Naperville Periodontist | Should I Be Using a Tongue Scraper?

Periodontist in Naperville, IL

Periodontist in 60540In addition to brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing at least once, it is also important to take good care of your tongue. Bacteria can build up on your tongue throughout the day. For some patients, using a tongue scraper can be the best solution for a cleaner, healthier tongue.

Should You Be Using One?

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) found scraping your tongue results in a noticeable decrease in the sulfur compounds which can lead to bad breath. According to a study in the Journal of Periodontology, tongue scrapers reduced these compounds by 75%, while using a standard toothbrush only reduced 45% of sulfur compounds. Choose a method that works best for your mouth, but make sure you are taking care of your tongue.

What Do They Do?

While they may help alleviate bad breath, scraper’s main function is to clean off debris and bacteria from your tongue. Your toothbrush is designed to effectively clean teeth, but the surface of your tongue is very different from that of your teeth. A tongue scraper may provide a more thorough cleaning for your tongue.

How Do I Use One?

Start by washing out your mouth. When you are ready clean your tongue, place the scraper in the back of your mouth, and gently pull it forward. Make sure you are scraping all areas of your tongue, but do not push so far back that you gag. You will want to rinse your mouth after you are done. Be sure to clean the scraper when you are finished.

While you might not be used to cleaning your tongue, it can be an effective solution for bad breath and bacteria caused by food. At your next appointment, ask about other ways of keeping your tongue clean and your mouth healthy. Keeping up with your daily oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing is crucial to maintaining your oral health and preventing unhealthy bacteria.

For more tips on a healthy mouth or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us. We look forward to seeing you.

Naperville Periodontist | Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Periodontist in Naperville

What makes teeth sensitive?

Periodontist in NapervilleIf the idea of biting into an ice cream sandwich makes you cringe, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from sensitive teeth. This is often caused by movement of fluid in the dentin – the soft inner tissue beneath the enamel of your tooth. This motion irritates the tooth nerve, creating a tingling sensation and sometimes pain.

Another common cause of tooth sensitivity occurs when the tiny tubes of fluid in the dentin become exposed. This can happen due to tooth wear, receding gums, or damage to the tooth. When this occurs, pain is triggered by eating or drinking foods that are hot or cold, sweet or acidic, and even through contact or exposure to air.

Whitening and orthodontic treatment may cause temporary teeth sensitivity. In most cases, this type will disappear within a week or two. In severe cases of sensitivity, the tooth nerve itself may be exposed, causing severe pain and irritation and requiring immediate treatment.

What can you do about sensitivity?

If you are suffering from sensitivity in your teeth, tell your hygienist or dentist at your next dental visit. They may need to screen for more serious underlying causes that could need treatment. They will also be able to recommend your best method of managing your discomfort.

Is sensitivity preventable?

Some forms of sensitivity are preventable. Avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes and do not brush aggressively. This can cause higher levels of wear that lead to sensitivity. If you participate in sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from trauma. Chipped and cracked teeth often become sensitive.

Once serious underlying issues have been ruled out, you can help to manage mildly sensitive teeth with special toothpastes that are designed to decrease your sensitivity. If these do not provide sufficient relief, ask whether a prescription product may be needed.

If you experience tooth sensitivity, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We can help.

 

Naperville Periodontist | 5 Ways Dental Implants Change Your Life

Naperville Periodontist

Naperville, IL PeriodontistThe American College of Prosthodontists reports that about 178 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. Nearly 40 million have lost all of their permanent teeth.

Regardless of the cause, tooth loss can have serious consequences on your oral health, diet, speech, appearance, and self-esteem. Dental implants provide a long-term solution for tooth loss that can improve more than just your smile. Here are 5 ways dental implant restorations can change your life:

  1. Improve your speech. Missing teeth can leave gaps that cause speech impediments. Dentures can be bulky or loose, leading to discomfort, slurred words, and embarrassment. Dental implants stay secure and do not take up additional space in the mouth, so you can speak naturally.
  2. Preserve your jawbone. The roots of teeth are naturally embedded in the jawbone. When the tooth and root are missing, your jaw’s bone structure can begin to deteriorate over time. Dental implants help to preserve and strengthen the bone, as natural teeth do.
  3. Keep your teeth in place. When a tooth is lost, surrounding teeth can shift into the opening, distorting the shape of your smile and bite. Dental implants fill the gap and hold your surrounding teeth in their correct positions.
  4. Look younger. When we are in early adulthood, our teeth and jawbone work together to support our facial features. When teeth are lost, your facial skin can crease or droop near gaps. Jaw bone loss can lead to further loss of support, causing a more aged appearance. Dental implants restore your facial support and help preserve jaw bone structure.
  5. Improve your smile. Gaps in your smile can leave you feeling self-conscious about your appearance. Dental implants look like natural teeth, restoring the beauty of your smile. Studies show that feeling good about your smile boosts your confidence and self-esteem.

