sticking out tonge

Bad Breath That Won’t Go Away? The Culprit Just Might Be Your Tongue?

The majority of people living in the Denver Metro area may brush and floss twice a day and even sneak in an extra tooth brushing after lunch, but even doing this, they still might have bad breath. What’s the culprit causing this you ask? Your tongue. Until you start cleaning your tongue on a daily basis, you may not be able to get rid of lingering halitosis (aka bad breath). Each time you grab your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss to take care of your teeth, let’s not forget to take of your tongue too. These simple oral health habits will make a difference.Willow Creek Dental recommends using a Tongue Scrapper to reduce your bad breath

Best Tongue Brushing Techniques

After you have spent 2 minutes brushing your teeth, it’s time to focus on your tongue. It’s important to focus on your tongue, each and every time you brush your teeth, because the tongue harbors bacteria and food particles trapped under a thin layer of mucus.

It can be as simple as using the bristles of your toothbrush to clean your tongue. To remove this odor-causing buildup, put a small dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush and carefully brush the top of the tongue. Start by reaching to the back of the tongue, and then work forward toward the opening of the mouth. Brush the entire top surface of the tongue using gentle pressure, and finish by rinsing with water. (Source: Colgate Oral Care Center)

Tips on how Best to Use a Tongue Scraper

If you want to up your game in the fight against bad breath, use a tongue scraper. This tool is usually made of soft, flexible plastic and gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue. Rinse the scraper under warm water after each swipe of the tongue.

If your tongue feels sore or begins to bleed, you most likely are using the tongue scraper with too much force. Work slowly and with light pressure. Concentrate on the center of the tongue where the bulk of odor-causing bacteria lies.

How Often Should YOU Clean Your Tongue?

Our dentists and team of amazing hygienists at Willow Creek Dental recommend that you either brush your tongue or use a tongue scrapper each time after you brush and floss your teeth. A mouthwash rinse after cleaning your tongue will moisturize the mouth and kill any additional bacteria.

For good oral health and maintaining fresh breath it will take more than routine tooth brushing. Start today and get into the habit of focusing on your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Adding this ritual into your daily oral care regime will help you keep your breath neutral and fresh. If your bad breath continues even after weeks of cleaning your tongue every time you brush your teeth, call us 303-779-2797 to schedule an appointment for a dental exam and cleaning.

Melissa Close Up

Using Technology to treat our TMJ Disorder Patients

Dr. Mary Blakeley is passionate about helping patients with Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)—also referred to as TMJ Disorder. In addition to undergoing extensive post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry and specifically the treatment of TMD, Dr. Blakeley has invested in the latest technology to aide in effectively treating her patients.

While headaches or migraines are the most common symptom of TMD, other signs and symptoms can include jaw joint pain or noise, limited opening, ringing in the ears and locking in the jaw. Patients who suffer from TMD are often faced with daily, chronic pain and other options for treatment often include prescription pain medication or surgery.

In her extensive study of neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Blakeley has focused on the correlation between the patient’s occlusion (i.e. how their bite comes together) and TMD symptoms. Physiologically, if a person’s bite doesn’t come together in the most ideal way, either from the result of genetics or an accident, it can put additional stress on the TM Joint and produce painful symptoms. While not every patient who suffers from TMD has a “bad bite”, there are many people who may find relief by fixing their occlusion. TMD often means there is a discrepancy between where your teeth come together and where your muscles want to be therefore Dr. Blakeley works to find the position where the teeth, joint and muscles are in harmony. By adjusting teeth so they meet in the ideal position, whether through an orthotic, orthodontics or dental restorations, the stress on the TM Joint could lessen and reduce or eliminate painful symptoms.

To determine if the patient’s TMD symptoms are possibly the result of a “bad bite”, Dr. Blakeley must first determine what the patient’s ideal occlusion is. To do so, she uses a K7 Computerized Mandibular Scanner (CMS) and Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulus (TENS) to measure and record objective information about the patient’s TM joint.

The K7 CMS uses 3 non-intrusive technologies to gather and measure data—jaw tracking (tracks motion), surface electromyography (measures TM joint muscle activity) and joint sonography (assesses joint function through the use of vibration/sound).

TENSing provides a tiny electrical stimulus that travels through nerves that control the muscles of the head and neck. This causes the muscles to exercise mildly, forcing out accumulated waste products of metabolism and providing the muscles with fresh nutrients and oxygen. Any persistent muscle tension that may be present can then be relaxed to find an optimum bite position.

In addition to the use of the K7 and TENS, Dr. Blakeley also has her patients undergo a 3-dimensional x-ray called cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The CBCT scan provides high-resolution images to allow examination of the TM Joint anatomy, specifically the bone and joint space. The CBCT scan is done at Willow Creek Dental and only takes a few minutes to complete.

