Special Section Advertising – Dentistry Q&A
’Tis the season to be jolly and to indulge in a never-ending buffet of holiday treats. Aside from the potential for weight gain in the new year, the “sweets season” can wreak havoc on our teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends that we stick to a routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily. When brushing isn’t an option, chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating a meal. This will boost saliva, flush out food debris, and help prevent tooth decay.
Stay hydrated over the holidays by drinking plenty of fluoridated water to rinse away acids and sugars, and to keep teeth strong. Your teeth will thank you if you fill up on fruits, veggies, and proteins, and eat sweets sparingly. Noshing throughout the day on cookies, brownies, candy canes, or caramel corn can put your teeth at risk for greater decay or chipping.
Skip the sugary soda or sip that beverage through a straw. And remember, red wine can stain your pearly whites. Enjoy that glass of red while you eat a meal or munch on “anti-cavity” cheese like aged cheddar. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth as soon as you can.
This season, give yourself the gift of good oral health.
Q: I’m too young to look old! I want a great new smile, and I want it yesterday! How do I “shop” for my new smile?
A: To assure that your smile is picture-perfect, seek an exceptional dental practice. Dr. Craig Goldin, Dr. Marcy Goldin, and Dr. David Whalen of the award-winning Cosmetic Dentistry Institute provide all phases of general, cosmetic, sedation, and implant dentistry, so you can have all of your dental problems conveniently treated in one office.
“Whatever your dental needs are, your visit will be comfortable and painless, as well as efficient and high-tech. With cosmetic dentistry, a beautiful new smile can change your life,” says Dr. Marcy Goldin, an adjunct clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
Dr. Craig Goldin is the only cosmetic dentist in Oakland and Macomb counties to be accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, which allows him to both place and restore state-of-the-art dental implants.
“Beautiful, natural-looking implants can last a lifetime and allow you to smile, chew, and speak more confidently,” says Dr. Craig Goldin, who also has advanced training and certification in IV sedation. “With sedation dentistry, patients who are anxious or busy can be totally relaxed and have multiple dental procedures done in as little as one visit.”
“Everything we do,” Dr. Whalen adds, “is driven by our pledge to go above and beyond for our patients.”
Q: I have many old silver fillings in my mouth. Could the mercury in those fillings cause any health concerns?
A: The University of Georgia’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health has just released a new study. They analyzed 15,000 individuals in the first study to demonstrate the relationship between dental fillings and mercury exposure in a nationally represented population.
This study indicated that dental amalgams composed of mercury, silver, tin, and other metals significantly contribute to prolonged mercury levels in the body. Mercury is a heavy metal that is known to be toxic when present at high levels in the brain, kidneys, immune system, and lungs. In fact, people with more than eight silver fillings had 150 percent more mercury in their body than those individuals with no fillings. People with a high number of silver fillings are at increased risk of mercury exposure if they’re also exposed to mercury at work or consume a lot of seafood.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website cites that pregnant women and children under the age of 6 who are concerned with the long-term health outcomes of dental amalgams should talk to their dentist. What is important concerning this study is that patients should be informed about their decisions; this study is a starting point for patients to evaluate the effect of dental materials on their health.
If you have any questions concerning materials used to restore your teeth, please call Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel to discuss your options and make choices that are sensible for you. Please visit our website, www.smilesbymindy.com.
Q: What is the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis, two linked, silent killers?
A: Diabetes can strike anyone, and is doing so at increasingly alarming rates. In the United States, diabetes is presently the seventh leading cause of death, and more than 10 percent of U.S. health care dollars are spent treating the disease. Yet, despite the fact that diabetes is common — one in 12 people have diabetes — one in two diabetics don’t know they suffer from this disease. This has led many medical professionals to call it a “silent killer.”
What can we do to prevent and treat this prevalent, serious disease?
One answer may lie in understanding the important link between diabetes and periodontitis, an inflammatory disease that causes bone loss, gum recession, and loose teeth. Diabetics are three to five times more likely to develop periodontitis than other people. The relationship is so strong, the American Diabetes Association has declared periodontitis the sixth leading complication of diabetes.
Research shows that people with periodontitis are at greater risk of developing diabetes. Why? In untreated periodontitis, the presence of harmful bacteria in the gums activates an inflammatory response that results in elevated levels of blood sugar throughout the body. This increase in sugar levels triggers a systemwide diabetic response, causing the tissue damage associated with diabetes. However, the good news is that successful treatment of periodontitis can help establish better blood sugar control, which lowers the risk for developing diabetes and, in diabetics, translates to fewer infections, illnesses, and even deaths.
Q: Are you embarrassed about your snoring or annoyed by your partner’s snoring?
