Can Tongue Thrust be Corrected in Adults?

tongue thrust in adults

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Your tongue serves a variety of essential functions, even when it is at rest. It plays a part in how we eat, speak, and even breathe. Poor tongue positioning could cause a variety of problems, also affecting appearance and facial development. That’s why tongue thrust can be so detrimental, especially if this habit persists into adulthood. At Hartrick Dentistry, your myofunctional therapy specialists in Royal Oak wants to assure adults who still suffer from tongue thrust that treatment is available.

What is tongue thrust?

This habit also referred to as reverse swallowing or immature swallow, occurs when the tongue laterally moves while swallowing. Normal tongue positioning while eating involves somewhat of a wave-like pattern as the tip of the tongue gently rests against the backside of the upper front teeth and moves in a wave-like motion as it forces food to the back of the throat. Tongue thrust, on the other hand, involves the tongue being forward outward, pushing excessively against the front teeth. When this occurs, the person may chew and swallow with their mouth open and show food when they eat.

What causes tongue thrust?

Tongue thrust can occur for a plethora of reasons but develops most often due to frequent sucking of the thumb or fingers, or to compensate for the range of motion caused by a tongue-tie.

Warning Signs of Tongue Thrust

To treat this condition, you first need to know the symptoms. Look out for frequently breathing through the mouth, lips lingering open, and speech impediments. Gapped or protruding upper teeth also are signs of tongue thrust. While these warning signs may indicate tongue thrust, they are by no means a conclusive diagnosis. The only way to know for sure if you’re dealing with tongue thrust is to consult a qualified dentist like Dr. Nancy Hartrick in Royal Oak.

The Consequences of Tongue Thrust

Untreated tongue thrust may cause all sorts of problems in your life, especially if it remains into adulthood. Many adults with tongue thrusts suffer from dental malformations, such as a misaligned bite. This often manifests when the mouth is closed, yet your upper teeth don’t touch the bottom teeth. In essence, it creates a gap. Breathing issues such as sleep apnea commonly become linked to adult cases of untreated tongue thrusts. Speech impediments also are quite common.

Tongue Thrust Treatment

Myofunctional therapy could be the solution you’ve been seeking. At Hartrick Dentistry, we can use myofunctional therapy to correct a wide variety of oral disorders. This entails performing a series of exercises that work your tongue in conjunction with the muscles in the mouth. These therapeutic exercises are simple and pain-free. When performed repeatedly, they re-train orofacial muscles to operate at an optimal level, alleviating the cause of negative oral habits such as tongue thrust.

Treating Tongue Thrust in Royal Oak

At Hartrick Dentistry, we are trained in detecting tongue thrust in patients of any age. Then, we work closely with the leading myofunctional therapist in the area to provide relief. Don’t allow a tongue thrust to continue impacting the way you feel or speak. Call the office of Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 to schedule your appointment and start treatment for your tongue thrust today. Hartrick Dentistry proudly serves patients in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Do Bad Teeth run in the Family?

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Your genetics determine certain traits about you: your eye color, your hair color, and your blood type, just to name a few. Did you know that your family history also can impact your dental health—for good or bad? Read on as Dr. Nancy Hartrick of Hartrick Dentistry explores the issue of whether or not bad teeth can be hereditary.

Your genes can affect your teeth

Unfortunately, certain people are more likely to have problems with their tooth enamel or the development of their teeth due to genetic defects. Curiously, these enamel problems often can be linked to certain hair defects. Genetics also can affect your ability to produce saliva, a key defense mechanism in your mouth. Heredity also impacts your immune system and how you can fight off infection. This can raise your risk of gum disease or mean that an existing case of gum disease accelerates rapidly into its more serious stage, periodontitis. Depending on your genetics, you can also be at a higher risk for dental threats such as tooth decay and bruxism.

Your genes don’t define your dental health

If your hair is naturally brown, you can dye it to change its color. If your family history shows a predisposition for a cardiac condition, then you can make healthy choices to keep your heart healthy. Maintaining good oral health is no different. But, it does require the help of a dentist. For 28 years, Detroit general dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick has provided the finest professional oral care for people just like you. Even if you’re genetically pre-dispositioned toward poor oral health, you can take steps to have a healthy mouth.

