TMD Treatment Minot, ND

Understanding Your Jaw Pain

At Broadway Family Dentistry our goal is to help you live pain-free with a beautiful smile. In addition to cosmetic dental services, general dental care, and more, we also address problems associated with jaw pain. A temporomandibular disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD) is a problem associated with the muscles in the face and the jaw. TMJ can be caused by problems within the jaw muscles or trauma to the area. For instance, a car crash can give you whiplash, resulting in TMJ. Let’s discuss the signs you should watch out for that indicate if you have TMJ.

TMJ: The signs

If you experience one or more of the following, you could be dealing with TMJ:

-Tenderness, pain or swelling in or around the jaw, neck, or ears

-Difficulty opening the mouth wide

-A feeling of the jaw being ‘stuck’ or ‘locked’ in the open or closed position.

-A popping, clicking, or grating sound when chewing food or yawning.

-Feeling tired in the face or having problems with chewing

-Headaches, toothaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing issues, shoulder pain, or tinnitus

Some of the habits or issues that can lead to TMJ are grinding or clenching the teeth, arthritis of the joint, stress (which can tighten muscles in the face, or movement of the disc between the ball and socket of the joint.

How to diagnose TMJ

If you have any of the aforementioned signs or symptoms, arrange a consultation with Broadway Family Dentistry today to determine what is causing your jaw pain. During your visit, the dentist will do a physical exam of your jaw and face. They will check your bite, ability to chew, and ability to open and close your mouth. An X-ray or MRI may be necessary to properly diagnose TMJ.

Arrange your consultation

If you are suffering from jaw pain, don’t wait another minute to schedule your consultation with Broadway Family Dentistry. You can reach our office by calling us at 701-839-1299. We look forward to assisting you.

Dr. Jensen’s Orthodontic Journey – Part 2

Last blog post I wrote about WHY I am doing orthodontics. Recap: I had allergies as a child and it led to mouth breathing and sleep symptoms. Mouth breathing took my growth/development off track and led to a challenging orthodontic case, jaw surgery, and still poorly shaped jaws and worse – a poorly impacted airway. Predestined for sleep apnea problems as an adult, I decided to DO something to change my fate.

Though people have seen me in brackets and my super cool appliances, you may still have no clue as to what the process is. Here’s a walk through of what’s happened so far.

First, I took a CBCT 3D X-ray of my head which was evaluated by a maxillofacial radiologist. Several different orthodontic analyses were used to determine the problems present and a game plan of how to treat it using these orthopedic-like appliances and protractive Controlled-ArchTM orthodontics (moving teeth forward in mouth rather than back).

Next, we put separators between my teeth and sent digital models of my teeth to a specialized orthodontic laboratory to custom-make my appliance.

The orthodontic appliance was cemented onto my top teeth with 4 bands and a wire bonded on the tongue-side part of my front teeth. Springs on the cheek-side part were activated once a month.

This put pressure on an acrylic pad on the roof of the mouth. At the same time, we put flat pads of tooth-colored composite resin on my lower molars. These were crucial to allow my lower jaw to go where it needed/wanted and to follow the upper jaw.

Over time, space developed behind my canines (the long pointy teeth) as the front portion of my upper jaw remodeled forward. According to my treatment plan recommendation, our goal was 6-8mm of space. For me, it took about 5.5 months in the appliance to reach that desired outcome. We removed the appliance and I spent a few weeks in a clear retainer to keep the teeth/bone stable until brackets could be placed.

Brackets were placed and in addition, a stainless-steel wire runs across the roof of the mouth to help provide more support/anchorage to move teeth safely and efficiently. A broad shaped, specialized wire is attached on the cheek-side part of the mouth to the brackets/bands. This is guiding my teeth and ultimately changing the shape of the arch of teeth to better accommodate my tongue.

I have started aligning my teeth to match the midline of my face. This is more complicated for me personally because a surgeon changed how my jaws are attached to my skull and my jaw joints. Chain-like elastics are starting to close the spaces between my front teeth. Once this is complete, I will start pulling the rest of my back teeth forward to close the space.

For me, the amount of time spent in orthodontics will be dictated by how quickly my teeth move. The entire process will likely take a few years, but I am thrilled with the progress and change in profile so far.

