DC Smiles

Are Sleep Issues Causing Your Headaches?

We all know that sleep plays a vital role in our day-to-day health and well-being.  During regular periods of shut-eye, our body repairs cells and regenerates itself. Adequate sleep cycles are related to both physical and mental health and supports brain function and emotional well-being. Lack of sleep can raise your risk of suffering from a host of health issues, including disease, increased reaction time and decreased mental proficiency.

OK, so you know how important sleep is, but how do you know if you need more? If you wake up more than occasionally with a bad headache and/or neck pain, it may be a sign that you need to focus on night-time habits that increase your quantity and quality of sleep.

Headaches

Waking up with a pounding head forces you to re-examine what you might have done the night before to cause it. Although alcohol or caffeine are possible culprits, quality of sleep may also be contributing to your headaches or migraines.  In fact, headaches are two to eight times more common among people with sleep disorders.

What’s going on during your night-time hours that’s causing your headache?  It could be any one of these issues:

Insomnia

We all have the occasional night of restlessness, but if you suffer from insomnia on multiple nights during a given week, you may want to seek help. Stress and anxiety prevents relaxation and cumulative nights of less than ideal sleep creates a cycle of fatigue and worry. A headache is a common symptom of all these conditions.

Tooth Grinding

Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth during the night – which is also known as “bruxism,” puts stress on the mouth and facial muscles, resulting in aches all over your head and face. If you think you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep, see your dentist for a treatment plan.  This can be a sign of a sleep issue.

Dehydration

Did you know 75% of Americans don’t drink enough water? Many of us suffer from a constant state of mild dehydration. Not getting enough fluids during the day can lead to severe headaches upon waking. Make sure you’re drinking about 8 eight ounce glasses of water or other fluids a day

Sleep Apnea   

If you suffer from migraines and sleep apnea, they may be related. Many of those who suffer from sleep apnea, or an inability to breathe consistently while asleep, find it more difficult to breathe when lying on their backs. But, being forced to lie on one’s side can lead to discomfort and eventually even a pinched nerve.  Pinched nerves happen to be a common trigger for migraines. If you get migraines and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about your treatment for both.

Neck Pain

Waking up with a stiff neck can set you up for a day of pain and agony every time you try to turn your head. Whether it’s a muscle pull or a tension headache, consider improving a few of your bedtime habits to ensure you’re not giving yourself a pain in the neck.

Pillow Support

Your neck agony may be related to the wrong pillow. If you fall asleep without enough support to your head and neck or strain your muscles for hours overnight, you’re almost guaranteed to wake up with some tension pain. Make sure you keep your head and neck in a neutral position while lying in bed– as if you were standing up. If you do wake up with a stiff neck, try a hot shower to relax your muscles or take some over the counter pain medication.

Sleep Position

Some sleeping positions are more likely to cause neck pain. Sleeping on your back (unless you have sleep apnea) or on your side is less stressful on the spine than spending the entire night on your stomach.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to change the habit of what sleep position you settle in to. Try to start the night on your back or side, at the very least.

Getting quality sleep is important for many reasons – not the least of which is feeling focused and capable of getting through your day. Headaches and neck pain that are related to poor sleeping habits prevent you from looking and feeling your best – get to the bottom of what’s causing that throbbing in the top of your head!

Healthy bodies start with healthy teeth. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.

 

 

Reduce Inflammation with Your Diet

It usually doesn’t take a professional nutritionist to point out the difference between the foods that we should be loading into our grocery carts on a regular basis and the ones we should pass on by.

Think about foods that have been deemed “bad for you” and you’ll probably come up with a list that includes sugary sweets, soda and anything fried. These types of foods are synonymous with excess calories, weight gain, and contributing to health risks.

Although there are many reasons we should limit our consumption of these foods that provide little in the way of nutrition and force us to carry a lot of baggage (mostly in our thighs), the number one argument for keeping them out of your body is the inflammation they can cause.

Inflammation Situation

What is inflammation? Well, in small doses, inflammation is actually good for your body. It occurs whenever your immune system attacks a foreign chemical or microbe.  It is your system’s attempt to protect itself and whatever “invader” it perceives is doing you harm. Acute inflammation is the immediate reaction of the body to some kind of trauma. Redness, heat or swelling are symptoms of inflammation – and they can occur during an infection or other injury.

