Welcome to this new monthly addition to our paper. Intended to respond to your family’s dental healthcare concerns, it will answer your questions and focus on new developments affecting your dental health.

David P. Reichwage, DDS, the column’s author, is a Waynedale native and practicing Fort Wayne family dentist. He invites you to e-mail questions to, or via his website, Questions of interest to the public will be printed, and as many of your questions as possible will be personally answered.

This IU School of Dentistry graduate and his team will be recognized in the June 2002 “Good Housekeeping” magazine as a Leading Healthcare Provider in northeastern Indiana.

Dr. Reichwage and his team have completed a five-year-cycle of postgraduate dental studies in advanced restorative and cosmetic dentistry at the Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and at San Francisco’s Pacific Aesthetic Continuum.

They have also completed training in the advanced diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease with JP Consultants Institute of Carlsbad, CA, and are ranked among America’s most highly trained family practices by these organizations.

Dr. Reichwage looks forward to hearing from you. 


Dear Dr. Reichwage:

I wake up in the morning with a headache and my face and shoulder hurts. My MD can’t find anything and told me to see my dentist. Can this really be a dental problem?

Mary E., Fort Wayne



You may be grinding and/or clenching your teeth. Our teeth are usually together only 10-15 minutes daily while eating. People who grind or clench during the day or night can have their teeth in heavy contact for 6 hours a day! This is called bruxism and up to 90% of Americans may be doing it to relieve stress or due to bite -related interferences.

It produces muscle imbalances that causes muscle pain and soreness, just like working out in the gym too hard. Among other symptoms are wear patterns and /or fracture lines on your teeth, frequent headaches, soreness around the jaw joints, pain in the facial muscles, sensitive or sore teeth and abfraction lesions. Run your finger across the gum line on your teeth’s outer side and check for v-shaped notches, called abfraction lesions. These can be repaired with bonding material.

Your dentist may recommend a hard or soft bite splint or nightguard, a removable appliance that fits onto your teeth to keep them apart and prevent further damage. If you already have extensive damage, some or all teeth may also require restoring to attain a proper bite relationship.