Dr. Jensen’s Orthodontic Journey – Part 1

Many people ask me “Why?” when they see me with brackets and wires in my mouth. The question is usually followed by the statement, “I thought your teeth were pretty straight before” or the question “Why, did your previous orthodontics not work?” To answer some of these questions and clarify some of these observations, I will give you my backstory.

My teeth were straight by orthodontic standards when my braces came off at age 14. We were attempting to treat my “gummy smile” and the narrow roof of my mouth. I learned later while in dental school that cases like mine are very difficult to treat (long face) because of my growth trajectory of my jaws. My orthodontist did his very best with the tools/knowledge he had to help try to prevent/correct my problems. We tried several appliances, braces more than once and even double jaw surgery. The trouble is that we didn’t understand WHY I was cursed with a long face, so even after orthodontics to line up my teeth and surgery, the teeth weren’t necessarily in the best position in my face and for my jaw joint.

I have had several eye-opening moments over the last few years that lead to a better understanding of the WHY. I contest that there were likely several factors that influenced why my growth went off track (long face), but the greatest of these is mouth breathing. Mouth breathing? Yes, mouth breathing.

I, Dr. Bethany Jensen, am a recovering chronic mouth breather. I say recovering because it is a habit now that is very difficult to change but I am working on it as it has continued to affect my anatomy negatively.

Mouth breathing happens for a variety of reasons but usually starts in children. Allergies and chronic illness/colds that create stuffy noses can lead to mouth breathing. Pet dander, dust, mold, dairy, gluten, etc can all be culprits. Pacifier use or finger/thumb sucking can also lead to open mouth at rest.

Our nose is designed specifically for breathing air. The shape, filtering mechanisms, and warming capabilities are optimal for air exchange and keeping the “yuck” out of our lungs. Our mouths are great for eating and speech, but are TERRIBLE at doing the nose’s job. When the mouth does the nose’s job, sadly the tonsils try to act as an air filter, often causing swelling/enlargement (airway gets smaller) and letting lots of “yuck” into our lungs (sometimes leading to/contributing to asthma). Bottom line is that when the mouth does the work for the nose, there are really BAD consequences for our airway.

When we are breathing through our nose, our lips should be closed and the tongue should be on the roof of the mouth. If the tongue is NOT on the roof of the mouth, the jaws do not grow the way they should. Our tongue is the pillar that helps guide growth of our jaws forward and out. If you search “aglossia” on the internet, you can see photos of jaws that do not develop well in absence of the tongue (super narrow and crowded).

Back to my story, I likely had some allergies that were undiagnosed as a child and as a consequence I developed a mouth breathing habit. I did not keep my lips together because eventually I couldn’t keep my lips together as I was breathing through an open mouth and I was doing it at night as well as during the day. I struggled as a child with nightmares and restless sleep. Because this issue was never addressed, my body continued to remodel my face to keep air flowing as fast as possible and my jaws over the last 20 years continued to remodel keeping a narrow, deep/high arch.

Humans are highly adaptable, though how we adapt isn’t always sustainable. In my case, my airway issues as a child were subacute but have compounded into a worsening situation. My airway has adapted and those adaptions are predisposing me for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea? This post suddenly took a very serious tone as you probably thought I was talking about straight teeth and braces right?

The reality is that straight teeth are awesome, but my goal in treating myself now isn’t just straight teeth. My goal is straight teeth lined up with enough room for my tongue with the largest airway my face can accommodate. I am striving daily to increase the strength of muscle tone in my lips/cheeks/tongue to better position and support my jaws/teeth/face. Most importantly, I am striving to return to nasal breathing and ditch the mouth breathing habit. This is not a small undertaking and has required commitment to be the best me I can be.

Great. Mouth breathing is bad, airway is as important as straight teeth. So what do we do now?

