The Increase in Use of Night Guards caused by Covid Related Stress

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It’s no secret that the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is causing people a lot of stress – but that stress is showing in some surprising ways.  One of the most unexpected side effects is a rise in bruxism, or teeth-grinding, when people sleep. 

Staying calm during the outbreak is a good idea in general, but it could help you protect your teeth too!

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a general term for people clenching their jaws when they sleep, causing their teeth to grind together throughout the night.  Since this means several hours of force on the teeth, every night, this can quickly do a lot of damage to the teeth!

There are a lot of possible causes of bruxism, and not all of them have been fully researched.  Stress was long believed to be a major factor causing teeth-grinding, but that seems to have been demonstrated in the last year.  Here at our practice, and at other New Jersey dentists we’ve talked to, there have been far more people showing signs of bruxism than in the past.

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It certainly seems to be linked to stress over COVID-19, and other stresses in the world today.

How Can Bruxism Be Prevented?

Generally speaking, the best cure is to de-stress.  As any holistic dentist knows, too much stress is terrible for the body in so many ways.  It raises blood pressure and puts people at more risk of heart disease or strokes.  It takes a mental toil as well, making people more irritable or prone to make bad judgement calls.

Plus, as discussed, it can damage your teeth as well.

If a patient can’t find ways to de-stress, dental specialists do have ways of reducing the harm caused by bruxism.  The most common solution is using mouth guards.  These are small pieces of plastic, custom molded to a person’s teeth, which they wear at night.  The guard adds a protective barrier that prevents the teeth from directly coming into contact with each other.

In more severe cases, medical intervention may be necessary.  For example, some patients may receive shots of botox into the muscles surrounding their jaw, to loosen those muscles and prevent clenching at night.

If you’ve been waking up in the morning feeling like your teeth hurt or finding tiny bits of tooth material in your mouth, you may be suffering from bruxism.  Contact your local New Jersey dentist for an appointment for further evaluation.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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pink 4542043 1920October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that’s a topic everyone should be aware of. As a holistic dental practice, we’re concerned about our patients’ whole-body health, not just oral health. Breast cancer is a major threat to women – and men – around the world, and we want to do our part to raise awareness of the problem.
In many ways, this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month is more important than most. Due to all the disruption from COVID-19 and various lockdowns around the world, a lot of people weren’t getting proper checkups and examinations in the past year. It’s likely some of them have already missed early warning signs of breast cancer, which would have been caught if they’d been able to go to their regular wellness appointments.

Why Is Breast Cancer Awareness So Important?
Breast cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. Estimates are that as many as 1 in 8 (12.5%) of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s expected that over 280,000 new cases will be diagnosed in America in 2021. By comparison, the next most-common type of cancer – colon cancer – will have less than half as many diagnoses.

Also, unlike some types of cancer which are caused by harmful behaviors, such as how smoking can cause lung cancer, breast cancer can strike almost anyone. Certain factors, such as family history, seem to play into a person’s susceptibility, but by and large, if a person develops breast cancer it’s through no fault of their own.

Breast cancer can also be fatal. Overall, it’s the second most fatal type of cancer among women, with approximately 1 in 39 women dying from it each year. However, survivability is closely tied to how early the cancer is detected. Most people who die of breast cancer actually die because the cancer spread from their breasts into their lymph nodes, or to other parts of their body. If breast cancer is detected early and has not spread, the odds of surviving are over 99% in the first five years.

This is why women should regularly receive check-ups and perform self-tests looking for lumps. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely it is to be treatable. So, if you’ve been staying home and avoiding regular wellness checks, please visit your doctor. It truly could save your life.

Dental Implants are a Popular Alternative for Replacing Teeth

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Are you missing one or more teeth?  Don’t feel bad – tooth loss is incredibly common!  In fact, statistically,  some people will have lost a dozen teeth by the time they’re fifty.  Even adults in their 30s and 40s have about a 2/3 chance of having lost at least one tooth.

However, you should not let tooth loss continue.  There are numerous options for restoring lost teeth and – all things being equal – getting dental implants is usually the best option.  Here are just a few reasons you should look into dental implants, if you need to replace some teeth.

Five Benefits To Dental Implants Over Other Options

1 – Implants are easy to care for

Implants look, act, and feel exactly like your natural teeth.  They’re permanently set in your jaw, and can last for decades.  This also means they require no special care beyond standard brushing and flossing.  You don’t have to clean them separately like dentures, for example.