To learn more about the benefits of dental implant restoration, contact our office for your consultation.

Naperville Periodontist | Know the Signs: Identifying and Managing Gingivitis

Periodontist in Naperville, IL

Periodontist NapervilleGingivitis is among the most common oral health issues. It is especially prevalent in adults over 40. Unfortunately, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to significant oral health issues. However, it can be effectively treated, which can help prevent further symptoms from developing. Here’s what you need to know about gingivitis.

Signs and Symptoms

Gingivitis often leads to swollen gums that appear red or purple. Your gums might be painful or tender. Gingivitis can also involve bleeding when brushing and flossing. Additionally, bad breath is often a side-effect of gingivitis. A build-up of plaque or tartar is sometimes visible as well. Many people have gingivitis without knowing, as symptoms do not always appear in early stages.

Prevention

Gingivitis can often be prevented through proper oral hygiene habits. Your best line of defense is brushing twice each day for two minutes each time. It is also essential to clean between your teeth daily. This helps to prevent the buildup of plaque and harmful bacteria. As plaque builds up near the gum line, gingivitis can develop.

Treatment

Gingivitis can be effectively treated in our office. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to additional serious periodontal issues. Severe periodontal disease can cause your gums to recede, eventually leading to tooth loss. Seek help if your gums have been a source of trouble or discomfort for you.

Talk to our experienced periodontal team if you have experienced symptoms of gingivitis. Gingivitis can be managed effectively if you seek the proper treatment. If you smoke, have diabetes, are elderly, or take certain medications, you are at a higher risk for developing gingivitis. Be good to your gums by brushing twice each day and flossing daily. Keeping your teeth free of plaque is the simplest way to keep your gums healthy.

For questions about your gum health or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.

Periodontics in Naperville | Childhood Obesity and Periodontal Disease

Periodontist in Naperville

Naperville IL PeriodontistA recent study made a concerning connection between children who are obese and their risk of developing gingivitis. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is especially important for young people. Gum issues that are detected early and treated are usually reversible. Here’s what you need to know from the study.

Understanding Gingivitis

Gingivitis can sometimes go unnoticed. It is a mild type of periodontal disease. The longer it remains untreated, the more severe damage and infection it can lead to. Gingivitis can cause swollen gums, bloody gums, and bad breath. Gums begin to recede when infected, eventually leading to tooth loss.

What the Study Found

The study examined 90 children. Nearly 99% of those classified as obese had gingivitis of some degree. For children classified as overweight, 85% were found to have gingivitis. Previous studies have found similar correlations in adults.

Steps You Can Take

If your child is overweight, it is imperative you help them keep up with their oral health. Instill good daily habits. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes, two times each day. Encourage the use of dental floss and a mouthwash that fights gingivitis. Keep up with a regular routine of periodontal examinations in our office. We can help to detect problems early and will recommend treatment options if needed.

While the sample size of this study was small, the results are still important to consider. Obesity in adults has been linked to increasing the risk of developing gum problems, making these results less surprising but nonetheless imperative. If your child is overweight, talk with their doctor to develop an appropriate weight-loss plan. Include our team to provide your child with a comprehensive periodontal examination. When left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more severe complications. The key to fighting gum disease is to detect it early and take preventive measures through your child’s daily oral hygiene routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.

Periodontist in Naperville | What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontist in Naperville ILPeriodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove the tartar from teeth.

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis.

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis.

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth.

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Dental Implants Naperville | Interesting Facts About Teeth

Naperville IL PeriodontistHere are some interesting facts about your amazing teeth:

  • Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, according to Dr. Leslie Seldin, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.
  • A quarter of all of the adults in the United States have lost all of their teeth due to improper at home and professional care.
  • Teeth are already forming before birth.
  • The term “wisdom teeth” was given because these teeth come in later in life.
  • Saliva is produced in our mouth in order to assist in breaking down food. It also helps to prevent tooth decay.
  • In regards to diseases, tooth decay is the second most common after the everyday cold.
  • When the general public goes to the store to buy a toothbrush, they prefer the color blue over red.
  • During the middle ages, it was custom to kiss a donkey when a person had a toothache.
  • A person only buys 18 yards of dental floss per year when reality, it should be 122 yards.
  • It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain healthy teeth.

Enjoy these fun dental facts. We hope to see you soon!