Dental Implants Grayslake, IL

Do Implants Have a Few Things Over Natural Teeth?

Dental Implants Grayslake, ILOne can’t really say that it would be better to have a full mouth of artificial teeth than to enjoy the benefits of what Mother Nature has bestowed. Consequently, we intend to help our patients maintain the teeth they were born with. We do this by performing comprehensive exams and cleanings, and by repairing damage as quickly as possible if it does occur. One of the treatments that we perform on a routine basis is tooth replacement with dental implants.

There are several reasons why dental implants are beneficial, primarily because they mimic natural tooth structure. Patients appreciate that their replacement teeth look and feel natural. There is no slipping or rubbing for denture-wearers, and a variety of foods can continue to be enjoyed. This isn’t all, though. In some ways, dental implants and ceramic crowns and bridges give natural teeth a run for their money. Here’s how.

No Decay

One of the common reasons that extensive tooth replacement is needed is widespread decay. In such circumstances, patients often suffer ongoing pain due to diseased teeth. When teeth are replaced with high-grade ceramic and roots are replaced with surgical-grade titanium implants, pain transitions into a thing of the past.

Dental decay is a common concern that disappears with dental implants. However, it is essential that oral hygiene continue after implant treatment. Without daily brushing and routine dental checkups and cleanings, there is a risk for gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive infection that can cause bone to deteriorate if proper treatment is not obtained.

Better Bone Health

Multiple research studies have confirmed that bone loss occurs after tooth loss. Furthermore, it has been discovered that the reason we lose bone after we lose teeth is that the force of chewing travels through teeth and their roots to the jawbone. This transfer of energy is necessary to stimulate regeneration of bone. Therefore, without it, bone density decreases a little with every passing year. As studies have evaluated the effects of dental implants, we have learned that the titanium posts take over in terms of inciting bone growth.

Lifetime Use

The durability of results is one of the aspects of restorative dentistry that creates value. Studies on dental implants suggest that, with proper care, implants can be retained in the jawbone for 30 years. Because “good care” is so easy, it is natural to expect long-term results from the implant process.

To learn more about dental implants, call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200.

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake, IL

This is Why You Don’t Want to Skip a Routine Dental Cleaning

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake, IL Teeth cleaning. It’s something that you do every day, so why would you need to visit your Grayslake dentist twice a year for more cleaning? Does a dentist or hygienist really do anything different than you can do at home? Well, yes; yes they can. Here, we want to discuss what is involved in the average dental cleaning, and how it supports your long-term oral health.

What happens during a cleaning?

Often, teeth cleaning is performed in conjunction with routine dental exams. A combination appointment begins with a thorough physical exam during which we use a mirror and other instruments to observe all surfaces of your teeth and gums. The findings of the dental exam may dictate the direction a cleaning needs to go.

Once the exam is complete, a cleaning may include:

  • Plaque and tartar removal. This is the step of the dental cleaning that may take the longest. Usually, plaque forms around the gum line. If plaque sits too long, it hardens to tartar. Both substances can be removed with a scaler, but tartar takes a bit more time.
  • Cleaning and polishing. The two cleanings that you receive in our office each year are performed with a gritty toothpaste that removes surface stains and debris. Usually, this toothpaste has a nice, minty flavor. Because it has abrasives, the standard polishing paste used during a professional cleaning should not be applied to restorations like porcelain veneers or bonding. If you have restorations on your front teeth, a gentler toothpaste will be used.
  • Even patients who floss every day may miss a spot or two. During the professional cleaning, the flossing step can identify what those areas are. In addition to cleaning them, your hygienist can offer suggestions for better home care.

After these steps are complete, your hygienist may rinse your mouth and apply topical fluoride if necessary.

What Professional Cleanings do for Your Oral Health

Twice-a-year cleanings are recommended for patients of all ages. Statistics indicate that, when this routine is maintained, patients receive the following benefits:

  • Decreased risk of tooth decay.
  • Reduced risk of tooth loss.
  • Fresher breath.
  • Better general health.
  • An attractive smile.
  • Less need for dental restorations like fillings.

We love serving our patients with friendly care that support lifelong oral health. To schedule your visit, call (847) 223-5200.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

Could Allergy Season Affect Your Smile?

