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Archive for September, 2011

Symptoms of periodontal disease

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease can be difficult to detect without the assistance of an experienced dentist and staff. Also referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease is the destruction of the gums, bone, and other structures that support the teeth.

Patients suffering from periodontal disease may notice tender, swollen gums. Bleeding during brushing or flossing is another indicator of inflammation and disease. As periodontal disease progresses, the gums will begin to pull away from the teeth, exposing the sensitive root surface. Below the surface, bone loss can occur. Surprisingly, bone loss occurs with little or no pain, leaving periodontal patients completely unaware of the extent of the disease.

Our dentist in River North has the tools and knowledge to help you identify periodontal disease and provide the appropriate treatment. Using a series of x-rays and evaluating the gums with a periodontal probe, the degree of periodontal disease can be determined.

Once a diagnosis has been made, periodontal therapy may be recommended. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone. Protected by sticky plaque and rock hard tarter, the bacteria can travel beneath the gum line, causing chronic inflammation. Special dental instruments must be used to remove the buildup and eliminate disease. In addition to this deep level of cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, specially medicated mouth rinses and antibiotics may be utilized to eliminate the active infection.

The danger of periodontal disease lies in the fact that damaged bone can never be expected to grow back in order to support the teeth. For this reason, many patients who have suffered from uncontrolled periodontal disease are also confronted with tooth loss. These patients must also contend with the discomfort of receding gums. The risks of gum recession includes sensitivity to cold foods and drinks, as well as an increased risk of new cavities on the exposed root surface.

To prevent periodontal disease from progressing, your dentist will advise you to practice proper home care habits. This includes brushing after meals, flossing once each day, and scheduling routine dental visits. To find out if you are displaying the signs of periodontal disease, call for your appointment today.

What is bruxism and how can I prevent it?

Friday, September 16th, 2011

dentist Chicago LoopMost patients can recall clenching or gritting the teeth at one time or another. The involuntary clenching and grinding of the teeth is referred to as bruxism. Although the signs and symptoms of bruxism are not exactly the same for all patients, there are many frequently noted similarities.

You may be chronically or occasionally experiencing bruxism if you have displayed any of the following signs or symptoms, in which case you should schedule an appointment with our dentist in Chicago Loop.

  • Tightness or pain in the left or right jaw joint
  • Popping or clicking of the jaw joint
  • Headache or neck ache upon rising in the morning
  • Bed partner has heard teeth grinding at night
  • Worn or chipped enamel, including flattened canines (eye teeth)
  • Occasional, non-specific, or sporadic sensitivity to temperature, pressure, or sweets

If left untreated, bruxism can cause unnecessary damage to the joints, bone, and teeth. Your dentist can identify the signs and symptoms, and then recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Preventing bruxism can be difficult. Since most patients clench or grind the teeth during the sleeping hours, they are often unaware that the action is taking place, and helpless to stop it. It is not uncommon for some patients to display the signs of bruxism during daylight hours. Patients may find that they are clenching or grinding while concentrating at work, participating in athletics, or when subjected to extreme stress.

In dentistry, the most conservative treatment is typically the first recommendation. In the case of bruxism, the same rule applies. Your dentist may recommend relaxation or mediation to reduce tension and relax the muscles. For more chronic cases, or where visible damage has occurred, your dentist may prescribe a night guard. Similar to athletic mouth guards, these appliances can help to protect the teeth from excessive forces.

A bite guard can also be custom designed to properly position the jaw joint and muscles. With the proper adjustments, your night guard can hold your teeth and jaw in the ideal position, preventing further damage and creating a relaxing environment for the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders.

If you believe that you are suffering from the effects of bruxism, call 312-328-9007 to book your appointment today.

Who is a candidate for cosmetic dentistry?

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Cosmetic dentistry is an appropriate choice for most patients. With such a broad range of available treatment options, the only real limitations are your personal preferences and your imagination. To begin your quest for the perfect smile, you should schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dentist in Chicago.

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic choice for many adults. Once the teeth have completely erupted into the mouth, typically around age 16, teeth whitening is a safe and simple way to brighten your smile. Ideal candidates for whitening are those adults who are free of periodontal disease and damaged teeth. It is important to note that there are certain instances in which traditional whitening may not be effective, such as dental bonding and crowns. For these reasons, it is important to seek the advice of your cosmetic dentist.

Adults whose jawbone has stopped growing are ideal candidates for dental implants. Additionally, the ideal dental implant candidate will be healthy enough to tolerate dental surgery. Although most patients may not consider dental implants to be cosmetic dentistry, implants can certainly improve your smile. Replacing missing teeth is a fantastic way to stabilize your bite, eliminate gaps, and preserve the structure of your facial profile. These are the details that can make a beautiful smile healthy.

Porcelain veneers and crowns are the cream of the crop in terms of cosmetic dentistry. Patients who wish to conceal or correct virtually any dental imperfection regarding the front teeth can be considered as candidates for veneers or crowns. Your cosmetic dentist can design a porcelain restoration to adhere to the front surface of the teeth or provide complete coverage, if necessary. These natural-looking restorations can be utilized to address chipped, discolored, poorly aligned, or weakened front teeth.

Your cosmetic dentist has the expertise to create a beautiful smile for every patient, as there are cosmetic procedures suitable for every patient. To find out which procedure is best for you, call for your appointment today.