If you haven’t been brushing, flossing, or getting your teeth professionally cleaned, you may have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with proper oral hygiene practices and a little help from our dental team.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. There are several symptoms, including red, swollen, and tender gums; sensitivity to heat or cold; gums that bleed easily; and lingering bad breath. Untreated gum disease can progress to periodontitis, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Who gets gingivitis?
Gingivitis is very common. Over half of all adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of gum disease.
There are several factors that increase the risk of gum disease:
- males, though researchers are unsure of the reason for this. There may be a hormonal component to this, or that men are more likely to contract related diseases. In addition, men are less likely to go to the dentist.
- poverty-stricken individuals and those with less than a high school education. A number of diseases are associated with these factors.
- smokers, since tobacco weakens the body’s ability to resist infection.
Gingivitis: What Causes It?
Plaque and tartar can accumulate on the teeth without good oral hygiene practices and regular dental cleanings. Bacteria in plaque irritate gum tissues, causing inflammation and infection.
Other risk factors for gingivitis include having crooked teeth that are hard to clean; smoking or chewing tobacco; hormonal changes during pregnancy; and dry mouth. Gum inflammation can also be a side effect of certain medications and be caused by certain medical conditions, including diabetes.
How Is Gingivitis Treated?
A deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing is the first line of treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis. The process of scaling is similar to that of a routine dental cleaning. Scalers are used to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and in between teeth. Root planing involves cleaning and smoothing out the tooth’s root surfaces to encourage the gum tissue to heal.
A gingivitis treatment plan should also include maintaining daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. Please schedule an appointment with our dental office as soon as possible if you notice any signs of gingivitis. Our Roselle dentist will evaluate your condition and assist you in restoring your healthy smile.
We invite you to schedule your routine dental examination and cleaning with our dental office. We provide preventive services to ensure your smile remains healthy for as long as possible. You can always count on our team for the highest level of care and service. Get in touch with Westlake Dental Care of Roselle today to schedule an appointment!
An oral cavity cancer that spreads to the jawbone typically results in jaw cancer, which is a rare type of head and neck cancer. Our dental team understands how unsettling it can be to receive a diagnosis of jaw cancer. We believe, however, that being educated, prepared, and proactive can help ensure the best possible outcome.
Symptoms of Jaw Cancer
The majority of jaw cancers are benign, which means they do not spread to surrounding tissues. Occasionally, jaw cancers can be aggressive, spreading to surrounding structures and causing serious health complications.
Jaw cancer is characterized by four symptoms:
- Jaw Pain: The majority of jaw pain is attributed to TMJ disorder. However, it is imperative to visit a dental professional to exclude the possibility of oral cancer if you experience jaw pain. Occasionally, aggressive jaw tumors may spread to surrounding bone and tissues, resulting in tooth displacement, which is often painful.
- Jaw Swelling: One of the most significant symptoms of jaw cancer is swelling in the jaw area that can be seen on the side of the face. The swelling may also occur on the roof of the mouth or beneath the teeth, depending on where the tumor is located.
- Lumps on the jaw: An enlarged lump on the roof of the mouth or on the gums should be evaluated by a dentist if it does not resolve within two weeks. There may be lumps associated with infections or benign growths, but they can also be caused by cancer of the jawbone.
- Loose teeth: Squamous cell carcinoma, which can reach the jawbone through tooth sockets, is the most common type of malignant jaw cancer. A jawbone tumor may cause your teeth to move out of place, causing them to loosen. Whenever you notice that a tooth is loose, you should seek immediate assistance.
How Does Jaw Cancer Develop?
Smoking and chewing tobacco products are the leading causes of jaw cancer. Furthermore, poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, genetics, excessive alcohol consumption, and viruses such as HPV are all risk factors.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Jaw Cancer?
Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, eating a balanced, nutritious diet, and maintaining a meticulous oral hygiene regimen are all effective ways to reduce the risk of jaw and other oral cancers. Make sure you visit our dental office twice a year for dental exams and cleanings. We are always on the lookout for signs of oral or jaw cancer so that early intervention can be provided, if necessary, to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contact our dental office to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. To rule out any abnormalities, we will perform an oral cancer screening. You can always count on our team for exceptional service and care. Make an appointment with us today!
Every now and then, most people experience heartburn and the discomfort associated with acid reflux. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, your oral health may be compromised. This article will provide you with all the information you need about acid reflux and its devastating effects on your teeth.
