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Archive for June, 2016

Can Dry Mouth Lead to Cavities?

Monday, June 27th, 2016

dentist 60607Persistent dryness in the mouth can increase a patient’s risk for certain oral health conditions including cavities and gum disease. Also known as, xerostomia, dry mouth affects the pH level of the oral cavity, dries out soft tissue, and can lead to an acidic environment that weakens teeth (making them susceptible to decay). If patients have persistent dry mouth, we encourage them to schedule a checkup with our dentist as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of xerostomia as well as how best to protect oral structures from its effects.

What causes xerostomia?

Dry mouth has a number of causes. Some medical conditions like diabetes can affect saliva production. Medications including anti-histamines, over the counter sleeping aids, and anti-depressants can reduce saliva production as well. Dehydration, smoking, and alcohol consumption have an effect on the mouth’s moisture levels, too. When speaking with our dentist, our team will help you narrow down potential causes of your symptoms by evaluating your medical history, medication regimen, and lifestyle habits.

How does dry mouth weaken teeth?

Saliva is a natural rinsing agent that helps flush out debris from the oral cavity while also diluting acidic compounds. When the mouth is too acidic, caused by diminished saliva production or the consumption of acidic foods and drinks, the enamel layer of teeth will soften. Weakened tooth enamel leaves the interior surfaces of teeth vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria.

How does dry mouth affect the gums?

In addition to increasing the risk for cavities, dry mouth negatively affects gum health. Soft oral tissues need to remain moist so that they are healthy. Dry mouth and diminished saliva production dries soft oral tissue including the gums. When the gums are dry, they are more susceptible to becoming irritated and inflamed. Inflamed and irritated gums can become infected, which is a factor in the development of gum disease.

We encourage patients to drink water throughout the day and avoid acidic foods or lifestyle habits that affect saliva production. For questions about dry mouth and how it affects oral health, call our office to reserve an appointment with one of our dentists.

Healthy Teeth – Healthy Body: Tips to Improve Oral and Overall Health

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

dentist Chicago LoopResearch has shown that oral health and overall health are connected. Many folks are surprised to learn how common medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can impact the health of the oral cavity and vice versa. For instance, uncontrolled diabetes can greatly contribute to the onset and progression of periodontal (gum) disease. When performing oral examinations, our dentist takes a comprehensive approach so that members of our community enjoy total wellness. Following are some tips that can increase oral health and general wellbeing.

Eat a Balanced Diet and Drink Plenty of Water

What we eat affects all aspects of our health, including the health of teeth and gums. Just as sugar is bad for your blood glucose and your waistline, sugar is bad for your teeth, too. Sugar feeds unhealthy bacteria. When bacteria feed on sugar, they become stronger. They also colonize. Avoiding sugar is important for controlling oral bacteria as well as one’s blood sugar and weight. On top of watching sugar intake, we encourage adequate water consumption. Water hydrates all the body’s systems including the oral cavity. Not only does water help keep one’s mouth clean, it keeps soft tissue moist and balances acids in the mouth.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Practicing proper oral hygiene is the foundation for good oral health and the prevention of oral disease. Since existing conditions like diabetes can exacerbate oral health problems, it is important for patients to control bacteria buildup and plaque with thorough flossing and brushing.

Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Smoking tobacco and consuming alcoholic beverages in excess is just as bad for your oral health as the rest of your body. Smoking contributes to many types of cancer, including those that form in the oral cavity. Excessive drinking can lead to dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. This is because acids found in many drinks impact the health of tooth enamel and irritate the gums.

Receive Regular Checkups

Just as you would schedule a yearly physical, annual dental checkups are important, too. During an oral examination, our dentist will examine the entire oral cavity to provide a comprehensive evaluation of one’s oral health.

Call our office today to reserve a checkup or cleaning with our friendly and caring team.

Do Lumineers Require Special Care?

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Lumineers ChicagoDental veneers are one of the most efficient and effective ways to achieve a complete smile makeover. Veneers are cosmetic enhancements used to conceal many types of flaws including stains, chips, and cracks. Our cosmetic dentist offers Lumineers, name brand veneers where a patented type of porcelain is used to create these custom cosmetic enhancements. Since Lumineers are bonded over teeth permanently, they are cared for much like biological teeth.

Those with veneers will brush and floss as normal as well as keep regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups. While the material used to make Lumineers is resistant to staining, the biological structure of teeth can darken with exposure to foods like berries and beverages like coffee, wine, or tea. Lastly, patients should be careful when biting as they would with natural teeth. Chewing on pen caps or ice cubes can crack or chip a veneer just as it would a biological tooth.

What makes Lumineers different?

Although Lumineers and standard veneers produce similar results, there are some differences. Lumineers are ultra-thin and made from a proprietary porcelain compound. Since Lumineers are thinner than conventional veneers, less tooth preparation is needed to place them. This means that our dentist will not have to remove as much tooth structure to create a stable surface for veneer placement when Lumineers are used.

Like veneers, however, Lumineers are customized for each tooth. Each Lumineer veneer is made to very exact measurements based on dental impressions taken by our team. This means that patients will enjoy a beautiful improvement to their smile that will not look fake or obvious.

How do I know if veneers are right for me?

Veneers of any kind are an investment in one’s appearance. After treatment, our patients report that receiving veneers is life changing. This is because improving the aesthetics of one’s smile boosts self-esteem and confidence on top of increasing attractiveness.

Most patients with visible imperfections such as misshapen and crooked teeth along with chips, stains, and cracks can benefit from receiving Lumineers. After a consultation, our team can recommend the best types of cosmetic treatments for your needs.

Call us today at Ora Dental Studio to reserve a smile makeover consultation.