Is there a correlatoin between TMJ and numb fingers?

Lately, I have had this numbing, tingling feeling in my fingers and I was wondering if it could be related to my TMJ disorder? I am very familiar with all the other symptoms of bruxism and grinding and how they affect my TMJ, like pain in my jaw and face, ringing in my ears, and stiffness in the jaw joint. But this numbing pins and needles feeling is new. It only happens with my left hand and I was wondering if there is a correlation here?

– Loretta in Missouri

Loretta,

TMJ symptoms are wide-ranging and TMJ disorder manifests differently for everyone. But to answer your question, yes, the numb feeling you have described can be connected with TMJ disorder. Typically it is not as common of a TMJ symptom, having been reported in about 50 percent of TMJ patients.

Here is what is happening in regard to the numbness. When your bite is misaligned, muscle spasms may occur. And since all of your muscles are inter-connected, when your jaw is misaligned it is quite possible to see problems down in your extremities. This is because the muscle spasms that you experience causing the tightness in your jaw, face, and neck area can influence the connecting nerves that travel into your arms. When these nerves are bothered, periodic numbness or tingling can be a result. That said, the numbness may not always occur as a result of TMJ pain. It can happen spontaneously.

It is important that you report any new or different TMJ problems to your TMJ specialist or the dentist that is treating you. Open communication will enable the best TMJ treatment to meet your specific needs.

Thank you for your question!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics by Dr. Steve Bader.

Will my porcelain veneers turn yellow?

One of the main reasons I decided to get porcelain veneers was to cover up my ugly, yellow teeth. I now realize I should have asked more about this before getting them put on, but I was wondering if they will turn yellow as time goes by? If so, how long until they start discolor?

– Sheila in Tennessee

Sheila,

That is a common question about porcelain veneers. No, porcelain veneers will not turn yellow. That said, the veneers are applied directly onto your natural tooth. So it is possible that the underlying tooth may pick up stains as time goes by. When the discoloration occurs underneath the veneers, the porcelain veneers may take on a slightly discolored appearance. So if you are susceptible to staining on your teeth, it would probably be a good idea to avoid coffee, teas, berries, etc. that aide in staining teeth. Also, avoid smoking not only for your teeth but for your overall health.

If your dentist didn’t already inform you, it is also important to stay away from teeth whitening or tarter control toothpastes. This may seem strange as you are trying to keep your teeth white, but there are highly abrasive whitening agents in those kinds of toothpastes which can have negative affects on the porcelain veneers. What happens is that the glaze breaks down from these whitening agents which lessens the ability of the veneers to hold up to stains.

A helpful habit to keep your smile looking it’s best would be to rinse your mouth out after drinking or eating those stain producing items.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.