June 23rd, 2015
Pain, a sore spot or discomfort are never pleasant, but it can be a little unsettling if it’s unexplained facial pain, or if you believe that you have no good reason for discomfort. Dr. Keith A. Yount at Raleigh Facial Pain Center in Raleigh, NC stresses the importance of having access to a board-certified, residency-trained specialist with the diagnostic skills necessary to help you successfully manage the pain. He started Raleigh Facial Pain Center after coming across several toothaches, jaw pain and facial pains that the dentists who were trained in teeth and gum issues could not identify. Raleigh Facial Pain Center was created by Dr. Yount out of that need to look at the other structures in the face and jaw as the source of facial pain –– and the reason behind the decreasing quality of your life or happiness levels.
Oftentimes, a dentist will look at only your teeth and gums, while an orofacial pain doctor will look at the muscles and joints as well, especially when at-home remedies do not ameliorate your pain. This is especially important, as issues with your teeth and gums can be the result of pain in your muscles and joints. It is perplexing, indeed, when our own body makes a heart attack, which is the source of pain, feel like indigestion, which is the site of the pain.
It has been said that true success means aiming your treatment at the source of the pain, not the site of the pain. At Raleigh Facial Pain Center, we believe in treating the patient as a member of our team, involving you in the process as more than just part of a procedure through education and understanding. Come see for yourself –– call us today at (919) 781-6600.
May 20th, 2015
Are you experiencing complications after dental treatment or a procedure? Maybe your bridge, crown, gums or tooth are not allowing you to chew normally or you’re experiencing abnormal sensitivity? While some short-term side effects are normal, prolonged post-op dental pain can be problematic.
Normal Responses to Dental Treatment & Oral Surgery
Whether you have a routine oral procedure or a more serious interventional procedure, you may experience some of the following typical discomforts:
- Bruising of your skin and gums
- Minor bleeding
- Pain at the implant site
- Swelling of your gums and face
If you are experiencing a restricted opening, pain while chewing, or bite problems, you may be dealing with more serious issues affecting your jaw joint and muscles. If so, it is important to reach out to the orofacial specialists at Raleigh Facial Pain Center as quickly as possible.
Post-Procedural Oral Care Guidelines
- Following a dental procedure or oral surgery, there are certain guidelines you can follow that will lessen the risk of developing post-op complications:
- Be gentle when brushing and flossing.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue. Avoid hot liquids as they increase blood flow.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact your endodontist.
- Contact your endodontist right away if you develop any of the following:
- An allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction)
- A return of original symptoms
- Visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth
- Your bite feels uneven
Potential Problems Experienced During Recovery & How to Address Them
Bleeding – After the procedure, some bleeding is common due to the cutting or disruption of tissue. Rinse or wipe old clots from your mouth, then place gauze over the area.
Dry socket – This may develop after a tooth has been extracted. These are more common among smokers. Placing a dressing with anesthetic in the socket will help ease the pain.
Swelling and pain – Apply an ice pack when you first start to notice the swelling and heat after the first 36 hours. Your doctor may prescribe medication or you can take over-the-counter medication such as Aspirin. If the pain does not ease up within 48 hours, call your doctor.
Let Us Help Alleviate Your Post-Procedural Dental Problems
No two mouths are the same! Ongoing pain can be debilitating, discouraging and frustrating so let board certified and residency trained Dr. Keith A. Yount and the specialists at Raleigh Facial Pain Center be there for you. Reach out to us by phone at (919) 781-6600 or online for more information about oral care.
May 15th, 2015
Is your patient struggling with frequent root canals, difficulty chewing, frequent earaches with no infection, or constant tension headaches? Have you tried basic solutions like mouthguards, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and splints? If you feel like nothing is working and your patient needs a referral to a specialist to deal with chronic facial or jaw pain that cannot be addressed by your standard care, then you should consider a referral request for advanced care.
No matter how you’ve found us, our Raleigh facial pain specialists will work with your patient to help them get the care that they need. We receive many kinds of physician referrals from chiropractors, dentists, endodontists, ENTs, ER physicians, neurologists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, physical therapists, primary care physicians, psychologists, urgent care doctors and more, so we can meet a variety of needs.
