Do I Have Bruxism or TMJ? What To Know

Bruxism and TMJ can both cause jaw pain, so sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re experiencing one or the other. In fact, sometimes one of these conditions can cause the other to occur! If you’re suffering from problems like jaw pain, your dentist in Salina, KS can help you determine whether you’ve got one or both of these conditions. 

What Is TMJ?

TMJ – also called TMD – is an acronym that stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ occurs when a misalignment of the jaw causes pain that radiates out of the joint, which is located in front of the ears and connects the lower jaw to the skull. 

Symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Dizziness
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Insomnia

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a term that medical professionals use to refer to the act of grinding the teeth at night. People who grind their teeth at night often don’t know that they’re doing it, but some people even do it during the day without being aware. Bruxism can be caused by TMJ, snoring, stress or anxiety.

Symptoms include:

  • Sensitive, worn teeth
  • Chips or cracks in the teeth
  • Jaw pain and tired jaw muscles
  • Headaches
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Sleep interruptions

How Are These Conditions Connected?

TMJ and bruxism have overlapping, similar symptoms. In addition, people who suffer from TMJ sometimes grind their teeth as a result of this condition.

To find out if you have one or the other of these conditions, it’s important to see your dentist for help. At The Fine Art of Family Dentistry, we provide TMJ treatment in Salina KS. To learn more about how we can help, call today to make an appointment. 


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Are Your Headaches Related to Dental Issues?

If you suffer from chronic headaches that have not responded to treatment from your physician, it could be that they are related to a dental issue. The cranium is connected to the jawbone, which is prone to issues having to do with oral health. The jawbone is also susceptible to problems related to its function. Because of this, your dentist in Salina, KS might be able to help you get rid of your chronic headaches.

Bruxism and Chronic Headaches

Bruxism is the practice of teeth grinding. It usually occurs unconsciously and can happen during the night when a person is sleeping, or during the day. It is often associated with stress and anxiety, but can also result as a secondary problem of improper teeth alignment. The grinding motion fatigues the muscles in the jaw and places stress on the joint of the jaw is located just in front of the ear. Due to the skeletal connection, bruxism can cause chronic headaches.

Bacterial Infection and Chronic Headaches

Tooth abscesses and tooth and/or gum infections mean that there is a buildup of bad bacteria. This bacteria can damage nerve endings in the teeth and gums. When the nerve tissue is infected, it frequently ends up transferring the pain to the head, which feels like a headache. If you haven’t visited your Salina, KS dentist in a while and you do have chronic headaches, it’s possible that the reason is actually an infection in the oral cavity.

TMJ and Chronic Headaches

The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint in the jaw just in front of the ear. Problems with this joint can result in pain that radiates to the head, showing up as a chronic headache, similarly to the way bruxism causes headaches. Talk to your dentist about issues with TMJ in Salina, KS.

Don’t assume that your chronic headaches are a lost cause. The solution may just lie in your dentist’s chair. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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3 Benefits of Pinhole Dental Surgery

Dental surgery for receding gums is common, particularly for the 65+ crowd. If you have a gingival recession, pinhole surgery in Salina, KS might be able to treat the issue with as little disruption to your life as possible. We’ll look at what it is and why it’s a popular procedure.

What Is Pinhole Surgery?

The surgeon pricks a tiny hole in the gums and inserts a small device that can stretch the gums down to where they belong. From there, the dentist will insert collagen strips to ensure the gums stay in place. There are a number of distinct advantages to choosing this type of surgery, including:

  • Minimally invasive: Unlike skin-grafting procedures, pinhole surgery is far less invasive. It’s short, relatively painless, and easier on the body.
  • Affordable: Because skin grafts require multiple sessions, its overall cost is typically more than pinhole surgery, which can treat the whole mouth with just one visit.
  • Healthier mouth: Receding gums can wreak havoc in your mouth, so it’s important to address the problem as quickly as possible.

The pinhole surgery technique makes it easier for the body to recover after all is said and done. The ability to treat the whole mouth at once for this issue is truly revolutionary for patients.

Dental Surgeon in Salina, KS

Not everyone is right for the pinhole procedure. Habits like smoking may preclude you from receiving it, so it’s important to talk to a doctor about your options. At The Fine Art of Family Dentistry, we’re here to help you learn more about the procedures. Contact us today if you would like to talk to a dentist who can help.

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A Look at the Common Causes Behind Gum Recession 

Gum recession is the breakdown of the lower periodontal tissue that covers the root of a tooth. Unfortunately, this is a common oral health issue and not one that should be overlooked. If you have problems with gum tissue deterioration, it is important that you visit a general dentist in Salina, KS as quickly as possible. But what causes this problem? Here is a look at some of the reasons certain people can be more prone to gum recession than others.

Aggressive Brushing Habits

Aggressively brushing your teeth may seem like a good idea. After all, you are trying to slough away food buildup and bacteria. However, when you brush really aggressively, you can inadvertently damage your gum tissue over time. Always brush firmly and thoroughly, but be mindful of the soft tissue that supports the base of your teeth that could be damaged.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a very common problem that is typically related to poor oral hygiene. An overaccumulation of bacteria leads to swelling, inflammation, and deterioration of the gum tissue if the problem is not treated right away.


Genetics and simply the shape of your smile and mouth can also have a part to play in gum recession. Sometimes, the way the teeth erupt through the gums leaves only a thin and fragile layer of gum tissue surrounding the root. This fragile tissue breaks down far easier than usual.

