Jaw Problems and Headaches – animation and Qs & As



Q What is dental occlusion?

A Dental occlusion is another name for the way your teeth meet when your jaws bite together.

Q What is TMJ?

A The letters TMJ are short for of ‘temporo-mandibular joint’, which is the joint connecting your lower jaw and your skull. The movement in this joint lets you open and close your mouth and chew from side to side.

Q What kind of problems might I have?

A If your teeth don’t fit together properly, you can have problems not only in your teeth themselves, but also the gums, the temporo-mandibular joint or the muscles that move your jaw. These problems are called ‘occlusal’ problems.


Teeth that are out of line, heavily worn or constantly breaking, fillings that fracture or crowns that work loose may all be signs of occlusal problems. Your teeth may also be tender to bite on or may ache constantly.

Loose teeth or receding gums can be made worse by a faulty bite.
Clicking, grinding or pain in your jaw joints, ringing or buzzing in your ears and difficulty in opening or closing your mouth could all be due to your teeth not meeting each other properly.


If your jaw is in the wrong position, the muscles that move the jaw have to work a lot harder and can get tired. This leads to muscle spasm. The main symptoms are continual headaches or migraine, especially first thing in the morning; pain behind your eyes; sinus pain and pains in your neck and shoulders. Sometimes even back muscles are involved.

Q How can I tell if I have a problem?

A You may find that you clench or grind your teeth, although most people who do aren’t aware of it. Sometimes can be caused by anxiety, but generally most people clench their teeth when they are concentrating on a task – housework, gardening, car mechanics, typing and so on.

You may wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or tenderness when you bite together. This could be due to clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. Most people who grind their teeth do it while they are asleep and may not know they are doing it.

If you suffer from severe headaches, or neck and shoulder pain, you may not have linked this with possible jaw problems. Or you may keep having pain or discomfort on the side of your face around your ears or jaw joints or difficulty in moving your jaw. These are all symptoms of TMJ problems.

If you are missing some teeth at the back of your mouth, this may lead to an unbalanced bite, which can cause uneven pressure on your teeth.

Together, all these symptoms are called ‘TMJ syndrome’.

Q How are occlusal problems treated?

A See your dentist. He or she may be able to help you or may refer you to a specialist who deals with occlusal problems.

Depending on the problems you are having, it can be possible to spot the signs of an occlusal problem. Various muscles may be sore when tested, or the broken and worn areas of your teeth will show you are grinding your teeth – a common sign of an incorrect bite.

If your dentist suspects that your problems are due to an incorrect bite, he or she may help to diagnose the problem by supplying a temporary soft nightguard or hard plastic appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth. This appliance needs to be measured and fitted very accurately so that when you bite on it, all your teeth meet at exactly the same time in a position where your muscles are relaxed. You may have to wear this all the time or, just at night. If the appliance relieves your symptoms then your bite may need to be corrected permanently.

Tooth Adjustment (equilibration)
Your teeth may need to be carefully adjusted to meet evenly. Changing the direction and position of the slopes that guide your teeth together can often help to reposition the jaw.

Replacement of teeth
The temporo-mandibular joint needs equal support from both sides of both jaws. The chewing action is designed to work properly only when all your teeth are present and in the correct position. Missing teeth may need to be replaced either with a partial denture or bridgework.

Replacement is not usually done until a diagnosis has been confirmed by using an appliance and this has fully relieved the symptoms. Relief in some patients is instant: in others it can take a long time.

Some drugs can help in certain cases, but this is usually only temporary. Hormone replacement therapy may also help some women.

Diet and Exercise
As with any joint pain, it can help to put less stress on the joint. So a soft diet can be helpful, as can Corrective exercises and external heat. Physiotherapy exercises can often help, and your dentist may be able to show some of these to you.

Counselling and relaxation therapy may help in some cases. These techniques help the patient to become more aware of stressful situations and to control tension.

Q Will straightening my teeth help?

A If your teeth are too far out of line or in a totally incorrect bite position, it may be necessary to fit an orthodontic appliance to move them into a better position.

