Starting Chemo? How Are Your Teeth?

cancer related tooth risks Royal Oak

If you are scheduled for cancer treatment due to a recent diagnosis or relapse, oral health is probably not your first priority. However, the team at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry counsels you to give some attention to your teeth to prevent or minimize common cancer-related dental complications.

According to the National Institutes of Health, cancer treatment often takes a heavy toll on a healthy smile.

Common Complications of Chemotherapy and/or Radiation

Inflammation of the mucous membranes
Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections
Mouth dryness (increases risk of cavities)
Poor nutrition due to eating difficulties
Mouth pain
Oral bleeding
Lifelong risk of tooth decay
Loss of elasticity of masticatory muscles (may make opening mouth difficult)
Bone recession due to decreased blood flow
Tooth loss

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak wants to help you maintain oral health before, during, and after your cancer treatment. We offer comprehensive preventative and restorative dental services including cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, dental implants

We extend to our dental patients battling cancer our sincere hopes for your successful treatment. It is a pleasure to serve your oral health needs.

“Oral Complications of Cancer Treatment: What the Dental Team Can Do,” National Institutes of Health, http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/CancerTreatment/OralComplicationsCancerOral.htm, accessed on May 27, 2014

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 6495

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry Guide To Healthy Tooth Enamel

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry Guide To Healthy Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in the body, but it is non-renewable so it is important to not neglect or abuse our teeth. Practicing daily oral hygiene is vital for enamel health.

Even though every drug store carries hard bristle brushes, we advise our patients to brush with a soft brush after every meal to gently clean away food particles. Scrub too hard, and you can erode enamel. It is ideal to brush immediately after eating, but brushing within 60 minutes of a meal has benefits. The quicker you remove food from your teeth, the better it is for your enamel.

Flossing regularly is also critical to keep gums healthy. Whether the food is on tooth surfaces or hidden in between, it is not doing your enamel any good.

Steven Gustafson recommends a checkup and comprehensive cleaning every six months. Our skilled hygienists remove tartar, a substance that attracts plaque to the surface of the teeth and can weaken tooth structures. Regular checkups prevent problems and save you money on pricey restorations down the road.

Remember: don’t use your teeth for opening packages! Keep scissors and bottle openers handy. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry, we see damaged teeth and dental work as a result of patients using their teeth as tools. Biting down on something too hard, like ice or hard candy can also damage enamel.

Attention Berkley, Royal Oak, and Ferndale athletes: be sure to use a mouthguard for team, contact, and recreational sports.

Teeth grinding is also a common dental threat. Be careful not to grind teeth, this can not only wear away enamel but also pave ways for cavities to get in. If you grind your teeth while you are sleeping, make an appointment to be fitted for a nightguard. Your enamel will thank you.

Lastly, remember: drink water. Coffee, sports drinks, soda, wine, and tea all contain a lot of acids and/or sugar. Cut back, or at least use a straw. These drinks cause a lot of tooth decay for non-water drinkers in Detroit.

We hope you find these Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry tips helpful. For more details on premium dental care, or to schedule an appointment, communicate with our Royal Oak family dentist office today at 248-541-8770!

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 3334

Should You Let Your Teen Get An Oral Piercing?

dangers of oral piercings Royal Oak

An increasing number of Royal Oak adolescents are sporting tongue, cheek, and lip piercings.

What if your teen asked you for permission to get an oral piercing?

The team at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry advises parents to give a firm ‘No.’

Here are five reasons why teens should avoid oral piercings:

  1. Excessive drooling
  2. Chipped teeth
  3. Infection
  4. Hypersensitivity to metal
  5. Nerve damage

Let’s discuss these dangers in more detail.

Drooling

Lip and tongue piercings let teenagers express their personality and creativity. But they can cause repeated drooling. I doubt your teen is enthusiastic about that prospect. But, interestingly, some are more worried about drooling than nerve damage.

Broken Teeth

Another critical reason to keep piercings away from your mouth, lips, and tongue, is because having any metal in your mouth can chip your teeth. This can happen while eating, drinking, or sleeping.

Does your teen already have a tooth that’s weakened? Repair these cracks early before more damage ensues.

