Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

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You know it’s important to keep your smile bright and your mouth cavity-free, but do you give much thought to your gums? You should! Many people who have gum disease don’t even realize it, yet when it’s left untreated, gum disease can be detrimental to the health of your whole body.

  • How much do you know about gum disease? Gum disease begins when plaque builds up along and under the gum line. Plaque is filled with bacteria, and it’s sticky, so it clings to teeth and gums. When it’s not removed, it can cause infections that lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It can cause your gums to become inflamed, red, and tender, as well as swollen and prone to bleeding. Fortunately, at this stage, you still have time to reverse the damage before it impacts the bone and tissue holding the teeth in place.
  • Periodontitis is a more advanced type of gum disease. This is much more serious because it affects the bones holding your teeth in place. When it’s not treated, it can ruin not just your gums, but also the bones and tissues connected to your teeth. Advanced periodontitis can damage your bite and lead to the necessity of tooth removal.
  • Do you know the signs of gum disease? In the early stages, you might not even have symptoms. However, after a while, you might notice consistently bad breath, separating or loose teeth, gums that bleed easily or are swollen, red or tender, or gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
  • Gum disease has an impact on the health of other systems in your body. There’s evidence to support a link between gum disease and conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

This all may seem frightening, but in truth, it’s not hard to protect the health of your gums.

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking is terrible for your whole body and is strongly associated with gum disease. It weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off gum infections and harder for your gums to heal from damage.
  • Brush, floss, and rinse. The order in which you do this does not matter, as long as you’re brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with a therapeutic mouthwash. When you brush, make sure you brush your tongue as well as your teeth
  • Get regular dental cleanings. This gets rid of tartar, as well as plaque left behind, but it also allows your dentist to catch gum disease early, before it causes any major problems.

If you’re looking for dentistry services in Chicago, you can trust the team at University Associates in Dentistry. We offer complete dental care, from regular cleanings and routine treatment to complex specialty care. Schedule a dentist appointment in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511, or visit our website for more information or a complimentary consultation.


Busting Myths About Gum Disease

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Gum Disease Millions of Americans have gum disease. If you suffer from red, tender, or bleeding gums, you may have this condition as well. Gum disease affects many people, and without appropriate treatment, the ramifications of it can be permanent. By knowing just how rampant, serious, yet preventable gum disease is, you can make more informed choices about avoiding and addressing it. If you suspect you have this problem, see a dentist in Chicago.

Gum Disease Happens to the Elderly
Many people assume that most dental problems affect either the pediatric or senior populations. Children may love candy, but individuals of all ages can suffer from tooth decay. Likewise, though elder individuals may have missing teeth and dentures, people young and old can be susceptible to poor gum health . Gum disease is not the result of older age. It happens because of plaque buildup and tissue inflammation that puts sufferers at risk for tooth loss.

Flossing Can’t Help Gum Disease
Your dentist tells you to floss daily for good reason. Brushing can get rid of food particles and bacteria lingering in tooth ridges and on tooth surfaces, but it cannot reach under the gumline and between teeth. It’s these locations that tend to suffer the most from plaque accumulation. When you floss, you can remove the bacteria, food, and plaque that could otherwise trigger the irritation of gums that may evolve into damaged gum fibers, bone loss, and missing teeth.

Gum Disease Isn’t a Serious Problem
Tooth decay is often considered a significant dental problem. Especially once a person suffers from a toothache, he may recognize the need for professional dental care. Yet even when gum tissue exhibits evident signs of disease such as recession, many people delay getting treatment for it. The longer that gum disease has the opportunity to progress, the greater the chance that a person will experience tooth loss. Once this complication of gum disease occurs, only dentures, bridges, or teeth implants can remedy the problem.

Don’t wait to get the gum disease treatment you need. Call University Associates in Dentistry at (312) 704-5511 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit our website for information on our services for gum disease and tooth loss.

What Exactly is in Toothpaste?

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People have been finding ways to clean their teeth for as long as they’ve had teeth, but toothpaste as we know it is a relatively new innovation. If you’re like most people, you probably have a favorite brand of toothpaste, but it’s also probable that you’ve never given too much thought as to what’s in it. Even if you have taken time to read the ingredients on the label, you may not know what those ingredients are. Watch this video, and you’ll get an overview of what’s in the toothpaste you use.

The video does a great job at explaining what’s in toothpaste, and even offers a recipe for homemade toothpaste, but there are a few things it doesn’t address. One important note about toothpaste is that it is possible to be allergic to it. Toothpaste includes many ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, including flavorings, preservatives, and even fluoride. If you’re allergic, you might experience mouth swelling, canker sores, cracking at the corners of the mouth, dry, chapped lips, gum irritation, or an upset stomach. You may also experience a rash or peeling skin around the mouth, or lips that are scaly and itchy. A toothpaste allergy can be confirmed by a patch test, so if you think you may be allergic, talk to your doctor.

If you are allergic to something found in toothpaste, it’s good to identify the exact allergen so that you can seek out a toothpaste that doesn’t contain that particular ingredient. You might have better luck with a different flavor of toothpaste, or a toothpaste from a brand that specializes in natural products. Of course you can also make your own toothpaste, using ingredients such as coconut oil and baking soda.

The right toothpaste can help keep your mouth healthy, and so can regular dental checkups. At your appointment at University Associates in Dentistry, ask your dentist about the best type of toothpaste for you.  You can make a dentist appointment in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511, or visit our website for more information or to set up a complimentary consultation.


Looking at the Link Between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease

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Periodontal disease and heart disease come with their own symptoms and concerns , but they can both seriously impact your quality of life. It turns out that the 2 conditions are also linked in ways that you might not have realized, making a trip to the dentist even more important. Continue reading and look at the link between these diseases.

