So this dentist walks into a (beauty) bar……..
When beauty meets dentistry, it can be a wonderful thing
In this super stressful time of COVID isolation, limited toilet paper, wearing masks whenever you put on your shoes, the most common dental problem I have treated, by far, is related to tooth grinding. Those of us in the dental profession refer to this as bruxism. It is a nasty, painful occurrence that affects most adults, especially here in the 203 (Fairfield County, CT). Studies have shown upwards of 80% of the population grinds their teeth at some point in their lives, usually at night while sleeping. Those who grind their teeth are called "bruisers" by dentists. Here is a confession for you: I, myself, am a burger. True. There is no stopping it either. Only treating it.
The treatment includes a list of things, that when followed together, as directed, work very very well. This includes a night guard, hot and cold compresses, a change in diet, use of over the counter medications and more. I thought I had the burger discussion with recommendations so well formulated, until this past weekend, when I myself was subjected to a few nights of severe grinding, so bad, that I had to start doing all the steps of home care I tell my patients about. Then, thanks to my daughter, I added something new, something out of the dental realm, and it worked!
There I was, icing my TMJ, after I took Ibuprofen, with my night guard in my mouth, when my daughter asks me if I want to try her beauty bar. What? Here I was, in serious pursuit of reducing my pain, and she is asking me if I want to do a spa treatment? She hands me a beautiful gold handled instrument , with a T-shaped bar at the end. When she turned the handle, the T started to ever so slightly hum and vibrate. "Here," she said,"hold this near your ear." It was amazing, soothing, and wonderful. I asked her what is this beauty bar supposed to do for people? She said you massage your face with it to relax muscles and eliminate wrinkles. Well, I don't know if that is true, but I will say that it really helps the soreness from grinning your teeth. I immediately ordered one for myself!
So now I own a beauty bar. I also recommend one to most of my patients to use with TMJ treatment. I wonder if the beauty bar people know that their product is being used dentally? Whatever the reason, I love it. It not only relieves my TMJ pain, but maybe it will reduce my wrinkles too.