5 ways adults can Benefit from Myofunctional Therapy

myofunctional therapy

myofunctional therapyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Have you ever heard of myofunctional therapy? This isn’t just a fancy-sounding word; it’s a form of therapy that has been successful in treating a host of different orofacial myofunctional disorders that affect people of all ages. Myofunctional therapists in Royal Oak want to make sure you’re aware of this therapy and its advantages. While myofunctional therapy is most often prescribed for children, adults can benefit from it too. Find out five ways that adults can benefit from this therapy.

Benefit 1: It’s convenient

In fact, myofunctional therapy is about as minimally invasive as any type of treatment out there. The exercises can be performed in a few minutes, and you can do them whenever you like: while waiting to pick up your kids from school, watching TV, or cooking. The key is repetition. While each patient is different, a typical course of myofunctional therapy starts to bear significant results after about six months.

Benefit 2: It improves and/or shortens orthodontic treatment

Many adults who want to straighten their teeth are self-conscious about getting braces because of the perceived social stigma associated with having them at that stage in life. Myofunctional therapy makes it possible to spend less time in braces or avoid them altogether. When you go through myofunctional therapy, the muscles in your cheeks and jaw are stronger, as is your tongue. This can make it easier for your mouth to support a removable method of orthodontic treatment, such as the clear plastic aligners used with Invisalign treatment. Having a removable appliance also makes it easier to clean your teeth and maintain a high level of dental hygiene.

Benefit 3: It can help relieve sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that affects more than 22 million Americans. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that must be treated by a qualified professional to alleviate. Patients living with untreated sleep apnea eventually face an elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. Myofunctional therapy actually can help treat sleep apnea. A course of myofunctional exercises can strengthen the mouth, tongue, and neck muscles, preventing soft tissue collapses that occur during sleep. When these muscles become stronger, it becomes easier to maintain an open airway while sleeping.

Benefit 4: It can improve your looks

Yes, myofunctional therapy actually can change your looks. If you breathe through your mouth all of the time, this can alter your appearance: narrowing dental arches and lengthening the facial structure. Myofunctional therapy addresses the root cause of mouth breathing by encouraging optimum oral rest posture—with lips closed, teeth closed, and the tongue resting gently against the roof of the mouth. The ideal oral rest posture encourages nasal breathing, which over time, can reshape your face. The younger a patient is when beginning myofunctional therapy, the more significant the facial changes will be.

Benefit 5: Myofunctional therapy works for almost anyone

And we do mean everyone. Although this type of therapy works best on children and adolescents, adults also can benefit. Your body is always changing and remodeling itself—and myofunctional therapy capitalizes on the fact that your jawbones are among the most dynamic bones in the entire body. That means they’re more receptive to the forces released when performing myofunctional therapy.

Myofunctional Therapy for Adults in Royal Oak

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of myofunctional therapy, are you ready to experience it for yourself? At Hartrick Dentistry, we work with an experienced, licensed myofunctional therapist in the Royal Oak area. To find out more, schedule a consultation today by calling our office at (248) 549-0950.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Protect your Health by keeping your Mouth Clean

protect your health

protect your healthRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Personal hygiene can play a large part in your overall health, especially when it comes to your oral care. When you take good care of your teeth, you reduce the presence of bad bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. The presence of bacteria is everywhere, and it is a key component of the human life cycle. There are two forms of bacteria: good bacteria that help our bodies function and bad bacteria that cause damage. A new study links lung disease to the presence of mouth bacteria. Below are the findings of the study that will highlight the importance of oral care.

The Study

The study was led by Dr. Yoshihisa Tamashita with a team of Japanese scientists from Kyushu University in Fukuoka. In a senior community located in Hisayma, Japan, the team gathered 500 elderly test subjects ranging in age from 70-80 years and analyzed their tongue microbiota composition. Then, the team used a scientific technique called genomic sequencing that revealed the presence of Prevotella histicola and Streptococcus salivarius, which is the same bacteria linked to pneumonia that resulted in death.

