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Archive for August, 2014

The Long-Term Effects of Plaque Buildup

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

dentist 60606Plaque is the sticky film that clings to your teeth. It contains oral bacteria that can attack the tooth enamel and the gum tissue. When plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it can form a harder substance known as tartar, which is virtually impossible to remove with a toothbrush or floss alone.

Preventing plaque buildup is one of many reasons it’s so important to see your dentist on a semi-annual basis. Even if you’re extremely conscientious about your home oral hygiene regimen, you still may not be able to remove all of the plaque.

When you get dental cleanings every six months, the dental hygienist can use specialized tools and instruments to remove any lingering plaque. If you don’t have your teeth cleaned at regular intervals, the residual plaque can accumulate and wreak havoc on a number of structures in your mouth.

Plaque buildup has a number of consequences, and it can eventually lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay is one potential problem caused by plaque. If you see your dentist regularly, the dentist can spot signs of a cavity when it is still small and will require minimal restoration.

Another issue associated with high levels of plaque is gum or periodontal disease, which develops when those same oral bacteria cause inflammation in the gum tissue. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition, and in its most severe forms, it can cause tooth and bone loss.

Like tooth decay, gum disease is more easily (and less invasively) treated in its mildest stages. Again, when your dentist is able to identify symptoms of early-stage gum disease (gingivitis), the condition can be reversed with a thorough cleaning.

Seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings in combination with good oral care at home can help you to prevent plaque buildup and reduce your risk of the negative outcomes that go along with that. Check in with your dentist at Oral Dental Studio at your next appointment to make sure you are doing everything possible to minimize plaque.

Negative Effects of Brushing Too Hard

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

dentist 60616Good dental habits are the cornerstone of good oral health. Even so, patients who diligently brush their teeth can still get a bad report from the dentist if they’re not using the proper technique.

In fact, brushing your teeth too hard can be almost as bad for your teeth and gums as not brushing at all! There are a number of issues that can arise due to this bad habit.

Receding gums is a common dental problem in patients who brush their teeth too vigorously. The irritation caused by this action can lead to inflammation in the gums and shrinkage of the gum tissue.

When the gums recede, it has an unattractive effect on the smile. It can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity. If the problem becomes severe enough, your dentist may need to give you a gum graft to repair the damage.

Brushing your teeth too hard can be almost as bad for your teeth and gums as not brushing at all!

You can also cause premature wear to your teeth by brushing too hard. While tooth enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body, it’s still not impervious to outside forces. Brushing too hard can break down the enamel and cause it to erode. The body is not capable of replacing missing enamel, so you may need to have the tooth restored with a filling or a crown.

To avoid these negative consequences, not only do you have to pay attention to the pressure you apply while brushing your teeth, you also need to be sure that you aren’t using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard.

A good oral hygiene routine is well-balanced, with just the right amount of tooth brushing — not too much and not too little. If you think you may be using a poor brushing technique, ask your dentist or hygienist for some tips the next time you are in the office. You may also want to bring your toothbrush with you to make sure the bristles have a good texture. Your oral health will reap many benefits if you get on track with your brushing!

Schedule an appointment by calling 312-328-9000 today.

Is your diet at the root of your dental issues?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

dentist 60622We all know that the food we eat has significant implications for our health and well-being. Nonetheless, we can still overlook how our diet influences our dental health.

In many ways, your nutritional intake is nearly as important to your self-care as your oral hygiene habits are.

If you suffer from frequent dental issues, like cavities or episodes of gum disease, your diet may be at least partially to blame.

You should consult with your dentist to discuss the dietary guidelines that will help you maintain a healthy smile. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Limit sugar intake. It may seem obvious, but it still bears repeating. Sugar is an enemy of a healthy smile. It provides an easy nutritional source for the oral bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. Patients should especially steer clear of sticky sweet treats, which can leave behind a residue that lingers in the mouth for quite some time.
  • Avoid acids. Excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages, like sodas and citrus fruits, can lead to more visits to your dentist. Acid can wear down the enamel and make it weaker and more susceptible to decay.
  • Add fruits and veggies. As with all aspects of your health, most fruits and veggies (except for citrus fruits – see the note above this) will benefit your oral health, too. These items contain important nutrients that boost your overall well-being while supporting a healthy smile.
  • Eat dairy. Dairy products like milk and cheese, which are rich in calcium and other important nutrients, can help to promote the remineralization of teeth. This is particularly important as we age, because remineralization slows to a degree when we get older.

Of course, even the healthiest diet can’t supplant a solid oral hygiene routine to boost oral health. Keep up with your twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, in addition to incorporating more nutritious foods in your diet and eliminating or reducing intake of the potentially harmful ones. Ask your dentist at Ora Dental Studio for more information on diet and dental health.