• What to Expect During the Extraction Process

    Sometimes, saving a tooth through restoration is not efficient, and instead, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. This is usually done if a tooth has damage or decay that is too extensive to be fixed by a filling or root canal. If your dentist has recommended that you have a tooth extraction, you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect. Fortunately, the process is usually faster and easier than many patients expect. Here is what you need to know.

    During an extraction, you will receive anesthesia to ensure the procedure is as painless as possible. In some cases, this may be with the use of a local anesthetic, and in other cases, you may receive a sedative with anesthesia or even general anesthesia. The tooth will be removed and the space will be closed with stitches. As you recover, your dentist will recommend avoiding smoking, using straws, and anything else that causes suction, which could otherwise loosen the blood clot and cause infection.

    After your tooth extraction, your dentist at University Associates in Dentistry in Chicago can discuss restoration options, like a dental implant. To make an appointment, call our office today at (312) 704-5511.

  • What Do People with Diabetes Need to Know About Oral Health Care?

    Diabetes affects all parts of the body, including the mouth. If you have diabetes, it is important to let your dentist know. He or she may recommend that you have more frequent cleanings so you can avoid some of the complications that can occur with diabetes. If you have diabetes, here is what you need to know about how it can affect your oral health.

     

    People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease.

    When you have diabetes, you are more vulnerable to infections. This is true even if your blood sugar levels are well regulated. However, if your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, your risk of infections is even greater. Because your mouth is filled with bacteria, infections are prone to starting there, and if you have diabetes, this bacteria can build up and cause gum disease faster than in people without diabetes. High blood sugar levels feed this infection, causing gum disease to progress and become severe faster.

     

    Gum disease can make it more difficult to control your diabetes.

    If you have diabetes, then you know how infections can impact your blood sugar levels. It’s difficult to keep your levels under control when you have an infection in the body, since the inflammation causes blood sugar levels to rise. When you have gum disease, it causes blood sugar levels to increase, and in turn, these high levels exacerbate your gum disease, creating a cycle that is difficult to break.

     

    You may need more frequent teeth cleanings.

    People with diabetes often need to see the dentist every three months instead of every six months. This allows your dentist to spot gum disease in early stages, so that it can be treated and reversed before it becomes severe and leads to complications like tooth loss.

     

    At your appointment at University Associates in Dentistry, be sure to tell your dentist about diabetes or any other chronic health problem you have. You can make a dentist appointment in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511.

  • What Do Sports Drinks Do to Your Teeth?

    If you are active, or if your kids are involved in sports, there is a good chance that sports drinks are part of your life. People reach for sports drinks because of their ability to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes after periods of exertion. However, while sports drinks may be a favorite of professional and amateur athletes alike, they definitely don’t rank highly with dentists. In fact, many dentists consider sports drinks to be as harmful to teeth as sodas. Here is look at how sports drinks could be affecting your teeth or the teeth of your student-athletes.

     

    Sugars and Tooth Decay

    Many sports drinks contain a significant amount of sugar. Some popular sports drinks contain more sugar than a can of soda. When you drink a sugary sports drink, you are bathing your teeth in a sugary solution that will stick to the surfaces long after you’ve finished the drink. This sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn causes tooth decay to occur. Drinking something sugary tends to expose your teeth to greater amounts of sugar than eating a piece of sugary candy, both because you’re likely to consume the drink over a longer period of time and because the liquid will coat all of your teeth.

     

    Acids and Enamel Loss

    Choosing a sugar-free sports drink won’t save your teeth from negative effects. Sports drinks, even sugar-free ones, are extremely acidic. The acid weakens your tooth enamel, which can lead to serious consequences, including teeth sensitivity and greater vulnerability to decay. Enamel cannot be replaced, so any that is lost from drinking sports drinks is gone for good.

     

    Safer Alternatives

    Water is sufficient for most people who need to rehydrate after activity. Water with electrolytes is also a safe alternative. For people seeking the electrolyte restoration, bananas and coconut water are lower in sugars and acids and thus safer for your teeth. If you do drink sports drinks, consider using a straw to reduce the amount of tooth exposure and rinsing your mouth with water when you’re done.

     

    Do you have more questions about habits that could be impacting your oral health? At University Associates in Dentistry, we can help you make the right choices to reduce your risk of gum disease, missing teeth, and cavities. Call (312) 704-5511 to make an appointment with a dentist in Chicago.

