We are now open!

Greetings to all of our patients!  

I want to take this time to reach out to you all and reconnect so as to let you all know what we've been up to during the Novel Corona Virus Pandemic.  I want to state that our #1 priority is, and has always been the health & safety of our patients, and, of course, to provide to you the highest quality dental care we can!  

I am sure most of you have questions and concerns regarding the safety of dentistry during this time, so we'd like to share the measures and actions we are taking to ensure your safety here at our office.

First of all, the culture here will be a little bit different in the “post novel corona virus world”.  At least until researchers come up with therapies and /or a vaccine!  We will be implementing some new systems in our practice to mitigate the risk of disease transmission here.  

What to expect when you come to the office?  Prior to your appointment, when Diana calls you to confirm your appointment date and time, she will ask a few quick questions regarding your medical status, and any symptoms suggestive of an illness...We ask that if you are ill with a fever, coughing, etc. to please reschedule for when you are well.  

When you come to the office, we ask that you wait in your car in the parking lot.  Diana will be calling you at your appointment time to let you know that your dental operatory is ready for you.  Susie, Chelsea or I will meet you outside to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, and then escort you directly to your treatment room.  

We will be spacing out our patient appointments so that there is only one patient on the dentistry side with Susie and I, and only one patient in the hygiene side with Chelsea.  For the most part, no one is allowed to wait in the lobby until further notice...We will of course, accommodate people escorting children or elderly patients.

All surfaces will be disinfected with Hospital Grade Disinfectants (as we've always done in the past) between patients.  All door knobs, light switches, etc. will be disinfected every 30 minutes throughout the day!  This will mitigate the risk of any infectious disease transmission via surfaces.

Ever since the HIV epidemic in the 1980's, dentistry as an industry has employed “Universal Precautions” (masks, gloves, “single use” disposable equipment, etc.) to mitigate disease transmission.  

The most concerning of transmission routes for infection, including novel corona virus, is via “'aerosols”.  Dentists and hygienists  have used “High Volume Evacuation” (HVE) routinely for decades to capture aerosols generated by dental hand pieces (drill) and ultra-sonic scaling devices.  HVE reduces aerosols by 90% !  

We will continue to use HVE for all procedures that generate aerosols.  In addition to HVE, we've invested in Medical Grade H-13 HEPA aerosol scavengers in our operatories (basically a very powerful vacuum) with a snorkel hose that we can position adjacent to the treatment field to scavenge any aerosol the HVE misses.

We have also invested in nine medical grade H-13 HEPA air filtration units placed throughout the office which will completely clean/turn over the air every 10 minutes, or six times per hour.

Another investment made was having medical grade UVC (Ultra-Violet C) units installed in our Central  Air Conditioning/Heating units that kill Bacteria and Virus as the air passes through. 

Finally, we will fog the office with Hypochlorous Acid, a human safe, yet powerful disinfectant at the end of each day.

We want you all to know that we are taking all possible precautions and measures to ensure your safety, and the safety of our team here!

To further streamline your experience at the office, we will be scheduling return visits for you in the operatory, at the end of your appointment.  We will make available electronic payment options in order to minimize visiting the front desk.

Warm regards,

Dr. Paulerio and Team

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Skull with TMJ highlighted in red

The complex jaw joints allow you to eat, talk, yawn, and perform a variety of other daily activities. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder or TMD) refers to a group of conditions which involve these joints, the lower jaw, and the surrounding muscles. The most common symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain, tightness, clicking or popping, and restricted jaw movement. However, there are several other symptoms connected to TMD which can affect the entire body. If you are concerned about the health of your jaw, speak to a dentist about your treatment options

Understanding Your Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms which can indicate an issue with your TMJs. TMD often causes pain and discomfort, which may be temporary or last for years. Some patients only experience symptoms on one side of their face, while others deal with issues in both joints. Periods of stress may exacerbate these effects. 

Pain and Discomfort

Man holding jaw in painTypically, the most obvious sign of TMD is jaw pain. However, pain can radiate from the jaw and affect other parts of your body, including the:

  • Cheeks
  • Ears
  • Temples
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back

Toothaches, headaches, and migraines can all be associated with temporomandibular issues. You may experience pain while moving your jaw to eat, speak, or yawn. In many cases, patients notice an aching feeling or tenderness in the joints or other areas of the face. 

Popping and Clicking Sounds

Periods of stress may exacerbate the effects of TMJ disorder. 

Many patients with TMJ disorder notice unusual sounds while eating, talking, or opening their mouths. These sounds may take the form of popping, clicking, or grinding. In some cases, noises are accompanied by pain or a grating sensation, but oftentimes they are painless. Keep in mind some noise is quite common and may not indicate TMD. However, when popping or other sounds are accompanied by discomfort or limited jaw movement, it may be related to TMJ disorder

Auditory Issues

Some patients experience changes in their hearing. Buzzing or ringing in the ears, often accompanied by earaches, may indicate issues with the TMJs. Typically, these symptoms are accompanied by pain in the jaw joints. 

Restricted Jaw Movement

TMJ disorder can also impact your ability to move your jaw comfortably.  Patients with TMD may struggle to fully open their jaw or experience limited mobility which prevents their jaw from moving in certain directions. Muscle spasms, lockjaw, and jaw dislocation can also indicate issues with the TMJs.

Other Symptoms

There is a range of other symptoms which can signal TMD, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • A suddenly uncomfortable bite
  • Swelling on the side of the face or in the temple area

If you do not have localized jaw pain, your doctor may look for another potential cause before screening for TMJ disorder.

Restore Your Comfort

Issues with your jaw joints can be uncomfortable and affect your daily life. While the exact causes of TMD are not fully understood, there are a variety of treatment options available to improve your symptoms. Self-care techniques, such as eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum, and managing stress can help limit the effects of TMD.

However, if you have persistent symptoms, you should speak to a doctor about treatment. Non-surgical options, such as mouthguards and BOTOX®, can help. For more severe TMD, your doctor may recommend you visit an oral surgeon. 

Point Loma Family Dentistry team

Point Loma Family Dentistry

Dr. Louis E. Paulerio is a top-rated dentist who is committed to providing the latest dental treatments in a caring, warm setting. He is a member of several prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Dental Implant Association

He also uses CEREC technology to create beautiful, long-lasting dental restorations in just one appointment. Ready to schedule a consultation at our Point Loma office? Request your appointment online or call us at (619) 223-3811.

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1635 Rosecrans St
Ste A
San Diego, CA 92106

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