After the patient’s information has been gathered, measured and assessed, Dr. Blakeley is then able to recommend a course of treatment. The same technology is then used throughout the patient’s treatment to evaluate progress and determine its effectiveness.

If you or someone you know is suffering from TMD symptoms and would like to find out if you are a candidate for our TMJ Therapy program, contact our office at 303-779-2797 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Blakeley.

Source: willowcreekdds.com Blog

Continuing Education

Our doctors work extremely hard to advance their education to provide Willow Creek Dental patients with innovative, high quality dentistry. Below are a few of the courses they have attended.

  • Dr. Mary Blakeley recently completed a mini-residency TMD program with Dr. Jay Gerber at The Center for Occlusal Studies in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Dr. Gerber, a leader in modern occlusal studies for over 25 years, offers the comprehensive TMD program to dentists who are passionate about helping patients with TMJ Disorder. The program included appliance construction, adjustment, electro-diagnostics, imaging and case studies. In addition to her trips to West Virginia, Dr. Blakeley completed a course for the K-7 occlusal evaluation system at the renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies earlier this year.
  • Dr. Kylee Brightside just returned from a trip to Boston, Massachusetts where she attended a 3-day course in advanced bone grafting and implant placement. The innovative course involved six live surgeries and a cadaver lab for the highest level of training. Dr. Brightside also continues with her passion for treating head and neck cancer patients and spent a weekend in March attending courses at the Specialty Care Dentistry Association’s annual convention. The courses focused on special considerations for patients with head and neck cancer, geriatrics and medically compromised patients.
  • Dr. Amanda Campbell has also traveled for her continuing education, most recently to Scottsdale, Arizona to participate in a Cone Beam Imaging & Implant Treatment Planning course through Sirona Dental. Prior to that, she attended an All-on-Four implant course through the Metropolitan Denver Dental Society that included a live surgery and immediate provisionalization.

 

Source: willowcreekdds.com Blog

Using Technology to treat our TMJ Disorder Patients

Dr. Mary Blakeley has become passionate about helping patients with Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)—also referred to as TMJ Disorder. In addition to undergoing extensive post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry and specifically the treatment of TMD, Dr. Blakeley has invested in the latest technology to aide in effectively treating her patients.

While headaches or migraines are the most common symptom of TMD, other signs and symptoms can include jaw joint pain or noise, limited opening, ringing in the ears and locking in the jaw. Patients who suffer from TMD are often faced with daily, chronic pain and other options for treatment often include prescription pain medication or surgery.

In her extensive study of neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Blakeley has focused on the correlation between the patient’s occlusion (i.e. how their bite comes together) and TMD symptoms. Physiologically, if a person’s bite doesn’t come together in the most ideal way, either from the result of genetics or an accident, it can put additional stress on the TM Joint and produce painful symptoms. While not every patient who suffers from TMD has a “bad bite”, there are many people who may find relief by fixing their occlusion. TMD often means there is a discrepancy between where your teeth come together and where your muscles want to be therefore Dr. Blakeley works to find the position where the teeth, joint and muscles are in harmony. By adjusting teeth so they meet in the ideal position, whether through an orthotic, orthodontics or dental restorations, the stress on the TM Joint could lessen and reduce or eliminate painful symptoms.

To determine if the patient’s TMD symptoms are possibly the result of a “bad bite”, Dr. Blakeley must first determine what the patient’s ideal occlusion is. To do so, she uses a K7 Computerized Mandibular Scanner (CMS) and Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulus (TENS) to measure and record objective information about the patient’s TM joint.

The K7 CMS uses 3 non-intrusive technologies to gather and measure data—jaw tracking (tracks motion), surface electromyography (measures TM joint muscle activity) and joint sonography (assesses joint function through the use of vibration/sound).

TENSing provides a tiny electrical stimulus that travels through nerves that control the muscles of the head and neck. This causes the muscles to exercise mildly, forcing out accumulated waste products of metabolism and providing the muscles with fresh nutrients and oxygen. Any persistent muscle tension that may be present can then be relaxed to find an optimum bite position.

In addition to the use of the K7 and TENS, Dr. Blakeley also has her patients undergo a 3-dimensional x-ray called cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The CBCT scan provides high-resolution images to allow examination of the TM Joint anatomy, specifically the bone and joint space. The CBCT scan is done at Willow Creek Dental and only takes a few minutes to complete.

After the patient’s information has been gathered, measured and assessed, Dr. Blakeley is then able to recommend a course of treatment. The same technology is then used throughout the patient’s treatment to evaluate progress and determine its effectiveness.

If you or someone you know is suffering from TMD symptoms and would like to find out if you are a candidate for our TMJ Therapy program, contact our office at 303-779-2797 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Blakeley.

Source: willowcreekdds.com Blog