No Cavities? Thank Your Parents

how to prevent cavities Royal Oak

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we stay abreast of new discoveries in the exciting field of dentistry and like to share interesting facts with our patients. This blog post focuses on new findings in an intriguing field of research: genetic dentistry.

“About 60% of the risk for tooth decay appears to be due to genetic factors,” said Mary L. Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.1

Whoa! Did she say 60%? That’s huge. You might be thinking: “That’s why I brush and floss but still get cavities.” Or, better yet, you might be thinking, “No wonder I have never had a cavity, even though I eat candy often and occasionally go to bed without brushing.”

A recent article on CNN.com highlights tooth decay risk factors that have a genetic link1:

Enamel Strength
Your genes play an important role in the composition of your tooth enamel. Soft enamel is more cavity prone.

Sugar Cravings
Whether or not you love sugar has a genetic basis. Now you can blame your parents if you pop M&Ms all day. (But it still isn’t good for your teeth or waistline!)

Chemical Composition of Saliva

Your saliva can protect against cavities – if it properly metabolizes essential minerals and vitamins like calcium, potassium, iron, and Vitamin C. Your genes impact your saliva’s ability to prevent decay.

Immune Response to Bacteria
We don’t like to think about the harmful bacteria in our mouth, but hopefully our immune system is ever-vigilant at fighting their constant attempts to cause decay and gum disease. The durability of your immune system is determined, in part, by genetics.

In the next few decades, scientists in the emerging specialty of genetic dentistry may play a key role in the development of new cavity prevention techniques.

The purpose of this article is not to encourage Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry patients to be lax about oral hygiene if their parents have strong teeth. Nor to cause those whose teeth decay easily to throw their hands up in despair and resign themselves to a toothless mouth.

Proper oral hygiene is critical for all of us, regardless of our genetic predisposition to tooth decay. You have the ability to be forward-thinking about your oral health, regardless of the genes you inherited. Whether you have frequent dental check-ups, consistent fluoride intake, effective brushing and flossing techniques, and proper nutrition, is up to you.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, the health of your smile is our number one concern. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

1Paul Frysh, “Bad teeth? Blame your genes,” CNN, July 3, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/03/health/tooth-decay-causes/, accessed on June 24, 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 6970

The Future Of Tooth Decay

The Future Of Tooth Decay In Royal Oak

Dental patients may wonder what would happen if they didn’t seek quality dental care on a regular basis. From our perspective at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, the answer isn’t pretty.

A common result of untreated cavities are abscesses. A tooth abscess is an infection near the root of the tooth or between the gum and the tooth. This collection of pus can be very uncomfortable, either causing a shooting pain or a dull throbbing pain. You may also experience bad breath, fever, swollen neck glands, and feelings of general discomfort associated with the infection.

Tooth abscesses can also be caused by a chip or a crack in the tooth that allows bacteria to enter.

To avoid unpleasant dental problems like abscesses, have regular check-ups and cleanings at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry. That way, you can keep your mouth in peak health.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-284-4879

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 4071

Infancy Through Childhood: Instill Good Brushing Habits

infant dental exam Royal Oak

New parents may be surprised by the American Dental Association’s recommendations on infant oral care. Parents are advised to begin brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first ones emerge. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI we endorse that recommdation, and remind new parents that brand-new teeth are just as vulnerable to tooth decay as older teeth.

Parents are encouraged to use a cloth and a smidgen of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to wipe each tooth. As more teeth come through, it’s even more important for them to be brushed after each meal or, at least twice a day.

It is essential to select the proper toothbrush, in order to make brushing time as pleasant as possible. You can buy an infant-sized, soft-bristled brush at most grocery stores. Also, there are circle and triangular-shaped brushes that allow your toddler to walk around with their brush with less chance of injury in case of a fall.

If your toddler doesn’t like the taste of toothpaste, brush with water for a while. The goal is to remove food bits that will create bacteria followed by plaque and then cavities.

When two teeth touch, it’s time to floss. Flossing is important to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills which most kids don’t develop until about the age six or seven. Parents need to assist with flossing until they are sure their child can do it effectively.

Until the child is old enough to properly brush his or her teeth, they should receive adult supervision and guidance. Instilling the proper brushing and flossing practices will reap lifelong benefits. It may be time-consuming, but remember that it’s making a daily habit that will protect their dental health for a lifetime. Also, dental expenses related to poor oral hygiene will be avoided.

