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Healthy Dental Habits

Oral hygiene becomes even more important as we age. While many people seem to think tooth loss is an inevitable part of aging, practicing healthy habits can help prevent this. Regular dentist visits are one of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy as you get older. Because the nerves in the teeth contract with age, teeth become unable to sense cavities and other dental issues. If you attend your regular check-up, however, your dentist can catch these issues before they worsen. Between dentist visits, there are a number of things you can do to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free. You should always brush your teeth twice a day. Ideally, you should use a brush with soft, pliant bristles. An electric toothbrush may also be beneficial. Flossing is also important. Use floss once a day to remove tartar and build up from between your teeth. If your tap water contains fluoride, it’s also a great way to maintain healthy teeth. Drink eight glasses a day to prevent unwanted tooth... read more

What Can Cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, is a painful condition that can cause annoying symptoms such as popping, clicking and tenderness of the jaw. Perhaps most alarmingly, it can make it difficult to move the jaw. Some common causes of TMJ include stress, injury, and misaligned jaws. For example, stress can cause teeth grinding that can alter the way the teeth fit together, leading to jaw misalignment. Injuries and a dislocated jaw can also cause such misaligning changes to the jaw structure. As is the case with any joint in the body, the temporomandibular joint can also develop arthritis that makes it painful and difficult to move. Fortunately, TMJ-related pain often responds to non-invasive measures such as stress reduction exercises, heat packs and dietary changes. For persistent pain, your dentist can prescribe a night guard designed to reduce teeth grinding, jaw strengthening exercises and... read more

Does an electric toothbrush do a better job that a manual toothbrush?

A manual toothbrush can do the job well. An electric toothbrush, though, can be particularly helpful if you have arthritis or other ailments that may make it difficult to brush your teeth. The bristle movement from an electric toothbrush may not only improve gum health but also do a better job removing plaque from your teeth. Should you choose to go the route of an electric toothbrush, the toothbrush should be both comfortable and easy to use. Most dentists suggest an electric toothbrush that features a rotating-oscillating head or uses ultrasonic pulses to move its bristles. Optional features include timers, adjustable power levels and batteries that are rechargeable. When you need to replace the head, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure it continues working effectively. However, keep in mind that the style of toothbrush you choose isn’t what’s most important, but rather that you brush and floss... read more

ADA Shows Benefits of Water Fluoridation

The American Dental Association has recently provided five reasons why fluoride in the nation’s water supply is good for communities. These reasons are: 1. Prevention of tooth decay. A simple and effective way to prevent tooth decay, which is one of the most common diseases in childhood, is fluoride in water. Children in communities with water fluoridation are less likely to need dental surgery due to tooth decay. 2. Helps prevent cavities at all ages. Various studies have shown that fluoride in public water systems results in a reduction of tooth decay by over 25 percent in children and adults. 3. Fluoride in water is safe. The top scientific studies done in the past 70 years all show that community water fluoridation doesn’t cause any health and safety hazards. 4. Helps save money. If rates of dental disease in a community are high, taxes and health insurance premiums go up. 5. Fluoride is natural. Both the oceans and groundwater already contain fluoride. Water fluoridation simply consists of adjusting the levels so that it can be more effective at fighting tooth... read more

Going, Going, Gone

“Going, going, gone,” are words that no one wants to hear regarding dental health that could have been salvaged if only proper and timely dental care had been received? The most obvious way dental health can suffer without adequate dental visits is tooth loss. No one looks good with missing teeth. While other dental issues may not be as visible, they are no less problematic. Toothaches are hard to ignore for a reason; they indicate underlying issues that will only worsen with neglect and may require much more extensive and expensive dental work. Diseased gums, for example, can make it easier for tooth decay to occur over more of the tooth. Moreover, recent research indicates that gum disease is also linked to chronic diseases including dementia, heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Schedule a dental visit today to keep your teeth and your health... read more

