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

Want to lower your risk of Cavities?

lower risk of cavities

lower risk of cavitiesRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Dental caries, the clinical term of tooth decay, affects the vast majority of Americans. Even though tooth decay is preventable, it’s the most common chronic disease among both children and adolescents, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, the CDC reports that nine of every 10 adults over the age of 20 years old have some form of tooth decay.

It’s up to each of us to take ownership of our dental health to prevent tooth decay. That means brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist in Royal Oak once each six months for a check-up that includes a professional dental cleaning. Hartrick Dentistry also wants to educate you on how the way you breathe can affect your vulnerability to cavities.

Breathing through the mouth throws off the balance of oral bacteria

There are both good and bad bacteria everywhere in the world, including inside our bodies. Our mouths contain a microbiome with millions of these bacteria. Mouth breathing can encourage the proliferation of the bad bacteria—the ones that cause cavities—and that’s where the problems begin. This can be especially true for people who may have a greater susceptibility to dental issues because of their genetics. The genetic factor can create regular dental problems even if someone is diligent about their oral hygiene.

When you breathe regularly through the mouth, it throws off the pH in your mouth, which has a negative effect on your dental health. According to a 2015 study published by the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, “Mouth breathing during sleep is related to a decrease in intraoral pH compared with normal breathing during sleep, and this has been proposed as a causal factor for dental erosion and caries.”

Mouth breathing while you sleep also makes you more likely to have dry mouth because your moist mucous membranes dry out. This also means a lack of saliva, which is a natural lubricant that helps to scrub away plaque and cavity-causing bacteria from accumulating in your mouth. Dry mouth also can be a sign that the balance in your mouth is changing.

Myofunctional therapy can change the way you breathe

Myofunctional therapy is becoming one of the most popular new methods of treatment in the dental field. This type of therapy can correct an assortment of different disorders in the orofacial system by having the patient perform a series of simple, pain-free exercises that work the muscles of the mouth and tongue. Each patient has his or her own unique experience with any type of treatment, but a course of myofunctional therapy usually lasts at least six months. When the exercises are performed as recommended, myofunctional therapy can help you achieve or regain what is known as the optimum rest oral posture. This means that, when you are not eating or speaking, your orofacial system is at rest with teeth closed, lips closed, and the tongue resting against the roof of your mouth. This posture also encourages nasal breathing, which is far more beneficial to both your oral and overall health.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to offer myofunctional therapy as part of our comprehensive range of services to our patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan. To learn more about this therapy, call our office at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Tips on finding the best Dentist in Royal Oak

finding dentist in royal oak

finding dentist in royal oakRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

You face all kinds of decisions in life. You have to choose where to live, how to make a living, whether or not to have a family. When it comes to maintaining your health, choosing the right dentist to care for you is a major part of the equation. At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe in the mouth-body connection: specifically, that good oral health is a cornerstone to maintaining a high level of overall health. If you find yourself looking for a dentist in Royal Oak to serve you and your family, here are some questions to ask.

Does the dentist offer sedation?

The American Dental Association advises each individual visit the dentist once every six months, but millions of people avoid receiving professional oral health care because going to the dentist provokes feelings of anxiety or even outright fear. Individuals with these fears may have neglected seeing their dentist for years—ironically making them in special need of dental care, but also increasing their risk of oral health problems that can make dental visits more intensive and uncomfortable, magnifying the fears that led to them neglecting regular visits to the dentist in the first place.

At Hartrick Dentistry, we can ease those fears through sedation dentistry offered in the Royal Oak area. We use two forms of sedation—nitrous oxide and oral sedation. Both will calm you and diminish your awareness of your surroundings, although you remain awake and able to communicate with us if need be. Sedation dentistry also can be a good fit for patients with certain pre-existing conditions that may make it difficult to receive dental care.

Does the dentist’s office feature some of the latest technology and tools?

Technology has advanced at a rapid rate, affecting every industry—including the dental field. Hartrick Dentistry is proud to boast some of the cutting-edge technology in dental science. In addition to being a fully digital office, which applies to our record keeping as well as our X-rays, we also use a diagnodent laser pen that can identify areas of tooth decay that never would be visible to the naked eye. Also receiving crowns is more convenient than ever thanks to our CEREC system, which allows us to fabricate beautiful porcelain crowns while you wait during your appointment.

Does the dentist perform cosmetic treatments?

