How Periodontal Disease Affects Your Health

Categories: Gum Disease

inflamed gums Comstock Park

Swollen and painful gums are symptoms of periodontal disease, an inflammatory gum disease. Swelling occurs from an auto-immune response of the body reacting to an infection. Infections are noticeable through pain, redness, and warmth. If the infection is left untreated, it can affect the bone near the teeth. The body’s immune system wants to rid the bone of the harmful material the bacteria is creating. Over time, bone loss will develop. It is important to seek gum disease treatment. The earlier gum disease is treated, the better.

Inflammation in the gums also is associated with atherosclerosis, the occurrence of fatty deposits inside of the body’s arteries. Inflammation coincides with an increase of the blood protein CRP (C-reactive protein), produced by the liver. The more inflammation there is, the more the liver produces CRP. The more CRP present, the more likely cardiovascular disease is present, along with related troubles. CRP production is also related to arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and intestinal issues.

Scientists are currently looking into the relationship between periodontal inflammation and CRP level and the effects outside of the oral cavity. Links have already been discovered between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

If inflammation is left untreated, gums can develop pockets that provide the perfect breeding ground for infection. The longer the infection persists, the more likely bone loss will occur, eventually causing tooth loss.

It is indispensable to practice preventive dental care daily at home and have regular visits to the dentist. Dental appointments should include an exam, cleaning, and full mouth x-rays, along with the essential knowledge and instruction on how to properly care for teeth and gums at home. It is also very important to see your dentist straightaway if a tooth suddenly becomes sensitive or you observe any other changes.

Thanks for visiting our blog. For more details about inflammation or periodontal disease, please call our office at 616-784-2377.

Filtered Comstock Park Water And Oral Health

Categories: Oral Health

Filtered Comstock Park Water And Oral Health

A simple way for Rockford, MI, residents to choose beverages that won’t harm their teeth is to keep it simple and make water their go-to drink. However, for safety, thrift, and convenience, many dental patients choose to drink bottled water or filter it themselves at home.

Filtered water can be detrimental to oral health if it doesn’t contain fluoride, which is a great tooth decay preventer.

If you choose bottled water and are wondering if any naturally occurring fluoride has been removed, you can check the label. If you prefer to filter your own tap water, look to see if the American Dental Association has given the filter its seal of approval.


Water filters that carry the ADA seal don’t remove fluoride, so you can be sure that the fluoride is still in your water and benefitting your teeth.

We are Drs. Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull, experienced Comstock Park dentists serving the Grand Rapids, Walker, and Sparta areas. We are passionate about helping our patients have healthy mouths and beautiful smiles. Contact us today at 616-784-2377 and we can answer any questions you have about dental health, cosmetic dentistry, or smile makeovers.

We have been serving the Comstock Park area since 1974, and we would love to make you another one of our satisfied patients. If you’re wondering about fluoride and tooth decay, or dental veneers and teeth whitening in Comstock Park, we’d be happy to schedule a consultation for you. Call now!

Drs. Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull
Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry
769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park Michigan


Overbites And Underbites In Comstock Park

Categories: Family Dentistry

Overbites And Underbites in Comstock Park

Have you heard of overbites and underbites? Bite problems can occur when the upper and lower parts of the jaw are different sizes. When the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, it is called an overbite. When the reverse is true, it is called an underbite.

Another related alignment disorder is called a crossbite. Crossbites occur when the lower teeth are in the wrong position. They may be incorrectly positioned sideways, forward, or backward.

Malocclusion (literally ‘bad bite’) is the term used for all types of bite problems, including overbites, underbites and crossbites. Jaw alignment disorders can cause a range of problems and often prohibit proper chewing and/or swallowing. Teeth can shift around in the mouth, causing even more discomfort or difficulty. Gum disease and tooth decay are also harder to prevent because proper oral hygiene can be difficult with a malocclusion. TMJ disorder can develop over time. Distorted facial shape and unattractive teeth are often the most noticeable and troubling issues for those affected.

