Although Dr. Helen Ragsdale is renowned for her cosmetic and restorative expertise, she also provides a complete range of general dentistry services. Routine exams and cleanings are the foundation of dental health. At each appointment, your hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and harmful oral bacteria. With biannual dental visits, you will have a significantly reduced risk for dental decay and discoloration. These visits will also allow Dr. Ragsdale to check for cavities, structural damage, and the early signs of oral cancer.
In addition to this thorough preventative care, Dr. Ragsdale also provides treatment for conditions that affect your overall oral systemic health. TMJ Disorder and bruxism are two common – and often interrelated – concerns. Both conditions can result in jaw pain and dental damage, and they can significantly impact your quality of life. Dr. Ragsdale will conduct a complete examination, and she will never recommend treatment until she has a thorough understanding of your condition. In most cases, she can alleviate your discomfort and protect your smile using non-invasive treatments. After just one or two appointments, you could enjoy a dramatic improvement in your overall oral health.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a common condition that affects over 10 million Americans. Your temporomandibular joints (jaw joints) are located just below your ears. Because they face significant daily stress, these joints can easily become misaligned or inflamed. In turn, joint damage can cause continual facial pain, chronic headaches, bite imbalance, dental damage, difficulties opening and closing your mouth, tightness in your neck and shoulders, and even tinging in your arms and legs.
Fortunately, Dr. Ragsdale offers highly effective, non-invasive treatment for TMD. Oral splints are the most common treatment option. These custom-made devices will fit over your teeth, and they will realign your jaw to alleviate pressure on your joints. Typically, you will only need to wear your splint at night, although this will depend on the severity of your condition. She may also recommend a night guard and/or anti-inflammatory medications. After addressing the underlying causes of your condition, she will recommend restorative treatment to repair dental damage.
Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, affects an estimated 10% of the population. Unfortunately, grinding and clinching typically takes place at night, so you may be unaware that you suffer from this condition. Often caused by anxiety, teeth grinding can result in dental damage, tooth erosion, dental sensitivity, headaches, jaw pain, and many other symptoms. It can also significantly increase your risk for developing TMJ Disorder. At the same time, TMD can also cause bruxism, since you may grind your teeth in an unconscious attempt to realign your jaw.
Whatever the causes of your bruxism, Dr. Ragsdale offers several treatment options. In most cases, she will recommend a sleep guard. This device will sit over your teeth, preventing them from touching. If your bruxism is the result of stress, therapy may help to alleviate the underlying causes. Additionally, certain behavioral changes can significantly reduce teeth grinding. If you a chronic bruxer, avoid chewing gum, biting your nails, and eating very hard or crunchy foods. Dr. Ragsdale can also recommend stretches and massage exercises to reduce tension in your jaw and the surrounding muscles. Once you have found relief from your bruxism, Dr. Ragsdale can repair dental damage using crowns, veneers, or other treatments.
Protect and Improve Your Dental Health
Do not let jaw dysfunction affect your health and quality of life. Dr. Ragsdale is ready to provide the thorough diagnosis and compassionate care you deserve. To book your consultation, call (512)346-4690 today. We proudly treat patients from the greater Austin area.