An Overview of Acid Reflux
During digestion, the stomach produces acids to break down and digest food. These acids work their way up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. This results in a burning, painful sensation in the chest. Additionally, patients may experience excessive burping, bad breath, an acidic taste in their mouth, difficulty swallowing, and tooth sensitivity.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition characterized by frequent acid reflux episodes. Sadly, constant exposure to stomach acids can cause extensive damage to your oral health.
What are the effects of acid reflux on your oral health?
Similarly to acidic foods and beverages, stomach acids can erode or wear your tooth enamel, leaving you with yellow, pitted, and sensitive teeth. When your teeth are repeatedly exposed to stomach acids, they can suffer extensive, irreversible damage. Additionally, the acids can irritate your gums, leading to gum disease, the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
Your oral health is not the only thing at risk from acid reflux. Your overall health can be negatively affected by it. Unlike the stomach, which has a lining that protects it from acids, the esophagus does not. It can be damaged by acid reflux, resulting in extreme pain and difficulty swallowing.
What Are the Best Ways to Protect Your Teeth?
GERD treatment options can be discussed with your primary care physician or gastroenterologist. Medications are available that will alleviate your symptoms and protect your oral and overall health.
In addition to preventing acid reflux, you can minimize the damage to your smile.
- You should limit fatty treats or foods that trigger your heartburn.
- After eating, rinse your mouth with water.
- Acidic foods and beverages should be avoided.
- After eating or drinking something acidic, wait an hour before brushing your teeth.
- After a meal, do not lie down.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water.
- Use fluoride toothpaste on a regular basis.
How Often Should You Seek Professional Dental Care?
Dental visits should be scheduled every six months for everyone, but they are even more crucial for acid reflux patients. Our dental team will keep a close eye on your oral health to treat any problems as they arise.
Dental bonding or dental crowns may be recommended if your tooth enamel has been extensively damaged by acid erosion. These procedures reduce tooth sensitivity and prevent further damage. To save a tooth and alleviate tooth sensitivity, we may recommend root canal therapy in certain cases.
Contact our dental office to learn more about safeguarding your smile from the effects of acid reflux. Keeping your smile healthy for years to come is our goal by providing you with outstanding care and service. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment!
Fluoride is a topic that dentists frequently discuss, and for good reason! Fluoride is a mineral that has been shown to improve tooth strength, prevent cavities, and reduce sensitivity. Fluoride is added to many municipal water supplies for this reason. It’s also in toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. But did you know that fluoride occurs naturally in a variety of foods and beverages? Let’s talk about natural fluoride sources and how to make sure you’re getting enough to prevent cavities.
Crab legs and shrimp are not only delicious and fancy delicacies, but they are also among the best natural sources of fluoride.
Wine, juice, raisins, and grapes
Grapes contain fluoride no matter how they are tossed, sunned, or squeezed. Raisins are one of the richest sources of natural fluoride, but they can also be high in sugar, which is bad for your teeth. White wine contains twice as much fluoride as red wine, so the amount of fluoride can vary greatly depending on the source, but no matter how you choose to enjoy grapes, you’ll be adding natural fluoride to your diet, which is a good thing!
Many types of fresh fruit are excellent natural sources of fluoride. However, the fruit should be eaten raw. Fluoride-containing fruits include apples, peaches, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, cherries, and a plethora of others.
Potatoes are a great source of fluoride because, like grapes, they can be eaten in a variety of ways! Russet potatoes contain the most fluoride, but any variety will provide some fluoride.
Black tea and coffee
Coffee and black tea both naturally contain fluoride, and if your city’s water supply contains added fluoride, brewing with tap water can double the fluoride dose in your drink!
Water that has been fluoridated.
According to EPA regulations, approximately three-quarters of U.S. water utilities add fluoride to their drinking water supply. The federal government currently recommends 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water as the optimal balance of maximum tooth decay protection and minimal risk of dental fluorosis. You can find out if and how much fluoride is added to your local water supply by contacting your local water company.
Discussing fluoride with your dentist
If you want to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities, talk to your Roselle IL dentist about fluoride and the best ways to incorporate it into your diet and routine. Your dentist may also recommend a concentrated fluoride treatment that can be applied after a cleaning to help ensure that your teeth absorb enough fluoride to protect and strengthen your teeth. Please contact Westlake Dental Care of Roselle for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What do you know about the formation of your teeth? The more information patients have about their teeth, the better they can take care of them. In addition, they also have a better understanding of how important it is to take care of them.