The stated goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of your teeth and mouth, but many of the finest practitioners in all of dental science actually specialize in cosmetic work. In many cases, the procedures that correct aesthetic flaws in teeth also produce teeth that function at a higher level with a comfortable bite. Plus, patients who undergo cosmetic procedures have improved self-confidence, which can boost their personal and professional relationships. Some of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments offered in the Birmingham, Michigan area at Hartrick Dentistry include teeth whitening, crowns, veneers, bridges, and tooth-colored fillings.

Can the dentist screen for and nanage sleep apnea?

Does your family complain about your snoring during the night? Do you often feel fatigued during the day, no matter how early you go to bed? If so, you could suffer from a serious sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. A patient with sleep apnea experiences obstructed or complete pauses in their breathing. These attacks may occur hundreds of times per night, constantly disrupting the sleep cycle. At Hartrick Dentistry, we provide sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak thanks to Dr. Nancy Hartrick, who has trained in detecting sleep apnea and treating the disorder by identifying and treating the airway issue at the root of the problem.

Does your dentist practice orthodontics?

Having straighter teeth boosts your self-esteem and also reduces your risk of oral health problems throughout your life. Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since traditional metal braces. Dentists and orthodontists working at the forefront of the field can straighten teeth through the use of clear plastic aligners, which apply consistent and gentle pressure to achieve treatment goals. Hartrick Dentistry is proud to offer Invisalign to patients in the Royal Oak area. This nearly invisible form of orthodontic treatment uses clear plastic aligners to obtain straighter teeth.

Finding a dentist in Royal Oak

Hartrick Dentistry can answer yes to any of the questions above. Dr. Hartrick prides herself on running a practice that is a “one-stop shop” for all of your needs related to oral health care. We even offer myofunctional therapy, which can correct negative oral habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrust, or that may be prescribed as a follow-up to the removal of a tethered oral tissue such as a tongue-tie or lip-tie. To learn more about any of our services or arrange a tour of our facility in Royal Oak, give us a call at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve the oral health care needs of patients in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in General Dentistry

How Technology has changed Dentistry

changes in dental technology

changes in dental technologyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Restorative dentistry looks to repair structural problems in teeth, either by repairing damaged teeth or replacing missing ones. Restorative treatments like fillings and crowns have been around for decades, but have come a long way in the past few years. Your Royal Oak dentist at Hartrick Dentistry wants to take a deeper look at how technology has changed industry standards like X-rays, fillings, and crowns for the better. The result of this change means better services to our patients, in less time, and at a good value.

Diagnostic tests provide dentists with even more ways to detect problems

More and more dental practices now use digital technology for their X-ray needs. X-rays have been a tried and true diagnostic method in dentistry for decades, but digital X-rays represent a major upgrade from what you may remember from 10-20 years ago. Digital X-rays produce clearer images that are more precise and emit a fraction of the radiation as compared to traditional X-ray machines. Hartrick Dentistry also uses a diagnodent laser pen, which can detect tooth decay in its earliest stages—well before it would be visible to the naked eye of even an experienced dentist, and with a 98 percent rate of accuracy.

Modern fillings repair teeth while also making them function better and even improving the appearance of your smile

Forget about the silver-looking dental amalgam fillings you remember from your childhood. Dentists that are operating at the forefront of dentistry work with composite fillings that can be matched to the color of your existing healthy natural teeth. These fillings also are metal-free, making them ideal for patients who suffer from a metal allergy, and are known to be safer since composite is free of any mercury.

Get crowns in a single day

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: You need a crown, so you go into the dentist’s office, have the damaged tooth drilled and cleaned, then receive a temporary restoration before returning to your dentist about two weeks later to have the permanent crown installed. Hartrick Dentistry has made the process of getting a crown more convenient than ever before by offering same-day crowns through the use of CEREC technology. This technological advance allows your dentist in Royal Oak to make a crown in an hour that is the same quality as the one that used to take two weeks to receive from an off-site dental laboratory. Make Hartrick Dentistry your choice for same-day dental crowns in the Royal Oak area.

State-of-the-art dental practice in Royal Oak

At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe it is important to take advantage of the latest technological advances so that we can provide the highest level of convenient and comfortable oral health care. Our dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick and her staff of oral health professionals also pursue continuing training so that they are up to speed on the cutting-edge techniques in the field of dentistry.