1. Help children be nasal breathers.
Address allergies/runny noses with physician, ENT or allergist.
Ditch unhealthy habits: pacifiers, finger/thumb sucking, etc (condemn the habit not child)
2. Look at sleep symptoms in kids closely (bedwetting, mouth breathing, snoring, night terrors)
Ask Dr. Jensen about habit corrector appliances like HealthyStart to help put kids back on the right track for growth (can be used in kids as young as 2 or 3 if needed)
3. All grown up and a mouth breather? Its not too late. Great books are available to learn more:
Sleep, Interrupted by Dr. Steven Parks MD
Close Your Mouth by Patrick McKeown
Jaws: The Hidden Epidemic by Sandra Kahn and Paul Ehrlich
4. Only given “jaw surgery” as option for you?
Talk to Dr. Jensen about whether this type of orthodontics may be appropriate for you.

Teeth Whitening Minot, ND

Get ready for the New Year with a Whiter Smile

It is no surprise that having a whiter and brighter smile can make you feel more confident and capable. Why wouldn’t it? Whether your are shopping, giving a presentation, or answering your front door, a white smile just makes you feel better and more sociable. Also, people with whiter teeth are perceived as more professional and capable. What’s not to love? Here’s what you need to know about whitening your teeth.

In office bleaching

In office bleaching by your dentist is the fastest way to achieve a whiter smile. During your in office bleaching appointment, a whitening gel or other product is put directly on the teeth. With the use of heat, a laser, or special lighting, the product works to whiten your smile. Whiter results are apparent after only 30-60 minutes in the dentist chair. For those who want to have dramatic teeth whitening results, more in office appointments may be required. To discuss more of your in office teeth whitening options, contact Broadway Family Dentistry today!

Out of office bleaching

Other methods are available and effective, but they do not give the same immediate results as in office treatments do. These options include: over the counter whitening strips and gels, whitening toothpastes, and whitening rinses.

How long does teeth whitening last?

How long your whiter smile lasts depends on the type of bleaching treatment you used and your current lifestyle. For instance, if you love a cup of coffee every day, you may start to notice staining on your teeth. If you avoid drinks and foods that are known to stain teeth, you can make your whitening treatment last much longer.

The strength of the bleaching agent used for your teeth whitening will also impact how long your whiter smile survives. Out of office treatments typically contain a considerably lower strength bleaching agent than in office treatments.

Arrange your consultation

To learn more about what teeth whitening options are available to you, contact Broadway Family Dentistry. You can reach our office at 701-839-1299. We look forward to hearing from you!

Preventive Dentistry Minot, ND

The Absolute Worst Foods for Your Teeth

With the holiday season underway, it can be easy to fall into the trap of eating candies and treats on a regular basis. It is well known that sweets are bad for your dental health, but other foods like potato chips, dried fruits, and citrus can also pose a risk. Read on to learn why.


Citrus is a wonderful source of vitamin C and should be consumed regularly. Unfortunately, many major sources of vitamin C, like oranges, lemons, and limes can also wreak havoc on your teeth. Here’s how: the amount of acid in citrus can erode enamel, leaving teeth exposed to greater amounts of decay. Even a simple squeeze of lemon in your glass of water can increase the acid in your mouth. The solution? Brush immediately after or rinse with mouthwash.

Potato chips

The combination of crunch and savory salty flavor packed into potato chips can be undeniably heavenly. Unfortunately, your taste buds are the only ones enjoying the experience. Your teeth are the ones paying the price. Potatoes are a starchy food that quickly transforms into sugar when broken down. This sugar can get lodged between the crevices of your teeth and feed the bacteria wedged in there as well. To help stave off tooth decay, be sure to floss your teeth soon after eating this crunchy treat.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits can add a tasty and healthy punch to oatmeal, but they can also negatively impact the health of your mouth. Dried fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, and apricots are immensely sticky and can easily get stuck on and in between the teeth. Make sure you have a toothbrush ready to brush away the sticky leftovers that can cause tooth decay!

Arrange a consultation

At Broadway Family Dentistry, we understand that a bright and confident smile are key to feeling your best. If it has been a while since your last dental cleaning and check up, schedule one today! You can reach our friendly staff by calling our Minot, North Dakota office at (701) 839-1299.

Preventive Dentistry Minot, ND

Halloween Tricks to Avoid Too Many Treats

Halloween seems to usher in mountains of candy at every turn. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid candy overload this season. Not only will these tips help you and your family feel better, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the occasional Halloween treat.

