You’ve heard of the traditional plastic brushes, you’ve heard of electric toothbrushes, you’ve seen wooden toothbrushes, but…have you heard of silicone toothbrushes? While traditional toothbrushes use nylon bristles, these new silicone toothbrushes remove the nylon altogether and replace it with silicone. But do these silicone toothbrushes live up to the hype, or are they ineffective against fighting plaque and gingivitis?

The silicone bristles that you find on silicone toothbrushes are similar in size to the regular bristles that you would find on a traditional toothbrush. They function the same way as well, cleaning between the teeth and removing particles along the gumline. For electric toothbrush users, the silicone toothbrush also comes in an electric form. 

As for whether it fares to the competition on the market, yes it does. In fact, using the rubber tipped toothbrush may actually be better and softer on your gums, while still providing the right amount of cleaning power that you need from a toothbrush. However, because of their newness on the market, more studies are needed to see if they truly are better in the long run than the traditional variety.

Silicone toothbrushes are not entirely new, though. In fact, they’ve been on the market for quite some time, just not in the form that we’re used to seeing. Silicone toothbrushes are popular amongst parents to use on their babies and young children both for cleaning and teething purposes because they massage the gums and work to lessen discomfort.

Whatever toothbrush you happen to stock in your bathroom cabinet, be sure to follow the recommended guidelines of brushing at least twice a day, followed by flossing and a good mouth wash for a healthy smile. If you’re not sure which toothbrush you should be using, ask your dentist the next time you go in for a cleaning.

None of us are strangers to jaw pain. It can come on suddenly with seemingly no cause, or develop slowly over time. Whatever the case may be for your situation, more than likely, it has something to do with your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). If you experience any jaw pain, report this change to your dentist as they will be able to diagnose the cause and formulate a treatment plan to alleviate you of your pain, and educate you on how you can prevent it from happening again.

Your TMJ are located on either side of your mouth and serve the purpose of connecting your mandible, commonly known as the lower jaw, to the skull. Although your TMJ are able to move freely so you can do daily tasks such as eating and speaking, overuse or trauma to the area can make your TMJ click and slide out of place, which in most cases can be painful and require medical attention.

Although the joint itself is abbreviated to TMJ, when your TMJ is diagnosed as having a problem, it becomes abbreviated to TMD, standing for temporomandibular disorder.

Causes of TMD

Trauma: As mentioned above, trauma is one of the main causes of TMD and can vary in severity from slight clicking and popping to painful sliding and constant dislocation.

Bruxism: Also known as teeth grinding, putting pressure on your TMJ can cause jaw pain.

Arthritis: Diseases and conditions which cause joint pain can aggravate your TMJ, even if no trauma has occurred.

Nerve Damage: Should the nerves by the TMJ become damaged, the pain will manifest itself in the jaw.

Improperly Fitted Dental Devices: Devices such as dentures, retainers, and braces, when installed incorrectly, can cause jaw pain.

Symptoms of TMD

Besides the obvious one being jaw pain, those who suffer from TMD have reported the following symptoms that coincide with their jaw pain, including:

  • Headaches ranging from mild up to severe migraines
  • Limited movement in the lower jaw including jaw locking, sliding, and popping.
  • Difficulty performing tasks such as talking and eating food.

Contact your local dentist in the event that you experience any of the symptoms accompanying your jaw pain.

Treatment of TMD

As there are several causes to TMD, there are many treatment options to correct the condition. In order to reach the correct diagnosis, your dentist may order x rays, blood tests, and MRI’s to get an accurate read. Once a solid diagnosis has been made, the treatment plan can be created and put into action.

Depending on the severity and nature of the TMD, treatment may be as simple as going through a dose of antibiotics, but there are other courses of treatment as well including, mouth guards, steroid injections, pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and even surgery in the most severe cases.

If you suspect that you have TMD, please contact us to schedule your free consultation by calling  805-486-6327, or by visiting our website at https://www.oxnardgentledentistry.com/contact/