September 20th, 2023
Most of us know that unpleasant feeling. You’re happily enjoying an icy milkshake with lunch or having a piping hot cappuccino break, and suddenly an innocent binge turns to cringe—your tooth sensitivity has crossed another item off the menu. If heat, cold, even the act of brushing cause you tooth discomfort, we have solutions for you. Let’s look at some of the common reasons for tooth sensitivity and how to prevent it.
- Bad Brushing Habits
There can be too much of a good thing! Aggressive brushing, especially with firm toothbrushes, can damage enamel. When the dentin underneath is exposed, heat and cold can reach the sensitive inner tooth and trigger discomfort.
Go easy on yourself: Switch to a soft bristled or electric toothbrush and brush thoroughly but gently. It’s often suggested that we massage rather than scrub. We can also recommend toothpastes that can help reduce sensitivity.
- Gum Disease
As gum disease progresses, the gums start to pull away from the teeth and expose their roots. Even though the roots are protected by cementum, a covering a lot like enamel, they are more sensitive to heat and cold. And if you are an aggressive brusher, the cementum is more easily damaged than enamel, leaving the sensitive roots even less protected.
Prevention is the answer: Brushing and flossing help prevent gum disease, as do your regular exams and cleanings. If you are suffering from more advanced gum disease (periodontitis), Drs. Angela Paros, Amer Atassi, Eric Young, Alexander Katsnelson can suggest advanced treatment to protect your roots, such as deep cleanings and gum grafts. Don’t let periodontitis go untreated, as it can lead to infection and even tooth loss.
- Your Diet
If your enamel is already compromised, sugary foods and acidic foods can cause tooth discomfort.
Be patient: Until your sensitivity problem is under control, avoiding these types of foods will help. On the other hand, sugary and acidic foods aren’t the ideal dental diet, so cutting back is not a bad idea.
- Your Dental Products
Mouthwash, whitening toothpastes and home whitening products contain substances such as alcohol or bleaching agents that can cause sensitivity in some users.
Make some changes to your shopping list: Choose products without alcohol or whiteners. Talk to us about gentler alternatives for mouthwashes and whitening.
- Tooth Injuries
If you have a cavity, a broken filling, a cracked tooth, or some other injury to the tooth, sensitivity can be a warning sign.
Take care of yourself: Call our Romeoville, IL office immediately if you have prolonged sensitivity or any other painful symptom. Repairing and restoring your damaged tooth should eliminate this discomfort. And, while it is often common to experience some degree of sensitivity after dental work, if this doesn’t clear up within a short time, let us know.
- Teeth Grinding
Because grinding also wears away enamel, tooth grinders often suffer from sensitive teeth.
Protect yourself: We can fit you for a custom nightguard that will eliminate the nightly stress on your enamel. It can also help the tooth and jaw pain caused by grinding.
Talk to us about any sensitivity you have been experiencing, especially if it has been going on for a while or is causing you real discomfort. We will explore the possible reasons for your tooth sensitivity and help you find solutions. After all, you should feel free to enjoy any item on the menu, in the very best of dental health.
September 20th, 2023
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that results when bacteria in your mouth cause inflammation in your gums. This is a common condition, and you can treat it effectively if you are aggressive. Otherwise, it could develop into more advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, and you could lose one or more teeth.
Watch for symptoms of gingivitis so you can ask Drs. Angela Paros, Amer Atassi, Eric Young, Alexander Katsnelson for help as soon as you need it. Strategies for treating gingivitis include thoroughly cleaning your teeth and assessing the scope of your gingivitis and how serious the problem is.
Gingivitis: Early Gum Disease
Your mouth contains many bacteria that form plaque, which is a sticky substance. You can get rid of plaque by brushing well, but if you don’t, it can build up on your teeth and form tartar. Bacteria can make your gums inflamed and cause pain and bleeding, or gingivitis. Other symptoms include loose teeth, bad breath, receding gums, and sensitive teeth. You’re at higher risk for gingivitis if you’re a smoker, if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have diabetes.
Assessment and Diagnosis
If you think you recognize the symptoms of gingivitis, contact our Romeoville, IL office to make an appointment. We will ask you about your risk factors for gingivitis and examine your teeth and mouth for signs of red and swollen gums. We may also measure the pockets around your teeth. If they are larger than usual, your gingivitis may be more advanced. Finally, will take some X-rays to get a picture of the bone structure of your jaw.
You can’t get rid of the tartar on your teeth just by brushing at home. Instead, you need a deep cleaning consisting of scaling and root planing. Scaling involves scraping the plaque off of your teeth, both below and above the line of your gum. In root planing, the rough surfaces of your teeth where tartar is more likely to build up are smoothed. A laser may be used to make the procedure more effective, more accurate, and more comfortable.
September 13th, 2023
So you might be wondering, just what are cavities? How do we get them? What do they do to our teeth? How can we prevent them? Let’s talk!
Our teeth need to be strong to bite and chew. That’s why they are protected by a coating called enamel, which is made up of very hard minerals. Enamel is the strongest part of our bodies—stronger even than our bones. But this doesn’t mean nothing can hurt it! And cavities, also called tooth decay, are one of the most common dangers facing our enamel.