What Kinds of Chronic Pain Can Your Referral to Raleigh Facial Pain Center Alleviate?
Our doctors and specialists can treat a variety of issues associated with chronic facial and jaw pain, including:
- Bite problems
- Chewing system problems
- Frequent earaches
- Frequent root canals on virgin teeth
- Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs)
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Post-op dental pain or restricted openings
- Migraine headaches
- Tension headaches
Contact Raleigh Facial Pain Center Today to Request a Referral
If your patient isn’t getting better, consider a referral to a board-certified, residency-trained individual who specializes in treating jaw joint damage. A three-year residency is necessary to understand the unique differences of levels of jaw pain. Our board certified and residency trained orofacial pain specialist, Dr. Keith A. Yount, and our friendly committed team at Raleigh Facial Pain Center are here to help. Contact us online or by calling our office at (919) 781-6600 to learn more about how we can help.
May 6th, 2015
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is one of the most common causes of facial pain. Also called tic douloureux, it is a condition that is characterized by intermittent, shooting pain in the face. Trigeminal neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve, which sends impulses of touch, pain, pressure, and temperature to the brain from the face, jaw, gums, forehead, and around the eyes.
Trigeminal neuralgia is often considered one of the most painful conditions seen in medicine. Usually, the pain is felt on one side of the jaw or cheek, but some people experience pain at different times on both sides. The facial pain can come and go and last for days, weeks or even months. An MRI can determine the presence of TN whereas other tests can rule out other facial pain disorders.
When a TN Misdiagnosis Can Occur
Trigeminal Neuralgia is concerning because of the severe pain it causes, which can lead to both patients and dentists agreeing to invasive treatments to relieve the pain that may not be needed. At Raleigh Facial Pain Center, we understand that misdiagnosing chronic pain can be a patient’s worst nightmare, so we want you to be aware of some of the common possibilities for the misdiagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia.
- Trigeminal neuralgia can be misdiagnosed as persisting oral/dental disease, and disorders of the temporomandibular joint (where there may be a history).
- Temporal arteritis can be ruled out if you have pain with chewing.
- Trigeminal neuralgia, which causes such a fierce pain that sufferers may contemplate suicide, is a rare neurological disease that is often misdiagnosed for years as an earache, dental or jaw problem. It can be diagnosed as something that’s all in the patient’s head.
How Is Trigeminal Neuralgia Treated?
Trigeminal neuralgia is diagnosed with a detailed head and neck exam by a orofacial pain specialist that will determine that the source of the pain is coming from the trigeminal nerve. Treatment for TN usually starts with medications and eventually leads to more serious interventions.
Medications – In order to treat trigeminal neuralgia, your doctor may prescribe the following medications to reduce pain signals transmitted to the brain:
- Anticonvulsants such as Tegretol (carbamazepine) or Neurontin (gabapentin)
- Antidepressants, which may have significant pain relieving effects
- Antispasmodic agents
Surgical Intervention – If medication is ineffective in treating pain or produces intolerable side effects, surgical intervention may be necessary. Individuals suffering from TN often seek surgical treatment and explore the following options:
- Microvascular decompression
- Gamma Knife radiosurgery
- Glycerol injection
- Balloon compression
- Radiofrequency thermal lesioning
Alternative Treatments – Acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic adjustment, electrical nerve stimulation, meditation, nutritional therapy, vitamin therapy and yoga are some alternative treatments for TN that some patients may pursue.
Raleigh Facial Pain Center Can Help
Don’t delay dealing with your chronic pain. Board certified and residency trained Dr. Keith A. Yount and the caring, experienced team at Raleigh Facial Pain want to help you get answers as quickly as possible. Give us a call at (919) 781-6600 or contact us online to get started today.
April 29th, 2015
Have you ever woken up one morning with intense jaw pain and wondered where it came from? Is it hard to eat even the simplest foods, like macaroni and cheese, without dealing with pain in your jaw? Raleigh Facial Pain Center is here to tell you about sudden jaw pain and how you can manage it.