However, chronic inflammation is when your body continues to remain in that heightened state for months or even years. It’s a systemic condition that occurs when acute inflammation does not rid your body of a pathogen or when your own cells are being attacked as foreign entities. It may be mostly undetectable, but chronic inflammation contributes to many illnesses including heart disease, forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Foods Can Help or Hurt

Stress, smoking and exposure to toxins contribute to chronic inflammation, as do many foods.  Conversely, your diet can play a big part in preventing inflammation – IF you eat the right foods.  Make sure you are following an anti-inflammatory diet to lower your risk of diseases, and prevent symptoms of chronic inflammation, like depression, fatigue and digestive issues.

Foods that CAUSE Inflammation:

  • French fries and other fried food
  • Red meat and processed meats
  • Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and cakes
  • Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Margarine and shortening

Food that PREVENT or FIGHT Inflammation:

  • Leafy greens, like spinach and kale
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts, like almonds and walnuts
  • Fatty fish like tuna and salmon
  • Fruits like blueberries and oranges

Need another reason for adopting an anti-inflammation diet? Foods that fight inflammation are also high in nutrients and included in diets linked with longevity and increased health benefits.

Healthy bodies start with healthy teeth. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.

Bonding or Veneers: Which One Will Save Your Smile?

 

Whether you are going out on a blind date, or interviewing to get the job of your dreams, there are few things that make a better first impression than a gorgeous, glowing smile of pearly white teeth. In fact, a recent study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 48% of adults believe a smile is the most memorable feature of meeting someone new.

Over time, environmental effects, accidents, and even the natural aging process can transform the smile we want to show the world into one we’d prefer to keep under closed lips.  Fortunately, cosmetic dental procedures can restore our teeth to their former glory – or maybe make them look better than they ever did in the first place.

Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are two common procedures used to dramatically improve the look of your smile – but what is the difference between them and which one is right for you?

A Bonding Experience

Dental bonding is a procedure during which your dentist molds a composite resin individually over one or multiple teeth to fix the shape or fill in cracks within your smile. The resin is colored to match the shade of your natural teeth and is permanently bonded with an ultraviolet light. The process is done freehand by your dentist – usually during a single visit.

Once the bonding material is cured, it becomes nearly indistinguishable from your own teeth. Bonding is perfect for fixing chips, making short teeth long longer and improving the overall shape of a tooth. Although it’s not cheap, it’s much less expensive than getting veneers. Bonding is a quick and relatively easy process to mask imperfections in your smile and lasts up to 5 years.

Get a Hollywood Smile with Veneers

Tune into an awards show with a red carpet full of celebrities and you’ll see a lot of blindingly white perfect smiles.  Many of those mouths can thank their dentists for creating them – with the help of porcelain veneers. Want to look like a movie star? Veneers might be the investment for you.

Veneers are thin, individually-shaped coverings that are created to match each of your own teeth. Before veneers can be applied, you must undergo a prep procedure, which involves filing down the actual enamel from each tooth and shaping it to better fit the veneer shell.

Once your teeth are prepped, molds are taken and sent to a dental lab to create veneers that will perfectly fit. There are several different methods of constructing veneers.  Once the veneers are constructed, the veneers are attached to the natural teeth using an adhesive material. Voila – you’re ready for your close-up!

Veneers last longer than bonding – up to 20 years or more.  They also don’t yellow with time or staining foods and drinks (think coffee and red wine) like natural teeth or the materials used in dental bonding. However, veneers can cost more than twice as much per tooth and require multiple trips to the dentist.  Sometimes called “instant orthodontia,” porcelain veneers are used to fix serious smile defects as opposed to minor imperfections.

Determining which dental procedure is the best for you may involve a conversation with your dentist. Consider the time involved, the cost of each affected tooth and the current state of your smile. No matter which treatment you choose, one thing is certain – your smile will be brighter, straighter and more fabulous than before!

Considering veneers or bonding? Let’s talk about the best option for you. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.

