My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
July 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain  

Chronic jaw pain and limited jaw mobility are two common symptoms of a group of conditions known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD or TMD). Several effective treatments have developed over the years, despite the fact that the underlying causes for TMD remain an elusive quarry for medical researchers.

But we may now have a promising new lead in understanding TMD: a possible link between it and other systemic inflammatory diseases. In recent study researchers interviewed over 1,500 people with TMD about various aspects of their lives. Nearly two-thirds reported at least three or more other inflammatory health conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic headaches or rheumatoid arthritis.

These statistics suggest a relationship between TMD and these other conditions. Further exploration of these possible links could result not only in a greater understanding of TMD but better treatment strategies for it and the other related conditions.

In the meantime, though, what can you do if you're currently dealing with TMD?

As of now the approaches with the best results continue to be conservative, non-invasive techniques we've used for several years. Thermal therapies like hot or cold compresses to the jaw area, for example, are quite effective in providing pain relief, and muscle relaxant drugs have proven beneficial for improving jaw mobility.

More radical approaches like jaw surgery have also come into prominence. But there's a caveat here: a significant number of people find their conditions don't improve or may even worsen. In the study previously mentioned, only 38% of respondents who had undergone jaw surgery saw any range of improvement (from slight to significant); by contrast, 28% indicated no change in symptoms and 46% said they were worse off.

It's important, then, that you thoroughly discuss your condition with your dentist, verifying first that you have TMD.  Together you can develop a treatment plan to relieve pain and restore jaw function. If your dentist or surgeon suggests surgery, consider seeking a second opinion before choosing this more radical approach.

Hopefully, further research into the causes and relationships of TMD with other health conditions will yield still better treatments. In the meantime, you may still find relief and improve your quality of life with the proven techniques available now.

If you would like more information on treatments for chronic jaw pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
July 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth extraction  

Here are some circumstances that might require you to have a permanent tooth removed.tooth extractions

Hearing that your smile could actually benefit from having a tooth removed may sound rather odd but sometimes it’s necessary if you want to maintain a healthy smile. Our Charlottesville, VA, dentist, Dr. Michael Tisdelle, is here to explain when a tooth extraction may be necessary for you.

Wisdom Tooth Problems

The most common reason someone needs a tooth extraction is if a tooth is impacted, which is often the case with wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted this simply means that they won’t fully erupt through the gums. If they only partially erupt they leave an opening in your gums where food and bacteria can easily become trapped and cause problems. When this happens our Charlottesville general dentist will recommend that you get your wisdom teeth removed.


Another reason a tooth extraction may be necessary is to make a little room in your mouth so that braces will be more effective. If you have some serious overcrowding then our dentist may advise removing one or two teeth to create enough room for the rest of your teeth to move more efficiently throughout your orthodontic process.


Sometimes a tooth becomes so severely cracked or decayed that it’s beyond repair. This is more likely to happen if you ignore symptoms such as dental pain or sensitivity or if you don’t come into our office twice a year for routine exams. If you don’t come in for preventive care then we won’t be able to detect decay or a fracture right away when it’s easier to treat. As the problem gets worse and begins to greatly affect the health of the tooth the only option we may have is to pull the tooth and replace it.

How do I know if I need a tooth extracted?

The only way that you’ll be able to tell whether a tooth extraction is the right approach for you and your oral health is to visit us for a consultation. We will perform a thorough evaluation that will include X-rays.

The X-rays will be able to detect dental damage and show us the alignment of wisdom teeth so we can determine what treatment will be the best option for your smile. If you don’t get an extraction when you are supposed to this could lead to some serious issues like pain or an infection.

Do you have questions about getting a tooth extraction? Are you wondering if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed? If so, call our Charlottesville, VA, dental office today to learn more.

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
July 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   Veneers  

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.