The tooth is one of the body’s most anatomically complex structures. A tooth’s tissue composition is found only in your mouth and is unique to your teeth.
Teeth, both primary and permanent
Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, are the first set of teeth that a person develops. By the age of three, most children have all 20 primary teeth. Baby teeth have shorter, thinner roots than permanent teeth, as well as thinner enamel, giving them a much whiter appearance.
These teeth are only the first draft of our bodies. Between the ages of 6 and 12, primary teeth usually fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. All baby teeth will have been replaced by the age of 14 by 28 permanent teeth. A full permanent dentition consists of 32 teeth, including wisdom teeth, which may appear in a person’s twenties.
All teeth are not created equal. Your teeth serve different purposes and thus have different shapes. Because of their various shapes and functions, your teeth have names to help you identify them:
- Incisors are the four teeth in the middle of the upper and lower jaws. They’re used for chopping, cutting, and holding food. The section of an incisor that you bite with is wide and thin, giving these teeth the appearance of tiny chisels with a cutting edge.
- Canines are the pointed-shaped teeth. Canines, also known as cuspids (a single-pointed tooth), are located on either side of the incisors. They are used to hold and tear food. Many people mistake them for their fangs.
- Premolars: Following the eruption of all permanent teeth, four premolars, known as bicuspids, are found next to each canine. Premolars are designed to be larger and more powerful than canines and incisors. They have ridges that crush and grind food to make it easier to swallow and digest.
- Molars: The molar is the final type of tooth. The 12 molars are flat teeth at the back of the mouth that are very wide and have several ridges to grind up food so that it can be swallowed. Properly chewing your food with your molars can help you avoid digestive issues and choking.
Your tooth’s components
Your teeth are made up of various layers and parts that connect to your jaw. They are also designed to be long-lasting and to aid in the chewing of any food texture. You can also cut a tooth into three sections:
Crown: The crown is the visible portion of the tooth above the gums, and it is composed of three layers. To begin with, it is enameled. The enamel acts as a shield to protect the inside of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and is essential for tooth protection.
A second layer lies beneath the hard exterior. Dentin, which is slightly darker in color, accounts for the majority of the tooth’s material. Dentine is a bone-like substance that separates the hard enamel from the soft and delicate pulp cavity.
The pulp cavity, located at the core, is where the blood vessels and nerves from the roots meet. This is what gives a tooth life and the sensitivity to feel the temperature of our food and drinks, as well as pain.
Neck: The neck is the middle region of the tooth that separates the crown from the root at the gum line. As a neck, it is slightly thinner than the other sections.
Root: The root is located beneath the gum line and contains more pulp. This section of the pulp contains the nerve endings of each tooth as well as the blood vessels that bring nutrients to the tooth. Each tooth has a different number of roots. Molars will have two or three roots, while incisors, canines, and premolars will have one. The long roots that connect our teeth to our jaws are held in place and cushioned by the periodontal membrane that lies between them and the surrounding jaw bone.
You will be able to detect problems with your teeth more quickly now that you understand how they are constructed. However, our Roselle IL dentist is always available to assist you! How much do you know about the construction of your teeth? We believe that the more our patients understand about their teeth, the better they will be able to care for them. Please contact Westlake Dental Care of Roselle today to schedule an appointment.
What are wisdom teeth and how did they get their name? Your wisdom teeth are simply your third set of molars. Wisdom teeth generally appear between the ages of 17 and 25. In most cases, people will have to deal with their wisdom teeth at some time or another, so let’s take a look at these interesting and sometimes troublesome teeth.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
For early humans to chew and eat, wisdom teeth were essential. Because our ancestors ate leaves, roots, and meat, their teeth may have worn down faster, so they needed a third row of molars. The types of food we eat have changed, so they are no longer necessary. Some people never develop them because of evolution over time. But others do, without experiencing any problems. Approximately 85% of people with wisdom teeth will need to have them removed.
Research is being conducted on wisdom teeth as science advances. Researchers have discovered they can be used to produce stem cells. As such, you may want to keep them after they are removed. Alternatively, researchers are looking for ways to prevent wisdom teeth from developing at all.
How do they cause problems?
Humans have developed smaller jaws over time than their ancestors. We simply do not have enough room in our mouths to accommodate extra teeth. Wisdom teeth can crowd other teeth, resulting in cosmetic issues such as crooked teeth, and can cause pain in the jaw, swollen gums, and other mouth irritations.
