James P. Zimmerman D.D.S ,F.A.G.D.
Can't figure out why your jaw hurts? Our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, shares several common causes of jaw pain and explains what you can do to ease your pain.
You grind and clench your teeth
Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is a common cause of jaw pain. The habits stress your jaw muscles and joints, resulting in pain. In addition to jaw pain, other signs of grinding or clenching include eroded tooth enamel, cracks or chips in teeth or fillings, and morning headaches.
If grinding is related to stress, yoga, meditation and participation in a hobby or sport can be helpful in decreasing your stress level. Decreasing your caffeine or alcohol intake may be helpful. If you can't stop grinding or clenching, wearing a nightguard while you sleep will prevent damage and reduce stress on your jaw.
You place your hands under your jaw while you sleep
Have you ever woken up and noticed that your hands were wedged under your jaw? If you frequently sleep in this position, you may experience jaw pain in the morning. Luckily, often the problem can be corrected fairly easily. Hold a small or full-size pillow to prevent your hands from ending up under your chin during the night.
You have a bad bite
Bite problems affect the way your teeth fit together and can cause jaw pain. Braces can correct your bite and eliminate your pain.
You have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Although TMJ symptoms can occur due to grinding and clenching or a bad bite, it's not always possible to determine the cause of the painful condition. Symptoms include jaw pain and stiffness, headaches, pain and stiffness in the neck and upper back, ear pain, difficulty chewing or opening and closing your mouth, popping sounds and jaw locking.
Heat, relaxation techniques and exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles may decrease your pain. Treatment of underlying issues, such as grinding, bite issues and injuries, can be very helpful. When you visit our Woodland office, we may also recommend an oral splint, a device that protects your upper and lower teeth from coming in contact with each other while you sleep.
Don't let jaw pain disrupt your life. Call our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. Zimmerman, at (530) 661-1155 to schedule an appointment.
Did you know that it's now possible to receive a permanent crown in just one dental visit? Woodland, CA, dentist Dr. James Zimmerman explains how CEREC same-day crowns have eliminated the wait.
What's the difference between porcelain and CEREC crowns?
Porcelain crowns require:
- Two visits
- Impressions created with soft dental putty
- A temporary crown after your first visit
- Food restrictions to ensure you don't damage the temporary crown
- A two week wait between first and second visits
In contrast, CEREC crowns only require:
- One visit
- A digital impression
- No temporary crowns
- No food restrictions
- No waiting to receive your permanent (and only) crown
The CEREC system uses computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. The technology allows us to craft your new crown in our Woodland office, rather than sending your impression to a dental laboratory. If you find dental putty impressions unpleasant, you'll appreciate the digital process we use to create virtual impressions of your mouth. Just seconds after your mouth is scanned with a digital camera, an image of your teeth appears on our screen.
We'll use the CEREC CAD/CAM technology to design your new crown, then send it to our milling machine. The milling machine gradually removes layers from a block of ceramic or resin to create your restoration. Just as with traditional crowns, a few adjustments may be needed to ensure the ideal fit. After we make the adjustments, we'll cement the crown to your tooth.
Are CEREC crowns appropriate for everyone?
Most people can benefit from CEREC crowns. The crowns are durable and designed to withstand years of wear and tear. You may benefit from a crown if you want to conceal discolorations or hide small imperfections in a tooth, such as uneven surfaces, cracks or chips.
The crowns also strengthen teeth that have become weaker due to cracks, aging or dental procedures, and restore broken teeth. When a few teeth have grown shorter due to grinding or clenching, a crown is an ideal solution to restore length.
Repair or restore your smile with CEREC crowns. Call Woodland, CA, dentist Dr. James Zimmerman at (530) 661-1155 to schedule an appointment.
Are you unhappy with the way you look since you lost a tooth? A dental implant can help you love your smile again. Our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, shares several advantages of dental implants.
Dental implants replace tooth roots
Dental implants are small titanium screws that fill the space vacated by your tooth roots. Placing the implants requires a minor surgical procedure that is usually performed using a local anesthetic. After your implant is dropped in place, it begins to bond to the bone in your jaw. In just a few months, the implant becomes firmly rooted in your jaw.
