production is adequate. Type 1 patients require daily insulin injections to survive, while most Type 2 patients manage their condition with medications, dietary improvements, exercise and often insulin supplements.
Diabetes has a number of serious consequences, including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Its connection with gum disease, though, is related to how the disease alters the body’s response to infection and trauma by increasing the occurrence of inflammation. While inflammation is a beneficial response of the body’s immune system to fight infection, prolonged inflammation destroys tissues. A similar process occurs with gum disease, as chronic inflammation leads to tissue damage and ultimately tooth loss.
Researchers have found that patients with diabetes and gum disease may lessen the effects of inflammation related to each condition by properly managing both. If you’ve been diagnosed with either type of diabetes, proper dental care is especially important for you to reduce your risk of gum disease. In addition to effective daily brushing and flossing and a professional cleaning and checkup every six months (more frequent is generally better), you should also monitor your gum health very closely, paying particular attention to any occurrence of bleeding, redness or swelling of the gums.
If you encounter any of these signs you should contact us as soon as possible for an examination. And be sure to inform any dental professional that cares for your teeth you’re diabetic — this could affect their treatment approach.
If you would like more information on dental care for patients with diabetes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Diabetes & Periodontal Disease.”