Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Adult Frenectomy Experience: 6 Weeks Later

In April of this year I had my tongue-tie released (you can read about that here), and after 6 weeks I'm back with an update on how things are going!

I've been having weekly oral myofunctional therapy (OMT) sessions with Samantha as planned, and I recently completed the first phase of therapy, which focused on correct tongue placement as well as developing strength and mobility in my tongue and lips. The second phase of therapy has me working on coordinating the movements of my tongue and lips to learn to swallow properly. I haven't been progressing through the exercises as quickly in this phase, but that's to be expected since I'm fighting habits that have been established in my body for almost 38 years... It's definitely a (re)learning process!

As far as my other symptoms (i.e., chronic neck tension, jaw clenching, grinding teeth), some have recurred since the initial relief I felt immediately after the frenectomy. My neck and shoulders have felt more sore in the past few weeks, and my jaw tension is back. This seems to be a common concern or complaint among adults after release, and I must admit that it is disheartening to feel symptoms emerge again after experiencing such significant improvement right after the procedure!

However, muscle memory is powerful, even more so the longer our body patterns have been established. It has been helpful for me to remember that although the frenectomy felt like a quick fix because of its immediate effects, there are many years of poor postural and motor habits that must be unlearned before lasting improvement can be expected. With that in mind, I have been continuing with regular tongue and neck stretching, yoga, and bodywork sessions (craniosacral therapy/CST and massage therapy) to address compensatory muscle tension patterns and alleviate the discomfort in my neck and shoulders.

I notice small improvements with every aspect of my aftercare plan, and communicating openly with my dentist, OMT, and bodyworker has been very helpful in knowing what I can reasonably expect, as well as how to optimize my function and results post-release.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Symbiotic Partnership of Dentistry and Craniosacral Therapy

The Symbiotic Partnership of Dentistry And Craniosacral Therapy (Part One)
by Benjamin Shield, Ph.D.


This article will explore the symbiotic partnership between the dental profession and craniosacral
therapy. With the simple integration of craniosacral techniques, the dental professional will significantly enhance the effectiveness of existing modalities, increase the economic return in their practice, and benefit from greater patient satisfaction.

Craniosacral therapy (CST) can be thought of as the missing puzzle piece in the efficacy of many dental procedures. CST, as it expands our awareness beyond the mandible and maxillae, provides a holistic awareness of the dental mechanism and the well-being of the dental patient. And, whether performed by the dentist, dental assistant, or craniosacral therapist, the dental professional and the patient alike immediately recognize the benefit.

The goal is to better serve our patients. In addition to enhanced dental care, CST offers the dental
professional the ability to solve many instances of craniocervical pain and dysfunction. The dental
professional is in an unique position to correct underlying anatomical and functional dysfunction that
may have been unseen or mistreated by other professionals.

The first article of this series appeared in the Number 6 (June 1998) issue of ZMK and offered a brief
introduction to the craniosacral system and craniosacral therapy. It discussed the importance that the
correction of dental mechanics should be made to a cranium that is as balanced as possible. This is
important to insure the effectiveness and longevity of the correction, the prevention of negative
symptoms, as well as the overall health of the individual.

The Craniosacral System

Craniosacral therapy involves the gentle manipulation and normalization of the cranial bones. CST also involves the treatment of the underlying membranes that provide the dural structure of the cranium as well as their continuation to the sacrum as they surround and support the brain and spinal cord. Craniosacral therapy also addresses the soft tissue affecting the craniosacral system.

Any imbalance of the craniosacral system can result in imbalances of the gross anatomical structures as well as producing a myriad of unwanted symptoms. The goal in the utilization of CST is to bring the skeletal structure, particularly that of the cervicocranium and its underlying membranes back into
balance. A general principle of this work is that as the structure is normalized, function will follow.

The cranial bones and their underlying membranes move in relation to the production and resorption of the cerebrospinal fluid. The cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the ventricles of the brain and resorbed via processes of the arachnoid dura into the venous sagittal sinus. These cycles of cerebrospinal fluid production and resorption create a palpable motion of the cranial bones that can be easily observed by a trained craniosacral therapist.

The filling phase of the cycle in which the cerebrospinal fluid is produced is referred to as "flexion." The draining phase of the cycle in which the cerebrospinal fluid is resorbed is referred to as "extension." The terms "flexion" and "extension" refer to the angle created by the occipital base and the body of the sphenoid which "flexes" and "extends" in relation to the filling and draining of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Each cranial bone follows a predictable motion in this "cranial rhythm." And, we can use this motion to both evaluate and to gently treat the craniosacral system. The movement of particular cranial bones will be discussed in regard to specific dental conditions.