Dental Care Grayslake, ILAllergy season presents quite a few challenges, but could that persistent cough and sinus pressure go so far as to affect your smile? It might, but not in the way it sounds. The relation between your smile and your allergies is the discomfort that may stem from allergy symptoms. Here, we point out a few ways that allergy season may keep you from smiling freely.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may occur simultaneous to allergy symptoms for two reasons. First, when you’re congested, there is a greater likelihood that you will breathe through your mouth rather than your nose. This is an apparent factor in dry mouth. Second, if you take allergy medication, dry mouth is one of the common side effects you may experience. Most allergy medicine contains antihistamine ingredients. While good for reducing runny nose and post-nasal drip, antihistamine use can dry the mouth and increase the risk of bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

Tooth Pain

The oral structure is fascinating in that the nerves that travel to our teeth first bypass through the maxillary sinus. This sinus cavity is located on each side of the nose, just above the upper arch of teeth. When allergies (or even a common cold) create sinus pressure, the nerves to the teeth at the upper, back part of the mouth may hurt. In mild cases, the sensation may be more like sensitivity to hot and cold. If sinus pressure becomes substantial enough to press on the roots of teeth, pain may feel more like a toothache. Tooth pain related to sinus symptoms should improve with the use of antihistamine medication.

Oral Care Through Allergy Season

A few ways to minimize the effects of allergies on your oral comfort and health include:

  • Drink plenty of water. Eight glasses of water a day is recommended, but the body actually needs more. The average adult woman should consume about 90 ounces of water a day. Adult men need about 125 ounces of water daily to stay hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the less mucus accumulation you should experience.
  • Treat allergies as needed. Some people can manage allergy symptoms by avoiding outdoor activities during times when the pollen count is high. Over-the-counter or prescription treatment may also be needed to prevent frustrating symptoms.
  • Gargle with warm salty water. Salt water can draw mucus out of the sinuses and relieve symptoms related to sinus pressure. Also, the warm salt mixture combats bacteria that could cause infection in the throat or back of the mouth. The reduced accumulation of bacteria achieved with salt-water rinses can prevent bad breath.

To make sure dental symptoms are not caused by problems like decay, be sure to stay up to date with routine exams and cleanings with your Grayslake dentist. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit.

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake IL

Why Hot and Cold Temperatures May Trigger Sensitivity

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake ILWhenever a tooth hurts or becomes sensitive, we want to do some investigative work. These sensations don’t belong, and they often indicate a potential dental health issue. In our Grayslake general and cosmetic dentistry practice, we routinely hear about sensitivity from patients of all ages. This alerts us to the need for personalized dental care and ongoing support for improved comfort. It also allows us the opportunity to teach patients more about their teeth so they can be empowered to care for the health of their mouth.

Potential Reasons for Sensitivity

  • Compromised Enamel

The outermost part of a tooth is covered with enamel. Healthy enamel is incredibly strong. That’s why we can bite and chew and why, even though we’re not supposed to, we can use our teeth to open packages and bottle caps (by the way, don’t do this). Research suggests that enamel is weakened by acidity. Acidity can come from that can of soda or morning cup of coffee, and even from citrus fruits and salad dressings. As acid diminishes the thickness and overall strength of enamel, the second layer of tissue, the dentin becomes more reactive. When necessary, dental treatment can focus on improving overall enamel structure using fluoride or appropriate restorations.

  • Compromised Tooth Structure

Sudden sensitivity or pain that lingers often suggests that a tooth or teeth have been damaged by decay. Another type of damage, one that may also be associated with decay, is a tooth fracture. In either situation, the weakened state of tooth structure can provoke sensitivity due to heightened responsiveness in the nerves of the tooth. When sensitivity is related to either of these problems, we can correct the issue by removing damaged tooth material and fortifying the tooth with a filling or other restoration.

  • Compromised Restorations

We don’t normally assume that sensitivity can be tied to the restorations that are intended to prevent further tooth damage. Sometimes this can happen. An example of a compromised restoration could be an old amalgam filling that has been in place for several years. Amalgam is expandable. It also contracts. Over time, the way that the metal filling expands and contracts can alter its fit within the original cavity. To halt sensitivity in this situation, all we need to do is replace the compromised restoration.