The Results

During the oral exams of the test subjects, these bacteria appeared in subjects with excessive amounts of plaque, decaying teeth, and in some cases, missing teeth. The first result shows that seniors with poor oral health typically ingest more dysbiotic microbiota from their tongue, potentially causing additional damage to their health. The second result shows that more research needs to be conducted to uncover the long-term effects the bacteria have on the overall health condition.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

Although there are microbes in our mouths that help fight off bad bacteria and aid in the digestion process, everything must remain in a delicate balance. When you eat foods that are high in sugar and simple starches, the bacteria that favors it can cause cavities and gum disease. To keep the bacteria at bay, Hartrick Dental recommends that you brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day, get six-months checkups and cleanings at the dentist, and eat a healthy diet.

The American Heart Association states that no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for most American women and 9 teaspoons of sugar for most American men should be consumed per day. Unfortunately, with hidden sugars in processed foods, it can be easy to over-indulge in the amount of sugar you consume. Think about this, if just one 12-ounce can of soda has eight teaspoons of sugar, after consuming the beverage, you will have exceeded the total amount of sugar that should be consumed in a day if you are a woman. The sugar that you consume sticks to your teeth and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Therefore, when you reduce the amount of sugar you consume over-all, you will reduce the potential for health-harming bacteria to attack your teeth.

The best way to prevent bacteria from building up is a regular regimen of brushing twice daily and flossing daily. In addition, it is important to see your local dental provider in the Royal Oak and Birmingham area, Hartrick Dentistry, for regular checkups and cleanings. At these dental visits, we will clean those hard to reach areas where plaque tends to hide and turn into tartar buildup that only special dental tools can remove.

Dental Checkups and Cleanings in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

As we have seen, your oral health has a direct connection to your overall health. To prevent health complications, including respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, commit to a regular oral cleaning regimen, and contact Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 to schedule an appointment today.

Posted in Oral Health

Everything you need to know about Dental Implants

what to know about dental implants

what to know about dental implantsRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Have you heard about dental implants? If you’ve been living with lost teeth and done any research on finding ways your Royal Oak dentist can restore your smile, you probably know that implants are the highest-quality tooth replacement on the market. These implants are nearly permanent. However, many people still have misconceptions about implants or how this type of dental procedure is performed. Dr. Nancy Hartrick of Hartrick Dentistry wants to help keep you informed about the best options for your dental care. To that end, we have compiled this list of the important information you should know about dental implants.

Here are the basics of dental implants

An implant has three parts: the implant screw itself, a crown, and an abutment that connects the two pieces. The implant screw serves as an artificial root for your tooth replacement. Once placed in your jawbone, it bonds naturally with your bone. This implant screw provides the sturdiest base for artificial teeth. The implant is topped with a crown made of dental porcelain, which mirrors the appearance of natural tooth enamel and can be made to match the shape, size, and color of your other real teeth.

How do you know if you need an implant?

Dr. Hartrick can install a dental implant in Royal Oak if you have permanently lost any teeth or are about to lose them due to damage or decay. However, implants are not advised for children or anyone who suffers from gum disease.

What makes implants different from other tooth replacements?

Two major differences set apart implants from other treatment options. The first is jawbone stimulation, which is more important than you might think. Your jaw gets constant stimulation from your tooth root. Without it, supporting bone will eventually experience deterioration. With dental implants, the screw replaces that root—something no other tooth replacement provides. The second difference is permanence. Dental implants are permanently attached in your mouth, and typically outlast other common tooth replacement restorations like partial dentures or a dental bridge.

How likely is it my implant procedure will be successful?

Dental implants have a 98 percent success rating, according to WebMD. That does not mean that you won’t have to keep up with your implants. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the key to having an implant that lasts the rest of your life. The success rate is also based on you finding a dentist with the right qualifications to perform the implant procedure. Remember, the placement of the implant screw itself is oral surgery. Any dentist performing an implant procedure should be experienced and educated on the latest restorative dentistry techniques, and communicate with you on every step of the process. That’s where Dr. Nancy Hartrick comes in to help.

Implant Dentistry in Royal Oak

Hartrick Dentistry has 28 years of experience in evaluating patients’ dental needs. We pride ourselves on our ability to help you make an educated decisions about your oral care. You should be aware of the benefits, risks, and the alternatives. Before beginning any implant procedure, your implant dentist should perform a thorough evaluation, consider your medical history, and discuss them with you. Dental implants could greatly improve how you feel about your smile. If you live in the Royal Oak or Birmingham, MI, area, call the office of Hartrick Dentistry today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule your consultation.

