Des Plaines IL Dentist | Should I Be Using a Tongue Scraper? 

In addition to brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing at least once, it is also important to take good care of your tongue. Bacteria can build up on your tongue throughout the day. For some patients, using a tongue scraper can be the best solution for a cleaner, healthier tongue. 

Des Plaines IL Dentist | Should I Be Using a Tongue Scraper? 

Should You Be Using One? 

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) found scraping your tongue results in a noticeable decrease in the sulfur compounds which can lead to bad breath. According to a study in the Journal of Periodontology, tongue scrapers reduced these compounds by 75%, while using a standard toothbrush only reduced 45% of sulfur compounds. Choose a method that works best for your mouth, but make sure you are taking care of your tongue. 

 

What Do They Do? 

While they may help alleviate bad breath, scraper’s main function is to clean off debris and bacteria from your tongue. Your toothbrush is designed to effectively clean teeth, but the surface of your tongue is very different from that of your teeth. tongue scraper may provide a more thorough cleaning for your tongue. 

 

How Do I Use One? 

Start by washing out your mouth. When you are ready clean your tongue, place the scraper in the back of your mouth, and gently pull it forward. Make sure you are scraping all areas of your tongue, but do not push so far back that you gag. You will want to rinse your mouth after you are done. Be sure to clean the scraper when you are finished. 

 

While you might not be used to cleaning your tongue, it can be an effective solution for bad breath and bacteria caused by food. At your next appointment, ask about other ways of keeping your tongue clean and your mouth healthy. Keeping up with your daily oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing is crucial to maintaining your oral health and preventing unhealthy bacteria. 

 

For more tips on a healthy mouth or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us. We look forward to seeing you. 

 

Des Plaines IL Dentist | Root Canals – Debunking the Myths 

The internet is fraught with myths about everything. In this “information age you might think it would be easy to find the truth, but that’s not always the caseDentistry is no different. It’s no surprise that dental myths are abundant, especially in regard to some of the more intimidating procedures. However, advancements in dental technology have made it possible to receive the advanced care you need with little to no discomfort. Here are some common myths you might hear about root canals debunked. Contact our dental office to learn more. 

Des Plaines IL Dentist | Root Canals – Debunking the Myths  

Myth 1: Root canals are painful. 

Long ago, this might have been the case. However, modern advancements in the techniques and technology available to dentists have made this procedure quick and relatively painless. In fact, the damaged tissue often causes more day-to-day pain and discomfort than the procedure itself will! 

 

Myth 2: Root canals can cause illness. 

In the 20th century there was a popular misconception that a root canal could put you at risk of developing illness or an infection. Not only has this been definitively disproven, but root canals have actually been shown to help prevent illness. According to a study published in a journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery), root canals can lower your risk of certain cancers by up to 45%. 

 

Myth 3: Extraction is a better option. 

When possible, it’s always preferable to keep your natural teeth. In addition to the inconvenience of dealing with a missing tooth, removing teeth can cause the surrounding ones to loosen and shift over time, possibly necessitating more procedures in the future. The success rate of a root canal treatment is extremely high and the tooth itself, with proper care, can last for a lifetime. 

 

Don’t let misinformation about dental care stop you from receiving the treatments you need. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and set the record straight on root canals. 

60016 Dentist | What is Orthognathic Surgery?

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Do you feel self-conscious about your appearance because of your jaw? If you have an underbite, where the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw, or an open bite, where the top and bottom teeth do not properly meet, orthognathic surgery may be a solution. Orthognathic surgery can improve your appearance and your quality of life. Here is what you need to know about the procedure.

What to Expect

Orthognathic surgery, sometimes referred to as corrective jaw surgery, is usually performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. In many cases, orthodontic treatment is often necessary before and after surgery. Your orthodontist and dentist will work closely with our team to ensure your treatments are appropriately timed in preparation for your surgery.

Who Will Benefit?

