Teeth Whitening Grayslake, IL

Are You in the Know about Keeping a Radiant Smile?

Teeth Whitening Grayslake, ILWe like to be “in the know” about current trends, and multiple avenues can help us maintain a front-row seat to what is currently in. It is no secret that our society has a great love of beauty, even though we change our perspective on what that entails from time to time. For the past several years, one of the primary characteristics of beauty has been a radiant smile. This is nothing new; humans have been trying to whiten teeth for centuries; and for good reason.

White teeth speak of youthfulness. A bright smile is also a hallmark of friendliness and popularity. We are so obsessed with correcting discoloration that countless tips exist to help us do this. Here, we are going to offer a few simple ways that you can keep your radiant smile. But first, you need a baseline.

Let’s Raise the Bar

The issue with discolored teeth is that we don’t usually talk about the problem until it has already happened. If your smile has lost its youthful vibe, no amount of whitening toothpaste or sipping through a straw is going to help. Right now is the time to raise the bar. At Advanced Dental Arts, we can reset your baseline with professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective. Once you have a new foundation of radiance in place, you can focus your efforts on maintenance.

Keeping your Radiant Smile

If you think of tips you have heard about keeping your teeth white, what comes to mind. We are going to go out on a very short limb here and suggest you have read that you need to avoid certain foods (back to sipping through a straw). There is a bit of a problem here: just about every food you eat could cause discoloration at some point. It isn’t a particular food that dulls your smile; it is the ongoing consumption of a variety of foods that will dim the light in your pearly whites.

Don’t limit your enjoyment of food and drink, do this instead:

  • Create good brushing and flossing habits. Every day, twice a day. Gently, with a mild whitening toothpaste.
  • Perform touch-up whitening periodically. This may include a commercial whitener or gel supplied by your dentist.
  • Eat an apple or some celery after meals. This will polish your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth often. This will dilute acid and particles that cause stains.

It is so easy to have a gorgeous smile; what are you waiting for? Call our Grayslake, IL office today to schedule your teeth whitening treatment.

Cosmetic Dentistry Grayslake, IL

Middle-Aged Women: Dental Health is an Important Health Matter

By the time we reach mid-life – our fifties and sixties – we have this oral care thing pretty dialed in. Most men and women understand that they need to brush and floss routinely. Most have developed a daily routine that reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease. Why is it, then, that dental problems seem to show up more frequently at this point in life? According to experts, it’s a matter of simple wear and tear. Here, we discuss the importance of oral care especially as it relates to women’s health.

Do Women Forget?

We wouldn’t go so far as to say that women completely forget about the value of oral care. What does seem to happen, though, is that women (and many men, too) become more fixated on how they look as they begin to notice the various signs of aging on their face and body. Many women aged forty to sixty are caring for family members while also maintaining their career. Attending to cosmetic concerns is a convenient and cost-effective way for a woman to provide herself with a little TLC. However, it’s essential to keep the smile in mind throughout the changes that occur in midlife.

A Smile Makeover Could be the Real Lift you Need

Many women today want to maintain their youthful appearance. This isn’t to say all women want to hover within the same physical appearance they did when they were 20 or even 30. It means there is a common trend that involves softening lines and wrinkles and maintaining facial contours. Smooth, tight skin is nice, but so is a great smile.

Did you know that research suggests that we look at people’s smiles as an indicator of youth? Not only that, but a vibrant smile is also an indication of friendliness and trustworthiness. Studies have demonstrated the power of cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and tooth replacement in the area of youthful features, with many study participants perceived as 10 or more years younger than they did before dental treatment.

A dental lift can provide you with the rejuvenation your face needs while also restoring sufficient structural durability where it may have declined. Learn more about the value of restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your visit at our Grayslake office by calling (847) 223-5200.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

White Spots on Your Teeth? Come See Us!

