Friday, February 27, 2015

Headaches: The Dental Connection!

That ache in your head may stem from your jaw.  If your jaw falls out of alignment, you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.

It's not clear what causes TMD. However, there are several factors which include obesity, stress and pressure on the jaw, or a misaligned bite, where the upper and lower teeth don't fit together when you close your mouth.

TMD can affect your life and your health by making it painful to eat and hard to sleep.  Some people even find the nagging pain difficult to bear.


  • Recurring headaches with no other cause
  • Pain along and behind the ears
  • Pain in your cheeks or lower face
  • Clicking noises when you talk or chew
  • Tired or sore jaw muscles after eating
  • Limited jaw movement

  • Relaxation and stress reduction techniques
  • Pain reduction recommendations, which may involve medication
  • Jaw joint exercises that can help reduce stress
  • Dental guards

Left untreated, TMD headaches and other symptoms can become quite severe.  If you suffer the symptoms of TMD, you do not have to live in pain.  Call our dental office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment to learn more about how to reduce the pain of TMD and restore comfort to your life!

God Bless,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pediatrics: The Dental Connection!

In recognition of National Children's Dental Health Month, this week's BLOG addresses an all too common parental problem. For many parents, getting your children to brush, brush well, and brush often can be a significant challenge! Here are some tips that can help you keep those beautiful little teeth healthy.

  • Set a good example
    • Brush your teeth with your children and make it fun! Pick a song to play while brushing.
  • Make Brushing & Flossing a game
    • See who can be ready the fastest to brush and floss.  Just make sure it's NOT a race to the finish! It takes a full two minutes to remove all of the bacteria.
  • Use a sticker sheet
    • Every time your children brush well, give them a sticker.  Be sure to check their work!  After a certain number of stickers, they can earn a reward.
  • Special Tip:  
    • Let them check your brush work as well! This will help to instill the importance of "doing it right."

As parents, we should always help our children make health and wellness an important part of their entire lives!  Be encouraging if they make a mistake, whether forgetting to brush or even if they develop a cavity! 

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Your Heart: The Dental Connection!

Your dental health is closely connected to your overall health.  The mouth can oftentimes be the first place to show signs of other bodily health issues.

Studies have shown possible links between gum disease and heart disease, and researchers have found that people with gum disease have an elevated risk of suffering from a stroke or developing coronary artery disease.  Hard to believe, but an estimated 70-80 percent of North American adults currently have some form of gum disease!

Gum disease, which affects the tissues that support the teeth, is an infection caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms daily on the teeth, mainly along the gum line.  In its early stages, called gingivitis, gum disease can be treated and often reversed.

To help keep your mouth and heart healthy, check out these tips to help prevent problems before they arise.

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily.
  • Effectively floss once a day to remove the bacteria that forms between the teeth and below the gum line.
  • Maintain regular 6 month cleanings and exams, or sooner if recommended.
  • Eat a healthy diet.  This includes avoiding foods with a high concentration of sugars or starches, instead, consume more fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid tobacco and copious levels of alcohol.  If you smoke, QUIT! And remember, heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.

Don't put off your next dental visit any longer! If it has been a while since your last cleaning and exam, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015!

Valentine's Day is best known as a celebration of love in all its forms.  Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface that you see.  What many people don't realize is that the modern Valentine's Day celebration actually arose from a religious holiday!

St. Valentine's Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs.  The martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna, which is a town in central Italy, and a saint martyred in Africa.

The origin of Valentine's Day as a holiday for sweethearts actually began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem.  As the poet wrote, "For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate," and the modern day romantic holiday was born.  Shakespeare and many other writers have also mentioned Valentine's Day as a day of love.

Today, over $1 billion chocolates are sold in our country alone, with heart-shaped boxes accounting for 35 million of those purchased. And, on Valentine's Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 million stems of roses!

Although many people dismiss Valentine's Day as a commercialized "Hallmark holiday," it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries.  No matter what your celebratory plans may be this February 14th, may it truly be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life! Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Thomas Family Dentistry!

God Bless,

Friday, February 6, 2015

Thumb Sucking: The Dental Connection!

Since February is National Children's Dental Health Month, check out this common habit that can affect the dental health of a child.  Although many children commonly use a pacifier or suck their thumb, depending on how long the thumb sucking or constant pacifier use continues, and how aggressively the child sucks a thumb or pacifier, it can indeed be an oral health issue.  Generally speaking, most children outgrow these behaviors or are able to be weaned off them successfully sometime between the ages of two and four. When children wean off the behaviors in this age range, long-term damage is unlikely.

Both thumb sucking and pacifiers provide a form of self soothing to a child when he or she feels upset, stressed, confused, frustrated, or are unable to properly express their emotions.  As previously mentioned, while both habits are common, if a child is a regular thumb sucker or desires to use a pacifier almost constantly, it is best to taper off these habits at a young age.

If your child continues these habits after leaving toddler-hood, dental problems can start to develop. Check out the following tips to encourage your child to discontinue these habits.

  • When your child is NOT using a pacifier or sucking a thumb, offer effusive praise.
  • Positive reinforcement can be much more effective than scolding a child.
  • Institute a reward system for giving up the habit and becoming a "big kid."
  • Employ the help of older siblings or relatives that your child admires.

If you have any questions or you or your child are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,