Nashua, NH Dentist
Nashua Smile Makers
76 Allds Street
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 882-3727
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Posts for: March, 2015

By Nashua Smile Makers
March 27, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMD   TMJ  

TMJFind out more about this jaw joint disorder and what might be causing it.

If you’ve been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, often known as simply “TMJ”, then you’re probably looking to find more information on your condition. After all, if you don’t know anything about it, you may be wondering what could have caused this disorder and how you may be able to treat your symptoms. Your Nashua dentist is here to explain what might be to blame for your TMJ and what you can do to treat your symptoms.

Causes of TMJ

If you’ve ever experiencing trauma or a direct blow to the jaw or the temporomandibular joint itself, then this might be responsible for your TMJ disorder. However, as a whole, most doctors are still unsure as to what might cause TMJ. Some people start to develop symptoms of TMJ for no reason whatsoever. However, since more women than men develop this disorder some researchers are interested in finding out whether there is a link between female-specific hormones and TMJ. Sadly, besides experiencing direct trauma, it’s unknown why your TMJ might have occurred. Hopefully, dentists will have an answer to the question very soon.

But in the meantime…let’s find out ways to treat your TMJ symptoms:

  • Try over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen, which are great for reducing pain and swelling.
  • Opt for a softer diet and stay away from foods that cause extreme jaw movements (e.g. chewing gum)
  • Apply ice packs to help reduce any pain and inflammation in the jaw region.
  • Try out simple and gentle jaw exercises and stretches to help increase your jaw’s range-of-motion.
  • Talk to your Nashua dentist about stabilizing splints, which are one of the most effective and common treatments for reducing TMJ symptoms.

If you are looking for a reprieve from your TMJ-related problems, then it’s time you did something about it. Contact your Nashua dentist, Dr. Salvatore Guerriero, DMD today at Nashua Smile Makers to schedule an appointment.


By Nashua Smile Makers
March 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root resorption   root canal  
RootResorptioninAdultTeethisaCauseforConcern

As a new permanent tooth develops, the roots undergo a process of breakdown and growth. As older cells dissolve (a process called resorption), they’re replaced by newer cells laid down (deposition) as the jaw develops. Once the jaw development ends in early adulthood, root resorption normally stops. It’s a concern, then, if it continues.

Abnormal root resorption most often begins outside of the tooth and works its way in, beginning usually around the neck-like (or cervical) region of the tooth. Also known as external cervical resorption (ECR), the condition usually shows first as pink spots where the enamel is being undermined. As these spots continue to erode, they develop into cavity-like areas.

While its causes haven’t been fully confirmed, ECR has been linked to excessive pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, periodontal ligament trauma, teeth-grinding or other excessive force habits, and bleaching techniques performed inside a tooth. Fortunately, ECR is a rare occurrence, and most people who’ve had these problems won’t experience it.

When it does occur, though, it must be treated as quickly as possible because the damage can progress swiftly. Treatment depends on the size and location of the resorption: a small site can often be treated by surgically accessing the tooth through the gum tissue and removing the offending tissue cells. This is often followed with tooth-colored dental material that’s bonded to the tooth to replace lost structure.

A root canal treatment may be necessary if the damage has extended to the pulp, the tooth’s interior. However, there’s a point where the resorption becomes too extensive to save the tooth. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or similar tooth restoration.

In its early stages, ECR may be difficult to detect, and even in cases where it’s been diagnosed more advanced diagnostics like a CBCT scanner may be needed to gauge the extent of damage. In any case, it’s important that you have your teeth examined on a regular basis, at least twice a year. In the rare chance you’ve developed ECR, the quicker it’s found and treatment begun, the better your chances of preserving the tooth.

If you would like more information on root resorption, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Nashua Smile Makers
March 09, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?