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Posts for category: Oral Health

By ProCare Family Dental
May 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth pain  

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:

A Cavity

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.

Gum Disease

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.

By ProCare Family Dental
April 14, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

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.

Long-term benefits

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.

By ProCare Family Dental
October 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

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.”

By ProCare Family Dental
October 14, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

Say “bacteria,” especially in the same sentence with “disease” or “infection,” and you may trigger an immediate stampede for the hand sanitizer. The last thing most people want is to come in contact with these “menacing” microorganisms.

If that describes you, however, you’re too late. If you’re of adult age, there are already 100 trillion of these single-celled organisms in and on your body, outnumbering your own cells 10 to 1. But don’t panic: Of these 10,000-plus species only a handful can cause you harm—most are either harmless or beneficial, including in your mouth.

Thanks to recent research, we know quite a bit about the different kinds of bacteria in the mouth and what they’re doing. We’ve also learned that the mouth’s microbiome (the interactive environment of microscopic organisms in a particular location) develops over time, especially during our formative years. New mothers, for example, pass on hundreds of beneficial species of bacteria to their babies via their breast milk.

As our exposure to different bacteria grows, our immune system is also developing—not only fighting bacteria that pose a threat, but also learning to recognize benevolent species. All these factors over time result in a sophisticated, interrelated bacterial environment unique to every individual.

Of course, it isn’t all sweetness and light in this microscopic world. The few harmful oral bacteria, especially those that trigger tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, can cause enormous, irreparable damage to the teeth and gums. It’s our goal as dentists to treat these diseases and, when necessary, fight against harmful microorganisms with antibacterial agents and antibiotics.

But our growing knowledge of this “secret world” of bacteria is now influencing how we approach dental treatment. A generalized application of antibiotics, for example, could harm beneficial bacteria as well as harmful ones. In trying to do good we may run the risk of disrupting the mouth’s microbiome balance—with adverse results on a patient’s long-term oral health.

The treatment strategies of the future will take this into account. While stopping dental disease will remain the top priority, the treatments of the future will seek to do it without harming the delicate balance of the mouth’s microbiome.

If you would like more information on the role of bacteria in oral health, 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 “New Research Show Bacteria Essential to Health.”

By ProCare Family Dental
September 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

If you suffer frequent sinus infections, you might want to talk with your dentist about it. It could be your chronic sinus problems stem from a deeply decayed or infected tooth.

Sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces in the front of the skull associated with nasal passages. The largest, the maxillary sinuses, are located just behind the cheekbones and above and to the rear of the upper jaw on either side of the face. These sinuses can become painfully congested when infected.

One possible cause for an infection in the maxillary sinus can occur in certain people whose upper back teeth (the molars and premolars) have roots that are close to or even protrude into the sinus. This is normally a minor anatomical feature, unless such a tooth becomes infected.

An infection in teeth with advancing decay or whose nerve tissue has died will eventually reach the root tip through tiny passageways called root canals. If the roots are close to or penetrating the maxillary sinus, the infection could move into the sinus. This is known as Maxillary Sinusitis of Endodontic Origin (MSEO).

A case of MSEO could potentially go on for years with occasional flare-ups of sinus congestion or post-nasal drip. Because of the nature of the infection within the sinus, the affected tooth itself may not show the normal signs of infection like sensitivity or pain. Doctors may attempt to treat the sinus infection with antibiotics, but because the actual source of the infection is within the tooth, this therapy is often ineffective.

If your doctor or dentist suspects MSEO, they may refer you to an endodontist, a specialist in root canals and interior tooth problems. With their advanced diagnostic capabilities, endodontists may have a better chance of accurately diagnosing and locating the source of a tooth-related infection.

As with any non-vital tooth, the likely treatment will be root canal therapy in which the infected tissue within the tooth is removed and the empty spaces filled to prevent future infection. For MSEO, the treatment not only preserves the tooth but may also relieve the infection within the sinus.

If you would like more information on the possible dental causes to sinus problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.