My Blog

Posts for: January, 2020

By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
January 27, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth loss  
WhyweNeedtoCareforaYoungerPatientsBoneafteraToothLoss

In an instant, an accident could leave you or a loved one with a missing tooth. Thankfully, we can restore it with a dental implant that looks and functions like a real tooth—and the sooner the better.

But if the patient is a teenager or younger, sooner may have to be later. Because their jaws are still developing, an implant placed now could eventually look as if it's sinking into the gums as the jaw continues to grow and the implant doesn't move. It's best to wait until full jaw maturity around early adulthood and in the meantime use a temporary replacement.

But that wait could pose a problem with bone health. As living tissue, bone cells have a life cycle where they form, function and then dissolve (resorption) with new cells taking their place. This cycle continues at a healthy rate thanks to stimulation from forces generated by the teeth during chewing that travel through the roots to the bone.

When a tooth goes missing, however, so does this stimulation. Without it the bone's growth cycle can slow to an unhealthy rate, ultimately reducing bone volume.  Because implants require a certain amount of bone for proper placement and support, this could make it difficult if not impossible to install one.

We can help prevent this by placing a bone graft immediately after the removal of a tooth within the tooth's "socket." The graft serves as a scaffold for new bone cells to form and grow upon. The graft will eventually resorb leaving the newly formed bone in its place.

We can also fine-tune and slow the graft's resorption rate. This may be preferable for a younger patient with years to go before their permanent restoration. In the meantime, you can still proceed with other dental treatments including orthodontics.

By carefully monitoring a young patient's bone health and other aspects of their dental care, we can keep on course for an eventual permanent restoration. With the advances in implantology, the final smile result will be worth the wait.

If you would like more information on dental care for trauma injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers: Factors Influencing Treatment Planning in Adolescents.”


By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
January 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Teeth Cleanings  

Regular brushing and flossing is important for your oral health and everyone is clear on that but not everyone understands the importance of teeth cleanings. Dr. Mark Gleckner of Florham Park, NJ, offers his patients bi-annual checkups and dental cleanings as a first line of defense against diseases like tooth decay.

The Importance of Teeth Cleanings

So, why get your teeth professionally cleaned if you brush and floss everyday? Simple. A professional teeth cleaning isn't like your everyday oral regimen. While brushing and flossing eliminate food debris and bacteria, professional cleaning is more thorough. It eliminates bacteria under gums, bacteria from small spaces between teeth and sticky film, plaque, on the surface of teeth. A professional cleaning not only prevents oral diseases from manifesting but also stops them in their tracks, or before they progress. This preventative measure protects teeth against cavities, dental holes produced by acid-producing bacteria, that may result in severe problems like infections and ultimately require more invasive treatments like root canals, or dental implants if there's tooth loss.

More About Dental Cleaning Procedure

  1. The first step is to receive an oral examination. A dental hygienist first examines your mouth using a small mirror. This facilitates in discovering any inflammation around teeth and gum tissue because of plaque and tartar buildup. If they discover anything, your Florham Park dentist will first need to address the issue before proceeding with a professional dental cleaning. 
  2. The next step is removing plaque and tartar using a tool called a scaler. The scaler removes plaque and tartar buildup on teeth surfaces, between teeth and near the gum line and between your teeth. To avoid any sort of discomfort, you can take an Ibuprofen before the procedure. 
  3. During the procedure, a gentle stream of water is run over teeth to eliminate the debris removed. The procedure is simple and is done within an hour or less.

If you would like more information about a professional teeth cleaning, then you should contact Dr. Mark Gleckner of Florham Park, NJ, at (973) 377-1174 to learn more!


By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
January 23, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Botox  

Botox is most commonly known for treating fine lines and wrinkles on the face, but many people are surprised to learn that it also has a number of medical and dental applications as well. A dentist may not be the first person to come to mind when thinking about Botox injections, but they're actually uniquely qualified due to their extensive medical training and experience and specialization in the muscles of the face and jaw. Our dentist Dr. Mark Gleckner offers cosmetic Botox and family dentistry services in Florham Park, NJ.

Dental Botox Treatments in Florham Park, NJ

Along with the cosmetic applications and anti-aging effects, Botox has a number of medical and dental uses as well. One of the ways Dr. Gleckner uses Botox is to help patients suffering from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.

Botox injections can help relax the muscles in the jaw, potentially relieving some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder which can make it painful to chew, speak, and sometimes cause the jaw to lock in place.

Other dental uses for Botox include treating a "gummy smile." Whether you have ongoing pain and stiffness in your jaw from clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep, suffer from TMJ disorders, or need cosmetic improvements to your smile or your face, Dr. Gleckner can help.

