• Spotlight on Dentistry in the Middle Ages

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    While you may not always enjoy visiting your dentist, dental patients in the Middle Ages really had it rough. In the Middle Ages, healthy, white teeth were considered to be signs of wealth and beauty, and people spent quite a bit of money on teeth cleaning and teeth whitening powders.

    It was rare for anyone to suffer from missing teeth due to tooth decay, as people rarely consumed sugar during the Middle Ages. The infrequency of tooth decay was particularly beneficial due to the fact that only the wealthy could afford to replace missing teeth, using dentures made from cow bones or human teeth. Dentistry procedures and techniques were crude, and dental problems were often just treated by extracting a tooth. Barbers performed most procedures, and could also treat oral cancer by cutting out infected flesh and cauterizing the wound.

    At University Associates in Dentistry, our dentists in Chicago use only the safest and most advanced methods of dentistry. We specialize in cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, and sports dentistry, and can also provide sleep apnea treatment. To schedule a dental consultation with one of our experienced dentists, call us today at (312) 704-5511.

  • What Causes Sleep Apnea?

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    Without proper sleep apnea treatment from a dentist , sleep apnea can be a serious, and even life-threatening, sleep disorder. The frequent sleep interruptions resulting from sleep apnea can cause an irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure, which increase your risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and obesity. Here is a look at the primary causes of sleep apnea.

    Smaller than Average Windpipe
    The size of your windpipe is affected by the bone structure of your head and neck. If your windpipe is smaller than average, it is more difficult for your airway to remain open while you’re lying down. When you lie down, more pressure is placed on the muscles of your neck, windpipe, and tongue. If your tongue and tonsils are larger than your windpipe, they can obstruct your airway when they are under pressure, causing sleep apnea .

    Windpipe Obstruction Due to Obesity
    As you gain weight, the fatty tissues in the walls of your windpipe will thicken, and causes your airway to narrow. As the muscles of your throat relax during sleep, your airway will narrow even further, leading to windpipe obstruction and breathing difficulties. When your brain senses your inability to breathe, it will briefly awaken you to restore breathing.

    The Brain Fails to Transmit Signals to Muscles
    Though it is rare, sleep apnea can sometimes be caused by your brain’s failure to transmit the right signals to the muscles that are responsible for controlling your breathing. This can occur as a result of the aging process. Your body will make no effort to breathe for a brief period of time, and you may awaken feeling short of breath, and have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep.

    If you’re in need of sleep apnea treatment in Chicago , you should visit one of our experienced dentists at University Associates in Dentistry. We recommend oral appliance therapy using custom-fitted oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP or corrective surgery. To schedule a dental consultation with one of our dentists to discuss your sleep apnea treatment options, call us today at (312) 704-5511.

  • Spotlight on Dentistry in the Roman Empire

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    One of the main advantages of living in the modern era is our access to safe, pain-free, effective dentistry. During the Roman Empire, however, dentistry was more advanced than you may be aware.

    The Romans adopted many of their dental practices from their predecessors, the Etruscans. The Romans used opium for pain relief during dental treatments. Roman dentists were able to insert gold fillings into decayed teeth and may even have been able to replace missing teeth with primitive forms of dental prosthetics. They removed any gold fillings and teeth from the mouths of corpses before burial, however. In the Etruscan belief system it was considered taboo to allow gold objects to come into close proximity with the dead.

    At University Associates in Dentistry, we honor the daring spirit and dedication to healing which those Roman dentists showed. Our own equipment and procedures, however, are fully modern. To find out more about we help present-day Chicagoans care for their teeth, visit our website or call us at (312) 704-5511.