To learn more about how Hartrick Dentistry uses technology to improve the level of care we provide, call (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is here to serve patients in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Dental Technology

Why it’s not Normal for your Child to Snore

not normal for child to snore

not normal for child to snoreRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Parents, does your child snore at night? This may seem harmless, but frequent audible snoring in children actually is cause for concern. Unless your child has a cold or congestion from allergies that can block the nasal passageways, this type of frequent snoring is not normal, and you should have your child evaluated by a pediatric sleep apnea doctor in Royal Oak such as Dr. Nancy Hartrick.

Learn about what causes snoring

Snoring occurs when something impedes the passage of air in the throat when you sleep. As air passes around this obstruction, it creates a vibration, which produces the sound you hear when someone snores. In children, the most common causes for snoring include enlarged tonsils and adenoids, impeded nasal breathing because of an enlargement of the inner lining of the bones in the nose, allergies, and a deviated septum. Snoring also can be caused by a narrowing of the airway—either from weight gain or the shape of your child’s airway.

It is estimated that approximately 10 to 20 percent of children snore.

Snoring may be a sign of a sleep breathing disorder in your child

Snoring is considered the major warning sign of a serious sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who suffer from this disorder experience a blockage of their airway when they sleep. These blockages can be partial or complete, either decreasing airflow or causing total pauses in breathing. Each time one of these breathing interruptions takes place, the brain reacts as if the body is choking and sends warning signals that rouse you from sleep. Most often, a person with sleep apnea never consciously wakes, but these disruptions to the sleep cycle deprive someone of the restoration to mind and body that occur during deepest sleep. Any individual with sleep apnea also experiences hypoxia—the clinical term for a decrease in oxygen levels, which certainly is not healthy for a growing child.

Sleep apnea can provoke a host of different, serious, long-term problems in your child. The potential issues could include difficulty concentrating and performing at school, growth delays, high blood pressure, and chronic daytime fatigue no matter how early their bedtime is. Many children with sleep apnea also exhibit symptoms of a hyperactivity disorder like ADD or ADHD.

A sleep apnea dentist in Royal Oak has the training to diagnose a sleep breathing disorder in your child

Dentists who practice sleep apnea dentistry undergo special post-graduate education focusing on airway management. Your Birmingham sleep apnea dentist at Hartrick Dentistry can perform a sleep study on your child, then analyze the data to detect whether or not he or she is suffering from a sleep breathing disorder.

Pediatric sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak

In most cases, removal of tonsils and adenoids resolves the airway obstruction that is causing sleep apnea in children. Hartrick Dentistry also can provide your child with an oral appliance, which helps maintain ideal oral resting posture—lips closed, teeth closed, and tongue resting against the palate—to keep an open airway throughout the night. These oral appliances look like the anti-snoring night guards that are available for purchase in stores but are made of higher-quality materials and fabricated from impressions of the mouth to ensure a snug, secure, comfortable fit.

Remember that sleep apnea is a serious condition that will not go away on its own. If your child is snoring, contact the office of Hartrick Dentistry today by calling (248) 549-0950 to schedule a sleep study.

Hartrick Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

How your Dentist can make you Appear Younger

dentist can make you appear younger

dentist can make you appear youngerRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Changes in appearance are part of the natural aging process, but that does not mean people are happy with the changes that come with age. You can undergo cosmetic surgery or have procedures like Botox administered in order to achieve a more youthful appearance, but did you know that your Royal Oak dentist also can help “turn back time” and bring back the appearance of your youth through rejuvenation dentistry?

Rejuvenation dentistry can be better than a facelift because it is about more than just improving your appearance

When performed by a well-trained and highly experienced dentist in Royal Oak with experience in rejuvenation procedures, a patient not only looks younger but benefits from an improved function of the teeth and jaws, while also receiving a beautiful smile full of perfect-looking teeth.

Not everyone is suited for rejuvenation dentistry. Certain symptoms can be indicators that you can benefit from procedures of this kind. Worn teeth, for example, can cause issues with the alignment of your bite and lead to other oral health problems. You can check yourself for excessive tooth wear by examining the biting edge of your teeth; if you notice a different color of material on the inside of your tooth, then your tooth wear is significant.

