The Impact That Alcohol Has on Oral HealthIt’s common practice for many people to enjoy drinks with family and friends. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and having fun with friends over drinks. In fact, most people know how to practice safe drinking habits in order to prevent any issues from arising. More people are calling Uber’s and being mindful of their surroundings while drinking than in previous years.

These are both great ways to stay safe while drinking, but what about the effect of alcohol on our bodies over time? One area that many people overlook is the impact of alcohol on their oral health.

The Main Problem with Consuming Alcohol

The main issue with drinking alcohol and our oral health is that alcohol affects the balance of good and bad bacteria in our mouths. Disrupting the balance of the bacteria can cause some major issues.

According to a study published in the journal Microbiome, people who consume one or more alcoholic beverages daily will offset the balance of bacteria in their mouths, which can lead to gingivitis, gum infections, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.

The study also states that in heavy alcohol drinkers the beneficial bacteria disappeared and that inflammatory bacteria counts increased. Without the good bacteria in our mouths, those inflammatory bacteria are able to wreak havoc on our immune system and general health. The study defines a heavy drinker as a person who consumes one or more alcoholic beverages per day.

Preventing These Changes

When asked if better oral hygiene would help drinkers maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in their mouths, Dr. Jiyoung Ahn stated that the research so far did not have the answers. However, she stressed that the fact that changes of the flora of the mouth could potentially cause or prevent diseases is a huge breakthrough.

The first step towards maintaining the balance in your mouth is to limit or avoid drinking alcohol. Since the study focused on people who drank one or two glasses of alcohol per day, it can be construed that lowering your alcohol intake could help you maintain the balance of good bacteria in your mouth.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

While studies haven’t confirmed that better oral hygiene can prevent the imbalance of bacteria in our mouths, it’s still important to stay on top of your regular dental check-ups. During your routine dental check-ups, your dentist will clean and check your teeth for signs of gum disease and gingivitis. Gum disease that is caught early can often be treated with minimally invasive procedures. Most dentists recommend that you have a routine dental check-up every six months to prevent cavities or the spread of gum disease.

Schedule Your Check-Up Today

Just because you drink doesn’t mean that you have gum disease. It does, however, increase your chances of developing it due to an imbalance of bacteria in your mouth. Along with lowering your alcohol intake, you should take your routine dental check-ups seriously. Don’t wait until gum disease and gingivitis cause you pain. Instead, give The Gentle Dentist a call today at (586) 247-3500 to schedule your dental check-up today!





Categories: Oral Health

Cold Sores: A major oral herpes symptomThe small puss-filled blisters that appear on the internal lining of the oral cavity, nostrils, and lips are called cold sores. This oral condition is itself not a disease, but a major symptom of herpes simplex type 1. In some cases, it highlights herpes simplex types 2 as well. In the US, roughly 50-80 percent adult population is suffering from oral herpes. All these herpes patients are automatically susceptible to cold sores.

Causes of cold sore formation

As mentioned earlier, herpes virus is the main reason for the development of these itchy painful oral blisters. It is important to mention that cold sores don’t just appear as herpes virus enters the affected person’s body. In most of the cases, the virus remains dormant and only gets triggered when the body undergoes a noticeable physiological change such as muscle fatigue or an injury.

Telling apart cold sores and canker sores

In some instances, it becomes difficult to differentiate cold sores and canker sores at their onset. Since cold sores are a symptom of another disease, therefore several factors help in identifying if the given condition is cold sores or canker sores.

  • Cold sores are often larger in size in comparison to canker sores and also contain puss.
  • The formation of cold sores is often accompanied by swelled lips, sore throat, swallowing difficulties and bloated glands. In some cases, high fever, dehydration, nausea, and headache also affect the people suffering from cold sores or herpes.
  • Cold sores outbreak is an extremely contagious condition.

Developmental stages of cold sores

There are multiple stages of cold sore maturation

  • A burning and itching sensation in and around the mouth is usually the first indication of a cold sore It is followed by the development of fluid-filled sores that usually appear on the periphery of the lower lip.
  • The sores eventually erupt and result in puss discharge
  • A yellow crust is formed and gradually erodes leaving inflamed skin exposed, which gets self-healed without leaving scars.

The whole developmental phase of cold sores takes nearly two weeks.

Diagnosing cold sores

For people experiencing cold sores for the first time, physicians usually employ two methods to verify whether the condition is a symptom of herpes.

  • Blood testing of the affected individual to identify herpes virus
  • Culture testing of the fluid scrapped from the blister

Cold sore treatment

Like canker sores, cold sores also disappear within a week or two due to the body’s self-healing process. Nevertheless, different medical treatments are employed in order to alleviate the inconvenience and irritation caused by the condition.