 

 

 

 

Can Your Own Blood Help Your TMJ Disorder?

It might sound like something out of vampire movie, or maybe the latest Hollywood celebrity craze, but using a by-product from your own blood supply – Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – might be the innovative solution you need to treat a chronic temporomandibular jaw joint (TMJ)  disorder.

What is TMJ?

Remarkably, one in every four Americans suffers from a mild to severe TMJ disorder. Issues occur when one or both of the temporomandibular joints on the side of the jaw become dysfunctional through injury or repetitive movements – like grinding your teeth.

TMJ disorders can produce a broad range of symptoms that includes everything from loss of balance to head and shoulder pain to tooth sensitivity. If you think you may have TMJ, read more about it here.

 What is PRP?

Your blood is not just that thick red liquid oozing through your arteries. It’s composed of several kinds of cells – red, white and platelets – each with their own purpose for supporting your healthy body.

Protein-rich platelets are the wound-healing superstars that clot your blood after you sustain an injury – you know, so you won’t bleed to death after getting a paper cut. They also contain growth factors (GFs) that are designed to speed the healing process by regenerating tissue and other body materials.

How PRP Helps TMJ

Research and recent usage have shown that PRP can help heal joint and muscle injuries as well as improve bone and blood vessel regeneration, when injected directly into the affected area. The growth factors in the PRP go to work to heal and repair tissue.

For the treatment of chronic recurrent TMJ dislocation, PRP can regrow connective tissue and ease symptoms that have not responded to other therapies. For many, it can reactivate the body’s natural ability to heal.

So, how does your doctor or dentist get your PRPs into your TMJ?  We’ll tell you ASAP!

  1. Your own blood is drawn. Don’t worry! It’s a small amount you’ll never miss.
  2. The blood is separated into its cell components with a centrifuge machine. The liquid is spun around so fast, it eventually divides into red cells, white cells and platelets.
  3. The platelets are collected and injected into the affected area with the guidance of an ultrasound navigation system to confirm accuracy.
  4. You start healing!

Historically, PRP injections were only done in a hospital that had access to the necessary equipment, but today, many doctors and dentists offer the treatment as an out-patient procedure in the comfort of their office.

The process may sound a bit icky at first to the uninformed, but this remarkable treatment is safe, cost-effective and convenient for patients and doctors. Not to mention, it works!

Dr. Lawrence Singer is proud to offer PRP treatments for chronic TMJ disorders.  Learn more at http://www.dcsmiles.com/.

Is Water Flossing Better than Regular Flossing?

Flossing is one of those everyday chores that most of us love to hate – at least among those of us that actually do it every day. From the necessary mouth contortions to the uncomfortable sensation of sharp plastic string in between our teeth to the flying bits of whatever was wedged behind our back molars – flossing is just not a lot of fun.

Water flossers shoot a tiny but strong stream of water in and around teeth – they seem to provide a much more enjoyable alternative to winding regular floss tightly around our fingertips and sawing through the crevices of our teeth every day. But, are these oral irrigators as effective as regular nylon or plastic floss for keeping your teeth healthy? We’re putting the flosses head to head in our dentition competition.

Round 1: Plaque

Plaque is a colorless sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth.  It grows when remnants of sugars and starches are left in the mouth.  The bacteria produces acid that eats away at the enamel and, if left unchecked, can lead to tooth decay and eventual breakdown of bone. Plaque that is not removed hardens under the gumline to become tarter. Once tarter forms, it must be removed by a dentist.

How to get rid of it? The material and motion of regular flossing is ideal at scraping off plaque that forms around each tooth.  Although it seems arduous, using a string of floss is much more effective, according to most dentists, at removing plaque than just shooting water at it. Oral irrigators can flush out bits of food, but that stream of liquid can’t scour your teeth like a piece of nylon or waxed string. Floss wins this round.

Round 2: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease that causes inflammation, bleeding and irritation.  Because it’s usually so mild, you may not even be aware that you have it. But, if left untreated, it can lead to more serious issues like advanced gum disease and even tooth loss.

Gingivitis is caused by our old friend plaque which can reform on teeth as quickly as 24 hours after being removed. Once again – regular flossing is the best way to remove plaque, so it’s important to commit to it every day.

