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Archive for December, 2012

Do Genetics Play a Role in the Overall Health of Teeth?

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Having healthy teeth and gums is a result of many things, and our ancestors can have something to do with it. But whether we place blame or give credit for the condition of our teeth on genetics, your dentist can offer many ideas and treatments to have the healthiest teeth possible.

Chances are if parents and siblings suffer from a specific dental ailment such as small jawbones that can’t accommodate all their teeth, you might be faced with the same fate.

But if family members seem susceptible to gum disease or dental decay, there are multiple things you can do to offset these issues.

Excellent daily dental hygiene habits consisting of brushing with a soft bristle tooth brush with tooth paste or gel at least twice per day along with daily flossing will promote healthy teeth and gums.

Flossing will keep gum tissue stimulated and help to keep plaque from building up on teeth particularly at the gum line. Your dentist may also recommend rinsing with a fluoridated or anti-bacterial rinse if you are prone to gingivitis or gum disease.

A clinical cleaning and exam twice per year will also help to prevent plaque build-up along with allowing your dentist to spot potential problems before they have a chance to escalate.

A diet that consists of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal sugary foods and beverages will help prevent dental decay and will promote better overall health.

Although smoking is not an inherited trait, if tobacco use was present in the home during the formative years, it is possible that this habit may seem OK. However, it is a well-documented fact that tobacco users suffer from dental disease and lost teeth at a significantly higher rate than non-smokers.

Sufficient rest and daily exercise are essential to a healthy body. Drinking lots of fluids, especially water, will keep the body hydrated and chewing sugarless gum will promote saliva production. Both of these functions will help keep teeth and gums flushed when brushing is not possible.

Although genetics may offer clues to what our dental future may hold, the final determination for healthy teeth and gums lies in lifestyle habits, daily hygiene care and seeing your dentist twice a year to keep the mouth as healthy as possible.

To schedule a dental check-up and assess the health of your teeth, contact any of our experienced dentists at Ora Dental Studio today.

Do Dental Crowns Require Special Care?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

There are several instances where dental crowns may be needed. A broken tooth may be salvaged by placing a crown over the base of the tooth. Teeth that have been ravaged by dental decay can benefit from a dental crown as well as placing a crown over a tooth that has been treated with a root canal to seal the opening.

Whatever the reason, there are numerous benefits to dental crowns:

•    A tooth may be saved that might otherwise need to be extracted due to infection, decay or trauma. Having to replace a lost tooth may result in extensive and costly additional treatment that is avoidable with a crown.

•    Root canal therapy on a tooth suffering from infection can mean the difference between saving the tooth and losing it. A dental crown may be used to protect the treated tooth as a means to seal the opening created by performing the root canal.

•    A smile makeover can be achieved by covering severely worn, fractured or stained teeth.

•    A crown can strengthen a tooth with numerous fillings without risking a tooth fracture by placing additional fillings.

Once it has been determined that a dental crown is the treatment needed, a discussion with your dentist should cover topics such as type of material for your crown and how to care for it.

A discussion with your dentist should cover topics such as type of material for your crown and how to care for it.

The optimum material will be chosen based on the location of the crown. On back teeth that sustain most of the pressure from chewing, a metal or porcelain to metal crown may be recommended. While gold was the primary material used in the past, there are several more materials available today that offer strength and longevity.

A porcelain crown is usually the desired material when a crown is needed in the smile line. With the lifelike materials and shades available, a crown can be virtually undetectable.

Caring for your  crown is as simple as caring for your own teeth. Daily brushing and flossing will promote healthy teeth and gums. Special instructions for flossing a tooth that has been crowned will be offered by your dental provider.

A perfect fit is critical, so your crown will be tried on during your second dental visit before finally cementing it into place. Adjustments may be made as needed. Diet restrictions are few, and you can expect your new crown to serve you well for many years.

If you’re in need of dental crowns or would like more information, contact our team of skilled dentists at 312-491-9494  to schedule an appointment today.

Uneven Gums: What are my options?

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

There are many reasons why gum tissue may appear uneven. When gum tissue is recessed, some or all teeth may appear larger than desired. However, excess gum tissue may make teeth look too small. Genetics can play a large role, but how teeth are cared for can also be blamed for uneven gums.
Treatment via a cosmetic dentist is readily available to correct uneven gums.

For patients that are concerned with a “gummy smile”, this genetic disorder can be resolved through a treatment known as gum contouring. The use of lasers to reshape the gums allows for the treatment to be completed in less time and may also mean shorter healing time as the laser will actually seal the blood vessels during the procedure. When completed, treated teeth appear more elongated and gum tissue more even.

Depending on the severity of the excess gum tissue, this procedure can be done in a short amount of time. The cosmetic dentist will use either a topical agent to numb gum tissue or a local anesthetic for more extensive treatment. Remaining gum tissue will be reshaped to provide a balanced appearance.

At this point, the tooth structure beneath the removed gum tissue may require additional treatment to complete the smile makeover.

Receding gums can occur for many reasons with gum disease being a primary cause. Treatment with a deep cleaning known as root planing and scaling can halt gum disease, but excellent oral hygiene habits of daily flossing and brushing are needed to keep the disease from returning. More serious dental disease known as periodontitis may require osseous surgery to remove the bacteria from gum tissue.

Brushing vigorously with a firm tooth brush can result in the wearing away of gum tissue over time. Some medications can impact gum tissue as well as aging and wear & tear.

When gum tissue starts to shrink away, some teeth may appear longer than others. In some cases, the entire bony tooth may be exposed creating a shelf between the tooth and gum. Gum surgery will allow the cosmetic dentist to harvest tissue from the roof of the mouth and re-attach where gum tissue is lacking virtually creating a new gum line.

A smile makeover through gum surgery or contouring can improve your appearance and boost self-confidence, making these procedures very worthwhile. To find out what procedure works best for you, contact our team of experienced professionals at Ora Dental Studio and schedule your consultation today.