If you have any dental concerns, please share them with us at your next visit. Having knowledge of your medical history and dental concerns can help us to treat you more effectively. Dr. Matthew Wolfe is experienced in nearly all facets of dentistry. We place a special focus on treating adult patients who have complex dental problems, cosmetic concerns, and/or fear of the dentist. We offer a full range of general dentistry services, as well as cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and TMJ therapy.
Bleeding gums are one of the most common symptoms of gum disease. Gum pain, sore gums, and bleeding gums are often present in patients who have gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Dr. Matthew Wolfe in Rochester Hills, MI treats bleeding gums, gum disease, and gingivitis through a wide range of general dentistry treatments. Gum disease is treated by carefully removing the bacteria and substances that form in the pockets around the teeth. The removal of this material occurs on a microscopic level and requires great skill. Our dental team has had advanced training regarding how to effectively remove all of the bacteria.
Many people believe bleeding gums is a sign of good brushing. However, it is not normal for gums to bleed when you brush. Bleeding gums is often caused by a buildup of plaque along the gumline. Plaque can push down into the pockets of the gum and harden into tartar. As you brush or floss your teeth, this irritates the sensitive gum tissue and can cause bleeding or soreness.
Bleeding gums are also common during pregnancy because of hormonal changes taking place in the body. Pregnant women should continue to brush and floss, but be extra cautious around sensitive gum tissue to prevent bleeding. It is important to maintain routine visits to the dentist during pregnancy to monitor gum health.
Treatment for bleeding gums should always be coordinated by a dentist. You should not attempt to use over-the-counter medications without the approval of a dentist. Our dentist can diagnose and treat your bleeding gums. If your bleeding gums are a symptom of gingivitis, the dentist will perform an extensive cleaning. If you are suffering from gum disease, we may recommend a scaling and root planing procedure to remove plaque and tartar from the gum pockets. If your condition is advanced to periodontitis, we may refer you to a specialist for treatment. Remember, it is always better to prevent disease than to treat disease.
If you suffer from headaches every day, especially when you wake up in the morning, you could be suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMJ headaches are often overlooked or misdiagnosed by physicians. Rochester Hills, MI dentist Dr. Matthew Wolfe has special experience diagnosing and treating patients who suffer from TMJ headaches and migraines.
Headaches and Dentistry
One of the more common symptoms that patients with TMJ disorder share are frequent headaches. These TMJ headaches often occur in the morning as a result of clenching and grinding during sleep. Other signs that could indicate TMJ headaches are:
- Facial pain
- Pain in the neck and/or older shoulders
- Migraine, or migraine-like headaches
- Earache or feeling of fullness in the ears
If you suspect that your headaches are caused by TMJ, teeth grinding, or other dental problems, the first step is an evaluation with the dentist. Dr. Wolfe will review your dental and medical history and examine the fit of your bite and alignment of the TMJ. Depending on your condition, one or several treatments may be recommended. Treatment may include an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouth guard, and/or bite correction therapy, which would solve problems with the alignment of teeth and TMJ joints.
- TMJ Mouth Guard – A custom, removable appliance that is worn during sleep. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce or prevent teeth grinding and clenching, and therefore, reduce the occurrence of morning headaches.
- Bite Correction – Headaches often result from an unbalanced bite. Dr. Wolfe can solve this issue through a series of adjustments, bringing the teeth into proper alignment. This type of treatment may also include reshaping the teeth, orthodontics, and restorative dentistry (crowns, bridges, or dental implants), depending on your condition.
You may be missing teeth because of an injury or accident, gum disease, tooth decay, age, or other reasons. Dr. Matthew Wolfe in Rochester Hills, MI has extensive experience and training to replace lost teeth using a wide range of dental treatments, including dental bridges, dental implants, and dentures.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth should be treated as quickly as possible. Once a tooth is lost, the bone begins to deteriorate. It will continue to deteriorate if no treatment is sought, making replacement options more and more difficult and potentially affecting other teeth.
You have a variety of options available at Signature Dentistry of Rochester. Dr. Wolfe will perform a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose your specific condition and make recommendations for the best long-term results. Our goal is to restore your smile to its natural function with optimal health and aesthetics.
- Dental Implants – If you are missing teeth in Rochester Hills, MI, you should talk to our dentist about these lifelike teeth replacement options. Together with an oral surgeon, you and Dr. Wolfe will come up with a treatment plan that works best for your needs. They are a permanent solution for tooth loss with a success rate of more than 95%. Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Dental implant costs are a major concern for many patients. It should be noted, however, that dental implants offer the best long-term solution and need the least amount of dental work in the future. While no type of dental restoration is 100% guaranteed, patients with dental implants often experience no maintenance requirements or additional costs.
- Dental Bridges – Dental bridges can be used to replace one or more teeth. There are many types of dental bridges available, including implant-secured dental bridges, which are permanent and extremely long-lasting.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Dentistry is not just limited to the cleaning and care of teeth. Dr. Wolfe practices what is known as “complete dentistry,” considering the patient as a whole to treat underlying problems and conditions associated with the mouth, teeth, breathing, and TMJ. Dental sleep medicine is a concentration of Dr. Wolfe. Using his extensive knowledge and training paired with special screening tests and devices, our dentist is able to detect and help treat sleep-related breathing disorders, such as snoring and sleep apnea, to patients.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common of the sleep-related breathing disorder. Patients who suffer from OSA stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, caused by a blockage of the airway, usually caused when the soft tissue in the back of the mouth collapses. OSA is strongly linked to obesity, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, cognitive deficits, behavioral issues, and much more.
