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The Effects of Aging Teeth on Your Oral Health

A man with gray hair smiles as he prepares to brush his aging teeth.

Time marches on and as your body ages, so do your teeth. The effects of aging teeth can impact your whole body. Understanding the importance of proper oral care can help avoid tooth loss and other related health problems that can affect your body as you age. Continue reading »

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Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Does It Need to be Disinfected?

A person rinsing their toothbrush, the best way for cleaning your toothbrush

If a toothbrush keeps your mouth clean, isn’t it important to keep your toothbrush clean too? Absolutely! But to what extent should you be cleaning your toothbrush every day? There are plenty of products and methods for disinfecting a toothbrush – discover what you can do to help keep your toothbrush ready to safely remove plaque from your teeth and gums! Continue reading »

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Dental Sleep Medicine: The Link Between Sleep and Oral Health

Dental sleep medicine expert speaking with a patient.

Dentists look after your oral health, that’s no surprise. But some patients are surprised to find out that when it comes to sleeping problems, your dentist may be your best ally. If you snore or suspect you have sleep apnea, Dr. Paul Van Walleghem at Pointe Dental Group can help! As a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and with over 25 years of experience in dental sleep medicine, he can help screen and offer solutions for your sleep apnea.

Sleep Affects Your Oral Health

Many studies have found correlations between oral health and consistently getting enough sleep. One major contributor to this is your immune system. Gum disease triggers an immune response in your mouth, and when you sleep, it allows your immune system to “recharge” and better fight off bacteria.

Being sleep-deprived can also increase your risk for developing anxiety, which leads to bruxism. Grinding your teeth in your sleep hurts your long-term oral health and leads to a variety of complications that can exacerbate dental health issues!

Canker sores are also often attributed to stress and anxiety. These annoying sores not only hurt and cause discomfort for days or weeks. Additionally, the pain from contact with a canker sore can discourage you from brushing or brushing thoroughly – leading to more sores or advancing gum disease.

What Is Dental Sleep Medicine?

Dental sleep medicine is a branch of dentistry focused on sleep issues related to disordered breathing. In many cases, these sleep disorders are the result of physiological issues in your upper airway, related to your mouth and jaw.

Snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and even bruxism are all issues that dentists educated in dental sleep medicine are trained to identify and treat. Historically, dentists have lead the way in developing solutions to snoring and sleep apnea. CPAPs and more modern oral appliances were all created with the help of doctors trained in dentistry.

Sleep Apnea & Dental Sleep Medicine

Obstructive sleep apnea is the medical term for frequent interrupted breathing while sleeping. It affects between 5 to 20 percent of adults and children can suffer from sleep apnea too, though it’s less common.

If you have sleep apnea, you likely exhibit some of the common symptoms, such as snoring, waking up in gasping for air at night or feeling chronic fatigue after a night of sleep. Before seeking treatment, you need to get an official diagnosis. Sleep studies and polysomnograms are the most effective ways to discover if your trouble sleeping is related to sleep apnea.

After you’ve been diagnosed, a dental sleep medicine expert can help with treatment. In the past, your options were often limited to the use of a CPAP machine. While these are still common, they’re no longer the only way to treat sleep apnea.

Your dentist may recommend oral appliance therapy. Unlike CPAPs, oral appliances are comfortable to wear and convenient to travel with. They work in many ways, repositioning your jaw and tongue to keep your airway open.

Sleep-Related Bruxism

Also known as nocturnal tooth grinding, sleep bruxism is the name for grinding your teeth while sleeping. Studies have been done to help understand the source of sleep bruxism, and its cause has been associated with many different factors:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Caffeine Consumption
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Fatigue
  • Snoring
  • Smoking

Nocturnal tooth grinding is a serious issue because of the damage that chronic grinding can have on your teeth. The friction and stress put on your teeth due to bruxism will wear down your teeth, destroying enamel and leaving them vulnerable to bacteria. Left untreated, you will eventually cause irreversible damage to your teeth, breaking them or causing them to even fall out.

