Tooth Brushing Tips for Those with TMD
Submitted by Michael R. Cortese, D.M.D. on Tue 01/03/2017 - 09:00
Dr. Michael Cortese of Princeton Prosthodontics is compassionate to those that suffer pain related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). He encourages anyone that is in pain to contact him for more information about diagnosis and treatment. In the meantime, Dr. Cortese wants patients to know how important it is not to let dental health habits slide just because of jaw pain. Here, he shares a few tips to help those with TMD maintain good oral hygiene.
Choose Your Toothbrush Wisely
Two things matter when it comes to selecting a toothbrush: soft bristles and a small head. Soft bristles can clean away plaque and bacteria just as well as medium or hard bristles, which may hurt the teeth.
Use Flossing Aids
Opening the mouth wide enough to floss can be a challenge for those with TMD. Luckily, there are several types of flossing aids available at most drugstores to help with the task. Floss holders, rubber tip stimulators or interdental brushes can be valuable, especially for flossing the back teeth.
Rinse with an Antiseptic Mouthwash
For days when jaw pain makes brushing and flossing unbearable, an antiseptic mouthwash can kill bacteria and germs. Dr. Cortese does not recommend using mouthwash as a substitute for brushing and flossing, but during bouts of extreme pain, rinsing the mouth can be helpful.
Alert Your Dental Team
If your dental team is not already aware of your jaw pain, give them a heads-up prior to your next appointment. The hygienist can use certain techniques to clean your teeth while avoiding exacerbating your pain. Perhaps you could take medication before your appointment to make you more comfortable during the visit. Or, to avoid keeping your mouth open for an extended period of time, you might explore having your top and bottom teeth cleaned during separate visits.
Contact a TMJ Specialist
There is no reason to spend years suffering from the chronic pain of TMD. Treatments are available to address the root of the problem and free you from your constant discomfort.
The first step is to contact New Jersey TMJ specialist Michael Cortese and schedule an informational consultation. Call or email Princeton Prosthodontics today to make your appointment.