Posts for: January, 2019
Besides attractively showcasing your teeth, your gums protect your teeth and underlying bone from bacteria and abrasive food particles. Sometimes, though, the gums can pull back or recede from the teeth, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to damage and disease.
Here are 4 things that could contribute to gum recession—and what you can do about them.
Periodontal (gum) disease. This family of aggressive gum infections is by far the most common cause for recession. Triggered mainly by bacterial plaque, gum disease can cause the gums to detach and then recede from the teeth. To prevent gum disease, you should practice daily brushing and flossing and see your dentist at least twice a year to thoroughly remove plaque. And see your dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of red, swollen or bleeding gums.
Tooth position. While a tooth normally erupts surrounded by bone, sometimes it erupts out of correct alignment and is therefore outside the bony housing and protective gum tissue. Orthodontic treatment to move teeth to better positions can correct this problem, as well as stimulate the gum tissues around the involved teeth to thicken and become more resistant to recession.
Thin gum tissues. Thin gum tissues, a quality you inherit from your parents, are more susceptible to wear and tear and so more likely to recede. If you have thin gum tissues you'll need to stay on high alert for any signs of disease or problems. And you should also be mindful of our next common cause, which is….
Overaggressive hygiene. While it seems counterintuitive, brushing doesn't require a lot of "elbow grease" to remove plaque. A gentle scrubbing motion over all your tooth surfaces is usually sufficient. On the other hand, applying too much force (or brushing too often) can damage your gums over time and cause them to recede. And as we alluded to before, this is especially problematic for people with thinner gum tissues. So brush gently but thoroughly to protect your gums.
If you would like more information on treating gum recession, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Recession.”
In the battle against tooth decay, fluoride is an important weapon. Since the discovery of its dental health benefits a century ago, fluoride has been credited with saving countless teeth.
But over its history in dental care, this natural-occurring chemical has also had its share of controversy with concerns raised from time to time on potential health dangers. These run the gamut from “conspiracy theory” speculations to credible research like a 2006 National Research Council study that suggested a possible increased risk of bone fracture or cancer from over-consumption of fluoride.
Even so, there is actually little evidence or even record of incidence for such dire consequences. The only definitive health effect from fluoride found after decades of copious research is a condition called fluorosis, a permanent staining effect on the teeth. Fluorosis poses a cosmetic problem but does not harm the health of the teeth.
Moderation in fluoride use seems to be the key to gaining its health benefits while avoiding fluorosis. One influential fluoride researcher, Dr. Steven Levy, estimates 0.05-0.07 milligrams of fluoride per one kilogram of body weight (about a tenth the weight of a grain of salt for every two pounds) is sufficient to gain the optimum dental benefit from fluoride.
The real question then is whether your family’s current consumption of fluoride is within this range. That will depend on a number of factors, including whether your local water utility adds fluoride to your drinking water supply and how much. You may also be ingesting fluoride through processed foods, juices and even some bottled waters. And you can encounter fluoride in dental care including toothpastes and clinical treatments.
One way to moderate your family’s fluoride intake is to be sure all your family members are using the correct amount of fluoride toothpaste for their age while brushing. Infants need only a slight smear on the end of the brush, while older children can brush adequately with just a pea-sized amount. For other tips and advice, talk to your dentist about your family’s fluoride intake and how you might adjust it.
Even with the possibility of fluorosis, fluoride still provides an incredible benefit in preventing tooth decay. By understanding fluoride and keeping your intake within normal ranges you can maximize its benefit for healthier teeth and minimize the fluorosis risk.
If you would like more information on the role of fluoride in dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fluoride & Fluoridation in Dentistry.”
Dental veneers are a great option when it comes to cosmetically improve the appearance of your teeth. Installing them doesn’t require any major modifications to your existing teeth, but they still provide significantly better results compared to other cosmetic treatments. See dentists Dr. Jeffrey Onik and Dr. Connie Onik at Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville, IL to discuss veneers.
Treating Your Smile with Veneers
When you smile, do you hesitate to show all of your teeth? Do you feel compelled to cover your front teeth with your fingers when you’re laughing or speaking to other people? If so you may be a good candidate for veneers. They are dental devices that lay on top of your damaged or discolored teeth, making them look white, straight, and well-shaped. Veneers can also close up small gaps.
Why Are Veneers Preferred?
Dental crowning is a treatment that is very similar to veneers, except crowns require a lot more dental material to be removed. Crowns are also not appropriate for fixing several teeth in a row. Veneers are preferred because they can be easily attached and shaped by your Naperville, IL dentist without too much work. Porcelain is the material that’s commonly used for veneers because it is versatile and easy to integrate with any smile for a very natural look.
A New Smile, a New Lease on Life
Don’t underestimate the impact of renewing your smile with veneers. After years of living with a smile that you feel less than proud of, this cosmetic treatment can really provide you with a major confidence boost. It can also help rejuvenate your social life and professional career. Take the time to schedule a consultation—your dentist will work closely with you to give you an idea of what your smile will look like after it is restored with veneers.
Consult a Veneer Dentist
You might just learn that porcelain veneers are the ideal way for your dentist to improve the way your teeth look. Call 630-420-2800 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Jeffrey Onik or Dr. Connie Onik at their office in Naperville, IL.