Small breaks in teeth can be filled or crowned. But often youth with piercings come in with more serious problems. These may require a root canal or tooth extraction.

Infection

The mouth is a haven for bacteria. When tissue is pierced, bacteria can enter the bloodstream. Neglecting correct brushing habits can increase the risk. Touching the piercing with dirty hands can also introduce bacteria.

Hypersensitivity to Metal

Metal piercings can result in hypersensitivity to any metal in your mouth, such as silverware. This is problematic for any that likes to eat.

Additionally, there is a risk of an allergic reaction at the piercing site. If your teen is aware of sensitivity to certain metals, they can get the piercing in a metal that doesn’t cause problems. But your teen is still at risk of the other perils discussed here.

Nerve Damage

This is the scariest. Piercings put your son or daughter at risk of irreversible nerve damage. If the previous dangers don’t dissuade you, this one should. Experiencing a numb tongue is usually temporary. But for some adolescents, it has become permanent.

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 8167

Missing Teeth? 5 Things You Need To Know About Dentures

implant dentures Royal Oak

1. Dentures are not the only replacement selection for missing teeth. Dental implants used alone or in combination with a partial denture is often a superior option for patients. Whereas a removable appliance replaces only the visible parts of teeth, an implant replaces both the root and crown of a tooth. This has important implications. Dental implants can prohibit bone recession that often occurs following tooth extractions. Dental implants can furnish patients with the near-normal ability to chew, speak, and laugh.

2. There is more than one type of denture. Most men and women are familiar with the removable denture that replaces a complete upper or lower arch. There are also partial dentures that are used for patients who have some natural teeth. Partial dentures can be fixed in the mouth or removable.

3. Even if you have worn dentures for a while, you may be a suitable candidate for implant-anchored dentures. The vital factor is whether or not you have enough bone to support an implant. Bone grafting can augment existing bone for some implant patients. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Gustafson to find out if you are an appropriate candidate.

4. Regardless of your tooth replacement configuration—full dentures, partial dentures, or tooth implants—you still need to practice appropriate oral hygiene. Removable appliances should be cleaned daily.

5. Even if you have no existing teeth left, it’s essential that you have a twice-yearly dental examination. Optimal oral health is an essential component of overall physical well-being. Dr. Gustafson will examine your mouth for indications of diseases like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. It is also a good idea for your dentist to examine the condition of your appliance at your visit.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7395

How Long Should You Brush?

Birmingham Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Gustafson and the American Dental Association recommend two minutes as a minimum time for brushing. Most individuals think they brush that long but would be surprised if they actually set a timer. Most of us only brush for about a minute, if that.

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry performs preventative dentistry. We work with our patients to establish essential oral hygiene habits.

If you are looking for a family dentist in Royal Oak, I invite you to meet my friendly team. We offer general and restorative dentistry, including cosmetic dentistry and teeth cleaning.

And here’s a quick cold-fighting tip for my patients; get a new toothbrush when you catch a cold. A toothbrush teeming with germs can re-infect you!

Give us a call at 248-541-8770.

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 2285

Stress And Your Child’s Smile

Royal Oak how stress hurts your teeth

Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. But how often do we think about how stress impacts our smile?

And what about your child’s smile? Children are just as susceptible to stress-induces oral problems.

Here are some dental problems linked to stress.

Canker and Cold Sores

Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you or your child are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or increase healing times.

meet with your doctor or dentist. Your healthcare provider can advise you on medications, diet, and stress reduction practices.

Teeth Grinding

It’s no surprise that teeth grinding (bruxism) is harmful to teeth. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other issues such as gum recession, headaches, TMJ, and TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders).

If you notice that your child grinds their teeth, it’s vital to address this condition as soon as possible. In addition to stress, there are many factors that can cause or exacerbate bruxism. These include malocclusion (bad bite), and prescription depression and anxiety medications.

Your dentist may prescribe an appliance to safeguard your child’s teeth and keep their jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication.

If your child grinds their teeth, Dr. Gustafson can create a treatment plan and work with you and your doctor to manage or eliminate this condition.

Temporomandibular Disorders

There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, or swelling in the neck, ear, face, or shoulder; popping or clicking sounds; and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you or your child experiences any of these, meet with your dentist.