Teeth Cleaning When Pregnant

There are many things that a pregnant woman has to do before her baby arrives. Women have to attend many doctor’s appointments, deal with cravings and prepare the nursery. You will also have to get your teeth cleaned while you are pregnant. Pregnant women are more likely to develop tooth decay for many reasons. Women typically consume more carbohydrates while they are pregnant due to morning sickness. They also have a harder time brushing and flossing. Additionally, gum bleeding is more common during pregnancy. If possible you should schedule an appointment before you get pregnant. Should you need any dental procedures done, try to do it before you conceive. A healthy mouth will decrease your risk of giving birth prematurely. Dental treatments are not ideal for pregnant women during the first trimester. Non-emergency visits should be scheduled during the second trimester. You can schedule a dental appointment in the third trimester, but you should not schedule it during the late third trimester. This can increase your chances of delivering prematurely. You have to be meticulous about your health during pregnancy. This includes your dental health. You should get your teeth cleaned as well as brush and floss regularly while you are... read more

Dental care is more than brushing your teeth

Proper care of Your Toothbrush Almost as important as caring for your teeth by brushing them is caring for your toothbrush itself. It is recommended to buy and replace your toothbrush about every three months, more often if the brush part starts deteriorating. There have been studies recently to show which microorganisms can be transferred from your mouth to your toothbrush and vice versa. Toothbrushes can harbor germs other than the ones from your mouth, they can also hold germs from their surroundings. This is why it is important to keep them in a well-sanitized place. It is also a good idea to sanitize your toothbrush as soon as you get it out of the package because toothbrush companies are not required to sell toothbrushes in sterile packaging. This means your new toothbrush could have bacteria and microorganisms on it before you even open it. Human bodies are designed to fight off bacteria and infections, but when compromised the body has a harder time defending itself against these organisms. Currently, there is not enough data to say for sure that the microbodies and germs that can grow on your toothbrush can affect your health poorly or cause oral infections or diseases. However, studies are still being done on how to eliminate or greatly reduce the bacteria and spread of it. Even though we can’t be sure if the bacteria growing on our toothbrushes affects us in a negative way, it is better to be safe than sorry. Ala Dean Attar DMD is an experienced and gentle Libertyville dentist who is accepting new... read more

What Special Oral Health Issues Should I Know About as a Senior?

Our teeth are susceptible to damage as we age. Seniors have to deal with unique issues, including dentures, medications that affect oral health and other general matters. Regular checkups with our dentist and physician can ensure we know what to do to tackle challenges in this arena. Decay and cavities on root surfaces are common among older adults. It’s important to brush with fluoride toothpaste, to floss daily and to see the dentist regularly. Let your dentist know if you have heart disease, diabetes or cancer, as they impact oral health. Gums can naturally recede, exposing areas not protected by enamel. This can create sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. If you experience sensitivity, use an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If the issue continues, it could be indicative of other conditions. Dry mouth can result from medications or certain disorders. Untreated, it can damage teeth. Dentures require unique care. Follow instructions diligently and get annual checkups. If you are looking for a new Libertyville dentist, give us a call today... read more

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common infection that occurs when bacteria in dental plaque infect your gum tissue, causing inflammation. If you have gum disease, you may experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including: If you have gum disease, you may experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including:Tooth sensitivity Tooth sensitivity Bad breath Bright red gums that feel tender and look swollen Gums that bleed while brushing or flossing Receding gum tissue that pulls away from your teeth, making them look longer than normal Loose teeth Pain while chewing If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. At your appointment, your dentist or hygienist will perform a variety of tests to determine if you have gum disease and rule out any other serious problems. You will be asked about your health history and if you engage in activities that raise your risk of developing gum disease, including smoking. While examining your gums and checking inflammation, your dentist or hygienist will use a dental instrument to measure any... read more

The Most Surprising Contributor to Bad Breath

In order to maintain excellent dental health, your entire digestive system should be working in tip top shape. Your internal flora are the front line of your immune system and your health (and your breath) can be affected in surprising ways by the health of your internal bacteria. This does not mean that you should have only “good” bacteria in your digestive system. Your gut flora should have a good balance of “bad” (destructive) and “good” (constructive) bacteria to maintain optimal functioning. An imbalance in your gut can be expressed in your breath. For example, diabetes can lead to a sweet, fruity odor in one’s breath. In addition to an imbalance in your gut, an imbalance in bacteria in your mouth can lead to health concerns: not only bad breath, but also diseases like thrush. You should maintain your digestive health to prevent embarrassing diseases and... read more