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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
March 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: family dentistry  

Does your busy schedule leave you and your family without much time to spare? If so, you may find that scheduling your appointments family dentistwith doctors or dentists is a difficult task. However, a family dentist can help you simplify your schedule and ease the burden of a busy family life. Consolidate your dental appointments and save time and effort with your Livonia, MI family dentist, Dr. Laurie Mulka at Mulka Dental.

What is a family dentist? 
While other dentists specialize in performing only cosmetic dentistry procedures or only tending to the needs of adults over 18, family dentists perform a variety of procedures on patients of all ages, including babies and children. Family dentists also see elderly individuals. Like general dentistry, family dentistry focuses on educating patients on good oral health, upkeep of the teeth via dental cleanings, and regular dental examinations to find and treat issues like cavities at their earliest stages in order to avoid more invasive, complex procedures.

How can a family dentist benefit me and my family? 
A family dentist will treat anyone from your infant getting their first teeth to your child in the midst of losing baby teeth to your grandmother who needs a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. This means you can consolidate your appointments, scheduling them on the someday to save yourself time, extra trips, and even money. Family dentists allow your children to form a good relationship with their dentist as they grow older, even staying with the practice as adults. Additionally, family dentists keep your whole family’s dental records in one place, making them easily accessible in times of need.

Regular Dental Examinations and Cleanings with Your Family Dentist in Livonia, MI 
The American Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental exams and cleanings. These appointments help your dentist find and treat cavities and other issues early to avoid invasive procedures or tooth extraction. Additionally, regular cleanings make keeping your teeth healthy between dental visits easy. Simply brush twice a day and floss once to keep teeth decay and gum disease at bay.

For more information on family dentistry and how it can help you, please contact Dr. Mulka at Mulka Dental in Livonia, MI. Call (248) 482-7020 to schedule you or your family member’s appointment today!

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
January 24, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Preventive care is the best route to a healthy smile. In other words, keep ahead of potential dental and gingival (gum) issues before they preventative dentistryeven start. At Mulka Dental, your Redford area family dentist in Livonia, MI, and her dedicated staff work hard to provide families with the at-home skills and in-office treatments which promote durable bright smiles that last. Here's the preventive protocol which Dr. Laurie Mulka advises her patients use faithfully.

Preventive care targets plaque

The American Dental Association (ADA) advises that children through senior adults (and everyone in between) brush their teeth carefully twice a day with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste (over the age of three). Take your time, and spend at least two minutes at the sink, thoroughly, but gently, brushing all tooth surfaces. Mom and Dad, please supervise young children to ensure the best possible results.

Additionally, the ADA says daily flossing removes the plaque, or sticky food residues, missing by brushing alone. Plaque contains oral bacteria which secrete acids which decay tooth enamel and cause destructive gum disease, a major cause of tooth loss. It's also a precursor to many systemic health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

Plus, your six-month visits to Mulka Dental add professional skill to your at-home hygiene. Your hygienist scales your teeth and gum line to remove additional plaque and hard tartar.

Preventive care includes regular examinations

After your thorough cleaning, your Redford area family dentist examines your teeth and gums to assess for:

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease (including periodontal probing, a measure of gum pocket depth)
  • The condition of fillings and other restorations
  • Oral cancer (detected early, cure rates are between 80 and 90 percent, says the Oral Cancer Foundation)
  • Proper bite and alignment
  • Aesthetic smile needs

She may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and to reduce dental sensitivity. Plastic sealants, applied to deeply grooved chewing surfaces, protect children's teeth against decay for about ten years. Both services are inexpensive and great insurance against tooth decay.

Preventive care stresses common sense

Your Redford area family dentist teaches some dental care strategies that are easy for everyone to use regularly. They include:

  1. Drinking several glasses of water a day to avoid dry mouth and to cleanse teeth and gums.
  2. Stopping smoking or chewing tobacco (to prevent oral cancer, dental staining, gum disease and toxic systemic effects).
  3. Consuming a low-sugar/carb diet, high in fiber, protein, and calcium.
  4. Wearing a custom-made mouth guard (available in both hard and soft materials) to protect against sports injuries and teeth grinding (bruxism).

Learn more

At Mulka Dental, Dr. Mulka and her team want to preserve your best-looking and best-functioning smile. Why not contact the office in Livonia, MI today to schedule your routine exam and hygienic cleaning? Call (248) 482-7020.

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
July 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing   oral hygiene  

Are you a forgetful flosser? You're not alone. Only 30 percent of us floss every day, according to the National Health and Nutrition oral hygieneExamination Survey. Unfortunately, if you don't floss regularly, you may raise your risk of developing cavities or gum disease. Redford, MI, dentist Dr. Laurie Mulka explains why it's important to make flossing a daily habit.

What does flossing really do?

Flossing offers several important benefits, including:

  • Removing Plaque: Daily flossing removes plaque from the areas between teeth. Plaque, a sticky bacterial film, is responsible for tooth decay.
  • Decreasing Your Gum Disease Risk: Plaque eventually turns into tartar, a hard deposit that you can actually see. If you have tartar deposits, you'll notice dark yellow or brown spots on your teeth. When tartar forms near your gums, it irritates them and can cause gum disease. If not treated promptly, gum disease can cause tooth loss. Flossing eliminates plaque, preventing it from ever turning into tartar.
  • Freeing Trapped Food Particles: You can't always feel small pieces of food that stick to your teeth. Although brushing removes food debris on the surface of your teeth, flossing is the only way to get rid of the particles between your teeth. Cavities form when the sugars in foods interact with plaque to create acids. The longer food particles remain between your teeth, the higher your risk of cavities.
  • Better Breath: Food stuck between your teeth can produce a very unpleasant odor. Flossing ensures that your breath is as fresh as possible.

