Bad Habits and TMJ

May 19th, 2017

Although many habits are bad on their own, when suffering from TMJ Disorder, they can cause more damage than usual. For example, bad posture, eating habits, and biting your nails are all habits that should be avoided; however, these bad habits can also be negatively affecting your health. For those who have been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder, your bad habits might even be increasing your TMJ pain substantially.

 

Teeth Grinding

Whether you find yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw at night or throughout the day, both can lead to increased TMJ-related jaw pain. Work on breaking this habit before it causes ongoing TMJ pain by managing your stress and anxiety levels, coming to Dr. Sid Solomon or similar TMJ expert to get a night guard to avoid teeth grinding, and by positioning your tongue in between your teeth during the day to prevent your teeth from connecting.

 

Eating

An unfortunate TMD truth is that despite how good a food is, there are some foods that are much more difficult, and therefore not recommended, to eat. Foods that are hard, crunchy or extremely chewy should be avoided when you are suffering from TMD. This includes apples, many raw vegetables, caramel and taffy, hard candy, crunchy cereals and granola, and even popcorn and chips.

Teeth Usage

We have all done it. . . Use our teeth to open bags, rip off tags and other tasks that are meant to be done by tools. Unfortunately, this can be terrible for your teeth and your TMJ pain, so leave the work to scissors and let your teeth be teeth! To prevent the impulse to use your teeth, keep little scissors in your purse or pocket or simply as someone you’re with to help you.

Nail Biting

When you bite your nails, similarly to chewing hard food, you’re actually making your jaw work in a way that is stressful to it. This unnatural movement can further aggravate your TMJ pain, causing unnecessary discomfort. Needing to stop biting your nails? Try trimming and filing them regularly, get them professionally done to prevent and discourage n ail biting or you can even buy nail polish that is specifically made for deterring nail biting.

Although breaking bad habits will be helpful with TMJ pain management, seeing a TMD specialist like TMJ expert Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS, is key in the diagnosis and treatment of your TMJ pain. Call 310-475-5598 to schedule your TMJ consultation today!

The Differences Between Bruxism and TMJ Disorder

May 3rd, 2017

Sometimes, even with a diagnosis, understanding of the disease or disorder that you suffer from can be elusive at best. Because of this confusion, if there are multiple disorders, such as Bruxism and TMD, that are similar, it is easy to become misinformed. Though there is a natural propensity to group similar disorders together, this often causes one, or multiple, to be overlooked. Even though there may be similar solutions or cures between the two disorders, it is vital that you are properly diagnosed, especially in the case of TMJ Disorder, as Bruxism is simply a symptom of many that can indicate TMD. TMJ expert and specialist, Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS, understands the inherent difference between Bruxism and TMJ Disorder.

Cause

Bruxism: There is no absolute cause but is generally during the night, due to stress, environment or bad sleeping habits. Because of this, the clenching and grinding associated with Bruxism can actually cause TMJ pain and flare ups.

TMJ Disorder: TMJ Disorder is specifically caused and related to an issue with the temporomandibular joint.  , TMJ Disorder is generally caused by blunt force such as a car accident, trauma to the face, previous dental or orthodontic work that has led to a misalignment of the bite, bad posture or another specific incident that a TMJ specialist can identify.

 

The Pain

Bruxism: If you’re suffering from Bruxism, the pain is generally on a scale from 0-5, usually laying right in the middle at a “tense/ pressure” feeling in the cheeks, jaw and mouth.

TMD: With TMJ Disorder, although a much wider range from 1-10, the average pain level is extreme enduring discomfort, in the face, head and body. TMJ pain can also go from non-existent to debilitating in the matter of days.

Treatment

Bruxism: Although usually temporary, if Bruxism is long lasting, a night guard or simple mouth guard will usually do the trick in treatment.

TMJ Disorder: TMD is so incredibly complex, needing a true comprehensive neuromuscular expert and TMJ specialist to diagnose and treat, whether with a truly individualized orthotic splint or even surgery.