Craniosacral therapy can be highly effective in treating facial asymmetry, cranial imbalances, and soft
tissue hypertonicity. These conditions play a direct role in chronic malocclusion, temporomandibular
dysfunction, cranial pain, sensory impairment, and a variety of mechanical disorders.


Dental professionals often observe that after a patient completes orthodontic treatment, a disturbing phenomenon occurs. Much to the disappointment of the dental professional and the patient, after the appliances are removed, often the teeth begin to return to their original, pre-treated positioning.

This can often be due to the appliances being applied to a cranium that has torsion and restriction. The appliances will move the teeth to the appropriate positions, but at the same time will torque and distort the cranium even further. When the appliances are removed, the cranium will seek to return to some degree of balance and in doing so, will move the teeth back towards their original faulted placement.

The simple utilization of craniosacral therapy can eliminate, or at the very least minimize, this unpleasant phenomenon. Whether it be fillings, inlays, onlays, implants, bridges, dentures, splints, or orthodontics, we want to equilibrate our work to a cranium that is as balanced as possible. For example, if we were being fitted for a suit or dress, we wouldn't want to be fitted while we were slouching!

The dentist, dental assistant, or craniosacral therapist balancing the craniosacral system can affect significant improvements in occlusion and positioning the teeth.

Craniosacral therapy may not only improve the orthodontic treatment, it can also serve to minimize and possibly eliminate the necessity of appliances.

It was discussed that during the cycle of cerebrospinal fluid production and resorption, the cranial bones moved in a predictable manner. During the filling phase ("flexion"), the structures of the hard palate respond by widening and flattening. As this occurs, the anterior teeth are withdrawn slightly posteriorly. If a patient suffers from a significant "flexion" lesion, this could result in the presentation of an underbite.

Conversely, during the draining phase ("extension"), the hard palate narrows and is drawn upwards. As this occurs, the anterior teeth are slightly extruded forward. If a patient suffers from a significant "extension" lesion, creating a high, narrow arch to the hard palate and extruding the anterior teeth forward, this could result in the presentation of an overbite.

Dental professionals often note that, during the course of orthodontic treatment, patients may report numerous ancillary symptoms such as cranial pain, sensory disorders, temporomandibular pain, and a decrease of energy levels. This may be due to the effect of the appliances "ratcheting" the cranium into a distorted and lesional pattern creating a variety of unpleasant symptoms. During orthodontic treatment, keeping the cranial bones balanced and relieving the torsion and opposing tensions that can be created by the increased pressure of the moving teeth, will help eliminate these accompanying symptoms.

It is fascinating to treat the individual teeth using craniosacral therapy. Just as it is possible to normalize the cranial bones and related soft tissue, it is also possible to reposition individual teeth through the process of "unwinding." Unwinding is a gentle process involving the release of the periodontal tissue that, due to trauma or excessive occlusal pressures, lock the teeth into their sockets. The release of these tissues assists the individual teeth to seek a more balanced position. The results are extremely rewarding.

It is also extremely beneficial to utilize craniosacral therapy after orthodontic treatment is completed and the appliances have been removed to maintain the balance of the cranial bones and membranes.

We can readily see the benefit to both the dental professional and the patient in utilizing craniosacral therapy before, during, and after orthodontic treatment. Integrating these simple techniques will enhance the efficacy and longevity of the dental work. Additionally, CST will greatly improve patient comfort, satisfaction, and confidence.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction and Treatment

Another field of dental health in which dentistry and craniosacral therapy are richly intertwined is in the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

The temporomandibular joints, because of their position in the skull, serve as a major neurological pathway for motor and sensory activity. The proximity to the ears, eyes, nose, throat, tongue, sinuses, and cervical spine make them among the most important joints in the body. 38 percent of all neurological input to the brain comes from the face, mouth, and TMJ region. Their structure makes them perhaps the most special and most complex joints in the anatomy.

The two-cubic-inch area that contains the TMJ contains the sinuses, glands, the middle and inner ears, various tissues of the throat, brain tissue, different muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic tissues, bones, teeth and the TMJ itself.

Because no individual has a perfect TMJ, everyone has some degree of TMJ dysfunction (TMJD). The TMJ compensates for all the rotations, compensations, and imbalances that radiate from our feet up and from our head down. We might think of our jaw as being like the pole used by the tightrope walker to maintain a delicate balance. The TMJ can be thought of, as well, as a repository for all our frustrations, excitement, unspoken words, and uncried tears.