Fortunately, there are a variety of effective treatments for bite problems. If you suspect your child has a bite misalignment, it is especially important to have them examined by Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull, your Grand Rapids dentist, as early as possible. By starting early, you can make sure they avoid years of pain and self-consciousness.

Call Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry at 616-827-7019. Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull are experienced in diagnosing bite disorders in patients of all ages. We can create a successful treatment plan for you. We also offer cosmetic dentistry and Invisalign for our Belmont, Grand Rapids, Comstock Park, Sparta, Walker and Rockford, MI area dental patients.

See you soon!

Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull
Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry
769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan 49321
(616) 365-5216




Beware Of An Acidic Diet

Categories: General Dentistry

Rockford MI tooth strengthening

Most Belmont, Comstock Park, Grand Rapids, Sparta, Walker and Rockford MI residents don’t often think of a tooth as a body part that fluctuates in strength. Our teeth seem to have a steady hardness and dependably grind food whenever we need them. However, teeth are dynamic organisms with chemical processes that occur continually.

The protective enamel that covers the softer interior is made of minerals. Enamel demineralizes (loses some of its density) when coming in contact with acids. Saliva can dilute and neutralize acid so the tooth can remineralize (re-harden). This process isn’t instantaneous, however. While the enamel is soft, the tooth is vulnerable to losing a microscopic outer layer of enamel. If the erosion continues, the much softer dentin is exposed.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry, we are noticing an increase in cases of serious acid erosion. It is apparent that the typical Rockford MI diet is becoming more acidic.

The list of acidic foods may surprise you. They include eggs, gravy, asparagus, chicken, cottage cheese, honey, fish, ham, butter, sour cream, aged cheese, and yogurt with active cultures. Generally, food with a high sugar or artificial sweetener content are highly acidic.

You probably already know that soda pop and wine are not good for your teeth. Rockford MI teens that sip soda all day can have acid erosion while their young teeth should be at their strongest. In addition to soda, energy drinks are very popular in Michigan and Rockford MI cosmetic dentists are noticing the effects on their dental patients’ tooth enamel.

If you drink soda or energy drinks often, you may want to drink water or chew sugarless gum afterwards. Stimulating saliva production can speed up the remineralization process.

If your teeth have become more sensitive in general, or in response to hot or cold foods or beverages, you may have acid erosion. To schedule an examination with Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull at Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry, call (720) 306-8057 today.

We are working to raise awareness of the oral health dangers of acid erosion. We hope you have benefited from this Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry blog article and look forward to your visit.


Comstock Park: 7 Surprising Causes Of Bad Breath

Categories: Oral Health

 Comstock Park: 7 Surprising Causes Of Bad Breath

Comstock Park men and women who have chronic bad breath understand the embarrassment and frustration associated with this condition. There are several possible causes, including:

  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Digestive problems
  3. Systemic infection
  4. Bacteria on dentures
  5. Gum disease
  6. Food particles on tonsils
  7. Dry mouth

At Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry, we can help you with this unpleasant problem. If your bad breath is the result of poor oral hygiene, you’re in luck – this is one of the easiest types to treat.

Schedule an examination and deep dental cleaning at Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park. During your examination, Dr. Stewart or Dr. Hull will determine whether you have a dental problem that is contributing to your breath.

Possible dental causes are: a cavity, a broken crown, or gum disease. If  Dr. Hull or Dr.  Stewart suspect that your bad breath is caused by a non-dental problem, such as a respiratory infection, you will be referred to an appropriate Comstock Park area medical professional.

Treating bad breath in Comstock Park starts with a visit to Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry. In addition to general dental care, we provide a complete menu of cosmetic dental services including implant dentistry, veneers, Invisalign, Six Month Smile, teeth whitening, and restorative dentistry. Call 616-827-7019 today!

Visit Your Dentist At Least Twice A Year And Save Money

Visit Your Grand Rapids Dentist At Least Twice A Year And Save MoneyVisiting your family dentist regularly is a great way to save money. You may initially think that avoiding your local dentist will save money in the fees that are charged for x-rays and cleanings, but in reality, these simple procedures will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This will save you money in the long run. Just think how much more expensive a root canal and crown can be.

