By Dr. Andrew D. Mylander
December 12, 2017
Category: Jaw Pain
Tags: TMD   TMJ   Jaw Pain  

Are your jaw joints sore and making popping and clicking noises?

If you are dealing with jaw pain, stiffness, or noises, you may be suffering from a very common malady; TemporoMandibular Dysfunction jaw pain(TMD). Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Many adults deal with TMD on some level. Its symptoms can range from annoying to debilitating. The important thing to realize when dealing with TMD issues is that it usually does not get better on its own. The important thing is to keep it from becoming worse and mitigate your symptoms. First, a little about terminology: The healthy joint is called the TMJ. (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) Everyone has two of them. When you have a problem with one or both of the joints, it is called TMD –

(Temporo-Mandibular Dysfunction). The TMJs are the most complex joints in your entire body. They are not simply a hinge. Think about all of the side to side, front to back motions your jaws make in addition to hinging open and closed. They are able to do this because of the two bones involved (temporal bone of your skull, and your jawbone) working along with a third piece – a disc of cartilage between these to bones – which moves independently. This disc can become worn, damaged, or even dislocated through long-term clenching and grinding (usually during sleep), or trauma to the face or jaw.


TMD is one of the most common reasons someone experiences jaw problems. This condition affects how the jaw joint, known as the TemporoMandibular Joint, (TMJ) functions. If you have TMD you may notice that it’s difficult or even painful to open your mouth. You may find that your jaws lock open or closed, or make popping or clicking sounds when opening or closing.

If you suspect that you might have TMD, you’ll want to be evaluated by your dental professional to assess your condition and give you treatment options. in addition to noises or discomfort in the joints themselves, you may notice wear facets on your teeth (“flat spots”), or notches in your teeth next to the gumline. (Abfractions). Treatment options for TMD can range from massage and warm compresses to surgery in extreme cases, but usually involve much more conservative treatments such as nightguard therapy. HOWEVER: Before you run out to the local “Big Box” store and grab one of their nightguards, understand that using those “store bought” nightguards is far worse than doing nothing at all. That’s right, you are better off taking up finger painting to help your TMD than to use one of the “boil and bite” mouthguards which are readily available in stores. These nightguards are slightly soft, and ‘chewy’. Your sleeping brain will tell your jaw muscles to chew up whatever the thing in your mouth is, causing you to grind and clench your jaws more, further damaging your joints, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen. 

What needs to happen is this: when you try to clench or grind while asleep, you want to bite into something hard and unyielding – a very hard piece of acrylic does the job nicely. This actually activates a protective reflex in your brain which tells your jaw muscles to relax, such as when you bite down on a piece of bone, or a cherry pit in your food. This ‘attempt-to-clench and relax’ cycle will prevent you from damaging and compressing that cartilage disc further. To do this, we need to create a custom night guard made of hard, clear acrylic to wear over your teeth while you sleep. These are only 2-3mm thick, and pretty unobtrusive to wear.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, please do yourself a favor and don’t wait to address them. This is one of those problems which will definitely get worse over time. Give us a call at 252-633-2261 to schedule an appointment today.

By Dr. Andrew D. Mylander
September 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Smile problems? Dentists have a wide array of tools at their disposal for improving the aesthetics of your smile. Dr. Andrew Mylander is cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistryone of New Bern's top dentists. He offers a complete range of dental services. Here are six dental procedures that can improve your smile. 

1. Dental Crowns

A crown is a type of dental restoration which fully encases the visible portion of a tooth. Dental crowns are used to restore weakened, discolored, broken, and damaged teeth. Dental crowns can improve tooth function. They can be expected to withstand chewing forces well. You can also improve the color and the shape of your teeth with dental crowns. 

2. Dental Bonding

Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin to repair decayed, fractured, chipped, and discolored teeth. Bonding is also used to close gaps between teeth. In this procedure, very little tooth enamel is removed, which gives it an advantage over options like crowns and veneers. 

3. Dental Bridges

Dental bridges can fill in the gaps in your smile and take years off your look. Dental bridges involve creating dental crowns for the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth, with a fabricated tooth in between. The absence of teeth can make it difficult for people to eat. A bridge can provide a dramatic improvement in chewing ability. 

4. Dental Veneers

A beautiful smile is a must for job interviews, meetings, and blind dates. Dental veneers are thin coverings that are placed over the front part of the teeth to improve your smile. Veneers are used to cover teeth which are discolored, chipped, misaligned, or worn down. Your New Bern, NC dentist can also fix small gaps in your smile through the use of veneers.

5. Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a procedure that is used to repair teeth that are badly decayed or infected. Root canal therapy will alleviate your discomfort or pain and give your teeth a second chance. Root canals are nothing to fear. Most patients report that root canal treatment is no more painful than having a dental filling placed. 

6. Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening will whiten teeth that have been stained by coffee, smoking, soda, red wine and more. There are both in-office and at-home whitening options available. In-office bleaching uses a stronger whitening agent and a light to speed up the whitening process. Professional take-home bleaching involves custom-fitted trays filled with a whitening solution that you can use at home.

There's no reason to go through life with an imperfect smile. Don't wait another minute- call our dental office at 252-633-2261 right now to schedule a dental appointment in New Bern, NC. We want all our patients to have healthy smiles that look great, too.

