Could your jaw pain be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? Your Washington, DC, dentist, Dr. Ralph Mazzuca can diagnose the source of your pain and offer helpful treatments.
TMD is a painful condition that can affect the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons in your jaw joints. The joints, located on either side of your face just below your ears, allow you to open and close your mouth.
Although it isn't always possible to determine the cause of TMD, you may be more likely to experience the condition if you grind your teeth while you sleep, injured your jaw, have a bite problem or misaligned jaw, have arthritis, or clench your jaw due to stress.
Common TMD symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw
- A stiff jaw
- Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth
- Stiff shoulder or neck muscles
- Difficulty moving your jaw or opening your mouth fully
- Temporary jaw locking
- Facial swelling
- Ear pain
- Ringing in the ears
How your dentist treats TMD
Your dentist may recommend one or more of these treatments or strategies during your visit to the Washington, DC, dental office:
- Orthodontic Treatment: If a bite problem is responsible for your jaw pain, realigning your teeth with braces or clear aligner trays will correct your problem.
- Nightguard: A nightguard reduces pressure on your teeth and jaw caused by grinding. The guards also prevent abnormal wear on teeth due to grinding or clenching.
- Medication: Corticosteroids may be prescribed if your pain isn't relieved by over-the-counter medications. Prescription muscle relaxants may be helpful in easing tension in jaw muscles.
- Stress Relief Activities: Hobbies, exercise, and stress-relief techniques may ease your pain if your TMD symptoms are due to stress.
- BOTOX Injections: BOTOX injections relieve jaw tension and may reduce the intensity of grinding.
- Occlusal Splint: A simple oral device worn over your teeth at night may also reduce the painful effects of TMD. The splint keeps your jaw properly aligned, which decreases stress on your jaw joints. An occlusal splint may also reduce grinding.
Do you suffer from TMD? Call your dentist in Washington, DC, Dr. Mazzuca, at (202) 537-1088 to schedule your appointment.
When teeth whitening is performed by a dentist, they are able to use a much higher concentration of bleach solution that you will find in at-home kits. They also activate the solution losing UV light. This means that you will get brighter and more even results much quicker than you would at home. Teeth whitening under dental supervision also protects your gums and mouth against burns or over-sensitivity. Dr. Ralph T. Mazzuca is a dentist in Washington DC, where he provides general and cosmetic dental services including in-chair teeth whitening.
How Our Teeth Whitening Restores Your Smile
If you are a Washington DC dental patient with discolored teeth, you can benefit from Dr. Mazzuca’s in-chair teeth whitening because it can lighten your teeth color by up to eight shades. With good oral hygiene, the results can last for up to five years.
Bleaching can work for you if your teeth are discolored from drinking tea or coffee, smoking, or from aging. If your discoloration is deep inside the tooth and caused by taking certain medications or tooth decay, then teeth whitening will not work. If you are not certain if teeth whitening will work for you, don’t worry, Dr. Mazzuca will evaluate your smile and tell you if you are a good candidate. In some cases where bleaching will not be effective, Dr. Mazzuca may recommend veneers or crowns. If you already have these types of restorations, they do not bleach, so you may need to replace them so that they match the new color of your whitened teeth.
If you live in Washington DC, and you would like to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening, call Dr. Mazzuca at (202) 537-1088. He is always happy to answer all your questions and address your dental concerns.
The appearance of a flaw on your teeth, whether it’s minor or moderate, can affect your smile and may even cause self-consciousness or lower your self-esteem. Among the most popular solutions to effectively conceal such flaws that Dr. Ralph Mazzuca of Ralph T. Mazzuca, D.D.S. in Washington, DC, offers is dental veneers. But is it really possible to create a new smile with veneers?
What Exactly are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are slim shells that are permanently attached to the fronts of your teeth to enhance their appearance. They are custom-designed to look like your natural teeth and can be utilized to conceal and repair dental imperfections like:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Irregularly-shaped or malformed teeth
- Worn-down teeth
- Discolored or stained teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Overlapping teeth
Are Dental Veneers Right for You?
Dental veneers may be suitable for you if:
- You practice good oral care habits
- Your overall health is in great shape
- You have a healthy amount of tooth enamel
How Do You Craft a New Smile with Dental Veneers?
To get the ball rolling on your smile transformation, you will have a consultation with your dentist in Washington, DC, first. During the consultation, you’ll determine what kind of results you want to achieve and ensure that veneers are suitable for you.
A preparatory process will also be done before your permanent veneers are bonded. This necessitates the alteration of your tooth enamel. During this step, around 1-2 mm of enamel will be buffed to accommodate and provide the necessary space for the placement of your veneers.
Impressions of your teeth will likewise be taken. These are then given to a dental laboratory that will construct your dental veneers. As your veneers are being created, you may be required to wear temporary veneers to protect your teeth.
When your veneers are ready, your temporary veneers will be removed to attach the permanent ones. You and your dentist will verify if the fit, shape, and color of your permanent veneers are right before bonding them. Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the results, your veneers will be applied using special cement and a light to accelerate the process.
What are The Benefits of Dental Veneers?