The complex, interwoven network of nerves in the head and neck explains the fact that many TMJ patients also complain of pain in their neck, face, ear, eyes, sinuses, teeth, and head. Other disturbances may include dizziness, headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears, visual disturbances, loss of equilibrium, earaches, numbness or tingling in the face and hands, and oropharyngeal symptoms. Clicking and grating in the jaw joints, inability to open or close the mouth freely, and difficulty in chewing and swallowing are also reported.

Craniosacral therapy significantly augments the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction by the dental professional. CST is effective in assisting corrections in the functional anatomy of the TMJ, abnormal muscular traction (external derangement) effecting the TMJ, alteration of occlusion and TMJ function due to facial trauma, anterior disc dislocation, joint noise, and chronic malocclusion. Craniosacral therapy addresses specific TMJ movement disorders such as deflection (pulling to one side), deviation (a "hitch," as if the mandible is maneuvering itself around some obstacle), and the locking of the TMJ (either when open or closed).

Craniosacral therapy addresses important muscle groups that are crucially important to dentistry and the craniosacral system. The muscles that are among the most significant are the lateral pterygoid, masseter, and temporalis muscles. The specific treatment of TMJ soft tissue improves the tonus and function of these muscles as well as improving the function of the innervating cranial and cervical nerves.

Treating and normalizing the soft tissue of the cranium has ramifications throughout the dental mechanism. Soft tissue influence on mandibular positioning is significant. There are sixteen muscle groups controlling mandibular positioning. This is more than any other bone in the human body with the exception of the scapulae which each have attachments of seventeen muscle groups.

In addressing the soft tissue of the TMJ, craniosacral therapy helps reduce compression and abnormal traction on the joint. Compression in the TMJ often has the effect of displacing the articular disc anteriorly. The disc, then, no longer adequately protects the structures in the TMJ. Compression does not allow the cartilaginous disc to hydrate and to receive nutrients. The disc has no direct blood supply and depends on a "sponge-like" motion to squeeze out waste products and to absorb into itself synovial fluid and nutrients. Consequently, the disc begins to degenerate, causing wear and tear to the TMJ.

Compression also squeezes out the synovial fluid and wears away the synovial tissue that produces the fluid. In the absence of sufficient lubrication, the moving parts of the TMJ system experience friction and wear and tear whenever the jaw moves.

Joint noise

The excessive pulling of the disc anteriorly by the lateral pterygoid muscle can also create temporomandibular joint noise such as "popping" and "clicking." When the disc is anteriorly displaced, the condyloid process of the mandible is caused to "pop" or "click" onto the disc as the jaw opens. Similarly, as the jaw closes, it may pop or click back off of the disc.

Another source of popping and clicking is a ticking disc. This is often caused by undue soft tissue compression and/or the pressures accrued from misalignment of the cranium. The pressure on the disc "squashes" the disc flat and presses all the lubrication out of it. The disc is not able to move smoothly and the mandible may slide off of the disc.

As cranial alignment and soft tissue traction are normalized, the disc is assisted back to its proper position. Lubrication can again flow around the disc. The disc is then able to move with the jaw, and the popping or clicking sound may disappear.

Mandibular Whiplash

Whiplash, with resultant injury to the temporomandibular joint, is often caused by rear end motor vehicle collisions. This type of accident causes the head to be suddenly thrown back. Because the anterior, sub-mandibular muscles of the neck do not have time to relax, they anchor the mandible while the head is thrown backward. This causes the mouth to open far beyond its functional capacity, causing the TMJ musculature, tendons, ligaments, and synovial membranes to be significantly bruised, strained, and / or torn. Most often, the disc is forced out of position, relocating in front of the joint, from the traction exerted by the lateral pterygoid muscle. This type of injury is called an "anterior displaced disc," or an "internal derangement."

The subsequent "whipping" motion of the head and neck forward into hyperflexion further exacerbates this injury, causing the jaw to snap shut. Along with injury and anterior displacement of the disc, the mandible is forced posteriorly.

Craniosacral therapy helps to reduce the traction of the lateral pterygoid muscles and the various soft tissue structures of the TMJ. Normalizing the traction of the lateral pterygoid muscle will help to recapture the disc. CST also assists in repositioning the mandible, which results in decreasing the hyperstimulation and the nociceptive (pain) impulses of the trigeminal nerve. Additionally, repositioning the mandible will help restore a more balanced occlusion with the maxillary teeth.

