Posts for: May, 2016

The importance of regular dental cleanings from your Waterford, MI dentist

You brush your teeth after every meal, and you floss every day, but is that enough to protect against gum and periodontal disease? Not teeth cleaningsreally, because when you clean your teeth, you are only removing plaque, the soft bacteria-laden deposits on your teeth.

Plaque removal is vital, but you also need the services of your dental professional to remove hard deposits, called calculus, and also to evaluate the health of your gums and supporting bone. Your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry in Waterford, Michigan want to help you discover why daily brushing and flossing aren’t enough.

Calculus, or tartar as it is often called, is hardened bacteria and protein from your saliva. When calculus forms on your teeth, it provides a perfect rough surface for bacterial plaque to cling to. If plaque is allowed to remain undisturbed on your teeth, the plaque bacteria produce toxins which can destroy your gums and supporting bone.

Brushing and flossing doesn’t remove calculus. Only a skilled dental professional like those at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry can do that, which is why it’s so important to have professional dental cleanings regularly.

Your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry will do a thorough examination, including x-rays to determine the health of your teeth, supporting bone and gums. They will also be looking for signs of gum and periodontal disease, such as:

  • Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
  • Pain when you are chewing or biting
  • Receding gums or other soft tissue loss
  • Bone loss or sensitivity around your teeth
  • Teeth that are becoming loose or shifting out of position

During your appointment, your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry will also show you all the tricks and tools to maintain great oral health. They will develop a customized treatment plan just for you to help you maintain your smile.

Don’t delay your professional cleaning, because brushing and flossing really aren’t enough to keep your mouth healthy. You really need the services of your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry and their skilled staff of dental hygienists and dental assistants. It’s time to call your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry in Waterford, Michigan to schedule your professional cleaning. Get started on the road to great oral health by calling today!


Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”


A traditional root canal procedure can be a “life-saver” for a decayed or injured tooth. But while it’s usually the best course for a damaged adult tooth, variations of the procedure are advisable for a new permanent tooth in a child or young adolescent.

This is because the inner pulp, the focus of the treatment, plays an important role in a young tooth’s development. When it first erupts a tooth’s dentin layer, the living tissue that makes up most of the body and roots of the tooth, hasn’t fully formed. The pulp increases the dentin layer over time in conjunction with jaw development.

Because a full root canal treatment removes all of the pulp tissue, it could interrupt any remaining dentin development in a young tooth. This could lead to poorly-formed roots and a less healthy tooth. For an immature permanent tooth, then, we would use variations of a root canal treatment depending on the nature and extent of the injury, the patient’s overall health and medications they may be taking.

Our main objective is to expose or remove as little of the pulp tissue as possible when treating the tooth. If the pulp hasn’t been exposed by the decay or injury, we may only need to remove the softened decayed or injured dentin while leaving harder dentin nearer the pulp intact. If, however, the pulp has become partially exposed by disease or injury, we would then perform a pulpotomy in which we remove only the exposed tissue and then place calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) to stimulate dentin growth that will eventually patch the exposure site.

In cases where decay or injury has rendered an immature tooth’s pulp tissue unsalvageable, we may use a procedure known as apexification that seals off the open, cylindrical root end of the tooth. This will allow bone-like tissue to grow around the root to serve as added support for the tooth. Although it can save a tooth in the short run, the tooth’s long-term survival chances may be lower.

By using these and other techniques we may be able to save your child’s immature tooth. At the very least, such a technique could postpone replacing the tooth until a more opportune time in adulthood.

If you would like more information on treating damaged teeth in children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”

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