 

Because of the misconceptions and misdiagnoses especially when Googling symptoms, it is so important that you see a neuromuscular dentist and truly understand that Bruxism is all but one symptom of TMJ Disorder. Listening to and knowing your body is important, but if you’re unable to do that, seeing a specialist is dynamic. . . Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS is a world-renowned doctor with thirty years of experience and continued education, dedicated to helping patients who suffer from TMJ Disorder get a proper diagnosis and truly hands-on, personalized treatment and care. If previous treatments haven’t worked, don’t get discouraged: Dr. Solomon is truly a “light at the end of the tunnel” and can help you to get back to the pain-free life you deserve. Call today at 310-475-5598 to schedule your comprehensive consultation with Dr. Solomon to get answers and a treatment plan specifically designed to fix your TMD at the root of the cause.

Sleeping with TMJ Made Simple

April 4th, 2017

Not only is sleep enjoyable, it is also vital in overall health and brain function; however, when suffering from any kind of chronic pain, especially TMJ disorder, sleeping can be uncomfortable and elusive. Finding the middle-ground of a sleeping position that is comfortable but also helps to circumvent waking up to even worse TMJ pain can be tough, but the following are some things to keep in mind when falling asleep:

1)      SUPPORT IS SO IMPORTANT. Think about the support three main points of contact that affect TMJ (head, neck, and shoulders) are receiving. There are pillows that are specifically made to support these spots. If you’re feeling any type of strain in any of these three spots when you’re falling asleep, it is crucial that you change positions. A little strain now can mean a lot of pain tomorrow. Finally, assess if you’re in a position that will lead to tension, clenching of your jaw, or the grinding of your teeth. If you answer yes to any of those, move.

2)      Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Although one of the most contented ways to sleep, sleeping on your stomach indisputably causes strain on the TMJ. Not only does it cause you to rest your head in a way that immediately puts force on your face and TMJ, which often leads to clenching and grinding that will undoubtedly cause pain upon waking up.

3)      Avoid sleeping on your sides. Although BETTER, lying on your side is still not ideal for people who suffer from TMJ disorder. As with sleeping on your stomach, your face is laying directly on your arms or pillow, once again, causing stress and pressure on your face. Similarly, in general, both positions lead to a substantial misalignment of the entire body which can contribute to pain flare-ups and even the worsening of the actual TMD.

4)      Try to sleep on your back. Although it is not the most ideal way to sleep for most people, even people who are not suffering from TMJ Disorder should try to sleep on their backs. Sleeping on your back allows your body to align ideally, which can also help with overall posture. This also relieves all of the force and tension that other ways of sleeping place directly on the face and head. TMJ Expert Dr. Sid Solomon highly recommends this sleeping position to patients suffering from TMD.

Although these tips will help exponentially in your quest to sleep without, and without waking up to, aggravated TMJ pain, it is highly important that you see an expert regarding your (possible) TMD. TMJ expert Dr. Sid Solomon is a world renowned neuromuscular expert with such a wide-ranging understanding of the interrelation of the temporomandibular joint, head, neck, and rest of the body. Call us today at 310-475-5598 to schedule a one-on-one appointment with TMJ specialist Dr. Solomon and let him use his expertise and passion to help you return to the pain free life you deserve.

Are TMJ Disorder and Anxiety connected?

February 6th, 2017

To begin with, the answer to this widely asked question is that stress/ anxiety and TMJ Disorder can very well be connected. As a result of sharing some similar symptoms, either disorder can be misdiagnosed as the other. Because of this, it is very important to know the unique symptoms of both disorders, as well as the link between them.

TMJ Disorder

The jaw joint is controlled by many muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues, making it one of the most complex and important joints in the body. Because of this, the joint can become misaligned, causing nerve and muscle pain. Patients who have all been diagnosed with TMJ disorder can actually experience widely different symptoms, which Dr. Solomon understands deeply. Because of this, Dr. Sid Solomon is dedicated to finding a treatment plan individualized to each patient he treats.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Pain in and around the ear
  • Jaw popping, locking, and/ or clicking
  • Pain and/ or tenderness in the cheek, jaw, and face
  • Pain/ difficulty opening, chewing, or talking
  • Shoulder, neck, and back pain

 

ANXIETY

Although everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, prolonged anxiety or anxiety disorder can affect your daily life, as well as your physical health.

