Macomb County Dentist Lists Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity

Macomb County Dentist Lists Reasons for Tooth SensitivityDoes drinking hot or cold drinks cause you to wince in pain? Or do you find brushing or flossing to be unpleasant?

Keep ready to learn why you could be experiencing this discomfort and what you can do to find relief.

  1. You Brush With Too Much Force

Your tooth sensitivity could be the result of brushing your teeth with too much force or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard . Consistently brushing in this manor can remove protective layers of your teeth and expose microscopic openings , exposing your nerves. When these openings come in contact with hot and cold temperatures or acidic foods, it will cause dental discomfort. Try to brush more gently or switch to a softer tooth brush.

  1. You Have Too Many Acidic Food in Your Diet

If your nerves are exposed, as mentioned above, acidic foods such as tomato sauce, citrus fruits, and many junk foods can irritate these nerve endings, causing pain. Try avoiding acidic foods and see if that stops the tooth sensitivity discomfort.

  1. You Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep

Although tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, if you’re a tooth grinder, this can break down the enamel and expose the dentin layer, which exposes the nerve endings. Consult with your dentist about having a mouth guard made and wearing it at night to prevent grinding.

  1. Youre Using the Wrong Toothpaste or Mouthwash

Many toothpastes have tooth-whitening chemicals in them and some people are more sensitive to these chemicals.  If you are experiencing any sensitivity, check your toothpaste to see if it contains any whitening agents. If it does, switch to a different toothpaste and see if the discomfort is relieved.

Similar to toothpastes, certain mouthwashes contain alcohol and other chemicals that can make your teeth more sensitive. Use a neutral fluoride rinse or skip the mouthwash altogether.

  1. You Have Periodontal Disease

Receding gums, which is a symptom of periodontal disease (gum disease) can cause tooth sensitivity while brushing or eating and drinking. If periodontal disease is the problem, it is important to treat the disease as soon as possible before more serious problems develop such as damage to the bone and even tooth loss.

  1. Plaque Build Up

Plaque can cause damage to the tooth enamel, exposing the dentin layer and nerve endings.  Be sure to have a professional cleaning every 6 months to remove any plaque build up.

  1. You Recently had Dental Work Done

If you have recently had work done on your teeth, it is not unusual to experience tooth sensitivity. However, experiencing sensitivity long after the procedure could be the sign of an infection.

Looking for a Macomb County Dentist to Help Treat Your Tooth Sensitivity?

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, the best way to determine the cause of your discomfort is scheduling a dental exam.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Macomb County area, Dr Antolak from The Gentle Dentist may just be your new dental home.

Contact Dr Antolak by Calling 586-247-3500




Categories: Mouth pain

Having a toothache certainly isn’t an enjoyable experience. Tooth pain can be subtle to the point it’s easy to ignore, or it can be excruciating to the point where you can’t eat or drink without experiencing severe pain. No matter where you are on the spectrum, if you have unexpected tooth pain, there is probably something going on in your mouth that you need to have taken care of. While there are many causes, here are some of the most common reasons you may be experiencing tooth pain.

  1. Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common reasons why people experience tooth pain. Since a cavity is really tooth decay that has gotten severe, it is no wonder that having a cavity can cause a large amount of oral discomfort. While you may not feel pain from a cavity at first, you will certainly start to feel it if it is allowed to grow. If you suspect you have a cavity, it’s wise to get in to see your dentist as soon as possible. Left untreated, cavities can quickly turn into much more painful and costly issues.

  1. Brushing Too Hard

Brushing everyday, twice a day, is recommended and a great way to stay on top of your oral health. If you end up brushing a little bit too hard over a long period of time, you may start to feel the effects. Brushing too hard can eventually cause your gums to recede. As your gums cover up the roots of your teeth, you will certainly begin to feel pain when you eat and drink if the roots become exposed. If you suspect your gums may be receding from brushing too hard or you have noticed them begin to get smaller while experiencing tooth pain, get in to see your dentist as soon as possible.

  1. Nighttime Tooth Grinding

Grinding your teeth is a common issue many people have while sleeping. When your jaw clenches in your mouth all night and your teeth grind against each other, you can expect to feel some discomfort the next day. If this happens frequently, your teeth can wear each other down and you will eventually feel some tooth pain. If you think this may be happening to you, get in to see your dentist to learn about the options for tooth grinding.

  1. Cracked Teeth

We tend to think of our teeth as nearly indestructible, but this isn’t the case. Teeth can crack from eating hard items, grinding teeth, or due to an injury. If you think you may have cracked your tooth and are feeling the effects, get in to see your dentist to get things taken care of.