Step 1) Family Meals: They say that the family that eats together stays together. For many people, sitting around a full dining room table and eating a home-cooked meal seasoned with love represents a treasured memory. Those moments are beautiful, but the food you and your family choose to eat daily can be very detrimental to your oral health. Diet is one of the greatest risk factors for tooth decay. Our food choices as children were decided by our parents and often determine the foods we choose to eat as adults. Be an example by serving well-balanced meals with less sugary or fatty foods.

Step 2) Bad Habits: An author named Mignon McLaughlin once wrote that “In any family, measles are less contagious than bad habits.” We pick up our relatives’ bad habits and pass down those poor choices to our children. You learn how to care for your teeth from your parents. Oral hygiene is learned, not instinctual. If your parents didn’t regularly brush or keep with their dental cleanings, you are less likely to value oral hygiene. Anything from daily flossing to cavity treatment being ignored can be a bad habit learned from our families. That doesn’t mean you have to continue choosing poor oral hygiene.

Step 3) Say No to Tobacco: If you come from a house where everyone smokes or dips, you’re more likely to use tobacco products, statistically speaking. Consuming excess alcoholic beverages can be the same. Excess alcohol consumption, and using tobacco products is bad for your oral health. You know that it’s bad for your overall health, but it can be even more destructive for your oral health.

Step 4) In Sickness and Health: Even as an adult, many of us still crave our mother’s warmth when we are sick. Mom made you soup, brought you blankets, gave you medicine, and kissed away your pain. All these small acts of kindness might be soothing, but they also can spread harmful oral bacteria—and lead to new cavities. This is due to genetics. Your mouth has more in common with your close relatives because of heredity. That also means your mouths are likely to be equally good at cultivating the same bacteria.

Family Dentistry in Royal Oak

Bad teeth can run in your family, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to face major dental problems later in life. At Hartrick Dentistry, Dr. Nancy Hartrick and her team of professionals want to help safeguard the oral health of every member of your family. With state-of-the-art technology and elite training in the field of dentistry, we can help protect and repair your teeth to make sure they stay healthy and strong throughout your life. If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of our oral care or you’d like to schedule a tour of our facility in Royal Oak, call (248) 549-0950 to schedule your consultation today.

Hartrick Dentistry proudly serves our patients located in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in General Dentistry

Is Chewing Gum Bad for your Teeth?

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Chewing gum is a popular choice for freshening your breath on the go. Adults and kids alike enjoy chewing gum. But you may be wondering, is chewing gum good for your teeth? Detroit TMJ dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, is here to explain whether it’s safe to chew gum, and when you shouldn’t.

There are different types of gum available – bubble gum, mint-flavored gum, sugar-filled, and sugar-free. Certain brands of gum bear the ADA seal of approval. What does this mean? Unless it contains Xylitol, a sugar substitute proven to reduce cavities, the gum likely contains sugar, which increases the risk of cavities. This doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy a piece of bubble gum every so often. But, you should limit how often and for how long you chew sugar-laden gum because the more often you expose your teeth to sugar, the more likely you are to develop tooth decay. However, this does not mean that chewing Xylitol gum replaces normal oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing daily. But, it could be helpful in a pinch, and it is better than nothing!

Chewing gum may not be a good idea if you are dealing with jaw joint pain or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Bite misalignment means that your teeth are not coming together appropriately, causing stress and strain on your jaw joints, causing chronic or intermittent pain that may radiate from the jaw joints to the head and the neck. If you suffer from TMJ disorder, chewing gum likely will make your discomfort worse.

Who shouldn’t chew gum

Patients with space maintainers, TMJ disorder, braces, temporary fillings, or crowns should not chew gum. Doing so could damage the restorations,  oral appliances, or aggravate jaw joint disorder. If you have braces, gum could become intertwined within the brackets and wires. Furthermore, hard-shelled bubble gum could shatter temporary fillings or crowns, resulting in additional costs for your dental care. If you are prone to cavities, you should ensure you chew sugar-free gum only.

If you are not sure whether you should chew gum, speak with your Detroit area family dentist.

Tips for chewing gum safely

Stick to chewing gum that contains Xylitol. If you chew gum that contains sugar, just do so sparingly, and be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible to remove residual sugar. Cavities don’t necessarily develop due to immediate sugar exposure. Instead, it’s repeatedly exposing your teeth to sugar that leads to tooth decay. Discontinue chewing gum if you experience dental pain or jaw joint pain. The consistent chewing could irritate the jaw joint nerves and muscles. 