When patients come to us complaining about sudden jaw pain in Raleigh, NC, we tell them that it is a symptom of fragile and damaged muscles and joints in their chewing system. Jaw pain can come about for a variety of different reasons, including:
- Long open mouth dental procedures
- Blow to the chin
- Excessive chewing on tough foods
- Wide yawning
Jaw pain is normally found in women aged 18 to 48 and it can be heartbreaking, especially because one of life’s simplest pleasures, eating, can be taken away just like that. Even sneezing, yawning and chewing can bring about excruciating pain.
Why It Is Important to Get Your Raleigh Jaw Issues Treated As Soon As Possible
A jaw joint disc is tethered by ligaments on both sides, so when it experiences microtearing over a long period of time, without being treated, it can lead to unbearable jaw pain and even irreversible damage. Microtearing can be caused by a variety of things, including teeth grinding, teeth clenching or teeth bracing.
When you are experiencing jaw pain or lockjaw in Raleigh, NC, it is important that you get treatment as quickly as possible in order to prevent further tearing of your jaw joint disc. Once ligaments stretch too far, they can become torn, in which they lose their blood supply and that can lead to permanent damage.
It is important to rely on a dentist who has been board-certified and residency-trained to manage jaw joint damage. For all of this and more, contact the oral facial pain specialists at Raleigh Facial Pain Center.
April 15th, 2015
An open lock is when the jaw or mouth gets stuck wide open and will not close. The medical term for open lock is subluxation. You may have heard the medical term “subluxation” and wondered what exactly that means. Understanding the subluxation of TMJ means knowing the level of pain, urgency of reduction, technique of manually reducing it, and how to prevent or manage open lock.
Subluxation occurs when the round ball of a joint comes out of the socket and is stuck in front of the socket of the joint. The ball (condyle) is stuck out in front of the socket of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), pulling and stretching the ligaments that hold the disc (cushion) close to ball. The discal ligaments behind the ball and on the side of ball become overstretched and then tear. Like any subluxation, the ligaments behind and on the side of the joint are so overstretched that some even tear, creating significant pain. This cruel pain begs for help, but as anyone who has had open lock will tell you, the ERs, PCPs, and even most dentists do not know how important it is to treat open lock as soon as possible to reduce the tearing of joint ligaments. Not only is the urgency of the reduction not understood, but even the technique to reduce the joint is not in the training that most doctors or dentists receive.
First, know that the quicker the open lock is reduced, the less tearing that will occur to the ligaments holding the disc in place on top of the condyle. Second, you need to know that the only board certified and residency trained doctor who knows how to perform the reduction technique is an orofacial pain doctor. Unfortunately, there are only a few of us in each state. Third, you need to determine who can best help you to prevent or manage any future open locks or subluxations. The best place to start the conservative management or prevention of your open lock is with an orofacial pain specialist.
There are three levels of subluxation prevention, starting with the most conservative and least costly. If the conservative method is not successful, then a moderate conservative technique is used to stop the person from opening wide enough to cause an open locking. The last technique is surgery which is rarely ever performed, and only in the most extreme cases.
The open lock is not a highly prevalent event and can occur only in about 6% of the population. Even though an open lock itself can cause tearing of the ligaments to the TMJ discs, it is the painful panic that most people exhibit that tears the most ligaments. Panic causes a person to forcibly try to close the ball back into the socket, but the anterior bone of the socket is in the way, which does not allow the ball to return to the socket. This pits the ligaments against bone and the ligaments lose the battle.
We want to caution you not to panic if open lock occurs. There is a way to reduce it painlessly and there is a doctor to see you immediately to help you reduce the amount of tearing of the ligaments of the TMJ. If you tear enough ligaments, you will have jaw pain or chewing pain. As Ben Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Raleigh Facial Pain Center Providing Relief for Subluxation
To prevent functional loss of these joints, it is important that your nervous system and structures are free from any subluxations. Board certified and residency trained Dr. Keith A. Yount and the team at Raleigh Facial Pain Center can help get your body back in sync. Reach out to us today at (919) 781-6600 or contact us online to make an appointment.
April 8th, 2015
If you suffer from frequent headaches, you could be suffering from a tension headache. Tension headaches are the most common kind of headaches in adults and are also referred to as stress headaches.
