where do migraines start

where do migraines startMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Headaches can be a pain in the neck, or head rather. Did you know that a nagging headache could actually be stemming from your oral health? If you suffer from frequent headaches, especially those of migraine-like intensity, consult both your physician and your dentist because the treatment could begin with your mouth.

The jaws, head, and neck have many nerves and muscles that are intertwined. In fact, the most prominent nerve of the head, the trigeminal nerve, connects from the lower jaw to the head, and into the spinal cord. When headaches or toothaches occur, pain radiates through this nerve. If one branch of the nerve is affected by pain, it often triggers pain in other areas of the face, head, or even neck, and vice versa.

For some headache sufferers, their pain stems from a reflexive behavior such as bruxism, referred to as clenching and grinding of their teeth. Bruxism exacerbates pain that is experienced in the jaw or head. If you find that you experience a significant amount of stress in your life, you may clench and grind your teeth while you sleep. Some sufferers are completely unaware that they have this problem. An evaluation by the dentist can determine whether you suffer from bruxism. Also, regular headaches may indicate that you exhibit this reflexive behavior.

If you experience frequent headaches, be sure to consult a physician, as well as the dentist. Often, physicians only treat the symptoms of headaches and are unable to pinpoint the cause. On the other hand, the dentist can evaluate your oral health, your bite, and your jaw joints to determine what is causing your headaches. For many headache sufferers, a custom made bite guard can help by absorbing the pressure caused by bruxism, providing you pain relief from headaches.

For more information about headaches and oral health, or to schedule a consultation, contact Miami Designer Smiles at (305) 595-4616.

Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.

what is causing that gap in your childs front teeth

what is causing that gap in your childs front teethMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Have you noticed a gap between your child’s upper front teeth? Also known as maxillary midline diastema, an upper lip-tie is present in more than 50 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 8 years old.

The most common medical treatment for a lip-tie is a frenectomy, which is a surgical procedure that releases the restriction. Although these gaps between the front teeth can and sometimes do resolve without surgical intervention, taking the “wait and see” approach leaves your child at risk for a variety of behavioral and developmental problems that can stem from this type of tethered oral tissue.

For infants, the consequences of a lip-tie may include breastfeeding problems, failure to thrive, and poor bonding between baby and mother, as well as sleep deprivation. In older children, tethered oral tissue can make it difficult to chew or swallow solid foods. It can cause delayed speech development or deterioration of speech, as well as a loss of self-confidence and difficulties maintaining proper dental hygiene.

If left untreated, many of these problems magnify and multiply into adulthood, most often presenting themselves in speech problems but also affecting individuals at work and in social situations because of sensitivity and low self-confidence about personal appearance. Tethered oral tissue also can lead to jaw problems, a precursor to temporomandibular joint disorder, and even increase the likelihood of painful migraine headaches.

Yes, that gap between your child’s front teeth may close on its own, but is it worth the risk of a potential lifetime of consequences to see if it does? We don’t think so.

When a frenectomy is needed for a lip-tie, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced dentist to perform the procedure, and Miami Designer Smiles can help. Contact us at (305) 595-4616 to schedule an appointment.

Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in Coral Gables, and Miami, Florida.

prenatal care dont forget your mouth

prenatal care dont forget your mouthMiami and Coral Gables, FL

One of the most important aspects of prenatal care is to practice good oral hygiene. Did you know that your dental health directly impacts the health of your unborn baby? Studies have linked poor oral health to causing pre-term births and low birth weight. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant here is what you need to know to protect the health of yourself and your unborn baby.

Oral health and pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body undergoes many hormonal changes, and these changes affect your oral health. Some expectant mothers experience more dental issues such as cavities and receding gums during pregnancy than they did before conception. In fact, “pregnancy gingivitis” is common among many mothers-to-be, which is why practicing good oral hygiene habits is even more important to keep gum disease at bay.

How oral health affects your baby

Each year, approximately 250,000 premature births occur, and of that amount, nearly 19 percent are born too early because of gum disease in the mother. That amount is more than alcohol and smoking use combined! Oral health should continue long after your baby is born. Mothers with poor oral health can spread harmful bacteria to their baby by sharing eating utensils. So, continue with a good oral hygiene regime even after your baby is born. Better yet, begin instilling these habits in your child as soon as their first tooth erupts.

What can I do to protect my oral health and my baby?

