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Treatment Options for TMD

October 20th, 2017

Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) refers to a diverse range of disorders that relate to muscular function in the jaw and face — the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). That could mean difficulty opening your mouth, pain in the jaw or face, or any sort of problem with the jaw joint.

TMD can be difficult to diagnose because of the varied causes. Whatever the case, an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Sal Zammitti and Dr. Matthew P. Gidaly helps make treatment as successful as possible.

Most often, jaw problems will resolve themselves within several weeks or months. Surgeries like arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery should be a last resort. More conservative and reversible treatments should come first and are in fact the most critical step in the treatment of TMD.

Less invasive treatments like acupuncture and splints can be helpful, but that will depend on your particular case. It’s worth your while to speak with Dr. Sal Zammitti and Dr. Matthew P. Gidaly at our Concorde, NC office to learn about solutions that could work for you.

A combination of treatments will most often produce the greatest relief for TMJ patients. It’s a good idea to avoid activities that overuse the jaws, such as chewing gum or clenching your jaws.

You can be proactive in finding relief for TMD by trying the following remedies at home:

  • Eat soft food: When you eat soft and/or blended food, your jaw gets an opportunity to rest. Avoid chewy and crunchy food, and food that requires you to open your mouth wide, like apples or corn on the cob.
  • Apply moist heat: A hot water bottle wrapped in a moist towel can help reduce symptoms.
  • Apply ice: Applying an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or towel for no longer than 15 minutes may also reduce pain and promote healing.
  • Do jaw exercises: A physical therapist can help identify the exercises that will work for you. Jaw exercises have been shown to be an effective treatment method that can be performed at home.
  • Relaxation: Actively try to relax the muscles of the face and lips, and let your teeth come apart. Many find meditation, yoga, and slow, deep breathing to be helpful for reducing stress and tension.
  • Avoid wide yawns: Keep your fist under your jaw when you feel a yawn coming on, to keep your jaw from opening too widely.

Pediatric Dentists and Orthodontists: A Partnership for Patients

October 16th, 2017

This blog is a guest post written by Dr. David Moore, of Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry.

When I started Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry, I had a vision for what the practice would be for families in the greater Charlotte area. I knew that the mission had to involve partnerships, building solid patient relationships, and listening to feedback from the families who visited us.

Every single decision since opening the doors - big and small - has led us to where we are today. One of the decisions I’m most proud of is the commitment to finding and building solid community partnerships to help provide total oral health care for pediatric patients in Charlotte and the surrounding communities.

The relationship our practice has with the folks at Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics is a strong example of an area partnership that benefits the families in the Davidson community. In the early part of 2018, we’ll be able to expand our comprehensive pediatric oral health care to Harrisburg.  

Our shared space will be located in the brand-new, Publix-anchored Harris Square Center! We look forward to having the opportunity to provide Harrisburg and its surrounding communities with superior pediatric dental and orthodontic care - utilizing the latest techniques and state-of-the-art-technology, all in a comfortable and family-focused office design! Our experienced dental teams will not only ensure your child has excellent dental health, but also work together to create a smile for a lifetime!

As we’ve grown our partnership with Zammitti & Gidaly, we’ve learned we have three key areas of overlap in our missions and visions for our practices: patient-centered business operations, a partnership approach to oral health, and a desire to listen to parent feedback to grow and improve.

Patient-Centered Care

As we at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry have continued to grow in the Charlotte market, we are always looking for ways to offer quality care in ways and places that are convenient for families with children of all ages. Our office locations, including the upcoming office at Harris Square, are strategically placed in areas we know are easy-to-access and frequently visited by our patients and their families. Drs. Zammitti & Gidaly have approached their office growth in the same manner, with an end goal of being able to serve pediatric and adult orthodontic patients.

Both of our practices also look to provide patient education in the office and from the convenience of a mobile phone or computer. Our blog focuses on providing our patients and the community with helpful information on pediatric oral health care, as well as an inside look at our offices and team. The blog from Zammitti & Gidaly covers a wide array of topics and provides so many valuable insights for people considering or receiving orthodontic care.

 

Partnership Approach

While it’s not always the standard approach, both of our practices firmly believe in a partnership approach to total oral health. My team at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry specializes in pediatric dental care, but when matters of pediatric orthodontics arise, we are quick to refer our families to a trusted partner. That’s where the folks at Zammitti & Gidaly help us in building the long-term patient relationship. Not only do they provide excellent care for our pediatric patients, but they are able to continue to serve our patients into adulthood.