If you have unusual tooth pain for any reason, get in to see your dentist to get things figured out. If you are looking for a great dentist in Metro Detroit, visit today to make your appointment!



Categories: Mouth pain

At we realize that many have had bad experiences in their past at the dental office.  Typically 5-10 years go by and the high fear patient finally gets to the point of where they can’t stand their oral pain any longer.  This is when they do research on the internet with a desire to find a dentist who specializes in treating the high fear patient who has not been into the dentist for  years.  With a search on Google for “dentists for chickens”, “dentist for the fearful patient” or “dentistry for the dental phobic” we usually come up high on the search engines especially when looking for the Shelby Twp., Macomb Township, Sterling Heights or Washington Township Michigan areas.  After reading through our web site they find it comfortable enough to get the will power to at least email us. 

After they talk to Jessica our scheduling coordinator and make their appointment they will receive electronic health history questionaires to fill our in the convenience of their own home.  The day before their appointment I will call them up to introduce myself.  Because dentistry requires a high level of trust I like to introduce myself to them and see if they have any questions or concerns.  Many times they will give me a history of their horrific experiences at the previous dentist.  These are usually experienced as a child so we try to work through the issues slowly to eventually proceed with the exam.  We will only proceed when they are willing to do so.   

The mouth is an extremely personal space.  Most people don’t want others (including the dentist) to see their embarassing smile because of darkened teeth, missing teeth, cavities or bad gums.  Up to this point it has been their little “secret” and to go beyond that “secret” it is very difficult.  Most often they will say “I’m so embarassed of my teeth” or “I should have been in here years ago”.  The good news is that there is only room for improvement and what has happened in the past has been in the past.  Our goal is to move them beyond the past and to look forward to their future healthy and good looking smile. 

Another issue that has kept them from regular dental check ups is that they fear that they will get scolded or lectured to.  I always reassure them that it is my responsibility to inform them of their situation and we will work together as a team to move.  Lecturing will never work and has never been something that I have done and will never do. 

These are some of the personal things we do at to make the visit for our high fear patient one that can be tolerated and even appreciated.  If you have questions please call our Shelby Township office at (586)247-3500.

At The Gentle Dentist located in Shelby Township, Michigan we perform both root canals and place and restore dental implants so I would like to say that we are completely objective when it comes to decision making.

Root Canals are used to save teeth when the nerve tissue becomes infected. When cavities develop so deep into the nerve the bacteria from the mouth  penetrates into it and creates pain and eventual infection.  This destruction of the nerve tissue creates throbbing pain, pain from hot or cold or pain to biting down.  The infected nerve tissue may develop an abscess which can cause swelling around the tooth.

Root canals are usually the first line of treatment with teeth to save them.  Extracting teeth that are infected is also an option to eliminate pain, but the problem is how to replace the missing space.  This is where implants come into play.

Implants are titanium cylinders that are inserted into the jaw bone.  They can have crowns placed on them to restore the missing space where a tooth was previously placed.  Implants are used if a root canal fails and it is not practical to retreat the root canal.

Root canals and dental implants are both used to restore or replace the missing spaces between teeth. They both stimulate the bone to prevent the bone from shrinking.

If you are not certain if a root canal or implant is needed for your care please call our Shelby Township Dental office at 586-247-3500 or visit us at

Mouth Breathing and its effect on your body

I was sleeping the day after Thanksgiving and at 3:00 am our 5 year old son Matthew woke me up and said he couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t breathe through his nose. I dragged myself out of bed and used my mother’s old remedy which was to put Vick’s vapor rub on his chest and some under his nose. This seemed to work for him quite well except now I was awake. At 3:10 am I started to think about the oral effects I have observed from chronic allergies and “stuffed noses”. This seemed to be a relevant topic that I haven’t addressed in the past. When researching this topic, I became aware of all the benefits of normal breathing through the nose. Of course mouth breathing can lead to the snoring and sleep apnea. If interested, you can visit our website information blog at www.TheGentleDentist/blog/ and type in snoring. This will lead you to past articles on this topic.

Mouth breathing:

  1. Can increase asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and other medical problems
  2. Reduces the levels of oxygen exchange in the blood/lung interface. The lungs extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller then the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates back pressure when one exhales. It slows the air escape so the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from them.
  3. During sleep, it predisposes one to loud snoring and irregular breathing and can lead to a serious condition called Sleep Apnea and heart conditions.


