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Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC February 2018 Newsletter
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Managing Chronic Facial Pain
If you have chronic facial pain, you're not alone. More than 15% of adults in this country live with this condition, which can affect other aspects of their lives.

Head and neck aches, ear pain, tenderness around the jaw, clicking or popping sounds when you open your mouth—all these are very common symptoms. The jaw bone and the joints, muscles and ligaments in that area allow you to speak and chew.

According to the American Dental Association website, the TM joint, or TMJ, is "one of the most complex joints in the body." It's no wonder as this joint is involved with the complex actions of eating and speaking. The correct functioning of the TM joint, with its ball, socket, and cushioning disc is crucial to these activities. And any problem that affects these components may lead to a TMJ disorder.

People who suffer from TMJ disorders can lead full and healthy lives, though. The best strategy for living well with a TMJ disorder is accurate diagnosis. We can often identify the source of the pain with a thorough exam. In some cases, a solution may be possible. In others, we can help you learn more about how to manage your symptoms or refer you to a specialist.

The important point to remember is that an accurate diagnosis of your chronic facial pain may very well lead you back to enjoying your life. If you have concerns or are experiencing facial pain, give us a call to schedule an appointment today.

Vitamin B12
I decided to start a series on key vitamins and their effect on your oral health and the rest of your body. First up in this series is Vitamin B12 or cobalamin.

Vitamin B12 is key for so many functions of the body, including: red blood cell formation, fat and protein metabolism, making DNA and many neurological functions. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 can cause poor memory, glossodynia or "burning tongue", burning mouth syndrome, loss of ability to taste food, red ulcers on tongue, fatigue, dizziness, and depression. Severe or prolonged deficiency can cause permanent damage including numbness of the hands and feet as well as dementia. Unfortunately, it can take years for a deficiency to show up due to the fact that our bodies can store large amounts of it.

We get B12 from animal sources only - eggs, meat, fish, dairy, etc. - so people with strict vegetarian or vegan diets need to take a daily supplement. There are other conditions that can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency because the body is unable to convert cobalamin to it's active form. These conditions are:

Celiac Disease
Crohn's Disease
Atrophic Gastritis
Pernicious Anemia
Age (as we get into our "Golden Years", our bodies stop being able to convert cobalamin as they should)

In these individuals it is important that they take the active form or get intramuscular injections. The active form of cobalamin is methyl-cobalamin. Unfortunately, taking massive oral doses of regular cobalamin doesn't necessary make the body convert it more efficiently.

If you have any of these symptoms please get your B12 levels checked by your healthcare provider. It's a simple blood test, and if detected early, it can prevent worse symptoms or even permanent damage. Stay tuned next month because I will be writing to you about Folate. Have a great February!

- Jocelyn RDH

Genetics and Gum Disease
Why is it that some individuals with lots of plaque have little trouble with periodontal issues while others with less plaque experience extensive bone loss and related periodontal problems?

According to the website of the University of Maryland Medical Center, periodontitis may have a family link. Studies show that children of parents who suffer from it are "12 times more likely to have the bacteria thought to be responsible for causing plaque and, eventually, periodontal disease."

Identifying people at risk and intervening before they display symptoms may help preserve their long-term oral health.

Dr. Jake and his Team would love to hear from you! Got a question? We can help!

Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC | www.layerdental.com | 541-734-0970
1485 East McAndrews Rd., Medford, OR 97504



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