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Archive for January, 2012

Smoking and Your Dental Health

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In the  1960’s the surgeon general announced that smoking was a danger to your health. Since that time, much research has concluded that it isn’t just lung cancer or heart disease that impact smokers, but many diseases of the mouth are now attributed to tobacco use. Our dentist serving the 60603 area can show you how smoking is affecting your dental health, and offer many suggestions on what you can do to return to healthy teeth and gums.

If quitting the tobacco habit was easy, everyone would do it. After all, in addition to the obvious health issues connected to tobacco, the expense and overall problems of air pollution are reasons worthy of quitting. But since using tobacco is quite addictive, leaving tobacco behind is problematic for many. Seeing what tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, can do to your teeth and gums makes the effort to try to quit not only a good idea, but imperative. 

In addition to the obvious, like dental stain and unpleasant breath, tobacco use is the leading cause of gum disease.

In addition to the obvious, like dental stain and unpleasant breath, tobacco use is the leading cause of gum disease. Gum disease is a blanket term that can cover everything from gingivitis to periodontitis. If not treated, gum disease can progress to the point of losing your teeth.

Even though nonsmokers can develop gum disease as well, tobacco users are six times more likely to suffer from periodontal disease. Your dentist will also discuss the likelihood of increased dental decay as well as the inability to heal wounds to the mouth. It is believed that smoking impacts the blood flow around the teeth, gums, and soft tissue in the mouth. Decreased circulation can slow the healing process. The sensory processes involving smell and taste are also negatively impacted by tobacco use.

As if these reasons are not enough to make you quit tobacco, the overwhelming odds of developing cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat are significantly increased for tobacco users. Cancer occurrence increases with each year of tobacco use, but just as important, discontinuing tobacco can result in wholesale improvement in the health of teeth and gums in a relatively short time.

Your dentist can explain about the many smoking cessation programs that are available. Nicotine gum and patches are available over the counter, but if you feel you need more help, prescription strength Zyban may be prescribed as an aid to help kick the habit.

Whatever method you use from quitting cold turkey to relying on aids, one fact is certain. You will be jeopardizing your oral and overall health if you decide not to quit smoking. Call us today. Ora Dental Studio will get you on the right path for better oral health.

Treatment Options for Migraines

Monday, January 16th, 2012

dentist Gold CoastNot everyone is affected by migraine headaches, but for the many that do suffer from this condition, our Gold Coast dentist can diagnose and offer options that are destined to bring you relief.

There are different migraine headaches, as well as many different causes. Diet, lifestyle, and stress all play a large role in the management of these headaches. A correct diagnosis is the key to treating and managing migraines.

Many migraine sufferers do not think about visiting their dentist when the symptoms they have are not only a debilitating headache, but nausea, light sensitivity and the inability to function in their day to day lives. Quite often a migraine might be diagnosed as a sinus infection and treated as such. A migraine might last up to four days, and because the treatment for a sinus infection generally brings relief within a few days, the patient believes the headache was brought on by a sinus infection.

Unfortunately, with a missed diagnosis, the reoccurrence of a migraine is likely. A visit to the dentist might be the key to unlocking the solution for migraine sufferers. A dentist will take a different approach in helping to determine the source of your migraine. A doctor might notice that teeth appear to be wearing down. A dentist will immediately see this as a possible source. Problems with TMJ (the temporomandibular joint) can produce symptoms of chronic headache, sinusitis, earache, stiff neck, and possibly migraine headaches.

The TMJ is the joint just in front of the ear above the jaw. It consists of teeth, muscle, bone and ligaments. During sleep, pressure from clenching and grinding your teeth can result in inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. Many migraine sufferers notice the onset of their headaches in the morning, which is why a visit to your dentist to determine the cause of your headaches can provide the answers you seek.

Migraine headaches manifest themselves in several ways, and since a migraine does not appear to bring a structural abnormality to the head or brain that can be seen on an x-ray or MRI, it is difficult to diagnose. A visit to the dentist can rule out many causes, but if it is determined that you suffer from bruxism, one of the new approaches to preventative treatment to decrease these migraine attacks is with the NTI Device.

The NTI Device is an FDA approved dental splint that focuses on the prevention of medically diagnosed migraines and temporomandibular disorders. Within the first eight weeks of use, the NTI Device brought noticeable improvement to 82% of migraine sufferers.

If you are one of the many victims of migraine headaches you owe it to yourself to visit our dentist to investigate the many dental therapies available, including the NTI Device. Call us today at 312-867-8766 to schedule your appointment.

Feeling self conscious about your smile?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

A personal trademark we all enjoy is our smile. But some might hesitate to flash a bright smile because they are self-conscious due to the condition of their teeth. Your cosmetic dentist in Chicago has many options that can alleviate your dental woes.

A drab smile due to discolored or stained teeth can be rectified in one brief visit. In office teeth whitening may brighten your smile up to eight shades. And unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening products, in office whitening can get to the base of stain and provide “wow” results.

If your smile suffers from wear and tear, cracked or chipped teeth, or stain, one solution is dental veneers. The advantages to dental veneers are numerous. Veneers are a thin shell like covering made of porcelain or composite that are custom made to match the shape and shade of your own teeth. They are applied to the front of your teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will only have to remove very little of your dental enamel, and since very little of your teeth is impacted, veneers are a much less invasive procedure with a picture perfect result.

For those challenged with a cross bite, under bite, over bite, or unsightly spaces or gaps between teeth, Invisalign is a teeth straightening process that allows the wearer to undergo the procedure wearing virtually undetectable braces. Invisalign is a series of clear, soft plastic aligners that gently reposition your teeth to correct your bite and produce straight, perfectly aligned teeth.

Possibly, the most difficult dental malady to overcome is how to manage a missing tooth. Losing one or more teeth to decay, trauma, or disease is never pleasant. Your dental condition can deteriorate if a missing tooth is not resolved. Over time, the gum tissue and surrounding bone around a missing tooth will start to shrink. This can impact many aspects of your life from the physical changes you endure to the psychological feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness.

A dental implant could very well be the answer you seek. Your cosmetic dentist will evaluate your overall and dental health to make sure you are a qualified prospect for dental implants. Once you decide to move forward, a dental implant is placed in the gum tissue where the tooth is missing. The implant will become a permanent part of your dental anatomy, and once healed will have grafted to the bone to work much like the root of your natural tooth. A final restoration will be made to cover the implant that will match your surrounding teeth making your implant indiscernible.

Get your smile and self-confidence back! A visit to our cosmetic dentist has the answers to all your dental concerns and questions.