Common Symptoms

  • Common Anxiety Symptoms
  • Feeling restless or tense
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling weak and/ or tired
  • Constant feelings of stress or worry

 

Because TMJ Disorder has such a wide array of symptoms, TMD often times causes anxiety; however, it has been proven that anxiety can actually cause TMJ Disorder. Because of the tension in the shoulder and back of people suffering from anxiety, as well as the jaw clenching and lack of sleep, many anxiety symptoms can physically cause stress on the temporomandibular joint. If you suspect that, as a result of anxiety or not, you may suffering from TMJ Disorder, call us today at 310-475-55985 to schedule a consultation with renowned neuromuscular expert Dr. Sid Solomon to begin your diagnosis and treatment.

 

To Do or Not to Do: Living with TMJ Disorder.

January 30th, 2017
In America alone, about 12% of all people experience TMJ pain. If you are one of them, you’re probably incredibly cognizant that handling the pain can feel impossible. Although treatment is the best (long-term) option, there are some simple things you can fix and manage in your daily life to help.
DON’T: Cover up your TMJ pain. Although pain killers are helpful in the short term, because of the fact that Tylenol Ibuprofen and Advil tend to not work well, people turn to prescription pain medication, which not only doesn’t help in the long term, can actually make matters, and the ACTUAL PAIN, worse in the long term, while the underlying issue is still rampant.
DO: Pay attention to yourself and your needs and take care of them. Don’t ignore your TMJ pain and what causes it. Whether this is being mindful of your posture (a huge cause of TMJ and can also be behind TMJ pain flare ups.) Posture is ONLY self-corrected and although difficult to retrain the body after years and years of subconsciously teaching it bad posture habits, being mindful throughout the day (especially when at a desk) can greatly help. Be careful how you’re relaxing (try to avoid resting your head/ face against your hand, for example). Also important is BEING MINDFUL OF HOW YOU SLEEP. TMJ pain tends to be the worst at the beginning and end of the day, so sleeping positions are incredibly important.
DON’T: Do things that are difficult on your jaw, such as biting your nails, chewing your pen cap, eating ice, or any other unnecessary stress on the teeth and jaw. The movement of the jaw related to any of these items (moving forward and backwards) along with the hard texture of them, can not only cause your TMJ pain to act up, but can even worsen the underlying issues.
DO: Be conscious of what you’re eating. Some raw vegetables, such as carrots and corn on the cob, can cause immense pain for DAYS. When cooking, try to be conscious of your TMJ Disorder, and incorporate softer foods, such as mashed potatoes, soft bread and cooked vegetables.
DON’T: Clench your jaw. Just like posture, especially in times of aggravation, stress, anxiety, or even out of habit, people often find themselves holding a lot of tension in their jaw, which is a quick and certain way to exacerbate your TMJ pain. Throughout the day, consciously try to keep your teeth apart, your lips together, and your tongue relaxed in your mouth.
Even through TMJ treatment, these easy tasks can make life so much more enjoyable and manageable; however, seeing a TMJ expert is prudent to the diagnosing and treatment of your TMD. Dr. Sid Solomon is a neuromuscular dentist of thirty years, and is dedicated to helping people who are suffering from TMJ Disorder find hope and the pain free life they deserve. Call today at 310-475-5598 to book an appointment at one of three of our convenient offices!

Finding a TMJ Dentist on Facebook?