- A Natural Appearance. As mentioned earlier, they can mimic the properties of your natural teeth to give you that realistic-looking smile.
- Veneers, particularly porcelain veneers, can last many years if you care for them properly. Additionally, they are resistant to staining and decay.
- An Easy Solution for Enamel Loss. Veneers can work to replace damaged enamel. Even though your teeth enamel is strong, they can still wear down over time due to certain oral activities.
- Easy Maintenance. Caring for dental veneers is similar to caring for your natural teeth.
- Improved Self-Esteem. Dental veneers can renew the quality of your smile, therefore, improving your confidence and self-esteem as well.
Interested in Dental Veneers? Reach Out to Us
Call (202) 537-1088 to set an appointment with Dr. Ralph Mazzuca here at Ralph T. Mazzuca, D.D.S. in Washington, DC, today.
Having missing teeth can pose many problems in your daily life. You could lose essential abilities such as communicating, eating, or smiling properly. A viable solution for missing teeth is getting dental implants.
One of the ways your dentist Dr. Ralph Mazzuca of Ralph T. Mazzuca, D.D.S. in Washington DC, treats tooth loss is dental implants. Basically, they are used to replace tooth roots and provide a secure foundation for your replacement teeth.
Why Should You Get Dental Implants?
Enhanced Appearance: Dental implants can preserve the facial bones’ structure and appear just like your natural teeth.
Improved Oral Health: When tooth roots are left exposed, they become more susceptible to harmful bacteria and infection. Furthermore, unlike other tooth restoration options, dental implants do not require the alteration of other teeth. Implants also help with your oral hygiene as they enable effortless access between the teeth.
Stability and Durability: In most cases, dental implants could last you many years and even longer if you know how to take good care of them.
Eating with Ease: Since they are fused with your jawbone and function like your natural teeth, you could consume anything you desire with comfort, as opposed to eating without teeth, which could feel strange and uncomfortable.
Improved Speech and Communication: Some tooth restoration options can make you slur or mumble your words due to their fit. By contrast, you wouldn’t have to worry about that with dental implants since they will be fitted securely into your jawbone.
Ease and Convenience: They are designed to function exactly like your natural teeth, so they essentially become a part of you once the implantation site heals.
Uplifted Self-Esteem and Confidence: Dental implants will enable you to flash that radiant smile once again.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
While a thorough evaluation performed by your dentist here at North Washington, DC, is needed to confirm your candidacy for the procedure, you’re probably a great candidate if:
- Your jawbone has reached its full growth.
- You’ve lost one or more teeth.
- You have enough bone to support the implants or can undergo a bone graft procedure if you require more bone for supporting the implant.
- Your oral tissues are healthy.
- You don’t have any health complications that could potentially impact bone healing.
- You don’t use tobacco-containing products.
Want to Learn More About Dental Implants, Talk to Us
Dial (202) 537-1088 to schedule an assessment with your dentist Dr. Ralph Mazucca of Ralph T. Mazzuca, D.D.S. here in Washington DC, today.
Are you aware that dentures, partial or full, could also accumulate plaque? Just like natural teeth, they can become stained if not properly cared for. Although your dentist, Dr. Ralph Mazzuca of Ralph T. Mazzuca, D.D.S. in Washington DC, can perform adjustments to your dentures as required, the rest of the time, caring for them will be up to you. Here’s what you can do.
How Should You Clean Your Dentures?
You must care for your dentures the same way that you do your natural teeth. This means cleaning it daily to ensure that bacteria and food particles do not accumulate. This will also help to prevent staining. To start:
- Remove denture adhesive and loose food particles by rinsing under running water.
- Use commercial denture cleanser in either cream, tablet, gel, paste, or solution form.
- For cleanser tablets, drop the tablet in warm water and soak the denture in the cleaning solution to reduce bacteria and odor.
- For pastes, gels, or creams, use a soft-bristled brush to clean the denture while it is out of your mouth.
- Rinse the dentures based on the instructions of the manufacturer.
Proper Storage for your Dentures
When storing your dentures, you need to keep them moist to prevent them from drying out or losing their shape. Place your denture in a solution specifically made for soaking or clean water when you are not using it. For dentures that have metal attachments, consult with your dentist on how to properly store them. It is important to remember that dentures must never be put in hot water since they can easily warp.
Why You Should Frequently Visit Your Dentist
It is best to maintain a regular visit schedule based on the recommendations of your dentist in Washington DC. This is especially true if your dentures don’t fit properly, as this can lead to mouth sores and irritation. Make a visual inspection of your dentures daily to check for cracks, chips, breaks, or loose teeth. You need to visit your dentist immediately in any of these instances.
However, it’s vital to note that even if you properly care for your dentures, they will eventually have to be remade after a couple of years. This is because the bony ridge that it rests on will naturally shrink after some time. Rebasing or relining the dentures should be performed every five to 10 years depending on its condition.
For Advice or Concerns About Your Dentures, We Can Help
Dial (202) 537-1088 to arrange an appointment with your dentist here in Washington DC, Dr. Ralph Mazzuca.
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