Below are some of the most frequently asked questions our patients in the Loop, River North, Gold Coast, and greater Downtown Chicago have asked about general dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment at our Chicago dental office, make sure to contact our staff today! We also serve nearby River North, Old Town, Gold Coast, and Streeterville!
Everyone has bad breath, especially when they wake up in the morning. But in some cases, people won't even know that they have this issue which can create an embarrassing situation. You may have bad breath for several reasons. Mostcommonly, it might be due to microbial deposits settled in the back of your tongue. Other reasons can be the odor-causing compounds in the food items like garlic, onions, having poor oral hygiene habits, consuming certain medications, salivary gland problems, mouth breathing, using tobacco products, staying dehydrated, diabetes, liver or kidney problems, etc.
To keep bad breath at bay, you should:
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Brush your teeth twice a day with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.
- Floss daily.
- Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue.
- Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.
- See your dentist regularly.
- Quit smoking/chewing tobacco.
- Drink water frequently.
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash/rinses.
Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent the building up of plaque and bacteria that lead to dental issues. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Flossing can remove plaque or other deposits stuck between the teeth and under the gumline. You should floss at least once every day.
Many people are concerned about how safe amalgam (silver) fillings are. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), almost 76% of dentists use amalgam (with silver-containing mercury) to fill cavities in the teeth. The ADA has also added that they are safe, and there hasn't been proven any link between silver containing mercury or other medical concerns. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), WHO, the FDA, and others also support ADA's views. The U.S. Puclaimingblic Health Service says that the filling should be avoided if the patient has an allergy to any component in it.
Root canal treatment is an effective and safe way of saving your tooth instead of extracting it. There are lots of scary myths about root canal treatment. But you need to believe that people who visit the dentist complaining of a toothache leave without any pain once they have their root canal done.
Most importantly, dentistry has advanced a lot over the period, and so, root canal treatment has become a painless process.
You should visit your dentist for a regular dental exam and cleaning at least twice a year. It is essential to go for a dental check-up and cleaning as part of preventive dentistry measures to keep the dental problem away and thus, maintain your oral health. During this visit, your dentist will check for cavities or any signs of periodontal disease, detect any tumors, cysts, and bone loss. If there is any concerning issue, you can get it treated at its earliest instead of waiting for it to worsen.
Signs that show you might have gingivitis or periodontitis are:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
- Spitting blood after brushing or flossing teeth
- Pus forming between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- Pain while chewing or eat food
- Change in bite
Flossing between your teeth every day can help clean spaces between the teeth or under the gum line and keep your smile healthy. If you find it hard to use conventional floss, then you can go with water flossers.
If you are unhappy about your smile or wish to improve the shape of your teeth, you can attain a beautiful and confident smile with cosmetic dentistry. Due to the advancements in dentistry, there are many cosmetic dentistry procedures and materials available now that can help you improve your teeth and enhance your whole look. Depending on dental requirements, the dentist will examine and recommend the right cosmetic dental treatments for you.
Porcelain veneers are thin, durable, tooth-shaped, shell-like porcelain material used to cover your dental imperfections. Veneers can help restore teeth that are severely discolored or stained, have uneven spaces, are worn, chipped, crowded, or misshapen, too small or large. They can help you get a smile you can love and cherish.
Having bright white teeth has become one of the top priorities for many people now. As time passes by, our teeth might stain or get discolored due to several reasons such as medications, smoking, drinking wine, etc. There are many over-the-counter products and in-office whitening methods that can help you achieve a bright white smile. Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is the safest of all and can give you the results you want. Over-the-counter products may be less effective and also riskier than professional treatments.
There might be many reasons for missing teeth, such as injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease. With modern dentistry, you have several dental treatment options available to restore them, like removable bridges, fixed bridges, dentures, implants, etc. It would be best to prevent or go with early treatment options, as they are much cheaper than all these options.
As years pass by, dental fillings may darken and become unattractive, making you feel self-conscious about your smile. Visit your dentist, as he/she will help you decide if you need to go with another dental filling or restoration. Now, there are many types of dental filling materials that are quick, painless, and cost-effective such as composite (bonding) fillings, crowns (caps), inlays, onlays, or porcelain veneers.
Oral health can affect your overall health, as many studies point out. When periodontal disease is left untreated, over time, it might cause tooth loss! Gum diseases tend to have major medical conditions. Some studies suggest that people suffering from periodontal disease may also develop into a systemic disease because the oral bacteria causing periodontal disease may enter the bloodstream reaching organs leading to new infections. These may involve the development of heart disease, low-birth-weight babies in women, etc. To keep yourself healthy and safe, we recommend you to see your dentist regularly for dental check-ups and cleanings.
Even after brushing and flossing thoroughly, you might still miss the deep grooves on the surface of teeth where about 75% of dental decay begins. This is where the sealants play a vital role. A sealant is a thin coating made of plastic to cover those deep pits and grooves and protects teeth from decay by acting as a barrier. They are usually recommended for children and teenagers.
If you face such a dental emergency, follow these steps:
- Find the tooth and hold it by the crown, not roots.
- Do not scrub or use soap to wash the tooth, instead rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk.
- If you are too afraid to do that, just put the tooth in a little milk container and visit your dentist within 30 minutes. The longer it takes, the lesser are the chances of successful reimplantation.
Straight teeth have lots of benefits, such as:
- You can comfortably chew, bite, and speak.
- It will help boost your confidence.
- It will be easy to maintain oral health.
- There are lesser chances of tooth injuries.
You can attain straighter teeth with Orthodontic Braces, Invisalign, Clear Aligners, etc.