Plus, they’ll never get cavities!

2 – You don’t have to make dietary changes

One of the biggest problems with dentures and other removable false teeth is that they can require significant changes to what you eat, and how you eat.  Not so with implants!  You’ll be able to enjoy all the same foods you currently do, with no lifestyle changes needed.

3 – Implants are indistinguishable from natural teeth

If you have implants placed by a qualified dentist, no one will even know they’re false.  They can be molded and colored to match your other teeth.  It’s just like having your original teeth back.

4 – Talk normally 

Having missing teeth, as well as dentures, can impact how you speak.  People who get dentures often have to “re-learn” how to talk with them.  Getting implants skips over this hassle, and the embarrassment that might come with it.

5 – Prevent bone deterioration

This is maybe the best reason of all to get implants.  Your body “expects” to have teeth set in your jawbone, and if teeth are missing, that can cause the bones themselves to deteriorate.  This can make it easier to have other dental-related problems, such as teeth shifting out of alignment.  In severe cases, this bone deterioration can even change the shape of your face!

Dentures won’t prevent this deterioration, but implants will.  They’re the best way to prevent any unwanted changes to your skull, jaw, or face.

So if you’re missing teeth, don’t delay – contact Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics & Implants, 609-924-1414.

Can Gum Disease Be Cured?

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Almost half of adults aged 30 or older have experienced some form of gum disease according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The risk increases with age with just over 70% of adults aged 65 and older facing this condition. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, can progress from minor discomfort to full-blown tooth loss.

Gum disease haunts every dental patient because of its common occurrence and subtle presentation. Thankfully, dentists have many tools in their arsenal to identify and combat it in its various stages.

To start, there are different types of gum disease ranging from early onset, known as gingivitis, to late-stage infections such as necrotizing periodontal disease. The treatment provided depends on the stage of disease progression as well as the level of damage that has occurred to the teeth and gumline.

The first line of defense once gum disease has been diagnosed is a nonsurgical procedure known as scaling and root planing (SRP). In effect, the dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque and bacteria from below the gumline, where a toothbrush cannot reach. Sometimes a local anesthetic is administered to ensure the patient’s comfort during the process. Once SRP is completed, the dentist will determine whether further treatment is necessary.

 If the gum disease has progressed to severe periodontitis, other treatments may be used to aid in the healing process of the gums and preserve the teeth. For example, a periodontal pocket reduction or flap surgery may need to occur after SRP to make sure that bacteria is prevented from inhabiting the deep pocket area of the gums.  The gum tissue is retracted, bacteria is removed, and the gum tissue can successfully reattach to the bone. Gum grafts can also be applied to help remedy exposed roots that result from prolonged disease.

So, can gum disease be cured? Cured is a loaded term that implies an end to the threat of disease. In the case of gum disease, it is helpful to think of it as an ongoing battle. The interventions discussed above can assuage or even eliminate gum disease from a patient, but these treatments offer no guarantee of permanent prevention. Recurrence is always a possibility. When caught early, however, gum disease is manageable.

No discussion of gum disease would be complete without a word on prevention. Like many preventable health issues, gum disease can be avoided by using the same tried and true methods touted by healthcare professionals for ages. Brush and floss. Avoid sugary foods. And, see your dentist regularly. Thriving dental health results from a series of good habits, smart choices, and a watchful eye.

Call Princeton Dental for Aesthetics & Implants to schedule an appointment to evaluate whether gum disease should be treated, 609-924-1414.

Hello, PCDA&I Community!

Dr Shanni REine Mutch 1

I am delighted to have joined the exceptional team here at PCDA&I! I bring 30 years of experience as a general dentist, having graduated from The University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1991. (Go Blue!) As a native New Yorker, I did my undergrad at SUNY Stony Brook studying Biology & Music.

When the pandemic hit last year I decided to make some changes. I sought to work in the safest, most wellness-oriented family practice I could find, which led me here. Dr. Huckel, Dr K, and I share a dedication to quality, whole health, & a relationship-based approach to patient care. It is important to me to always be sensitive to each patient’s unique needs & to give you the best & most comfortable experience you have ever had at each & every visit. I have taken a special interest in developing a program to address dental/medical fear & anxiety, in hopes of making care more accessible & health more sustainable for everyone. Working together, we can navigate the obstacles that might have been holding you back from receiving the treatment you need or creating the smile you always hoped for.

