• Comparing Dental Implants to Traditional Dentures

    The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimates that 69% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. Teeth are often lost to periodontal disease, injury, and tooth decay. If you’re one of the many adults facing tooth loss, you may be wondering whether dental implants or traditional dentures are the best restoration option. Ask your dentist for guidance and consider these reasons why dental implants could be right for you.

    Continued Oral Health
    Bone loss is common at the site of a missing tooth; without the tooth’s root to stimulate the jaw bone, the bone can weaken and break down. Because removable dentures rest on the gum line and put continual pressure on the gums, they can accelerate bone loss. Fortunately,  dental implants prevent bone loss  by mimicking the natural tooth structure. An implant’s post, or root, is placed in the jaw bone and fuses with it through a process called osseointegration. The implant root not only halts bone loss, but also keeps the implant firmly secure.

    Dietary Restrictions
    Many people are forced to give up some of their favorite foods because of ill-fitting dentures that make eating difficult or uncomfortable. Loose dentures may even slip out entirely, causing embarrassment and frustration for the wearer. Dental implants, on the other hand, look and function just like natural teeth. Implants will allow you to bite, chew, and eat as you normally would, without restrictions. Being able to eat all kinds of food is also good for your oral health, as you will need a varied and nutritious diet to keep your teeth strong.

    Comfort and Convenience
    Unlike dentures, implants won’t slip, click, or come loose when you eat or speak. Dental implants also don’t require any special care, so you can stick to your same oral hygiene routine—no need for special rinses or pastes. Perhaps best of all, dental implants function at peak performance for at least 20 years and often last a lifetime. With dentures, you would have to visit your dentist every seven to 10 years for replacements.

    Schedule an appointment  at University Associates in Dentistry to discuss your dental implant options. Our Chicago dental clinic is one of the few providers offering revolutionary All-on-4 implants and metal-free zirconium implants. Call us at (312) 704-5511 or visit our website for more information.

  • What Are the Three Stages of Gum Disease?

    Did you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss? Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is most common among men over the age of 35, but everyone is at risk. If you smoke, have diabetes, fail to brush every day, or seldom visit your dentist , you should be especially aware of the symptoms of gum disease. Here is what you need to know about how to protect your teeth from periodontal disease:

    Human teeth

    Gingivitis
    Gum disease is chronic inflammation of the gums caused by the bacteria found in plaque. If you do not remove this plaque by brushing and flossing daily, its bacteria can infect the connective tissues and bone that support the teeth. In its earliest stage,  gum disease  is classified as gingivitis. Red, swollen gums that bleed easily are common symptoms of gingivitis; however, you may feel little or no discomfort at this stage. Damage caused by gingivitis can be reversed with more rigorous at-home hygiene.

    Periodontitis
    When gingivitis progresses, it becomes classified as periodontitis. At this stage, damage done to the connective gum tissue and bone may be irreversible. Periodontitis causes the gums to recede and pull away from the teeth, forming pockets near the gum line that trap food and bacteria. Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may signal periodontitis. Your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing to remove built-up plaque and allow the gum tissue to reattach. This procedure can prevent further damage and stabilize the tooth when paired with thorough brushing and flossing.

    Advanced Periodontitis
    In this final stage, more connective tissues are destroyed, causing the teeth to loosen and shift. These changes can also affect your bite and how your teeth fit together. If periodontitis is severely advanced, even professional intervention may not be successful and your dentist may recommend extraction.

    Don’t let gum disease destroy your smile—visit University Associates in Dentistry of Chicago for regular checkups and healthy teeth. If you notice signs of  gingivitis or periodontitis , call (312) 704-5511 to ask about scaling and root planing. Our general dentists also offer restorative dentistry options, including dental implants.

  • Steps to Take If Your Child Loses a Permanent Tooth

    If an accident happens and your child has a tooth knocked out, it is important to act quickly. Knowing what to do in this type of an emergency can help save the tooth and reassure your child. It is possible that a knocked-out tooth can be replanted into the jaw.

