DentiStar Tips for Adults in Glenview
ADULTS under 40
We are all at risk for tooth decay our entire life. Untreated dental disease
can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone
or nerve and tooth loss. Dental infections that are left untreated can
even spread to other parts of the body. Mouth is the gateway of the body.
Everything starts here !!!
Dental disease is preventable !!! You can practice preventive dentistry
on yourself by adopting simple healthy habits: Always remember to brush
your teeth twice a day, floss between teeth once a day, eat a balanced
diet and limit between-meal snacks. And don't forget your regular
dental visits. By following a healthy dental routine and making smart
food choices, you can lower your risk for tooth decay.
Gum Disease / Periodontal Disease
Periodontal Disease, or commonly referred to as gum disease is an inflammation
of the tissues [gum and bone] that hold your teeth in place. If it's
severe, it can destroy the tissue and bone, leading to tooth pain, mobility,
and loss. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that
constantly forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed it can harden
into calculus (tartar). When tartar forms above and below the gumline,
it becomes harder to brush and clean well between teeth. That buildup
of plaque and tartar can harbor bacteria that lead to gum disease. The
first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is the only stage
that is reversible.
If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form
of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. It is possible to have
periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why
regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are so important.
Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition
has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal
disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Brush twice a day, clean
between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental
visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Teeth grinding, also called clenching/bruxism, often occurs unconsciously
while you sleep or at high level of stress. It can cause serious damage
to your teeth and jaw. Although it is often considered to be stress-related,
teeth grinding can also be caused by sleep disorders. To provide treatment,
we will try to identify reason for grinding then be fitted with a mouthguard
to protect your teeth while you sleep.
The temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, are among the more complex joints
in your body. Any problem that prevents the TMJ from working properly
may result in a painful disorder, also referred to as TMD, or temporaomandibular
disorder. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is often unclear, but possible
causes can include arthritis, dislocation, injury and/or problems related
to alignment or teeth grinding from stress.
Symptoms can include:
- pain in or around the ear
- tenderness of the jaw
- clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
If you're regularly experiencing facial or jaw pain, let us know. Exercise,
muscle relaxants or physical therapy may help.
If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have a very common dental
problem—sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for
several reasons, including:
- tooth decay (cavities)
- fractured teeth
- worn fillings
- gum disease
- worn tooth enamel
- exposed tooth root
Sensitive teeth can be treated. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing
tooth pain. Ask us if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene
routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.
Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has 3
or more decayed or missing teeth? If you are missing one or more teeth,
there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem. Implants, bridges,
removeable dentures are all available to restore your smile and your mouth.
Everyone's mouth can be dry sometimes, but if you feel like your mouth
is always dry, it may be time to seek treatment. Medications and certain
health conditions can lead to dry mouth. We will check your teeth for
signs of decay that can result from decreased salivary flow. A physician
will test for any underlying disease or conditions that may be causing
your dry mouth. Having a dry mouth is not itself serious but taking care
of your teeth and gums and regular dental visits are important when living
with dry mouth. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and
other oral health problems become more common. Patients using oral inhalers
for asthma often develop oral candidiasis, an oral fungal infection, and
are encouraged to rinse their mouths with water after using the inhaler.
Tell us what medications you are taking and any other information about
your health that may help identify the cause of your dry mouth.
Ororpharyngeal cancer can affect any area of the oropharyngeal cavity including
the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue, jaw the hard or soft palate
and throat. It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or
sore or swelling anywhere in the mouth or throat.
During your dental visit, we will discuss your health history and examine
these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. Regular visits to
your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your
oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
- sores that bleed easily or do not heal
- a thick or hard spot or lump
- a roughened or crusted area
- numbness, pain or tenderness
- a rapid change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing,
swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw. Regular dental check-ups,
including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early
detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
GERIATRIC DENTAL CARE
Just 20-30 years ago, it was an assumption that as we age we would lose
our natural teeth. But, that's not the case for today's older
adults who are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before. A
healthy mouth and teeth help you look good, eat delicious and nutritious
foods, and speak clearly and confidently. Being mouth healthy is essential
for good quality of life.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body.