Nose Breathing:

  1. Proper nose breathing reduces high blood pressure or hypertension and stress for most people. Kind of like a speed control (governor) on a car engine.
  2. The nostrils and sinuses filter and warm the air going into the lungs. The mouth breather bypasses this.
  3. Maintaining a keen sense of smell is very important for enjoying life and for safety and social acceptance.  There are receptors in the nose, known as olfactory bulbs, are direct extensions of a part of the brain known as  the hypothalamus. This extension regulates the heartbeat, blood pressure, thirst, appetite, and of course, the cycles of sleeping a waking. The hypothalamus is also responsible for generating chemicals that influence memory and emotion.
  4. Lessening of the common cold is another good reason for nose breathing. The mucous (white blood cells that kill germs) membrane lining the nose extends all the way from the inner linings of the nostrils down the trachea to the bronchi the directly enters the lungs. Germs get caught and die in the mucous.

Long term mouth breathers experience difficulty in swallowing pills, increased gagging response, increased mucous production and other difficulties.

Mouth breathers do not adjust the way they swallow as an infant.  Typically infants project their tongues out to swallow and transition at around 8 months old so that their tongue is positioned along the top of their palate when swallowing.  Pacifiers and thumb sucking also affects the tongue position during the developmental years. If they aren’t removed early enough the tongue continues to push out beyond the front teeth preventing normal jaw and teeth development.  The relationship of the upper and lower teeth is also affected since they have to accommodate the tongue.  I have seen in adult patients the affects of this and it is almost impossible to change the jaws without surgery.  They usually have an open bite on their front teeth so that when they bite together the front top teeth don’t overlap the lower front teeth.  This is not cosmetically appealing and it has negative effects on the health of the jaw joint.

Allergies also are responsible for the mouth breathing tendencies.  The pharynx (back of throat) swells blocking off the nasal passage preventing smooth airflow through the nose.  It is important to determine what children are allergic to as soon as possible so that the destructive forces of mouth breathing are minimized.

As an adult it is best to retrain yourself to nose breathe during the day.  There are devices you can put in your mouth at night to retrain your tongue and help with nose breathing.  In fact, I had a patient the other day who was having a very difficult time breathing.  His CPAP breathing machine wasn’t functioning properly and I had him a Breathe Rite Strip to enlarge his nasal passage.  He was shocked at the difference he felt and the ease in which he could breathe.

Our human bodies have been designed so intricately that the smallest change in our function can effect so many other facets of how we function and our overall health.  If you have any questions please call me at (586)247-3500 or email me at

Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home.  He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years.

As a reminder: The thermostats are being turned up and it is a good idea to have a humidifier in you room where  you sleep since this significantly helps with dry mouth, sore throats, and adds to the efficiency of heating your home.  I was reminded of this at a recent visit to a nursing home and recommended that a humidifier would help increase the comfort of sleeping for the patient.

Mouth Breathing and its effect on your body


Providing Dental Services n Shelby Twp. Michigan and in the Sterling Heights area, Dr. Antolak has a wide variety of dental procedures that he is capable of doing including saving teeth that may need to be removed.  The following video shows such a dental procedure.  There is some graphic video present so if you are squeamish about blood than you may not want to watch this.

When a root canal fails you may develop drainage  and swelling at the end of the root and into the cheek area.  The drainage is puss and is a sign of an infection.   This swelling can come from a lack of coverage over the crown of the tooth and bacteria enters the root, contaminates the root canal filling and enters the bone.  It can also fail due to a fractured root,  poor fill or for a number of reasons.

The pressure from the puss will create a hole in the bone and then balloon out the soft gum tissue.  This usually will require extraction and replacement with an implant.  Sometimes under the right circumstance it may be possible to have this dental procedure done to save the tooth.
If you have any questions you can call our Shelby Twp. dental office at 586.247.3500.

at in Shelby Township Michigan we will typically replace broken down root canal teeth with a single tooth implant. In this case you will see an x ray where the front tooth didn’t have a post and it literally sheared off. Without any tooth above the gum line it was not possible to redo the crown.
The benefit if replacing a tooth with an implant is that an implant will be stronger than the brittle root from a root canal tooth. It is necessary to have enough natural tooth above the gum line to properly restore it so that it lasts a long time.
In this video you will see some blood as we show the implant going in and you will see the root of the tooth. A major benefit of an immediate implant is that the implant is placed at the same time as the root is removed so that he didn’t have to go without a tooth in the front.
At the end of the video he is interviewed at his one week follow up and did great. If you have this type of need and are located in the Macomb or Oakland county area of Michigan please give us a call at (586)247-3500. located in Shelby Twp. Michigan  is the place to go if you are at your end of the rope with your existing Michigan dentist who ignores your request that something is not right with the way your mouth feels.  This becomes evident when things feel different, if you have a tooth pain or have ear/jaw joint pain after dental procedures have been done.  This patient drove a distance because he has been suffering with consequences from an improperly adjusted crowns and fixed bridges.  He had ringing in the ears, tooth aches, inability to eat properly and jaw pain all caused because his previous dentists didn’t listen to his concerns or didn’t have the proper training to treat his bad bite.  This testimonial was done right after the equilibration and is live and genuine.  If these issues describe you then call our Shelby dental office at (586)247-3500.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation Close to 36,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 36,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma).