Your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday. It may seem early, but most parents bring their child to the pediatrician at that age, and teeth are no different. You can count on us to look out for potential problems and guide you about how to help your child keep a healthy smile.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we provide general dentistry for the entire family. Services also include cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7101

Let’s Talk About It

cosmetic dental Royal Oak

Few physical improvements have such a dramatic impact on your attractiveness and self-confidence as a smile makeover. Excellent oral health and a pleasing smile contribute to overall physical health and a high quality of life. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we can help you with both.

If you have ever wondered how cosmetic dentistry could change your life, we invite you to schedule a consultation so we can talk about it. We are sure that the initial consultation is the most crucial part of any treatment plan. During your smile redesign consultation we will talk about the following issues:

  • Your goals for how you want your smile to look and feel after the makeover.
  • The condition of your oral health.
  • The individual features of your teeth and gums that you wish to fix.
  • Which individual treatments are needed.
  • A detailed explanation of each required treatment (e.g. porcelain veneers, dental crowns, inlays/onlays, gum contouring, crown lengthening, tooth implants, braces, or teeth whitening).
  • You can see before and after pictures of cosmetic dental smile makeover patients.
  • Your options for how to schedule the care (all at once or over time).
  • Information about sleep dentistry.
  • Answers to any questions or concerns.
  • Cosmetic dentistry rates and financing options.

Cosmetic dentistry from Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak can make an enormous difference in your life. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7290

All About Toothpaste

We urge all of our patients at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI to brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day. This very good habit is the single most important thing you can do to maintain your dental health.

What kind of toothpaste should you use? There is no one-size-fits-all product on the market. One patient might be interested in whitening toothpaste, and another may need something for sensitive teeth.

There’s an almost bewildering selection of toothpastes in the oral care section of any grocery store, from those aimed at children to so-called natural toothpastes. You want to make the best choice for your teeth, but it isn’t always easy to make up your mind.

Different types of toothpastes have specific active ingredients that make them work. Fluoride is by far the most important thing to look for. But there are many other ingredients; what follows is a rundown of the more common ones.

  • Detergents. Sodium lauryl sulfate is nearly ubiquitous, not only in toothpaste, but in other personal care products like shampoo. (Sometimes it’s called Sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl ether sulfate. It’s the stuff that makes products foamy. Some people are sensitive to it, and some consumer advocacy groups say it can be hazardous. There are toothpastes that don’t have it.
  • Whiteners. The most common toothpaste whitener is hydrogen peroxide, but there are others, like polyphosphates. While they do a modest job whitening teeth, many experts agree that the whitening agents aren’t strong enough, or in contact with the teeth long enough, to do a really good job. To get really white teeth, try professional whitening from a dentist.
  • Desensitizers. Some people’s teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold foods than others. And some are more tactile-sensitive. Used on a regular basis, desensitizing toothpastes can be very effective, but it’s a good idea to get a dentist’s recommendation first.
  • Plaque fighters. A toothpaste ingredient called triclosan is believed to fight plaque and gum inflammation. While it seemed promising at first more recent studies indicate triclosan may contribute to antibiotic resistance, and disrupt hormones and the immune system.

We suggest you ask us for our recommendations, and what might be best for your particular set of teeth. Always read the label, and make sure the toothpaste you’re considering has the American Dental Association label. If you see it, it means the ADA considers it safe and effective. Whatever you choose, brush and floss twice each day!

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI offers general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067


Six 10-Second Healthy Tooth Helps

Berkley cosmetic dental and tooth implants

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to improve your oral hygiene. In fact, with these tips from Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, you can form a new habit to benefit your oral health in 10 seconds.

Find a better place for your toothbrush.
Look around. In 10 seconds you can probably find 5 places to set your toothbrush that will permit air drying and can suppress the growth of microorganisms that a closed, moist environment would encourage.

Leave the floss on the counter.
If you want to create consistency, you need reminders. Deliberately setting out the floss will give you more commitment to use it. And if you see it, you’ll remember that commitment.

Swish.
If you’re in 20 seconds already, might as well grab the fluoride rinse and wash away bits of food after flossing and freshen your breath at the same time. 10 seconds is the minimum but 20 is twice as good.

Smile in the mirror.
Check out those chompers. Examine for 10 full seconds. Inspect gums for bleeding or tenderness, missed fragments of food, staining, or other concerns.

Have a water chaser with dark beverages.
Rinse your mouth with a sip of water when drinking cola, tea, or coffee throughout the day. A mere 10 seconds that will suppress discoloration.

Call Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry.

10 digits, 10 seconds, a short conversation and you can secure yourself a consultation with our staff. We will examine your teeth for far more than 10 seconds and help keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7142

Sore Tooth? Don’t Wait!