Q How many people suffer from these problems?

A Up to 1 in 4 people may have some symptoms. Both men and women are affected equally, although women tend to seek
treatment more often than men. The symptoms can often start with the menopause or other hormonal changes.

Many people have imperfect occlusion and missing teeth, yet never have symptoms because they adjust to their problems. Occasionally, in times of increased stress and tension, the symptoms may appear and then go away immediately. Or, your teeth and gums may be affected straight away and instead of headaches, you may suffer:

 flattened, worn teeth
 broken teeth, fillings and crowns
 loose teeth
 continual sensitivity of your teeth to temperature change
 toothache with no apparent cause.

If you think you have any of these problems, ask your dentist.

Coffee can help athletes replenish energy, scientists discover


Sydney: Coffee helps athletes replenish vital energy nutrient, new research from Australia has found.

In a study published in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists proved that glycogen — which is used for muscle energy during exercise — is replenished more quickly when athletes ingest both carbohydrate and caffeine following exhaustive exercise.

The study was done by eight researchers in Australia and John Hawley was the senior author.

“We think it’s working because whatever the caffeine has done, is create an environmental situation external to the muscle that is helping the muscle soak up like a sponge more glucose,” Hawley said in a phone interview.

The study was conducted on seven well-trained endurance cyclists who participated in four sessions. The participants first rode a cycle ergometer until exhaustion, and then consumed a low-carbohydrate dinner before going home. This exercise bout was designed to reduce the athletes’ muscle glycogen stores prior to the experimental trial the next day.

The athletes did not eat again until they returned to the lab the next day for the second session when they again cycled until exhaustion. They then ingested a drink that contained carbohydrate alone or carbohydrate plus caffeine and rested in the laboratory for four hours.

During this post-exercise rest time, the researchers took several muscle biopsies and multiple blood samples to measure the amount of glycogen being replenished in the muscle, along with the concentrations of glucose-regulating metabolites and hormones in the blood, including glucose and insulin.

The entire two-session process was repeated seven to 10 days later, swapping over the study groups.

“One of the things that the caffeine did was increase blood glucose and insulin levels above carbohydrate alone, so it has an additive effect,” said Hawley, who is with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Bundoora, Australia.

“Just think of the muscle looking for substrate to soak up. The muscle is depleted. Its job now is to put back fuel as quickly as it can. The only way that it can do that is to have fuel in the form of glucose in the blood. So the muscle is looking around and not seeing anymore glucose in the blood with caffeine, but it’s seeing more insulin.”

Insulin is the hormone that transports glucose into the muscle.

Hawley said multiple studies have shown the benefits of caffeine for athletes, whether it’s ingested before or during exercise.

“Caffeine is a positive performance enhancer for events as short as 5 minutes and right up to the Iron Man triathlon,” Hawley said. “It is a drug, so I’ll have to call it a drug, but it is legal. It is one of the few drugs that works over a wide range of performances.

“Most of the other drugs or food supplements or nutrients like creatine for example, only work in very short intense sprints or something like that. But caffeine is this mysterious one that appears to have multiple effects, and that’s because it has multiple physiological effects and central-nervous system effects.”

Hawley noted that some Tour de France riders switch to Coca-Cola during the last part of their stages. Frank Shorter, who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, drank de-fizzed Coke during the race.

“He was light-year ahead of the scientists,” Hawley said. “He knew even then that some mixture of caffeine and carbohydrate was very, very good. … That shows that athletes are often a step or two ahead of us.”

Argeriline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-3)

Argeriline (cetyl Hexapeptide-3) – is another substance that temporarily inhibits the activity of neurotransmitters responsible for facial muscle contractions, preventing the formation of wrinkles. It works without toxic side-effects.

Get lean and mean – eat turkey


London: With the Olympics coming up, Britain’s athletes could find they have a secret weapon for success – a plate of turkey meat.