If your jaw causes difficulty eating, chewing, or swallowing, you may be an ideal candidate for orthognathic surgery. Additionally, those suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may also benefit from corrective jaw surgery. This may bring relief to those who suffer from chronic headaches related to jaw irregularities. Corrective jaw surgery can also help those who have suffered a facial injury or were born with a birth defect impacting the jaw. Depending on your exact needs, our team will help you decide if orthognathic surgery is right for you.

Recovery Process

In most cases, you will need to follow an all-liquid diet after the surgery is completed. Our team will advise you when you can begin to add soft foods back to your diet. Swelling may occur in the first few weeks following surgery. Pain-relievers may be taken after surgery, particularly during the first week of recovery. We will set up a series of follow-up visits to ensure the recovery process is on track and advise you on the next steps.

Orthognathic surgery can vastly improve the quality of your life if you have difficulty eating, speaking, or breathing. The procedure can also improve your appearance by correcting visible jaw irregularities.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

Dentist in Des Plaines | The Periodontal Disease – Diabetes Connection

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Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Almost 65 million Americans have periodontal disease. Recent studies have suggested that there is a two-way connection between diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease. Patients with gum disease have increased risk of other diabetic complications and patients with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease.

Gum disease causes inflammation in the body, which can make controlling blood sugar more difficult for diabetic patients. Severe periodontal disease has even been shown to increase blood sugar, making it more difficult to maintain or regain good blood sugar control. In addition, when blood sugar is elevated, patients experience increased risks of additional diabetic complications.

Patients with diabetes are more prone to infections in general. This is especially true for patients whose diabetes is not well controlled. Diabetic patients with poor blood sugar control are more likely to develop gum disease than patients whose diabetes is well controlled. Less controlled diabetic patients will generally have a more severe case of gum disease and are likely to lose more teeth from gum disease, as well.

Besides blood sugar control, diabetes includes a number of other health complications. Diabetic patients are more prone to other oral health issues, such as dry mouth or thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth). Reduced saliva production or infection in the mouth can increase risks of developing periodontal disease as well.

Smoking can escalate these risks even further. Studies have shown that smokers are 5 times more likely than non-smokers to develop gum disease, overall. Diabetic smokers age 45 or older have been found to be 20 times more likely to develop severe gum disease.

Fortunately, when diabetes and blood sugar are well-controlled, the risks of periodontal disease and other oral health complications are no different than for patients without diabetes. If you are diabetic, it is important to work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar under control as much as possible to avoid these added health complications.

Be sure to let us know if you have diabetes and how well-controlled it is. We may need to discuss your medication schedule when planning treatments or to postpone a treatment if your blood sugar is not controlled. Keep in mind that healing from treatment can take longer for diabetic patients, even when blood sugar is well-controlled.

If you have questions or concerns about your risk of periodontal disease with diabetes, contact our office for more information.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

Dentist in Des Plaines | Help! 5 Tips to Know When You Can’t Brush

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Occasionally you might find yourself in a situation where you won’t be able to brush your teeth, perhaps through a lack of time or your location. Though it is vital to brush twice each day, here are a few steps you can take if you find yourself in a bind.

Drink Water

When you are in a spot where you won’t be able to brush your teeth for a while, water can be your friend. Drink water to help wash away sugars and acids that are in your mouth and on your teeth. Much of the public water supply is also fluorinated, meaning it contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to build strong teeth. Water also helps your mouth produce more saliva, which works to keep enamel strong. Our doctor suggests drinking water regularly, not just when you can’t brush your teeth.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Try chewing some gum to help keep your teeth clean. The American Dental Association (ADA) approves certain chewing gum brands with their seal on the package. ADA approved gums are sugar-free and do not contain other decay causing sweeteners. Like drinking water, chewing gum is good for saliva production, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.

Floss Your Teeth

We suggest always carrying dental floss; it’s usually small enough to fit almost anywhere. Flossing is not a replacement for brushing, just as brushing does not replace the need for flossing, however in a pinch it is essential that you remove any plaque and build up that you can. The ADA suggests flossing once a day. Flossing will help improve your gum health too.

Use a Disposable Toothbrush

If you know you might be out of the house for a while, perhaps because of a long day at work or an overnight stay, we recommend you consider a disposable toothbrush. Disposable brushes usually come with toothpaste already applied and are easy to store and carry. They are an excellent alternative that allow you to still thoroughly clean your teeth.