Periodontal Disease
You might not think that your dentist could have anything to do with your heart, but you might be wrong. Periodontal disease occurs when a buildup of contaminants makes its way above or below the gum line. This often happens when people stop regularly brushing, flossing, and seeing their dentists. The gums become red, sensitive, and inflamed, and may recede from the teeth, leading to tooth loss. You should talk to your dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms of gum disease.

Heart Disease
Conditions of the heart tend to be genetic, but there are ways you can reduce your risk for heart disease. This is good news because this disease is known to top the list of health conditions that kill Americans. Heart disease comes in several different forms, but they all typically include chest pain as a symptom. Although chest pain isn’t usually associated with oral health issues, there may be some overlap between periodontal disease and heart disease.

The Link
One thing that periodontal disease and heart disease have in common is inflammation. The gums become inflamed when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, and this inflammation could make it more difficult for blood to get to the heart. Since there are so many blood vessels in the gums, the bacteria from your mouth may travel to your heart, making you more susceptible to heart disease.

Taking care of your oral health might reduce your chances for serious conditions like heart disease, so call University Associates in Dentistry at (312) 704-5511. We can replace your missing teeth and we also offer porcelain veneers and Invisalign near Chicago, so visit our website for a closer look at our services.

The Link Between Acidic Foods and Your Dental Health

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The Link Between Acidic Foods and Your Dental Health

Taking care of your oral health has many facets to it, and your nutrition is an important one. Acidic foods can have a negative impact on your teeth, but you can protect yourself by knowing what you should and shouldn’t eat. You can also work with your dentist to minimize the damage and maintain your beautiful smile. Here’s a look at the link between acidic foods and dental health.

What’s Going On

Certain types of foods and beverages are more acidic than others, and the acids in these products can wear away your tooth enamel. Any acidic food debris left on your enamel can trigger demineralization, which can make your teeth more sensitive. The more demineralization occurs, the closer your dentin will get to being exposed. Remember that brushing your teeth immediately after eating acidic foods can be counterproductive, so drink some water and wait a few minutes before you brush your teeth after a meal.

Which Foods to Be Careful With

If you’re looking to modify your diet so you can keep your dentist happy and your teeth healthy, you should know what foods to stay away from. Ketchup, hot sauce, and products made with tomatoes are acidic, as are lemons, limes, and oranges. Wine and coffee can also wear away at your enamel and cause sensitivity and discomfort. Enjoy these foods, but try to eat them in moderation.

What You Can Do

You don’t have to avoid these foods entirely in order to take care of your oral health. Foods like citrus fruits and berries can be good for you, so you might want to keep them in your diet. Remember to drink water while you eat these types of foods and let your saliva clean out the acidity. Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings can also help to keep you healthy.

In addition to avoiding (or at least cutting back) certain types of foods and drinking plenty of water, be sure to visit your dentist in Chicago on a routine basis. Don’t forget to call University Associates in Dentistry at (312) 704-5511 whenever you are in need of teeth bonding, periodontics, or Invisalign, or stop by our offices to meet with us.

Recognizing the Signs of Gum Disease

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Gum disease is an extremely common condition. In early stages, it is easily treatable at home or by your dentist. By recognizing the symptoms when they occur, you can avoid complications like tooth loss and the need for dental implants or dentures.

Watch this video to learn more about the symptoms of gum disease. If you have red, irritated gums that bleed or have persistent bad breath, consider seeing your dentist to see if gum disease could be to blame.

At University Associates in Dentistry , our doctors can help you fight back against gum disease and replace missing teeth when necessary. To make an appointment with a dentist in Chicago, please call (312) 704-5511.

The Link Between Smoking and Your Oral Health

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The Link Between Smoking and Your Oral Health

Smoking has been linked to a variety of serious oral health conditions. When you go to this site , you will take a brief look at the link between smoking and your oral health. By quitting smoking, you can reduce your risk of oral cancer, periodontal disease, and tooth discoloration. Your dentist can provide you with additional details about the affect that smoking has on your teeth and smile.

When you are seeking a reputable dentist in Chicago , look no further than University Associates in Dentistry. Whether you need a general dentist or a cosmetic dentist that can provide you with dental implants, you will be able to schedule your procedure at our office. Give us a call at (312) 704-5511 to make your next dental appointment today.

Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

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Gum disease causes pain, bleeding, tooth loss , and a range of systemic health problems. If you want to reduce your risk of everything from missing teeth to heart disease, then it makes sense to take steps to prevent gum disease. Take a bite out of your risk for gum disease with these tips.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

The best way to prevent gum disease is also the easiest—maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once. Doing so removes the plaque and bacteria that collect on your teeth and increase your chances of gum disease. At your dental consultation, your provider can tell you if you need to brush and floss more regularly or if you should add a mouthwash or other rinse to your routine. He or she can also demonstrate the best ways to brush and floss and recommend the right toothbrush and toothpaste for you.

Control Chronic Health Conditions

Just as gum disease can impact other parts of your body, other disease you have could increase your chances for gum disease. One particularly common culprit is diabetes. If you have diabetes, controlling your blood glucose levels can reduce your chances of gum disease, while not following your treatment plan could put your gums at risk. Make sure your dentist knows about all of your health conditions, and ask for advice on how your health could influence your chance of gum disease.

See Your Dentist Regularly

Brushing and flossing removes a large amount of plaque and bacteria, but inevitably, some is left behind. That turns into a hard substance called tartar that can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning. Your dentist can also recognize signs of gum disease in its early stages, when it is easier to treat. See your dentist every six months, or more often, if he or she recommends it.

At University Associates in Dentistry, we’re committed to helping you maintain good oral health. We offer a multitude of specialties under one roof, including general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry in Chicago. To make an appointment, call (312) 704-5511.

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