Eating turkey could enhance an athlete’s performance by up to 20%, according to scientists. Turkey breast contains one of the highest concentrations of the muscle-building dipeptides, anserine & carnosine. When we eat a food containing these dipeptides it is broken down into beta-alanine and histidine. We all have plentiful supplies of histidine in the body, but it is beta-alanine we need to consume to counteract the effect of pH acidity that causes muscle fatigue, as the body is only able to manufacture small quantities from uracil in the liver.

Researchers at the University of Chichester’s School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences carried out tests on the effect of consuming carnosine and beta-alanine on volunteers who underwent muscle biopsies and performance tests. The 800mg beta-alanine supplements they used, the equivalent to 145g portions of turkey breast meat, increased muscle concentrations by 40% and improved cycling performance by 13%.

Research leader Glenys Jones said: “The exciting thing is, I believe we are nowhere near the top. In fact, I suspect if we raise the dietary intake of beta-alanine to 250-300g of turkey a day for 6-12 months we will see a progressive rise in the values of a possible 80% increase in muscle concentrations and further performance improvements, as seen in high-dose/short-term supplementation studies.”

Jones is looking to start a longitudinal investigation into the effect on muscle concentrations of introducing a regular dose of turkey into the diet and the subsequent effect on performance in the very near future.

Sharron Davies, former Olympic swimmer and mother of three, says: “New dietary research is something all athletes welcome – especially when the food recommended is as easy to obtain, cook and eat as turkey. When I was swimming competitively, I always included turkey in my diet because it’s low in fat and high in protein and even today, turkey remains an important part of my balanced diet. But even non-athletes should be interested in keeping their bodies as healthy as possible so this research could have positive benefits for very many people in all walks of life.”

Rowing, cycling, speed skating and certain distances in running are the other disciplines researchers say are most likely to benefit.

The research at Chichester University, overseen by Prof Roger Harris, discovered anserine and carnosine was high in certain muscle meats, including whale, prawns and turkey. The scientists chose to concentrate their research on turkey for practical reasons.

Prof Harris said: “Whale meat is not exactly available, or desirable in the UK, and you would have to eat an unpalatable amount of prawns, which are themselves high in cholesterol, to achieve the same results.”

The turkey is a relatively recent domesticated farm animal and closely related genetically to the wild turkey of North America, one of the heaviest flying birds. The flood of adrenaline that a wild turkey needs to lift its body weight off the ground to escape danger is the key. This involves rapid mobilisation of energy in the wing and breast muscles, and a concentration of histidine containing dipeptides called anserine and carnosine. Our digestive systems split these dipeptides into beta-alanine and histidine, which then reform as carnosine when transported into muscle.

Funding by the British Turkey Federation has allowed Prof Harris and PhD student Glenys Jones to continue their research. Jones is currently evaluating how putting beta-alanine into the drinking water of turkeys increases the concentration in their muscle.

She said: “Our aim is to get the highest concentration of the histidine dipeptides possible for inclusion in people’s regular diets. The implications of which could provide health benefits for the elderly, who suffer a reduced acid-based regulatory system as they get older, and indeed for all individuals who want to maintain an active life is tremendously exciting.”

Interest in the research at International Conferences has been extremely high and supportive. The potential uses of beta-alanine and the dipeptides as supplements led Prof Harris to stating “Literally, the sky’s the limit!”

The British turkey industry has welcomed the findings. Dr Cliff Nixey, a world authority on turkeys, said: “If we can help British athletes find Olympic success we would be delighted. But we are also pleased at the potential health benefits in all walks of life.”

Dr Nixey explains why turkey meat would contain high levels of substances involved in energy metabolism.

“The turkey is a relatively recent domesticated farm animal and as such is closely related genetically to the wild turkey in North America. The wild turkey is one of the heaviest flying birds, with males weighing around 16lbs (7.25kg) and females 10lbs (4.5kg). To avoid danger, they have explosive flight upwards to gain height rapidly and then they glide long distances. The take off of such heavy birds must involve very rapid mobilisation of energy in the wing and breast muscles. It follows that this species has evolved a system to cope with this which logically would involve high levels of substances involved in energy mobilisation.”