Over-the-counter and prescribed antiviral medications are often used to cut down the span of recurrent cold sores. OTC antiviral products usually come in the form of ointments and applied on the sores for 4-5 times a day for better results. Physicians also recommend painkillers in cases where patients are suffering from severe burning and itching.

Avoiding direct contact with the people suffering from cold sores is a must-taken preventive measure. To know more about the condition and treatment of cold sores, get in contact with The Gentle Dentist. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment, and see just how caring your dentistry can be, at (586) 247-3500!



Categories: Oral Health

Use of Tobacco and Oral HealthWhether its cigarettes or chewing products, tobacco consumption is detrimental for human health in each and every case. If we talk about particular harms of tobacco use, then oral cavity bears a lot of brunt of this unhealthy habit. Let’s have a look at some of the many perilous implications of the regular use of tobacco for oral health.

Stained teeth color

Oral cavity with stained teeth can’t really warrant a good confident smile. People can’t keep up their confidence level in social situations if they are suffering from the problem of tainted teeth. Regular smoking and the habit of tobacco chewing gradually start the process of teeth discoloration. The affected people only get the reality check when they stumble upon their own smile spoiled due to yellow teeth.

In order to get the natural sheen of your tainted teeth and confidence back, the first thing you have to do is quit the bad habit of tobacco use.  In addition, visiting a dentist office for teeth whitening procedure would also help.

Blunted olfactory and taste senses

When taste receptors of the tongue are constantly plagued by nicotine and tar, they start to lose their natural ability to appreciate different tastes. Since olfactory sensors and taste buds are strongly interconnected, therefore the blunted activity of one sense also affects the other. Chainsmokers usually have to deal with this problem where they can’t appreciate the lusciousness of different food items to their fullest.

Bad breath

More often than not, digestive issues and plaque buildup in the oral cavity are responsible for bad breath. One can deal with this type of bad breath with good teeth cleaning routine and healthy eating. However, people suffering from bad breath because of regular use of tobacco can get rid of this problem only after quitting the bad habit. Like stained teeth, bad breath also makes it difficult for the affected people to steer through public interactions.

Slow recovery, quick deterioration

Longtime smoking actually weakens the immune system, which slows down the recovery from any dental health issue or surgery. On the other hand, the regular use of tobacco speeds up the process of tooth decay. Instances of gum inflammation also see an uptick in smokers and other tobacco users.

Spoils dental restoration procedures

Teeth whitening and bleaching treatments can’t give desirable results if the person keeps on consuming tobacco. Similarly, other restoration procedures are also spoiled by tobacco use. For instance, the newly installed crown can quickly get rough margins because of the gum recession instigated by smoking.

Oral cancer

This is the most dreadful oral health implications of the incessant use of tobacco. People consuming tobacco in non-smokable form are most vulnerable to develop oral cancer. Besides inflicting oral disabilities, a late-stage oral cancer can also aggravate into fatal consequences.

For better oral health, the first thing a person has to do is to quit this unhealthy habit. It is possible by combining strong resolve and some prescription medicines. Secondly, get in touch with any good dental clinic for the overall restoration of oral health.  The dental and oral health experts at The Gentle Dentist have the expertise to deal with detrimental effects of tobacco use on oral health.  Please visit our website at or call us at 586-247-3500.




Categories: Oral Health

By: Jessica Wendt, RDH

Ask the Gentle Dentist: Should I Use Mouthwash?Who doesn’t love that feeling of minty fresh breath that comes from swishing with mouthwash? Even though most people would answer “yes,” the question is whether mouthwash is for everyone and should it be used daily.  Mouth rinses, like most things in dentistry, are not “one size fits all.” There are hundreds of mouth rinses on the market with each one designed to meet specific dental needs.  Some are considered cosmetic (no true health benefit) while others are therapeutic (contain health benefits).

Cosmetic mouthwash may leave a pleasant taste, but its benefit will be temporary. There is no chemical agent in these mouthwashes that actually kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, so the benefit is considered solely cosmetic. On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwash contains active ingredients that help reduce conditions like cavities, plaque, gum inflammation, and bad breath. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), look for active ingredients listed as: cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, and peroxide.

Each of these ingredients has a different benefit to offer. A fluoride mouth rinse is beneficial for those prone to cavities. It helps to prevent decay by remineralizing enamel in the teeth. Whitening mouthwashes may contain peroxide, which helps to reduce staining and lighten the color of teeth. Chlorhexidine and essential oils are used to control plaque and gingivitis, while cetylpyridinium chloride is added to reduce bad breath according to the American Dental Association. Most therapeutic mouth rinses are available over the counter, however some require a prescription especially those that contain chlorhexidine.