Another way to maintain fresh breath between meals is to brush your teeth two to three times a day, or after eating. Be sure to floss to remove food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath. You could also carry sugar-free mints if you are unable to tolerate chewing gum, and aren’t able to brush your teeth immediately after eating.

General Dentist in Royal Oak, Detroit

To learn more ways to protect your oral health or schedule an evaluation, please call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950. Our Detroit area family dentist, Dr. Hartrick, welcomes patients of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in General Dentistry

10 Ways to Prevent Cavities

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Tooth decay can be unsightly and sometimes painful. Cavities could lead to significant oral health complications such as gum disease and abscesses. Between time off work and the expense of repairs, cavities can drain both your time and your wallet. Therefore, your friendly dentist in Birmingham, Dr. Nancy Hartrick is sharing ten ways to prevent cavities so you can protect your oral health and bank account.

  1. Brush and Floss Your Teeth Regularly

The obvious way to prevent cavities is with regular brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day to remove food debris and harmful bacteria. Choose a soft-bristled brush with a smaller round head so you can get into hard to reach areas.

  1. Use Cavity Fighting Toothpaste

Toothpaste that has the seal of approval from the ADA and is fluoride-based can help fight decay and strengthen your teeth. Children are old enough to use fluoridated toothpaste if they understand they need to spit the toothpaste out and not ingest it.

  1. Use Mouthwash

There are times when brushing and flossing are not convenient or appropriate. Keep mouthwash handy to rinse away food debris and bacteria. Mouthwash is also essential to use as a part of your oral health care routine. It helps remove microscopic bacteria your toothbrush and floss miss.

  1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Visiting your dentist twice a year may seem obvious, but people avoid the dentist out of fear or the expense. However, when you speak with our general dentist in Detroit, share your concerns so that Dr. Hartrick can address them appropriately. By maintaining your oral health through checkups and cleanings, tooth decay is monitored and addressed immediately upon discovery.

  1. Ask Your Dentist About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a plastic coating placed on the chewing surface of your back teeth to cover the fissures which are more prone to decay. Sealants last about ten years with the proper care. They are an excellent investment for your long-term oral health, which is why they most often are recommended for children.

  1. Healthy Teeth Require Hydration

Water is the best thing you can drink for your overall health. Many cities have fluoridated water, so tap water can help strengthen your teeth and provide critical vitamins and minerals. The Detroit dentist near you at Hartrick Dentistry encourages patients to drink water as it is sugar-free, washes away bacteria, and you can drink as much as you desire.

  1. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which can aid in washing away bacteria or food particles. However, the ADA recommends chewing a sugar-free version to minimize sugar exposure to your teeth. In addition to rinsing away harmful bacteria, chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can freshen your breath as well. Keep in mind, however, that chewing gum should never replace brushing and flossing.

  1. Eat Dental Friendly Foods

Just as some foods are more beneficial to your body, the same is true for your oral health. By consuming foods low in sugar, you lower your risk of cavities. Consume a diet filled with healthy foods such as vegetables, fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt, and unsweetened coffee and tea.

  1. Avoid Cavity-Causing Sugar

Bacteria feed on sugar and secrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Your Royal Oak family dentist, Dr. Hartrick, advises avoiding candy, sweeteners, alcohol, processed foods, cakes, fizzy drinks, and canned fruit. If you decide to consume these foods, brush and floss your teeth immediately.

  1. Stop Smoking

You may already know about the importance of not smoking. Smoking directly impacts teeth and gums by causing staining, decay, infection, gum disease, tooth loss, and possibly oral cancer. Your professional dentist in Birmingham, Hartrick Dentistry, highly recommends researching a smoking cessation plan that works for you.

Family Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Cavities are not a welcomed sight when it comes to your oral health. However, with some preventative measures, you could protect your teeth and gums. If you need to schedule a checkup and cleaning, please contact your leading Royal Oak dentist, Hartrick Dentistry, by calling (248) 549-0950 or contacting us online today.