While snoring alone is not a major medical concern, it is a major indication of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring occurs when the soft tissue structures of the upper airway collapse and vibrate during sleep, producing the sound known as snoring. The prevalence of this disorder increases with age and weight, and it is estimated that as many as 50% of elderly men and women suffer from the disorder.
Treatment for OSA will vary based on the individual diagnosis. Certain lifestyle changes can help to alleviate the symptoms of OSA, including weight loss, smoking cessation, eliminating alcohol and sedative use, obtaining nasal breathing, and establishing a healthy airway. The CPAP is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea, but it often has a poor compliance level. Patients can find the CPAP to be uncomfortable, however there are other solutions. An oral appliance, also called a snore guard, has shown to be the preferred treatment among most patients. An oral appliance is small, discreet, and comfortable to wear. Dr. Wolfe has the information and references to help patients obtain a custom-made sleep apnea appliance to wear during sleep.
Tooth cavities are, unfortunately, a very common dental problem for both kids and adults. Your dentist can usually identify cavities before you experience symptoms so it is important to visit the dentist regularly for screenings and tooth cleanings.
- Tooth pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Holes in the teeth
- Dark spots or shadowing on the teeth
- Sore gums or bleeding gums
Diet and hygiene are two of the biggest factors contributing to tooth cavities. Plaque is constantly forming in the mouth. When it interacts with sugar or starch from the food and drink we consume, it cultivates bacteria, which then attack the tooth enamel. With time, the bacteria erodes tooth enamel, making the tooth vulnerable to cavity formation.
Brushing twice a day, flossing, and using fluoride are the best ways to prevent cavities. In addition, you should maintain a healthy diet that includes plenty of water, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Limit the number of sodas and candy in your diet to avoid cavities.
If you do have a cavity or if your teeth are showing signs of decay, your dentist may recommend a number of general dentistry treatments to restore the tooth to proper health and minimize the risk of further decay. A dental filling is usually the first line of treatment for a cavity. Dr. Wolfe uses composite resin that is carefully and skillfully placed and sculpted to establish natural-looking restorations. Composite resin is technique-sensitive, and Dr. Wolfe's background in advanced and cosmetic dentistry make him the preferred dentist for these restorations. His work is known to replicate the real anatomy of the tooth along with additional steps to ensure exceptional esthetics. Dental crowns are used on teeth that are more severely affected by tooth decay. Dr. Wolfe carefully chooses dental labs to fabricate crowns that are natural-looking and very esthetically pleasing. If the tooth decay is advanced and infecting the tooth pulp, a root canal may be needed to restore proper health and alleviate associated pain.
Because teeth grinding normally occurs during sleep, many people don’t realize they have a problem. Instead, they may notice headaches, sore jaw, or worn teeth and wonder the reason for this. Our dentist in Rochester Hills, MI has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of bruxism (teeth grinding).
Few clinicians are trained to properly identify, diagnose, and treat temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Dr. Wolfe has completed post-graduate training at The Dawson Academy in the diagnosis and treatment of TMD to bring patients in Rochester Hills, MI the highest level of care.
- Worn, flat, or chipped teeth
- Abraded tooth enamel
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles
- Facial Pain
- Cuts or sores on the inside cheek
- When left untreated, bruxism can cause significant damage to teeth and contribute to painful symptoms, like headaches and jaw pain. Stress is one of the primary causes of teeth grinding. Lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques may help to reduce or stop your teeth grinding. In many cases though, professional treatment is needed to correct the source of the problem and repair damage caused by teeth grinding.
- Bite Guard – Dr. Wolfe frequently uses a teeth grinding mouth guard, or bite guard, to stop teeth grinding. A bite guard is a customized, removable appliance similar to a sports mouth guard that is made to fit over your teeth and prevent teeth grinding. Most bite guards are worn at night, however, some patients find wearing their teeth grinding mouth guards during high-stress situations.
- Bite Alignment Therapy – Dr. Wolfe provides a comprehensive and broad range of services to correct the causes of teeth grinding. Malocclusion, or improper alignment of the teeth, is one cause for teeth grinding. Teeth can be corrected to proper alignment through the use of invisible braces, dental crowns, dental veneers, or dental implants.
- Cosmetic Dentistry to Repair Damage – Once the teeth grinding causes have been successfully treated, the dentist will focus on repairing damage caused by teeth grinding. Chronic teeth grinding can leave teeth worn, chipped, or broken. Dr. Wolfe may repair teeth using dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding.
- Screening and treatment of airway and sleep disorders. When the body cannot adequately oxygenate itself, it's first line of defense is to open the airway. This is achieved by moving the lower jaw forward. During sleep, and sometimes throughout the day, tooth grinding will occur as a defense mechanism for the body to obtain more oxygen. This is a subconscious habit that patients are usually not aware of, and even if they are, they are unaware that this is more than just "tooth-grinding" and affects systemic health.