However, a 2005 study out of the University of Nebraska showed that water picks are able to control gingivitis 50% more effectively than string floss. This round is a toss up.

Round 3: Braces

Metal wires wrapped around your teeth for months or years at a time add another layer of complexity to keeping your teeth clean.  Not only can it be difficult to thread regular floss through the wires of your braces, but food that is stuck within the bars may be difficult to reach, even with your toothbrush.

Oral irrigators provide a great alternative to regular flossing for children and adults with braces. The strong jets of water flush food and bacteria out of the crevices of metal wiring more effectually than string. Round three goes to water picks.

Depending on the state of your teeth, determining whether to choose a water flosser or a regular packet of floss may be a conversation to have with your dentist. These tools also complement each other for an overall superior level of tooth and mouth health. And, committing to either one is much better than doing nothing at all!

No matter your preference of tools, DC Smiles supports your dental needs. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.

Five Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Achieve

 

Ah, new year’s resolutions – those lofty promises we make to ourselves each year to erase all our bad habits, overhaul our lives and in general, try t0 dramatically change everything about ourselves we find unpleasant.

Typically, resolutions seem to last about two weeks until around mid-January, when we begin to backslide and by February, they are distant, guilt-ridden memories.

Although some psychologists would argue that it’s nearly impossible for most to change certain habits, setting unrealistic goals and expectations for oneself pretty much guarantees eventual failure.

Instead of vowing to lose 25 pounds in January or run a 5k by March, set smaller, more attainable objectives that you can incorporate into your every-day life and evolve into healthy habits.

Resolution #1: Set SMART Fitness Goals

Perhaps the number one resolution uttered around the world is the determination to get more exercise. But, if it’s not something you know how to start working towards, you’ll be discouraged before you can feel or see any results.

Don’t make generic fitness resolutions that you know you won’t keep. Try creating a SMART goal for yourself, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Commit to scheduling three workout sessions each week for 60 days.  If you are able to achieve that goal, give yourself a reward, like a pedicure or a vacation.

Other ways to ensure you’ll stick to your fitness resolution:

  • Bring a buddy and make yourself accountable to someone else.
  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water during your workout.
  • Take a class and blend into a crowd.

Exercise does not have to happen within the walls of a gym – it can take place outside or even in your living room. And, remember, even if you don’t lose any weight, increased exercise still improves your heart function and overall physical state.

Resolution #2: Eat More, Not Less

But, we’re not talking about cake, here.

Typically, diets are all about everything you CAN’T eat. But, by focusing on incorporating more healthy foods into your every-day meals – like greens and proteins – you’ll be replacing less nutritional choices.

And, that old saying ‘everything in moderation’ is a saying for a reason. Obsessing about the favorite treats that you must abandon for the rest of your life causes anxiety and discouragement. Allowing yourself a small portion of these foods here and there can keep you satisfied and feeling balanced.

Resolution #3: Get Your Full 40 Winks

 In today’s fast-paced world, sleep tends to go by the wayside. But, the importance of a full night’s rest – every night – can’t be over emphasized. Lack of regular sleep leads to weight gain, risk of disease, memory loss and even a shorter life.

Make a resolution to go to bed and wake up at the same times, no matter your schedule. Creating sleeping habits will lead to better sleep cycles and more rest.

 Resolution #4: Don’t Forget to Floss

 How many times have you told your dentist you “forgot” to floss, when really you just skipped it?

Flossing can seem like the first chore that gets knocked off your every-day “to-do” list, but maintaining healthy gums doesn’t just keep your smile attractive – it’s essential to dental health.  Skipping the floss can lead to gum disease and infection.

How to make flossing a habit? Pair it up with another habit that you know you won’t skip – like taking a shower. Keep your floss in the shower stall and floss your teeth while you wait for your conditioner to soak in.

Resolution #5: Keep Calm and Carry On

 New year’s resolutions are promises we make to ourselves to improve aspects of our physical or mental states that we want to change. When we can’t stick to those goals, we may feel as thought we’ve failed ourselves.