Temporal Bone Rotation

Temporomandibular joint compression causes both rotation of the temporal bone and displacement of the mandible. Because of the placement of the condyloid process in the fossa of the temporal bone, when the TMJ is compressed, the temporal bone is "internally" rotated and the mandible is retruded. If cranial imbalances exist such that the temporal bone is "externally" rotated, the mandible is protruded.

Whenever the temporal bone is out of its proper position ("lesioned"), the mandible does not have appropriate seating in the joint. This is a direct cause of TMJ dysfunction. Moreover, as will be discussed in part two of this article, temporal bone lesions can be a major cause of tinnitus, vertigo, and equilibrium dysfunctions. Craniosacral therapy acts to normalize the positioning of the temporal bones.


Dentists hold a unique role in the treatment of various mechanical and functional disorders. In addition, they are often in the position to resolve many craniofacial dysfunctions that have not been resolved by other specialists.

By incorporating craniosacral techniques into their practice, the effectiveness of their treatment, their ability to treat their patients holistically, as well as the satisfaction of their patients will escalate. Whether the dentist, the dental assistant, or a craniosacral therapist performs the work, the dentist's practice and reputation will benefit.

In the next edition of ZMK, further benefits of incorporating craniosacral therapy into the dental practice will be discussed. Topics will include the dental / craniosacral influence on conditions including sensory dysfunctions, headaches, neuralgias, endocrine dysfunction, and autonomic nervous system imbalances.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Adult Tongue-Tie and Frenectomy

Ankyloglossia is commonly known as tongue-tie, which is a congenital condition where the tissue membrane connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is unusually short, thick, and/or tight. This often causes problems throughout development, first interfering with breastfeeding ability in infancy and continuing to affect feeding, swallowing, and speech in childhood, as well as palate formation and the placement of incoming permanent teeth.

Additionally, improper resting position of the tongue can restrict the airway and cause sleep apnea in children and adults, which in turn negatively affects sleep quality and attention & focus during the day. Moreover, sleep apnea is linked to a number of other health conditions across age groups, including obesity, hyperactivity, high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, high LDL cholesterol, cardiac and liver problems, acid reflux, and cognitive symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, learning difficulties, and depression.

While the symptoms of ankyloglossia present differently over time as our bodies learn to compensate for the restricted muscles and tissues, tongue-ties are easily corrected by frenectomy: a simple procedure where the restrictive webbing under the tongue (or the lingual frenulum) is released, mobilizing the tongue and enabling it and the supporting musculature to function more optimally.

My Experience

I've been a massage therapist for 11 years, but it was only recently that I began learning about tethered oral tissues (i.e., tongue/lip/buccal ties) and their long-term effects. Many of the symptoms of tongue-tie in adults resonated with me, particularly jaw clenching, teeth grinding, neck & shoulder tension, and forward head posture. So, I decided to get a functional evaluation myself, at 37 years old. I'd always attributed my symptoms to the everyday stresses of life, a somewhat anxious personality, and the physical nature of my job. However, I was eager to see if there might also be a structural cause or contributing factor, as I'd had limited results from regular yoga practice, acupuncture, bodywork, aromatherapy, etc. for tension relief.

I met with Samantha, the Oral Myofunctional Therapist who is part of our team at the PA Tongue-Tie Center, for the evaluation. She guided me through a series of activities to test the functional limitations of my oral musculature, and found that my tongue was quite restricted. This was affecting my chewing, swallowing, and causing my jaw and other facial muscles to work especially hard to compensate. We also realized that my tongue was resting against my teeth instead of my palate, which explained part of my dental history where my occlusion (bite) had been adjusted from open to closed, but over time became open again. That is, my tongue was gradually pushing my front teeth forward so that the top and bottom teeth no longer touched.

Once Samantha determined that a tongue-tie was present and I would benefit from a frenectomy, we began the therapy process to strengthen my tongue in preparation for the procedure. Oral myofunctional therapy (OMT) before and after release is critical because the tongue and supporting muscles don't automatically know what to do once they have the proper range of motion; they must be retrained because they have been unable to move and function as they should.

Another important adjunctive therapy in treating ankyloglossia is bodywork, specifically craniosacral therapy (CST) and/or chiropractic care. These modalities target and correct abnormal strain patterns in the body that result from compensatory muscle actions caused by ties. As with OMT, it's often helpful to receive CST or chiropractic before frenectomy to loosen the tissues and facilitate a more complete release, as well as after the procedure.