It is common for them to become impacted. When the teeth are misaligned, there is simply not enough room for them to break through the surface, causing quite a bit of discomfort. Wisdom teeth are also difficult to clean since they are so far back. As a result, they are at risk of infection and decay. Therefore, dentists often recommend removing wisdom teeth.
What are the signs that your wisdom teeth are causing problems?
Normally, this is discovered during routine dental visits, but if you have jaw pain, swollen or painful gums, or a strange taste in the back of your mouth, you should set up an appointment with your dentist to find out what’s wrong.
Our Roselle Dentist can evaluate the position of your wisdom teeth and recommend appropriate procedures if necessary. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact Westlake Dental Care of Roselle.
Sharing can often be overly comfortable when you are close to someone. Kissing is a prime example. A kiss can spread more than 500 germs between two individuals. Your oral health can be affected by sharing a kiss. Consider these kissing dangers.
Colds and Flu
Whenever you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or the flu, it would be best to avoid kissing. This will prevent you from spreading any diseases. Colds and influenza can be easily transmitted through saliva and nasal fluids.
If you know someone has a cold sore near their mouth or lips, you should avoid kissing them. Cold sores usually appear as small, clear blisters that appear around the lips. Infections caused by viruses such as cold sores are highly contagious. There is a certain level of contagiousness associated with a cold sore that is leaking fluid, but even a cold sore without fluid can spread to others. If you see a cold sore, you should avoid contact with it!
The Kissing Disease (Mono)
Kissing is one of the best ways to spread mononucleosis amongst people. Sharing habits such as sharing a straw, cup, or food can also cause the disease to spread. You should never share your food or beverages with other people. You must never share your food or your germs with anyone who has mono, even if they appear to be in good health.
Fresh Breath Tips
During a kiss, it is only natural to want breath that is fresh and clean. Spices and flavors that are strong, such as garlic and onions, should not be used in cooking. There is still a strong smell of these foods on your breath long after you have consumed them. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene every day. Apart from brushing your teeth twice a day, you should also brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and the inside of your cheeks. To help diffuse strong odors after eating, we recommend using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum afterward. If you feel that these solutions are not working, please make an appointment with us, as other factors may contribute to bad breath.
Kissing can spread hundreds of germs. Be cautious of cold sores, colds, and flu. Make sure that you brush and floss daily.
You may be advised to have your child’s teeth sealed by their dentist during their next dental appointment. Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay from developing on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. To make an informed decision, it is important to understand whether a dental procedure will affect your child’s oral health.
Why Get Sealants?
The use of sealants prevents tooth decay. Sealants are applied to the back teeth, which are particularly susceptible to decay. Sealants are frequently recommended by our dentists for children and teens, but they may also be beneficial for adults.
Located in the back of your mouth, your molars develop deep grooves on their chewing surfaces, making it difficult to keep them clean. Sealants prevent 80% of decay during the first two years following their application. Approximately half of all decay can be prevented after four years following sealant application. The risk of tooth decay for a child without sealants is three times higher than that of a child with sealants.
At what age should sealants be applied?
The first set of molars usually appears around the age of six, and the second set appears around the age of 12. Generally, sealants are most effective when they are applied just after the molars have broken through the gum line. The best time to apply sealants will be determined by your dentist during your regular dental examination.
What Should I Expect?
The use of sealants is one of the most common procedures we perform at our office. There is rarely any discomfort associated with this process. Your child’s teeth will be treated with a special gel after they have been thoroughly cleaned. After the gel has been removed, a sealant will be applied. With the aid of a small blue curing light, the sealant hardens in a matter of seconds.
What Concerns Should I Have?
Sealants do not have any side effects, and allergic reactions are extremely rare when they are utilized. If your child has allergies, you should let your doctor know so that they can determine the best course of action.
When applied and maintained properly, a sealant will last for years before it needs to be replaced. To preserve the integrity of your sealants and teeth, you should visit your dental office regularly. If your child had sealants many years ago and you are not sure whether they should be replaced, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Roselle IL.
It is well known that smoking and chewing tobacco can cause severe health problems, especially for the lungs. There is also the imperative point to note that the mouth and teeth can also be equally at risk. Hence, it is best not to use tobacco at all. The following is what tobacco can do to your mouth.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) reports that tobacco chewers are 50 times more likely to develop gum and cheek cancer. In addition to causing gums to recede, tobacco also causes exposed roots to be sensitive. This is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and cause decay as a result. To prevent this from happening, it is advised that chewing tobacco be avoided. Thankfully, our experienced team of oral health professionals can offer you tips on how to break this habit as well as tips on how to improve your oral health.
