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Five Possible Causes of TMJ Disorders

TMJ (or temporomandibular joint) disorders occur when the system of bones, muscles, ligaments and discs in the jaw don’t function properly. The results are headaches and a painful jaw that clicks and pops. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research hasn’t discovered a direct cause of TMJ disorders, but there are several links to physical and medical conditions.

Before you can receive treatment for TMJ disorder, you and Dr. Sanjeev Sharma must know the cause behind your case. The most common causes of TMJ disorder are:

1. Arthritis: arthritis damages the cartilage in joints, causing pain and misalignment in the jaw.
2. Jaw trauma: if the jaw area is struck with enough force, the discs can be knocked out of alignment.
3. Misalignment: As jaw structure changes over time, the system doesn’t always fit together as it should.
4. Stress and teeth grinding: Plenty of people grind their teeth in their sleep or as a result of stress. Not everyone tooth-grinder develops a TMJ disorder, but teeth grinding elevates your risk level.
5. Gender: TMJ disorders most often occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40, leading scientists to believe there could be a link between TMJ disorders and female hormones.

If you have a high risk level for TMJ disorders or you suspect you already have a TMJ disorder, contact Excel Dental at call skype logo360-666-5700. Dr. Sanjeev Sharma will assess your jaw alignment and prescribe treatment based on the cause of your discomfort. Call today to schedule an appointment with us and begin your journey to a pain-free jaw.

Oral Piercings Affect Not Just Your Looks

If you have been wanting to make a fashion statement with oral piercings, whether on your lips or tongue, we advise you to take some time to evaluate the health risks involved. Your mouth is by nature home to millions of bacteria (some of them bad), and this environment is perfect for germ production. What this means is that open wounds are a safety risk, and using metal jewelry in the mouth, whether you it is a ring, stud, or a barbell, is definitely riskier than wearing pierced earrings.

If you have done your homework, and still would like to have an oral piercing done, please be aware of the following risks:

X-ray blockage
When you come in for cleanings and X-rays, it is possible that your metal jewelry can block X-rays where you are wearing them. This can interfere with getting proper dental care.

Nerve damage
Sometimes after a piercing the tongue becomes numb from nerve damage. Usually this numbness is temporary, but it can sometimes be permanent. If this happens, your taste buds may be different, and it can also how your move your mouth. In addition, if there is damage to the blood vessels in your mouth you can lose a lot of blood.

Bacterial infection
The oral environment is a moist breeding ground for bacteria, making it susceptible to infection. If infections are not properly treated they can become life threatening. Also, if the tongue becomes swollen as a reaction to a piercing, it can block your airway.

Oral damage
Some people like to play with their piercings while wearing them. This habit, of using the tongue to tap the piercing, or biting it, can injure the gums and even crack or scratch sensitive teeth. Also, oral piercings can damage dental fillings.

Metal hypersensitivity
People can experience allergic reactions from the metal used in the piercing jewelry.

Excess saliva
Drooling can happen when the piercing increases saliva production and your mouth reacts to the metal jewelry. And while drooling isn’t dangerous, it doesn’t help your fashion statement either.

Now that you can see that oral piercings affect more than just your looks, they can also directly affect your health. So if you decide to move forward with a piercing, make sure to vet your piercing studio of choice. Make sure they are certified, that they take your health seriously as well as having excellent sanitation practices.

As always, our goal is to help you have a healthy smile, not just a fashionable one! If you have any concerns, we invite you to visit with our caring dentist, Dr. Sanjeev Sharma. You can reach our Excel Dental team in Battleground, Washington at call skype logo360-666-5700 today.

Time for a Spring Dental Cleaning

Spring, much like new year, is a time of new beginnings, as we prepare to shed the heavy weight of winter and move into a lighter, brighter phase of living again. You can revitalize your health this spring by getting a dental checkup and cleaning. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) one of the best things you can do for your oral health is to have professional dental cleaning every six months. These visits reinforce your at-home oral health regimen, and are designed to preserve your health, prevent disease and give you an opportunity to discover other areas in the mouth that may need further attention.

So, what can you expect at a typical dental cleaning? Dr. Sharma will provide diagnostic and preventative services which may include the following.