Posted in General Dentistry

How you Breathe could be causing you Cavities

how you breathe causes cavities

how you breathe causes cavitiesRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat are signs that you breathe through your mouth at night. You might not know it, but mouth breathing can have serious consequences for your health. A study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation recently showed that breathing through your mouth during sleep makes you more likely to have cavities. In this article, our Royal Oak sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, wants to explore this issue, and share ways that Hartrick Dentistry can help.

How You Breathe Matters

The same study found that people who breathe through their mouths suffer from considerably greater changes in the pH levels in their mouths. Specifically, the study found that many individuals who breathe with their mouth closed experiences a drop to a 3.3 pH during sleep.

As you may already know, higher acidity in the mouth can destroy the enamel on your teeth. This is true whether the cause is an accelerated drop in pH levels, or consuming a diet with too many acidic foods and drinks. People who breathe with their mouths open increase their oral acidity to nearly 200 times higher than that of a 5.5 pH, which is already low enough to start deteriorating tooth enamel. Once your enamel erodes, it becomes much easier for decay to infiltrate your teeth, forming cavities.

The Causes of Mouth Breathing

Any of the following pre-existing conditions or lifestyle choices can make it mouth breathing more likely.

They include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Chronic sinus problems
  • Smoking
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
  • Enlarged tonsils

Other Risks of Mouth Breathing

Your tooth enamel isn’t the only thing in jeopardy from mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can lead to a severe sleep-breathing disorder called sleep apnea. This disorder restricts your airflow while asleep. The habit of mouth breathing also lowers oxygen levels. For children, mouth breathing interferes with jaw growth and development, creating a whole new set of possible issues, including longer faces, narrow dental arches, and airway issues.

How We Can Help

Hartrick Dentistry can help you properly breathe while sleeping. Mouth taping, otherwise known as the Buteyko method, is a short-term remedy that entails placing a small piece of tape over the mouth, essentially forcing your body to breathe through the nose while you sleep.

We also can provide myofunctional therapy. This consists of performing a series of simple exercises that work the tongue in combination with the muscles of the mouth and face. These exercises re-train your orofacial system to achieve the ideal oral resting posture—with lips together, teeth closed, and the tongue resting gently against the upper palate. This posture also predisposes you to breathe through the nose, as recommended, rather than through the mouth.

Treating Mouth Breathing in Royal Oak

Mouth breathing may not seem important to you now, but once cavities are creeping into your teeth, it will. Cavities can cause toothaches, tooth loss, gum disease, and a lot of other painful symptoms in the long run. And this is just one of the issues that can develop due to mouth breathing. To learn more or find out how Hartrick Dentistry can help, contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (248) 549-0950, if you’re in the areas of Birmingham or Royal Oak, Michigan.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Can Kids get TMJ Disorder?

can kids get tmj

can kids get tmjRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJD often is a problem that plagues adults, especially women. But, can kids get TMJ disorder too? When it comes to children in pain, it is very heartbreaking for most parents. If your child is suffering from pain in their jaws, they hear clicking or popping noises when eating or talking, or have lockjaw; they could have temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for opening and closing the mouth and aids in speaking and chewing. Since most dental conditions could occur at any age, your child could develop TMJ disorder. Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak, is sharing some information to help you identify TMJD and understand available treatments to help eliminate this painful condition for your child.

TMJ Disorders Outlined

The temporomandibular joint is where the jawbone and skull are connected. When there is inflammation or another disturbance to the joint or surrounding tissue, it can create painful sensations that radiate through the jaw, head, and neck, and lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The most common TMJD symptoms children complain about are consistent headaches or earaches, pain or swelling in the jaw, problems with opening and closing their mouths, or the inability to open or close their mouth. When your child expresses any one of the conditions, contact Dr. Hartrick, a Royal Oak dentist that treats TMJ disorder, to get a full examination and begin treatment immediately.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

Although teenage girls are more likely than other adolescents to develop TMJ disorder, those who develop the condition could be of any gender, age, or background. Even though the exact causes for TMJD are not known, certain factors may cause the condition to occur, such as anxiety, teeth grinding, jaw misalignment, or head trauma. Mouth breathing, and orofacial myofunctional disorders (tongue-tie, tongue thrust, open mouth posture), may also be the cause of a misaligned jaw or TMJD. Therefore, Dr. Hartrick advises to schedule an appointment for a full examination when your child experiences symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Treatment for Children with TMJ Disorder