Find a Dentist in Florham Park, NJ

For more information about the dental applications for Botox and how it can help you, contact our office today by calling (973) 377-1174 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gleckner.


By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
January 17, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth grinding  
TeethGrindingCouldEndangerYourDentalHealth

While your teeth and gums can take a lot, they still face dangers like dental disease. Your teeth are also affected by aging-related wear and tear.

And, something else could put your teeth at risk: teeth grinding. This is an involuntary habit afflicting one in ten adults in which they grind or clench their teeth, often while they’re asleep. This generates higher than normal biting forces that can cause sore jaw joints, accelerated teeth wear and damage to the ligaments that hold teeth in place. In the worst case, you could eventually lose teeth.

So how do you know you’re grinding your teeth, especially if you’re asleep? You might notice your jaw being unusually sore after you wake up or your jaw muscles feel tired. Your dentist may also notice higher than normal tooth wear during a regular checkup. One of the best indicators, though, might be your sleeping partner or family: Teeth gnashing together can be loud enough to disturb others’ sleep.

In treating adult teeth grinding, it’s best to first determine the underlying cause. One of the most prominent reasons is chronic stress: If you’re under high pressure from situations at work or at home, pent-up stress can vent through physical outlets like teeth grinding. You can manage high stress through relaxation techniques, biofeedback or group therapy, which could in turn reduce teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding could also be related to a sleep disorder, such as problems with shifting between nightly sleep cycles. Certain psychoactive drugs are often associated with teeth grinding too. And, because of alterations in brain chemistry, tobacco users are twice as likely to grind their teeth as non-users. So, receiving treatment for a medical condition or making certain lifestyle changes could help lessen a grinding habit.

Many of these approaches take time to alleviate teeth grinding. For immediate relief, your dentist can create a custom mouthguard you wear while you sleep to reduce the effects of teeth grinding. The guard prevents the upper and lower teeth from making contact while biting down, which reduces the forces against them.

The damage from teeth grinding is often cumulative. If diagnosed early, though, we may be able to stop or minimize the damage before it goes too far.

If you would like more information on teeth grinding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Grinding.”


FindOutHowTheseFamousCelebritiesProtectTheirSmilesFromTeethGrinding

The fast-paced world of sports and entertainment isn’t all glitz and glamour. These high-profile industries create a unique kind of emotional and mental stress on celebrities. For many of them, a way to “let off steam” is an oral habit known as teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding is an involuntary habit in which a person bites and grinds their teeth outside of normal activities like eating or speaking. It’s common among young children, who usually grow out of it, but it can also affect adults, especially those who deal with chronic stress. If not addressed, teeth grinding can eventually wear down teeth, damage gum attachments or fracture weaker teeth. It can even contribute to tooth loss.

A number of well-known personalities in the spotlight struggle with teeth grinding, including actress Vivica Fox, model and TV host Chrissy Teigen, and star athletes Tara Lipinski and Milos Raonic of ice skating and tennis fame, respectively. The habit represents not only a threat to their dental health, but also to one of their most important career assets: an attractive and inviting smile. Fortunately, though, they each use a similar device to manage their teeth grinding.

Besides seeking ways to better manage life stress, individuals with a teeth-grinding habit can protect their teeth with a custom mouthguard from their dentist. Made of slick plastic, this device is worn over the teeth, usually while sleeping, to minimize dental damage. During a grinding episode, the teeth can’t make contact with each other due to the guard’s glossy surface—they simply slide away from each other. This reduces the biting forces and eliminates the potential for wear, the main sources of dental damage.

Chrissy Teigen, co-host with LL Cool J on the game show Lip Sync Battle, wears her custom-made guard regularly at night. She even showed off her guard to her fans once during a selfie-video posted on Snapchat and Twitter. Vivica Fox, best known for her role in Independence Day, also wears her guard at night, and for an additional reason: The guard helps protect her porcelain veneers, which could be damaged if they encounter too much biting force.

Mouthguards are a prominent part of sports, usually to protect the teeth and gums from injury. Some athletes, though, wear them because of their teeth grinding habit. Tara Lipinski, world renowned figure skater and media personality, keeps hers on hand to wear at night even when she travels. And Milos Raonic, one of the world’s top professional tennis players, wears his during matches—the heat of competition tends to trigger his own teeth-grinding habit.

These kinds of mouthguards aren’t exclusive to celebrities. If you or a family member contends with this bothersome habit, we may be able to create a custom mouthguard for you. It won’t stop teeth grinding, but it could help protect your teeth—and your smile.

If you would like more information about protecting your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”