The most common reasons why your tooth may be bugging you.
A toothache can certainly make it difficult to sleep through the night, accomplish work, or just get through your daily routine. It’s amazing just how much pain can radiate from something so small. For better or worse, teeth let us know when there is a problem. If you are dealing with a toothache, it could be considered a dental emergency that our Morton Grove, IL, dentist Dr. Perry Danos should treat immediately.
Your toothache could be the result of:
Decay is the most common cause of a toothache. When the decay has broken through the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth this usually leaves the nerves of the tooth exposed, which results in pain. A cavity doesn’t always cause pain, which is why it’s so important to keep up with routine checkups with your dentist here in Morton Grove, IL, every six months. Since a cavity will continue to grow it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible for treatment.
About half of American adults have some form of gum disease, says the CDC; however, if you don’t realize that you have gum disease the infection will continue to get worse, causing the gums to recede. Over time this can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain. If you also notice a pimple-like bump on your gums (known as an abscess) then you need to see a dentist as soon as possible.
A Broken Tooth
A sudden toothache that gets worse when putting pressure on the tooth through chewing or biting can often be caused by a cracked or broken tooth. A tooth doesn’t have to be visibly chipped or cracked to be damaged. While tooth enamel is incredibly strong, everything from using teeth to pop off a bottle cap to biting your nails can damage a tooth.
During the pandemic, we want your family to know that if you need emergency dental care during this time that our Morton Grove, IL, dentist and his team are still providing emergency dentistry for toothaches, damaged teeth, and more. For an appointment please call ProCare Family Dental & Orthodontics at (847) 965-6223.
Dental implants give people a marvelous way to replace missing teeth. Marvelous--really? It's true because implants fully replace missing teeth from roots to crown. At ProCare Family Dental & Orthodontics in Morton Grove, IL, Dr. Perry Danos expertly places dental implants, recreating natural smile looks and function. You could be a dental implant patient, too.
What implants do
A dental implant is made of a titanium root placed in the jaw, a metal post and a porcelain crown. Multiple implants replace multiple teeth, too, if a bridge or denture is your oral health need. Either way, the titanium device bonds with the bone through osseointegration, a gradual mingling of bone cells with the roughened surface of the implant itself.
A few months after the dental implant surgery at his Morton Grove office, Dr. Danos re-opens the surgical site and bonds the post and crown in place. Treatment timelines vary according to each patient's customized treatment plan.
The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness (IDIA) says the vast majority of dental implant procedures succeed, and the implants themselves stay in place for decades. Patients say they truly cannot distinguish between their implants and their natural teeth.
Qualifying for dental implants
Dr. Danos does a complete dental exam and three-dimensional bone scans to determine if you have adequate jaw bone structure to accept the implant screw.
You must be in good general health, and it helps to be a non-smoker as cigarettes cause peri-implantitis, a stubborn infection similar to gum disease. If all is well, you will undergo the brief oral surgery with nothing more than local anesthetic.
The list of dental implant benefits is long and includes:
- Youthful facial appearance as jaw bone health and size is maintained
- Efficient biting and chewing (enjoy your menu favorites)
- Clear speech
- Simple oral hygiene--just brush twice a day and floss according to your hygienist's recommendations
- A complete, beautiful smile with no gaps, shifting teeth, or slipping dentures
- Outstanding self-confidence in how you look when you smile, laugh, and speak
A dental implant consultation
It's the best way to map a tooth replacement strategy. At ProCare Family Dental & Orthodontics, Dr. Perry Danos and his team will show you how dental implants can remake your smile. For an appointment, call us at (847) 965-6223.
The long-running hit show Dancing with the Stars has had its share of memorable moments, including a wedding proposal, a wardrobe malfunction, and lots of sharp dance moves. But just recently, one DWTS contestant had the bad luck of taking an elbow to the mouth on two separate occasions—one of which resulted in some serious dental damage.
Nationally syndicated radio personality Bobby Bones received the accidental blows while practicing with his partner, professional dancer Sharna Burgess. “I got hit really hard,” he said. “There was blood and a tooth. [My partner] was doing what she was supposed to do, and my face was not doing what it was supposed to do.”
Accidents like this can happen at any time—especially when people take part in activities where there’s a risk of dental trauma. Fortunately, dentists have many ways to treat oral injuries and restore damaged teeth. How do we do it?
It all depends on how much of the tooth is missing, whether the damage extends to the soft tissue in the tooth’s pulp, and whether the tooth’s roots are intact. If the roots are broken or seriously damaged, the tooth may need to be extracted (removed). It can then generally be replaced with a dental bridge or a state-of-the-art dental implant.