January 19th, 2017
   Social media is deeply prevalent in our culture today; whether it’s keeping in touch with Grandma or getting the top news, we use Facebook in particular as a platform for many of our needs. Our research has proven that Facebook can actually also be a good place to find a TMJ Doctor to best suit your needs.
   Because of its accessibility, Facebook has millions and millions of users with a reach expanding over the entire world. As a result of the multitude of users, many doctors, including Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS, have Facebook pages for their office(s). If you would like to follow Dr. Solomon on Facebook, click HERE.
   As well as Facebook profiles, Facebook also has the “hashtag” feature, which allows you to click one “hashtag”, and go to all of the other “hashtag” results on Facebook. With this, you can search the “TMJ” hashtag, for example, and find all of the posts and tags that have the word “TMJ” hashtagged in them, providing quick and easy access to fellow TMJ patients and doctors.
   Finally, Facebook is a wonderful place to find support and other patients’ stories. There are many pages, including TMJ Hope, and groups such as TMJ Support Group, which can be a wonderful resource for those who are suffering from TMJ Disorder and the many symptoms associated.
   Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS is a neuromuscular dentist of thirty years. Because of his vast experience, Dr. Solomon has an incredible, comprehensive knowledge of the face, making him a leading Los Angeles TMJ expert. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms associated with TMJ Disorder, such as jaw pain, clicking and popping of the jaw, ringing and popping of the ears, and/ or neck and shoulder pain, call us today at 310-475-5598 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Solomon.

Traveling With TMJ Disorder

January 13th, 2017
   As 2017 begins, traveling is high on the priority list for business and personal reasons alike. However, for people suffering from TMJ Disorder, traveling can be utterly unpleasant. If you have an upcoming trip, regardless of the mode of transportation, know that it is possible to leave your TMJ at home!
 
General Travel Tips
·         RELAX! Although some stress is inevitable, stress and anxiety lead to physical tension, which can make for an unenjoyable trip, as well invoking TMJ Disorder symptoms, especially jaw and shoulder pain.
·         Try to avoid planning and “go with the flow”! Planning can lead to stress and over-exertion. No one knows your body better than you do, so instead of creating a set plan that you feel the need to follow, try and leave your schedule open to do, or not to do, as you please. If you need a nap, take one. If you feel up to that amusement park, go! Just try to pay attention to your body in order to prevent any unnecessary strain or exhaustion.
Traveling By Plane
·         Keep gum and ear plugs with you in your travels. Both of these items help to prevent ear pain and “clogging”, which can cause discomfort, further aggravating TMJ symptoms.
·         Bring a pillow with you on your flight. Much like on road trips, pillows can help relieve TMJ symptoms or prevent the symptoms from acting up. Neck pillows are ideal for planes because they’re personal, small, and can help support your back and neck when sitting or sleeping!
·         Try to move around the cabin as much as possible. Because of the fact that plane seats in general are uncomfortable and lacking in support, it is a good idea to move around and allow a little relief to your muscles, especially those in your back, shoulders, and neck.
Traveling By Car
·         Even though stopping can be annoying on road trips, it is important to make regular stops even if you aren’t suffering from TMJ Disorder. Sitting in the car for long periods of time, especially when you’re driving, can be demanding on even a TMD-free body. By stopping moderately frequently, it helps to prevent muscles and joints from getting tense and stiff. It also allows you to relax and stretch, relieving some of the stress of road trips and allowing you unwind a little bit.
·         Similar to flying, it is good to bring a pillow on road trips. Instead of, or as well as, a neck pillow, bring a full sized pillow that you can fold and move as needed to achieve maximum comfort! If you start noticing pain or tension in your body, immediately use the pillow to support the area in order to prevent full blown pain.
·         Bring medication with you, in case the trip becomes uncomfortable. It is always a good idea to have over-the-counter medication handy, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, that won’t affect your driving but that can help relieve some pain.
   If you’re suffering from TMJ symptoms including jaw pain, cracking, popping or locking of the jaw, headaches and migraines, neck, shoulder and pack pain or soreness, or ear pain, contact Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS at 310-475-5598 to schedule a comprehensive consultation today. Dr. Solomon is a leading TMJ and Neuromuscular Dentist of thirty years, and can help you live the pain free and fear free life you deserve. If you need a TMJ expert in Los Angeles, Dr. Sid Solomon welcomes you to visit with him.