Parent Feedback

Most importantly, our shared commitment to listening (and responding) to feedback helps us to continue to create long-lasting patient relationships and become experts for comprehensive pediatric oral health care in Charlotte. For us at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry, we share feedback on our site and on our social media, as well as with posts in our offices. You can read all the great things people are saying about Zammitti & Gidaly (and there’s quite a lot) on the website or also on social media.

 

We love our partnership with Zammitti & Gidaly - Please look for our Harrisburg grand opening in early 2018 …. we can’t wait!!

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About Dr. David Moore

Dr. Moore is founder of Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry. They have five office locations - Cotswold, University, Davidson, Gastonia, and Waverly. Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry will share space with Zammitti and Gidaly Orthodontics in Harris Square Center (slated to open early 2018).

 

Bottled Water: Friend or Foe?

October 13th, 2017

Some people choose bottled water over tap because they think it’s cleaner. Some do it out of convenience: It’s easy to grab a bottle of water to take with you for the day as you run out the door or hop in your car.

Whatever the reason, bottled water has been coming in ahead of tap water for the last couple of years. What many people may not know is that choosing bottled water over tap can actually be detrimental to your dental health.

Most brands of bottled water fail to include a vital ingredient: fluoride. Fluoride plays an important role in helping maintain good oral health because it helps strengthen our teeth. Stronger teeth mean a lower chance of tooth decay, and who doesn’t want that?

When we choose bottled water over tap water, we deprive our pearly whites of something they might very well need.

The good news is that the American Dental Association has endorsed both community water fluoridation and products that contain fluoride as a safe way to prevent tooth decay. If bottled water happens to be the preference for you or your family, you don’t necessarily have to force everyone to start drinking tap water.

Just check the label and make sure the brand you purchase contains fluoride.

It’s essential to remember that switching up the water you drink isn’t going to put you on the fast track to perfect teeth, though. Flossing and brushing three times a day is vital!

If you have any questions about fluoride or your dental health, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Sal Zammitti and Dr. Matthew P. Gidaly at our Concorde, NC office!

Importance of Oral Hygiene with Braces

October 6th, 2017

Proper oral hygiene techniques are always worthwhile, but they are especially crucial when you’re wearing orthodontic appliances such as braces. When you don’t maintain an effective oral hygiene routine, you can be more susceptible to gum disease as well as tooth decay, cavities, decalcification, discoloration, and/or staining of the teeth.

Braces themselves don’t cause these issues, but since they create spaces that are difficult to clean, they provide extra sources of food (dental plaque and food debris) for the bacteria that do. Bacteria create a biofilm on the surface of a tooth that can spread if not addressed. That bacteria food can only be removed by a mechanical action: brushing and flossing your teeth!

Here’s a list of smart hygiene steps to follow for the duration of your braces treatment:

Proper tooth brushing technique: Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly (for a total of about two minutes), but not too hard. Point the head of the toothbrush at the gum line and brush just hard enough so that you feel slight pressure against the gums. Use a soft, small-headed toothbrush or an electric toothbrush if you’d like. Try your best always to clean on and around every tooth, bracket, and wire in your mouth!

Flossing: Braces can make flossing a chore, but it’s an essential adjunct to proper tooth brushing. Make sure to floss between all your teeth and brackets. Dr. Sal Zammitti and Dr. Matthew P. Gidaly can provide you with braces floss threaders and interproximal toothbrushes (small brushes used to clean areas under wires and between brackets) to make the task easier. You might also consider purchasing an oral irrigator that uses a stream of water to blast food particles and debris from between teeth and gums.

Rinse with water: This may sound slight, but it’s a good idea, especially if you aren’t able to brush. Rinsing your mouth with water throughout the day helps to dislodge the decay-causing food particles that become lodged in braces.

Hygiene away from home: It’s a good idea to have a kit with a toothbrush, floss, floss threaders, mirror, and small water cup on hand at school or work. That way, you’ll be sure to have all the tools you need to keep your mouth clean.

Regular professional cleanings: As always, it’s best to visit your dentist regularly to verify everything in your mouth is in order and your oral hygiene routine is effective. Twice a year is sufficient, unless the dentist recommends more frequent visits.

It's vital to keep your teeth and gums clean during your braces treatment, and that requires your care and attention. If feel like you need help with any of the techniques above, a member of our Concorde, NC team can demonstrate them for you!

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