All Posts tagged Temporomandibular Disorder

Bring in the Replacements: Dentures and Implants

Bring in the Replacements: Dentures and Implants

We lose teeth for many reasons: gum (periodontal) disease, tooth decay and trauma — falls, accidents and sports related injuries. Adult teeth begin to form around birth. Anything happening to the body during the time of tooth formation can be disruptive. If you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, one of the side-effects may be a premature loss of teeth. As well, infections can result in damage to adult teeth or their early loss. And some people have missing teeth because they never developed. Dental implants and dentures can be the answer to such problems. Missing teeth can result in a loss of self confidence and lower self-esteem. If you have several missing teeth and difficulty chewing, this could lead to digestive and nutritional problems. Your other teeth may start to shift or over-erupt to compensate for the missing teeth, upsetting the relationship between teeth, muscles and joints. Loss of many posterior teeth can affect your ability to chew and may also contribute to temporomandibular joint problems. Getting your implants or dentures early can prevent the occurrence of many of the issues mentioned above. Luckily, Dr. Jaleel is your Ottawa dentist and is here to help.

Implants or Dentures?

Keep all factors, not just cost, in mind. For example, implants are a good bet for those who like hard, crunchy foods such as carrots and apples. For those who prefer softer foods like pasta, another option might be preferable. And other factors such as bite or joint problems or some diseases should also be considered. On the blog today, we will break down the various restorative options for you.



Complete Dentures

Retained and supported by oral tissues, and retention and comfort can be an issue. Dentures can last up to 10 years, but an annual relining of the denture to maintain a good fit is recommended.


  • Least-expensive option
  • No surgery
  • Can be made quickly
  • Look good.


  • Uncomfortable if not properly fitted
  • Patients may develop sore spots
  • Gums and bones shrink as we age and dentures accelerate that process.

Removable Partial Dentures

Supported and held by both tissues and teeth. Metal clasps wrap around various teeth, retaining the partial denture or, in some cases, attachments can be made to implants instead of teeth, which look better esthetically, as metal clasps are eliminated. Last up to 10 years, unless you need a crown or lose teeth.


  • Last long
  • Relatively cheap


  • Relining required to avoid clasps damaging teeth
  • Can contribute to bone loss.

Fixed Bridge

Typically the teeth (or implants if there are not enough natural teeth) on either side act as anchors via crowns to support and retain an artificial tooth or teeth in between; hence, the term “bridge.” Can last 10 years or longer;
mid-range cost.


  • Feels natural
  • Very slim compared to a denture; looks great (which is a great psychological advantage)
  • Food tastes better since the roof of the mouth isn’t covered (where the taste buds are).


  • More expensive than dentures
  • Cost increases if more implants needed to hold the prosthesis
  • Need to reduce tooth size, which may weaken the tooth.



A tooth is attached to an “artificial root” made from titanium or titanium alloy, which is surgically placed in the jawbone, lasting up to 10 years or more.


  • Tremendous psychological advantage
  • Feels like your own teeth
  • Nothing removable in the mouth
  • No damage to other teeth
  • No associated bone loss.


  • Most expensive option
  • Surgery is necessary.


How to take care of your dentures or implants?

Dentures: Remove dentures and soak overnight in denture cleanser, warm water or in a mix of warm water and vinegar (half and half). If your denture has metal clasps, use warm water only for soaking. Brush with a denture brush and rinse.

Implants and Bridge: Gently brush and floss daily. These can be treated more like natural teeth, but they are not as strong, so be gentle when brushing and flossing. If you have implants, be especially careful when flossing where the implant meets the gum. Talk to Dr. Jaleel about using specific cleaners, if necessary.



Let’s Make Temporomandibular Disorder Bite the Dust!

Temporomandibular Disorder – this ominous, big word could be an equally ominous and big problem.

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is name of the joint on either side of your head near your ears, and connects your lower jaw to your skull. One common indication that you may have Temporomandibular (Joint) Disorder is if your jaw cracks when you yawn – similar to the sound of someone cracking their knuckles. This is the sound of your jaw moving within the socket. Other symptoms can include: headaches, back pain, neck pain/stiffness, earaches, congestion, ringing in the ears, jaw fatigue, pain when chewing, dizziness/fainting, difficulty swallowing, facial pain/ pain behind the eyes, and numbness in the hands.


Oddly enough, some of these symptoms sound unrelated. When your muscles are clenched and spasm for prolonged periods of time due to your temporomandibular joint being out of place, other muscles compensate which leads to knotted muscles and pain in other areas of your body. This just illustrates the interconnectivity of our bodies and the importance of dental health in relation to your overall health! If you have been suffering from any of the above, you might have just found the missing piece to your puzzle.

So what causes Temporomandibular Disorder, anyway? Usually it is caused by other injury to your jaw or diseases of your joints – such as arthritis. Just as muscles tighten to compensate for your jaw, the reverse can be true with tight shoulders or sore necks straining your TMJ. Other root causes could be the result of dentures that aren’t fitting properly, or even bad habits such as nail-biting.

Possible Causes to Temporomandibular Disorder

Possible Causes to Temporomandibular Disorder

Some causes you may be unaware that you’re contributing to since they can occur when you’re unconscious! After a gruelling day, even a night when you are fast asleep, you may be suffering from “bruxism”. Bruxism (clenching your teeth or grinding them – especially in your sleep) will worsen Temporomandibular Disorder and make it more difficult to get, “back to the grind” the next day.

Through identifying the range of causes, your Ottawa dentist can accordingly suggest possible treatment. These can range from the simplicity of merely avoiding hard, sticky foods, cutting food into tiny pieces, or even relaxation techniques to ebb the tension that’s tightening your jaw – to more direct approaches such as new dentures, or custom fit night guards, or a referral to a physiotherapist.

As they say, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” – leaving these symptoms unchecked could lead to further discomfort and trauma to your teeth and jaw. If it’s hard to swallow- then swallow your pride and visit your Ottawa dentist, Dr. Jaleel. We’ll make Temporomandibular Disorder bite the dust!