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June 20, 2012
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dental health in summarMaintaining good oral health is a year-round pursuit, but with each season comes a new set of precautions. A time for barbecues, visits to the ice cream truckand sugary sodas, the summer season puts people at added risk for cracked teeth and cavities. Therefore, you should take extra care when chewing hard food including popcorn, nuts, ice, meat, and candy. Remember that a cracked tooth may take several hours
or days to show symptoms. In the case of a dental emergency such as hot and cold sensitivity or general tooth pain, patients are advised to contact our office 
immediately. 

Beyond summer foods, you should protect your teeth while swimming, biking, and playing sports. For many team sports, It is good to invest in a mouth guard to protect against injuries; mouth guards come in many different sizes and colors, making
them more appealing to children. In the event of a damaged or broken tooth, rinse
out carefully clean the area around the tooth; then call us right away and apply a cooling compress if needed. 

Swimming, while also placing children and adults at risk for chipped or broken teeth, presents additional challenges. The chlorine and other chemicals common in swimming pools can be harmful to teeth, so it is recommended to have a drink of chlorine-free water or use mouthwash after swimming. 

To further improve dental health, there are certain measures that you should take all year round; daily flossing, brushing twice a day, and using fluoride toothpaste can improve both teeth and gum health. But even with good home hygiene you should not miss your six month professional cleanings and checkups. 

Story published at this link.

By contactus
May 23, 2012
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There’s more to a healthy mouth than just a pretty smile. 

Gum (periodontal) disease, also called periodontitis,  is a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and bone supporting the teeth. As the disease destroys gum tissue and bone, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed. 

Researchers have found that periodontitis can be associated with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia. Likewise, pregnant women who have periodontitis may be at increased risk for delivering pre-term and/or low birth weight babies.

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no pain or discomfort. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and gum examinations are very 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. 

You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Given the potential link between periodontitis and systemic health problems, prevention of periodontitis may turn out to be an important step in maintaining overall health.

By contactus
May 11, 2012
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White-Hot Composite Fillings

When it comes to fillings, most people think of amalgam, or silver. That’s no surprise. 
Dentists have used amalgam to fill cavities for over 150 years and for good reason: Amalgam is one of 
the most durable and long-lasting restorative materials used in dentistry.
 
While amalgam offers affordability and endurance, it lacks in aesthetics. Composite resin, on the other hand, 
matches your natural tooth color. No one – not even you – can see composite fillings with a naked eye.
 
So what is composite resin?
 
Composite resin is made of a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with silicon dioxide (glass). Early on, composite 
fillings were only used to restore front teeth because they weren't strong enough to withstand the chewing pressure 
produced by back teeth.
 
Today's composites not only look more natural but are also tougher, more versatile and can be used to:
  • Restore small- to mid-sized cavities
  • Reshape chipped teeth and broken teeth
  • Replace amalgam fillings
Composite fillings have other benefits, too. If you have sensitive teeth, composite fillings may make them less 
sensitive to hot and cold. And with composites, more of your tooth structure stays intact – that’s not the case 
with silver fillings. Composite fillings are also easily fixable if they’re damaged.
 
Call our office for questions or to set up an appointment.
March 16, 2012
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While the enamel [outside covering of the crown of a tooth] is the hardest substance in the human body, undue stress on your teeth may cause them to crack. Causes include chewing hard foods [such as a popcorn kernel], biting on ice cubes, biting on a hard object such as a pen or pipe and/or clenching or grinding your teeth [bruxism].

Cracked Tooth Syndrome is very common in teeth with large fillings in them and most often is seen in your back teeth. If the crack goes untreated, it may deepen or expand like a crack in a glass window, causing part of the tooth to break off. If this occurs, the tooth may have to be extracted or might need root canal treatment in an attempt to save the tooth.

Some of the symptoms of this occurrence are: pain on chewing, unsolicited pain, pain from cold air, no x-ray evidence of the problem and no dental decay present. Often it is difficult for the patient to determine which tooth is causing the pain. However, the absence of pain does not rule out the presence of a crack.

To determine if a tooth has developed a crack that is not visible to the naked eye, the dentist will take a through dental history including history of trauma to your teeth and history of any bite adjustments that were performed. The teeth in the problem area will be examined with a dental explorer. Hot and cold sensitivity of the teeth will be tested. If a severe pain is elicited with temperature, and the pain rapidly subsides with removal of the stimulus, it is usually indicative of a fracture. Sometimes, transillumination [light source] with magnification is used to help visualize the suspected crack. The diagnosis can be further confirmed when the dentist uses a plastic or wooden instrument or cotton roll that rests on one part of a tooth while you are asked to bite down. Pain in a specific areas helps isolate the position of the crack. In certain instances, removal of a restoration [filling] may be necessary to visualize the crack and assess its potential to harm the pulp [nerve].

Can cracks be treated so that the tooth can be saved? Yes. Unfortunately, cracked teeth don't heal themselves like your bones. Early diagnosis leads to a better chance of success. The best solution is to have a full crown [cap] placed over the tooth to strengthen and hold the tooth together. In about 10% of cracked teeth, the nerve dies and root canal [endodontic treatment] will be required, along with the cementation of a post into the nerve canal before the crown and be completed and the tooth restored.

Call our office for questions or to set up an appointment if you are experiencing any of the cracked tooth symptoms.

By contactus
March 16, 2012
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Quality dental care is essential for your child's lifelong oral health. It's important that your child's first experiences with the dentist are positive. That's why your dentist will make every effort to help your child feel comfortable and in control during each visit. Your own attitude and example also play an important role in setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles!

Your child should visit a dentist as early as six months, when the baby's first tooth appears. A first tooth's appearance is an excellent time to schedule a dental evaluation. At that time, your dentist will diagnose and help prevent any future oral disorders. Your dentist can also answer any questions you have about caring for your child's teeth.

During your visit your attitude can convey the message that dental visits are pleasant adventures. Emphasize the attention that your child will get while in the chair. Try to schedule the appointment for the time of day when your child is most rested and cooperative. To prepare your child, read a story together about a trip to the dentist. You may want to play dentist and take turns looking into each other's mouth with a flashlight. Have fun; this should be a pleasant experience! 



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Bucktown Dental Associates
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