Posts for tag: dental
This month we would like to recognize and congratulate our practice office manager, Carol, on her 40 years of employment in our office. 40 years is, indeed, a long time to work for the same employer and it is surely not something I take for granted. Carol actually began working for this practice before I did. In 1976, at the tender age of nineteen, Carol began working for my lifelong friend, Dr. George Morris as a dental assistant. Soon thereafter I took over the practice and the roll of Carol’s boss. Her job title has evolved over the years, but Carol has been my office manager for the majority of that time. Throughout the years, staff members have come and gone, but Carol has remained. She and I both have been witness to multiple generations of patients coming to my office for dental care. The office has grown and changed significantly since the early years and Carol has been along for the ride the whole way.
Working alongside someone for so many years allows you to share the ups and downs of daily life as well as milestones like marriages, births, deaths, graduations and various other markers. Carol and her husband, Scott, have raised two lovely daughters, Jennifer and Caitlin. She is also happy to be a grandmother to two boys.
There is something to be said for employee loyalty and Carol’s is certainly no exception. I am grateful for her tenacity and longtime dedication.
October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Maybe it’s no coincidence that it’s the same month as Halloween. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the William Wrigley Jr. Company team up to sponsor National Dental Hygiene Month in an effort to bring increased public awareness to the importance of maintaining good oral health. The focus of ADHA and the Wrigley Oral Health Program (WOHP) is on the four contributors to good oral health maintenance: brushing twice daily, flossing daily, rinsing with antimicrobial rinse and chewing sugar-free gum. Research supports that chewing gum is actually beneficial because it stimulates saliva production, plaque acid neutralization and teeth strengthening. Our hygienists recommend our patients chew gum as a fun, convenient tool in oral care. These good habits of oral health care in a daily routine benefit not only oral health but also contribute to improved overall health. Our dental hygienists, Karen, Tracy and Karla, collectively have been with our practice for over 54 years. In addition to their obvious professional experience, each hygienist brings a genuine passion to her work which is transferred to our patients in the care they receive.
That ache you feel in your head could very well be from your jaw. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is a real problem for some people. The jaw pain, discomfort and malfunction associated with it lead people to seek care and that in turn leads to a confirmed diagnosis and treatment. It isn’t entirely clear what causes TMD, but several things such as physical or mental stress which can lead to clenching or grinding or pressure on the jaw or possibly a misaligned bite (where your upper and lower teeth do not fit together when you close your mouth) might contribute. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, sometimes trauma, a sports accident or a jolting injury to the head, face or neck can also be a cause. Scar tissue can sometimes interfere with bite. TMD can also be a result from minor infection, inflammation or auto-immune disease. Some people may be predisposed to TMD. Whatever the source, TMD can affect your life and your health by making it painful to eat and tough to sleep.
The most common first symptom is in the chewing muscles (jaw joint), usually described by a patient as a dull ache in the jaw and surrounding ears, neck and shoulders. Other symptoms may include pain or soreness in the jaw more in the morning; a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth; swelling on one side of the face; an earache without an ear infection; teeth sensitivity; difficulty opening and closing the mouth and chewing; stiffness in the jaw when speaking, yawning or eating; recurrent headaches with no other cause.
According to the TMJ Association, most patients are diagnosed and treated by dentists and oral surgeons. If you experience the symptoms listed here, make an appointment with our office. I will examine your bite, assess the joint and muscle tenderness as well as your jaw mobility, take an X-ray, and determine whether TMD is the reason. Most tests are designed to rule out other conditions and causes of symptoms such as sinus infection.
Treatments for TMD range from easy self-care to injections and surgery for more aggressive needs. We typically begin with a conservative, non-invasive approach with recommended basic treatments such as applying heat or a cold pack; stretching, jaw joint exercises to reduce stress and help improve the alignment; and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. Sometimes patients might also benefit from the use of a night guard or from corrective dental treatments. We can determine the best course of action for your situation.
The idea is that while temporomandibular joint disorder can be mildly annoying for some and unbearably painful for others, it is treatable.
Our practice always enjoys the opportunity to recognize a member of our staff for their achievements. Oftentimes these things go without any mention at all, but we think it is appropriate to point out.
In May, one of our dental hygienists, Karla, was recognized by the California Dental Hygienists’ Association for her outstanding contribution to the Ventura County Dental Hygienists’ Association over the past year. We admire her dedication to her profession.
In June, Karla was also selected for the 2015 Colgate Oral Health Advisory Board. Instituted in 2009, the Colgate Oral Health Advisory Board is a critical element in Colgate’s well-established Oral Health Advisor Program. Twelve hygienists were named to the Colgate Oral Health Advisory Board for the year 2015. They were selected based on self nomination, recognition submitted by their colleagues, their commitment to dental hygiene and leadership within their profession. Karla was honored to participate in this opportunity in June. She was invited to attend a three day conference held at Colgate’s Global Research and Technology Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Here, the board members met with key opinion leaders and Colgate research and development experts.
When you see Karla, please join us in congratulating her on her dedication and well earned achievements.