  • How Your Dentist Can Fix Cracked Teeth

    Cracked teeth can happen for many reasons, from being hit by a ball while playing your favorite sport to biting down on a hard piece of food a little too aggressively. Fortunately, your dentist can fix cracks in your teeth so that they look and feel their best.

     

    There are several ways your dentist can fix cracked teeth. One popular method is veneers. Veneers are thin, wafer-like pieces of porcelain put on the surface of your teeth. Once your veneers are in place, the surfaces of your teeth will look and feel smooth. Bonding is another treatment option. Bonding uses a plastic material designed to match the appearance of your natural teeth to hide imperfections, like cracks. If the crack is at the base of your tooth, your dentist may recommend contouring to smooth it away.

     

    Don’t let a cracked tooth affect your smile. Talk to your dentist at University Associates in Dentistry today about your treatment options. You can learn more about cosmetic dentistry in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511.

  • Forget These Outdated Myths About Dentistry

    Your dentist is an important member of your healthcare team, but sometimes, misconceptions about dentistry keep people from getting the care that they need. Maybe the idea that a procedure is painful has left you fearful of making an appointment, or perhaps a myth about an oral health problem has led you to dismiss your symptoms. Could myths and misconceptions be standing in the way of you seeing your dentist when you need to? Here are some myths about dentistry that definitely need to be dismissed.

     

    Myth: You should brush your teeth as much as possible.

    You may assume that if brushing your teeth twice a day is good, then brushing them more often is even better. However, brushing your teeth too often can actually do damage. Over-brushing can damage the enamel on your teeth, which triggers sensitivity and leaves your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Brushing twice a day is sufficient for most people.

     

    Myth: Fluoride is toxic.

    Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities. However, some people have the idea that it is dangerous and can increase the risk of cancer, arthritis, and kidney disease. In reality, fluoride is safe when used in appropriate amounts. It would be difficult for most people to get too much fluoride, but if you’re concerned, talk to your dentist about what is right for you.

     

    Myth: Fillings and root canals hurt.

    For any treatment that could potentially cause discomfort, your dentist will use local anesthesia to make sure that you don’t feel a thing. Most people are surprised after getting a filling or root canal that their procedure didn’t hurt and that they experienced only mild discomfort, if any, after the procedure.

     

    At University Associates in Dentistry, we use the very latest technologies to deliver quality general and cosmetic dentistry treatments, including veneers, teeth implants, and teeth whitening in Chicago. Schedule your appointment today by calling (312) 704-5511.

  • How Oral Health and Weight Loss Intersect

    You already know that it’s important to see a dentist every six months to reduce your risk of cavities and other oral health problems. But did you know that your teeth and gums can also affect your waistline, and vice versa? There are a few ways in which oral health and weight loss intersect.

    Individuals who are overweight have a higher risk of periodontal disease.

    If you’re looking for motivation to stick with your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, consider a recent study published in the medical journal Oral Diseases. It indicates that individuals who are overweight or obese have a nearly six-fold increased risk of suffering from periodontal disease. It’s thought that the increased presence of systemic inflammation in overweight individuals may play a role in the elevated risk of gum disease. This wasn’t the only study to evaluate this issue. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine conducted a study that led them to conclude that overweight individuals who successfully lose weight are better able to fight off gum disease.

    Poor oral health can lead to poor nutrition.

    A person’s waistline can influence his or her oral health, but the reverse is also true. People who have poor oral health are more likely to have poor nutrition, which can negatively affect weight management. For example, if you have severe toothaches, loose teeth, or missing teeth, you might think twice before reaching for healthy foods like crunchy apples, carrots, and almonds. You might prefer softer foods that are easier to eat, like sugar-laden muffins that can add to your waistline.

    Oral health and weight management benefit from the same lifestyle choices.

    Although it can be disheartening to learn about the ways oral health and weight management can be negatively affected, there is good news. The same healthy habits that benefit your waistline will also support your oral health. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight by cutting out soda, you’ll also have a lower risk of tooth decay. Another trick is to brush your teeth immediately after a meal so you won’t be tempted to keep snacking.

    The entire team at University Associates in Dentistry is committed to helping you improve your oral health and overall wellness. New and current general dentistry patients in Chicago can give us a call at (312) 704-5511 to request a dental consultation. We always welcome your questions and concerns about your oral care routine.

  • Dental Care for Athletes 101

    Dental trauma can happen to anyone. Tooth and soft tissue injuries can develop from tripping and falling on the stairs, for instance, but athletes are undoubtedly at a higher risk of dental trauma than most people. Amateur and professional athletes alike can benefit from seeing a sports dentistry specialist. A dentist who has experience working with athletes can provide appropriate recommendations for mouth protection and care.