Some people might underestimate the debilitating power of a tension headache, but the severity is not to be underestimated. It often feels like a band of pressure around your forehead and circles around to incredibly tense muscles in lower part of your neck. Frequent tension headaches are those felt less than two weeks out of the month, whereas chronic tension headaches are felt almost daily and for prolonged periods of time.
Tension headaches are painful, but not knowing what causes them makes them even harder to deal with.
Finding the Source of Your Tension Headache
There is no single cause for a tension headache and it is not an inherited trait that runs in families, like migraine headaches. The muscle tension can be caused by many things, including:
- Emotional or mental stress, including depression
- Fatigue, including temple or muscle fatigue
- Hunger or poor diet
- Inadequate rest
- Pain in the jaw or neck which leads to bracing
- Poor posture
Look Out for These Symptoms
The symptoms for tension headaches vary, but often include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Disturbed concentration
- General muscle aching
- Headache occurring later in the day
- Mild to moderate pain or pressure affecting the front, top or sides of the head
- Mild sensitivity to light or noise
Let Raleigh Facial Pain Center Help Prevent Your Tension Headaches
When you are at a loss, turn to an expert to help you determine the cause of your tension headaches. Tension headaches are diagnosed based on the patient’s reported history of the headache and physical examination, and there is no better team of specialists for the job than those at Raleigh Facial Pain Center. Call us at (919) 781-6600 or contact us online for more information.
April 1st, 2015
Are you tired of living with jaw pain every day? Raleigh Facial Pain Center is here to give you some relief by sharing some of our proven home remedies for jaw pain. We hope that one of our simple suggestions works so that you can start leading a pain-free life.
- Avoid chewing gum. Chewing gum will only increase your facial pain since jaw muscles tense when they chew. We also recommend that you avoid chewing on ice or eating hard foods. It may be necessary for you to incorporate softer foods into your diet, such as soup or yogurt.
- Heat or cold releases pain. Placing a hot, damp cloth against your jaw until it cools helps increase blood flow and relieve pain. On the other hand, cold packs can numb the pain and provide temporary relief.
- Massage your jaw. To get rid of the pain in your jaw, you have to release your jaw muscles to free up the ones that have tightened up. Apply gentle pressure to the areas below your ears and that are most tender. Exercise your jaw muscles by carefully opening and closing your mouth without allowing the top and bottom jaws to connect.
- Over-the-counter solutions may provide some relief. Aspirin or ibuprofen will not solve the root of the problem, but they will provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.
- Relax. Focus on your breathing. You may need to try different techniques to relax such as mindfulness, yoga or walking to break up your routine. Alternatively, find activities that help your mind and body reduce stress and tension.
- Wear a night-guard. If you experience pain in your jaw after you wake up, then you may be clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. Clenching or grinding your teeth can lead to the breaking down of your teeth enamel causing toothaches, tension headaches and earaches.
More Serious Jaw Pain Care
Long-lasting pain could be indicative of something more serious like Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) or Articular Disc Disorder and may need to be treated by joint or muscular orthopaedic specialists. Raleigh Facial Pain Center provides a combination of facial and medical services that other doctors simply can’t or don’t offer.
The Team at Raleigh Facial Pain Center Wants to Help
If you are experiencing ongoing jaw pain and want relief, please call our office and speak to Phyllis. Dr. Yount is the only residency trained and board-certified orofacial doctor in Raleigh, NC. Reach out to us by phone at (919) 781-6600 or contact us online for more information or to make an appointment.
October 15th, 2014
Behind most, if not all, failed dental care — including implants; broken, chipped, cracked and mobile teeth; failed root canals, crowns and bridges; and cervical erosions — is an oral disease known as destructive parafunction.
Parafunctional behavior consists of a variety of chewing system activities that are harmful to your teeth and jaw, including:
- Teeth grinding
- Teeth clenching
- Tooth bracing
- Object biting
- Muscle bracing
- Gum chewing
Parafunction Effects & Treatment
According to recent studies, 90% of patients with parafunction are unaware of their habit. Because most grinding and clenching of teeth occurs subconsciously at night, patients usually aren’t aware of the harmful effects. If you happen to catch yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, take note. Parafunction can be painful and cause severe wear and tear on your teeth. It is a behavior that can cause both minor and major damage to your gums, bones, teeth, muscles and joints.
