dental implant

Posted by & filed under Dental Implants.

As things tend to get spooky this month, our Erdenheim dental office wants you to know that living with a dead tooth can be a thing of the past thanks to dental implants. These extremely durable and natural looking replacements are specifically designed to bring life back to your smile.

Implant Magic

The curative power of a dental implant is almost magical. Not only can an implant make a smile look whole again, it can also restore function as if the natural tooth and its root never even left. The implant post, made of titanium, actually mimics your tooth root and helps to prevent facial bone loss. Implants are anchored to the bone, creating a solid foundation for a porcelain crown, bridge, or even a set of dentures.

Beware of the Bite

When a tooth is not operating to its full capacity, surrounding teeth may suffer due to the fact that they have to pick up the extra slack when it comes to the rigors of everyday function. Some people tend to chew only one side of their mouth, which could cause an imbalanced bite that is potentially damaging. This is where the titanium posts come into play.

Titanium Has:

  • Super Strength – Titanium is a silver transition metal with low density and high strength that is resistant to corrosion.
  • High Acceptability – It turns out our bodies are highly likely to welcome the titanium post and integrate it neatly within the jaw bone for a delightfully durable, permanent pairing.

After the post is set, a porcelain dental crown can be custom created and placed capping the post. The crown is strong, looks natural, and is very good at restoring full biting force.

Goodbye Bad Teeth. Hello, Implants!

Are you missing teeth? Do you have a tooth that’s doing more to harm or hurt your smile, rather than boost its beauty? You should know that you’re not alone. Our dental office in Erdenheim is always available to speak with you about how a dental implant may be able to restore your smile.

Your Erdenheim dentist will be able to assess your individual needs and decide whether an implant could bring your dying tooth back from the dead. It’s a great way to help you enjoy a more comfortable bite, lessen the chances of gum disease, boost confidence, and improve speech. Ask us how implants can restore life to your smile

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

Halloween candy

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Pediatric Dentistry.

At our dental office in Erdenheim, we know how much fun Halloween can be. The costumes. The parties. The chills. The thrills. It’s also the time of year when an abundance of sweet treats are available and tempting to young teeth.

We want everyone – parents and kids alike – to have a healthy and safe Halloween this year, and every year. Here are some tips to help kids stay free from cavities.

Tip #1: Watch Out For The Ooey & The Gooey

  • Chewy and sticky sweets are very popular, not just at Halloween, but also all year round. They tend to end up in trick-or-treat bags in abundance. We’re talking about things like caramels, taffy, and gooey gummies. They are the real cavity culprits because they’re super good at clinging to teeth, allowing bacteria to thrive. Kids don’t have to avoid them, but it’s definitely a good idea to limit the number of these treats.

Tip #2 When In Doubt, Eat Chocolate

  • Americans eat nearly 600 million pounds of candy every Halloween. That’s a lot of treats! Compared to sticky or hard candies that tend to hang around on teeth long after we’re done chewing, chocolate dissolves more quickly and washes away more easily, so it’s less likely to cause decay.

Tip #3 Everything In Moderation

  • When trick-or-treating leads to heaps of unhealthy candy, it might be a good idea to dole out the treats in moderation. Our dental office in Erdenheim, recommends that you try limiting your little one with a piece or two with meals, instead of letting them have free reign whenever they want one. Now that’s a sweet idea!

Tip #4 Consider the Alternatives

  • Even though other parents may be handing out loads of sweet treats, set a new trend by offering healthy, non-candy alternatives to trick-or-treaters. Try small bags of pretzels or even apples. You can even hand out small toys or temporary tattoos. Just beware of anything that might pose a choking hazard.

Our Erdenheim dental office wants you and your little ones to have a great Halloween. By following some or all of these helpful tips, you can limit the amount of sweet treats your kids eat and reduce the risk of cavities. Always remember to keep little teeth healthy by brushing and flossing each and every day. We hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

jaw lock

Posted by & filed under Jaw Pain & TMJ.

Lockjaw and jaw lock are two very similar terms that could mean two very different things. While both insinuate the jaw becoming stuck, or ‘locked,’ and both can have similar symptoms, only one is actually related to dentistry. At my Erdenheim dental office, we want to explain the difference between the two.