But altering habits and behaviors is a long-term process. Putting too much stress on yourself to make an immediate change from one day to the next creates unrealistic expectations. Focus on making small changes and don’t beat yourself up if you slip – just get back up on that resolution horse.

Make a resolution to keep your teeth healthy this year. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.

Sleep…the Best Gift to Yourself

 

Keep Up on Sleep During the Holidays

The holiday season is synonymous with the traditions of tranquility and relaxation with friends and family.  But, instead of “peace on earth”, we’re more likely to be dealing with “stress on the brain,” as we attempt to rush through our gift-buying, decorate our houses, prepare for parties, make travel plans and more!

With little time to get what can seem like an overwhelming amount done, something is bound to be pushed to the bottom of our of list – and more often than not, it’s quality sleep. But, although you may think you can just make up those hours later, lack of regular sleep is linked to depression, overeating and risk of illness.

The holidays are not going to suddenly get less busy, so it’s up to you to pace yourself and focus on keeping healthy habits throughout the season and the rest of the year.  Not sure how that’s possible? We’ll give you some tips:

Stick to a Normal Sleep Schedule

Late night parties, staying up wrapping gifts, midnight caroling sessions – the reasons NOT to sleep during this season seem endless. But without regular snoozing, you’ll lack the energy to keep up with all the activities that bring meaning to the holidays.

As much as possible, stick to your regular sleep schedule each night, rather than putting off those hours of rest.             Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, regardless of your plans. Keeping it consistent will reinforce your sleep cycle and ensure you’re getting the rest you need.

Don’t Eat (or Drink) Two Hours Before Bedtime

 The holidays are all about eating and drinking – but doing so too close to bedtime can cause stomach issues and interrupt your sleep schedule. Big meals can take hours to digest and make your body work harder during the night. Plus, sugar-laden, starchy desserts wreak havoc on your energy levels and may keep you up at night while making you feel sluggish during the day.

A nightcap (or two) may seem like the perfect way to end a holiday party, but even if you initially fall asleep easily, alcohol processed by your body may hamper your quality of rest. Alcohol also negatively affects your amount of REM sleep – an important cycle that happens during your sleep schedule to refresh and repair your body.

You KNOW you’re going to go off your diet during the holiday season – so don’t try to deny yourself some treats. But, keep ample time between feasting and bedtime, and try to walk off that last slice of pie before turning in.

Get Regular Exercise

Who has time to exercise during the holidays? – is what you might be thinking. But sneaking in a workout or two will help keep stress levels down and improve your sleep quality.

Remember, exercise isn’t only defined as time spent at the gym. Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Join some friends for a wrapping party.  Laugh as much as possible.  Try to find activities that combine a festive spirit with your physical exertion – and knock off a couple of turtledoves with one snowball.

Getting adequate sleep during this time of year may seem like another item on your holiday to-do list that will never get done, but regular rest will empower you to make it through all the seasonal activities that you hold near and dear with joy and cheer to spare.

Keeping your teeth healthy is an important objective too – during the holidays and all year round. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at DCSmiles.com.

Holiday Nutrition

How to Maintain Good Nutrition Through the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to relax, enjoy traditional moments with family and friends and sometimes let loose at a seasonal office party. But, given all the indulging of food and drink that becomes standard practice during the holiday season, letting loose a belt notch or two might also be the end result.

How can you enjoy the holidays without blowing your nutritional budget? Take it one day – and party – at a time and don’t ditch the dietary rules you obediently follow the rest of the year.

Only Indulge in Foods You Love

Picture this: you’re dressed to the nines, standing around the catering table at a swanky holiday shindig. From your left wafts the delightful aroma of hot pigs in a blanket, and on your right, your mouth waters at the sight of some spicy Swedish meatballs on a stick.

Both foods look delicious, but you know you won’t be able to resist the meatballs. If there are foods that you could take or leave – leave them, and save your calories for indulging in your favorite dishes.

Keep Your Distance

Mingling at holiday parties includes a lot of schmoozing around the appetizer table – which sometimes includes a lot of mindless eating. How many times have you found yourself engrossed in small talk near the chip bowl, mechanically dipping nacho after nacho into the salsa as you converse?