To safeguard your health and that of your unborn baby, be sure to brush and floss daily. Regular dental visits for cleanings and exams should occur once every six months, and pay particular attention to your gums, should you experience swelling, tenderness, or bleeding, which could be an early warning sign of gum disease. Be sure to see the dentist if you experience any changes in your oral health between visits. Also, if you are a high-risk pregnancy or are taking any medications, make the dentist aware of these facts.

At Miami Designer Smiles, your oral health and the health of your baby are important to us. To schedule an appointment, please contact Miami Designer Smiles today at (305) 595-4616. We welcome patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.

my child is not sleeping

my child is not sleepingMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Millions of Americans, both adults and children, exhibit symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This condition affects one’s concentration, impulse control, organization, and memory. ADHD can be a frustrating condition to deal with, not to mention society’s stigma towards it and to those who suffer from the disorder.

What if children suffering from ADHD were suffering from another disorder instead, like a sleep disorder? Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, a practicing psychiatrist who treats patients with ADHD, has set a powerful argument for physicians to consider sleep disorders as a potential cause when evaluating patients for ADHD. Dr. Thakkar has identified many symptoms of ADHD as being similar to symptoms of sleep disorders, for both children and adults. Symptoms of sleep deprivation and ADHD in children are nearly indistinguishable. Physicians commonly diagnose ADHD in children when they exhibit symptoms of lack of focus or agitated, excitable, or impulsive behavior. Unfortunately, a child with these types of behaviors often struggle with social and intellectual development, which causes problems in their relationships with peers or adults. What if ADHD is not the actual cause of these symptoms after all?

Large-scale studies of more than 11,000 children have found that those with sleep-disordered breathing exhibited many of the same behaviors associated with ADHD. Research also concluded that children were 40-100 times more likely to exhibit behavioral problems if suffering from sleep-disordered breathing. Although studies have linked sleep-breathing disorders to be a major cause of behavioral issues in children, the medical field has yet to pay closer attention to this fact before jumping the gun on diagnosing ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics conducted an assessment on pediatricians. The results of the assessment found that less than one in every six pediatricians advised parents on sleep disorders of their child. What is even less surprising is that one in every four adults failed to mention their child’s lack of sleep to the physician. Who should you talk to if your child is not sleeping well and exhibiting behavioral issues? The dentist.

Believe it or not, but now more than ever, dentists are playing a key role in diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing, even in children. The reason is that obstruction of the airway often causes sleep-disordered breathing. At Miami Designer Smiles, we can design and create a simple device to help reposition the lower jaw, allowing for adequate airflow through the airway. This simple device has proven to be effective in treating sleep-disordered breathing for both adults and children. If your child is exhibiting behaviors associated with ADHD, give us a call for a consultation. Our drug-free approach to treating sleep disorders could make all the difference in your child’s behavior. Miami Designer Smiles welcomes patients of all ages from Miami and Coral Gables, FL.

nervous about dental implants

nervous about dental implantsCoral Gables and Miami, FL

Anxiety and fear are normal feelings towards dental treatment but at Miami Designer Smiles, we want you to know that you do not have to feel this way. Many patients can tolerate seemingly minor dental procedures, but when it comes to something more invasive, the nervousness begins. A dental implant procedure may seem scary but, there is nothing to worry about, and here is why.

Before your dental implant procedure begins, the entire treatment process is thoroughly planned and mapped out. The doctors at Miami Designer Smiles use state of the art technology to ensure precise placement of your dental implant. There is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions or bring forth concerns you may have about your treatment.

At Miami Designer Smiles, we place your dental implant on site, so there is no need for you to visit another dentist or oral surgeon during the implant process like some dental offices require. If you have made the decision to get a dental implant, understand that the worst part of the process is already over! Honestly, getting the implant is easier than a tooth extraction. We use local anesthesia to ensure the site is numb, and so that you do not feel any pain during the process.

Following the implant procedure, you may experience minimal discomfort, if any. In fact, most patients only experience the tenderness of gum tissue, surrounding the dental implant. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (NSAID) can easily get rid of any discomfort you may experience. You will be able to resume your normal activities as soon as you leave the office.

For patients who may still have feelings of apprehension, Miami Designer Smiles also offers conscious sedation, to help make your dental implant procedure easier on your nerves. If you are interested in conscious sedation as part of your treatment plan, just ask the doctors about this option before your procedure.

To schedule a dental implant consultation, contact Miami Designer Smiles today! We welcome patients of Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.