Posted in Dental Implants

Do you have Sleep Apnea? Watch for these 8 Warning Signs

do you have sleep apnea

do you have sleep apneaRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Does your partner complain about your snoring on a regular basis? Do your family members express concern that you’re gasping for air while you sleep? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you could be suffering from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Also known as OSA, obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes snoring and can lead people to stop breathing throughout the night.

Throat muscles often slack while you’re asleep, but if you have obstructive sleep apnea, your jaw and throat become too relaxed, leading to a collapse of soft tissue that blocks the airway. Estimated to affect 22 million Americans, many people suffer from this condition and don’t even know it, or they are aware of their condition yet do not seek treatment. It’s often that OSA sufferers find out from their loved ones that they snore while sleeping. Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a Royal Oak dentist that screens for sleep apnea, hopes that you’ll look out for these eight warning signs that you or someone you love may have obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. Snoring

Snoring is the most common symptom noticed when people suffer from sleep apnea. However, intermittent snoring, such as during allergy season or when battling a cold, may not be a concern.  On the other hand, snoring associated with sleep apnea is different. It sounds very loud, occurs almost continuously, and is heard by anyone who sleeps in the same room with the sleep apnea sufferer.

  1. Dry Mouth

Suffering from obstructive sleep apnea can be tricky to diagnose. But if you notice that you’re often waking up with a dry mouth and sore throat, you may have OSA. This is because people who often snore, breathe through their mouths, which inevitably dries it out and causes throat irritation.

  1. Headaches

If you’re experiencing headaches regularly, especially upon waking first thing in the morning, then this can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by sleep apnea, and from not sleeping enough. Lowered oxygen levels cause widened blood vessels, which create vascular headaches. Your general physician can identify if you have this type of headache, which may indicate you’re suffering from sleep apnea.

  1. Daytime Drowsiness

As you do your normal daily tasks, you may notice that they’re becoming increasingly difficult. You may have trouble concentrating on the basics. Perhaps you’ve become more forgetful as of late. These are all signs of sleep deprivation, which can be caused by sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, each time you experience a blockage of your airway, your brain disrupts the sleep cycle to resume breathing. For someone with severe sleep apnea, these sleep interruptions may happen hundreds of times per hour—even if you never consciously wake up.

  1. Jaw Clenching

Stress can have us clenching our jaws, but jaw clenching sometimes is a sign of anxiety. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding—also known as bruxism—can be extremely destructive for your teeth. They cause enamel to weaken, leading to cracked teeth or damaged teeth. Hartrick Dentistry knows anxiety can cause teeth clenching and jaw grinding, but there is also a direct link between sleep apnea and bruxism. Both sleep apnea and bruxism can be influenced by some of the same health and lifestyle factors: misaligned bite, smoking, and being overweight.

  1. Anxiety

When you sleep less or get inadequate sleep, sleep deprivation may cause you to drink many caffeinated beverages throughout the day to keep yourself going. Partaking in moderate coffee consumption is fine, but drinking too many sodas, coffees, and other sugary drinks can lead to heightened levels of anxiety, while also raising your risk of tooth decay.

  1. Weight Gain

Many people struggle to lose weight, but with sleep apnea, it can become even more difficult. A healthy diet and regular exercise should produce positive results, but with sleep apnea, you’re not getting the sleep you need to keep your body functioning at its best. This can affect your metabolism and your ability to burn fat.

  1. Chronic Health Issues

Certain medical conditions can be caused by sleep apnea if it is untreated. Your OSA can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, acid reflux, gum disease, tooth loss… and even make you more vulnerable to certain types of cancer.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Royal Oak

Dr. Nancy Hartrick of Hartrick Dentistry wants to help you and your loved ones with customized treatment for your obstructive sleep apnea. Only a sleep specialist can diagnose OSA, but your dentist can provide customizable devices to keep your jaw stable and airway open while you sleep. Dr. Nancy Hartrick has 28 years’ worth of experience in treating her patient’s needs and customizing oral care plans that have helped people just like you. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today that could change your life for the better. If you live in the Royal Oaks or Birmingham, MI area, call today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule your consultation with Hartrick Dentistry.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Life

healthy teeth healthy life

healthy teeth healthy lifeRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Having fitness goals is quite common. Many people take strides daily to improve or maintain their health, from exercising to eating healthy. But, fewer people include keeping their mouth healthy as part of that focus. Today on the blog, we are going to discuss how having healthy teeth means having a healthier life.