  • Compromised Roots

A final and common reason that teeth feel sensitive to hot and cold temperatures is that the roots have been exposed. Typically, the root area at the base of a tooth is covered by gum tissue. If the gingiva has been affected by plaque and the bacteria within it, this tissue may pull away from tooth structure. Receding gums can be treated with a deep cleaning or laser treatment to wipe out bacteria and improve adherence to teeth.

We can see you through the issue of sensitive teeth. Call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

How Scraping Your Tongue Improves Your Life

Dental Care Grayslake, ILAt Advanced Dental Arts, we pride ourselves on providing patients with personal dental care that gets the job done (the job being oral health). There’s more to dentistry than carrying out specific cleaning and restorative tasks, though. Our team is also interested in creating a partnership with each patient. Doing so increases the results of our joint effort. As your partner in oral health, we want to go beyond the dental office. Here, we do that by offering valuable information on how you can improve your oral health at home using a tongue scraper.

Scraping your tongue may not sound very appealing. It may even sound downright uncomfortable! Trust us, when you do it right, there is no discomfort in the process. In fact, patients who develop this habit often express that they don’t know how they ever got by without it. This may be why . . .

Benefits of Tongue Scraping

Before we dive into the benefits of this practice, we should explain exactly what it is. Tongue scraping is an ancient practice that originated in India. For centuries, it has been regarded as a physical and spiritual practice. To scrape your tongue, you need a tongue scraper, a curved, non-sharp instrument that you can easily (and gently!) move across the surface of your tongue. Using your toothbrush doesn’t count! A scraper will remove much more debris and can be easily cleaned, whereas your toothbrush may hold on to bacteria and reintroduce it to your mouth.

Daily tongue-scraping can take place at the end of your oral care routine. All it takes is a minute or two to move the scraper from the back of your tongue to the front, rinsing in between if you wish.

Why would you do this? Here’s what the research says:

  • Oral health improves when debris and bacteria are removed from the back of the tongue. Without this practice, it’s possible for plaque to form in this part of the mouth. Yuck!
  • Breath improves after tongue-scraping. A coating on the back of the tongue means that toxins are front and center in the mouth. Often, the back of the tongue is the starting point of halitosis.
  • Food tastes better! Many people have testified to this theory, and it makes perfect sense. A film of debris and bacteria on any part of the tongue means that taste buds are obstructed. Therefore, a clean tongue houses fully functional taste buds.
  • Improved sense of taste aids in healthy digestion. When we fully taste the foods we eat, the body responds with a digestive action, which improves the efficiency of digestion.

Are you ready for a strong dentist-patient partnership to manage your oral health? Call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

Seeing Your Dentist is Good for Your Health

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake, ILHospitalization or necessary medical treatment due to poor oral health? This isn’t an idea that we would normally consider as fact. However, research indicates that as many as 6,000 hospitalizations occur for that very reason. Even more medical care is provided to treat complications of conditions like diabetes. The question that we ask is whether or not the two could be related.

The state of your oral health can, in fact, affect your body. The same is true in contrast. If you have a general health condition like diabetes, your oral health may be something that you struggle to manage. When we provide care to patients of our Spring Lake office, support for general health and wellness is at the forefront of our minds.

Connections You Need to Know

Scientific studies have concluded that oral health is directly impactful of general health, and related to a number of potentially serious conditions. These include:

  • Studies have demonstrated a prevalence of gum disease in individuals with diabetes. There is also evidence that gum disease is an instigating factor in the development or worsening of diabetes and the symptoms of this condition. The common thread between declining oral health and diabetes is sugar. Because blood glucose levels may fluctuate in instances of diabetes, conditions are primed for oral bacteria to thrive.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition, and also a condition caused by bacteria. Bacteria are living, breathing, moving microorganisms that aren’t limited to your mouth. They can pass into the blood and land directly in the vessels of the heart where they play a significant role in the narrowing of the arteries.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease. A recent study suggests that individuals with chronic periodontitis, or gum disease, have a 70% greater chance of developing some form of dementia later in life. This is a significant finding because previous studies were conducted on individuals who had already been diagnosed with dementia.

You Know What to Do

You know that your mouth stays healthier when you brush your teeth morning and night, and when you floss every single day before bed. Experts also suggest that oral health benefits when we avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco use.