According to the American Dental Association, smoking one pack of cigarettes a day has the potential to cause two teeth to be lost per decade of life. The likelihood of losing teeth increases when you smoke. So, you should avoid smoking cigarettes and cigars. In addition to causing staining, smoking can also lead to bad breath and a less-than-attractive smile.
Oral cancer can affect many different areas of the mouth, including your tongue, lips, the floor of your mouth, and your gums. There is a high risk of oral cancer developing in men and in people over the age of 50. According to the American Dental Association, in the United States, the prevalence of oral cancer is on the rise, especially among people under the age of 30. If you smoke, it is important to ask your dentist about an oral cancer screening, as well as to arrange to have a full oral health examination. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and cheeks for signs of abnormalities that could indicate oral cancer. If caught at an early stage, oral cancer can be successfully treated.
If you currently use tobacco, it is highly recommended that you cease using it. Our dentist in Roselle and your physician can provide you with assistance in quitting smoking. Having regular oral exams is a good idea for everyone, but those who use tobacco should be particularly vigilant about this. We invite you to schedule an appointment to visit our office so that we may identify any potential problems.
The chances are that you brush your teeth twice a day if you are conscientious about your oral hygiene. You may even brush after meals since you know that regular tooth brushing is a good habit that removes plaque and prevents tooth decay. Maybe you’re wondering, “Can you brush your teeth too much?” As it turns out, when it comes to brushing your teeth, there can be too much of a good thing.
Overbrushing your teeth refers to both “how much” and “how” you brush. If you brush too vigorously or compulsively, you put your mouth at risk for dental abrasion, dental sensitivity, and gum recession.
According to the University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, dental abrasion is the loss of tooth structure caused by mechanical forces from a foreign object. The enthusiastic use of your toothbrush wears away the tooth enamel and eventually the softer dentin and cementum structures. Abrasion is characterized by worn, shiny, and often yellow or brown spots on the surface of a tooth near the gum line. A wedge-shaped or V-shaped indentation on the gum line is another sign of abrasion.
If the tooth enamel is worn away by toothbrush abrasion, the dentin layer’s nerve endings become exposed or close enough to the surface to cause tooth sensitivity. You may experience discomfort or pain when your teeth are exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or sour stimuli or when you brush your teeth.
Continually overbrushing and brushing improperly may also cause your gums to recede. The softer cementum of the root is exposed and vulnerable when this occurs. The exposed cementum is not only prone to wear and notching, causing sensitivity and pain, but it is also more likely to decay.
How to protect your teeth after overbrushing
Dental abrasion and gum recession can lead to cavities and even tooth loss if not treated. Depending on the degree of toothbrush abrasion and tooth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend treatments to cover the exposed dentin and protect the tooth. Some common treatments include applying a fluoride varnish to strengthen the teeth’s surface, bonding a tooth-colored filling over the abraded area, or covering the exposed area with a veneer. Overbrushing may cause your gums to recede so far that they may never return to their original size. In some cases, gum grafting might be needed to replace missing gum tissue and protect exposed cementum.
Using the Proper Brushing Technique and Tools
Fortunately, preventing overbrushing is as simple as using the correct technique and tools. Start by following these steps:
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may think that stiff bristles will do a better job of cleaning your teeth. However, they increase the risk of dental abrasion and gum recession.
- Be sure to check your toothpaste. Toothpaste with high abrasive agents may also speed up the process of tooth loss. Choose a toothpaste that contains calcium and fluoride to strengthen your tooth enamel.
- Make sure you are using the right technique. Are you brushing too hard? Look at your toothbrush. Using too much pressure might cause your bristles to flatten and fray within a few weeks. Place your toothbrush gently at an angle towards your gum line and brush in a soft circular motion.
- Do not brush immediately after eating. You should wait at least 60 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth, especially after consuming something acidic like lemons or soda. While you wait, drink water or chew sugarless gum to freshen your breath.
- Take a look at your other habits. Overbrushing isn’t the only source of abrasion. As an example, suppose you routinely open bottles with your teeth, handle nails or pins with your mouth, or bite your fingernails. In that case, those activities might also cause dental abrasion or even a broken tooth. Enamel can also be worn away by lip or tongue piercings.
When it comes to a perfect smile, overbrushing won’t help. You will achieve clean teeth and a healthy mouth when you use the appropriate tools and implement a gentle but thorough brushing technique. Contact Westlake Dental Care today to schedule an appointment with or Roselle dentist today.