It is obvious that it is a serious problem and one that can be treated more successfully if it is treated at an early enough stage.  Early diagnosis is critical in the success but these cancers aren’t painful in the early stages.  When they get symptomatic when the patient can notice them they have usually metastasised to the neck or lymph nodes.  Your semiannual trip to the dentist is therefore critical since we do an oral cancer exam each time you are examined by Dr. Antolak. 

Oral cancers are mostly found at the side and under the tongue.  They usually appear as a red or white patch which is usually asymptomatic.  If there is any sign of this a brush biopsy or biopsy can be taken which will determine if there is pathology.

Rapid and aggressive treatment is important including surgery to remove the involved area, radiation and chemo therapies.  Radiation and chemotherapy kills off fast replicating cells.  Cancer cells, saliva producing cells, hair follicles, and any other fast growing cells are killed off by the chemotherapy.  Radiation therapy has an even more focused kill so if the saliva glands are in the path of radiation there is a significant reduction in the saliva.  Since saliva provides moisture and natural protection against gum disease and cavities the mouth is prone to more decay.  In addition the bone is prone to infection because the bone cells have a reduced capacity of healing. 

It is critical to seek dental care immediately to remove and fill any teeth that could have problems after the cancer treatment is started.  Dentures will have to be remade or relined to improve the fit.  A poorly fitting denture can create ulcers in the mouth which will be difficult to heal after radiation therapy is completed.

 One of my recent cancer-surviving patients told me that there was not been enough emphasis on the long term effects of radiation treatment on the teeth after the cancer treatment is done.  She wanted it to be known to others how fast dental decay can occur once the saliva glands are irradiated.

If you have questions or need to know what your next step should be please email Dr. Antolak at or call (586)247-3500.

Please remember our Candy Buy Back which takes place on November 2.  We will be paying children $1.00 per pound of candy they turn in.  The candy will be distributed to children in Haiti, Detroit and to the Men and Women in uniform  serving our country overseas.

Dentures – The emotional and physical ramifications discussed.

Even though this article may not pertain to you there is most likely someone in your life who has dentures or will need them in the future.  There are around 40 million Americans who are denture wearers so this is applicable to many readers.

When a person needs to have their teeth removed due to dental decay or periodontal disease there are both physical and emotional issues that need to be addressed. If at all possible it is usually best to save the teeth and fabricate a removable partial denture (sometimes referred to as a bridge) that attaches to the remaining natural teeth.  If this is done properly and maintained with regular dental visits and cleanings it should provide years of service to the patient.  If for some reason the natural teeth can’t be saved then dentures are inevitable.

  • Emotional: Loosing a tooth or many teeth is a significant event on one’s life as it may lead to the feeling of getting older, depression because they experience the loss of one of their body parts, or the fact that they are so embarrassed because they feel like a failure which can lead to depression and the need for themselves to become recluse.  A huge fear that denture wearers have is that if they sneeze or laugh too much that the denture will fall out.   This is a reality and a huge embarrassment for those who have a loose fit in their dentures.  It is necessary to be supportive to those who we love when they go through this process.  It also takes time to adjust to dentures since they are foreign plastic plates that are only held in by suction on the top denture and just sit there on the lower.  Lower dentures sit on top of the bone with the lips pushing them one way and the tongue pushing them the other.  Food doesn’t taste the same with dentures because the upper plate covers the palate and therefore temperature is not transferred. Denture wearers can only generate about 25% of the biting force as those who have natural teeth so it is very difficult to bite down hard to chew hard food.
  • Physical: There are many changes that take place after loosing teeth.  After a tooth is lost the bone that used to support it starts to collapse into the hole.  Placing an implant in the extraction site can preserve the bone and be used to hold a denture in with a snap in fit.
  • Effects of bone loss: Over time as bone shrinks the face can become more sunken in because there isn’t enough support for the lips and face so things start to sag.  Dentures can be made to add needed underlying support to look more youthful and natural. It amazes me when a denture is properly made what a difference it makes.  It is also necessary to place the teeth in the proper position so the patient looks natural and not like their teeth are too long or too short.