If you have questions about the best way to care for your mouth, we’re here to help. Schedule a consultation and cleaning at (847) 223-5200.

Teeth Whitening Grayslake, IL

Why is My Tongue White?

Teeth Whitening Grayslake, ILLooking into the mirror before or after brushing our teeth is a normal thing that a lot of people do. We can understand that the appearance of your tongue could be an alarming surprise if you don’t see what you expect. The tongue is something that we normally expect to be nice and pink, with uniform texture made by taste buds. If your tongue turns white, your stomach may somersault. Not to worry, we know what might be the cause of this color-change, and we can help you restore the rightful hue to your tongue with proper care.

Why Your Tongue May be White

It Could be What You’re Eating

A white film on the tongue could be instigated by some things that are going into the mouth – and even what isn’t. For example, research has demonstrated a connection between alcohol consumption and, now, even meat consumption, to a white film. Additionally, smokers are more prone to have a white tongue. Finally, dehydration, which is a problem for a lot of people, can lead to the overaccumulation of plaque on the tongue.

You May Need to Ramp Up Your Oral Hygiene

The way that we take care of our teeth and gums is also relevant to tongue health. A white film on the tongue doesn’t mean your actual tongue is unhealthy; it means your mouth may be unhealthy. In one Swiss study, researchers concluded that 60- to 80% of the bacteria in the mouth accumulate on the tongue. Knowing this, we can extend our oral hygiene to this area in addition to the teeth and the gums.

How to Solve a White Tongue Problem

If you’re concerned about a white film on your tongue, there are steps you can take to diminish this problem. Alongside film reduction, 9 out of 10 people who follow these steps also notice fresher breath and better oral health.

  1. Make sure that you are flossing your teeth. It is in between teeth that plaque and bacteria accumulate most easily because there is ample space to hide. By flossing, you reduce the prevalence of bacteria overall in your mouth.
  2. Clean your tongue. Tongue-scraping is an efficient way to promote a healthy mouth and to directly remove the white film. Go at this very gently, or your tongue will become irritated. Before you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, gently run a tongue-scraper from the back of your tongue to the front.
  3. Top off your oral hygiene practice with a swish of anti-bacterial mouthwash.

A white film on your tongue is not a huge cause for alarm. However, if this problem persists, schedule a consultation with us so we can develop a suitable plan of action. Call (847) 223-5200 for assistance.

Teeth Restoration Grayslake, IL

Dental Fillings: When is it Time for Replacement?

Teeth Restoration Grayslake, ILDental fillings have been some of the most commonly performed treatments in dentistry. This restorative technique is more than 150 years old at this point, and a few changes have occurred since the early days of practice. One of the most significant has been the transition from gold fillings to amalgam fillings (also called silver fillings) to tooth-colored fillings. One of the aspects of treatment that hasn’t changed much is the perception patients have of fillings being permanent restorations. Here, we discuss the reasons why a filling may need to be replaced and the benefits of doing so sooner rather than later.

Indications for Replacement

Often, there is an idea that a filling may need to be replaced if a tooth becomes symptomatic. In most cases, even this comes as a surprise to the patient; going back to the idea of fillings being permanent. In reality, many fillings fail long before tooth sensitivity or pain develops. For this reason, every routine dental examination involves close observation of fillings and other restorations. What are we looking for?

  • Cracks or chips around the filling. This is especially relevant with amalgam fillings, due to the inclusion of metal in filling material. The composite metal in amalgam expands and contracts when we chew and when we consume hot and cold foods. Natural enamel does this as well, but not at the same rate. Therefore, separation eventually occurs between the margins of the filling and natural tooth structure. This is also referred to as a leaky filling.
  • Routine exams include x-rays that provide us with the closest observation of the entire tooth structure. Decay around the filling or on another area of a tooth that has a filling usually involves a repair process that removes the existing restoration and replaces it with an updated, larger restoration. In this situation, an onlay or crown may be the most appropriate treatment.
  • Just like enamel can erode, so can fillings. This is true of both tooth-colored fillings and of amalgam fillings. When a filling wears down severely, its ability to prevent further damage is significantly diminished.

