Chicago, IL Dentist | Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Dentist 60608

chicago dentist bridgeportDuring a comprehensive dental examination, our team will look for signs of oral cancer. Early detection is key with oral cancer. If caught early, most forms of oral cancer are treatable. Our dental team is trained and educated to identify oral cancer.

Everyone is susceptible to the disease, but some groups of people are at a higher risk level than others. Here are the top seven risk factors for oral cancer.

Age

Are you in your mid 40s? Your risk of developing oral cancer increases with age. A noticeable increase is evident in people in their 40s and older. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the majority of diagnosed cases occur around the age of 62, but the average age is declining. The recent increase in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related cases is causing more people to be diagnosed for oral cancers between the ages of 52 and 56. As the average age for oral cancer cases decreases, it is vital that you receive regular oral cancer screenings at any age.

Gender

Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer compared to women. Part of this difference may be related to regular intake of alcohol and tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society, the gender difference is decreasing since more women are drinking and using tobacco today than in previous generations. There has also been a trend in recent years of younger men being diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. Both men and women should schedule regular oral health examinations to detect oral cancer early.

Tobacco

Smoking or chewing tobacco can greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth or throat. Additionally, oral tobacco products cause cancers associated with the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. Development of these cancers depend on the duration and frequency of tobacco use. Non-smokers are not immune to oral cancer, so be sure to schedule an appointment with our team for an examination.

Alcohol

Among those that are diagnosed with oral cancer, about 70% of people are characterized as heavy drinkers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking is defined as having an average of two or more drinks per day for men, and one or more drinks per day for women. People who drink heavily can be more than twice as likely to develop oral cancers than people who do not drink. Oral cancer can still occur in people who have never had an alcoholic drink. Contact our team to schedule an examination.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

This sexually transmitted disease is associated with at least 10,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. People who have HPV-related oral cancers tend to be younger and are unlikely to smoke or drink. Typically, those diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancers are at a much lower risk of death or reoccurrence. We suggest a proactive approach by maintaining regular visits to our dental office.

Sunlight

People who work outside or with prolonged exposure to sunlight have a higher risk of developing lip cancer. It is vital to use UV protection when under the sun. Many lip balms offer UV protection. If you work outdoors frequently, schedule an additional examination with our team.

Diet

Poor nutrition can increase your risk for developing oral cancer. According to the American Dental Association, reports have shown that a link exists between diets low in fruits and vegetables and a higher risk for oral cancers. However, oral cancer can develop in healthy individuals. No matter your diet, schedule a visit with our team for a comprehensive oral examination.

Oral cancer does not discriminate. While these seven factors have been tied to an increased risk of oral cancer, that does not diminish the importance of regular oral examinations for everyone regardless of their age, gender, or other factors. Regular dental examinations make it possible for our team to detect oral cancer early.

Contact our dentist to schedule a comprehensive oral examination.

3014 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 291-9283

Dentist in Chicago | Health Link: Oral Hygiene and Heart Disease

Chicago Dentist

The human body is a network of interconnected systems and organs. Unfortunately, issues that impact one particular area of your body can also effect the health and function of other areas. Recently, studies have highlighted evidence for links between gum disease and heart disease.

While the exact nature of the connection is still being researched, heart disease is almost twice as likely to occur in people who have gum disease. Nearly half of all Americans have undiagnosed gum disease. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, making it pertinent that you maintain a healthy heart. The first key to doing so might lie in keeping your gums healthy.

While gum disease may be a contributing factor to heart disease, it is not the only cause. It is essential that you maintain regular visits to your primary care physician as well to measure your overall health. Other factors and lifestyle choices can impact your heart health.

Diet and exercise. Maintain an active lifestyle with activities you enjoy, such as taking walks, riding bikes, playing sports, or doing yoga. Avoid foods high in starches and sugars, including carbonated soft drinks, as they can also damage your teeth.

Don’t smoke. Whether you’re smoking or vaping, nicotine has a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular system and can damage teeth, gums, and lungs. Recent studies have connected vaping to a rapid loss in healthy cells that line the top layer of your mouth. These cells play an essential role in keeping your mouth healthy.

Brush your teeth. The most basic part of oral hygiene is also the most effective. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day.

By keeping a balanced, exercising regularly, and taking care of your teeth, you’re taking a holistic approach to your well-being and minimizing your risk of developing heart disease.

As with other diseases, preventing gum disease alone will not completely remove the risk of developing heart disease. However, you can take a proactive approach to keeping your body healthy, starting with your oral health.

