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Archive for October, 2015

What protection does a custom mouthguard provide?

Monday, October 26th, 2015

dentist river northOur teeth are an extremely valuable commodity. Without them, we have difficulty chewing our favorite foods, forming sounds to speak clearly, and smiling with confidence. There are many ways to protect our teeth for a lifetime of service, and our dentists wan to help you to do just that.

In addition to keeping our teeth healthy from dental decay and gum disease, there are other things we can do to maintain good dental health.

There are hazards we encounter from day to day that could result in long term and costly dental repairs. Broken teeth or teeth lost due to an accident could be prevented if they are the result of a sports outing or engaging in an activity that might require safety precautions.

You do not think twice about wearing protection for hands, knees, or elbows; or wearing a helmet to protect your head. But what about those valuable teeth? Don’t you think they are important enough to provide ample protection when engaging in certain activities?

School sports program officials are adamant that children wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth and mouths during most of their sponsored activities. Basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer and baseball are all sports that require mouth protection.

But not all activities are that organized. Just because there is no official sponsor for a sport being played does not mean protection is not needed. A pick-up game can result in injury just as easily as an organized event. Having and wearing important protective gear is taught by instruction and example. Parents need to be proactive when it comes to protecting their children.

There are many kinds of mouth guards available. A custom fitted mouth guard designed specifically for your activity can be provided by one of our dentists to afford maximum protection. In addition to protecting the teeth, gums, and mouth from injury, a custom fitted mouth guard will be more comfortable than a generic one you can purchase online or at the sporting goods store.

Let’s face it … if it doesn’t fit properly or is uncomfortable, the likelihood of affording protection is limited.

Our team can fabricate a mouth guard that you or your child will wear to keep teeth, tongue, and soft oral tissues protected from injury. This small bit of protection can ultimately save money and many hours of dental repair.

Call us today at one of our convenient Chicago locations to get fitted for your mouth guard!

What are symptoms of dry mouth?

Friday, October 16th, 2015

dentist Chicago LoopEveryone gets thirsty from time to time, but when your mouth feels extremely dry on a regular basis, you could be dealing with xerostomia. There are many reasons people experience this condition, and there are suggestions of ways to deal with it. Our dentists are a wonderful source for a diagnosis and possible solutions to treat dry mouth.

The inability to produce sufficient saliva can come from any number of source: the side effect of certain medications, an illness, damaged salivary glands, dehydration. The key is to determine what may be causing the problem and seek to find the answer. While some situations may be short term and can be easily treated, others may be more permanent. But keeping the mouth as moist as possible is important to maintain good dental health.

Dry mouth can result in many uncomfortable conditions: sores in and around the mouth; cracks like paper cuts at the corners of the mouth; tongue sores; altered taste buds; halitosis; sore throat; hoarseness; difficulty swallowing. All or some of these situations often occur for patients dealing with the inability to produce enough saliva.

The consequences, particularly for patients already dealing with damaged salivary glands due to radiation or chemotherapy, can feel like troubles piling on to problems. That is because gum disease can be the result of dry mouth. And untreated gum disease can lead to lost teeth. And dry mouth makes wearing a denture or partial even more difficult.

If the problem is due to a short term situation like a temporary medication or brief illness like the flu, you should try to drink as much water as possible. In addition, sucking on sugar free candy or chewing gum may increase saliva production. Your dentist can recommend an oral rinse, and there are over the counter products designed to increase saliva production.

For more long term solutions, changing medications may help. If illness appears to be the source of dry mouth, your health care provider should be notified to see what options are available to bring relief.

If you experience dry mouth frequently without any obvious reason, you need to address this with our dentists. While aging may be a contributing factor, a dentist should be made aware so you can prevent any side effects like gum disease.

Call the trained and caring team at Ora Dental Studio to set up your appointment.

I’m Postponing Dental Treatment Because It’s Not Bothering Me

Monday, October 5th, 2015

dentist 60616There are many dental conditions that may seem benign in the beginning, but putting off treatment because it doesn’t “hurt” may be creating a problem that becomes costly and long term to correct. A trip to see the dentist when symptoms are present might prevent serious consequences.

Bleeding Gums: Gum tissue can bleed if a hard bristle tooth brush or too much pressure is used. However, if your gums are bleeding without provocation, you may be seeing the early signs of gingivitis.

Chronic Bad Breath: Many foods and beverages can produce halitosis, such as coffee, onions, garlic to just name a few. But brushing or using a mouth wash should restore fresh breath. If a sour smell emanates regularly, this may be a sign of a problem like an infection.

Receding Gums: This may occur naturally as we age, but should always be checked out.

Loose Teeth: Or teeth may feel like they are pulling away from your gums.

All or just one of these conditions should signal the need to see our dentists. While you may not be having discomfort, ignoring or putting off treatment could result in long term problems like an abscess or lost teeth.

An abscess is infectious material that forms a pocket around the base of the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread resulting in the need for antibiotics or even hospitalization for a serious, life threatening condition.

Tooth loss may not seem like a big deal, but can impact many aspects of day to day living, such as the ability to eat the foods you love, speak clearly, or smile without embarrassment. And if you decide to replace lost teeth, you are looking at costly and time consuming treatment that might have been prevented if you had not ignored earlier symptoms.

The early stages of dental decay, cracked, or broken teeth might not bother you. However, if your dentist advises you that you have a small cavity, don’t put off the correction because it will only get bigger.

A small, hairline crack only detectable through x-ray could allow bacteria to penetrate the enamel resulting in the need for root canal therapy.

The moral of the story is just because it doesn’t hurt does not mean it’s OK to ignore. Follow through with advised treatment for optimum dental health, and call us today to set up an appointment if you’re due for a checkup!