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How Does Your Workout Affect Your Smile? Athletes and Oral Health

February 15, 2015

78459279While your teeth may be the last things on your mind when you gear up to hit the gym, a recent study has uncovered a vital connection between oral health and strenuous exercise. At the Flint, MI dental practice of Dr. Chitra P. Naik, Dr. Naik and her team are committed to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health, and today we’d like to talk about how exercising – particularly running – impacts the health of your teeth and gums.

Why Do Athletes Have More Cavities?

A 2014 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that athletes –especially those who engaged in distance running on a regular basis – had a higher incidence of enamel erosion and tooth decay than their peers who were non-athletic. This was found to be directly related to pH levels in their mouths; a decreased pH level (one that falls below 5.5) has been linked to a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. It is believed that the lower pH levels were caused by a diet high in carbohydrates, including sports drinks and energy bars frequently consumed before and during workouts.

In addition, breathing through the mouth – a habit of many runners – decreases saliva levels. Saliva is necessary for good oral health; it actively protects the enamel from acidic bacteria. While the study certainly offers insight into why athletes tend to suffer from more tooth decay, the results should not be used to deter anyone from pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle. They simply further support the belief that runners and other athletes should visit the dentist often for routine checkups and cleanings to ensure continued oral health.

Schedule Your Next Visit Today

If you or someone in your family exercises regularly, it’s important to remember that your teeth and gums require special care to stay healthy. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Naik, and learn more about how our general and preventive dentistry solutions can help you avoid cavities, periodontal disease, and more. Our family-friendly dental practice in Flint, MI warmly welcomes patients from throughout the surrounding communities in Flushing, Davison, Fenton, Ortonville, and beyond. We look forward to seeing your smile!

Find Real Relief from Migraines & Jaw Pain with TMJ Therapy in Flint, MI

December 16, 2014

178901519Do you often awaken in the morning with a splitting headache? Perhaps you suffer from persistent pain in your jaw, face, neck, and shoulders. Though you may not be aware of it, you may be affected by a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ dysfunction. This condition is responsible for a variety of unpleasant symptoms, and it can lead to lasting damage to the joints that allow your jaw to move freely. At the Flint, MI dental practice of Dr. Chitra P. Naik, we offer a wide selection of preventive dentistry solutions, including TMJ therapy.

How Do I Know if I Need TMJ Therapy?

TMJ disorder is characterized by the repetitive, subconscious clenching of the jaws. It may be accompanied by bruxism, or teeth grinding. The muscles, nerves, and cartilage discs of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) grow irritated and damaged over time due to the constant pressure exerted by the jaw.

A one-on-one consultation with Dr. Naik will determine the underlying cause of your pain, marking the beginning of a journey toward improved comfort and oral health. While this careful evaluation is the only way to definitively diagnose TMJ disorder, there are some common symptoms that you can keep an eye out for at home. Patients suffering from TMJ disorder typically report experiencing one or more of the following symptoms on a regular basis:

  • Pain that originates in the jaw and radiates throughout the face
  • A clicking or popping sound or sensation when opening and closing the mouth
  • A difference in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
  • Jaw that becomes locked in one position
  • Pain while yawning or chewing
  • Frequent headaches, often accompanied by sensitivity in the temple and sides of the skull
  • Sore, achy, or strained feeling in muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back

In order to relieve you of the pain and potential damage caused by teeth clenching, Dr. Naik may provide you with a custom-fitted oral appliance. This comfortable splint is typically worn at night or whenever you tend to clench your jaw the most. The majority of patients recognize an improvement in their level of comfort within days of using their appliance. We want to help you experience the same kind of relief.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Do you suspect that you may be suffering from TMJ disorder? Don’t spend another day suffering with the discomfort and aching pains associated with teeth clenching; contact our office today to schedule your visit with Dr. Naik and her caring, compassionate team. Dr. Naik will perform a full assessment of your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan that best suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Conveniently located in Flint, MI, our state-of-the-art dental practice warmly welcomes families from throughout the surrounding areas, including Flushing, Fenton, Ortonville, Davison, and beyond. We genuinely look forward to serving you!

Take Care of Your Smile with Preventive Dentistry in Flint, MI

October 10, 2014

179150393The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is true with many health matters and oral health is no exception. The American Dental Association recommends twice yearly check-ups for adults and children, so that your can dentist can spot any concerns and treat appropriately before they become problems. Dr. Chitra P. Naik and her team in Flint, MI, are ready to provide you and your entire family with the preventive dentistry you need to maintain oral health and general health.

Dr. Naik: Your Partner in Preventive Dentistry

Successful preventive dentistry is actually a partnership between you and your dentist. Optimal oral health requires at-home care—your part—and regular in-office visits with Dr. Naik. Daily brushing and flossing at home is basic oral care. In fact, this basic should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears. Good habits start early!

In the office, Dr. Naik and her colleagues will pick up where you leave off in preventive dentistry. At a check-up, we will provide a professional cleaning to remove plaque and stains; a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and oral cavity; and when necessary, we’ll take x-rays in order to spot problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities and problems below the gum line.

At your preventive dentistry check-ups, Dr. Naik will also check for any abnormal signs of wear and tear on your teeth that may be caused by teeth grinding and clenching, or bruxism. If found, Dr. Naik will prescribe a night guard to wear during sleep when bruxism usually occurs. Likewise, if you or one of your children is active in sports, Dr. Naik will create a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard.

Contact Our Office Today for an Appointment

If it’s time for you or someone you care for to see the dentist for a preventive dentistry check-up call the office of Dr. Naik today. We’ll be happy to assist you. Our office serves patients in Flint, MI, and Flushing, Davison, Fenton, Ortonville and beyond.

Exceptional Children’s Dentistry in Flint, MI Keeps Your Kid’s Smile Happy and Healthy

March 17, 2014

Shutterstock Child at DentistIs there anything more precious than your child’s smile? Keeping your little one’s teeth and gums clean and healthy now ensures a lifetime of dental wellness and beautiful smiles. At our general dentistry office in Flint, MI, Dr. Chitra P. Naik and her team provide state-of-the-art children’s dental care with a gentle touch; you and your children will always be welcomed to our practice with a friendly smile.

The Importance of Children’s Dentistry

Early general and preventive dentistry are among the key building blocks of lifelong oral health. When your children visit our warm, family-friendly office, we’ll do everything we can to make them feel comfortable and secure. Rather than dreading their biannual visits to the dentist, they’ll begin to find that these regular scheduled appointments are something to look forward to! Comprehensive exams and cleanings leave their smiles looking and feeling better than ever, and patient education ensures that the care you provide at home maintains these results.

Should Dr. Naik and her team find any reason for concern, such as tooth decay or developmental problems, we’ll talk with you, the parents, about all available options for treatment. To prevent cavities before they even start, Dr. Naik may recommend strengthening fluoride treatments and/or dental sealants. If your son or daughter participates in sports, ask us about how a customized athletic mouthguard can protect his or her teeth, gums, lips, and jaws during gameplay. Everything we do is for the betterment of your child’s oral health and overall wellness.

Dental Care for Your Kids’ Developing Smiles

Whether your child is ready for his or her first trip to the dentist, or it’s time for a routine check-up and cleaning, Dr. Naik is here to help. Contact our office in Flint, MI today to reserve your appointment, and see what an incredible difference our unique, gentle approach to children’s dentistry can make in your child’s life. Our practice also happily welcomes families from throughout the surrounding areas of Fenton, Davison, Ortonville, Flushing, and nearby Michigan areas. We can’t wait to take care of your families littlest smiles!