Find A Dental Home: Dr. Stewart and Dr. Hull have a convenient location and hours to fit your schedule. Call for an appointment and to establish yourself and your family as one of our valued patients.

Get A Professional Cleaning At Least Twice A Year: This is a time for you to get a 360-degree examination of your teeth and gums.  In some cases the doctor may diagnose the need for a filling, but left untreated, a root canal and crown may be necessary.  A cleaning will help prevent gum disease, and it is a great time for you to review your oral hygiene habits.

Follow The Dental Professional’s Advice: When your dentist and hygienist examine and clean your mouth, they are able to see what you cannot, and offer insightful tips to help prevent cavities and gum disease.

Cavity Fighting Chewing Gum For Our Comstock Park Patients?

Categories: General Dentistry

Rockford MI Dental Health And Xylitol

Our Comstock Park and Rockford area patients often ask us if chewing xylitol gum is an effective substitute for tooth brushing and regular dental exams.

Before we answer that question, let us tell you about xylitol:

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that was first discovered in birch tree bark but is also found in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike most other sweeteners (natural or synthetic), xylitol is actually good for your teeth. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that xylitol prevents the growth of the bacteria that initiates decay. It also reduces plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.

Xylitol has other benefits, as well. Because it is low on the glycemic index, many of our Grand Rapids diabetic patients enjoy it as a healthy alternative to sugar. If our Rockford MI cosmetic dentistry patients complain about frequent dry mouth, we recommend Xylitol gum or mints to stimulate saliva production without promoting tooth decay.

Now, is xylitol gum just as effective as brushing your teeth and seeing your Rockford MI family dentist regularly? Absolutely not! If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, chewing xylitol gum for five or ten minutes is probably a good idea. However, you should still brush your teeth thoroughly (with a soft brush) after meals and get regular oral exams and deep cleanings at your Comstock Park dentistry office to take care of your dental health.

At Stewart & Hull, our goal is to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life by preventing dental problems before they start. If you postpone Comstock Park dental visits until you feel pain, you risk losing teeth and most certainly will require more extensive treatment than if the problem was caught earlier. Is it time for a dental exam? Call us at 616-827-7019 to book an appointment. Our very friendly and thorough staff is waiting to take care of all your general and cosmetic dental needs.

Beware Of Hidden Sugar

Categories: General Dentistry

Beware Of Hidden Sugar To Avoid General Dentistry

We advise our Comstock Park dental clients at Stewart & Hull to watch their sugar intake to prevent cavities and other health problems.

If you are trying to unsweeten your diet, you are probably skipping the usual suspects: candy, soda, and baked treats. But not all sugar is as obvious as the frosting on a piece of chocolate cake or the powdery stuff in pixie stix.

Here are some foods found in Comstock Park grocery stores and Grand Rapids school cafeterias with a surprisingly high sugar content:

  • Ketchup
  • Low Fat versions of snack foods (Manufacturers often replace fat with sugar.)
  • Salad Dressing
  • Breads, buns, rolls
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Protein Bars
  • Granola
  • Canned soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Yogurt
  • Fast food meals (Hamburgers, fries, sandwiches, and salads are often loaded with sugar, not to mention the dessert items.)
  • Antacids
  • Cough drops
  • Fruit smoothies (Even a small serving has a whopping amount of sugar.)

Reading the fine print on labels is a must. The following terms are all types of sugar:

raw sugar, cane sugar, glucose, lactose, galactose, fructose, dextrose, honey, sorghum, molasses, cane sugar, confectioner’s sugar, crystallized cane juice, invert sugar, maltodextrin (or dextrin), maple syrup, concentrated fruit juices, evaporated cane juice (what kind of cane do you think we are talking about?)

Do the math: when shopping at Comstock Park grocery or health food stores, carefully decipher food labels before you buy. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. Add up all the grams of every type of sugar listed and divide by four to truly understand how much sugar an item contains.