TMJ Technology: Tekscan

January 3rd, 2017
   Besides the knowledge and expertise that Dr. Solomon possesses inherently after nearly thirty years of neuromuscular practice, a large part of consistently and accurately treating TMJ Disorder is having the proper advanced tools and technology to do so. One recent innovation in TMJ dentistry that Dr. Solomon is proud to offer is the Tekscan (or T-Scan) device.  This is a software program and device designed specifically to take digital impressions of the bite and render THE utmost in bite analysis.
   Because of its dynamic nature, T-Scan is able to reveal the timing and amount of force projected on each individual tooth in the patient’s mouth, bringing more accuracy and detail than the simple articulating paper method. Because of this exact and defined measurement, Dr. Solomon is then able to account for and interfere with the problem areas in the bite and help solve the pain puzzle associated with TMJ pain.
      With this software, Dr. Solomon is able to present the patient’s bite to them in a graphic, easy-to-understand manner that helps patients better understand their diagnosis and to therefore make more informed decisions as related to their TMJ treatment plan. Although just one of the many technologically advanced equipment used by Dr. Solomon in order to further provide the best and most precise medical attention to patients, T-Scan is truly a game changer in providing occlusal imagery. If you suspect you’re suffering from TMJ Disorder or are even suffering any of the symptoms listed HERE, we encourage you to come in for a consultation with Dr. Solomon, so he can put an end to your suffering, and help you return to the life you deserve!

Living Every Day Life with TMJ Disorder

December 22nd, 2016

Although TMJ Disorder is not something to take lightly, and finding and treating the cause behind it is of utmost importance, simple self-care actions can be done in daily life to help in the lessening of the pain often related to TMJ Disorder, including:

  • Avoiding hard foods
  • Avoiding chewing gum, as it causes a lot of stress and tension in the jaw.
  • Gently massaging the muscles in the face in order to release tension
  • Low-intensity daily workouts such as walks and hikes,
  • Relaxing and implementing stress-relieving techniques into daily life
  • Genuinely paying attention to posture, especially when at a computer

 

While these simple actions can help reduce TMJ symptoms, it is highly recommended that you seek treatment in order to treat and eliminate the cause of the symptoms, versus masking them or temporarily “fixing” them. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Solomon today and spend an hour with Dr. Sid himself, learning about you, your symptoms and your health history in order to diagnose and help you on your road to recovery.

Banishing Bruxism with Botox®

December 16th, 2016

Bruxism is a common disorder in many patients.  With the growing demands of our economy and life pressure, many unconsciously resort to grinding their teeth as a way of de-stressing.  Sadly enough, this type of grinding, while asleep or awake,  often times leads to painful and severe dental and neuromuscular problems. Bruxism can actually be very problematic and can lead to the loss of tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, chipping of teeth, sore jaw, facial pain and  headaches.  As a Los Angeles premiere TMJ center, we see and treat numerous patients for this condition.

There are several proven methods of treating Bruxism, and one of the is the use of therapeutic Botox®. Botox® has been proven to be a short term treatment option for treating excessive muscle activity, including Bruxism and TMJ.  Injecting small doses of Botox® directly into the masseter muscle, which is the main muscle that controls jaw movement, weakens muscle activity which stops the excessive movement and ultimately hinders the unconscious grinding of teeth.

Dr. Sid Solomon DDS, offers a variety of treatment options for TMJ.  Botox® for Bruxism could be a good option for many patients suffering from certain symptoms related to headaches, facial pain, jaw locking and popping and much more.  This being said, for long term treatment of TMJ, Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS recommends scheduling a consultation to determine the extent of your TMD. Since Dr. Sid Solomon is a TMJ expert, there is no better doctor in Los Angeles to begin your road to recovery.   TMJ treatment ranges from therapeutic Botox® to different occlusal splint options. Call today and schedule an appointment to change your life, and get rid of your pain for good!

Added bonus: Dr. Solomon is the inventor of Unitox, the first and only syringe FDA approved for use with Botox®.  Unitox will ensure accuracy and precision and comfort with every single Botox injection.  Call today or visit unitox.net to learn more.

This patient is receiving Botox® in her masseter muscle to relax her face, helping with her Bruxism.

This patient is receiving Botox® in her masseter muscle to relax her face, helping with her Bruxism.