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In our last blog, Dr. Barfield talked about three potential dental disasters and how we can help you avoid them. These were bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth pain. Check out the blog if you didn’t get a chance to read it last time – it might save you and your family a lot of pain and expenses down the road!

In the second installment of our two-part series, our team at 1st In Smiles wants to share three more important potential dental disasters: jaw pain, sports injuries, and snoring. These are a little less discussed in dentistry but no less important.

Read on to avoid dental peril!

Jaw Pain

If you have ever experienced tooth pain, you know how debilitating it can be. But what about jaw pain? Chronic jaw pain isn’t something you can write off as ordinary. Obviously, if you’ve suffered from a jaw injury in the past, you might attribute continual jaw pain as residual from the trauma. If you can’t recall an injury but are still wondering why your jaw constantly feels uncomfortable, painful, or “tired,” we may have the answer you’ve been looking for.

TMJ, or more correctly, TMD, is a chronic jaw disorder caused by a number of things: injury, arthritis, teeth grinding or clenching, physical problems with the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, and stress, to name the most common. TMD, or temporomandibular jaw disorder, can affect anyone but is more common in women in their 20s to 40s.

No matter the cause, TMD can be harmful for more than just the pain it causes you. It can result in damage to your teeth! This is especially the case if you grind your teeth at night. All that pressure on your teeth can grind them down or even crack them. If you have restorations like dental crowns, you could weaken or even break the restoration.

If you have constant jaw pain or discomfort, chronic headaches or migraines, lockjaw, problems opening and closing your mouth, come see your TMJ dentist in Plano, TX! Dr. Barfield can relieve your pain with a mouthpiece and even protect your teeth from damage.

Sports Injuries

If you have kids or have ever played sports yourself, you know that a sports injury is pretty much inevitable at some point. Whether it’s just a bruise or sprain or something more serious like a broken arm or concussion, it’s important to have the proper gear to avoid getting hurt.

So how does your dentist help prevent injuries on the field or court?

Here at 1st In Smiles, we can provide custom mouthguards that protect your or your child’s teeth while during their sports activities. Even if it’s not a contact sport, consider a mouthguard to avoid dental injuries, such as broken or knocked-out teeth, or damage to the gums, tongue and jaw. Studies have even shown that custom mouthguards like the ones we make for you can help prevent concussions.

Don’t leave your mouth or your child’s mouth unprotected at their next sporting event, whether football, gymnastics, skateboarding, or hockey. See us to prevent this dental disaster, and we’ll make sure you’re safe! Our mouthguards fit perfectly and are made from high-quality material, unlike the sporting goods athletic guards. Check out our recent blog post on our mouthguards here.


Like many of our patients, you might be confused as to what a dentist has to do with snoring. You might be even more confused as to how snoring can be a dental disaster. Let’s explain.

Snoring is a common nuisance experienced by millions of Americans. But it can be more than just a nuisance. In fact, it can be a sign of something much more dangerous.

Loud, chronic snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. If you or your loved one has this condition, you’ve probably noticed:

  • loud snoring
  • choking or gasping during sleep
  • pauses in breathing during sleep
  • daytime fatigue, no matter how long you’ve slept
  • tendency to fall asleep during normal activities

If this sounds familiar to you, make an appointment with us as soon as you can. Why is it important to see us soon? Because sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other deadly medical conditions. We’ll have a specialist get you a sleep test so that you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment, including an oral appliance.

Contact Us for a Dental Exam

If you think you or a loved one is at risk for one of the dental problems we’ve shared with you, call us for an appointment. We’ll do a thorough exam to check for these and other problems. We promise to take care of you in the most comfortable, kind manner and keep you protected from dental harm!