It is obvious that those who are currently using dentures or those who will be in need of them in the future are literally dental handicaps.  These are prosthetic and are only a substitute for the natural teeth.  If at all possible we will attempt to use at least some of the natural teeth to support the denture.  Everyone is different and their mouths present with different issues.

It becomes apparent to those who are neglecting their teeth that they need to make a decision for their future by taking care of them and getting them examined.  I have seen a number of young adults who sip on pop and sports drinks throughout the day who have decay throughout the mouth.  Unfortunately some of them will need to have their teeth removed and the shame is that this is all preventable.

What is common is that everyone wants to look nice, eat well and avoid embarrassment.  Even though dentures are difficult to get used to and aren’t like natural teeth a well made set can make a difference.  Contact our dental office in Shelby Township, Michigan (Macomb County) at (586)247-3500 for a free dental consultation to see if we can help you out.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

This patient has been suffering from headaches and has sought treatment from five dentists in the course of two years.  She was told that it was just because she grinds her teeth and they couldn’t do anything for her. Tension  Headaches and migraines are very common when the bite is altered many times with dental procedures and crowns that aren’t adjusted properly.  Missing teeth, crowns, bridges, and even fillings that aren’t properly adjusted after they have been placed will stress the muscles, teeth and TMJ.

The body attempts to alter the shape and size of these restorations but in an attempt to do so the muscles become stressed and this affects the jaw joint and teeth.

Things to look for are:

  • Sensitive teeth especially when waking up.
  • loose teeth
  • headaches which originate from the temporal area on the side of the head.
  • neck pain
  • Migraine pain
  • Clicking in the jaw which leads to jaw pain.

If these listed symptoms describe you and if it may have started after braces, after a filling, crown or bridge has been placed then give us a call at (586)247-3500.  More than likely we can help you.  You can also email us at

The effects of cancer treatment on the mouth can be quite severe!

Most people realize the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy which are hair loss and nausea, but 1 out of 3 people develop problems with the mouth during and even after treatment.  These complications such as dry mouth or life threatening infections may interfere with cancer treatment or diminish the quality of living and eating. It is therefore important to have a qualified dentist as part of the oncology team who can manage and prep the patient’s mouth in anticipation of these complications.  This preoperative care for the cancer treatment is a vital part in a comprehensive approach to overall patient comfort and satisfaction.

Cancer treatment kills fast growing cells and saliva producing cells are one of the fast growing types.  As a result, cancer patients can have extremely dry mouths eliminating the lubrication, re-mineralization, and healing enzyme properties of saliva.

Dental cavities, infection of the soft tissues, periodontal disease and other dental diseases are exacerbated and made worse when saliva is either reduced or eliminated.  Therefore it is critical to involve your qualified dentist to treat decay with fillings, treat periodontal disease, extract hopeless teeth and either remake or reline poorly fitting dentures.

If at all possible your first dental visit should be at least 1 month before cancer treatment begins to give the treating dentist enough time to complete treatment.  Once the cancer treatment begins it is too late to have the dental work done because the bodies healing capacity and ability to fight off infections is greatly reduced if not stopped.

Since the mouth is full of disease causing bacteria any potential dental problem that can be foreseen should be treated immediately with enough time to heal completely (around 14 days) before cancer treatment is started.  Open wounds, infected teeth and the like can be seeds to serious problems.  Any elective oral surgery such as implant placement should be postponed until after cancer treatment is completed.  Soft plastic trays can be used to hold fluoride to prevent tooth decay.  These are to be used during the night to re-mineralize the teeth.

The diagnosis of cancer is devastating for everyone involved and there are both emotional and physical aspects that must be dealt with right away.  Involving the dentist as part of your care isn’t usually considered, but is critical.  Since time is of the essence, being told to wait a week for a dental appointment isn’t acceptable to me.  If your dentist isn’t willing to either alter his/her schedule or come in on their day off you may want to contact our office for an immediate appointment.  For more information on what a patient should do before, during and after cancer treatment you can call our office at (586) 247-3500 for a free reprinted brochure from the National Institute of Health.  You can also visit their website at Http://

Even if you have questions about this topic or if you or a loved one is to be starting cancer therapy you can call me or visit the office to discuss your questions.

If you are involved with a cancer support group and would like to have me speak to them about oral care before, during and after cancer therapy you can email me at

I am also available to talk with support groups or even patients who are about to begin cancer treatment.

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