Once your child has been examined and diagnosed by your family-friendly dentist in Birmingham at Hartrick Dentistry, there are various treatments available to address their pain. The proper treatment for your child will depend on the severity of the condition. For some patients, braces or orthodontic treatments to realign the bite and jaw may relieve the TMJ tension. If an orofacial myofunctional disorder is causing your child’s jaw to be misaligned, a course of myofunctional therapy could help strengthen the jaw and tongue muscles, as well as teach these muscles how to function properly. Correcting orofacial myofunctional disorders through facial growth development at an early age allows the jaws to grow to their full potential, which could help lessen your child’s risk of having TMJD in adulthood. If your child has bruxism or clenches and grinds their teeth while sleeping, a custom-made nightguard could reduce jaw joint pain. If your child experiences lockjaw, contact an emergency dentist in Royal Oak, Hartrick Dentistry, immediately.

Treatment for TMJ Disorder in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Seeing your child in pain can be difficult for parents. At your neuromuscular dentist in Birmingham, Hartrick Dentistry, we take special care of children who suffer from TMJ disorder. From the initial examination to the end of your child’s treatment, our goal is to ensure your child experiences the least amount of pain from this condition. If your child is showing signs of possible TMJ symptoms, feel free to contact us by calling (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!

Posted in TMJ

The Cause of your Chronic Headaches could be Right Under your Nose

cause of headaches

cause of headachesRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Regularly occurring headaches can make it difficult to concentrate at work or carry out your daily routine. Unfortunately, pinpointing the cause of your headaches could be complicated and time-consuming, involving multiple visits to the doctor. However, your dentist in Royal Oak, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, is sharing that the cause of your headaches could be right under your nose (well, technically, right beside your nose!) as a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).

What is TMJ disorder?

The joint that connects your jaw to your skull is called the temporomandibular joint. As the joint starts to malfunction, pain is transmitted to your jaw joints and quickly radiates through the surrounding nerves and musculature. TMJ may cause aggravation, irritation, and compression of the trigeminal nerve, which sends pain to your brain, causing chronic headaches. When TMJS is untreated, the pain could radiate to your neck or back. The most common treatment for migraines and headaches is a potent medication, which will only relieve the symptoms, not the cause of the condition.

What are some symptoms of TMJD other than headaches?

Along with chronic headaches, you may experience other symptoms indicating something is wrong with your joint. Below are more conditions that our Royal Oak neuromuscular dentist has discovered when diagnosing TMJ disorder.

  • Sore Jaw
  • Facial Pain
  • Locked jaw
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Worn, loose, chipped, or cracked teeth
  • Pain in the mouth that seems to migrate
  • Clicking or grating sounds emanating from your jaw

Can a dentist relieve my headaches?

In short, yes, a dentist could relieve your chronic headaches caused by TMJD. Through extensive post-graduate study, Dr. Hartrick is qualified to diagnose and treat TMJD through neuromuscular dentistry that repairs the alignment of your jaw. Dr. Hartrick studied neuromuscular dentistry at the Kois Center, an advanced graduate-level training center focusing on bite equilibrium, and balance among the orofacial musculature. Through the rigorous education program, Dr. Hartrick received training to identify TMJ disorder and learned about possible treatments to address the cause of stress to the temporomandibular joint. With proper treatment, TMJD, and its symptoms should subside, especially your headaches.

What are the consequences of untreated TMJD?

Unfortunately, TMJD will not disappear on its own. If the condition goes undiagnosed or untreated, the symptoms and problems will continue to progress. The most common symptom, pain, could become chronic and debilitating, resulting in complications in completing daily tasks. The disorder may affect the range of motion in your jaw, causing difficulties with speaking and eating, or resulting in lockjaw. Also, your jaw muscles work together with your neck muscles in keeping your spinal cord inline. If your condition goes untreated, you may experience pinched nerves, misaligned cervical vertebrae, and possible numbness in your extremities. Therefore, visiting your Birmingham dentist at Hartrick Dentistry to learn more about TMJD and available treatment options is recommended to relieve pain and restore standard functionality.

