Dentist in South Loop Chicago | Health Link: Oral Hygiene and Heart Disease
The human body is a network of interconnected systems and organs. Unfortunately, issues that impact one particular area of your body can also effect the health and function of other areas. Recently, studies have highlighted evidence for links between gum disease and heart disease.
While the exact nature of the connection is still being researched, heart disease is almost twice as likely to occur in people who have gum disease. Nearly half of all Americans have undiagnosed gum disease. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, making it pertinent that you maintain a healthy heart. The first key to doing so might lie in keeping your gums healthy.
While gum disease may be a contributing factor to heart disease, it is not the only cause. It is essential that you maintain regular visits to your primary care physician as well to measure your overall health. Other factors and lifestyle choices can impact your heart health.
Diet and exercise. Maintain an active lifestyle with activities you enjoy, such as taking walks, riding bikes, playing sports, or doing yoga. Avoid foods high in starches and sugars, including carbonated soft drinks, as they can also damage your teeth.
Don’t smoke. Whether you’re smoking or vaping, nicotine has a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular system and can damage teeth, gums, and lungs. Recent studies have connected vaping to a rapid loss in healthy cells that line the top layer of your mouth. These cells play an essential role in keeping your mouth healthy.
Brush your teeth. The most basic part of oral hygiene is also the most effective. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day.
By keeping a balanced, exercising regularly, and taking care of your teeth, you’re taking a holistic approach to your well-being and minimizing your risk of developing heart disease.
As with other diseases, preventing gum disease alone will not completely remove the risk of developing heart disease. However, you can take a proactive approach to keeping your body healthy, starting with your oral health.
To schedule a cleaning and examination, please contact our office.
1440 S. Wabash Ave., Ste 101, Chicago, IL 60605
Cosmetic Dentist South Loop | Risk Factors: Childhood Tooth Decay
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According to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, childhood tooth decay is the number one chronic illness impacting children in America. More than 40 percent of children have decay by the time they reach kindergarten. Tooth decay can have a lasting impact on the health of a child, especially if dental care is not provided to them at a young age. The following are some of the risk factors that can lead to tooth decay during childhood.
One of the leading causes for childhood tooth decay comes from long-term exposure to sugary liquids. Our team recommends that a child drinks unsweetened fruit juices or water. If a child does drink a sugary liquid, using a straw allows the beverage to pass by the teeth.
Drinking from spill-proof cups throughout the day can lead to decay. Spill-proof cups allow children to consistently expose their teeth to drinks containing sugars and acids. We suggest that a child only use spill-proof cups during times of increased salivary activity, such as mealtimes or when the child has a snack, so that the saliva can help clean their teeth.
Not Visiting Us Sooner
Another cause of early childhood tooth decay is not knowing when a child should first visit the dentist. The Academy of General Dentistry found that by kindergarten, 25 percent of children have never seen a dentist. Children should have their first dental exam following the eruption of their first tooth.
Lack of Dental Care
Regular dental examinations allow our team to monitor your child’s mouth for signs of decay. The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation says that 1 in 5 U.S. children go without dental care. Neglecting regular visits puts children at risk for decay that can spread and manifest into more severe oral health issues.
Leaving a child’s teeth untreated and without dental care can have a lasting impact on their long-term health. Our team can help make sure that your child’s smile is healthy. Together, we can work to minimize your child’s risk of developing significant oral health complications.
To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact us.
Dentist in South Loop | 7 Ways to Combat Bad Breath
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Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is commonly associated with certain foods. Garlic, onion, and cabbage can all cause a foul odor and taste for several hours after you’ve eaten them. This type of temporary halitosis is easily solved by avoiding the foods that cause it. However, in some cases bad breath is a chronic problem that simply changing your diet won’t solve.
Long-term bad breath is caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are most often found on the back of the tongue and thrive when your mouth is dry. There are a variety of ways you can help reduce or eliminate chronic bad breath. Some of these include:
Practice good oral hygiene.
Brush your teeth after you eat as often as possible and at least twice daily. Clean between your teeth using dental floss or another interdental (between teeth) cleaner at least once each day. Food particles between teeth will break down slowly and cause unpleasant odors and tastes.
Brush your tongue.
Even if you brush and floss your teeth as recommended, the bacteria causing your bad breath may remain on your tongue. Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush to gently scrape away any particles of food or bacteria every time you brush. For best results, place the scraper or brush as far back as you can manage without gagging. This will generally become easier over time.
Dry mouths allow bacteria to thrive. By drinking plenty of water, you can help prevent the bacteria growth and reduce or stop bad breath.
Avoid bad breath triggers.