Implants offer excellent support for crowns
During the last phase of the dental implant process, an artificial crown is connected to your implant in our Woodland office. Your new crown not only restores your full smile but also functions just like your lost tooth. Once it's in place, you can eat anything without a problem. Unlike bridges or dentures which can move if they don't fit well, your crown won't budge, thanks to the secure foundation that implants offer.
Dental implants prevent bone loss
Working out with weights helps keep your leg muscles strong, but it's impossible to exercise your jawbone the same way. Fortunately, your tooth roots handle the job by exerting constant pressure on the bone. After you lose a tooth, the corresponding area of the jawbone no longer receives stimulation and may begin to recede. As the jawbone shrinks, it may cause other teeth to loosen. If you've lost several teeth, shrinking may be more pronounced and can affect your appearance.
Many people in Woodland can benefit from dental implants
Dental implants are an excellent tooth restoration option. You can benefit from them if you've:
- Lost one or more teeth
- Are in good health
- Don't smoke (If you do smoke, it's a good idea to quit before you receive an implant.)
- Don't have gum disease
- Have good oral hygiene habits
Adequate jawbone depth is also important. If your bone is shallow, it won't be able to support your jawbone. Luckily, a shallow jawbone doesn't have to prevent you from receiving a dental implant. Adding bone grafts deepens and strengthens the bone, in many cases.
Would you like to find out if you can benefit from dental implants? Call your Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. Zimmerman, at (530) 661-1155 to make your appointment.
Know what changes to look out for that could be trying to warn you that you have periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. Not only does this chronic condition affect the health of your gums but also it can take quite a toll on your smile as a whole. Before gum disease ruins your oral health, our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, wants you to be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- Red and inflamed gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Gums that bleed
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- Teeth that appear longer than usual (this happens when gums start to recede)
- Loose teeth
Not all of these symptoms will show up at once. In fact, during the very early stages of periodontal disease, you may not even notice any problems. Of course, during your routine cleanings and exams, our Woodland general dentist can easily examine your gums and determine whether or not you have periodontal disease. Since periodontal disease doesn’t always cause obvious problems it’s important that you always come in for your preventive cleanings. The sooner we are able to catch periodontal disease the better.
Most people worry that they may have periodontal disease and decide to ignore the problem hoping it will go away; however if we are able to catch periodontal disease early enough when it’s only gingivitis then we can provide the proper treatments to actually reverse this problem. Of course, if you continue to ignore these symptoms they will just progress into full-blown periodontal disease. Symptoms can be managed with easy treatment options like scaling and root planing to prevent tooth and bone loss, and other complications.
Don’t just ignore those bleeding or tender gums. Your mouth is trying to let you know that something isn’t wrong. Our Woodland, CA, family dentist will ensure that you get the care you need to protect your oral health.
A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear! A regular oral hygiene routine including regular brushing and flossing is the first step to keeping your teeth healthy and bright. This doesn't mean that you can't have your dream smile if you suffer damage to your teeth. The first step to getting this is to talk with Dr. Zimmerman, who can discuss options with you. He can help you get the dream results you're looking for in no time.
Understanding Composite (Tooth colored) Fillings
Composite fillings are used for aesthetic reasons. Tooth-colored fillings match the color of a tooth and are much less noticeable to other people. This type of filling also bonds tightly so it is effective for years to come. It is also great for small cavities, and there is no danger of metal sensitivity as a composite resin is being used.
If you want to make the best for your smile, then you will want to use materials that appear natural. Dr. Zimmerman does this restorative dentistry procedure for all his patients that are in need of fillings due to decay or need of replacement because of old filling silver amalgam) material fracturing. The procedure does not take a long time and in the end, your teeth and your smile are restored! There are other cosmetic procedures that can also be performed if a filling is not the right option. Those include veneers, crowns, bridges and implants. The best course of action would be to mention your interest in cosmetic dentistry to your hygienist at your next appointment or make an appointment to sit down with Dr. Zimmerman and go over your options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zimmerman today, call (530) 661-1155.
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