Oral health has a lot to do with the health of your body, and here’s how.

Gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and stroke

More than half of the adults in America are afflicted by gum disease, an oral disease that causes foul-smelling breath, puffy and bleeding gums, and loose teeth that eventually need extracting. The ironic part about it is that gum disease is entirely preventable in most healthy individuals. So, if you’re clocking miles on the treadmill or pumping iron in the gym in efforts of keeping your arteries clear, don’t stop there. Simply brushing and flossing daily, as well as seeing the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings can prevent gum disease from starting in the first place, and do a lot for your health.

Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease, which is the initial stage. It presents as gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this point in the game, it can be reversed without any permanent damage being done to your oral health. But, ignore it, and you soon will find yourself dealing with progressing stages of periodontitis or gum disease. Keep your mouth healthy, and you could lower your risk of heart disease or a stroke.

Poor oral health interferes with blood glucose levels

Diabetes has a lot to do with blood glucose levels, and consequently, so does your mouth! Poor oral health that results in inflamed gums or gum disease is intricately connected to your body’s ability to regulate glucose levels. On the flip side, fluctuating glucose levels significantly impact gum health, so people with type 2 diabetes have to work extra diligently to keep their teeth and gums healthy. While eating a healthy diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and sugar, as well as exercising regularly can help decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, so will keeping your mouth clean! Furthermore, if you are type 2 diabetic, be sure that you don’t skip out on going to the dentist. Studies prove that gum disease treatment can lower blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

Flossing could help you lose weight

Now, before you start thinking that you can cancel your gym membership and floss to stay in shape, hang on a minute. That’s not what we are alluding to. However, studies report that poor oral health could actually cause you to have more cravings, which, in essence, could lead to weight gain. So, if you aren’t taking care of your teeth and gums, it could be part of the reason why you are packing on the pounds or struggling to lose weight. Results of one study also reported that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are more prone to developing gum disease, which could be due in part to their diet of unhealthy foods and consuming more sugar. Point being, take care of your teeth, and you may see an improvement in your weight.

As you can see, the health of the mouth and body are connected. You can’t expect to be in impeccable health, yet neglect your mouth and vice versa. Maintaining your health should include attention to all areas of your body, such as exercising to maintain muscle tone and healthy bones, eating healthy to maintain the recommended BMI for your body type, and taking care of your oral health by brushing and flossing daily, and seeing the dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year.

To schedule your next visit, just call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.

Posted in Health

Unhappy about your Smile? Cosmetic Dentistry can help!

cosmetic dentistry can help

cosmetic dentistry can helpRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Turn on the TV or go to the movies, and what do you see? Celebrities with straight, gleaming white, perfect-looking teeth. Very few of those celebrities have flawless smiles naturally. They obtained them through cosmetic dentistry. A specialization of dental science, cosmetic dentistry combines advanced techniques and high-quality materials that improve your smile. Let’s take a look at how your Royal Oak cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick can use the procedures and principles of cosmetic dentistry to enhance the look of your smile.

Cosmetic dentistry can address several different perceived aesthetic flaws with your teeth

  • Discoloration: Even if you are scrupulous about your dental hygiene, your teeth are going to change color or develop stains—if not because of the consumption of substances like coffee, wine, and tobacco, or as part of the aging process. You can get whiter teeth in Royal Oak by using one of three teeth whitening treatments offered at Hartrick Dentistry. Or, if you have intrinsic stains or don’t want to worry with repeat whitening procedures, you can brighten your smile permanently by receiving porcelain veneers.
  • Uneven teeth: Are your teeth of different shapes or sizes? Is one tooth longer or shorter than the one next to it? Are you experiencing crowding in your mouth, or are your teeth crooked? Dr. Hartrick can straighten your teeth with Invisalign, which uses clear plastic aligners to guide your teeth into their preferred alignment. Or, if you just want the appearance of straighter teeth without waiting more than a year for orthodontic treatment to run its course, Dr. Hartrick can install veneers or cosmetic bonding. Many sizing and alignment issues related to your teeth can be addressed through veneers or dental bonding.
  • Older or failing dental work: Do you have an amalgam filling or other metallic restoration in your mouth? These restorations have been used for years, but modern cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile and offer so much more. Dr. Hartrick can remove those older fillings and replace them with tooth-colored composite fillings that are metal-free. These fillings can be designed to match the shape and shade of your other natural healthy teeth.
  • Cracked, chipped, broken, or lost teeth: Living with lost teeth can compromise your oral health while also creating a hole in your smile. To replace your missing tooth or teeth, Hartrick Dentistry offers tooth replacement options such as a dental bridge or dental implant. Perhaps you have a tooth you’re trying to save that has suffered significant damage because of tooth decay or an injury. In that case, Dr. Hartrick can install a dental crown to replace the exterior of your tooth and prevent tooth loss.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Royal Oak

