For seniors, it is imperative that gum health is a top priority. As you age, your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases. Periodontal disease is both preventable, and in many cases, reversible. When left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications such as bloody or swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Even more alarming are the numerous studies connecting periodontal disease to other serious illnesses. Here’s what you need to know about gum health as you age. 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | Optimal Gum Health for Seniors

Periodontal Disease and Your Overall Health 

Periodontal disease has been linked to serious health issues. In fact, a recent study conducted by the University of Southampton and King’s College London uncovered a link between periodontal disease and an increase in the rate of cognitive decline in those who suffer from early Alzheimer’s disease. In patients with periodontal disease, the study found cognitive decline underwent a rapid change, occurring six times as fast on average. 

Periodontal disease has also been found to increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Risk factors for these serious issues increase with age, among other causes, and it is especially important to limit potential risk factors where possible. This can be as easy as improving your gum health with a visit to our office.  

The Numbers You Need to Know 

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, moderate or severe periodontal disease was found in over 14% of seniors aged 65 to 74. The number increases to more than 20% for those over 75 years of age. Men were found to be more likely than women to have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Smoking was also found to have a significant impact. The same study showed 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% for those who never smoked.| 

Steps You Can Take 

As you age, it is essential to keep up with your gum health. Doing so is an important link in lowering your risk factors for other serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. You can keep your gums healthy by brushing twice each day for a full two minutes. Be sure to regularly floss your teeth as well. Flossing is an effective way to clean the hard-to-reach cracks and gaps where plaque builds up. Schedule a visit with our team for a complete gum evaluation. We can work with you to devise a course of action to ensure healthy gums. 

Exercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth?  Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion.  Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including: 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | Subject:  Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth?

Decreased Saliva Flow:  Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out.  Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay.  To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout.  You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque. 

Jaw Clenching:  Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights.  This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth.  To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouthguard.  These can be purchased at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouthguard for you. 

Consuming Sports Drinks:  Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water.  The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage.  Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay.   Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects.  If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming. 

Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment. 

Although dental sealants are often associated with pediatric dentistry, they can be a beneficial option for adults as well. A dental sealant is a protective, plastic film that helps prevent tooth decay. 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | The Benefits of Adult Dental Sealants

Even with at home oral health care, there are areas of the mouth that can be difficult to reach, making it tough to properly clean. Our dentist can determine whether dental sealants are a viable option in helping give you extra protection from tooth decay. 

Our goal is to make every one of your dental visits as comfortable as possible. Applying dental sealants is a quick procedure, which offers substantial benefits. According to the American Dental Association, adult sealants are an effective solution to cavity prevention and in preventing the progression of an early non-cavitated tooth lesion. 

With proper at home care and regular professional cleanings, dental sealants can last up to 10 years while effectively preventing tooth decay. 

Contact our office for more information about dental sealants and to schedule a cleaning with our dentist. 

The American Dental Association recommends all patients to schedule routine six-month check-up exams. This is particularly important for growing children. 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | What to Expect at Your Child's Dental Appointment

At your visit, we will screen your child’s mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. Regular professional dental cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth. During your child’s dental cleaning, we will gently remove any buildup of plaque or tartar to help prevent tooth decay. 

During this visit, our team will spend time discussing proper brushing technique and oral hygiene with your child. Depending on your child’s age, we may also teach them about the correct use of floss and mouthwash. Our team members are friendly, patient, and great with kids, and will answer every question. 

We may recommend that fluoride be applied to the teeth as part of your child’s treatment. Topical fluoride is used to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to tooth decay. 

Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities on your molars and premolars. These areas are the most susceptible to cavities due to the anatomized grooves.  

Typically, children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. These sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants. 

The process of applying sealants is easy and fast. The application steps are as follows: 

  • Your child’s teeth are thoroughly cleaned 
  • The teeth are dried 
  • A liquid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth 
  • The solution is cured using a special curing light 

Sealants act as a barrier and protect the enamel from plaque and acids. They may last for several years before a reapplication is needed. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. 

Sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and keep up with professional dental cleanings. Also, sealants do not protect between the teeth, so it is essential to continue to floss daily. 

Without proper dental care, children are susceptible to oral decay. Healthy smiles should not stop at our dental office. Our experienced and caring team will educate you and your child on how to make good food choices and how to properly brush and floss at home. 

Our expert dentist and knowledgeable team have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout various stages of childhood. For more information or to request an appointment, contact our office today. 

​Spring Lake MI Dentist | Look 10 Years Younger

Spring Lake, MI Cosmetic Dentist

Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when you meet.  If you would like to improve your smile with a simple procedure, teeth whitening may be a great option for you, especially if you have stained, dull or discolored teeth. Our dental office is providing teeth whitening services to new and existing patients. 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | Look 10 Years Younger

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur.  The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As we age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile. 

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same.  A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to bleach stains and brighten your smile. Our expert dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you. 

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile.  With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are much better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. On average, patients find they appear up to ten years younger just by restoring the bright, white smile of their youth. 

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth.  They will apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue.  Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process.  For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once. 

If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. While you will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more, we can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately fit to your teeth for a more even whitening result. 

At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved at the dentist. While at-home teeth whitening is easy to use, it is not recommended if your teeth or gums are sensitive.   