Lockjaw

Many times dental patients will describe the sensation of a stuck jaw as lockjaw. This isn’t entirely accurate. Technically, the term lockjaw refers to symptoms associated with the bacterial infection called tetanus. Tetanus is usually contracted from a wound caused by a rusty piece of metal, while the bacteria itself thrives in soil, dust, and manure. When someone gets tetanus, muscle spasms are a common side effect. These spasms can affect the muscles in the face and jaw, causing the joint to tighten and allowing the person to feel as if the jaw is, in fact, locked. Tetanus is a very serious infection and can result in death if not treated. Although less prevalent nowadays thanks to vaccines, tetanus is still possible so make sure to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing symptoms of a tight or locked jaw.

Jaw Lock

Jaw lock is the term used to describe a locked jaw caused by the temporomandibular joint, also commonly referred to as the TMJ. Although still painful, scary, and serious, jaw lock won’t lead to death, but should still be evaluated and treated by a dentist in Erdenheim.

Patients with jaw lock typically can’t predict when their jaw will become stuck, either opened or closed, and most of the time there’s a lot of pain when trying to move it. There are several explanations to how and why this happens. It could be related to a bad bite (malocclusion), causing the jaw and facial muscles to become inflamed and function improperly, or it may be a result of an injury to the cartilage in the jaw joint, sometimes caused by grinding or clenching.

Signs of a Problem

Signs of a TMJ issue can vary from person to person, and not everyone experiences the locked jaw sensation. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Earaches or headaches
  • Popping or clicking when opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain associated with yawning, chewing, or opening your mouth wide
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together when teeth touch teeth

If you’re experiencing signs of a jaw problem, call my Erdenheim dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll review your symptoms and discuss the best treatment to help relieve the pain and annoyance of a locked jaw.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill

 

Gluten Free

Posted by & filed under Pediatric Dentistry.

Eating gluten-free has been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years. Sometimes this dietary change is due to choice. Other times, it’s out of necessity. Those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance avoid gluten because it makes them very sick. In these individuals, gluten can also cause irreversible tooth damage and other serious oral health concerns.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is basically the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. They act like a glue that holds food together and allows foods to keep their shape. Many foods contain gluten, even some that may not suspect, so checking labels carefully is important.

Why is it Bad for Gluten-Sensitive Teeth?

When someone who has celiac disease is exposed to gluten, their immune system reacts negatively and blocks the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. This includes Vitamin D. Without these vitamins, tooth enamel isn’t protected and begins to erode. In fact, 85% of those with celiac disease have enamel damage. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are left exposed to decay and other oral health problems. But that’s not all. For those who are gluten-sensitive, consuming gluten may also cause:

  • Canker sores
  • Painful, red, swollen gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • And even pitted teeth

It’s important to note that gluten negatively affects the teeth of those who have celiac disease or other form of gluten sensitivity, but it does not affect those who do not have a gluten sensitivity. Everyone at our dental office in Erdenheim encourages you to speak with a physician before switching your child’s diet, or your own.

Protect Your Little One’s Smile

Sometimes signs and symptoms of gluten sensitivity don’t show in the gastrointestinal tract, which is usually the norm. Instead, they show in the mouth first. To make sure your child’s teeth are protected, even he doesn’t have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, it’s important that he visits our Erdenheim dental office regularly so we can monitor any potential problems.  

If he has been diagnosed with celiac disease, make sure you’re keeping gluten away from him to keep both his mouth and body healthy. Also practice an at-home oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

smiling

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

There are so many reasons to smile — a funny joke, a cute kitten, a new baby, and many, many others. But at my Erdenheim dental office, we want to give you a few more reasons to smile big and wide.

Health Benefits of Smiling

There’s a little bit more involved with smiling than just the simple motion we’re used to. When we smile, our brains produce and release more of the “happy” hormones known as endorphins. Serotonin levels also rise, making us feel relaxed. Smiling can even help keep us healthy since it increases antibodies and white blood cells, both of which help boost the immune system and fight off germs.

Pass it On

You can actually share all those health benefits of smiling by sharing a grin with those around you. Smiles have an unexplainable effect on people. When we see someone flash their pearly whites, whether a friend or complete stranger, we naturally and unconsciously return the favor. That’s right. Smiles are, in fact, contagious.

There’s another neat thing about smiles. They’re universal and there’s no room for misinterpretation due to language or cultural barriers. What’s this mean? It means smiling is quite powerful. Smiling at people you encounter initiates that natural response to smile back, allowing not only yourself to access the health benefits of smiling, but offering everyone else the same.

“What if I Hate to Smile Because I’m Embarrassed of My Teeth?”

There are a number of things that can make us uncomfortable with the way our smile looks. Whether it’s because teeth are a little crooked, there’s a gap between them, or they’re not quite white enough for you, there are ways to help. Cosmetic dentistry from your dentist in Erdenheim can transform any smile through a variety of treatments including:

If the way your teeth look is holding you back from experiencing all the health benefits smiling provides, call my dental office in Erdenheim. We will talk about your smile goals and the best ways to achieve them.
Welcoming new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond. 

kids gum disease

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease.

Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that affects nearly half of all Americans. While it’s typically more common in older adults (as high as 70% in those over 65), at my Erdeneheim dental office, we want all of our patients to know that gum disease can also occur in children.

What is Gum Disease?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and the bones around the teeth. It’s a serious problem that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. There’s also research that links gum disease to other whole-body problems such as heart disease.

Signs & Symptoms

There are common signs that should alert you to the possibility that gum disease is lurking in your child’s mouth. They include:

  • Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing. It’s never normal to bleed while cleaning your teeth.
  • Bright red, swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Chronic bad breath

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist in Erdenheim as soon as possible to schedule a thorough exam.

What You Can Do

Diagnosing gum disease early is key to a successful treatment and limits the risk for even more damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure your child visits their pediatric dentist at least every six months. But these dental cleanings and checkups are only half of a strong prevention plan. Starting good oral health habits early and ensuring they happen on a daily basis can also help keep gums healthy. Make sure your child brushes twice a day and flosses at least once a day.

If you suspect your child may have gum disease, give my Erdenheim dental office a call. We’ll schedule an appointment as soon as possible, perform a comprehensive exam, and discuss any findings with you to determine the best treatment available.  
Welcoming new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

piercings

Posted by & filed under Home Care.

Oral piercings, whether it’s the tongue, the lip, or the cheeks, may help you express yourself, but despite how cool they look, they also come packed with concerns. All of us at our Erdenheim dental office want you to be able to do what you’d like with your body, but we also want to let you know some of the oral health problems that may happen as a result of an oral piercing.

The Risks

Oral piercings can affect the way you speak, how well you can chew, and may also lead to some serious dental and whole-body concerns. Nerve damage in the tongue is a common effect of an oral piercing. It’s not unusual to have some numbing after getting a piercing, but it’s possible that this numbing won’t ever go away, which can affect the way you taste foods. Besides that, infection is always a concern, as it is with any piercing. Infections can be minor, but if left untreated, can be extremely serious.

Infections in the mouth are especially dangerous since it provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply. It’s damp, it’s dirty, and bacteria love it. If the infection become severe, your tongue may become swollen and can even block your airway, making it incredibly difficult to breathe.

Taking Care of an Oral Piercing

Now that you know the risks, if you still decide to get an oral piercing, it’s crucial to take care of it properly to reduce the risk of a problem.

  • Clean it, clean it, clean it. Your mouth, no matter how often you brush and floss, contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria can creep into the piercing site and cause an infection. To avoid this, make sure to keep the piercing and the jewelry clean at all times. After eating, rinse with water to help keep food particles from coagulating and getting stuck around the metal.
  • Don’t play with it. Try really hard to avoid clicking your jewelry against your teeth. Trust us. Constant clanging against teeth can weaken them and may lead to cracks or chips.
  • Get it tight. Ensure your piercing is secure often. This can reduce the risk of a piece falling off which can lead to choking or damaged teeth.
  • Seek medical attention at the first sign of infection. If your piercing becomes infected, you’ll know it. Keep an eye out for swelling, redness, and a fever or chills.

If you do already have an oral piercing and notice any of the symptoms of a potential problem, call our Erdenheim dental office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Before going to a trusted professional to have any part of your mouth pierced, we encourage you to talk to your Erdenheim dentist to discuss any concerns either of you may have so you can make the best, educated decision for you.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond.

Ped Importance

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Dentistry is important for everyone, especially kids. But why? Besides keeping smiles and mouths healthy with protective sealants, fluoride treatments and cleanings, those regular dental visits with your child’s dentist in Erdenheim can set her on a path towards a lifetime of good oral and overall health.

Baby Teeth Are Important

One of the common misconceptions about baby teeth is that since they’re going to fall out anyway, who cares when it actually happens. This is a particular concern for everyone at our Erdenheim dental office. Even though these precious, tiny teeth will fall out sooner or later, it’s important to keep them healthy so they don’t fall out too soon.

Save Us a Spot!

Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, are placeholders for permanent, adult teeth. By keeping them healthy and in place, they’re reserving just the right amount of space for the adult teeth that are developing under the gums. If baby teeth fall out too soon due to decay or other reasons, the gaps left behind allow the remaining healthy teeth to shift, throwing off the natural positioning for both baby teeth and future adult teeth.