If the roots are healthy but the pulp is exposed, the tooth may become infected—a painful and potentially serious condition. A root canal is needed. In this procedure, the infected pulp tissue is removed and the “canals” (hollow spaces deep inside the tooth) are disinfected and sealed up. The tooth is then restored: A crown (cap) is generally used to replace the visible part above the gum line. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise be lost.
For moderate cracks and chips, dental veneers may be an option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells made of translucent material that go over the front surfaces of teeth. Custom-made from a model of your smile, veneers are securely cemented on to give you a restoration that looks natural and lasts for a long time.
It’s often possible to fix minor chips with dental bonding—and this type of restoration can frequently be done in just one office visit. In this procedure, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to fill in the parts of the tooth that are missing, and then hardened by a special light. While it may not be as long-lasting as some other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can produce good results.
If you would like more information about emergency dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Knocked Out Tooth.”
Recently, a number of new filling materials that mimic tooth color have come into popular use and, so far, have proven more durable than past versions. Even so, the traditional metal-based dental amalgam remains a viable choice, especially for less visible back teeth and their higher biting forces.
Used for more than a century, dental amalgam is a metal alloy composed of silver, mercury, tin and copper. The mixture is carefully proportioned so that potentially hazardous mercury is kept to a minimum and bonded with the other metals. Amalgam in its initial form is quite pliable so that it can be molded into the tooth structure under repair. Afterward it sets hard to form a durable filling that can withstand the daily force generated when we bite and chew food.
Besides durability, dental amalgam rarely causes an allergic reaction in a patient, and it’s easy for trained dentists to apply. On the downside, however, it can cause temporary temperature sensitivity in the tooth just after filling, and the tooth itself may require some removal of healthy structure to help keep the filling in place. And from an aesthetic point of view, its metallic appearance is considered unattractive especially for front teeth.
The presence of mercury in amalgam has also raised concerns over the years. “Free” mercury — atoms that escape through vapor emitted by the metal — can enter the bloodstream and potentially harm the nervous system. But after extensive study and research, U.S. and international health bodies including the American Dental Association have concluded any free mercury released during chewing is extremely low and well below any harmful levels. These studies have also found no ill effects in either children or adults with dental amalgam fillings.
Deciding on the type of filling material to use — dental amalgam or a newer composite resin, resin ionomer or glass ionomer — depends on a number of factors including the location of the teeth to be filled, the extent of decay and your personal preferences. Taking these into account, we’ll be happy to discuss which type of filling will suit you best for repairing decayed teeth.
If you would like more information on filling material options including dental amalgam, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Silver Fillings — Safe or Unsafe?”
While the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation have contributed to rising cancer survival rates, they can still have an adverse effect on the rest of the body. That includes the mouth: these treatments can damage healthy tissues like the salivary glands. The decrease in saliva flow increases the risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.
While overcoming cancer is certainly the patient’s main health priority, it’s important for them to tend to their oral health. The best approach often involves a three-way partnership between patient, dentist and family caregivers all doing their part to keep the patient’s teeth, gums and mouth healthy during cancer treatment.
Here’s what each “partner” can do to protect a cancer patient’s oral health during treatment.
The dentist. To minimize dental disease odds, patients should enter cancer treatment with their teeth and gums in the best shape possible. Before beginning treatment, then, the dentist can assess their oral health status and recommend a treatment plan for any existing disease or condition. The dentist can also monitor a patient’s oral health during the treatment period.
The patient. Patients can do the most to protect their oral health by removing disease-causing plaque buildup with daily brushing and flossing, as well as maintaining their regular schedule of dental cleanings (if possible). They should also attempt to reduce dry mouth, a potential consequence of cancer treatment, by consuming more water and using saliva boosters like Xylitol-sweetened gums and mints. A nutritious diet is also important for protecting oral health.
The caregiver. Many cancer patients depend on family or friends to aid them during treatment. One of the best things a caregiver can do is act as a liaison between the patient and their medical and dental providers. When it comes to oral health, caregivers should be on the alert for any mouth changes including tooth pain, gum swelling or bleeding, foul breath and other signs of disease.
Focusing on oral health can be a daunting challenge for patients during their fight with cancer. But with help from their other partners, they can come out of this fight with their teeth, gums and mouth in good health.
If you would like more information on oral care during cancer treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Health During Cancer Treatment.”
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