Serenity Smile Designs

Periodontal Disease


What Is Periodontal Disease?

If your hands began to bleed when you washed them, would you be concerned? Most likely the answer to this question is yes, absolutely. Yet, many people think it is normal for their gums bleed during brushing or flossing. In a 1999 study, researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health discovered that half of Americans over the age of 30 gums bleed.

Bleeding and swollen gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If the signs are ignored, the infection can spread. The infection can deteriorate the tissue and structures that support your teeth in the jawbone. Eventually, your teeth can become so loose that they have to be extracted or can even fall out.

“Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to teeth. Periodontal diseases is an infections of the tissue and the surrounding structures of the teeth. These include the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection affects only the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the supporting tissues are involved.

For many years scientists have been trying to figure out what causes periodontal disease. It is now well accepted that bacteria in dental plaque are the major culprits. Researchers also are learning more about how an infection in your gums can affect your overall health.

In recent years, gum disease has been linked to other health problems. This is a new and exciting area of research. Many questions remain. Studies have produced varying answers about how much of a connection exists between gum disease and other medical problems. More research is needed.

Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:

  • Atherosclerosis and heart disease— Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. It also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
  • Stroke— Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries.
  • Premature births— A woman who has gum disease during pregnancy may be more likely to deliver her baby too early. The infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.
  • Diabetes— Diabetic patients with periodontal disease may have more trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetic patients with healthy gums.
  • Respiratory disease— Bacteria involved in gum disease may cause lung infections or worsen existing lung conditions. This is particularly important for elderly adults in institutions such as nursing homes. In this group, bacteria from the mouth may reach the lungs and may cause severe pneumonia.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed. In an effort to get rid of the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that inflame and damage the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This leads to swollen, bleeding gums, a sign of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease). Damage from periodontal disease also can cause teeth to become loose. This is a sign of severe periodontists (the advanced stage of disease).

You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly. Most people should see the dentist about once every six months. But if you already have gum disease you may need to visit more often.c cc

Daily brushing and flossing, when done correctly, can help to remove most of the plaque from your teeth. Professional cleanings by your dentist or dental hygienist will keep plaque under control in places that are harder for a toothbrush or floss to reach.

If oral hygiene slips or you skip dental visits, plaque builds up on the teeth. Eventually, it spreads below the gum line. The bacteria are protected there because your toothbrush can’t reach them. If plaque is not removed, the bacteria will continue to multiply. Your gum inflammation may get worse.

The buildup of plaque below the gum line causes the gums to become inflamed. As the gums swell, they detach from the tooth. This process forms a space, or “pocket,” between the tooth and gum. Bacteria can grow rapidly in the pockets. This encourages further plaque buildup.

If left untreated, periodontal disease may destroy the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone, the structures that support your teeth.

Bottom of Form

Another reason to remove plaque promptly is that over time it becomes hardened or calcified and turns into calculus. This is commonly called tartar. Even more plaque attaches to calculus because it’s a rougher surface than tooth enamel. It is also rougher than cementum, a layer that covers the tooth root. Calculus and plaque buildup in layers.

Using a tartar-control toothpaste may help slow the build-up of calculus around your teeth. It can’t affect the tartar that already has formed below the gum line, however.

Risks and Prevention

The bacteria in plaque are the main cause of periodontal disease. But several other factors also can contribute. They include other diseases, medicines and oral habits. These factors can increase your risk of gum disease or make it worse once the infection has set in.