To schedule a cleaning and examination, please contact our office.

3014 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 291-9283

Dentist 60608 | 6 Harmful Habits That Affect Your Teeth

 Dentist in Bridgeport

Dentist in 60608Nearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Here are a few common habits and tips for how to break them.

  1. Nail Biting

Why it’s harmful: Your dental health may suffer from nail biting by possibly chipping your teeth or impacting your tooth. You place pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for long periods of time. You could also tear or damage your gums.

The solution: Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouth guard to deter form nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter tasting nail polish.

  1. Brushing Too Hard

Why it’s harmful: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure to not brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently.

The solution: Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45 degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.

  1. Grinding and Clenching

Why it’s harmful: This can chip or crack your teeth as well as cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your mouth wide.

The solution: Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouthguard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain, or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.

  1. Chewing Ice Cubes

Why it’s harmful: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice and sometimes it may be the tooth.

The solution: Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.

  1. Constant Snacking

Why it’s harmful: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food and produces acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after to wash away the leftover food.

  1. Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Why it’s harmful: Using your teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries.

The solution: Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you for it and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.

Contact our office to schedule your next dental appointment.

3014 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60608

Bridgeport Dentist | 5 Teeth Sensitivity Myths

Dentist in Bridgeport

Dentist in 60608Do you suffer from regular sensitivity? Teeth sensitivity is often misunderstood, but our dental team can help you find relief. We’re here to separate the fact from fiction in sensitivity.

MYTH: People’s teeth are supposed to hurt when they bite into cold or hot foods.

Feelings of sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods should not be a typical experience. If you suffer from hypersensitivity, it can actually be a sign that something is wrong. There are many causes for hypersensitivity including cavities, older dental fillings, worn tooth enamel, gum disease, and exposed tooth roots. Dentin hypersensitivity is a common issue. A visit to our dental office can help you find relief.

MYTH: Desensitizing toothpastes are not effective in reducing teeth sensitivity.

Desensitizing toothpastes include compounds like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These ingredients work by preventing pain signals being transmitted between the surface of your tooth and the inside nerves. It may take several applications of the toothpaste until you will feel a noticeable difference. Prescription strength toothpastes are also an option for more severe and prolonged feelings of sensitivity. Ask our dentist to recommend a toothpaste for your needs.

MYTH: You shouldn’t drink coffee or eat ice cream if you have sensitive teeth.

You don’t have to be limited from eating or drinking your favorite foods. It is important to check with our dentist to determine the root cause of your discomfort. Based on your cause, we may recommend a prescribed toothpaste or another treatment. You should always maintain proper oral care to prevent sensitivity.

MYTH: Sensitivity never results in tooth loss.

Sensitivity may in fact be a precursor to tooth loss. Gum recession, which exposes the roots of your teeth, can cause general sensitivity among several teeth at the same time. Prolonged and untreated gum recession can lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay can also cause sensitivity. When left untreated, it may lead to an infection in the gums or jaw and risk spreading to other areas in the head or neck. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a difference in keeping your smile healthy.

MYTH: Sensitivity does not have a cure.

Depending on the cause, there are many ways to treat teeth sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent any sensitive tooth pain. If you experience sensitivity, schedule a comprehensive dental examination today.

We look forward to seeing you. Contact our team to schedule your next visit.

Bridgeport Smiles
3014 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60608

Bridgeport Dentist | X-Rays: What You Need to Know When You Visit the Dentist

Dentist in Bridgeport

Dentist in 60608X-rays provide useful visual data for dentists to utilize when treating you. Occasionally, guests to our office ask about the radiation from x-rays and the dangers associated with high-exposure. Rest assured, a dental x-ray is one of the safest medical imaging procedures there is. Here’s what you need to know about getting a dental x-ray.

The Purpose of Oral X-Rays

X-ray imaging of the mouth can show our dental team damage to your teeth as well as disease. They can also show incoming teeth that could be problematic. X-rays allow our team to prevent problems by addressing them early. Rather than wait for excessive tooth damage to become visible, a simple x-ray procedure can identify it before it becomes painful.

Dangers of X-Ray Radiation

Excessive radiation exposure has been linked to increasing the risk of cancer. However, not all radiation sources are the same. It matters greatly where the radiation is coming from, how much you are exposed to, and for what length of time. X-rays have not been shown to present a significant increase in cancer development.

