Dr. G’s High Level Dentistry Series: Are you breaking your own teeth without realizing it?

Dentist in Cambridge

If you regularly wake up with headaches, a sore neck, or a sore jaw it could be related to grinding/clenching.

There are 5 main muscles associated with clenching and grinding.  These muscles, like any muscles in the body, can tense up and develop “knots” in similar ways that people’s shoulders and back develop these.  During a TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) screening, us dentists evaluate these areas as well as any jaw abnormalities.

Almost 90% of my patients experience mild/moderate TMJ issues at some point in their life and for the majority of them I recommend an over the counter nightguard (once I have confirmed via a TMJ screening).

BUT at what point does this need further customized care?

If you have experienced crowns breaking, fillings cracking, or your front teeth getting shorter as you age, it’s a good indication that you need a TMJ screening to prevent damage to your teeth.  Additionally, there are even patients that have their jaw lock in in open or closed position for some amount of time.  This also is a good indication that a bigger problem may occur.

The good news though is that once we have found the cause of this problem, there are simple preventative measures we can do to ensure this ends the downward cycle. 

Stop by our office today for a no charge TMJ assessment to stop the cavity development in its tracks.  

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

Dr. G’s High Level Dentistry Series: Are you Overwhelmed?

Dentist in Cambridge

Problem: You keep feeling like your dentist is chasing problems instead of “routine” cleanings and exams and it’s getting overwhelming for everyone.

For the scope of this blog entry, complex dental cases are defined as any cases that:

  1. Involve multiple disciplines in dentistry (root canals, implants, crowns, fillings, extractions, aesthetics, etc).  Sometimes even within the same treatment plan.
  2. Cases that have underlying clenching/grinding issues
  3. Dental anxiety preventing you from getting proper care

Complex dental cases can easily become overwhelming when:

  1. You can only choose 1 tooth to treat at a time
  2. You don’t begin with the end in mind
  3. The cost of treatment is out of your dental budget

Solution: A structured, clear plan created by your dentist and chosen equally by you and the dentist.  This includes time frame, cost breakdown and pros and cons explained for treatment options.

For those patient with dental anxiety, please our previous blog and video series where we discuss it in detail: https://sweetspotdental.com/dentistry/what-is-dental-anxiety/

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

Dr. G’s High Level Dentistry Series: Cavity Prevention

Dentist in Cambridge

You brush and floss like you are supposed to, but you still get cavities.  Maybe you can feel that your dentist or hygienist keep bringing up you not flossing enough making it seem like you are lying.

First off this problem is extremely frustrating for everyone involved.  Sure, not everyone is excellent at flossing EVERY SINGLE DAY.  But for patient that are “religious” about taking care of their teeth, a diagnosis of new cavities can feel like a personal attack.  It makes people regret and feel shame for an after dinner mint or a sip of soda.

What does this mean?  It means the cause for this cavity development has not been found out yet and therefore not addressed properly.

There are actually many causes of cavity development that range from: nutritional factors, salivary flow (how much saliva you produce), alcohol intake, pH balance of the mouth,  and yes, improper brushing and flossing technique.

The solution that we use here at Sweet Spot Dental is a Customized cavity risk assessment where we can evaluate the many causes of cavity development and treat it accordingly.

Stop by our office today for a comprehensive exam to stop the cavity development in its tracks.

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

Dr. G’s blog: Introducing our High Level Dentistry series

Dentist in Cambridge

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Doing everything the hygienist has recommended, and you STILL get cavities
  • Breaking your fillings, caps, or even your natural teeth
  • You know there is a lot going on, but you are scared to see a dentist
  • You are worried about the cost of dental treatment
  • You feel like your dental office treats you like another number

When things go right, everyone is happy.  When things become unusual, that’s when problems can start happening.  In my High Level Dental Series I will go over non-cookie cutter approaches to dental problems that fit outside the mold.  Please continue this journey with me by following along with this blog, as well as my video series on our social media pages.

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

Cambridge MA Dentist | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why

Dentist in Cambridge

Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.

Cambridge MA Dentist | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why

What is it?
Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.

Who does it affect?
Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.

What can it do?
Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.

Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.

How can I prevent It?
Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

Cambridge MA Dentist | Can Kissing Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Dentist in Cambridge

When you are close to someone you can often be overly comfortable in sharing. This is especially true with kissing. In one kiss, more than 500 germs can be shared between two people. Sharing a kiss can have an impact on your oral health. Here are some of the dangers of kissing.

Cambridge MA Dentist | Can Kissing Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Colds & Flus
When you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or flu, it is best to avoid kissing. You certainly don’t want to transmit any diseases. Colds and flus are easily passed on through saliva and nasal fluids.

Cold Sores
If you see a cold sore near your mouth and lips, you should avoid kissing someone. Cold sores will look like small, clear blisters usually close to your lips. Cold sores are a viral infection, but are extremely contagious. Cold sores that are leaking fluids are especially contagious, however even a sore without any fluid can spread to others in contact. Avoid contact if you see cold sores!

Mono – The Kissing Disease
Mononucleosis, or mono, is spread very rapidly through kissing. The disease can also be spread by sharing behaviors such as sharing a cup, food, or straw. We recommend avoiding sharing your food and drink with others. Someone carrying mono might appear healthy, so always play it is safe by avoiding sharing your food and your germs.

Tips for Fresh Breath
It makes sense to want to have a clean, fresh breath when kissing. It is best to avoid foods that contain strong spices and flavors, such as garlic or onion. Long after they have been consumed, it is still possible to smell these foods on someone’s breath. Make sure you follow a regular daily oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily, as well as brushing your tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside of your cheeks. We suggest using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum after eating to help diffuse strong odors. Sometimes bad breath can be caused by other factors, so if you feel these solutions are not working, make an appointment with us.