Most people love the idea of having brilliantly white teeth. The brightness of the smile has become a significant indicator of youthfulness, friendliness, and even success. What happens if the white you see on your front teeth appears in spot form? White spots on teeth aren’t something we want to see. They are, however, relatively common. Here, we discuss what white spots are and what you can do about them.

Fluorosis, the White we Don’t Want

When white spots appear on front teeth, it is because fluoride has slightly damaged tooth enamel. Wait, what? Fluoride is the mineral that we brush with and consume so that our teeth can grow stronger and resist cavities! This is true. There are benefits to fluoride. However, in the case of fluorosis, too much fluoride has been consumed. But there’s a catch.

Fluorosis seems to occur when a child ingests fluoride during the years in which teeth are forming. It is for this reason that toothpaste formulas for children do not contain fluoride or do so in minimal amounts. The problem is, many parents may share their own toothpaste with children, and younger children lack the full ability to spit all product out. If toothpaste is swallowed routinely, enamel mineralization may suffer. It isn’t the fluoride in toothpaste alone that is responsible for white spots on developing teeth. We must remember that most public water sources are also fluoridated, as is most bottled water. Therefore, children are obtaining fluoride from multiple sources. Just like anything in life, a little bit is good, too much is just too much.

Treating Fluorosis

In most cases of enamel discoloration, it is assumed that teeth whitening is the answer. This may not be the case with fluorosis. Teeth whitening treatment works by reaching into the pores of enamel and disrupting settlements of debris so more light can reflect off tooth surfaces. Debris does not cause fluorosis; weakened enamel causes it. Therefore, teeth whitening may not achieve the desired result for the teen or adult with white spots.

Sometimes, a dentist can buff white spots to decrease their appearance. However, this can only be done if there is certainty that enamel will not be compromised. Our top priority is to ensure that teeth can resist decay. For this reason, we may recommend porcelain crowns or veneers as the optimal solution to fluorosis spots.

White spots do not have to affect the appearance of your smile negatively. Call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200 to explore treatment options.

Can Decay Develop Under a Crown?

Dental crowns are frequently used to repair teeth that have sustained considerable damage due to injury or decay. This restorative fixture looks just like the natural tooth and fits over the damaged structure to prevent further destruction. Because a crown fits over the tooth all the way to the gum line, there is a reasonable perception of long-term protection. In fact, crowns are intended to last up to 15 years. However, it is imperative that teeth restored with dental crowns be treated just like natural teeth that are susceptible to decay. Otherwise, there is a potential for bacteria to attack an already-vulnerable tooth.

How to Know if Decay Has Developed Beneath a Crown

Because many crowns are made with a metal substructure, decay detection can be a challenge. Whereas the metal-free crowns that are available today do not obstruct x-ray imaging, metal crowns are impossible to see through on x-ray. What we can do is observe the condition of the root on x-rays to evaluate the potential presence of infection. Meticulous inspection of the crown itself can also point us to underlying decay.

Why Decay is Possible

The perception of dental crowns being highly protective should not diminish because of the potential for decay. The better patients understand the structure of dental crowns, the more they can see where vulnerability lies. More importantly, they can understand how to protect their teeth – crowns or no crowns.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings keep your teeth and your restorations in optimal condition. During these routine visits, we can assess the overall condition of crowns, including the tightness of fit at the gum line. By checking the integrity of restorations periodically, we intend to catch signs of decay before the underlying tooth can be badly affected.

Daily oral care is also a critical factor in the longevity of a dental crown. Just like bacteria can accumulate at the gum line around natural teeth, these microorganisms can colonize around a crown. If they do, inflammation can cause gum tissue to loosen around the crown, allowing bacteria to enter hidden areas.

It is not uncommon for decay to develop beneath a dental crown. We encourage our patients to maintain excellent oral care habits to minimize this risk, and also to contact us if there is any suspicion that a crown may have been compromised.

We’d love to see your smile. Schedule your visit at (847) 223-5200.

Do Implants Have a Few Things Over Natural Teeth?

One 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

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?

Allergy 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

Whenever 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

At 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

Hospitalization 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.