Even though using mouthwash has its benefits that were discussed above, there are also risks that should be considered. There has been an ongoing debate on whether there is a link between mouthwashes that contain alcohol and oral cancer. The ADA states that a recent review failed to find a strong association between the two since mouthwash isn’t ingested. However, alcohol-containing mouth rinses are not advised for those with dry mouth because it can worsen the condition. Also, alcohol in mouthwash can increase tooth sensitivity for some and can irritate existing canker sores. Some mouth rinses may cause your oral tissues to slough, or shed, at a faster rate than normal leaving stringy saliva leftover in your mouth. Dr. Antolak has noticed this with Crest ProHealth mouthwash. It is also important to note that children under the age of 6 should not use mouthwash because of the risk of swallowing it.

Mouthwash is not considered a cure for any oral condition, but it can be a helpful aide. It should never be used in place of brushing and flossing. If good oral hygiene habits are in place and cavities, gum disease, and bad breath aren’t present, then using a mouthwash isn’t really necessary. You can use one if you would like, but some dentists may tell you to spend your money elsewhere. As a dental hygienist, I do not use a mouth rinse on a consistent basis because of my regular brushing and flossing habits. There are times when I have used a fluoride mouthwash to prevent cavities and a whitening mouthwash to brighten my smile, but I do not use them on a long-term basis. However, some people do benefit from long-term mouthwash use and their dentist may recommend them to do so.

It is always advised to ask for your dentist’s recommendation on if you should use a mouth rinse, and if so, what type to use. When selecting a mouthwash, always check to make sure it has the ‘ADA Seal of Acceptance.’ This means that the mouth rinse company has provided scientific evidence to the American Dental Association that proves the safety and effectiveness of their product. Also, make sure to read the specific instructions on your selected mouthwash because some need to be used before you brush and some need to be used after brushing. It is important to swish with the rinse for the specified time as well otherwise it may not be as effective.

To learn more about our office, please contact us at 586-247-3500 or visit us at We are always accepting NEW patients!



Categories: Oral Health

Get Healthier This Year by Visiting the Dentist

As we all know, life gets busy and it gets easier and easier to put off the things we know we should be doing. With New Year’s Day freshly behind us, most people have made several resolutions to propel this year as the best one yet. While these are set with the best intentions, it can be hard to follow through. Instead of making a specific resolution, why not make your new year about themes?

Oral Health - Visit Best Dentist in Shelby Twp, MIWhen you have a theme instead of a specific resolution, it can be easier to make progress towards living your life to the fullest. If you want to get healthier in 2018, you are not alone. As you probably know, many resolutions are made around some form of getting healthier. If you would also like to make improvements to your health, now is the time to get started! Even though many people link health to hitting the gym and eating more kale, there are many ways to get healthier. If you haven’t visited the dentist in a while, now is the best time to get a check up on the calendar. By taking action to visit your dentist, you can make great strides towards achieving a beautiful smile and better overall health.

  1. Avoid Cavities

Ah yes, everyone’s worst enemy. Well maybe not everyone’s, but cavities are certainly the most common form of dental health issue in most people. While cavities can be largely avoided by regular brushing and flossing, your dentist will be able to give you a thorough cleaning and examination to make sure you have no cavities that need filling. If you have a small cavity that is not dealt with, it can quickly become a big cavity that will be much more inconvenient to deal with! By taking care of these types of issues sooner rather than later, you can make sure they are as quick and painless as possible.

  1. Prevent Gum Problems

Aside from cavities, many people suffer from unhealthy gums. Even though these issues can be mostly avoided by regular brushing and flossing, as life gets busy your gums may suffer. Eating sugary foods and beverages, and having a bacterial imbalance in the mouth can lead to gum issues and gum disease down the road. By paying a visit to your dentist, you can make sure you get an expert’s look at your gums and address any issues before they become bigger problems. If you are seeing blood in the sink after brushing or flossing, make your appointment sooner rather than later!

  1. Revive Discolored Teeth 

Everyday wear on teeth can cause your teeth to lose their luster after a while. When you add in sweets, soda, and coffee, your teeth could lose their sparkle even faster. To combat this, make sure you visit your dentist to get a professional cleaning! If you really want to kick things up a notch, consider getting a professional teeth whitening done as well!

I Am Looking For The Best Dentist in Near Me in Shelby Township, MI

For more on general dental care and to get in touch with the best dentist in Shelby Township, Michigan, schedule a dental appointment today!