Avoid Sugary Foods

A helpful step you can take if you find yourself in a situation where brushing isn’t possible is to avoid eating or drinking sugary or acidic things. Acids and sugars are what contribute to decay, as they weaken your teeth’s enamel. If you cannot brush your teeth, then don’t eat foods that lead to decay. Avoid sugary soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks as these drinks will leave behind sugars and acids that sit on your teeth.

Keep a Routine

Your oral health depends on your ability to brush your teeth twice-daily. Sometimes however, you might find yourself in a situation where that’s not an option. We suggest following these steps to minimize the damage to your teeth. For more helpful tips on keeping your smile healthy, contact our office.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

Des Plaines Dentist | Are Drinks Attacking Your Teeth?

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If carbonated soft drinks are part of your normal daily routine, you may be causing serious damage to your teeth. Recent studies have found soft drinks to be among the most potent dietary causes of tooth decay. Soft drinks have also been implicated in increases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Before you shop for beverages this week, consider a few things you should know about soft drinks.

Most soft drinks contain substantial amounts of sugars, which interact with the bacteria in your mouth. This interaction produces a form of acid that can damage your teeth for about 20 minutes. Each time you take a drink, you reset that time window. If you consume throughout the day, you are essentially bathing your teeth in that beverage for hours.

Most soft drinks contain acids, as well. Even sugar-free varieties contain acids that can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Colas and citrus-flavored soft drinks tend to have the highest levels of acid. Over time, this weakening of tooth enamel has a cumulative effect. This can lead to decay and even tooth loss if not addressed in early stages.

Obviously, the best solution is to stop consuming carbonated soft drinks. However, it can be a difficult habit to break. Here are some tips to help reduce your risks of tooth damage from these beverages:

  • Drink in moderation. Too much sugar and acid will eventually cause damage.
  • Try sparkling water. This provides the fizzy sensation without all the sugar and acid.
  • Drink more water. You will crave soft drinks less when you are fully hydrated.
  • Don’t sip. The longer you spend drinking, the more time sugars and acids are reacting with your teeth.
  • Use a straw. This can help keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth.
  • Rinse with water after drinking to dilute acids and sugars.
  • Don’t brush immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes for acids to be neutralized by saliva before brushing.
  • Practice good dental hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings and exams.

Carbonated soft drinks can be harmful to your oral and overall health. Be mindful of how often you consume them and consider reducing or stopping your use of these dangerous beverages.

For more oral health tips or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

Dentist in Des Plaines | 8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

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We all know the importance of a first impression and its lasting effects on that individual. We value our reputation, and sometimes when we aren’t expecting, a client or friend confronts, we have not seen in a while. The first thing we do smile, say hello, and maybe even notice their smile. Perhaps you and your significant other are taking some much-needed time for yourselves and going out for a night on the town to enjoy a simple dinner and a movie. Inevitably, you will smile, and you’ll to look your best. If we yearn for that perfect smile, there are many options out there available to you, some perhaps at your local dentist’s office to get back to looking our best and achieving this is possible through such procedures as teeth whitening, braces, and brushing and flossing.

For one study, it focused on smiling as it pertains to success and love, looking at when asked the participants responses with the majority agreeing that appearance is an indication of:

  • Professional success (68)
  • Financial success (64%)
  • Trustworthiness (52%)

8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

  1. Whitening your teeth.
  2. Crowns
  3. Veneers
  4. Bonding
  5. Braces
  6. Implants
  7. Brushing and flossing
  8. Regular dentist visits

It’s clear that through a simple measure of how someone who is being perceived to have a great smile is also looked upon in higher regard, maybe even helping our confidence through an interview or feeling confident when taking that family picture. These are the solution to improving your smile, all that’s left if for you to make that time and enjoy your foolproof way of achieving and improving your smile. The how has now been answered and the when we will take back our smiles and do so with confidence. Below you will find links to some of those, and how to set up an appointment with our office. Finally, in most instances, it is as simple as adding a tooth whitening kit. For more information on these different options available to you, or to schedule your appointment contact our office below.