There are numerous reasons to replace old fillings, including a desire to remove amalgam from the mouth. To learn more about the process of filling replacement, call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

White Spots? Here’s What it May be About!

Dental Care Grayslake, ILWhen you look at your smile, what you would like to see are shiny, healthy-looking teeth. If you’re a large percentage of the modern generations, you would also like it if your teeth were radiant white. What we look for is an all-over white, a shade that reflects youth and vitality. Bright white spots are usually more of a nuisance than a feature we appreciate. Here, we point out what those spots are and what can be done to improve the appearance of your smile.

When Fluoride Equals Fluorosis

The American Dental Association recommends that we all obtain a moderate dose of fluoride on a regular basis. Fluoride is the mineral that has been recognized the most for its anti-cavity protection. This is why fluoride is added to most public sources of drinking water, and why most toothpaste products contain it. In most cases, the addition of fluoride is advantageous. However, some people are either susceptible to fluoride exposure or get a little too much.

Fluorosis develops on teeth that are still growing; the teeth that are still hidden beneath the gums. Once a tooth erupts from the gums, this cosmetic condition cannot occur. Knowing this, dentists provide tips for the use of fluoride in children aged 8 and younger. If you are concerned about the risk of fluorosis for your child, contact our office for personal assistance.

What to do about Fluorosis

When teeth are discolored in any way, there is usually an assumption that teeth whitening is the most appropriate method of correction. In most cases, this is correct, but not when we are dealing with white spots caused by fluoride. These spots are permanent and will not improve if teeth are whitened. The way that whitening may work on mild fluorosis is by lightening the enamel around small areas of discoloration.

A more reliable treatment for the correction of fluorosis is to cover the tooth. A convenient and long-term cosmetic treatment that is often considered is porcelain veneers. This treatment is performed over two office visits and can hide discoloration in addition to other concerns, such as gaps between teeth or disproportionate size and shape. In some cases, dentists recommend porcelain crowns. We are careful to propose treatment and do so only after a thorough consultation and examination of your teeth.

Find the solution to fluorosis at Advanced Dental Arts in Grayslake. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit.

Dental Care

Treat Your Heart Well with Good Oral Care

Dental CareMany adults are interested in finding ways to support a healthy heart as they traverse their aging process. To do so means to eat well and exercise regularly in a way that suits individual preferences. It also means to take really good care of teeth and gums. Several research studies have made the correlation between poor oral health and heart problems. This may sound like bad news, but it’s not. Understanding that oral health affects the heart, we have one more way to sustain optimal wellness!

The Connection: Where and What?

It may be enough for some people to know that the mouth affects the heart, and that’s that. However, we’re going to take a look at this connection a little more closely for those who like details.

What research has discovered is that there are millions of microorganisms that live in the mouth. Living critters that we often call oral bacteria. It is bacterium that cause inflammation in the gums and cavities in teeth. When they get out of control, they can enter the blood through any opening in tissue, of which there are many. Bacteria are swallowed. Some may be inhaled. Others head straight into the blood, and where does that go? To the heart.

Then what?

Once bacteria from the mouth flow along with the blood and reach the heart, they can adhere to the tissue in this organ, where inflammation may result in:

  • Heart attack. Severe gum disease is a major risk factor for heart attacks. The direct cause in many cases is cardiovascular disease . . .
  • Cardiovascular disease. This heart condition occurs when the arteries that carry blood narrow. The reason that narrowing often occurs is plaque buildup. Another reason is inflammation. This inflammation may originate with or be exacerbated by the bacteria that have traveled from the mouth to the walls of arteries.
  • Endocarditis. This condition is actual infection in the endocardium tissue that lines the inner chambers and valves of the heart. This infection is caused by bacteria and has been directly related to the same bacterium that live in the mouth that has been infected with gum disease. Endocarditis may be treatable, but it can also permanently damage the valves of the heart, inhibiting adequate blood circulation.

Brilliant Smile, Happy Heart

Taking good care of your teeth is easy. That is something to smile about. When teeth and gums are healthy, they look better. More reason to smile! Perhaps the best advantage of good oral health is the marked decrease in the risk of potentially serious heart problems.

If you’ve got questions about what your teeth and gums really need to stay healthy, call our Grayslake office. We’re happy to schedule an exam and cleaning to jump start your forward progress.