  • Genes— Some people are more likely than others to get periodontal disease because of their genes. But your genes do not make gum disease inevitable. Even people who are highly prone to periodontal disease can prevent or control the disease with good oral care.
  • Smoking and tobacco use— Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease. The longer you smoke, and the more you smoke, the higher the risk. If you have periodontal disease, smoking makes it more severe. Smoking is a major reason that some cases of periodontal disease are resistant to treatment. Smokers tend to collect more tartar on their teeth. They often develop deeper periodontal pockets once they have gum disease. They also are likely to lose more bone as the disease gets worse. Unlike many other factors that affect the health of your gums, the decision to smoke or not is under your control. Quitting smoking can play a major role in bringing periodontal disease under control.
  • Misaligned or crowded teeth, braces or bridgework— Anything that makes it more difficult to brush or floss your teeth is likely to enhance plaque and tartar formation. The more plaque and tartar you have, the greater your chance of developing gum disease. Dentists and periodontists can show you the best ways to clean your teeth, even if they are hard to clean. For example, you can use special tools and ways of threading floss to clean around bridgework or slide under braces. If overcrowded or crooked teeth are a problem, your dentist might recommend orthodontics. This could straighten out your smile and give you a better chance of preventing disease.
  • Grinding, gritting or clenching of teeth— These habits won’t cause periodontal disease. However, they can lead to more severe disease if your gums are already inflamed. These habits exert excess force on the teeth. This pressure appears to speed up the breakdown of the periodontal ligament and bone. In many cases, people can learn to stop this habit simply by recognizing when it is happening and then relaxing. If these efforts don’t work, your dentist or periodontist can create a custom guard appliance to help reduce the pressure of clenching or grinding on the teeth. This device is sometimes called an occlusal guard, night guard, mouth guard or bite guard.
  • Stress— Stress can make periodontal disease worse and harder to treat. Stress weakens your body’s immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off infection, including periodontal disease.
  • Fluctuating hormones — Whenever hormone levels go up and down in the body, changes can occur in the mouth. Puberty and pregnancy can temporarily increase the risk and severity of gum disease. So can menopause.
  • Medicines — Several types of medicines can cause dry mouth, or xerostomia. Examples include certain drugs for depression and high blood pressure. If you don’t have enough saliva, plaque is more likely to form. This may lead to tooth decay (cavities). Other medicines may cause the gums to enlarge. This makes them more likely to trap plaque. These medicines include:
    • Phenytoin (Dilantin and other brand names), used to control seizures
    • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), used to suppress the immune system in people who have had organ transplants
    • Nifedipine (Adalat, Cardizem and others) and other calcium channel blockers, used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina) or heart arrhythmias.
  • Diseases— People with certain diseases have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. For example, people with diabetes are more likely to get periodontitis than people without diabetes. Their gum disease is also likely to be more severe. Other diseases that increase periodontal disease risk include inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV infection. Having one of these diseases can make the control of your periodontal disease more difficult. But a good periodontist or dentist who is aware of these problems can give you guidance on how to maintain your periodontal health.
  • Poor nutrition— Nutrition is important for overall good health, including a working immune system and healthy gums and mouth. Severe vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) can cause bleeding gums.

Obstructive Sleep Disorder

Obstructive Sleep Disorder



What is Obstructive  Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops involuntarily for brief periods of time during sleep. Normally, air flows smoothly from the mouth and nose into the lungs at all times. Periods when breathing stops are called apnea or apneic episodes. When this occurs the normal flow of air is repeatedly stopped throughout the night. The flow of air stops because airway space in the area of the throat is too narrow. Snoring is characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is caused by airflow squeezing through the narrowed airway space. Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems such as:

  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • stroke
  • diabetes


Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to preventing complications.


Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes episodes of decreased oxygen supply to the brain and other parts of the body. Sleep quality is poor, which causes daytime drowsiness and lack of clarity in the morning. People with sleep apnea may also experience the following symptoms:

  • headaches
  • moody
  • drowsy
  • forgetful
  • hyperactivity in children
  • depression
  • poor job performance
  • low libido

Daytime drowsiness puts people with sleep apnea at risk for motor vehicle crashes and industrial accidents. Treatment can help to completely relieve daytime drowsiness caused by sleep apnea.


Who is at Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?


Risk for OSA increases if you have conditions or features that narrow the upper airway. Risk factors of OSA include:

  • children with large tonsils and adenoids
  • men with a collar size of 17 inches or more
  • women with a collar size of 16 inches or more
  • large tongue, which can block the airway
  • retrognathia, which is when your lower jaw is shorter than your upper jaw
  • a narrow palate or airway that collapses more easily

Heart disease is more common in obese people, and obesity is a risk factor of heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of sleep apnea begins with a complete history and physical examination. A history of daytime drowsiness and snoring are important clues. Your doctor will examine your head and neck to identify any physical factors that are associated with sleep apnea. Your doctor may ask you to fill out a questionnaire about daytime drowsiness, sleep habits, and quality of sleep.

You should always talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing daytime drowsiness or consistently having problems sleeping. OSA has many different treatment options that can make symptoms manageable.

Screen Yourself:








Request An Appointment

Please contact Serenity Smile Designs in Egg Harbor Township, NJ by completing the appointment request form below. (Or, contact our office by phone (609) 646-1989) Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment. If you are an existing patient, this contact form should not be utilized for communicating private health information.
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There’s something so powerful about a beautiful smile, isn’t there?


Over the years, consumers have realized the importance of possessing a shiny white smile to benefit both how they look and how they feel. And today, cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever, and people are seeking new ways to improve or restore the appearance of their smiles. Want to learn how to gain a beautiful, white smile? Read on to learn five cosmetic dentistry procedures that are all the rage.


1. Teeth Whitening

One of the most important aspects of possessing a good smile is having white teeth! After all, it’s the ultimate sign of positive oral health. That’s why the option of white teeth is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures on the market. The ease of access and the low cost compared to other dentistry procedures make it an attractive option for those striving to improve their smile. whitening treatment. Serenity Smile Designs offers custom professional grade home whitening treatments. Patients can lighten teeth by two to nine shades with professional whitening.


2. Porcelain Veneers

Despite the popularity of teeth whitening pastes, products, and treatments, not everyone will achieve the results they desire. Some individuals have teeth that are stained and cannot be whitened with the use of whitening treatments.