What kind of floss should I use?

The type of floss you use depends on your personal preferences. As long as you floss daily, you'll improve your oral hygiene. People with closely spaced teeth often prefer the type of floss that looks like string, while those with widely spaced teeth may find flossing tape more comfortable. No matter what type of floss you prefer, use gentle pressure when you move the floss back and forth between teeth. If you have trouble reaching your back teeth, look for small flossing picks, interdental brushes or water-based flossing systems at Redford area stores.

Daily flossing and regular dental visits will help you maintain your sparkling smile. Call Redford, MI, dentist Dr. Laurie Mulka at (313) 937-1520 to schedule an appointment.

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
September 21, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Prompt treatment of gum disease is essential in preventing tooth loss. Do you know the symptoms of gum disease? Dr. Laurie Mulka, gum diseaseyour Redford, MI family dentist, shares a few signs that may indicate that you have the disease.

Gum disease symptoms

Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, is also the easiest to treat. Since the symptoms can be mild, you may not even know you have the condition until your dentist tells you. Common gingivitis symptoms include red, irritated or puffy gums. Your gums may also bleed easily when you brush or floss.

If your condition doesn't improve, the problem can turn into periodontitis, the more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis occurs when a build up of tartar at your gum line causes your gums to begin to pull away from your teeth and form deep pockets. When these pockets become filled with bacteria, you may develop these symptoms:

  • Bad breath: No matter how often your brush or use mouth rinse, bad breath can persist if you have gum disease.
  • Pain when chewing: Mealtime can become very painful when your games are inflamed or infected.
  • Tooth sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity may occur when your roots are exposed. You may notice pain when you eat or drink hot or cold beverages or when your mouth is exposed to air.
  • Receding gums: Before pockets form, your gums will begin to recede.
  • Loose teeth: As you can image, loose teeth are a bad sign. If you notice that one or more of your teeth are loose, call your dentist as soon as possible.

How did I get gum disease?

Gum disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene. If you don't brush or floss regularly, the plaque on your teeth turns into tartar, which can only be removed by special dental tools. Visiting your dentist every six months is an excellent way to reduce tartar buildup and reduce your gum disease risk. You may more likely to develop the disease if you have a family history of it, have HIV/AIDS, take certain medications or smoke. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can also increase your risk.

How can my Redford dentist help?

Gingivitis usually improves with a thorough dental cleaning and improved oral hygiene. If you have periodontitis, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning to remove tartar below your gums. In some cases, you may need surgery to close your pockets or bone or tissue grafts.

Don't let gum disease ruin your smile. Call Dr. Mulka, your Redford, MI family dentist, at (313) 937-1520 to schedule an appointment.

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
July 20, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing  

Most people brush their teeth every day. However, this is a very small part of a proper at-home oral care routine. Brushing properly and flossingflossing are crucial to your dental health and, in turn, your general health. Unfortunately, only about 30% of Americans floss daily. Debunk some common flossing myths and learn why you should be flossing every day with help from Dr. Laurie Mulka in Redford, MI.

Myth #1: “Flossing makes my mouth bleed.”
It is perfectly normal for your gums to bleed the first few times you floss. However, they are not bleeding from the flossing alone. The plaque and tartar between the teeth have caused the gums to become irritated which causes the bleeding. Your gums should stop bleeding within the first week or so of flossing regularly. If your gums continue to bleed, contact your Redford dentist.

Myth #2: “My teeth are too close together to floss.” 
In this case, the problem is almost never that your teeth are too close together. You may simply need to change the type of floss you use. Try switching from regular dental floss to flossing ribbon which is thinner and slightly elastic, allowing it to easily reach between teeth which lie closer together. If teeth suddenly become impossible to floss between, they could be shifting or a filling could be loose. Contact Dr. Mulka to get to the bottom of it.

Myth #3: “Flossing is not necessary.” 
When you consume food or drink, bacteria grow on the teeth and in the mouth. This bacteria is normal, but, if it is not knocked away, quickly grows into plaque. While brushing does work to knock away plaque, there are simply some areas of the teeth which are too small for your toothbrush’s bristles to reach. Flossing reaches all the way down and around the tooth and partially under the gum, removing the plaque and bacteria which brushing leaves behind. Flossing is a crucial part of your daily oral care routine and is necessary to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Myth #4: “Flossing will damage my dental restorations.” 
Dental restorations like crowns or bridges can harbor the same bacteria and plaque as the rest of your natural teeth, making flossing around a crown or underneath a bridge important to your oral health. Flossing cannot hurt your dental restorations. If your restoration moves or falls out while flossing, the restoration itself was damaged and you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Mulka as soon as possible.

For more information on why flossing is important in your oral care routine, please contact Dr. Mulka in Redford, MI. Call (313) 937-1520 to schedule your dental examination and cleaning today!