By Dr. Andrew D. Mylander
June 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Is root canal therapy on your top 10 list of things you want to avoid in life? Many people assume that root canal procedures are extremelyroot canal painful. Fortunately, that's not true. Our New Bern, NC, dentist, Dr. Andrew Mylander, shares the truth about root canal therapy.

Why are root canals recommended?

Root canals save teeth that are inflamed or infected. Pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, discoloration or painful, swollen gums can be indications that you need a root canal. If the tooth becomes abscessed, pain can increase and may be accompanied by facial swelling, fever and swollen lymph nodes.

The inflammation or infection affects the pulp, a collection of nerves, tissues and blood vessels in the center of your tooth. Once inflammation or infection occurs, you'll be faced with two choices: extract your tooth or undergo a root canal. Extracting your tooth may sound like the simpler option, but it can lead to several unpleasant consequences, such as weakening of your jawbone, shifting teeth or sagging facial muscles. Root canal therapy preserves your tooth, allowing you to continue to use it. During the procedure the pulp is removed, the tooth is cleaned, and the cavity is filled with a rubber-based filling.

Why do people say that root canals are painful?

If you ask anyone who has had a root canal lately if the procedure was painful, they'll probably assure you that they didn't feel a thing. Unfortunately, your grandparents may not have had the same experience. Often root canal horror stories are passed down from generation to generation. Luckily, thanks to today's very effective local anesthetics, root canals can be performed with no pain.

If you're a little nervous about the procedure, we offer sedation services in our New Bern office. Whether you choose an oral sedative, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or an inhaled sedative, you'll feel calm and will experience no pain during your procedure.

Don't let fear keep you from getting the dental treatment you need. If you need a root canal or other type of dental treatment, or it's time for your regular dental exam, call our New Bern, NC, dentist, Dr. Mylander, at (252) 633-2261 to schedule an appointment.

By Dr. Andrew D. Mylander
March 20, 2017
Category: Dentistry
Tags: oral hygiene  

Do you use mouthwash regularly? If you don't have a bottle in your medicine cabinet, you're not alone. According to the Oral Health oral hygieneFoundation, only 31 percent of adults use the product. New Bern, NC, dentist, Dr. Andrew Mylander, explores mouthwash use and explains how you can benefit from using the product.

Is mouthwash really necessary?

Using mouthwash after you brush and floss removes little pieces of food and loosened plaque from your teeth. Rinsing with water will do the same thing, but mouthwash offers a few benefits that tap water doesn't, including:

  • Enamel Strengthening: Mouthwashes that contain fluoride actually help keep your tooth enamel strong and more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride works by remineralizing weak spots in the enamel. Although most toothpastes contain fluoride, using a fluoridated mouthwash offers an extra layer of protection.
  • Cavity Protection: Antibacterial or anti-cavity mouthwashes kill bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Bacteria is found in plaque, a sticky substance that covers your teeth every day. Brushing and flossing removes plaque, but sometimes it's difficult to remove it from every surface of your teeth. Anti-cavity mouthwash can reach hard-to-reach places, reducing your cavity risk.
  • Fresh Breath: Have you ever taken a look in the mirror and noticed a small piece of food stuck in your teeth? Tiny bits of food tend to smell after they've been in your mouth for a while. Mouthwash helps dislodge the particles and also attacks bacteria that can cause breath odor.

Is there anything I should avoid when shopping for mouthwash?

Take a look at the list of ingredients before you drop into a New Bern store to buy mouthwash. If a product contains alcohol, it's more likely to dry your mouth. In addition to being a little uncomfortable, dry mouth can actually worsen breath odor.

Mouthwash use, in addition to regular dental cleanings, will help keep your breath fresher. If you've been meaning to schedule a checkup, call New Bern, NC, dentist, Dr. Mylander, at (252) 633-2261 to make your appointment.

By Dr. Andrew D. Mylander
December 21, 2016
Category: Dentistry

Going to the dentist is a daunting task for many people, especially if they have dental anxiety. However, your dental health does not dental anxietyneed to suffer due to your fear of the dentist’s chair. Sedation dentistry can help you relax during your dental procedures. Learn more about sedation dentistry with Dr. Andrew Mylander in New Bern, NC.

What is sedation dentistry? 
Sedation dentistry uses medications administered via inhalation, oral tablets or intravenously which helps patients relax during their dental procedures. Dentists reserve sedation dentistry for patients with dental anxiety who have issues committing to their procedures due to their fear of the dentist. Sedation can help patients get through anything from a simple teeth cleaning to a root canal.

How can sedation dentistry help me? 
Sedation dentistry can help patients with all levels of anxiety. The four main levels of sedation include:

  • Minimal Sedation: Minimal sedation keeps the patient awake and alert, but helps them relax during their procedure. This is usually administered via the inhalation method and referred to as “laughing gas”.
  • Moderate Sedation: Moderate sedation may cause patients to slur their words or forget parts of their procedure.
  • Deep Sedation: Dentists administer deep sedation intravenously. This is the highest level of sedation without putting the patient completely to sleep. Patients may fall asleep, but their dentist can still awaken them if need be.

Sedation Dentistry in New Bern, NC
Patients with dental anxiety, low pain tolerance, high tooth sensitivity, a heightened gag reflex or those who need several procedures performed at once benefit from sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry has proven to be a safe and reliable option. Your dentist can help you determine if sedation dentistry is the best choice for you and your procedure.

For more information on sedation dentistry, please contact Dr. Mylander in New Bern, NC. Call (252) 633-2261 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mylander today!

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