Don’t forget about dinner

On Halloween, make sure the kids don’t leave for their trick or treating adventures before eating a protein and fiber packed meal. This can be quick turkey sandwiches on whole grain bread, hearty finger foods like whole grain chips and hummus, or a tasty pot of homemade chili. Whatever you choose, just make sure the kids eat well before they head out the door. This will help them avoid constant snacking on their candy throughout the evening.

Wait until the last minute to buy candy

Halloween is a month long celebration of all things scary, but the actual day for trick or treating doesn’t arrive until the end of the month. Instead of stocking up on Halloween candy in preparation for handing out goodies on Halloween, just wait until the week of. This way, you won’t have tempting stashes of candy in your house to snack on all day.

Mix it up

When you do purchase your candy for the ghouls and ghosts that will come trick or treating to your door, opt for healthier and more exciting options. Instead of strictly candy, get fruit leather, bubbles, small toys, mini Play-Doh containers, tattoos, glow sticks and more. Keep in mind that most of the excitement children have on Halloween is connected to the act of collecting the candy, not actually eating all of it.

Join your kids

Instead of driving your kids around as they trick or treat, join them for the walk. Wear a pedometer to track how far you’ve walked and make it into a game to try and get more steps in. Plus, you can enjoy the experience of stopping at houses with your kids!

Arrange a consultation

If it has been some time since your last dental exam, don’t hesitate to call Broadway Family Dentistry today. You can reach our friendly staff by calling 701-839-1299.

Dental Implants Minot, ND

Am I a good candidate for a Dental Implant?

Dental Implants Minot, NDIf you are missing a tooth, or need a tooth replaced, dental implants may be the solution you’re looking for. Dental implants are an excellent option for those wanting to complete their smile. But are you a good candidate?

The right candidate

Generally the best candidate for dental implants should have healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw to anchor the implant. If you have lost bone, you can still get a dental implant but you may need a special procedure to restore the bone that is missing. You are also an excellent candidate if you are committed to daily oral care and cleaning the implant area. Regular professional dental cleanings are integral to maintaining a healthy smile and a healthy implant.

You may not be the best candidate for a dental implant if:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You are too young and your jaw has not stopped growing yet.
  • You are a heavy smoker, which makes healing in the mouth difficult.
  • You abuse alcohol or other substances that are harmful to the body. This may make you unprepared to follow proper implant care instructions after your procedure and less likely to practice proper oral hygiene.
  • You have been given a high dose or radiation treatment in the head or neck area.
  • You have a systematic problem or chronic disease like hemophilia, connective tissue issues, uncontrolled diabetes, or immune deficiency problems.
  • You take certain medications like steroid drugs
  • You have significant issues with clenching or grinding your teeth. Such habits can put undue pressure on the implant area and make the risk of failure high.

The process

A few months after the dental implant is placed by a trained specialist or periodontist, a crown will be added. This time period between the two procedures allows for the implant area to heal. Depending on your individual situation and needs, your treatment plan may be different.

Arrange a consultation

To find out more about how dental implants can improve your smile, call Broadway Family Dentistry today. You can reach our team by calling 701-839-1299.

Dentures Minot, ND

What You Should Know About Dentures

Dentures can give you the confidence you need to go about your daily activities, attend social events, and eat your favorite foods. At Broadway Family Dentistry, our goal is to help you feel and look your absolute best. If your teeth cannot be restored, we can make custom dentures to fit your specific needs.

Types of Dentures

Tooth loss may be the result of aging or an accident. When teeth are missing and cannot be restored, dentures are an excellent option. Dentures can be formed to replace a few or all of one’s teeth. Complete dentures are used for people who have lost all or the majority of their teeth. If you are missing only a few teeth, “fixed partial” dentures (also referred to as “crown and bridge”) are used. Partial dentures are carefully and meticulously installed in the mouth to make sure they do not cause a problem with the surrounding healthy teeth. Removable dentures are different from fixed partial dentures in that they are often used by patients who have lost too many teeth to need fixed dentures and too few teeth to get complete dentures.

The side effects

Like any dental cosmetic treatment or procedure, the results take some time to get familiar with. It is possible to get used to your dentures by practicing patience. Soon enough, you’ll be so used to your dentures that you’ll forget you’re wearing any. If you have any concerns about how to get used to your dentures, express your anxiety to your dentist. We want to ensure that we are helping you feel as confident and comfortable as possible with your new dentures.