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At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, our patients who wait to have a toothache checked invariably end up saying, “I wish I had come sooner.”

A toothache is sending you a simple, clear message: “See the dentist!” You might think a toothache is no big deal. You can just chew on one side of your mouth for a few days, right?

Your toothache may be nothing more than a simple cavity. But we consider toothaches a red flag indicating something else may be going on. We want to see you as soon as possible.

Mouth pain is never “normal.” We will determine the cause of the pain so proper treatment can begin. Aside from cavities, causes may indicate gum disease, a broken crown, mouth sores, bite issues, or TMD (temporomandibular disorder). Let us take care of you and you will quickly be back to pain-free eating, grimace-free speaking and better sleeping.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, a toothache always demands attention, so never ignore one. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Make you next appointment today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 6276

A Dentist’s Indispensable Tool: The X-ray

Berkley cosmetic dental and tooth implants

Providing quality dental care is much easier at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, when we have thorough information about a patients’ oral health.

Pictures are more reliable than written notes. To go a step further: pictures that show what’s going on below the surface are worth even more than a thousand words. So, along with a thorough visual analysis, we want complete and up-to-date X-rays.

The frequency of X-rays is largely determined by your age as well as the state of your oral health. Because children are growing and they experience more changes to their teeth, they usually need X-rays more often.

X-rays also help us find cavities, evaluate gum health, and identify any major changes to your teeth and mouth.

Safety is an important issue, because low levels of radiation are used to obtain the images. Many critical precautions are taken to limit exposure, such as putting leaded aprons and collars on our patients.

It is essential that women inform their dentist if they are pregnant because special considerations should be taken.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, X-rays are part of our comprehensive general dentistry. We also offer cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 6586

Are Floss Picks As Good As Regular Dental Floss?

are floss picks as good as regular floss? Berkley

Are floss picks as good as regular floss? At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we believe that while it’s better to floss with a floss pick than to not floss at all, it’s important to note that floss picks can only clean a part of the tooth’s surface.

We recommend traditional floss or dental tape. Here’s why:

A floss pick holds just a small segment of floss stretched in a straight line. But a tooth is rounded, with occasional irregularities. A straight segment of floss just doesn’t make sense geometrically, because it doesn’t conform to the contours of the tooth as well as traditional floss used correctly.

By wrapping the floss completely around the circumference of a tooth, you can more capably clean that essential area around and just below the gumline. And your fingers are much more precise than a piece of plastic.

We have seen patients who are observant floss pick users who developed decay due to a small crack the floss pick missed day after day.

Here is a review on correct flossing:

  1. Cut a length of floss about 18 inches long and securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  2. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  3. Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s vital to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  4. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. You can use a “shoeshine” method if you like. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to furnish a clean segment for each tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new section.
  5. Some people find it more straightforward to start on one end of the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the end on the opposite side, and then repeat for the lower arch. Whatever method you settle upon, make sure you clean around every tooth, including the back surfaces of the rear molars.
  6. If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding commonly stops within a week or two.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we promote dental health in our patients with general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 7340

Getting Ready For A Dental Implant?

dental implant cost BerkleyThis post from Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak concentrates on the preparation required for a dental implant.

A dental implant is a permanent post inserted into the jawbone with attached abutment and artificial tooth. A dental implant can also support a dental bridge or denture.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

Ideal candidates for a dental implant include patients with missing teeth, dentures, or bridges who have healthy oral tissue, sufficient bone structure, and proper health for bone healing. For most of our patients who seek tooth restoration, a dental implant is a good option.

What preparation is needed?

An initial visit to Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry is the first step. For this evaluation be sure to bring pertinent medical information, your current medication list, and questions you have about the process. Dental implants take multiple visits and the process is different for each person so be sure you understand all the details. If we determine that you don’t have enough bone structure at the implant site, bone grafting may be needed.

How do I ensure successful healing?

Avoid drugs or medications not approved by your dental caregiver. Eat soft foods for a while to give your mouth time to heal after the implant is placed. Keep the mouth cleaned properly around the site. Follow the directions given at each visit. Stay healthy by eating a nutritious diet and getting proper rest. Stay away from smoking or other tobacco products.

How do I care for dental implants?

Caring for implants is not much different than caring for natural teeth. Be sure to avoid damaging, dangerous habits such as chewing hard items (ice or candy), and seek treatment for teeth grinding if it is a concern for you. See your dentist regularly. Keep the implant and gum tissue around the implant clean just as you (hopefully) do with your original teeth.

Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak is a provider of dental implants. We also offer general dentistry services. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

ArticleID 6858