Supporting Research:

Influence of b-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle Carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity
School of Sports, Exercise & Health Sciences, University of Chichester, Chichester, UK

Summary: Muscle carnosine synthesis is limited by the availability of b-alanine. Thirteen male subjects were supplemented with b-alanine (CarnoSyn tm) for 4wks, 8 of these for 10wks. A biopsy of the vastus lateralis was obtained from 6 of the 8 at 0, 4 and 10 wks. Subjects undertook a cycle capacity test to determine total work done (TWD) at 110% (CCT 110%) of their maximum power (Wmax). Twelve matched subjects received a placebo. Eleven of these completed the CCT 110% at 0 and 4 wks, and 8 and 10wks. Muscle biopsies were obtained from 5 of the 8 and one additional subject. Muscle carnosine was significantly increased by +58.8% ad +80.1% after 4 and 10 wks b-alanine supplementation. Carnosine, initially 1.71 times higher in type IIa fibres, increased equally in both type I and IIa fibres. No increase was seen in control subjects. Taurine was unchanged by 10 wks of supplementation. 4 wks beta-alanine supplementation resulted in a significant increase in TWD (+13.0%); with a further +3.2% increase at 10 wks. TWD was unchanged at 4 and 10 wks in the control subjects. The increase in TWD with supplementation followed the increase in muscle carnosine.

Exercise more beneficial to older adults than cutting calories

New York: Older adults who want to loose weight get more benefit from exercise that a calorie restricted diet alone, according to new research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

A study of 34 adults in their 50s and 60s, found that both dieters and exercisers lost weight. But those who also exercised kept their muscle mass, strength and fitness levels.

The exercise taken by older adults fights the natural muscle decline that comes with ageing.

The researchers concluded that it was more beneficial to exercise than diet, provided extra calories are not consumed.

The study findings are based on a one-year follow-up of healthy older adults who were required to take either exercise or cut calories to lose weight.

The dieters had weekly meetings with a dietitian to discuss ways to alter their eating habits, while the exercise group met with a trainer each week.

The average weight loss in each group was nearly identical — about 17 pounds over one year. But while dieters lost muscle mass, strength and endurance, exercisers preserved theirs.

Galileo the vibrating dumb bell vanquishes arm flab


Bingo wings are the bane of many women’s lives, preventing ladies all over the country from wearing their favourite short sleeved tops and dresses. This, however, is set to change with the UK launch of the Galileo Up-X Dumbbell. Unlike ordinary dumbbells, the Galileo model vibrates.

The handheld device is specifically designed to improve muscle strength and tone in the upper body. It provides a highly intensive work out, yet requires fewer repetitions than traditional resistance equipment, and looks set to transform the way exercisers workout.

Galileo dumbbells are ideal for enhancing performance training in sports like tennis, hockey and basketball, as well as providing muscle tension relief in the trained body parts such as arms, shoulders, cervical and thoracic spine. The Up-X Dumbbell is defining a new revolution in training by mechanically stimulating the muscles at a specific frequency. Targeted muscles are given 25-30 impulses per second, causing them to contract and relax by the natural, involuntary, muscle stretch reflex. Compared to conventional exercise the equipment also causes little stress on joints, ligaments and tendons.

Sasha McCarthy, Financial Director at PipeDreems, the UK distributors of Galileo, comments: “The Up-X Dumbbell provides a really intensive workout on your upper body with minimum effort required. You can really feel multiple muscle movement within your arms as the dumbbell vibrates.

“We anticipate that the Up-X Dumbbell will be incredibly popular in the UK with both the general public and elite sports people alike. We have already received a large number of enquiries about the dumbbell simply from our website.”

With over 20 years of success in the global marketplace, Galileo enjoys a wealth of research to support the merits of its products. Developed in the Soviet Union to train Cosmonauts and improve the strength of Olympic athletes, this unique technology is widely used throughout mainland Europe and North America by hospitals, gyms and physiotherapy centres. The Galileo Up-X Dumbbell uses patented side-alternating (see-saw motion) vibration technology, offering the upper body the same training possibilities as the standing Galileo vibration equipment provides for the lower body and torso.