Headache Relief in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Headaches that do not dissipate when taking over-the-counter medications could be a sign of a severe condition such as TMJD. The only way to stop the pain and restore a pain-free life from this condition is to have it diagnosed and begin the appropriate neuromuscular treatment. If you have been experiencing debilitating headaches and wonder if TMJD is the cause, feel free to contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!

Posted in TMJ

Doing this while Sleeping could be a Detriment to your Health

doing this while sleeping bad for health

doing this while sleeping bad for healthRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

You probably don’t give much thought to how you breathe, especially while sleeping. But, mouth breathing is common among many people, and it could be wrecking your oral health. Therefore, your airway dentist in Royal Oak, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, is sharing how doing this one thing while sleeping could be a detriment to your health. Nasal breathing is the pinnacle to good health, yet many people aren’t doing it.

What’s the big deal with mouth breathing?

When your nose is blocked, your body seeks an alternative way to get oxygen, which is your mouth. Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a sleep apnea dentist in Detroit, has seen mouth breathing cause additional health concerns such as cavities, periodontal disease, bad breath, and poor blood oxygenation that could be linked to high blood pressure and heart failure. More often than not, mouth breathing while sleeping is a sign of sleep apnea, an airway condition where airflow is restricted or completely cut during sleep. Snoring is the most common symptoms among people with sleep apnea, although it’s not the only sign. Most people who have sleep apnea aren’t aware of the condition because it happens while asleep. However, signs that you may have a sleep-breathing disorder include, daytime fatigue, moodiness, forgetfulness, morning headaches, and dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up.

Mouth Breathing Solutions

If you notice dry mouth symptoms regularly, it is time to seek a solution. Below are a few options to help reduce mouth breathing.

  • Mouth Taping – Known as the Butekyo taping method, this could be a simple hack for curbing your mouth breathing. Start by purchasing a roll of surgical tape from your local retailer or pharmacy. Just before bed, place a piece over your lips folding back one or both ends to remove the tape in case of an emergency. It actually helps force your body to breathe nasally.
  • Myofunctional Therapy – Myofunctional therapy is a series of exercises for your mouth and tongue to retrain these muscles to function correctly and hold the correct position when at rest. Mouth breathers are notorious for their mouth hanging open all of the time. This rest oral posture is indicative of an airway disorder, and usually has apparent physical effects, such as a recessed or weak chin, protruding upper teeth, and unfavorable profile. Proper rest oral posture involves the lips closed, teeth together, and tongue gently pressing against the roof of the mouth while breathing nasally. Myofunctional therapy can help correct poor rest oral posture.

Help with Mouth Breathing in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Mouth breathing could cause several health complications, so it is best to find a solution as soon as possible. Usually, this condition begins during childhood, which is why routine dental visits are essential for children. Dr. Hartrick can identify mouth breathing or airway problems, and provide solutions to help your child live a healthier life. For adults, treatment is within reach at Hartrick Dentistry. To find out more, please contact our licensed myofunctional therapist in Royal Oak by calling (248) 549-0950 or book an appointment online to learn more about correcting mouth breathing.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Could you Benefit from taking Probiotics?

benefits from taking probiotics

benefits from taking probioticsRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Increasing evidence continues to support the fact that probiotics are beneficial to your health. Most known for increasing healthy gut bacteria and boosting your immune system, probiotics could also help your teeth and gums. Find out how you could benefit from taking probiotics for optimum oral health as your leading dentist in Royal Oak, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, provides some information about probiotic effectiveness.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living microorganisms that help the human body function and are most commonly found in health supplements, yogurt, and some skincare products. Your body contains both good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria, like probiotics, help your immune system and digestion while protecting your body against bad bacteria. Therefore, your dentist in Birmingham at Hartrick Dentistry recommends consuming probiotics to help reduce bad oral bacteria. However, remember that nothing can replace brushing and flossing your teeth daily.

How do probiotics promote oral health?

Since probiotics help fight against bad bacteria in your body, there are several ways the probiotic microorganisms could promote oral health.