Find Out About Pinhole Surgery for Gum Recession at a Salina Dentist

Pinhole surgery for gum recession is a non-invasive procedure that may help restore gum tissue so your teeth have adequate protection. A Salina, KS dentist can help. Reach out to us at Fine Art of Family Dentistry to find out more about this modern treatment option.


Could Your Dental Problems Be Causing Your Headaches?

Nothing can ruin a good day faster than a nagging headache. If you struggle with headaches that seem to have no apparent cause, it may be time to book an appointment with your dentist in Salina, KS. Your dental professional can conduct a routine exam and perform diagnostic tests that may reveal hidden causes of headaches, such as the following:

Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ Dysfunction)

You have two temporomandibular joints that connect your jawbone to your skull. They’re located just to the front of each ear. If you have damage or injury to one or both of these joints, the results may feel like an immensely painful headache. Several factors can contribute to TMJ dysfunction, including arthritis, sports injuries, or even genetics.

If you suspect you’re having issues with your temporomandibular joints, talk to your dental professional. Treatment for TMJ dysfunction in Salina may help. Symptoms include pain or tenderness near your ears that seems to radiate throughout your face. It may feel like an extreme headache or even a migraine, but in reality, it’s a dental problem.

Dental Occlusion

In dental terms, occlusion refers to the way your upper teeth meet your lower teeth. When they’re misaligned, you have a malocclusion. This can cause problems with speech, biting, chewing, and even pain that presents itself as a headache. Make an appointment with your dentist today if you’re having issues with teeth alignment.


Did you know cavities can cause headaches? These are actually tension headaches that occur because the pain of your toothache is causing muscle tension in your face and neck. Tooth extraction in Salina, KS can cure headaches caused by tooth decay and toothache.

If you’re tired of headaches that seem to come and go without good cause, call the Fine Art of Family Dentistry to schedule a consultation. It may be your oral health that’s at the root of the issue.

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How to Make Your Teeth Whitening Last Longer  

Now that you have finally gone to your dentist in Salina, Kansas, and received that long-awaited teeth whitening procedure, you are looking in the mirror and seeing that beautiful smile for maybe the first time in your life. However, now that your teeth are gleaming like pearls, you want to do all you can to make your teeth whitening last as long as possible. To do so, here are some tips you should follow.

Avoid Teeth-Staining Foods

First of all, it’s time to eliminate as many teeth-staining foods from your life as possible. This includes sugary drinks and foods, coffee, tomato sauce, and many others. Since these can break down tooth enamel and leave behind stubborn stains, you don’t want this after investing in a professional teeth whitening procedure.

Brush After Meals

If you get in the habit of brushing your teeth as soon as possible after each meal, you can reduce the chances your teeth will get stained. Since you’ll be getting rid of bacteria and food particles, they won’t have time to impact your beautiful white teeth.

Use a Straw

Should you be a lover of coffee, tea, soft drinks, or wine and not want to totally eliminate these beverages from your life, one solution is to only drink them when using a straw. By using a straw, you can prevent the beverage itself from actually touching the outside of your teeth. As a result, the enamel won’t get broken down and set the stage for staining.

By taking advantage of these helpful hints and of course visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you can make your professional teeth whitening procedure one of the best investments you’ve ever made in your life. To learn more about teeth whitening and its many wonderful benefits, contact Fine Art of Family Dentistry today to schedule your consultation.



What are Dental Implants? 

A dental implant is like a small screw that is surgically embedded into your jawbone to serve as the root for a dental prosthesis. If one tooth is being replaced, then a single crown can be used. If several teeth or an entire arch of teeth needs to be replaced, multiple dental implants are required and the prosthesis used is a bridge. The most popular implants consist of titanium, which is unique in that bone bonds with it. Therefore, in time, the implants bond with your natural bone, making them a permanent part of your jawbone. The connector that serves as the bridge to link the implant and crown is called an abutment.

Dental Implants are the Closest Thing to Having Your Natural Teeth

Dental implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth because they look and feel just like natural teeth. In addition, this tooth-replacement solution typically lasts from 10 to 15 years, sometimes longer. After patients have their dental implant procedure, they feel confident about the way their smiles look. This newfound confidence improves their lives because they can enjoy participating in activities and socializing without worrying about how their teeth look.

Types of Dental Implants

Which option is best for a patient depends on his or her dental health and goals.

There are two main types of dental implants that are frequently used:

  1. Endosteal Implants

This is the most common type of implant; it consists of titanium and stainless steel. The small titanium screw is placed into the jawbone, thus, replacing the missing root. This root holds the artificial tooth in place. The prosthetic crown can be made from acrylic or porcelain.

  1. Subperiosteal Implants

Unlike endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants are made of a metal framework. Subperiosteal implants rest above the jawbone within the gum tissue instead of in the bone. Subperiosteal implants are ideal for individuals who do not have an adequate amount of jawbone for endosteal implants.

Determining Eligibility for Dental Implants

To be eligible for dental implants, patients must have healthy teeth and gums, enough jawbone, and be free of periodontal disease. To determine if you are eligible for dental implants, your dentist at The Fine Art of Family Dentistry in Salina, Kansas, will perform an oral examination.

Whether you need a single tooth replaced, several teeth or an entire arch, the dentists at The Fine Art of Family Dentistry can help. If you would like to know more about your tooth replacement options, contact the office today at (785)-823-5568 to schedule an initial consultation.

The two highly experienced dentists at The Fine Art of Dentistry, Dr. Lynn R. Wuthnow and Dr. Blake E. Wuthnow have the skill and experience necessary to provide you with the beautiful teeth you desire.