This is where some people turn to porcelain veneers to obtain that perfect smile.
The porcelain shell is fabricated to shape over a prepared tooth to disguise discoloration and camouflage worn enamel, uneven alignment, and chips and cracks. Porcelain veneers work to mimic each tooth an individual has, resulting in a fantastic new smile. Even if your teeth are completely crooked or damaged, veneers will help cover these issues.

It’s important to understand that unlike teeth whitening treatments, the application of porcelain veneers is an minimally invasive procedure but requires some alteration of your teeth. During your consultation with Dr. Erik Mendelsohn or Dr. Alexa Previti they will inform of your options. Please click here to visit our online smile gallery.


3. Dental Implants

After tooth loss, dental implants are used for replacement. They are the best-quality option for restorative dentistry, offering the highest level of strength, durability and longevity.
Implants consist of artificial tooth roots, typically made of titanium. This root is surgically implanted into the jaw where it meets the bone in a process known as osseointegration. A crown is then attached on top of the implant to work as the tooth replacement. As a result, the implants are pretty much indistinguishable from the rest of the surrounding natural teeth. Once the bone and tissue fuse with the implant, the new tooth is permanently secured into the mouth.


4. Botox

Botox is used in dentistry for treatment conditions, such as parafunctional clenching, extracapsular myogenic temporomandibular disorder, trismus, and the associated headaches, is a new option for symptom relief in patients in whom conventional treatments don’t work. Please contact Serenity Smile Designs to find out more.


5. Invisalign

With today’s advanced technology within dentistry, it’s now possible to opt for braces that are invisible to the eye. This is also known as Invisalign. No longer are braces only for adolescents. With the option of obtaining invisible braces, more and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked and uneven teeth to obtain both oral health and a straighter smile. With the option of choosing invisible braces, adults can improve their smile without having a mouth full of wire on display. There are plenty of options for invisible braces or clear aligners. We find Invisalign the best for our patients because it is nearly invisible, comfortable and socially acceptable in public. 95% of our patients choose Invisalign, very rarely is the more traditional approach the only option. Invisalign braces are suitable for teenagers too, and over time work very effectively in gradually straightening the teeth for a more attractive smile.


After learning about the 5 Cosmetic and Hot Dentistry Procedures Everybody Is Talking About, perhaps you’ve decided which procedure works for you. If you’re seeking dental treatment in the South Jersey area, we’re here to help. Dr. Erik Mendelsohn, Dr. Alexa Previti , and our professionally trained team provide high-quality dental cosmetic and restoration procedures to leave you with a beautiful white smile we all strive for.


Request an Appointment TODAY!

Serenity Smile Designs
4095 English Creek Ave
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
(609) 646-1989



Implant Supported Dentures

Traditional dentures often cause people discomfort due to movement and slippage along the gums. In addition, traditional dentures typically require the inconvenience of messy pastes or adhesives. Implant supported dentures allow our patients at Serenity Smile Designs to replace their traditional dentures with a stronger and more reliable missing teeth replacement option. The implant denture technique used by Dr. Erik Mendelsohn to restore the appearance and function of your teeth with natural-looking results.

What Are Implant Supported Dentures?        

Implant supported dentures can replace multiple sets of missing teeth on the upper and/or lower arches. Instead of utilizing putties and adhesives to keep the dentures in place, an implant supported denture uses a dental implant to secure the denture and significantly reduce the potential for movement or slippage along the gums. This technique anchors your denture to the jawbone, providing it with greater stability.

Dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots. The implants will be strategically placed in the area of missing teeth, where they should fuse to the jawbone over time, ultimately becoming a permanent part of your mouth. Each set of dentures is firmly affixed to the implants for reduced movement along the gums and a more natural fit, without the need for dental adhesives.

What Can Implant Supported Dentures Do For My Smile?

The dental implants used to anchor the denture offer superior stability compared to traditional dentures. This added stability also allows you to enjoy foods that are often prohibited or problematic with traditional dentures. Since only four dental implants are required to replace an entire set of teeth, implant supported dentures can be a more cost-effective form of tooth replacement. Implant supported dentures are also ideal for patients interested in dental implants but lack the bone volume necessary for a full set. As an added benefit, implant supported denture procedures can typically be performed in a single day, giving you a natural-looking, beautiful smile almost instantly.

Melanoma detected at Egg Harbor Township Cosmetic Dentist Office- Serenity Smile Designs.

Although the lesion appeared tiny. It was in fact stage 4 melanoma.

Serenity Smile Designs our Egg Harbor Township Dental Office is a complete health dental office and we are concerned with far more that just your teeth. During our routine head and neck exam Dr. Erik noticed that Lenny had a small lesion on his head that according to him had been there forever. Dr. Erik was concerned and asked him to go home and look at some of his older photos to see if that was the case. Although skeptical he did in fact look and find that the lesion was not always there. As it turns out, he had stage 4 melanoma which required immediate surgery. 






The lesion was so small it looked as if it had always been there.

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of a mole. Most melanomas have a black or black-blue area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. It may be black, abnormal, or “ugly looking.” Early detection is crucial with this type of cancer.