Cosmetic dentistry can do so much more than just improve the appearance of your teeth. Many patients who receive cosmetic dental work also report that their teeth function better after the procedure is complete. Isn’t it time to get the great-looking smile you always wanted? If you want to get straight teeth in Royal Oak or find out how to make your smile look better in Birmingham, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hartrick today by calling our office at (248) 549-0950.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve our patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

The Real Reason why you’re Struggling to Breastfeed

struggling to breastfeed

struggling to breastfeedRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Breastfeeding mamas, we hear you! We understand the struggles you face being a new mom, especially when trying to juggle your other responsibilities. While it’s only natural to stress and worry even more now that you’re a parent, stressing over breastfeeding shouldn’t be one of those worries.

  • Are you a recently new mom struggling to breastfeed your baby?
  • Maybe this isn’t your first rodeo, yet you can’t seem to get baby to latch properly. What gives? 

Well, before you throw in the towel and start supplementing your baby’s feedings with formula, we are here for you. Dr. Hartrick, a family dentist in the greater Detroit area, wants to explore a couple of reasons why you might be struggling with your breastfeeding efforts. And, surprisingly, there’s a simple fix for it. So, if you are looking for breastfeeding tips in Detroit, or learn ways to help your baby latch while breastfeeding in Royal Oak, you’ve come to the right place!

Why the baby isn’t latching

Simply put, baby’s born with either a tongue-tie or lip-tie may not be able to latch properly. Therefore, the nursing mother may experience sore or tender nipples, cluster feedings, a baby that seems colicky, fails to thrive, or that is losing weight. The problem is that this restrictive tissue doesn’t allow the baby to place his or her tongue or lips in the correct position for a proper latch. If the baby isn’t latching properly, this means that their weight may drop, they may wake frequently through the night and want to feed more often than what is actually needed, and they may experience reflux, be gassy, or unsatisfied from being underfed.

Often times, in these scenarios, mom is distraught, tired, hurting, and ready to give up on breastfeeding. In fact, many doctors may even encourage the mother to quit breastfeeding and move forward with supplementing with formula just to ease the mother’s concerns and stress. Which, by the way, there isn’t a wrong or right way to nutritionally satisfy your baby’s needs – either by formula or breast milk, but if you are eager to continue on with your breastfeeding journey, yet have run into some unexpected challenges, Dr. Hartrick can help.

Many doctors may not even perform this vital screening on a newborn. But, Dr. Hartrick is acutely aware of the life-long health issues that stem from untreated tongue-ties or lip-ties, which is why she encourages all of her patients that are mothers to bring their baby’s in for a quick and painless screening.

Dr. Hartrick can take one look at the underside of your baby’s upper lip and tongue to detect a restricted frenum, that’s the thin string of tissue that tethers the lip to the gums and the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If detected, Dr. Hartrick can simply release the tie by a simple procedure called a frenectomy. The procedure is done using a specially designed dental laser, and often times infants don’t even need any anesthetic (the discomfort from the injection is far worse and longer-lasting than any mild discomfort felt during the laser treatment). While further techniques and assistance may be needed to train your baby on latching properly, at least he or she will be able to actually do it right now that their restricted frenum has been released!

It’s important not to just ignore a tongue- or lip-tie, because it can affect how a child develops and even can cause a narrow airway that results in sleep apnea, a serious sleep-breathing disorder that poses many health risks. It’s far better to treat the issue while your child is young, instead of waiting until later in life when poor oral habits have already been adapted.