Comparing X-Ray Radiation

Dental x-rays are among the lowest dose of radiation producing procedures in medical imaging. It would take roughly 1,200 panoramic x-rays of your mouth to equal one CT Scan. Did you know that when you fly in an airplane you are exposed to a small amount of radiation? A panoramic x-ray of your mouth is only half of the radiation you’re exposed to on a 7-hour plane ride. The amount of radiation is even lower for a routine x-ray exam. A routine procedure including 4 intraoral images is about the same dose of radiation from a 1-2 hour plane ride. A dental x-ray provides less than the amount of radiation you are exposed to in the average day from natural radiation.

Safety First

Even though dental x-rays are safe and expose you to a small amount of radiation, our office takes additional measures to keep you safe. First, state laws and regulations set the limit of radiation patients can be exposed to. We never exceed these restrictions. Our experienced team is also trained to use the x-ray equipment. Visitors are provided with a shield or bib that provides additional protection.

What You Can Do

Communication is key. If you are a new patient, please provide us with your medical records so that our team knows about any previous medical imaging you have had. Talk to our dentist about your concerns. Together we’ll work with you to ensure you are treated in a safe environment.

Dental x-rays are a safe and incredibly helpful procedure. They allow our dentist to detect problems and develop solutions specific to your mouth. Dental x-rays provide a significantly lower dose of radiation than other safe medical imaging methods. We strive to create an atmosphere where our guests are comfortable. If you have any concerns, please let us know.

 
If you have any questions or would like to schedule your next examination, please contact our office.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Both Children and Adults

SDentist Bridgeport Chicago ILeptember is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It is also a time when our schedules become busy with school, after-school activities, work and social gatherings. When short on time it can be tempting to buy convenient lunch foods, which at times lack nutritional value. We’ve put together a list of healthy lunch and snack foods to promote oral and overall health of our community.

Apples & Pears

Firm, crunchy fruits are high in water content. This dilutes the effects of the sugar they contain and help to stimulate saliva production, making them excellent for oral health.

Water & Milk

Water and milk are far better choices than sugary juices and sports drinks, which contribute to decay. If you choose to allow sugary drinks, save them for an after school snack and encourage brushing after consumption.

Cheeses & Nuts

The calcium and phosphorus found in these foods help to re-mineralize teeth by strengthening the tooth’s enamel.

Carrots & Broccoli

Replace a bag of chips with colorful vegetables and a low-fat dip. This will encourage your children to make a habit of snacking healthy and help them to get the vital vitamins and nutrients needed for oral and overall health.

Childhood obesity and childhood caries are of the most common ailments effecting American children today. Help your children by making healthy food available every day.

We welcome both children and adults of all ages to our dental practice. Don’t forget to make brushing and flossing an important part of your child’s routine, as well as regular visits to our Bridgeport Chicago dental office.

Bridgeport Dentist Discusses Oral Health and Overall Health

At Bridgeport Dentist, there is more to proper oral care than just having a beautiful and healthy smile. Researchers have found that there are over 100 medical conditions that can be detected in the early stages by a dentist. Some of these health conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Pregnancy issues

Find out more about the link between your oral health and overall health before it’s too late. See our dentist.

Dentistry

Bridgeport Chicago Children’s Dentist | Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste

Bridgeport Chicago children's dentistToothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright.

Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster.

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls.

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up.

Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely.

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water.

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches.

Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process.

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.

Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint.

At your next dental appointment, be sure to tell our Bridgeport Chicago children’s dentist how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth!

Bridgeport Chicago Dentist | Quick Facts About Toothbrushing

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

Ask our Bridgeport Chicago dentist for more information on how to brush your teeth for a healthier smile.

Bridgeport Chicago Dentist

Dentist Bridgeport | New Year’s Resolutions for Your Oral and Overall Health

Dentist in Bridgeport ChicagoWelcome the new year with a renewed commitment to living healthy. Commit to a resolution that will keep your overall health in good shape as well as your oral health. Here are some dental health tips to consider that will keep you smiling and feeling great.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including gum disease. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other nutrients that help to improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery can help remove plaque and acids from teeth.

Quit smoking

Smoking increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. It also increases your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and oral cancer. Smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. If you currently use tobacco, consider chewing sugar-free gum. It can stimulate the flow of saliva and can help wash away bacteria.

Limit your alcohol intake

You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health. But it can also impact your oral health. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who consume excessive alcohol have increased gum recession. Studies show that people who regularly consume alcohol are also less concerned about their basic health and oral needs.

This year, do yourself and your teeth a favor. You can maintain a healthy diet and improve your oral hygiene. For more information on how you can improve your oral and overall health this new year, contact our Bridgeport Chicago dentist.