If you are looking to brighten your smile and look ten years younger, contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation today. 

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow. 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | 4 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun: 

Pick out a special toothbrush. 

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush. 

Choose children’s toothpaste. 

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh mouth taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good. 

Use a timer. 

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally (if your child is old enough). By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing. 

Brush together. 

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing together emphasizes to your child that brushing is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit. 

For more tips on making dental hygiene fun for your child, contact our office. 

Spring Lake MI Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

Spring Lake, MI Cosmetic Dentist

By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health. 

We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YESCleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums. 

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis. 

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information. 

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis. 

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues. 

The next time you visit our office, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment, please contact us

Joe D. Arbutante DDS of Spring Lake Email: ArbutanteDental@Comcast.net Phone: (616) 842-0090 Url: http://arbutantedental.com/ 17357 Van Wagoner Rd., Suite 1 Spring Lake, MI 49456

For most people, visiting the dentist isn’t exactly their idea of fun. Some people have a fear of going to the dentist and this keeps them from getting regular professional cleanings and essential oral health care. We understand how important it is that you enjoy your time with us. To help make your visit something to look forward to, we’ve considered the following.

When you relax in the comfortable, cushioned chairs in our office, take a deep breath and take comfort in knowing that you’re in a judgement free zone. Our dental team is here to improve your health and brighten your smile, not lecture or judge your current oral health status. Whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years since your last visit, know that you’ll be treated with respect and kindness.

Our team is well trained to care for you and your family. Knowing that you’re in good hands will put you at ease and allow you to relax. We encourage you to bring your own music or audio book to enjoy while your hygienist gently removes build up and stains, revealing your clean and beautiful smile.

Our dental team is here to help you. We want to give you something to smile about. Enjoying your dental visit, makes you more likely to set and keep your appointments. Utilizing provided comfort measures at your next dental visit will help you feel more relaxed and less anxious. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you will be to take the steps needed to prevent and treat unwanted oral health problems.

We look forward to serving you with comfortable care. Contact us to schedule your next appointment.

Joe D. Arbutante DDS of Spring Lake Email: ArbutanteDental@Comcast.net Phone: (616) 842-0090 Url: http://arbutantedental.com/ 17357 Van Wagoner Rd., Suite 1 Spring Lake, MI 49456


Dentist in Spring Lake | Oral Health and Cancer

Spring Lake, MI Cosmetic Dentist

49456 Dentist

There are over 12 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year. There are a large variety of different kinds of cancer, some of which are more preventable than others. It might seem obvious that practicing good oral health and avoiding tobacco and other harmful substances can help protect you from the risk of oral cancer. However, there are other types of cancer that can be prevented through good oral care as well.

Dental Care and Oral Cancer

While it’s long been known that tobacco and heavy alcohol use are the main causes of oral, head, and neck cancer, poor oral health has recently been added to the list. A 2007 study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found that poor mouth health and missing teeth were strongly linked to the development of oral cancer. Likewise, patients with good oral health were found to be far less likely to develop oral cancer. If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, know that common oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay could be making the condition worse. Visiting our dental office regularly for professional cleanings, examinations, and oral cancer screenings to help catch signs of oral cancer early and make treatment easier and more effective.

Oral Health and Other Cancers

Poor oral health has been shown to be tied to other types of cancers outside of the mouth. For example, a recent study conducted by NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center found that certain types of bacteria found in patients with gum disease was tied to a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. While esophageal cancer only accounts for 1% of new cancer cases diagnosed annually, over 90% of patients will die of the disease. Untreated gum disease opens up the tissues around the teeth to bacterial infection, allowing these harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of the patient’s body. Maintaining optimal oral health can help protect you from this threat.

Your oral health effects much more than just your mouth. If you’re not taking care of your teeth, tongue, and gums, you could significantly increase your risk of developing cancer without even realizing it. If you’d like to learn more about the connection between oral health and cancer, contact our dental team to schedule an examination and cleaning today!

17357 Van Wagoner Rd., Suite 1, Spring Lake, MI 49456

49456 Dentist

Keeping up optimal oral health takes more than brushing and flossing. Maintaining oral hygiene demands a bit of work, but it is worth it in the long run. Here are four ways you can improve your dental health right now.

1)      Replace your toothbrush more often. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? A month ago? Six months? Most people don’t swap out a new brush often enough, which can lead to reduced brush effectiveness. Change your brush at least every three months. Be sure to switch after having an infection like the cold or flu to prevent reinfection.

2)      Lay off the fizzy drinks. The acids present in soda wear away enamel, weakening your teeth and leaving them vulnerable to decay. In fact, people who drink three or more glasses of soda per day experience about 62% more tooth decay than those who choose another beverage like water.

3)      Opt for chocolate. Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but did you know that certain candies are better for your teeth than others? The American Dental Association reports dark chocolate is the healthiest option, as it is soft and washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Hard, sticky, and sour goodies should be avoided, because they can stick to your teeth and even cause chips or cracks if you bite down too hard.

4)      Visit your dentist. Trips to our office should occur at least twice a year—not just when you have a toothache. We offer preventative care, vital education, and important cleanings, which are all part of maintaining excellent oral health.

We are pleased to offer a variety of solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment today.


17357 Van Wagoner Rd., Suite 1, Spring Lake, MI 49456