Gum Disease

Stress can reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up which can cause gum disease.

Oral Hygiene

Some children fail to recognize brushing and flossing when they are experiencing high levels of stress.

Diet

It’s not uncommon for people people to consume more sugar and snack more often between meals when experiencing increased stress. All this at a time when vigilant oral hygiene is frequently not a person’s first priority!

Let’s nip this vicious cycle in the bud. Make an appointment with your dentist to protect your child’s dental health.

Remember, a healthy smile will give them one less thing to worry about.

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7029

Is Your Mouth Sore Something Serious?

Detroit Dentists And Your Mouth Sores As a dentist, one of my roles is to help you take care of your mouth. Some of my patients have problems with mouth sores, thus the topic of today’s article.

If you have a mouth sore that lasts more than a week or two; it is important to come in for an oral exam. Mouth sores can be an indicator of disease, and an early assessment aids in preventing more serious problems. If needed, important treatment and pain relief can be offered. In extreme cases, I will refer you to a medical professional who specializes in problems that can cause mouth sores.

There are two types of mouth sores; canker sores and cold sores.

Canker sores are small ulcer-like sores with a white or gray base and a red border. They are found on the inside of the mouth and while they are not contagious, they can be painful. Canker sore generally heal in a week or two. Antimicrobial mouth-rinses, over-the-counter topical anesthetics, and avoiding spicy and acidic foods assists in temporary relief while your sore is healing.

The cause of canker sores is not certain. Possible explanations include: a cut on the inside of the mouth, a reaction to extreme temperatures, acids from food or drink, fatigue, stress, and allergies. Some studies point to bacteria or a virus, or a combination of these factors.

Cold sores, also called fever blisters or Herpes Simplex, are groups of fluid-filled blisters that appear around the lips, sometimes appearing under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are contagious and painful, but typically heal in about a week. Some over-the-counter anesthetics deliver relief.

Hope on the Horizon

There are revolutionary antiviral drugs on the market that have shown promise in curtailing outbreaks, but there is currently no known cure. The initial infection, known as primary herpes, often occurs before adulthood. Once the virus infects you, it may stay in your body and remain inactive or cause intermittent cold sore outbreaks. Outbreaks may be triggered by a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions, stress, or exposure to extremes in temperature.

Talk To Your Dentist

In some cases, a change in the way you care for your mouth the frequency of mouth sores. If you are in the Royal Oak, area and would like to speak with a dental professional about mouth sores, give us a call at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry to schedule an examination.

Our number is 248-541-8770.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

ArticleID 341

How White Fillings Improve Your Smile

Tooth-Colored Fillings in Detroit Hello! Welcome to the Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry dental blog. If this your first visit, we hope you find useful information about our outstanding Royal Oak dental practice. If you have read some of our previous articles, we are glad you checked back with us. We post new articles regularly.

My name is Steven Gustafson, DDS. I have been practicing dentistry in Royal Oak since 1984. Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry is a full-service dental office located at 940 E 11 Mile Rd in Royal Oak. In addition to providing comprehensive examinations and deep cleanings for patients in the Detroit area, we perform all types of tooth restorations.

When a tooth has decay or has been damaged, a dental restoration is needed to restore the tooth to its previous intact condition. A dental filling is one of the most common and well-known types of restorations. A dental filling is used to repair decayed or damaged tooth surfaces. Most people have a few fillings in their mouth.

If you have old silver amalgam fillings, we can replace them with nearly-invisible fillings that are tooth colored. These fillings are made out of a strong composite resin. Many of our cosmetic dentistry patients have replaced their old silver fillings with fillings matched to their teeth. You can improve your smile instantly and relatively inexpensively by getting rid of the metal.

We are currently accepting new patients and would be happy to show you around our Royal Oak dental office and introduce you to our friendly team.

Smile – it increases your face value!

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

ArticleID 1173

Oral Appliance Therapy For Sleep Apnea

oral appliance for sleep apnea Royal Oak

Suspect you might have sleep apnea?

It’s crucial to your health to see a doctor soon. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening.

