I Never Knew My Dentist Knew About That

I Didn’t Know I Had That...

            You could fill a library with all of the things I’ve yet to learn.  You could probably fill several libraries if you included subjects like:  saying the right thing at the right time, understanding women, or how not to lose one’s hair. 

            Every day is a lesson and the wisest people seem to listen more than they talk. 

            I’m still working on this.

            So, there I was, sitting in the office of an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to have my hearing checked.  I’d developed a ringing in my ears, which is quite common for dentists and those of us who grew up shooting at dove and deer with no ear protection.  Next thing I knew, we were discussing my chronic sinus issues, my sleeping habits, and my undiagnosed ADHD.  I left his office with more problems than when I walked in.

            I felt like a dental patient.

            After a week or so of nose spray and a schedule of antibiotics, I found myself sleeping better.  The bags under my eyes had dissipated and the ringing in my ears was reduced.  Unfortunately, my attention span is most likely forever locked in the ADHD mode of a six year old.

            SQUIRREL!  (This is an Up reference and joke on being easily distracted.)

            This same scenario occurs quite frequently in our dental office.  We routinely spend a good part of each day addressing health problems outside of the mouth.  In school, we learned to fix teeth.  In practice, we’ve learned to fix people and a lot of dental related problems they never knew they had. 

            The following are a few areas that modern dentistry can help with that might not have occurred to most of us:

Headaches/Chronic Pain/TMD (Jaw Joint Pain) – Every week, we see a handful of patients that have been misdiagnosed with some type of pain disorder (fibromyalgia, migraines, etc.) that is actually related to their bite or the way that their jaw works.  Many of these patients are taking strong medications that could be avoided with proper dental treatments.  Most don’t even know that a dentist could help them. 

            A few years back, we didn’t know we could help them, either.

Sleep Apnea /Airway – We are constantly seeing studies about how airway and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are serious threats to health.  For mild to moderate OSA cases, your dentist can make an appliance that many patients find is more comfortable than that CPAP or fighter pilot mask.  I know this because I wear one to help me (and my wife) sleep better each night.

The Fountain of Youth – Okay, I am exaggerating a bit…your dentist cannot make you young again.  The truth is that we can often make you LOOK younger.  Whiter teeth, a cosmetic denture, fuller lips, straighter teeth, less wrinkles around your mouth…these are all things that a dentist can improve.  The most fun we have is when we make patients feel good about themselves.

            Until next week, keep smiling.

-Questions or comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.