A: About half of all Americans snore, and most of them don’t tell their doctor. They dread the thought of being pressured to have invasive surgery or being required to sleep while wearing a CPAP mask. However, a comfortable, custom-fit oral appliance can positively improve the quality of your sleep and your relationship.
Typically, snoring is caused when you’re relaxed during sleep and your tongue falls back into your airway, partially blocking your throat. An oral appliance holds the jaw in a forward position, allowing the throat to stay open so you can stop snoring, and can sleep and breathe easier.
About 30 percent of people who snore suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a life-threatening condition. The majority of these patients can be successfully treated with an oral appliance.
Dr. Dolores Baran has completed advanced training for oral appliance therapy, so she can provide a safe and effective alternative for patients who are unable or unwilling to use a CPAP.
Q: What innovative techniques and technology are helping patients enjoy healthier, more attractive smiles?
A: Periodontist Dr. Joseph Nemeth uses the minimally invasive Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique to lengthen unattractive receding gums, typically with no incisions, no stitches, and virtually no pain.
“We make a small pinhole in the gum above the teeth to be treated, and we gently bring the gum tissue down over the receded area. The Pinhole Technique improves the smile tremendously. It can be life-changing,” says Dr. Nemeth, the first gum specialist in Michigan to be certified in this technique.
For patients who have a “horsey,” gummy smile, Dr. Nemeth does a minimally invasive lip-lowering procedure that not only prevents too much gum tissue from showing, but gives the patient a plumper, more attractive lip. Prior to drawing blood or giving intravenous sedation, Dr. Nemeth uses a near-infrared light technology VeinViewer Flex to harmlessly locate the patient’s veins to avoid multiple “sticks.”
Dr. Nemeth was one of the first dentists in the state to offer the All- On-Four procedure that utilizes four strategically placed dental implants to securely hold in place a complete set of upper or lower teeth. “People come in with no teeth or unhealthy teeth that need to be removed, and they walk out the same day with a set of good-looking, functional, permanent teeth. It’s miraculous.”
Q: I’d like a new look for the new year. What are my options?
A: Using conservative, state-of-theart procedures and technology, Dr. Askari and the Comfort Dental team can restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile, often in less time than you would imagine. In one short office visit, you can have a smile makeover with beautiful, all-ceramic CEREC crowns, and you don’t have to come back for a separate visit.
Another one-visit option is the Zoom! Chairside Whitening System. Zoom offers fast, safe, and effective teeth whitening, combining the newest advances in dental technology with proven chemical formulas. Zoom is painless, and the results are satisfying.
Six Month Smiles invisible brackets are a longer-term procedure but will get you ready for summer!
Offering excellence in all facets of dental care as well as soothing spa services, Dr. Askari and Comfort Dental Spa can give everyone a reason to smile. Please visit our website for more information on all of these procedures, patient testimonials, and before-and-after results. Don’t forget to use all of your dental benefits before the end of the year!
Q: Can physical therapy help my TMJ pain?
A: When treating TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), the specially trained physical therapists at Team Rehab will analyze a patient’s posture, look for dysfunctions in the patient’s neck, and examine the range of motion of the jaw to detect where the TMJ stems from and to develop an individualized program of treatment for each patient.
Physical therapy treatments may include ultrasound, moist heat, ice, stretching, and exercises that help improve posture and muscle strength. Manual therapy can be used to relax the muscles of the neck and face, to relieve any stiffness in the muscles of the jaw and neck. Physical therapists may also work on the muscle structures inside the mouth to move the temporomandibular joint out of a compressed state and into a painless state of rest.
Team Rehab therapists can ease your TMJ pain.
Q: Do receding gums stop you from smiling?
A: Gum disease, orthodontics, and bite discrepancies can all have a detrimental effect on your smile. Gum recession is unattractive, makes you look older, and can cause sensitivity to cold and sweets. Worse, dangerous bacteria can fester below the gumline and lead to advanced periodontal disease.
To treat gum recession surgically, dentists take a soft tissue graft from inside your mouth at your palate. The graft is stitched into place, covering the exposed roots of your teeth. The process can be unsightly and uncomfortable, but it is usually effective for most people.
A revolutionary rejuvenation process called the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) is quickly replacing traditional surgery. Using only regular local dental anesthetic, dentists certified in the technique make very small access holes above your gumline. Tiny specialized instruments allow the dentist to gently move your own gum tissue back into place, covering the exposed roots. The results are almost immediate!
Healing takes about six weeks, and you’ll need to avoid disturbing the area while it settles. Most people return to work or normal activities the next day, with little or no discomfort. If you suffer from gum recession, consider the advantages of the less-invasive PST treatment. Show off that beautiful smile!