Do your loved ones tell you that you regularly stop breathing during the night? What if you sleep alone? Here are some signs that you may have sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Sudden awakenings
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Frequently being tired during the day
  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Headaches, especially in the morning
  • Difficulty concentrating

Recurring interruptions in breathing during sleep robs the brain of oxygen. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen, the heart slows down. When the person resumes breathing, the heart goes into panic mode to push the oxygen to the brain. Then the cycle repeats itself many times an hour each and every night. This stop-and-start action is dangerous for every organ in the body.

CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) may be the most well-known treatment for sleep apnea. Many people don’t know that there are other ways to treat it.

Your Dentist Can Help

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) conducted by a dentist can be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved OAT in the following circumstances:

  • As a first-line treatment for individuals with mild to moderate OSA
  • As a first-line treatment for individuals with severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP devices
  • As a combination of therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together)

A custom-fit oral appliance allows patients to breathe normally during sleep. A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea must be made by a medical doctor. If the physician recommends oral appliance therapy, he or she will refer the patient to a dentist who is trained in treating sleep disorders.

The advantages of an oral appliance over a CPAP machine include:

  • More convenient
  • More comfortable
  • Portable
  • Quiet
  • Doesn’t need electricity
  • Easy to clean
  • May allow the wearer to talk and eat during use

If you have been suffering from untreated obstructive sleep apnea, OAT can restore your health. The team at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry encourages you to see a medical doctor soon before your health is compromised. If you have already received a diagnosis of OSA and would like information about OAT, call 248-541-8770 to schedule a consultation at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry.

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7586

The Challenge Of Oral Hygiene For Orthodontic Patients

orthodontics invisible braces Royal Oak

The brackets and wires on traditional metal braces create hard to reach places where detrimental bacteria can thrive. If brace wearers don’t pay continual and careful attention to oral hygiene, their teeth can be permanently damaged. The cycle of decay goes like this – 1) Food particles are trapped in the tiny spaces in and around the wires, 2) The bacteria in the food particles multiply, 3) The bacteria create plaque, 4) The plaque erodes the enamel, and 5) Cavities form.

Teeth are not the only thing at risk here, Royal Oak orthodontic patients can also develop gum disease (gingivitis) which can progress quickly into periodontitis and eventual bone recession and tooth loss.

Bottom line: orthodontic patients need to be vigilant about a healthy diet and effective oral hygiene.

Most Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry brace wearers know that they should avoid sticky, sugary foods that stick to their braces, but some don’t realize that any carbohydrate-based food turns into sugar. Thus, a cracker can be just as bad for your teeth as a Tootsie Roll if the particles are not removed.

Brace wearers should also watch their intake of highly acidic foods and beverages. Though some acidic foods are very healthy – think tomatoes, oranges, raspberries – it is wise to substitute less acidic foods that contain similar nutrients. There are few beverages as harmful as soda and sports drinks, both of which have the detrimental duo of acid and sugar.

Here are the ten steps to effective brushing while wearing braces, courtesy of Colgate:

1. If your orthodontist has fitted you with elastics, remove them before brushing.
2. Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, compact toothbrush, place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums. Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth.
3. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth.
4. Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires. Ensure that you brush under the wires. A battery-powered brush may be helpful.
5. Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion on each tooth. Brush the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth.
6. For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back and forth motion.
7. Spit out the excess paste, then closely inspect your teeth and braces in the mirror to check that they are clean and shiny.
8. Replace your elastics in accordance with your orthodontist’s recommendation.
9. After brushing, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash for 1 minute to help prevent cavities and white spots.
10. Use other oral care products as prescribed by your dental professional.1

It is also important to floss while wearing braces, but that is a topic for another article.

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry provides quality general and cosmetic dentistry including dentures, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. Our cheerful team is enthusiastic about oral health and dazzling smiles.

If you are new to the Detroit area, we invite you to call us at 248-541-8770 to schedule an exam and cleaning. Our team looks forward to meeting you.

Feels Like Coming Home

1“Protecting Your Healthy Smile while Wearing Braces,” Colgate Professional, http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/protecting-your-healthy-smile-while-wearing-braces, accessed on February 20, 2015

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 6840