I live in Marlton, NJ with my husband, Fred, & at least 1 of our 5 kids at any given time. Other fun facts about me – I have a lot of energy & many interests: I teach Indoor Cycling & group fitness classes, I love baking & cooking (especially eating, I’m a real “foodie”!), I play the viola, & am currently taking WSET courses in wine. My greatest loves are my family & music.

Most of all, every day, I try to bring humor & lightness to work with me & you will often hear a lot of laughter coming from my room! My favorite part of my job is getting to meet & know people. I sincerely look forward to meeting all of you!

In health and wellness,
Shanni Reine-Mutch, DDS

Comparing Invisalign® and Traditional Braces

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Since braces are often implemented at an early age, the thought of getting braces as an adult can cause some people to cringe. Invisalign ® provides a subtle solution that actually works with a comprehensive treatment plan that keeps you on the path to a healthy smile.

 What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® uses custom-shaped aligners made from a polyurethane resin to help straighten your teeth. These aligners are worn daily for 20-22 hours; they need to be taken out before eating and cleaned regularly. Every two weeks you’ll receive a new aligner with a slightly altered shape. When you’ve finished your alignment plan, Invisalign’s Vivera ® retainers will be worn  to keep your newly straighten teeth in place.

 Invisalign ® vs Braces
Braces and Invisalign ® are very different procedures. Here are some advantages of using Invisalign instead of braces:

Pros: Minimal discomfort, invisible aligners look discreet, aligners can be removed to eat and clean, no food restrictions, up to 50% faster with AcceleDent. 

Cons: Patient compliance is essential to optimal results. Invisalign is not recommended for severve cases.  

 

 On the other hand, here are a few things to remember about traditional Braces:

Traditional Metal Braces
When people hear the word braces, this is the kind they most often picture in their head. Today’s modern brackets are much smaller and less noticeable than the “metal-mouth” braces that were commonly seen in the past.

Pros: Least expensive type, allow kids to be creative in choosing different colored bands

Cons: Most noticeable type of braces

 

Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces. The only difference is they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth instead of bright vibrant colors. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less obvious.

Pros: Less noticeable than traditional braces, moves teeth much faster than plastic aligners like Invisalign

Cons: More expensive than the traditional kind, brackets can easily stain if proper care is not taken

 

Click Here if Interested in exploring Invisalign and get a $1000 Credit 

 

What is the right choice for you?
Each Invisalign® product is designed to be used by every kind of patient. They carry no side effects and are completely safe to use. Each set of aligners is carefully crafted keeping the patient’s teeth in mind to provide uniquely customized service. Ultimately, in choosing the right orthodontic method, it comes down to personal choice, budget, and, your dentists’ professional opinion.

 For more than 30 years, Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics and Implants has been providing high-quality dental care in the central New Jersey area. Call 609-924-1414 to learn more about how Invisalign ® can give you a beautiful smile.

How Bad Oral Health Affects Your Body

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Everyone knows poor oral health has a direct effect on the teeth and gums, causing decay, infections, gum disease, and eventually, tooth loss. But very few people realize the impact oral health issues can have on their overall health and wellness – and that means they’re leaving themselves exposed to an array of serious medical problems.

Oral Bacteria
The mouth is home to millions of tiny bacteria. Many of them are helpful, aiding in breaking down food as part of the first steps in digestion, fighting off bad breath, and even helping prevent more serious oral diseases. But plenty of bacteria found on the tooth surfaces and the soft tissues of the mouth can be very bad, not just for your teeth and gums but for the rest of your body as well.

Sure, we all know to cover our mouths when we sneeze, even if we don’t have a cold; that’s because a sneeze can contain a huge amount of germs that can be passed on to another person. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that those same germs can cause problems in our own bodies. And that’s just what medical research has shown.

Oral Health and Your Body
Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria that cling to the tooth surfaces and eventually travel down the tooth to the root pocket where they “set up shop” and eventually weaken tooth roots and cause teeth to fall out. But long before that advanced stage of gum disease, those same bacteria can cause inflammation and tenderness in the gums, resulting in tiny openings in the gum tissue that bleed – and that can also admit bacteria to your bloodstream. Once in your blood, these tiny pathogens can travel to other areas of your body, including areas and systems most prone to the bad effects of inflammation.

