Have Questions? We’ve Answered Some Common Questions About Dentistry

At our Tulsa, OK dental office, we know dentistry can be full of confusing terms and unusual-sounding treatments. That’s why we are happy to answer questions. Below are some of the more common questions we hear, but call us at if you have one that’s not answered below.

Q: What Is The Difference Between TMJ And Muscle Pain?


Muscles can get overworked and sore. If you’ve ever hit the gym after being away for months, you know what that feels like. In the same way, your jaw muscles can get sore if you chewed or talked a lot in a given day. But there is a condition called TMD where your jaw joint (called the TMJ) gets sore. TMD has several symptoms such as jaw pain, difficulty open and closing your mouth, and a popping or clicking noise when you use your jaw. TMD can even lead to lockjaw, where you cannot move your jaw anymore. If you have any of these symptoms, visit us as soon as possible.

Q: What Are The “Invisible Braces” I Keep Hearing About?


When your teeth are crooked and misaligned, chances are your smile looks bad. In the past, there was only one option to correct this: metal braces. No one liked them, but they did the job. But at our Tulsa, OK dental office, we offer Invisalign “invisible braces.” Instead of metal and wires, this uses a series of clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Over time, they slowly move your teeth just like braces do. But because they’re made from clear plastic, they’re almost invisible.

Q: Is It Normal To Hate Going To The Dentist?


Just like going to the doctor or any health care professional, it’s rare that you’ll get as excited visiting the dentist as you will going to a party. But you shouldn’t dread going to the dentist so much that you end up skipping needed appointments. Dr. Cornell can help with sedation dentistry. Our nitrous oxide and oral medication can eliminate any worries or fears so you can get the dental care you need.

Q: Is There Any Difference Between Bite Guards And Night Splints?


A guard does just what it says — it protects or guards your teeth. A splint is used for broken bones because it holds something in place long enough to heal, which is what a dental splint does. For example, an athletic mouthguard protects your teeth from any injuries that might happen. A night splint can help keep your teeth from grinding (bruxism) or even help reduce sleep apnea.

Q: How Can I Tell If I Have Gum Disease?


In the early stages of gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Your gums also can appear red or swollen.

The symptoms of advanced periodontal disease are more noticeable:

▸ Sore, painful gums

▸ Pain while biting and chewing

▸ Bad breath that doesn’t go away

▸ Receding gums

▸ Teeth that feel loose in their sockets

Brushing and flossing every day and visiting Neil R. Cornell, D.D.S. for routine cleanings and examinations is the best way to prevent gum disease. We also provide gum disease treatments in our office.