So, what are cavities?
A cavity is a hole in your tooth enamel. If your tooth is not cleaned and repaired when a cavity is small, this hole can grow bigger until tooth decay reaches the inside of your tooth. Enamel doesn’t heal when it’s damaged, so you need to see a dentist to make your tooth healthy again.
How do we get cavities?
Bacteria are tiny little germs. Many kinds of bacteria live in our bodies, and some of them are quite helpful. The bacteria which cause cavities are not. These unhelpful bacteria join with our saliva and very small pieces of the food we’ve chewed to make a sticky film called plaque.
Like other living things, the bacteria in plaque need food. They get that food from the foods we eat, especially sugars and starches. As they eat, they change these sugars and starches into acids, and these acids attack the minerals which keep enamel hard and strong.
Because plaque sticks to our teeth, bacterial acids are able to make weak spots in enamel if the plaque isn’t brushed away. If you see a white spot on your tooth, that could mean that your enamel is losing minerals, and getting weaker.
What do cavities do to our teeth?
Over time, weak spots can grow bigger until there’s a hole in the enamel surface. If the cavity in your enamel is small, you might not notice it at first. But cavities can become wider and deeper, and even break through enamel to reach the inside of your tooth.
The inside of each tooth holds pulp, the part of your tooth which keeps it healthy. If tooth decay spreads to the pulp, it can cause more damage and infection, so it’s important to treat a cavity right away.
Dark spots on your enamel, a toothache, pain when you drink something hot or cold or when you bite down—these can be clues that you have a cavity, and you should visit us for an exam.
How can you prevent cavities?
Even better than treating a cavity is preventing one. Let’s make a list of some helpful do’s and don’ts for cavity prevention:
- Do: Feed yourself foods which are good for you.
Foods like milk and cheese and many dark green vegetables have lots of calcium and vitamin D to help keep your enamel strong.
- Don’t: Feed bacteria foods which are good for them.
Sugar and simple starches like potato chips are the kinds of foods bacteria like best, because they are easy to break down. This means more acids to attack your enamel.
This doesn’t mean you should never enjoy a treat! But eating lots of starchy snacks and drinking sugary sodas means more plaque, and more plaque can mean more cavities. If you’re eating something starchy or sweet, it’s a good idea to brush or rinse afterward.
- Do: Brush at least twice a day, for at least two minutes, with fluoride toothpaste.
This is the best way to get rid of plaque, which builds up every day. And fluoride toothpaste even helps make your enamel stronger.
- Don’t: Forget to floss.
Flossing takes a while to learn to do well, but it’s very important. Flossing helps prevent cavities between the teeth and near the gums.
- Do: Visit our Romeoville, IL dental office for exams and cleanings.
Not only will we look for cavities, we’ll let you know the best way to brush and floss so you can get your teeth their cleanest.
- Don’t: Feel bad if you get a cavity!
Some people are more likely to get cavities than others, even when they brush just right and eat healthy foods. If you have a cavity, we can remove decay and repair your tooth with a filling.
And one last thing to do: talk to Drs. Angela Paros, Amer Atassi, Eric Young, Alexander Katsnelson if you have any questions about the best ways to protect your teeth from cavities. We have lots of suggestions to help you take care of your healthy, beautiful smile!
September 13th, 2023
Sports are great for children for a variety of reasons. Children can develop their motor skills, learn how to solve conflicts and work together, and develop their work ethics. As a parent, you may recognize the benefits of sports, but also naturally worry about your child’s health and safety. Your job goes beyond providing a water bottle and making sure your child follows the rules of the game.
Although you may not think of your child’s teeth first when you think about sports, accidents can happen that affect your children’s teeth. A stray hockey stick, an errant basketball, or a misguided dive after a volleyball are examples of ways a child could lose a tooth. In fact, studies show that young athletes lose more than three million teeth each year.
Becoming a Better Athlete to Protect Teeth
Becoming a better athlete involves refining skills, learning the rules of the game, and being a good sport. These components are not just about winning. They are also about safety. Young athletes who are better ball-handlers and who are careful to avoid fouls and penalties are less likely to have harmful contact with the ball, teammates, or opponents. Children who are better roller-bladers are less likely to take a face plant into the blacktop, and more likely to save their teeth. Being a good sport and avoiding unnecessary contact is one way to protect teeth.
Proper Protective Equipment for Teeth
If your child is in a sport that poses a high threat to teeth, it is essential for your child to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards fit your child’s mouth and consist of soft plastic. Drs. Angela Paros, Amer Atassi, Eric Young, Alexander Katsnelson can custom fit a mouthguard if generic ones are uncomfortable. While children may resist wearing a mouthguard initially, your persistence in insisting that they wear it should be enough to convince them. A helmet or face mask provides additional protection.
While prevention is best, rapid treatment can improve the situation if your child does happen to lose a tooth during sports. Rapid implantation can work in about ten percent of cases. To learn about ways to save a lost tooth, contact our Romeoville, IL office.