If you would like to learn more about this procedure, or to see if your baby has a tongue-tie or lip-tie, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hartrick by calling (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients of all ages from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.

Posted in Tongue Tie

Discovering the Link behind your Mysterious Headaches

link between mysterious headaches

link between mysterious headachesRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Headaches happen to just about everyone at some point. Headaches can happen when you get dehydrated, experience a stressful event, have vision problems, or have eyestrain from too much computer use. But, have you tried remedying these factors in your life, yet still get headaches? If you also suffer from facial pain or pain in your jaw joints, then temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder may be the cause of your headaches.

TMJ disorder can affect anyone of any age, and many people are surprised to learn that if left untreated, it can be the cause of their mysterious headaches. Pain from TMJ disorder is far-reaching, but thankfully, you have treatment options other than taking medication forever. Read on to discover the link behind your mysterious headaches, and find out how neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak Dr. Nancy Hartrick, treats TMJ disorder.

What is TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder involves the improper function of the jaw joints. It most often presents as pain in the face, headaches, worn teeth, clicking or popping jaw, ringing in the ears, and more. Click here to explore symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. A misaligned jaw such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite means the jaws are misaligned,and can cause a strain on the jaw joints, as well the nerves and muscles associated with that joint. Other causes of TMJ disorder may be genetics, joint degeneration diseases (arthritis), an injury to the face, missing teeth or other dental problems.

What is the connection between the jaw joints and headaches?

The trigeminal nerve, along with blood vessels and muscles are intimately located near the temporomandibular joints. The trigeminal nerve is the most significant cranial nerve and is responsible for sending sensory input to and from the brain, and it connects to the spinal cord. Branches of this nerve can send signals to the entire face, near the sinuses, eyes, ears, and the head.

Now, imagine for a moment if the jaw joint was slightly off balance. What do you think would happen? This nerve wouldn’t be too happy. When TMJ disorder or a joint malfunction occurs, the trigeminal nerve becomes irritated, possibly even pinched, and it begins a chain reaction. Blood vessels may become restricted, facial muscles begin to become tense and achy. If left untreated, frequent headaches begin to occur.

If this happens to you, chances are that you probably only get temporary relief from traditional over-the-counter pain medications. In fact, even prescription relief medications probably do nothing to stop the frequency of your headaches. Sound familiar? While medication may provide relief temporarily, pain reoccurs because the source of the problem (your jaw joints) aren’t being treated.

Headache Relief in Royal Oak

Dr. Hartrick is a neuromuscular dentist that focuses on finding the underlying problem to her patient’s oral health problems. She can use specialized diagnostic equipment to determine if a patient has TMJ disorder, and to what degree. Usually, it is apparent in the way one’s teeth come together whether a patient has TMJ disorder, but with cutting-edge technology, she can determine the degree of imbalance, and then design a mouthguard that adjusts the bite to a precise degree, relieving the jaw joint tension, and headaches.

If you are tired of suffering from mysterious headaches, or your primary care physician doesn’t seem to be giving you any definitive answers for your pain, you might have TMJ disorder. You do not have to suffer in pain with your TMJ disorder. If you would like to learn more or to schedule an evaluation, please contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients of Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.

Posted in TMJ

Your Child should never Breathe through the Mouth. Find out why!

child breathing through mouth

child breathing through mouthRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Parents, have you ever paid attention to the way your child breathes? If not, allow your Royal Oak family dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, to summarize: your children never should breathe through the mouth, whether awake or asleep. In this blog today, we will go through the potential consequences of this behavior.

Any of the following can be symptoms of nighttime mouth breathing in children: 

  • Snoring
  • Grinding their teeth
  • Fitful sleeping or waking up regularly in the middle of the night
  • Bed-wetting or daytime bladder control problems
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Difficult to understand when speaking
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misaligned bite
  • Daytime irritability
  • Difficulty focusing in school

What happens when a child breathes through the mouth?

Unless your child has a cold or sinus congestion, he or she should breathe through the nose. This method of breathing ensures greater oxygenation of the blood and has a host of other health benefits, such as encouraging the proper development of the face and jaws, as well as wider dental arches, helping to minimize the risk of an airway problem either as a child or later in life.