Plenty of research has examined the association between gum disease and systemic diseases related to inflammation. For instance, several studies have shown gum disease can have a significant impact on diabetes – and the effect goes both ways: People who have diabetes are more likely to have gum disease (possibly because it’s much harder to prevent and control infections), and gum disease can make it much harder to control glucose levels, even raising your glucose, which in turn can make diabetes much more serious.

Gum disease and the inflammation it causes have also been linked with heart disease and stroke. Researchers think these links are probably related to the bacteria’s release of toxins that cause fatty plaques to form inside artery walls, preventing the normal flow of blood and depriving the heart and brain of needed oxygen and nutrients. The same toxins also may cause the liver to produce too many proteins, which in turn can contribute to heart disease and stroke.

And still more studies have suggested a connection between periodontal disease and some types of cancer, including kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers.

Preventing the Effects of Poor Oral Health
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy takes some work, but with good habits, you can easily get – and keep – the upper hand. It all begins with regular brushing and flossing using the right techniques (your hygienist can critique your results and give you tips to improve both these important routines). And of course, having twice-yearly checkups and cleanings is essential for catching and treating gum disease in its earliest stages, before the bacteria have a chance to cause local or widespread damage.

Want to make sure you stay as healthy as possible? Call Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics and Implants at 609-924-1414 and schedule a dental checkup today.

ORAL CANCER: 5 signs to Watch Out for

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Every year, more than 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society, and about 10,000 people die as a result of the disease. Many cases of oral cancer are caught during a routine dental exam or office visit. And for people who have oral cancer screenings every year (or even every six months), there’s a good chance the cancer will be caught in its early stages, when it’s most treatable.

Unfortunately, all too many people postpone their dental visits, sometimes waiting several years between checkups and cleanings. And that means oral cancer can go undetected – and grow – for much longer.

Obviously, one of the most important things you can do to make sure cancer is caught in its very early stages is to see your dentist regularly – typically every six months for a routine checkup and oral cancer screening, but at least once each year. In between visits, you can do a little self-examination to look for these symptoms associated with the early stages of oral cancer:

5 Signs

Mouth sore that doesn’t heal.
Sores are often the first sign of oral cancer, and they can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the palate and gums, or on the front or back of the lips. Not every sore is cancerous; in most cases, sores will heal and disappear within a week or so. But if you have a sore that hasn’t healed in two weeks or more – or a sore that continues to grow larger – it could be a sign of oral cancer.

Discolored “patches” in the mouth.
In addition to sores, white, pale or oddly-colored patches of tissue in your mouth or on your lips can also be a sign of cancer. Sometimes, these patches are slightly raised above the surface of the surrounding tissue. In a few cases, they may bleed.

Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are most often a sign of gum disease (which also needs prompt attention!), but it can also be caused by cancerous growths. Bleeding can occur anywhere in your mouth as well as your throat.

Hoarse voice
Cancer that develops in the throat may cause a person’s voice to become hoarse or to change in another unusual way.

Loose tooth
Most teeth become loose as a result of decay or trauma. But sometimes, a cancerous growth will push against the tooth, causing it to become loose or “wobbly.”

Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are quick and painless. First, the dentist will look for visible changes associated with cancer. Then, the dentist will use a special swab or brush to gently wipe the inside surfaces of your mouth, collecting a small sample of cells. The swab will be sent to a lab where the cells will be carefully examined. If your dentist notices an unusual area in your mouth, they may take a very tiny sample of tissue for further evaluation. The area will be numbed before the tissue sample is collected.

Regular oral cancer screenings are essential for helping you maintain not only good oral health but good overall health as well. If you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, your bite, your throat, your lips or your voice, it’s always a good idea to call the office.

And one more thing: While tobacco users are more likely to develop oral cancer, the disease can – and does – occur in anyone. Whether or not you have a history of smoking, you need regular oral cancer screenings to help you stay healthy.

Call Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics & Implants today at 609-924-1414 to schedule your screening.

Why Go to a Holistic Dental Practice.