At Stewart & Hull, we advocate and practice preventative care for lifelong dental health. For more information on how your diet affects your dental health, please contact Dr. Bruce Stewart and Dr. Eric Hull at 616-827-7019. If you have a toddler or child who has not yet visited a family dentist, call us today for a pediatric oral examination and information on fluoride and sealants.

We are located at 769 York Creek Dr NW in Comstock Park.

Keep Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

Categories: Oral Health

Grand Rapids Family Dentistry For Pregnancy Oral Health

If you are pregnant, your dental health may be the last thing on your mind. However, many Rockford area women experience an increase in dental problems during pregnancy. This article contains important information for expectant Comstock Park and Grand Rapids area mothers and those planning to become pregnant.

Dr. Stewart & Dr. Hull recommend having a thorough dental cleaning early in your pregnancy. Lying in a dentist’s chair can be uncomfortable during the last trimester. A professional cleaning performed by one of the skilled dental hygienists at Stewart & Hull, along with diligent brushing and flossing, helps prevent gum disease that is often triggered by hormonal changes. The American Dental Association has found a positive correlation between periodontal disease and preterm deliveries and low birth weight.

If you are currently pregnant and have sore, swollen or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment today by calling 616-827-7019. Once the baby is here, it will probably be harder for you to make time for a dental visit.

If you receive dental treatment at Stewart & Hull during your pregnancy, be sure to inform Drs. Drs. Stewart & Hull that you are expecting. This will affect decisions about X-rays, pain relievers, antibiotics, and elective cosmetic dental procedures.

Hormonal changes cause an increase in plaque production which can lead to decay. If you are eating many small meals during the day, take care to brush after eating. If you avoid sweet snacks, your teeth will be less likely to develop cavities.

Remember, your oral care, nutrition and lifestyle affect your baby. It is essential that you eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods. A poor diet can harm your baby’s tooth and bone development. Be sure to get enough calcium, iron, vitamins A, D and C, protein, and phosphorus. Your Rockford MI Ob/Gyn can give you specific recommendations for your age, height, weight and medical conditions.


At Stewart & Hull, we take special care of our clients who are expecting.

Grand Rapids Dentist: Calming Root Canal Fears

Categories: Root Canals

Your Grand Rapids Dentist Calms Root Canal Fears In the Grand Rapids area, a dentist’s office is sometimes seen as a painful and scary place. Stewart & Hull, located at 769 York Creek Dr NW Comstock Park, Michigan 49321, tries to discourage that image with a very friendly and thorough staff and qualified dentists. However, endodontic therapy, a dental procedure commonly known as a root canal, still carries a strong association with pain that sometimes keeps people from regularly visiting the dentist and tending optimally to their dental health.

When a tooth becomes badly infected or decayed, a qualified family dentist in Grand Rapids or the surrounding areas, can clean the inside of the tooth by removing the bacteria, soft tissue (called pulp), decayed nerve tissue, and any debris that may be causing the tooth infection from the inside of the tooth. Your dentist will then seal the tooth to prevent further decay and finish by applying a dental crown or filling. This is the process and purpose of a root canal. The process can be completed, typically, in one or two visits to our cosmetic dental and general dental practice. In many cases, a root canal procedure is a better option than removing the infected tooth since it allows you to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth supports the surrounding teeth and bone density.

Teeth that are more prone to requiring a root canal procedure are cracked or chipped, have received repeated dental procedures, have been damaged by trauma to the face, or are suffering from deep tooth decay. Wearing a mouth guard can help prevent damage sustained to teeth and practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as daily flossing and brushing, coupled with regular dental visits, can reduce the possibility of needing a root canal.

Though a root canal can be intimidating or scary, educating yourself and talking to Dr. Bruce Stewart or Dr. Eric Hull can relieve much of your anxiety. Our patients rarely experience pain during a root canal procedure; their pain comes from the infection experienced before their treatment and is relieved once the treatment is complete.

If you are in the Grand Rapids area, you can give Stewart & Hull a call at 616-827-7019 to see what we can do for your oral health.

Lighting Up Rooms One Smile At A Time

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