Sleep bruxism can also be the cause of other health issues like TMJ disorders or chronic headaches. If you think you grind your teeth while asleep, schedule an appointment with a dentist experienced in dental sleep medicine, like Dr. Paul Van Walleghem.

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Concerned About Sleep Apnea or Sleep Bruxism?

Pointe Dental Group can provide you with a complete examination, answer your questions, and discuss your treatment options. Schedule an appointment with us today! New patients can receive FREE comprehensive exam and consultation, plus a full panoramic x-ray with a paid cleaning procedure (a $200 value)!

Grosse Pointe Farms: (313) 881-2480

Shelby Township: (586) 803-8300

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Types of Tooth Restoration to Achieve a Flawless Smile

 

A dentist using a mirror to look closely at a patient’s teeth after tooth restoration.

Tooth restoration is a process of repairing or replacing teeth which have been damaged or lost. You have several options for your tooth restoration, though your dentist will likely find that one option is ideal for your situation. Learn more about tooth restoration and how it helps you by reading below!

How Tooth Restorations Help

The obvious benefits to tooth restoration are how it brings your beautiful smile back after damage from gum disease, tooth decay or injury. But restorations are more than just for aesthetics.

Healthy teeth are critical for a healthy body. Tooth restoration stops damage from long-term decay or gum disease and improves the health of your mouth. Without proper tooth restoration, you’ll experience increases in pain and even possible tooth loss. Due to the importance of maintaining a full set of teeth, this can have dramatic impacts on your life without intervention.

Most Common Types of Tooth Restoration

Fillings

As the most common solution for minor decay that has caused cavities, thousands of patients every year get one or more fillings. If your dentist has ever found cavities in your teeth, you’ve likely had a filling or two yourself!

Fillings involve two major steps. The first is to remove the existing decay and clean the area. After the decayed area has been removed and cleaned, they will then fill the emptied cavity with amalgam or composite fillings.

The entire fillings process is done in one visit, and can help with a variety of issues. By removing the decay and filling the cavity, your tooth is protected from advancing decay – unless you allow bacteria to build up again. Fillings can also help treat tooth pains from chewing or from certain issues with sensitivity.

Crowns

In some cases, a filling isn’t a suitable solution for your cavity or other tooth damage. In that instance, a dental crown is often the recommended course of action. A crown acts as a cap for your existing tooth, to both strengthen it and restore its original size and function.

There are many cases in which a crown will be necessary or recommended, such as:

Like fillings, crowns help prevent additional decay by removing existing decay and protecting places which bacteria may otherwise hide. Not only do they improve your oral health, but they also have an added effect of looking great to help restore your smile as well!

Tooth Bonding

If you have a minor chip or fracture, your dentist may recommend tooth bonding to restore it. This quick and easy procedure can be done in one visit! It’s a relatively inexpensive procedure that is done by using a composite resin, chosen to closely match the color of your teeth. This resin is molded onto the affected location of your tooth and hardened.

Dentists use a mixture of conditioning liquid and pre-procedure etching to help ensure the bonding adheres correctly. Once placed, they’ll polish it to help the bonded area look natural among your teeth.

The resin used for dental bonding is easy to apply, but it does come with some important caveats! It’s not as strong as your natural teeth, which means chewing on hard objects, like nail biting, can easily crack and damage it. Secondly, the resin is susceptible to stains – you’re recommended to avoid dark substances like tea or coffee for a few days after the procedure.

Veneers

Another option to restore your teeth are veneers. These thin laminates are bonded directly to your teeth, creating a perfectly matching new tooth to create a newer, brighter smile. Veneers can correct several issues, including:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Correcting gaps between teeth
  • Discoloration or stains

When properly cared for, veneers can last for years. While you have veneers, they protect the surface of your teeth, offer a perfect shape and size, and can be replaces when needed. They’re a great solution for both cosmetic and structural issues, making them a popular option.