     

    Always wear your sports mouth guard.

    If you don’t yet have a sports mouth guard, you need to visit a dentist right away. Over-the-counter (OTC) mouth guards are available. These are typically the “bite and boil” kind. Unfortunately, since they aren’t custom-fitted, OTC mouth guards can be uncomfortable, poorly fitted, and inadequate. As a result, athletes might be tempted to skip wearing them, leaving themselves even more vulnerable to dental trauma. Protect your smile by visiting a dentist to have a custom-fitted mouth guard made, and always wear it for practices and games. You’ll thank yourself for it the next time you get tackled, take a tumble, or get hit by a hockey puck.

     

    Keep your sports mouth guard clean.

    Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to gently brush your mouth guard after every time you wear it. Some people like to rinse the mouth guard with antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs. Afterward, rinse it in cool water, and pat it dry with a clean towel before storing it in its container. Clean the container regularly too.

     

    Know what to do for an avulsed tooth.

    An avulsed tooth is one that has been completely expelled from the mouth. If you act right away, your dentist can save the tooth. Just follow these rules:

     

    • Only handle a knocked-out tooth by the crown, not the root.
    • You can rinse the tooth in water, but never scrub it, dry it, or use cleaning products.
    • Gently replace the tooth in its socket if possible.
    • If you can’t replace the tooth, place it in a clean cup with tooth preservation product (available at drugstores).
    • If you lack tooth preservation liquid, use a cup of milk.
    • Get to the dentist as soon as possible.

     

    The team at University Associates in Dentistry has more experience than most in treating sports-related dental trauma. We are the official sports dentists for the Chicago Blackhawks. Call our office at (312) 704-5511 to request our next available sports dentistry consultation.

     

  • UAD’s Exciting Alternative to Dental Drills

    dentist chicago ​Along with our compassionate, personalized care, University Associates in Dentistry is known for offering our patients the very latest in dental technology. Our dentists celebrate new technological advancements because they bring greater comfort and health to our valued patients. As an example, our patients no longer have to dread the sounds and sensations of the dental drill. Our exciting alternative is laser dentistry!

    Unlike dental drills, dental lasers don’t produce heat, pressure, or vibrations. This results in a far more comfortable experience for our patients, particularly those with dental phobias. Our dentists can use these gentle lasers to treat tooth decay, reshape gum tissue, remove lesions, and perform biopsies. This technology typically allows patients to use less anesthetic, and it can reduce the risk of swelling, bleeding, and post-operative pain.

    University Associates in Dentistry welcomes dental consultation requests from new and current patients. Call (312) 704-5511 or check out our website for more information on laser dentistry or our other high-quality dentistry services in Chicago.

  • Planning on Diving? Here’s Why You Should See a Dentist First

    dental implants chicago

    Scuba diving is a thrilling adventure that gives you a ffront-rowseat to the aquatic wonders of lakes and oceans. But did you know that nearly half of all scuba divers experience dental problems while underwater? If you’re thinking about taking a diving class, start with a visit to your dentist. Dental problems in the water stem from the drastic changes in atmospheric pressure. They are also caused by the need to constantly clench the air regulator in the jaw. These problems can be exacerbated by the supply of very dry air, and the awkward positioning of the jaws.

    Scuba divers frequently report symptoms like jaw pain, gum pain and soreness, and even broken dental fillings and loosened crowns. It’s becoming increasingly apparent to those looking into this issue that divers who already have oral problems are more likely to experience severe symptoms underwater. Visiting a dentist first to take care of any problems might reduce the risk.

    Recreational and professional athletes alike turn to University Associates in Dentistry for high-quality, personalized care, including sports dentistry . Call (312) 704-5511 if you would like to schedule a dental consultation in our Chicago office.

  • Optimize Your Brushing Routine with This App

    These days, practically everything is going high-tech. Why not your dental care routine? Dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily. To turn these two minutes into a mini vacation for your mouth, download the Brush DJ app. Brush DJ was developed by a dentist, and it’s intended for teeth cleaners of all ages.

    The app’s primary feature is a timer. Set it to play for two minutes, and pick your favorite music. Since the app takes the music directly from your own devices, streaming service, or cloud, you can play whatever your heart desires—from Mozart to Motown. The app also lets you set dental hygiene-related reminders to help you stay on top of your oral health.

    You can request a dental consultation in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511. Here at University Associates in Dentistry , our dentists can handle everything from cavities to teeth whitening to dental implants.