Due to the complexity of this behavior, and the fact that nearly all patients experiencing oral parafunction are doing it subconsciously, there is often a management system put in place for destructive parafunction treatment, rather than a cure. Through management techniques including the use of an orthopedic appliance, and identifying an individual’s behaviors that cause clenched teeth, you will be that much closer to overcoming your oral parafunctional behavior.
Schedule an Appointment to Manage Your Oral Parafunction at Raleigh Facial Pain Center
Whether you are suffering from teeth clenching or tongue biting, these habits can be destructive. If you notice yourself developing constant tension headaches, jaw pain, face pain, tooth pain or ear pain, you may be suffering from this hidden oral disease. If you need help controlling your bruxism, also referred to as parafunction, reach out to the Triangle’s most experienced facial pain specialist at Raleigh Facial Pain Center.
We have years of experience helping patients manage their oral parafunction, and we look forward to helping you lead a fuller, healthier life.
July 25th, 2014
Have you ever had a toothache that just won’t go away? Have you tried common toothache remedies like a crown, root canal, extraction, refilling or using sensitive toothpaste with only short-term relief or none at all? You may be experiencing an atypical toothache.
An atypical toothache occurs in a small percentage of cases and is marked by tooth pain that does not directly result from a dental problem. Atypical toothaches are often caused by muscles, joints or an overload of impulses in the nervous system, which require extra investigation and testing by an orofacial pain specialist to discover where the pain is coming from and how to stop it.
What Can Cause an Atypical Toothache?
According to this article by Dr. Keith Yount published in “Dentistry Today,” atypical toothaches can be caused by any of a number of issues throughout the body, including:
Muscles of Mastication
The most popular cause of an atypical toothache comes from the muscles associated with chewing and eating food. When there is excess muscle contraction, they can become inflamed which can present itself as tooth pain, just as a heart attack often feels like indigestion.
Head & Neck Muscles
Another group of muscles that can affect your teeth are the ones in your head and neck regions. Research claims that 75-85% of patients with atypical toothaches also had pain and dysfunction in their cervical muscles. When these muscles become tired, stretched or injured, it can result in mouth and/or tooth pain.
The second most likely cause of atypical toothaches is periodontal ligaments or the fibrous, connective tissue that covers the root of the tooth. This tissue can become irritated from excessive chewing, clenching, bracing (locking the upper and lower teeth together) or grinding of the teeth. This is an additional set of nerves to the tooth, so even a tooth treated with a root canal can still hurt.
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, can play a big part in tooth pain, especially if the jaw is not even or the weight distribution is off. If the bone or disc is lost in the joint area, it can affect the back teeth.
Neurological or neuropathic issues can sometimes be the reason for an atypical toothache, where damaged tissue results in chronic pain. Patients in their 50s and 60s are commonly affected by this, and treatment involves locating the abnormal nerve tissue and treating the source of the pain.
Toothaches caused by neurovascular pain are more common in 30- to 50-year-old women who suffer from anxiety and depression and recently had a surgical dental procedure. Oftentimes, taking a certain type of medication can remedy the tooth pain.
Psychological, Sinus or Ophthalmologic Issues
There are a few causes of atypical toothaches that fall into the “other” category, such as psychological factors, sinus issues, cancers and ophthalmologic or eye problems. Pinpointing if one of these areas is causing tooth pain will require that your orofacial specialist thoroughly research and understand your patient history.
Contact Raleigh Facial Pain For Help with Atypical Toothaches
If you think you might be suffering from an atypical toothache or if you suspect an alternative cause for your tooth pain, then you should request an appointment with your Raleigh Facial Pain doctor or call our office at (919) 781-6600. The many toothache look-a-likes mentioned above require a specialist who can combine scientific, dental and medical expertise to find a solution and put an end to the pain.
Raleigh Facial Pain Center offers treatment for chronic facial and jaw pain, and serves patients in Raleigh, Cary, Apex and beyond, including Wake Forest, Greenville, Pinehurst, New Bern, Greensboro, NC and even South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.