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Advanced Dental Arts NW Blog

More than Just a Pretty Face

September 7, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 4:03 pm
patient getting BOTOX

   An increasing number of people are getting BOTOX these days, to diminish wrinkles and lines in their faces.  Cosmetics is all well and good (and a big part of our practice), but the largely under-appreciated aspect of BOTOX is its role in treating TMJ and facial pain. 

   This is because BOTOX works on muscles like a dimmer switch on your light bulbs–it simply “turns down” the intensity of the muscle contractions.  As most TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint) issues are in fact muscular in origin, a prudent and localized dose of Botox can dramatically reduce or eliminate the pain problems.  And it lasts for about 90 days.  It is like a miracle.

   But that is not all, by a long shot.  BOTOX also enables us to better diagnose the root problem, to determine if the pain issues are a “Hardware” (meaning within the TMJ itself) or a “Software” (meaning muscular) problem.  Thus, we are able to focus more directly on treating the causes, rather than just the symptoms, of your discomfort.  

   And, of course, you get to enjoy both the significant reduction in pain AND the esthetic benefits, as an additional benefit!  And what could be better than a side-effect like that?

Why Is Sleep Apnea on the Rise? The Surprising Answer

August 24, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 11:21 am
Sleepless woman suffering from sleep apnea with clock on bed

Each year, it seems like sleep apnea is mentioned more on the news and in casual conversations with friends and family. The surge in interest around this sleep disorder is not a coincidence! A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology confirmed that obstructive sleep apnea has grown much more prevalent over the last two decades. In fact, an estimated 22 million Americans are affected by sleep apnea today. Why is sleep apnea in Portland on the rise and what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.  


Look Out! 5 Things That Make TMJ-Related Symptoms Worse

August 18, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 6:38 pm
Closeup of woman experiencing jaw pain

According to recent studies from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, upwards of 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. Although experts are still looking into the exact causes, the habits that aggravate the symptoms (like jaw pain) are well known. So, if you struggle with TMD, keep reading to learn five things that make TMJ-related symptoms worse.


SMILE!  You’re on CANDID Camera!

November 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 12:22 pm
smiling woman putting on CANDID aligner

   Ok, you know that you really should do something about your teeth.  Maybe they are becoming sensitive, maybe your jaw is acting up and off center.  Or maybe you just don’t have the carefree easy smile that you have always wanted.  Everyone has a different, but valid, reason for wanting straighter and more comfortable teeth.

   But there are those classic three objections, of Time, Energy, and Money.  And while we cannot eliminate any of them completely, we are now able to greatly reduce each one.


It’s All About Perspective

October 1, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 3:05 pm
young woman smiling after visiting dentist in Portland

   There is a saying about how, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  There is also the story about the blind men and the elephant, where each person describes what the elephant must be based on what part of the animal they are feeling…


I Haven’t Got Time

September 10, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 2:57 pm
young woman smiling after visiting dentist in Portland

   Comprehensive dental care is more than just a pretty face.  It should also create comfort, confidence, and vitality, adding years to your life, and life to your years.  Because nothing is more important to your wellbeing than an even bite and an easy smile.  


Should You Get Veneers or Dental Bonding?

August 6, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 5:50 pm
mature woman smiling with veneers in Portland

Veneers and cosmetic dental bonding are two of the most popular elective treatments in the world. They have helped countless patients achieve beautiful, functional smiles relatively quickly, including many of your favorite celebrities. Both offer similar benefits, so this can make choosing between them a little tricky. Which one would be best for your particular situation? Thankfully, with a little knowledge and input from your cosmetic dentist in Portland, taking the first step toward your ideal smile should be nice and easy.


The True Culprit of TMJ/TMD Pain: Lactic Acid

July 10, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 4:22 pm
young woman holding her sore jaw due to TMJ/TMD

The pain caused by TMD is almost always due to the overworking of the jaw muscles,  which causes a build-up of lactic acid. If this term sounds familiar, that is because it is what makes muscles sore and stiff after any rigorous exercise. Of course, most TMD patients do not experience pain only in their jaw, but often their head, neck, and ears as well.

Is this due to lactic acid as well? Why does the body produce a substance that causes serious discomfort? Can TMJ treatment in Portland prevent it? We answer these questions and more in today’s blog.


Why Mouthguards Are Ineffective When Treating TMJ/TMD

July 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 4:04 pm
close-up of an athletic mouthguard

You can only open your mouth to a certain “comfort zone” before the muscles respond and overwork. If you are open too far, the reflex is for your teeth to work (i.e., grind away the tooth structure) to return your jaw to its correct position. If you are over-closed, the muscles also clench and grind, to try to find their right vertical position(which they cannot ever find, as there is inadequate tooth left).  

If you are already in your comfort zone, or if your bite is over-opened, you will have to fight to keep your mouthguard in your mouth, as your muscles and tongue will want to kick it out. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is very common. Your body knows when treatment is not going to help with your problems, and over-opening a bite will create a great number of long-term problems.  

If your bite is over-closed, though, there is a good chance that a well-designed and adjusted mouthguard will provide significant relief, and can certainly improve your facial appearance as well. Depending upon how far open the bite needs to be, an orthotic can be worn, invisibly, for months at a time, being removed only for cleaning, or for heavy meals. At Advanced Dental Arts NW, we use these orthotics not only to remedy the immediate problems of grinding and clenching, but also for neck and some shoulder pain, much of which arises from a bad bite.  

Once we know WHERE your bite is comfortable, we can get you there through a variety of options, each of which we would discuss with you from the get-go.  

Have you been prescribed a mouthguard to treat your TMJ disorder/TMD? Are you still experiencing jaw pain and headaches despite diligently wearing your appliance every night? Unfortunately, this situation is all too common. If you talk to most patients over the long-term, mouthguards actually do very little to solve TMD-related symptoms, and in many cases, they can actually make things worse! Here are the top 4 reasons mouthguards should not be used for TMJ treatment in Portland.


How DTR Addresses the Cause of TMD – Not Just the Symptoms

June 4, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — advanced @ 9:16 pm

If your car is malfunctioning in some way, but you are not entirely sure what the underlying problem could be – how would you approach correcting the issue? One option might be to listen and make adjustments to the best of your ability based on internet research. Conversely, you could seek out help from an expert. The first thing they would do? Perform a fully objective, computerized evaluation of all systems, allowing them to not only properly diagnose the issue, but efficiently and effectively resolve it.

While the first option could result in a lucky outcome, and the results could hold you over temporarily, it goes without saying that this solution is likely just a patchwork fix and the result will not be lasting. You will end up frustrated and ultimately waste time, energy, resources, and money.

What happens if you apply the same principles to a persistent case of TMJ disorder/TMD? Just as with your car, it matters to be able to measure data objectively. Moreover, taking an analytical approach can lead to a clear confirmation that the components of a system are working as they should. Whether you are dealing with automobile gears or facial muscles, that kind of objectivity is a big deal.

Many patients do not realize that Disclusion Time Reduction Therapy (DTR) is a new computerized dentistry that can provide this information. Finally, it is possible to discover clinical answers that lead to true, long-term relief from chronic jaw discomfort.

Keep reading to learn more about DTR and how it addresses TMD at its roots in a way more intuition-based dental treatment simply has not, does not, and cannot.

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