Posts for: August, 2016

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
August 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Recurring episodes of severe pain along your face could mean you have trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Although not always curable, TN can be managed effectively with the right strategy.

TN affects a specific pair of nerves called the trigeminal that signal pain in the face or jaws. They originate from the brain stem through the skull on either side of the face, with each nerve having upper, middle and lower branches. TN can affect one or more of these branches and cause anywhere from a mild twinge to excruciating pain.

Causes for TN differ in individual patients. Though it could be linked to a tumor, lesion or cold sore, it most often seems to arise from a blood vessel impinging on the nerve and damaging its outer coating. This causes it to be hypersensitive: chewing, speaking or even lightly touching the face can set it off. The damaged nerve may also fail to "shut off" when the triggering stimulation stops.

If you have these types of symptoms, your first step is to obtain an accurate diagnosis. You'll need a thorough examination to rule out other possibilities like jaw joint problems or a tooth abscess. Once we've determined it's definitely TN, we can then devise a treatment strategy.

We usually begin with conservative measures like medication to block pain transmission to the brain or anticonvulsants that stabilize the nerve and decrease abnormal firing. If medication isn't enough, we may then consider an invasive procedure to control symptoms.

Percutaneous treatment — often recommended for older patients or those in poor health — involves inserting a thin needle into the nerve to selectively damage certain fibers that will prevent the nerve from signaling pain. We might be able to move an impinging blood vessel aside from the nerve with a microsurgical procedure. As an alternative to surgery, high-dose radiation could also be aimed precisely at the pain site with a controlled beam to alter the nerve's ability to transmit pain.

TN can be a source of great discomfort that lowers your quality of life. But employing treatment techniques that best suit your situation, we can greatly reduce the misery it inflicts.

If you would like more information on facial pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia, 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 “Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Nerve Disorder that Causes Facial Pain.”

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
August 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: same day crowns  

How your family dentists in Lexington can give you a dental crown in one day

Dental crowns are the perfect solution to protect teeth that are badly broken or damaged from trauma, injury or decay. Your family cerec crownsdentists Dr. William Lee and Dr. Pada Chalothorn at TLC Dentistry in Lexington, Kentucky want to share with you the benefits of same day crowns, the modern way to achieve a beautiful smile. Now, thanks to revolutionary CAD-CAM crown manufacturing technology, we can create your new permanent crown right in the office while you wait!

Not too long ago, if you wanted a dental crown, you would have to schedule several appointments and wait patiently while your crown was being created in a dental lab. You would be provided with a temporary dental crown to get you by until your permanent crown was ready. Now we have a much better solution for your new smile, same day crowns!

There are many benefits and reasons why people choose same day crowns. Your family dentists in Lexington want to help you discover why same day crowns are right for you. Your new CAD-CAM same day crown will provide you with:

  • A beautiful smile, because the crown is made of dental ceramic and looks just like your existing teeth
  • A perfect smile, because your crown is created from exact computer-aided measurements, so it fits perfectly the first time
  • An instant smile, because your crown is created right in the office during your appointment, so there is no waiting for your crown to be sent from a dental laboratory
  • A comfortable smile, because you wear your perfectly fitting crown immediately, with no temporary crown necessary

Your family dentists in Lexington will create your new crown using innovative CAD-CAM crown manufacturing technology which designs and fabricates your new crown with the aid of 3-D computer imaging. There is no guesswork on whether your crown will fit. The measurements are exact so your crown will fit perfectly the first time.

It’s time for you to discover the benefits of same day crowns! Call your family dentists Drs. Lee and Chalothorn at TLC Dentistry in Lexington, Kentucky today and get started on your new smile with same day crowns!

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
August 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.

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