Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry

Friday, November 28, 2014
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


Quick Reference

Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Do You Have Traveler's Breath?


Bad breath while traveling happens when the salivary glands slow down the production of saliva, which allows bacteria to grow inside the mouth and bad breath to develop.

Learn what those dental words mean.

Check out how your teeth and mouth change in every stage of life.



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Snap, Crackle, Pop: Is That Your Jaw?


Clicking or popping could mean trouble, that is if it comes from your jaw. Joint sound is one of the most recognized signs of temporomandibular disorders, commonly referred to as TMD. While not all jaw sounds necessarily point to TMD, it could be an early sign and always should be checked out by your dentist, urges the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization for general dentists dedicated to continuing education.


The temporomandibular joints are the points at which the lower jaw (the mandible) attaches to the skull. They are among the most complex joints in the human anatomy. If you place your fingers on the sides of your face, just in front of your ears, and open and close your mouth, you can feel the movement of the mandible in the temporomandibular joints.


Researchers have discovered that sound can be a good tool when diagnosing TMD. Sounds from subjects with TMD had a larger amplitude than sounds fromsubjects without the disorder.


"Joint sound for some people is normal, but it could still mean trouble," says AGD spokesperson Julie Ann Barna, DMD. "The difference between healthy jaw movement and TMD is said to be only one millimeter."


Dr. Barna says that if TMD is diagnosed, a team approach to therapy by a dentist and physical therapist leads to effective treatment. She advises that patients should contact their dentist as soon as they notice any new joint sound or discomfort in the mouth. "It may be nothing," she says. "But it's better to be safe than sorry."


Updated: November 2008