After almost 3 months of weekly OMT, I reached the point where I couldn't progress any further without having my tongue released, so we scheduled the frenectomy with Dr. Cockley, who performs releases via laser. The entire procedure lasted only a few minutes, including time for the numbing agents to take effect. I felt minimal discomfort and no pain during the frenectomy, but the effects of the release were immediately noticeable.

My Results and Aftercare Plan

Aside from the sudden ability to fully elevate my tongue, the first thing I noticed just minutes after my release was that my neck & shoulder tension relaxed as my shoulders settled into a new resting position. It seemed to require less conscious effort for me to maintain good posture. That night during yoga, I was able to bend and fold further into the poses without the familiar stiffness or pain shooting from my neck down my spine, as though a cord of tension connecting my upper and lower body halves had been severed.

I am now one week post-op and I've noticed less tension in my body overall, which has reduced my general stress & anxiety levels. I'm able to chew and swallow certain foods more easily, so I don't feel the usual fatigue in the floor of my mouth while eating. My face and jaw feel more relaxed more of the time, particularly while driving and sleeping when I tend to clench my teeth. Doing the post-op tongue exercises and stretches 5 times a day as recommended has kept any soreness to a minimum, and I always feel better afterward.

For my aftercare plan, I am continuing weekly OMT with Samantha to gain optimal strength, mobility, and function of my tongue and supporting muscles. I received monthly CST treatments prior to my frenectomy and will receive a few more biweekly treatments, as recommended by my practitioner. Ultimately, I'm very happy that I decided to pursue this. My tongue-tie release has already made a tangible difference in my life, and it was well worth it!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Better Health with CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy: What is it?

CranioSacral therapy (or CST) is a bodywork approach using light touch to release deep tension patterns in the body, relieving pain & dysfunction, and improving overall function and performance.

Your health and wellness is greatly influenced by your central nervous system, and the soft tissues and fluid that surround and protect these structures (the brain and spinal cord) are known as the craniosacral system.

We encounter many physical and emotional strains and stresses in our daily lives, and our bodies work hard to absorb and compensate their negative effects in order for us to keep going. However, your body can only handle so much tension before the tissues begin to tighten, potentially affecting the brain and spinal cord, thereby compromising the function of the central nervous system and nearly every other body system as a result.

CST releases these tension patterns to allow the entire body to relax and use its innate ability to self-correct. Practitioners use gentle touch techniques to locate and release restrictions and strain patterns, freeing the central nervous system to work optimally. This in turn can naturally reduce pain and stress, strengthen your immune system, and improve your general health and well-being. Because CST is very gentle and non-invasive, it is safe and effective for all ages, from newborns to elders. It can be used alone or integrated with other therapies to facilitate powerful changes.

What Conditions Can CST Help?

CST enhances your body's ability to take care of itself, and therefore can be used to help a wide variety of pain and dysfunction, including:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Stress and tension-related disorders
  • Motor-coordination impairments
  • Infant and childhood disorders
  • Tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip, and buccal ties)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Post-concussion symptoms
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic problems
  • and many more
What Can I Expect From a CST Session?

Your CST session in our office will take place in a quiet, private room. You will remain fully clothed as you rest comfortably on the treatment table, and your practitioner will begin by gently touching various points on your head and body to monitor your craniosacral rhythm, i.e., the flow of the fluid within your central nervous system.

By carefully listening with the hands to locate areas of weak or restricted fluid flow or tissue motion, your practitioner can trace these areas of weakness through the body to the original source of dysfunction. Delicate manual techniques are then used to release problem areas, and improve the form and function of your central nervous system.

Sessions generally last an hour to 90 minutes for adults, and up to 1 hour for infants and children. What you experience from each session is highly individual. Most people report feeling deeply relaxed during and after a session, with feelings of warmth or gentle pulsing in the areas where the therapist is working. Effects of CST can be experienced from hours to days following the session.

Scheduling, Hours, & Rates

CST and massage therapy appointments are available on Mondays and Wednesdays with Moriah, our Licensed Massage Therapist with specialized training in CST for adults, children, and infants. Alternate appointment days/times may be arranged upon request; check with Moriah for availability.

Prices per session are $90 for 60 minutes and $135 for 90 minutes. Your treatment will be individualized based on your personal therapeutic needs and treatment goals.