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder also can be managed through rejuvenation dentistry. Also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull, enters a dysfunctional state. Tooth wear is one of the problems that can be symptomatic of TMJ disorder, as can teeth grinding as your jaw slips out of position and inordinate stress is placed on the jaw joint and musculature. Be on the lookout for symptoms of TMD such as jaw pain, popping and clicking sounds as the jaw opens and closes, limited range of motion in the jaw, ringing in the ears, or headaches of a migraine-like intensity that occur on a regular basis. Rejuvenation dentistry procedures can relieve symptoms of TMJ disorder, especially if they are performed by a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak such as Dr. Hartrick, who has unique post-graduate training focusing on the alignment of the bite and jaw.

Rejuvenation dentistry in Royal Oak also can be used to improve the appearance of other aesthetic facial flaws

  • Wrinkles around the mouth form when your teeth lose their length, forcing your lips and the skin around the mouth to compress closed. You may see these referred to as smoker’s lines or lipstick lines.
  • Jowls develop when the fat pads inside your cheeks cross over the jawline. The formation of jowls often is attributed to diminished elasticity in the skin of the cheeks. However, these jowls also can form due to tooth wear, tooth loss, or a shrinking jawbone—all of which can reduce the space between the upper and lower jaws.
  • A rounded face develops when the face changes shape due to the rise of the jaw; this often occurs in conjunction with the formation of jowls. A facelift will not correct this change in your appearance.
  • Profile changes cause an obvious alteration in your appearance by literally altering the shape of your face. These changes may include a shorter profile, a receding chin or hanging skin under your chin—also known as a turkey neck.

Look Younger in Royal Oak

A smile rejuvenation can help correct any of the above symptoms of facial aging through the use of dental restorations that are constructed in adherence to neuromuscular dimensions, maintaining or often improving the shape of your face and resolving some of the appearance changes that occur as you age or as a consequence of other oral health problems. At Hartrick Dentistry, your Royal Oak cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick puts her years of education and expertise to work for you to provide exceptional dental care to her patients. To learn more about the services offered at Hartrick Dentistry, call our office at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

Why Functional Medicine should be part of your Overall Healthcare

functional medicine and oral health

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Functional medicine is a growing area of medical science today. If you are a proponent in functional medicine, which emphasizes the whole health of the patient rather than treatment of specific diseases or conditions, then receiving care from a professional and experienced dentist should be part of your overall healthcare plan.

What exactly is functional medicine? The website for the Institute for Functional Medicine defines the discipline as a system-oriented approach that engages both the patient and the medical practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. In essence, functional medicine seeks to minimize disease and the development of chronic conditions by emphasizing healthy lifestyles through good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep habits, stress management, and the elimination of negative habits such as smoking. By providing moral and emotional support, in addition to caring for the body, functional medicine attempts to lower the average cost of healthcare—which totals up to $3.2 trillion each year in the United States to care for all Americans.

When evaluating a patient, functional medicine places special emphasis on their past history, lifestyle, and physiology. One of the main goals of functional medicine is to prevent chronic diseases from developing in the first place, rather than manage their symptoms.

Dentistry is incorporated into the discipline of functional medicine as part of a comprehensive focus on the entire human body; specifically, functional medicine is applied through dentistry by looking at the connection of the mouth to overall health. Many dentists who subscribe to functional medicine maintain a metal-free practice—they do not use metal in any of their restorations, both out of consideration for any patients with a metal allergy and because of the presence of mercury in dental amalgam, and the risks of neurological and physiological damage associated with mercury exposure. 

Airway management is another example of the whole-body approach that can be put into place by a dentist as part of an overall program of functional medicine. A sleep apnea dentist in Royal Oak such as Hartrick Dentistry, for instance, has special training to diagnose and treat any airway problem that may be causing a sleep breathing disorder.

One of the most versatile treatment applications with regard to functional medicine is myofunctional therapy, which seeks to help patients achieve a harmonious state in their orofacial system. A course of myofunctional therapy consists of a series of simple exercises working the tongue as well as the muscles of the face and mouth.

The goals of myofunctional therapy include achieving the ideal oral resting posture, which can help alleviate airway issues that can cause a sleep breathing disorder, while also being used to treat issues such as mouth breathing, issues with the facial growth and development of children, or eliminating negative oral habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrust.

At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to dentistry. No two people are alike, and we treat each of our patients accordingly, taking all factors such as oral health history and lifestyle into consideration when determining which method of treatment is best. We also believe in the importance in involving the patient in each decision related to treatment.

Functional Medicine in Royal Oak

Ready to learn more about how good oral health can help improve your overall health? Call the Royal Oak office of Hartrick Dentistry today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

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

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