Dental Implants

If you’re missing a complete tooth, dental implants are one of the best options to restore your full smile! Modern dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth. However, they’re made of durable materials that allow them to last a lifetime with proper care!

Unlike dentures or bridges, implants are a complete tooth replacement solution that integrate with your jaw – the implant is actually attached to your bone. Because of this, they’re not available for everyone. You need to have healthy gum and bone to ensure that the procedure holds.

The biggest benefit of dental implants is that you’ll feel like you don’t even have them! Due to how implants are placed, you’ll quickly adapt to them and they’ll be just like your natural teeth again.

Contact us to set up an appointment

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Whatever your dental needs, we’re here to help. If you have questions, or would like to speak with one of our dentists in SE Michigan about your dental options, contact us!

Schedule an appointment with us today! New patients can receive FREE comprehensive exam and consultation, plus a full panoramic x-ray with a paid cleaning procedure (a $200 value)!

 

Grosse Pointe Farms: (313) 881-2480

Shelby Township: (586) 803-8300

 

Don’t miss a thing! Connect with us on Facebook.

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Tooth Abscess Treatment & Causes

A man that needs tooth abscess treatment holding his jaw.

Abscesses are a condition that can happen almost anywhere in the body. Many are surprised to find that this includes your gums and even your teeth! When an abscess forms in your mouth, it can cause extreme pain and put you at risk for spreading infection. It’s critical that you know how to identify the symptoms so that you can seek gum or tooth abscess treatment as quickly as possible. Continue reading »

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Common Dental Mistakes You May Be Making

Woman with toothbrush holding her jaw in pain.

You brush your teeth every day. You even floss! But after visiting your dentist, they told you that you have cavities, gum disease or worse. How could that be? It’s possible that your dental care routine has fallen victim to one or more of the most common dental mistakes that affect thousands every year.

The best way to avoid them is to know what they are. Read on and learn how your daily activities could be undermining your dental health. Continue reading »

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5 Signs of Good Oral Health

A woman and her daughter with signs of good oral health.

You already know that caring for your teeth and gums is important to your oral health and your health in general. But do you know how to tell if you are doing a thorough job of cleaning your teeth and gums? Here are 5 signs of good oral health from Pointe Dental Group, serving Shelby Township and Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. Continue reading »

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5 Worst Foods for Teeth and Your Oral Health

Sports drinks are one of the worst foods for teeth

Good overall health includes caring for your teeth! Did you know that teeth require vitamins and nutrients to be healthy and strong just like the rest of your body? Calcium, vitamins A and D, and fiber are all important items to include in your diet. Of course, not all foods are food for your teeth. Read on to learn about the 5 worst foods for teeth from Pointe Dental Group in Shelby Township and Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. Continue reading »

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Long-Term Gum Disease Effects on Your Health

A woman looking at her healthy teeth in a mirror in a dentist’s chair.

Good dental health requires daily attention. Every time you skip brushing or flossing, you increase your chances of developing early stages of gum disease. As this gum disease progresses, it can turn into severe periodontal disease. While many considering bleeding gums and tooth aches to be the worst part of gingivitis, there are serious gum disease effects on your health that impact your overall body. Continue reading »

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Benefits of Multi-Specialty Dental Practice for Comprehensive Dental Care

Dentist and orthodontist working together to view a patient’s x-ray.

When you have a dental health condition that requires the intervention of a specialist, your dentist often has to refer you to a specialist that works in a different office, sometimes miles away. Going to the dentist can be stressful enough already. Wouldn’t it be better to continue your treatment with the practice you know and trust? Some dental practices, like Pointe Dental Group, can offer comprehensive dental care by employing a well-rounded team of dentists and specialists to offer the most commonly-needed dental services. Continue reading »

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