Call East Berlin Smiles/PA Tongue-Tie Center at (717)259-9596, or email with additional questions or to schedule.

For More Information:

Frequently asked questions about CST, plus research, articles, case studies, and more are available at

Friday, March 1, 2019

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders?

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)?

OMDs are adaptive patterns that develop in the absence of normalized patterns. The regular presence of these adaptive movements can result in a variety of disturbances such as:
  • Thumb and finger sucking habits
  • A routine habit of resting with the lips apart
  • Forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth
  • Other harmful oral habits

The presence of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are often related or can contribute to a variety of disorders, including:
  • Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
  • Periodontal disorders
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Changes associated with abnormal jaw growth and position

What age should a child be evaluated for OMDs?

It is a good time to evaluate children for OMDs when they are 4 years old. At this time, the therapist can address barriers such as airway restrictions and tongue-tie or oral tissue restrictions that can be addressed prior to therapy. Typically a 5-year-old would be ready to begin therapy with an Orofacial Myologist. In some cases, it would benefit the child and family to allow more time for mental development before beginning therapy.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Dry Mouth at Night: The Causes and Management Tips

Below is an article written by by Diana Tosuni-O'Neill RDH, BS and found on 

Have you ever woken up from a sound sleep with a dry mouth at night? Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by something as simple as sleeping with your mouth open or as complex as a side effect of medication. Read on to find out what may be at the root of your nighttime lip smacking.

Signs of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be as simple as the salivary glands not producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Saliva is key to washing debris from your teeth and remineralizing tooth enamel. With too little of it, you may be at risk for tooth decay.

Aside from increasing your risk for cavities, dry mouth can be uncomfortable. If you are experiencing dry mouth at night, some noticeable morning signs are:

  • A sticky feeling in your mouth
  • Thick or stringy saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Dry or sore throat
  • Cracked or chapped lips
  • Mouth sores
  • Changed sense of taste

What Causes Xerostomia?
The occasional case of dry mouth at night may simply be due to dehydration, but age, medical conditions and habits can also contribute to its symptoms. The Mayo Clinic reports that several medications can cause dry mouth, such as muscle relaxants, depression and anxiety medications and antihistamines. It's also associated with diabetes and the autoimmune disorder Sjogren's syndrome. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can change or damage the salivary glands, as can nerve damage to the head and neck area.

Frequent tobacco and alcohol use can lead to xerostomia. Besides putting you at risk for oral cancer, smoking causes changes in saliva production. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco also irritate an already dry mouth and contribute to bad breath.

To read the entire article visit

The remainder of the article details the following:

  • Ways to Manage Dry Mouth at Night

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Antimicrobial Therapy for Gum Disease

Below is an article written by by Tracey Sandilands and found on 

Antimicrobial therapy is a form of oral treatment used to eliminate or reduce the development of bacterial infections in the mouth. The therapy aims to prevent periodontal diseaseresulting from infections, which can cause painful, bleeding gums and loosening of your teeth.

Preparation and Treatment
If your dentist decides you will benefit from antimicrobial treatment, they will likely start with scaling and root planing. This process removes plaque and calculus (tartar) from the sulcus area around the teeth using either a scaler or instruments as well as an ultrasonic scaling device. In severe cases where there are periodontal pockets greater than 5-6 mm deep, the dentist may recommend that the patient be seen by a periodontist to evaluate the area with deeper pocketing and determine if gum surgery may be necessary. The scaling and root planing and gum surgery treatments require local anesthesia to reduce the patient's discomfort. The dental hygienist performs the scaling and root planing procedure.

During gum surgery, the periodontist makes an incision into the gum tissue, flaps the tissue back and cleans and scales the surface of the affected teeth and bone to remove the diseased tissue and infection. The gum tissue is then put back in place and sutured and the gum tissue will heal, and the periodontist will check the area a week or so after surgery. The use of an antiseptic mouthwash or antibiotic medication may be recommended for the next seven to 10 days.

Antiseptic Mouthwashes
Mouthwashes containing antiseptic ingredients help control the reproduction of the bacteria, which grow on the gum tissue in the mouth, and help to clean out the pockets around the individual teeth. The ingredients in antiseptic mouthwashes may include chlorhexidine, essential oils, and metal salts Sn11 and Zn11 to help control dental plaque and halitosis.

To read the entire article visit

The remainder of the article details the following:

  • Antibiotic Medications
  • After Treatment

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Dentist East Berlin PA
Cosmetic, Childrens, Implant, NTI, DURAthin Dentistry