Taking care of your teeth is critical from childhood through adolescence to old age, as your overall health depends on your oral health. The American Dental Association (ADA) even confirms a relationship between oral health and heart disease and diabetes, which is why you should embrace family dentistry. Family dentistry focuses on addressing your oral health and that of your children. The understanding is that every age group has unique dental needs requiring special care. Contact Chicago Dental Esthetics to schedule your dental appointment.
Routine dental care through regular exams and cleaning is advisable to ensure good oral health. This routine reduces your risk of periodontal disease through early detection of infections, enabling you to maintain your natural teeth for many years. During your dental exam, our team will check for signs of decay that can spread to your pulp and tooth root. An accumulation of tartar and plaque is alarming as they cause tooth decay. We will also check for oral cancer and gum disease. Depending on your oral health, we will also point out potential medical conditions such as diabetes, yeast infection, and lung problems, usually characterized by bad breath.
While you brush your teeth at least twice a day, you still need to schedule dental cleanings with us to eliminate bacteria, tartar, and plaque buildup. We will use special tools to clean the deposits during your dental cleaning. We will also floss between your teeth and remove stains on your teeth. Excessive plaque buildup will necessitate scaling, a special procedure in periodontal care. Hence, professional cleanings can help prevent tooth loss, cavities, and gum disease while protecting your smile for a more confident life.
Routine exams and cleanings keep your oral health in check, but you have the biggest responsibility to care for your teeth, given that these visits are twice a year. Establishing sound dental care will keep tooth decay-causing bacteria at bay. Among the healthy practices to incorporate into your routine include brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, using a fluoride-based mouthwash, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking cigarettes or tobacco.
Dental care is essential for your child’s oral health, just like an adult's. Unfortunately, most parents wait for a dental issue with their child to bring them in for a checkup. You should start caring for your child’s teeth as early as six months after birth or as immediately after the first tooth erupts.
Our team will attend to your child by introducing dentistry to them in a fun and relaxed way for the best first-time experience. Through regular appointments, we will monitor your child’s teeth development and overall oral health. We will also do a risk assessment to establish your child’s risk of dental caries and administer preventive care to ensure they grow healthy teeth. We will administer the necessary treatment if your child’s teeth have cavities or an improper bite. As your child grows, we will intensify dental care to ensure a lifetime with a beautiful and healthy smile.
You should monitor your child’s teeth in between dental visits. Check for discoloration, which could signify decay. You should also check your child’s diet and avoid foods threatening good oral health. Also, ensure your child brushes their teeth after meals to keep bacteria, plaque, and tartar accumulation at a minimum. You should brush your child’s teeth with a soft-bristled brush and avoid fluoride toothpaste for children younger than two.
Oral cancer screening is usually part of the exam we will conduct on your mouth during a regular visit. This is especially if you are a high-risk individual. You are a high-risk individual if you are a heavy alcohol user, smoke tobacco, have had a cancer diagnosis, and have a history of UV light exposure. Statistics also confirm a relationship between mouth cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV).
An oral cancer screening aims at detecting mouth cancer early for a higher chance of cure. Upon visiting our offices for an oral cancer screening, our team will examine the inside of your mouth, throat, and neck for white or red patches, mouth sores, lumps, and other abnormalities. If we detect signs of cancer, we will recommend a follow-up visit to check if the abnormalities are still present and whether there is any change in their appearance. We will also recommend a biopsy procedure that subjects your oral cells to a laboratory test for cancer.
You can maintain your natural teeth with good oral practices combined with regular professional cleanings and exams. Periodontal care for your natural teeth includes caring for the structures around them, which are your gum tissues. This is so since periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. A visit to our offices will help us detect gum infections before they escalate to dangerous stages.
Periodontal disease results from an infection of your gum tissues, spreading to the connective ligaments and, finally, the alveolar bone. Depending on the extent of the infection, we will recommend periodontal therapy. Periodontal therapy has different approaches, aiming to restore your gum tissue health. Some of the procedures we will incorporate in your periodontal therapy include scaling and root planing, grafting, surgical interventions, and dental implants, depending on the severity of the infection.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in many of our foods and beverages. It is also a useful tool in fighting tooth decay. Every day, our teeth lose and gain minerals through the processes of demineralization and remineralization. If the process of demineralization exceeds that of remineralization tooth decay will occur. Professional fluoride treatment allows us to supplement the process of remineralization and prevent potential decay. It can even reverse minor instances of decay. Fluoride treatment is particularly beneficial for patients at a greater risk of tooth decay, such as children, teens, and seniors.
You may have bruxism if you wake up with a migraine, painful jaw, or toothache. Bruxism is unconscious grinding or clenching of your teeth during sleep. Our team will recommend a night guard to protect your teeth. Night guards are special soft dental care tools you insert in your mouth to protect your teeth from teeth-grinding effects.
While teeth grinding seems like a minor problem initially, it can escalate in the long run, forcing you to wear dentures. In rare cases, teeth grinding can cause bone loss around your tooth roots. Other symptoms of teeth grinding include headaches, jaw joint disorders, tooth cracking, and eventual tooth loss. Given the severity of these effects when they occur, you can know you have tooth grinding if you experience tooth sensitivity or pain, indents on your tongue, earaches, damage to cheek tissues, jaw tenderness, or an aching face.
If you suspect you have tooth grinding, visit our offices for a diagnosis. Our team will examine your mouth and jaw to confirm bruxism and suggest an ideal treatment. While you can source readymade night guards, we recommend custom dental ones for you to wear as you sleep. We will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth, from which we will make a plaster cast that we send to the laboratory to make your night guards. This way, your night guard will fit properly to your unique bite. We will make your night guards with acrylic, vinyl, or composite material depending on your preference.
Preventive dental care also entails protecting your mouth from physical damage during vigorous activities such as sports. During sports, you should wear sports guards to protect your teeth and jaw from injuries. A well-fitting sports guard will absorb and redistribute the forces from the traumatic external blows. Getting well-fitting over-the-counter sports guards can be challenging, and we recommend custom-made sports guards. By visiting our office, we will take impressions of your mouth and make customized sports guards to ensure maximum protection of your mouth.
Sleep apnea comprises several conditions around blocked or interrupted breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea manifests in three common forms: namely obstructive, complex, and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and can remain undiagnosed, especially if you live or sleep alone. During sleep, the throat muscles relax as the tongue falls backward, blocking the airway. This can result in loud or disrupted breathing. You may even experience pauses resulting in audible gasps and choking, a way that your body tells you to breathe. The constant interruption of breathing will affect your oxygen flow, resulting in poor sleep quality, fatigue, weight gain, high blood pressure, and increased heart attack and stroke risks.
People of all ages, both men and women, are susceptible to sleep apnea, which worsens as we age. Unfortunately, most people are unaware that they have this condition, as it happens when we are sleeping. Fortunately, a visit to our office will allow our team to examine you for sleep apnea and recommend treatment and management to improve your sleep and overall health.
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Maintaining your oral health contributes to your overall health and your smile. Through oral cancer screenings, regular exams and cleanings, periodontal care, and wearing night guards and sports guards, you can protect your natural teeth from diseases and injury, ensuring you age with them. If you have any dental concerns, visit our offices, and we will examine your mouth and recommend the appropriate treatment. Reach out to us at Chicago Dental Esthetics at (224) 341-5162, and we will schedule an appointment with you.