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Archive for September, 2014

Harmful Effects of Soda on Teeth

Friday, September 26th, 2014

dentist ChicagoSoda is one of the most beloved types of beverages in the United States. Many major soda brands and their iconic logos are ingrained into our social culture and history. While these beverages are tasty to some, they do contain ingredients that can damage teeth—especially with prolonged use. Our dentist encourages patients to avoid drinking soda as much as possible.

How Soda Damages Teeth

Soda contains both sugar and acid. Ingredients such as citric acid and ascorbic acid are strong enough to weaken tooth enamel, especially among regular soda drinkers. These acids weaken tooth enamel by stripping away important minerals and over time, the weaker structures of the tooth underneath enamel are exposed and unprotected to bacteria that cause tooth decay.

In addition to acidic ingredients, soda also contains sugar in various forms, including fructose and corn syrup. These ingredients are a natural food source for oral bacteria. When sugar is consumed, bacteria will begin to feed off these compounds and as a by-product, bacteria will release more acid in the mouth. Repeated exposure to sugar, especially in the form of soda, can significantly damage teeth. Soda is especially dangerous because it coats all sides of teeth.

Diet sodas are harmful to oral health as well. Although diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, they do still contain acidic ingredients.

In addition to harming tooth enamel and creating an environment where bacteria thrive, soda can harm overall oral health, too. For example, bacteria colonize and form plaque, a semi-translucent and sticky substance that coats teeth and can eventually harden into tartar. Once tartar forms, it cannot be removed with oral hygiene practices. Tartar build up is a common culprit behind the development of gum disease.

Our dentist recommends that patients drink plenty of water throughout the day to dilute acid and sugar compounds, and avoid soda as much as possible. If a patient drinks soda, he or she should use a straw to limit exposure to the teeth.

To schedule an examination or a dental cleaning, contact our practice at 312-328-9000 today.

Will Teeth Whitening Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

Monday, September 15th, 2014

teeth whitening ChicagoAmong cosmetic dental enhancements, teeth whitening certainly ranks at the top of the most popular. According to many polls, the vast majority of people find white smiles more appealing and attractive than dull or yellowed smiles. Since a white smile is a highly desired physical characteristic, many people turn to store-bought products that promise to whiten their smiles. Unfortunately, many of these products, according to our cosmetic dentist, can strip tooth enamel of important minerals and even cause tooth sensitivity. Instead of using store bought products, our practice encourages patients to choose professional teeth whitening treatments at our office to protect teeth and gums.

How Store-Bought Products Affect Teeth and Gums

Many whitening products like toothpaste contain abrasives to help remove surface stains. However, prolonged use of abrasive toothpaste can weaken tooth enamel and strip away essential minerals that protect teeth from tooth decay. Store-bought whitening trays or strips often do not fit properly and can irritate the gums and cause tooth sensitivity.

How Professional Whitening is Safe and More Effective

When you receive professional teeth whitening treatments from our cosmetic dentist, our team will take special precautions to protect gums and teeth. Our dentist utilizes the Zoom! laser-assisted teeth whitening system to produce safe and dramatic results. Specially designed strips of gauze and liquid dam, a protective coating that is placed over the gum tissue, will protect the gums and soft oral tissues in the mouth.

Once the preparatory measures have been taken, a potent bleaching solution will be applied to the outer surfaces of teeth. A special dental laser will then hover over the teeth to accelerate and deepen the whitening process. The procedure takes about 45 minutes and patients will leave our office with a smile that is eight to ten shades whiter.

Some patients report mild tooth sensitivity but these symptoms commonly dissipate within days of treatment. To schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist, contact Ora Dental Studio today.

Dental Implants: Is there an age restriction?

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

dental implants ChicagoIn the last two decades, dental implants have become a viable and wildly popular method for addressing tooth loss. Unlike losing a tooth in childhood, losing teeth as an adult is not a rite a passage; instead, it is a distressing experience that affects emotional wellbeing and oral health. As a permanent tooth replacement option that offers many advantages to traditional prosthetics like dentures, dental implants are durable, natural looking, and long lasting.

Who can receive dental implants?

Replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant is only appropriate for adults. This is because the jawbones continue to develop throughout adolescence. Adults should be healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and have enough bone mass in their jaws to support a dental implant.

How are dental implants made?

Implants consist of two key features, a screw-like post and a man-made crown. The post is constructed from titanium, which is a biocompatible metal. This allows the jawbone to fuse around the post over time, eventually allowing the post to act like the tooth’s roots. Once the implant is stabilized by the bone, a custom crown, made in a dental laboratory, is attached to the post to complete the tooth replacement process.  Crowns may be made from metal alloys, metal alloys with porcelain fused over them, or all porcelain.

What are some advantages of receiving dental implants?

One of the most popular advantages of dental implants that our patients enjoy is completely renewed oral function. Patients with dental implants can easily eat their favorite foods and because their implants are firmly secured in the jawbone, they will not move about in the mouth as removable prosthetic teeth do. Implants also prevent bone resorption because they support jawbone health by functioning like a tooth’s root.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, our dentist recommends that you schedule a consultation at our practice. After an examination, our team can determine if you’re eligible for this procedure and answer any questions you have. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.