    When picking up the tooth, do not touch its root. Pick it up by the crown and try to replace it within the jaw. Pack your child’s mouth with sterile gauze to hold it in place. If there is no gauze handy, use a clean towel or tissue to hold the tooth in the mouth. If you cannot place the tooth into the socket, place it in a cup of milk. Water can be used if no milk is available. If you are able to get your child and the tooth to the dentist within an hour, there is a high chance that the tooth will survive.

    New tooth

    Even if the tooth can’t be saved, there are several orthodontic options for permanent tooth loss. University Associates in Dentistry are leaders in placing  dental implants . We serve the Chicago area with restorative and cosmetic dentistry, permanent denture replacement, and more. Call us at (312) 704-5511 to schedule an appointment. 

  • Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

    Periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease, affects more than 75% of American adults, but very few of them are aware of the disorder. Roughly 30% of people are genetically susceptible to gum disease, but there are many other factors that can put people at risk. Fortunately, some of these factors can be avoided with proper dental care and a healthy lifestyle.

    Toothbrush with dental mirror

    Lack of Oral Hygiene and Care
    Lack of oral hygiene encourages bacteria to build up and form plaque among the teeth, which can lead to disease. Consuming a lot of sugary and acidic food can also become a risk, as bacteria that cause  periodontal disease  thrive in acidic environments. Poorly contoured fillings and crowns can trap debris and plaque. The presence of wisdom teeth is also dangerous, as they are often breeding grounds for disease-causing bacteria.

    Smoking and Nicotine
    Even in the absence of periodontal disease, smoking can lead to bone loss and gum recession. Smoking and nicotine increase gum inflammation by reducing the amount of oxygen in gum tissue. It also causes an overproduction of cytokines, or immune factors. The excess amount of cytokines harms cells and tissue in the gums. Once nicotine combines with oral bacteria, even larger levels of cytokines are produced, leading to periodontal connective tissue breakdown. Smokers are 11 times more likely to harbor disease causing bacteria, and four times more likely to have advanced periodontal disease. The risk of periodontal disease increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day.

    Vitamin Deficiencies
    People who consume less than the recommended daily intake of vitamin C are more likely to develop severe gingivitis. Vitamin C helps the body maintain and repair connective tissue. It also has antioxidant effects, which aid in fighting the tissue-destroying oxidants in periodontal disease. Consuming at least 180 mg of vitamin C a day can help protect against gum disease.

    Genetics and Intimacy
    Periodontal disease often happens among members of the same family. Children of parents who have periodontitis are 12 times more likely to get it themselves. Some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease because of an immune factor that is involved in the inflammatory response. These people are 20 times more likely to develop advanced periodontitis. Intimate partners of people with gum disease are also at risk because bacteria can be contagious after exposure over a long period of time.

    If you suffer from periodontal disease or feel you are at risk, schedule an appointment with University Associates in Dentistry. We provide a number of important  dental services  to the Chicago community, including restorative and cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and permanent denture replacement. Call us at (312) 704-5511 to make an appointment. 

  • Adjusting To Your Mouth Guard

    Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports or being active is the best way to prevent mouth-related injuries. There are two types of mouth guards available. The first is an over-the-counter product that can be found at nearly any sporting goods store. The other is a custom-fitting guard, which is only available through a dentist.

    In order to adjust an over-the-counter mouth guard to your mouth, first drop it in boiling water for five seconds. Then, remove it, allow it to cool briefly, and place it into the mouth. Bite into the guard and push the tongue against the inside of the upper front teeth. Hold the guard in for 30 seconds, and then remove it and place it in cold water. Although over-the-counter mouth guards are effective, custom-made ones are preferable as they are more comfortable and personalized. Watch this video to learn more about adjusting to mouth guards.

    University Associates in Dentistry provides the Chicago area with first-rate dental services. We place dental implants, provide cosmetic and restorative dentistry, and can fit your mouth with a custom mouth guard. Being the “Team Dentist” for the Chicago Blackhawks has given us plenty of experience in making custom mouth guards. Call us at (312) 704-5511 to learn more about  our services

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