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Everybody knows they should see their dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. And the benefits of regular cleanings and evaluations are pretty clear. What’s not so clear is why you should see a holistic dentist for your oral care needs, and how visiting a holistic dentist can actually benefit your health.

4 Benefits of Holistic Dental Care

Before delving into the benefits, it’s important to understand what the term “holistic dentistry” means.

  1. 1. Briefly, holistic dentistry is focused on providing care that’s beneficial for your overall health as well as your oral health. And that leads us into the first benefit of seeing a holistic dentist: Holistic dentistry focuses on the whole person, not just their teeth and gums. Traditional dental practices provide cleanings, fillings and other care that’s aimed to improve your oral health. And that’s great. But they typically tend not to consider how these treatments may be affecting your overall health. Amalgam fillings are a great example. A traditional dentist may use amalgams because they’re durable, easy to use and cheap. Filling your tooth with an amalgam restores the tooth and prevent further decay, which is great for your oral health. But these fillings also contain mercury, which, if released to the body, could pose serious health risks – especially if you have multiple fillings. A holistic dentist uses filling materials that are free of metal and harmful chemicals to protect both your oral health and your overall health as well.
  2. Holistic dentistry is focused on prevention. Holistic dentists understand the important connection between your oral health and your overall health, and they provide in-depth guidance and advice to help you develop the healthy habits that can improve both. That includes advice about your diet, managing stress and taking care of other health-related issues that could have an impact on your oral health as well.
  3. Holistic dentists provide an individualized level of care – for every patient. Everyone is different, and that means everyone’s health needs are different too. Holistic dentists know that – and they fine-tune their care to reflect each patient’s specific and unique needs. Your treatment plan will be different from any other patient’s because it will be focused solely on your health profile, your lifestyle, and your needs and goals.
  4. Holistic dentists use safe materials and safe practices. As mentioned in number 1 above, holistic dentists are very careful about the materials and techniques they use during treatment because they understand the impact those choices can have on oral and overall health, both now and in the future. Metal-free fillings are just one of many ways a holistic dentist focuses on safer, healthier materials and methods, in treatment and in preventive care as well.

Is holistic care as effective as traditional dental care?
Absolutely! Holistic dentists have the same training as other dentists – but they also have additional training in holistic approaches to care. That means you’ll have the widest number of options when it comes to selecting the best treatment for you, so you can feel confident about your treatment – and your results – from start to finish.

At Princeton Dentistry, we know your health is important to you, and that’s why it’s important to us. Our team is trained in holistic techniques aimed at helping each patient enjoy better oral and overall health, as well as beautiful, natural smiles. To learn more about the holistic practices and materials we use and to schedule your own checkup, call Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics & Implants at (609) 924-1414 today.

Set the Course For Healthy Living;See your Family Dentist Regularly

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Regular dentist visits are an essential part of overall healthy living that the entire family can benefit from. Routine dental visits provide a number of benefits for children, teens, and adults that extend far beyond simply having a nice smile.

Healthy dental care routines and regular dental visits are great goals to have in and of themselves and are great tools in setting the course for younger generations for healthier living. Here’s what you should know about how routine family dental visits and healthy living go hand in hand!

Benefits of Seeing Your Family Dentist Regularly

It’s Been A Long Time Doc – It’s not uncommon for people to skip visits (sometimes for years or even decades. This can be due to anxiety, financial concerns, or simply assuming their teeth are fine because there’s no pain or visible damage. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are a number of underlying dental issues that don’t always have straightforward symptoms or visible signs that call attention, like a cavity or broken tooth.

These types of dental issues will need the trained eye and expertise of a dental professional to diagnose and treat. Regular family dentist visits are the first line of defense against dental issues and truly sets the course for healthy living. 

Overall Healthy Living – Multiple studies have shown that there is a strong link between your dental health and your overall health. Underlying issues with your teeth and gums can ultimately affect other systems of your body including the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. Regular visits to your family dentist can help reduce the risk of other serious health issues. 

Boost in Confidence and Improved Self-Esteem – Your smile is one of the first things people notice and plays a big role in first impressions. Having a healthy, bright smile can make a drastic difference in the way you feel and does wonders for the self-esteem regardless of your age. 

Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics & Implants is a family owned practice, operating in downtown Princeton, NJ for over 35 years.  New patients are welcome.  Call us at 609-924-1414 to schedule an appointment.  Free Parking.