To avoid becoming a subconscious snacker during cocktail conversations, strategically map out your party interactions. Plan to stand far away from the food table.  Hold a low calorie drink in your hand to hamper your ability to grab too many appetizers. And, don’t forget to eat a healthy, light meal before you arrive at a party to prevent overindulging.

Maintain Your Regular Healthy Habits

The holidays may seem like the time to eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow – but trust us – there will be one.  Instead of waking up with regrets, keep up the healthy habits you follow all year.

  • Keep a proactive food diary – decide what you WILL eat rather than record what you have already eaten.
  • Use smaller plates at home when serving big holiday meals, as we all have a tendency to finish what’s on our plates whether we are still hungry or not.
  • Remember alcohol counts as calories! Stay away from heavy or rich dairy-based drinks and sip clear alcohol mixed with club soda to cut down on sugar.
  • Keep exercising regularly.
  • Don’t cancel doctor or dentist appointments that occur during the holidays – keep your health on track.

Overdoing it during the holidays is a common health hazard, so don’t beat yourself up if it happens to you. What’s most important is to recognize your misstep, acknowledge it and get back on the path to good health.

Keep your teeth healthy during the holidays and all year round. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, Dr. Lawrence Singer provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness.

Why is Vertigo a Symptom of TMJ Dysfunction?

One of the benefits of visiting with a holistic, naturopathic, cosmetic dentist like Dr. Lawrence Singer at DC Smiles about the health of your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and its related disorders, is that Dr. Singer has an excellent grasp of the far-reaching chronic pain and discomfort issues associated with bite and jaw alignment problems.

Vertigo can be one of these problems.

The TMJ/TMD symptoms that are common and less challenging to diagnose include:

  • Clicking or popping of the jaw joints
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth during sleep (Bruxism)
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Ear congestion or earaches
  • Painful chewing
  • Soreness on the inside of your cheeks

But vertigo, or an uncontrollable dizzying sensation, is one TMJ symptom with which some people, even medical and dental professionals, may be less familiar.

How can TMJ disorders cause vertigo?

The neuromuscular system associated with the Temporomandibular Joint includes muscles in addition to blood vessels, nerves and bone. When this system is not functioning properly, in addition to causing pain, blood flow through the face may be inhibited. Anytime blood fails to flow properly, becoming dizzy may follow.

Some researchers also have determined that ongoing TMJ discomfort can cause anxiety, a symptom of which also is dizziness or vertigo.

When you need a cosmetic dentist who treats TMJ/TMD problems, please contact DC smiles online or by telephone to schedule a consultation with Dr. Singer: (703) 299-4614 in Alexandria, Va. or (202) 455-4920 in Washington, D.C.

Pop Star Iggy Izalea Among Millions to Suffer From TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunctions (TMJ/TMD) like those treated at DC Smiles in Alexandria may have a new poster girl:

Pop star Iggy Azalea.

Research indicates that between 20 and 30 percent of the world’s adult population suffer from some degree of TMJ disorder, the dominant symptoms of which are:

  • Facial/jaw pain
  • Clicking or popping jaw noises
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty eating or speaking

Azalea, pictured here in a Revlon promotional photo, is the flashy, Australian-born but American-reared pop rapper behind such chart-topping hits as “Fancy” and “Black Widow.” She has spoken publicly in recent weeks about her struggle with TMJ, and how the diagnosis is prompting her to make adjustments to her routine.

People magazine reports that Azalea shared her TMJ diagnosis in January via her Twitter feed. The magazine added that the singer’s disorder causes acute jaw pain, which is even worse when she’s under pressure.

“I’m gonna make more of an effort to take care of myself in 2015, stay away from all the drama & hopefully not have any flair ups,” Azalea reportedly Tweeted.

In a separate Tweet, the star added: “I don’t think western medicine all the way acknowledges what a huge toll mental stress takes on our bodies. But I do believe it is a factor.”

There is good science to support the premise that stress and anxiety can exacerbate TMJ and vice-versa.

When you need a cosmetic dentist who treats TMJ/TMD problems, please contact DC smiles online or by telephone to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawrence Singer: (703) 299-4614 in Alexandria, Va. or (202) 455-4920 in Washington, D.C.