The cost of the single Up-X Dumbbell is £1,795 and the double is £3,395.

More information about the Up-X Dumbbell and other pieces in the Galileo range can be found at: www.galileouk.co.uk

DHEA does not help lean body mass in ageing

New york: The popular anti-aging supplement DHEA is of little value in preventing age-related bone and muscle changes, according to new research.

In the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), taking supplements of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has no demonstrable benefit on muscle strength, peak endurance, bone mass, muscle mass, glucose tolerance or quality of life. The study was conducted by Mayo Clinic.

To arrive at its data and conclusions, the study evaluated a group of 87 men older than 60 and 57 women older than 60 over a two-year period. The people chosen in the study all had low DHEA levels prior to the study.

Taking DHEA did raise the study participants’ DHEA to high normal levels. However, those higher levels did not result in significant body-composition measurements, peak volume of oxygen consumed per minute, muscle strength or glucose tolerance. The study reported no improvement for quality of life. No major adverse effects were observed from taking DHEA.

Men in the study also were given low doses of testosterone; that appeared to result in a small increase in bone density.

Your body converts DHEA into the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Proponents of DHEA say it also slows aging, increases muscle and bone strength, burns fats, improves cognition, bolsters immunity and protects against chronic diseases.

In an editorial accompanying the study results, NEJM recommended that because DHEA does show some benefit in people who have problems with their adrenal glands, it should be regulated as a drug and no longer considered a food supplement.

Prior research hasn’t supported taking DHEA for anti-aging benefits. In fact, prior research has shown that DHEA carries risks and may cause side effects. This latest research confirms that taking DHEA does not provide benefits for body composition, physical performance or quality of life.

Scientists turn fat into muscle

Los Angeles: Scientists have turned fat cells into muscle cells in an experiment published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers said that although they would not be able to use the cells to turn fat tummies into flat ones the experiment showed how fat can be a source of master cells which could be used to repair organs. These cells are of a type that help the heart beat and blood flow, push food through the digestive system and make bladders fill and empty.

Assistant Professor Larissa Rodriguez from the Department of Urology at the University of Los Angeles medical school said the cells may prove a source to regenerate and repair damaged organs.

Rodriguez and colleagues incubated adipose-derived stem cells in a nourishing mixture of growth factors, human proteins that encouraged the cells to become smooth muscle cells.

The researchers said scientists have been looking for sources of smooth muscle for organ repair and treating heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases and bladder dysfunction. Previous studies that used cells from a patients own organ failed because the organ was damaged or diseased.

But transplants grown from a patient’s own fat could be used with no need for anti-rejection drugs. Smooth muscle cells have been produced from stem cells found in the brain and bone marrow, but acquiring stem cells from fat is much easier.

The stem cells found in fat are known as multipotent stem cells. They can produce a variety of cell and tissue types, but are not as flexible as embryonic stem cells.

Last week, President George W. Bush vetoed a bill that would have broadened federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, saying he preferred that researchers pursue so-called adult stem cells, such as those used at UCLA.

Many groups have been looking to fat as a source of stem cells. In April, Cytori Therapeutics Inc. said it was starting a clinical trial to test whether stem cells derived from fat can be used to regenerate breast tissue.

Other researchers have been trying to get stem cells from liposuction specimens.

In a second study published in the same journal, British researchers said they found one important protein that keeps stem cells in a quiescent and non-dividing stage.

Fiona Watt of Cancer Research UK and colleagues studied stem cells from human skin and found a protein known as Lrig1 kept the skin cells from proliferating. When Lrig1 production was silenced, the stem cells began growing and dividing.

The finding may not only offer important information to stem cell researchers, but may also offer insights into cancer, Watt’s team said. In cancer, cells ignore the normal signals from the body and proliferate uncontrollably. The protein is also involved in psoriasis.