Categories: Oral Health

3 Reasons to Keep Up with Your Dental Care

Some of the things that we know are good for us and are fairly easy to do, such as eating healthy, exercising, sleeping at least 8 hours a day, are also easy not to do. While it’s not particularly difficult to order a salad at the local burger joint, it’s also not too hard to order a juicy burger and fries! This concept holds true across many areas of life, including dental care. The little daily things that help to keep your mouth in prime health like brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist don’t require much skill, but are also easy to let go by the wayside.

Healthy Gums and Teeth - Shelby Twp., MIHowever, just like when you let yourself eat whatever you want and don’t exercise for weeks and months on end and start to see the effects in your waistline, the same is true for dental care. By not keeping up with your routine dental care and dental visits when you should, you could end up dealing with much more serious issues down the road. To help to give you some motivation on why to keep up with your daily dental care and routine dentist visits, here are some things to strive for!

  1. A Sparkling Smile

It’s no secret that everyone wants to look good and feel good in the skin they’re in, so this makes the top of our list. By keeping up with your daily brushing and flossing, you will reap the benefits of your labor in the form of a vibrant smile that you can’t wait to show off! To make sure this smile is as bright as it can be, get in to see your dental professional and see if they can make it even more spectacular with professional treatments that are affordable and painless.

  1. Cavity Free

When we neglect our teeth for too long or continue to miss certain spots in our cleaning routine, we ultimately end up with decaying teeth in the form of cavities. If you haven’t had a cavity filled in a while, it’s not really something to look forward to. Even though technology has come a long way in recent years to the point you won’t be in too much discomfort during your dental procedure, it’s still best to avoid it all together by keeping up with your brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist regularly!

  1. Healthy Gums

If teeth were trees, then our gums would be the soil to allow them to live a healthy life. Just like soil in the garden needs to be taken care of, so do our gums. A regular brushing and flossing routine is the best way to make sure your gums stay healthy for years to come. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can get a professional opinion on what you could be doing to ensure optimal gum health to make sure your whole mouth stays happy!

As you can see, keeping up with your oral health routine and professional visits can give you some pretty great perks and keep you from needing additional treatments! Give The Gentle Dentist a call today at 586-247-3500 to schedule a dental appointment.



Categories: Oral Health

5 Habits for Healthy Teeth

Throughout the course of our lifetime, we hear many different things regarding our oral health. While there is always a new technology coming out for teeth whitening or cavity prevention, there are a few tactics that remain tried and true. By developing good habits, your oral care routine can go a long way towards making sure your smile is healthy and bright for years to come. While some of the following 5 habits may not be new to you, it’s always good to have a refresher to make sure you are covering all your bases when it comes to your smile!

Battle the Bacteria

Oral Health - Dentist, Shelby Twp., MIEnemy number one when it comes to a healthy mouth is bacteria. Bacteria as it relates to oral health can take many forms. Bacteria on your teeth can cause cavities, while bacteria around your gums can result in gum disease if not taken care of. To battle these many types of bacteria, it’s important to brush and floss daily. By developing good brushing and flossing habits, you will be making a huge step towards fighting off any bacteria in your mouth.

Limit Your Sugary Drinks and Coffee 

As delicious as they may be, soda and other sugary beverages can do a lot of harm to your teeth if you enjoy them frequently. Just like soda, coffee can also cause damage to your teeth. While the damage may not be as much in the form of cavities, coffee can cause your teeth to lose their shine. By limiting both soda and coffee from your diet as much as possible, you will be protecting your teeth from cavities as well as becoming discolored!

Don’t Forget the Tongue

When brushing it’s easy to forget to take care of your tongue. By also brushing your tongue along with the rest of your teeth, you are taking a great step towards reducing the bacteria inside your mouth. While you don’t want to make yourself uncomfortable while doing so, a thorough tongue brushing can only help!

Get a Good Rinse

While brushing and flossing are certainly the most important steps to maintaining a healthy smile, using a good mouthwash regularly is also a great way to fight the bacteria in your mouth and keep your teeth sparkling and bright. If you are having trouble finding a good mouthwash (there certainly are a lot of options!), simply ask your dental professional as they will be sure to have recommendations on things to look for.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly 

Even by developing great habits in keeping your teeth clean, making sure to visit your dentist every 6 months is crucial to making sure everything is going as it should. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can not only get a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque buildup, but you will also benefit from having an oral exam to look for any cavities forming or potential issues.

Searching For the Best Dentist Near Me in Shelby Twp., MI?

If you are looking for the best dental group right here in the Shelby Twp. area, visit today! Or, give us a call at 586-247-3500 to schedule your dental appointment.



Categories: Oral Health

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