Mouth breathing, however, leaves your child with a deficiency of oxygen. This lowered oxygenation impedes quality of sleep, as well as the restoration to the brain and mind that should occur during sleep. Mouth breathing also makes it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve ideal resting oral posture: with lips together, teeth together, and the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth. The consequences of poor resting oral posture can include developmental issues with the jaw, narrow dental arches, bite misalignment, and speech impediments. Your child’s developing facial structure also can change, resulting in a longer, imbalanced facial structure that is less aesthetically pleasing, with crooked or protruding teeth.

A narrow airway, in combination with having less oxygen in the system, and any recession in the jaw all add up to trouble for your child’s airway.  This means that if you have a child who breathes through the mouth also is at a higher risk of developing a sleep breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea. In children, sleep-breathing disorders often produce symptoms that mimic those of an attention disorder like ADHD. If your child has been designated with ADD or ADHD, but medication and therapy have done little to correct the behavioral issues, then a sleep breathing disorder could be the root cause of the problem.

How your dentist can help

If your child is mouth breathing only while asleep, you may never know it. Dr. Hartrick has unique training related to airway disorders and can identify if your child is exhibiting this behavior through an in-office examination. From there, Hartrick Dentistry can correct the behavior, prescribing a course of myofunctional therapy. These are simple, pain-free exercises that work the musculature of the mouth and tongue to correct negative behaviors such as mouth breathing. If you are living in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan, find out more or schedule an airway evaluation for your child by calling Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950.

Posted in Pediatric

Porcelain Veneers can make a Whiter Smile

veneers whiten smile

veneers whiten smileRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

According to a recent study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 71 percent of women who responded and 58 percent of men said that when they were meeting a potential significant other for the first time, the first feature they noticed was the smile of the other person. Are you one of the millions of people in the United States who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their smile? You can make a dramatic difference in the way your teeth look just by brightening them by a few shades. Knowing this, it should be no surprise that a teeth whitening is the most popular type of procedure in cosmetic dentistry. However, a well-trained cosmetic dentist in Royal Oak like Dr. Nancy Hartrick at Hartrick Dentistry can brighten your smile by placing porcelain veneers over your teeth.

Even the most powerful whitening treatment is limited in its effectiveness

Teeth whitening methods are everywhere—from toothpaste to oral rinses to store-bought whitening kits to professional treatments administered by a cosmetic dentist. However, any whitening treatment only can brighten your teeth to match the shade of your natural tooth enamel. This may not bring your teeth to the desired whiteness. Whitening treatments also are designed only to remove extrinsic stains: those that occur from the use of tobacco or the consumption of foods and beverages like coffee, wine, and dark-colored fruits. Teeth also can become discolored due to intrinsic staining—when the interior layers of the tooth structure begin to show through due to fluorosis—or as a side effect to certain prescription drugs. The solution to achieving permanently whiter teeth, in each of these treatment situations, is veneers. Dr. Hartrick can place veneers over all the visible teeth in your mouth, and these veneers can be tailored to whatever shade you desire, even if it is brighter than your natural tooth enamel.

Veneers can whiten teeth—and do so much more

Addressing stubborn discoloration is just one of the aesthetic benefits that come from receiving veneers. Placed over the front of teeth, veneers also can resolve flaws in appearances such as crookedness, differently sized teeth, or gaps between teeth. A full set of veneers can transform your smile into one of gleaming white, perfectly straight teeth that are worthy of the red carpet in Hollywood.

Get veneers from your dentist in Royal Oak

Dr. Hartrick works with veneers made of beautiful dental porcelain. These veneers are translucent, which means they reflect light just like the enamel on real teeth. And, as mentioned, this porcelain is stain-resistant and can be chosen in any shade you would like. Usually performed over a couple of appointments spanning about two weeks, the veneers are placed on the front of your teeth after a very small portion of the existing tooth structure is removed to guarantee a flush bond. Receiving a veneer is a convenient process that involves minimal discomfort, and can give you the fabulous-looking smile of your dreams.

To find out more about veneers, teeth whitening or any of the other ways Hartrick Dentistry uses cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of smiles, contact us at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

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Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
32609 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Call: 248-549-0950
Fax: 248-549-1180