Annual checkups to our dentist can often provide us with additional options furthering our smile. If we want a foolproof smile, we must take the first step and schedule a visit to our dental office and get routine cleanings.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

60016 Dentist | The Truth About Dental Anxiety

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Is anxiety or nervousness preventing you from visiting our team? Dental treatments should not be a cause of stress. If you worry about pain, embarrassment, or loss or control during a dental examination, we want you to know two very important things: You are not alone and We can help.

Dental Anxiety Is Common

Research has shown that most patients experience some degree of anxiety when visiting the dentist. Between 10 and 20% of the general population encounters such a high level of stress and nervousness that they ignore oral healthcare altogether. This can increase the risk of developing severe oral health complications, requiring additional care.

In many cases, dental anxiety has two main causes. First, patients may have had a negative experience in the past, leaving them apprehensive towards their next appointment. Second, is through influence. This is particularly true for children. Children learn through imitation and are influenced by their parents. If you dread going to the dentist, your child may pick up on the behavior and develop similar fears.

Our Team Can Help

The first action you can take is to let our team know about your feelings of nervousness and anxiety. We have a number of techniques to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Our compassionate team is always open to discussing your options with you.

We will consult you regarding what your visit will entail, and work together to find a comfortable pace at which you feel comfortable.

If nervousness, stress, fear, or anxiety have caused you to skip appointments or avoid dental care completely, please contact our team. Dentistry is constantly evolving by offering new technology and treatment methods with patient safety and comfort in mind. Talk to our team about your fears or concerns and allow us to work with you. Ignoring your oral health can have serious repercussions and lead to more necessary treatments.

Contact our team to schedule your visit today.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

Des Plaines Dentist | Coffee and Your Teeth

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Coffee is well-known as hazardous to teeth, but there are things you can do besides cut it out completely. Here are some things to know about coffee’s effects on your oral health and diet, as well as how to mitigate them.

Contrary to popular belief, the pigments that give coffee its color can stain your teeth regardless of whether you take your coffee black or with cream. These pigments embed themselves in microscopic crevices and pits in your tooth enamel and are difficult to remove. To counteract this, don’t give the pigments time to set. When drinking coffee, drink quickly instead of sipping over a long period. Enjoy, then rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize the acid. In addition, following your recommended schedule of dental cleanings can help prevent stains. Whitening can improve the color of your teeth if mild staining has started. Ask our doctor how best to keep your smile bright.

Coffee can have minor benefits for your nutrition, but there are also things to beware. Drinks that are high in dairy fat or sugar can add substantial calories, as well as contributing to the chance of tooth decay. Try making your own coffee at home, where you can control the ingredients used. Minimize your use of creamer and sugar, or try using non-fat or sugar-free substitutes.

Coffee can still be a healthy party of your life if you take some care to protect your teeth. For more tips or to schedule a professional cleaning, contact our office.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467

60016 Dentist | Did You Forget to Pack Something?

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The year is closing and holidays are on the horizon. Are you planning year-end travel or a last-minute getaway? Before heading out on your next adventure, make sure you are prepared with these 3 quick tips for maintaining optimal dental health during travel.

  1. Properly transport your toothbrush. Instead of throwing your toothbrush into a bag with the rest of your toiletries, use a resealable plastic bag. This can reduce the amount of bacteria that gets passed on to your toothbrush.

 

  1. Pack sugarless gum. Gum can help relieve ear pressure during a flight and prevent dry mouth that can occur during travel. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can also help prevent tooth decay.

 

  1. Brush with bottled water. If you are in another country or on a camping trip in the wilds, use bottled water to brush your teeth. This can reduce your risk of getting sick due to unfamiliar bacteria or other contaminants in the local water.

If you are taking a vacation before the year ends, don’t forget to take steps to maintain optimal oral health while you are away. Don’t forget to pack our office number in case you have questions about your oral health during your trip, then schedule an exam and cleaning for after your return.

9301 Golf Rd #106
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Phone: (847) 824-7467