Insurance coverage

The majority of dental insurance providers offer full or partial coverage for dentures. If you need dentures, make sure you contact your insurance provider to find out the specific details of your dental plan to see if you are covered.

Arrange a consultation

If you have missing teeth and think dentures may be right for you, contact Broadway Family Dentistry today. You can contact our office located in Minot, North Dakota by calling 701-839-1299.

Gum Disease Minot, ND

4 Ways You Can Protect Your Mouth From Gum Disease

Gum Disease Minot, NDGum disease begins with plaque build up and ends (if left to itself) with tooth decay. Fortunately there are several specific steps you can implement to help prevent gum disease.

What is gum disease?

First, let’s address what gum disease is. Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and can destroy tissue, then eventually end in tooth loss. Gingivitis is a condition that typically begins before gum disease sets in. When gingivitis begins, the bacteria in plaque cause gum inflammation and easy bleeding. At this point, the gums may be irritated, but no bone or tissue damage has happened yet.

If left untreated, gingivitis will lead to periodontitis. At this point, the inner layer of bone and gum move away from the teeth, creating pockets. Debris and bacteria get stuck and lodge into these pockets, causing them to become infected. The toxins created by the bacteria as well as the body’s enzymes that fight infection, begin to break down the connective tissue and bone. This bone and tissue is required to keep the teeth in place. As periodontitis progresses, the teeth lose stability and tooth loss results.

How do I prevent gum disease?

Here are four suggestions to help you prevent gum disease.

  1. Stop smoking immediately: Tobacco products pose a significant threat to dental health. In fact, if you smoke you are seven times more likely to get gum disease than a non smoker.
  2. Cut the stress: Stress makes it hard for the human body to fight off infection (like the bacteria found with gum disease). To ease your stress level, try exercising, meditation, counseling, or changing your diet to include healthier foods.
  3. Maintain a proper diet: Good nutrition is a great starting point in preventing gum disease or other bodily ills. Eat foods containing antioxidants, vitamin E and vitamin C. All of these can assist the body in fixing damaged tissue.
  4. Stop grinding or clenching your teeth: The excessive force created in the mouth when clenching or grinding can contribute to tissue breakdown in the mouth.

Arrange an appointment

For more information about how to prevent gum disease, contact Broadway Family Dentistry today.  You can reach our office at (701) 839-1299. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy and happy smile.

Preventive Dentistry Minot, ND

The Truth About Cavities

There is a lot of misinformation out there (and online) about anything you can imagine. This includes your dental health. Let’s address some common misconceptions and truths about what causes cavities and what you can do to prevent them.

Cavities aren’t just for children

Sugary drinks, genetics, and inadequate dental habits can lead to cavities at any age. Even certain medications can dry out the mouth, preventing saliva from acting as a buffer between your teeth and acids. These acids can lead to cavity development. The trick is to pay attention to what you’re eating and how often you brush and floss. Remember, it is your responsibility to brush twice a day, floss, and rinse. Regular dental cleanings are integral to maintaining a healthy mouth, but you need to do your part as well.

A filled tooth can still get a cavity

Fillings can last a decade or longer. In rears cases, that filling can break down causing tooth decay around the edges.

If you don’t fix a cavity now, it’ll get worse

One of the primary reasons for regular dental checkups is so your dentist can check for cavities. Sometimes you can determine if you have one on your own, but for the teeth in the back of your mouth it is nearly impossible to tell. At a dental cleaning, X-rays and photographs are taken in part to look for signs of tooth decay and to treat it immediately. If left untreated, you may have to get a root canal or tooth removal down the road.

Brown spots aren’t always cavities

In many cases the decay process may have begun, then stopped. This typically happens when the tooth enamel hardens up once more, resulting in a discolored look.

You can’t reverse tooth decay

The enamel on the tooth surface can be remineralized and decay can be slowed down, but once bacteria breaks through the enamel, there’s no going back. You can’t brush a cavity away. Instead, you need to get it fixed in the from of a filling or other methods depending on what stage the cavity is at.

Arrange a consultation

To arrange your next dental cleaning, call Broadway Family Dentistry at (701) 839-1299 at our office in Minot, North Dakota. We look forward to serving you!