Onions, garlic, cabbage, coffee, and tobacco products are all known to cause bad breath.
Chew sugarless gum.
By chewing sugarless gum, you increase saliva production and keep your mouth moist. This helps slow or prevent bacteria growth, minimizing chances of bad breath.
Improve your diet.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and foods rich in vitamins C and D all work to prevent the growth of bacteria, keep your mouth cleaner, and increase saliva flow.
See your dentist.
Follow your regular schedule of dental hygiene appointments and exams. If you have tried the tips above without improvement, make an appointment for an exam to see if there may be an underlying condition that requires treatment. Treat any oral illnesses, such as decayed teeth, periodontal (gum) disease, or infection.
For more information about the potential causes and treatments for halitosis, contact our office.
Cosmetic Dentist 60605 | 3 Reasons You Need to Visit the Dentist
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With a busy schedule, it may be a challenge to schedule your routine dental visit or you may just forget about it altogether. Remember that prevention is protection. For most patients, we recommend you visit us at least every six months. More frequent visits may be necessary if you are at a higher risk for oral health complications. Here is why regular professional cleanings and exams are important.
Keeping your teeth clean is a constant battle. Visiting our office regularly will provide your teeth a thorough cleaning and examination that you cannot get from brushing alone. While you may be keeping up with a proper oral hygiene routine, brushing and flossing alone do not provide the level of cleaning your teeth require. Regular visits to our team allow us to utilize the most effective instruments and latest technology to precisely clean your teeth, preventing potential oral health complications.
Ignoring oral health issues allows them time to spread and become more serious. For example, an untreated tooth infection can spread to other teeth. Not only will this create more pain for you, but this will require additional work, and additional money. Talk to our team and tell us if you have been experiencing any discomfort, pain, or bleeding in your mouth.
Diagnosis of Severe Diseases
Regular visits allow our team to look for signs of diseases such as oral cancer. Our team can examine your mouth, gums, and teeth more thoroughly than if examined at home. Many oral health issues are treatable, particularly if they are detected early. By taking additional measures to ensure your oral hygiene, you will be helping yourself out in the long run.
Don’t wait for your problems to become more time consuming and costly. Invest in regular visits to our office where our team is able to provide you with the highest standard of care. We’d love to see you. Contact our practice to schedule your visit.
South Loop Cosmetic Dentist | How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth
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Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% Iron
- 58% Magnesium
- 89% Copper
- 98% Manganese
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.
Chocolate and Your Teeth
Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long.
Chocolate and Your Health
Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.
Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate.
While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.
Cosmetic Dentist in South Loop Chicago | Digital X-Rays
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X-rays, or radiographs, have long been used in dentistry. Traditional film x-rays are a safe and effective part of your dental care, but they do require a small amount of radiation. In our office, we utilize digital x-ray technology that provides the benefits of film imaging but uses up to 80% less radiation. With our advanced digital radiographs, we can view your teeth and surrounding structures with remarkable accuracy.
Unlike traditional x-rays, digital x-rays require no wait time for film to develop. Instead, the images are available on the computer screen within seconds. These images can then be enhanced and enlarged for more accurate diagnosis. Digital x-rays can be stored, printed, or even transmitted electronically to a specialist or laboratory, if needed.
Intraoral x-rays create an image of the teeth, bone, and tissues inside the mouth. This image can be used for prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment planning, depending on the need. X-ray images can be used to identify or diagnose potential oral health issues that may not be fully visible to the naked eye. Some of these may include:
- Tooth decay
- Cracks or fractures
- Impacted teeth
- Tooth root infection
- Bone loss
- Cysts, tumors, or other abnormal growths
How often you need dental x-rays will change over your lifetime. Healthy adults may only need radiographs taken every 2-3 years. Children and teens often need more frequent imaging to monitor the growth and alignment of their teeth. However, there are several additional factors that can influence how often digital x-rays are recommended. Some of these include:
- Multiple dental restorations
- Periodontal disease
- Dry mouth
- Tobacco use
- Root canal therapy
Your safety is our primary concern. Before having a digital x-ray taken in our office, let us know if any of the following apply to you:
- You have had a dental x-ray in another office within the past year
- You are or may be pregnant
- You have any questions or concerns about x-rays
For more information on how our digital x-rays benefit you, contact our office.
1440 S Wabash Ave Suite 101
Chicago, IL 60605
South Loop Chicago Cosmetic Dental Services | Bad Breath Remedies
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According to the American Dental Association, 50 percent of adults experience bad breath at some point in their life. Although some causes are harmless, other causes may be signaling something more serious. Below are three common causes of bad breath, accompanied by the best remedy for each cause.