  • Plaque Reduction – Plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay and cavities, yet it is the easiest to remove through a regular oral health care regimen. Also, regularly visiting your dentist to remove excess plaque and consuming probiotics could reduce the presence of plaque.
  • Reduce Gum Disease Risk – Beginning as gingivitis, gum disease is the direct result of harmful bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth, and it is common in adults. To help neutralize this bacteria, probiotics that contain Lactobacillus reuteri could help remove microbes that are related to the cause of gingivitis. Also, probiotics could help reduce the inflammation associated with gum disease.
  • Reduce the Occurrence of Thrush – Typically present in infants and children, thrush is an oral disease caused by Candida albicans. However, thrush is not limited to infants and children as adults who have taken antibiotics or used an asthmatic inhaler could reduce the good microorganisms in the body. Since probiotics restore good bacteria in the body, you could reduce your risk of thrush.
  • Reduce Bad Breath – Using antibacterial mouthwash to treat bad breath could be causing more problems with bad breath. Since the mouthwash is removing both good and bad bacteria, it could create perfect conditions for bad bacterial growth. By consuming probiotics, you could naturally break the cycle by introducing good bacteria to fight the bad bacteria.

How do I ingest probiotics?

There are two simple ways to ingest probiotics. First, oral probiotic supplements that could be found at your local drug store or retail store should provide ample probiotics if you follow the directions for consumption. Secondly, consuming probiotic-rich foods like kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, aged cheeses, or miso could naturally provide optimum probiotic ingestion.

Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Probiotics could offer many overall health benefits in addition to oral health benefits. Taking probiotics may also boost your immune system. If you have questions about probiotic use or ways to improve your oral health, feel free to contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950 or contact us online today. We proudly serve the Royal Oak and Birmingham communities!

Posted in Oral Health

Could Anxiety be Fueling your Jaw Pain?

anxiety and jaw pain

anxiety and jaw painRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Many people are unaware that anxiety and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder are related. Symptoms of anxiety and stress could lead to jaw joint pain similar to what patients with TMJ disorder experience. The question is, could anxiety be fueling your jaw pain? Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak, explores the connection between these two common conditions.

The Connection Between TMJ Disorder and Anxiety

The temporomandibular joint is a complex joint consisting of an intricate network of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. Jaw misalignment is the most common cause of TMJ disorder and the pain that accompanies it. It’s often a frustrating disorder for patients, especially if not treated properly, which can lead to anxiety for the sufferer.

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include headaches, jaw joint pain, dental pain, and lockjaw. However, TMJ disorder is known to present a wide range of symptoms that may include tinnitus (or ringing in the ears) and widespread chronic pain. Dealing with ongoing, debilitating pain could escalate anxiety, lead to insomnia, and interfere with your daily life.

Anxiety – Let’s Get Real

Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences. But, for some, it interferes with their daily life. Constantly feeling nervous, restless, and fatigued, or experiencing insomnia are classic symptoms of anxiety. These signs may cause significant bearing on your physical and psychological well-being. But, when it comes to anxiety and TMJ disorder, it’s a two-way street. Anxiety may cause, or be a symptom of TMJ disorder. Likewise, TMJ disorder may cause trouble sleeping, chronic fatigue, headaches, pain, and affect your overall well-being. If you experience symptoms of either condition, Dr. Hartrick recommends seeing a physician.

Get Help for Jaw Pain

Pain is the body’s way of signaling that there is a problem. With medical advancements that we have today, there is no reason why you should continue dealing with chronic pain or accept a misdiagnosis that leaves you hurting. Dr. Hartrick can help. TMJ disorder often is misdiagnosed by medical professionals, except by those that are trained and specialize in neuromuscular science. Dr. Hartrick is a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak that received extensive training of how the jaw joints and orofacial musculature should align for creating harmony and balance. If you think that you may have TMJ disorder, schedule a consultation with Hartrick Dentistry.

Dr. Hartrick uses sophisticated technology to diagnose TMJ disorder, determining the exact degree of jaw misalignment. This technology allows Dr. Hartrick to provide precise treatment to help end your TMJ pain once and for all. Using a custom fabricated oral appliance, Dr. Hartrick can adjust the appliance to hold your jaw in harmonious balance, relieving your pain. Treatment for TMJ disorder doesn’t have to rely on medication. Hartrick Dentistry provides medication-free treatment for TMJ disorder. Dr. Hartrick provides neuromuscular dentistry to the areas of Birmingham and Royal Oak. Don’t suffer in pain any longer, contact Hartrick Dentistry today by calling (248) 549-0950 and schedule a consultation.

Posted in TMJ

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