Hundreds of germs can be shared when kissing. Watch out for cold sores as well as cold or flu symptoms. Don’t forget to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy, or to schedule your next visit, contact our office.

Steps to make getting a “shot” easier

Dentist in Cambridge

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” ~ Lily Tomlin

Everyone hates needles, and we know that

There is no surprise that you don’t like getting injections (or shots) at the dentist.  We all are aware that it is probably one of the biggest triggers for you at the dentist! Here are a few tips for making this process much easier to deal with if you have an appointment where you know you will need to get numb for the procedure.

Trust should be established before an injection is performed.  

See the previous post on questions you should ask your dentist! [LINK TO THIS POST]. Then: 

Explain your triggers

Opening up a conversation about any bad past experiences is crucial to having an easy visit.  By doing this with a provider who is sensitive to dentally anxious patients, there are a lot of “tricks” we are able to use to overcome a sometimes painful administration of local anesthesia (a.k.a., getting a shot).

Mindful breathing

Mindful breathing has been immensely helpful while I worked with patients chair-side throughout my career.  The principles may seem very basic, but in reality it gives you something to focus on other than pain. Additionally, slow deep breathes have a helpful physiologic response during this procedure. I have learned to coach my patients chair-side for every single injection on mindful breathing techniques and I am then able to time my injection at the easiest moment for my patient.

For a quick mindful breathing exercise, see the video below:

 

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

What BIG question should you be asking your dentist?

Dentist in Cambridge

“Walking into our stories of hurt…can feel dangerous and foreboding, and what we must ultimately confront is ourself.  The most difficult part of our stories is often what we bring to them – what we make up about who we are and how we are perceived by others.” ~Bréne Brown

EVERYONE has a unique brand of crazy

Trust me, you do. I say this with lots of love in my heart, but everyone has very unique traits and beliefs that will undoubtably make them crazy (ok, maybe unique is a better word) to someone else. This is the side people are embarrassed to talk about, but it is also what makes them unique. These characteristics should be discussed with a dentist you trust. This explanation can open so many doors that will enable the right provider to create customized care that fits you exact needs.

So, what is the BIG question to ask?

Trust is about vulnerability. Putting yourself in someone else’s hands is tough, especially for those with dental anxiety. I think it is also important to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. This means that for some people only one question is needed, and for others it may need a special visit just to “meet and greet” the dentist.  During either of these types of visits, the question I would like you to feel comfortable asking is: “What do you do differently for dental anxious patients?”  The secret to this is not the question or necessarily the answer you get; it’s the need to open the door for both of you to discuss how to make your visit an easy one.

 

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

First steps to overcome your dental anxiety

Dentist in Cambridge

“When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we’ even illness becomes wellness” ~ Malcom X

How does your body work?

The first step to overcoming your dental anxiety is to figure out how your body and mind work in anxious situations.  Knowing this information is critical to moving forward because your anxiety is not obvious to anyone but you.

Find the right dentist that can work with you

I am a firm believer that nothing good can come from a relationship without a fundamental level of trust. The problem is that as a patient, it’s extremely hard to know who to trust.  Sure, we can scour the internet, read online reviews, or get referrals from friends, but in the end, how closer are you to making the right decision? How do you know who will be able to handle your unique brand of dental anxiety?  The truth is that you don’t know.  This is where trust and having a gut instinct come into play.  

In our next post, we discuss topics to address with your dentist to begin creating a more trusting environment and learn how capable your dental provider is in treating your unique needs.

 

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

Dentist in Cambridge | Tobacco & Your Teeth: The Risks of Chewing and Smoking

Dentist in Cambridge

Chewing and smoking tobacco are known to cause severe health problems, particularly in the lungs. But the risks to your mouth and teeth can be just as extensive and alarming. If you use tobacco, stop. Here’s what tobacco can do to your oral health.

Chewing Tobacco
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), tobacco chewers increase their risk of developing gum and cheek cancers by 50 times. Tobacco dissolves the gums which leads to sensitivity from exposed roots. This also makes for an ideal location for bacteria to grow, leading to decay. If you are chewing tobacco, stop, and ask our experienced oral health team about what you can do to keep your mouth healthy.

Smoking
According to a report by the AGD, smoking one pack a day can lead to the loss of two teeth each decade of your life. Smoking increases your odds of losing teeth. Cigarettes and cigars are both damaging to your oral health. Smoking can cause staining as well, leading to an unattractive smile.

Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can develop in several places in your mouth including on your tongue, lips, mouth floor, and gums. Those over 50, are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, as are men. However, Oral cancer has been on the rise, especially for people under 30 according to the AGD. Schedule an appointment with us to receive a thorough oral health examination, and ask us about an oral cancer screening, particularly if you are a tobacco user. Oral cancer screenings are often very quick as our dentist checks your mouth, teeth, and cheeks for signs of irregularities. If caught early, oral cancer can be treated.

If you are a tobacco user, we strongly advise you to quit. You can work with our professional dental team as well as your doctor to overcome tobacco use. Everyone should be receiving regular oral health examinations, but if you are a tobacco user, you need to be especially vigilant in doing so. Schedule a visit to our office so that we can work with you to identify any potential issues.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our office.

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Cambridge Office

Cambridge, MA Dentist

763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1, Cambridge, MA 02139

Phone: (617) 945-1974

Email: Hello@SweetSpotDental.com

Hours:
Monday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
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