Diagnostic Services:

  • Checking the bite, chewing and swallowing patterns
  • Taking x-rays, and assessing the teeth for decay
  • Planning treatment as needed
  • Oral cancer screening and exam
  • Evaluating the gum tissue
  • Referral to specialists for treatment as necessary

Preventive Services:

  • Removing plaque and tartar
  • Removing any stains on the tooth enamel
  • Applying fluoride if needed
  • Applying dental sealant as necessary
  • Polishing fillings and crowns


In short, a springtime dental cleaning can make your smile look its best while actively preventing tooth decay and gum disease. If you are ready to get your dental checkup, give our team at Excel Dental in Battleground, Washington a call at call skype logo360-666-5700 and let us help you brighten your smile!

Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Symptoms

The American Dental Association estimates that 1 in 92 adults will develop oral or pharyngeal cancer at some point in their life. The average age of onset is 62 years old. Statistically men are almost twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women. Bad habits like regular tobacco use and alcohol abuse can greatly increase the chances of developing oral cancer earlier in life.

The basic oral cancer screening is performed at the end of your regular dental checkup. The dentist will check your tongue, throat, face, and neck. It’s a good idea to tell the dentist in advance, about any increased risk factors for oral cancer you might have. This includes a family history of oral cancer or lifestyle habits like regular alcohol and tobacco use.

Early symptoms include a persistent pain in your mouth, swelling or a lump in your cheek. This could also be accompanied by a white or red area on the gums, tongue, tonsil. A persistent sore throat or a feeling like there is something stuck in the back of the throat are also common symptoms of pharyngeal cancer.

Early detection of oral and pharyngeal cancer greatly increases your chances of a successful treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you should call us at call skype logo360-666-5700 FREE to schedule an appointment.

Have A Happy Valentine’s Day Without Halitosis

Valentine’s is a day meant to spend with your sweetheart, but your breath may not smell so sweet if you have a halitosis problem. Keep reading to learn more about halitosis and how you can banish bad breath this Valentine’s Day.

What Causes Halitosis?

Stinky breath can be embarrassing, and it may affect your relationship with others. Some causes for bad breath include the following:

  • Having a poor oral hygiene routine
  • Eating garlic, onions, dairy, and foods high in acids and sugar
  • Tobacco
  • Dieting
  • Tooth decay
  • An abscess (pus pocket in tooth root)
  • Gum (periodontal) disease
  • Dry mouth
  • A medical disorder (like bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, liver or kidney problem, etc.)

How Can I Prevent And Treat Halitosis?

The smells created by the rotting food and sulphur-producing bacteria in your mouth can ruin a kiss with your sweetheart, so fix a halitosis problem with these remedies:

  • Regularly brush and floss your teeth
  • Clean your tongue using a tongue scraper or toothbrush
  • Drink more water if you have a dry mouth problem
  • Keep a healthy diet
  • Rinse with a mouthwash
  • Treat underlying medical and dental problems

Please call Dr. Sanjeev Sharma today to learn more about halitosis and additional ways you can cure bad breath.

Zoom! Whitening: The Treatment That Offers Quick Results

Teeth whitening can be a tricky treatment, especially if you’re not sure which treatment is best for your smile. Well, we are here to tell you all about Zoom! Whitening, which is a teeth-whitening treatment that can brighten your smile in just 45 minutes. This in-office procedure is simple and effective and it can give you the results you are looking for in no time.

How do I know Zoom! Whitening is the best treatment for me?
The only way to know if this treatment is the best for you is to meet with your dentist. When you come into our office, your dentist will examine your smile and will check the health and strength of your teeth and gums. If everything looks good, this treatment is right for you!

What is the process involved in Zoom! Whitening?
The Zoom! Whitening process involves the following steps:

1. You will come in and sit in one of our comfortable dental chairs.
2. Your dentist will cover your gums and lips to protect them from the whitening solution.
3. Dr. Sanjeev Sharma will paint the solution onto the surfaces of your teeth.
4. When you are ready, the solution will be activated with a special light. This will take about 15 minutes.
5. After the time is up, your dentist will re-apply the solution onto your teeth as well as activate it two additional times.

What do I do after my smile is whitened?
When your treatment is completed, your dentist will give you a touch-up whitening kit to use at home. The kit should include custom-made whitening trays. Your dentist will give you the instructions you need to successfully use the kit. Dr. Sanjeev Sharma will also give you tips on the foods, drinks, and products to avoid so you can maintain a brilliant smile.

If you’re interested in whitening your smile with this beneficial treatment, we encourage you to call our office today at call skype logo360-666-5700 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Sanjeev Sharma. Our team at Excel Dental is here to help you in any way we can, and we look forward to your call!


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