• What Exactly is in Toothpaste?

    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.

     

  • What are some Causes of Oral Cancer?

     

    How much do you know about oral cancer? Oral cancers make up about 85 percent of a group of cancers referred to as head and neck cancer and affect about 53,000 Americans annually. Oral or oropharyngeal cancer is very serious, causing over 9.7050 deaths each year. How can you protect yourself against oral cancer? It helps to understand the causes of oral cancer so that you can learn how to reduce your risk.

    Oral cancer begins in the mouth, or oral cavity, which includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, the teeth, the gums, most of the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the bottom of the mouth. It can also develop in the oropharynx, the part of the throat that’s just behind the moth. When this is the location where cancer occurs, it’s called oropharyngeal cancer, and can affect the back of the tongue, the back of the roof of the mouth, the tonsils, and the upper throat.

    There are several risk factors that come into play with oral cancer. Two-thirds of people with oral cancer are over age 55, and men are twice as likely to get it as women are. Some genetic mutations cause different syndromes in the body and raise the risk of oral cancer. These mutations include Fanconi anemia and dyskeratosis congenital, a genetically linked syndrome that also causes aplastic anemia. Graft vs host disease increases your risk of oral cancer, as does taking immune-suppressing medications. These factors may be beyond your control, but there are steps you can take to reduce other risk factors.

    • Ultraviolet light: People who work outdoors, visit tanning beds, or have prolonged exposure to the sun are more likely to develop cancers of the lip. Using lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher can help protect you, but it’s also smart to limit your sun exposure and avoid spending time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest.
    • Nutrition: Research has shown a link between a diet that’s low in fruits and vegetables and an increase in the risk of oral cancer. Eating a diet full of nutrient-dense foods can help reduce your risk.
    • Tobacco: Around 80 percent of people who have oral cancers are tobacco users. The level of risk depends on the frequency and duration of tobacco use, and different types of tobacco affect different parts of the mouth. Smoking can cause cancer of the mouth or throat, while oral tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff can lead to cancer in the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. If you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, don’t start. If you do smoke, ask your doctor if you need help quitting.
    • Alcohol: Heavy drinkers make up about 70 percent of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer. For people who smoke and drink heavily, the risk of oral cancer can be as high as 100 percent more than the risk for people who don’t drink or smoke. To reduce your risk, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks per day.

    A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of oral cancer, and so can regular dental checkups. At your appointment at University Associates in Dentistry, ask your dentist to check your mouth for signs of dental cancer, and to discuss your risk.  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.

  • Examining the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

    When you think of cosmetic dentistry, what comes to mind? Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic procedure, but there are several other popular procedures, including dental implants, porcelain veneers and crowns, shaping, and bonding, that can improve your smile and your overall look. Cosmetic dentistry is versatile and can correct various flaws such as stains, misshapen or small teeth, chips, cracks, gapped teeth, and even ragged gum looks. Beyond making you look better, though, cosmetic dentistry offers many benefits.

    • Cosmetic dentistry can boost your confidence. You’ll look younger and more attractive after your cosmetic dental procedure, and that can help you to feel more confident when interacting with others. This can make it easier to succeed in both social and business situations.
    • Your career prospects may improve after cosmetic dentistry. A beautiful smile makes a strong first impression, allowing you to put your best foot forward in every situation. You may not rely on your looks to advance in your career, but when you look better and feel more confident, you’re more likely to take on greater responsibility and show leadership skills. No matter what your field may be, a confident demeanor can help you in all aspects as you move forward.
    • Some cosmetic dentistry procedures can strengthen your teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is performed in a way that doesn’t just improve the appearance of your teeth, but can actually make them stronger, by reinforcing weak spots or hairline fractures. Stronger teeth make it easier to eat your favorite foods and are less likely to be vulnerable to sensitivity and decay.
    • Caring for your teeth can boost your overall health. Fixing a broken, cracked, or chipped tooth doesn’t just restore your smile, it also protects against further dental damage. A healthy mouth reduces your risk of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, and pancreatic and oral cancer. Poor oral health can cause headaches and joint pain, but having your smile perfected through cosmetic dentistry gives you added incentive to care for that smile and improve your health.

    If you’re ready to improve your life with cosmetic dentistry, it’s time to make an appointment at University Associates in Dentistry. Under the direction of Dr. Martin Marcus and Dr. Russell Baer, Dr Stuart Schelkopf and Dr Lauren Zalay, the UAD dental team provides outstanding restorative aesthetic dentistry that can make a big difference in the way you look and feel. You can call (312) 704-5511 to make a dental appointment in Chicago, or visit our website for more information or to set up a complimentary consultation.