Cause of Bad Breath: Food
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Many foods and spices, such as onions, garlic, and coffee, leave a lingering odor on your breath.
Nothing rids your breath of odor like brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing also keeps your mouth free from bacteria, preventing any infections. Mouthwash is a great backup solution. Although the use of mouthwash is only a temporary fix for bad breath, it too works to remove potentially harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Cause of Bad Breath: Dry Mouth
Does it feel like you just can’t quench your thirst? Dry mouth is due to your mouth not producing enough saliva. It is often a symptom of medications, salivary gland problems, or breathing through your mouth.
Foods that require more chewing can increase saliva production. Healthy foods such as carrots and apples are great choices. Another alternative is to chew sugar-free gum.
Cause of Bad Breath: Medical Conditions
Bacteria and infections in the mouth can cause bad breath. Bad breath may also be a sign of conditions affecting the sinuses, liver, or kidneys, as well as a sign of acid reflux or diabetes.
By visiting our office regularly, our team is able to detect any problems or infections, and stop them before they become serious.
Schedule your visit to our office today. Contact our team.
1440 S Wabash Ave Suite 101
Chicago, IL 60605
Dentist in 60605 | What to Know About E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health
The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what you need to know.
The Vapor Ingredients
Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine, glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles that you inhale while smoking.
What This Means for Your Oral Health
A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in humans.
These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to oral diseases.
Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are. Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in contributing to gum disease.
Steps You Can Take
Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you open yourself up to oral disease.
Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense against combating oral disease.
For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact us.
60605 Dentist | New Year’s Resolution: A Healthier Smile
The new year is a time when many consider making positive changes in their lives. Common goals include wanting to lose weight, exercise more, or quit a bad habit. What about vowing to improve your oral health this year? Here’s a few easy changes you can make that will lead to a happier, healthier smile in 2019.
Timing is Everything
Are you a fast brusher? A couple of passes over your teeth is not going to cut it in terms of keeping your teeth strong and clean. Here’s our suggestion for a new year’s resolution: brush for two minutes, twice a day. Start off the new year by trying to brush for the full time. Don’t brush hard because vigorous, fast brushing can lead to lasting gum damage.
Drink Water, Lots of Water
Replace sugary drinks with water this year. Your teeth will benefit from water, as it helps to clean off some of the excess sugar and acids left from food and drinks. Water also assists in saliva production, which is essential for maintaining your teeth’s enamel. Drinking water can also fit into a resolution to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle. Make sure it’s part of your resolution too!
Come See Us
The new year is a good time to schedule your next visit to our office. Keeping up with regular visits helps us to give your teeth a thorough cleaning and examination. Never wait until you think something is wrong with your teeth. Make 2019 the year you keep up with your dental work.
According to a study by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans are flossing daily. Flossing should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. We recommend changing your ways in the new year if you are one of the 60% of Americans avoiding dental floss. Flossing is essential for helping limit your decay and for maintaining healthy gums.
With the start of the new year, make a vow to look after your teeth. A few simple changes in your old habits will do a world of good for your teeth in 2019. Allow your good habits to rub off on others this year.
For more advice on keeping your teeth health or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.
Cosmetic Dental Services in Chicago | Dry Mouth – Not Just a Nuisance
Normal flow of saliva provides lubrication for swallowing and begins the process of digestion while you chew. Saliva also protects your teeth by neutralizing and washing away acids, sugars, and other particles left behind after eating. From time to time, we all experience some amount of dry mouth. Hot weather, exercise, and dehydration can all cause a temporary decrease in saliva production. However, if you have chronic dry mouth, or xerostomia, you could be at risk of serious oral health complications.
Some of the oral health issues commonly associated with dry mouth include:
- Much higher rates of tooth decay
- Oral yeast infection
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Constant sore throat
- Soft tissue infections
- Difficulty swallowing
- Denture discomfort
The most common cause of chronic dry mouth is medication. More than 400 over-the-counter and prescription medications include dry mouth as a frequent side effect. Dry mouth is also associated with stress, autoimmune and other systemic diseases, hormonal changes, radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancers, and salivary gland disease.
You may find relief from dry mouth through a variety of methods. Some easy options to help alleviate your dry mouth include:
- Increased water intake
- Sugar-free candies or gum
- Artificial saliva, as recommended by doctor or dentist
- Alcohol-free mouthwash
- Limiting alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated soft drinks
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home
- Change in medication, only as directed by doctor
Brush and floss regularly to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other complications.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, make an appointment and be sure to tell our team. We will review your medications and perform a thorough dental exam to check for any potential underlying oral health issues.