Maintaining good oral health habits now is especially important because
unhealthy bacteria in the mouth harm your teeth and gums but also associated
with serious medical conditions. Research has shown that infections in
the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia
and other health problems that are common in older adults. It really only
takes a few simple steps, brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist
regularly and eating nutritious foods to be Mouth Healthy for Life.
The Link Between Medications and Cavities
You may wonder why you're suddenly getting cavities when you haven't
had them in years. As we get older, we enter a second round of cavity
prone years. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth.
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. However, it is a side-effect
in more than 500 medications, including those for allergies or asthma,
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinson's
and Alzheimer's diseases. Based on your medical and medication history,
we will make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and
- Over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a spray or mouthwash.
- Consult with your physician on whether to change the medication or dosage.
- Drink / sip more water. Carry a water bottle with you to provide constant
- Use sugar-free gum or mints to stimulate saliva production.
- Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air especially during winter months
- Avoid foods and beverages that dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated
soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.
- Topical fluoride gel or varnish to remineralize and protect your teeth
Many older adults have gum, or periodontal disease, caused by the bacteria
in plaque, which irritate the gums, making them swollen, red and more
likely to bleed. One reason gum disease is so widespread among adults
is that it's often a painless condition until the advanced stage.
If left untreated, gums can begin to pull away from the teeth and form
deepened spaces called pockets where food particles and more plaque may
collect. Advanced gum disease can eventually destroy the gums, bone and
ligaments supporting the teeth leading to tooth loss. The good news is
that with regular dental visits gum disease can be treated or prevented entirely.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 35,000 cases
of mouth, throat and tongue cancer diagnosed each year. The average age
of most people diagnosed with these cancers is 62. During dental visits,
your dentist will check for any signs of oral cancer. Regular dental visits
are important because in the early stages oral cancer typically does not
cause pain and early detection saves lives. Some symptoms you may see
include open sores, white or reddish patches, and changes in the lips,
tongue and lining of the mouth that lasts for more than two weeks.
Do I Need Antibiotics before a Dental Procedure?
In 2008, the American Heart Association updated its recommendations for
the use of preventive antibiotics before certain dental procedures, including
teeth cleaning and extractions, for people with specific heart problems.
The use of preventive antibiotics prior to certain dental procedures is
recommended for patients with:
- artificial heart valves
- a history of infective endocarditis (an infection of the lining inside
the heart or the heart valves)
- a cardiac (heart) transplant that develops a heart valve problem
- suffer from a congenital (present from birth) heart condition:
- unrepaired or incompletely repaired cyanotic congenital heart disease,
including those with palliative shunts and conduits;
- a completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material
or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during
the first six months after the procedure;
- any repaired congenital heart defect with residual defect at the site or
adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or a prosthetic device.
People who may have taken prophylactic antibiotics before but no longer
need them include those with:
- mitral valve prolapse (may have been identified as a heart murmur)
- rheumatic heart disease
- bicuspid valve disease
- calcified aortic stenosis
- congenital (present from birth) heart conditions such as ventricular septal
defect, atrial septal defect and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Caregiving for a Disabled or Elderly Loved One
You may have a parent, spouse or friend who has difficulty maintaining
a healthy mouth on their own. How can you help? Two things are critical:
1) Help them keep their mouth clean with reminders to brush and floss daily.
2) Make sure they come see us regularly.
These steps can prevent many problems, but tasks that once seemed so simple
can become very challenging. If your loved one is having difficulty with
brushing and flossing, we can provide helpful tips or a different approach.
For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to their eating habits.
If they're having difficulty eating or are not eating as much as usual,
denture problems could be the cause.
Paying for Dental Care after Retirement
Many retirees don't realize that Medicare does not cover routine dental
care. Begin to plan for your dental expenses in advance of retirement
so you don't have to let your dental health suffer once you're
on a fixed income. Organizations like AARP offer supplemental dental insurance
plans for their members. You can also search for a dental plan at the
National Association of Dental Plans website.
We offer no interest or low interest financing plans through Care Credit
that may be a better option than paying for your dental work on a household
credit card with a higher interest rate. If you have concerns about continuing
your dental care due to a limited income, talk to us. We may be able to