Look Who’s Talking!

Primary teeth also help children develop proper speech and pronunciation as they learn how to talk. As they pop through the gums, teeth are in position to help transform ‘baby talk’ into words others can start to clearly understand. If these important teeth are lost too soon, speech may be affected.

Let’s Eat!

One of the main purposes of all teeth is to help us chew so we can swallow and digest food easily. As children transition from soft foods to ones that require chewing, teeth become important to overall nutrition. Those children whose teeth may fall out sooner than they should often have nutritional deficiencies, can be underweight, or even malnourished.

At our dental office in Erdenheim, we stress the importance of visiting us at least every six months because we know how crucial early prevention can be. Many dental problems can be treated easily and successfully with early diagnosis, so seeing us regularly is crucial for even the tiniest grins.

If it’s time for your child to start seeing the dentist (usually within 6 months of the first tooth’s exposure), we encourage you to give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll make sure to explain everything in detail and work to keep her teeth in the best, healthiest state possible.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

migraine

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, and as anyone who has ever suffered a migraine can tell you, they aren’t fun. While it may seem weird to get a message about migraines from my Erdenheim dental office, trust us, you’ve come to the right place.

What is a Migraine?

Similar to a headache in that there is throbbing head pain, migraines are usually more intense, more painful, and could be debilitating. Unlike most headaches, migraines usually affect only one side of the head and have additional symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Pain behind an eye or ear
  • Temple pain

Sometimes people can sense a migraine coming on because they experience sensations anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes prior to actually feeling a migraine. This is known as ‘migraine with aura’ and some signs include:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands or face
  • Seeing lights/flashing lights or obscure lines

How are Migraines and Dentistry Related?

When looking at the cause of migraines, much of the focus is on the head since that’s where the symptoms tend to show. However, some migraines may have an underlying dental cause.

Research suggests a possible correlation between a bad bite (malocclusion) and migraines. A bad bite results when the top teeth and the bottom teeth don’t line up in way that allows the jaw to completely relax. When the teeth don’t align, excessive pressure is put on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), which is where your lower jaw attaches to your upper jaw, resulting in pain. The muscles that contribute to the anatomy of your jaw are also linked to your head, so when they’re stressed and painful, your head may also be stressed and painful, leading to a migraine.

You shouldn’t have to live with the pain of recurring migraines. If you’ve been suffering from persistent headaches or migraines and haven’t been able to find relief with other treatment, give my Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We can evaluate your bite and overall oral health and recommend the best solution for you.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

dairy

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

We know dairy is a necessary part everyone’s diet, and we know it can even help ward off osteoporosis in older adults. But what about in kids? Dairy, and especially its calcium content, helps children build strong bones and yes, strong teeth. At our Erdenheim dental office,  we’d like to share a bit of information about how important dairy is for your kid’s smile.

What Exactly Does Calcium Do?

Teeth and bones store up to 99% of the body’s calcium, so getting enough of it is pretty important for the entire body. Calcium can also fight off tooth decay…and dairy products are the best way to get it. Milk and cheese, for example, contain calcium, phosphorous, and proteins called caseins. When combined together, these ingredients actually create a protective layer that keeps acid and bacteria off the enamel, decreasing the likelihood of cavities. However, calcium is only half of what’s necessary for strong bones and teeth. In order for the calcium to be absorbed and used properly, you also need vitamin D.  

How Much Calcium Does Your Child Need?

There are some basic calcium intake recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, and they are definitely dependent on age. Follow the guidelines below to determine how much calcium your child, and you, should have everyday.

  • 1-3 Years: 500 milligrams
  • 4-8 Years: 800 milligrams
  • 9-18 Years: 1,300 milligrams
  • 19-50 Years: 1,000 milligrams
  • 51+ Years: 1,200 milligrams

Allergies

Some people have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy. If this is the case, it’s important to receive adequate amounts of calcium from other sources. Leafy, green vegetables like broccoli are high in calcium. There are also several types of fish, such as sardines and salmon, that can help provide the calcium needed for healthy teeth and bones. Can’t get your child to eat fish? That’s ok, use a calcium fortified cereal instead.

Brushing is Still #1

Even if your child is getting the recommended amount of calcium, it’s still incredibly necessary to maintain good oral hygiene habits. We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, everyday. It’s also crucial for your child to visit a pediatric dentist in Erdenheim regularly. Appointments at least every six months allow your child’s teeth to be even more protected against decay and cavities through the use of fluoride, sealants, and professional cleanings.

If it’s time for your little one to see a dentist, give our Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, and Chestnut Hill.