Drs. Tom Ryan DDS, John Athos DDS, Bohdanna Czerniak DMD and the team at North Creek Dental Care are pleased to provide professional and caring dental services to their patients from Tinley Park IL and the surrounding communities. Our dental services include: adult, children's, cosmetic, family, general, implant, laser, preventive, restorative and sedation dentistry.
It's essential to know the truth about oral health because bad oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and other complications. Oral health can also impact your overall health! There tend to be many misconceptions about oral health, but it's essential you know the facts. Learn the truth behind common dental myths so you know how to take care of your teeth.
Myth #1: 'Sugar-free sodas are better for my teeth'
Just because soda is sugar-free, it doesn't mean it's harmless to your teeth. Sugar surely contributes to tooth decay and cavities, but sugar isn't the only thing. Even sugar-free sodas contain acids and carbohydrates combined with bacteria and saliva to result in plaque, also known as biofilm, buildup. If your teeth are not cleaned regularly, that plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis.
Myth #2: 'Dental health doesn't affect my overall health.'
Oral health is a good indicator of overall health, and poor oral hygiene can increase your risk for disease in other parts of your body. Moderate to advanced gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and is more prevalent among people with diabetes. Bacteria and other germs can spread from the mouth to other areas of the body via blood flow. Bacteria that spread to the heart can cause damage and inflammation.
Myth #3: 'I can wait to see the dentist until it's an emergency.'
With dental health, prevention is vital. Keeping your dental hygiene appointments and check-ups allow your dentist and dental hygienist to spot and treat issues before they become emergencies. As discussed above, you don't want to wait until your dental health affects your overall health.
Myth #4: 'Cavities in baby teeth aren't as serious as cavities in adult teeth.'
Oral health in children is essential, even if they lose their baby teeth. Tooth decay and cavities can impact how adult teeth form under the gums. Also, if kids don't learn how to take care of their teeth while they still have their baby teeth, they will be unlikely to keep good habits once they are older. So, encourage and teach your children to brush and floss daily according to a dental professional's recommendation.
Myth #5: 'Silver dental fillings aren't risky.'
"Silver" fillings are dental amalgam fillings because they are made from a combination of multiple types of metal. They are strong, durable, and long-lasting. However, dental amalgam fillings also contain small amounts of mercury. In large amounts, mercury is toxic. According to the FDA, dental amalgam fillings are safe to use in most children and adults. If you know you have sensitivities or are allergic to tin, copper and other metals, tell your dentist. They can use fillings of another material.
Myth #6: 'Gum disease isn't very common.'
Gum disease is actually widespread. According to a study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 52 percent of people age 30 and older have gum disease. As we get older, we're naturally more susceptible to infections, including gingivitis and gum disease. For example, 64 percent of adults age 65 and older have gum disease.
Myth #7: 'Pregnant women can ignore bloody gums.'
The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that pregnancy hormones can lead to sensitive and inflamed gums. This condition has been called "pregnancy gingivitis" because dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. Symptoms include red, sore, and bleeding gums.
However, gingivitis doesn't occur in all pregnant women. Brushing your teeth, cleaning between your teeth with floss, water flossers, or interdental brushes daily, and additional dental cleanings will abate bleeding gums. Preventing gingivitis from turning into gum disease is crucial for mom's and baby's health.
We've busted several myths about oral health. Keep up with your daily oral care routine and ask your dentist and dental hygienist for tips about taking care of your teeth. They'll help you sort fact from fiction.
Is eating ice cream or sipping hot coffee painful? Do brushing and flossing cause a zing? If you feel pain or tingling, then you may have sensitive teeth. At least 45 million Americans suffer from sensitive teeth; one-in-five adults suffers from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is highest between the ages of 25 and 30 years.
A layer of hard enamel protects the crowns of your teeth. A layer of cementum protects the tooth root under the gum line. Gum tissue is a protective blanket that covers the tooth roots. Underneath the hard enamel, or cementum, is the porous dentin which is made up of tiny openings called tubules or channels. Inside each tubule lies a nerve that comes from the tooth's pulp (the mass of blood vessels and nerves in the center of the tooth). When the dentin loses its protective covering and is exposed, it may cause hypersensitivity and discomfort when you drink cold liquids, eat hot foods, eat sweet or sour foods, or when you breathe through your mouth. Even brushing and flossing can be painful.
The nerves inside the tooth get stimulated causing everything from discomfort to a sharp, sudden, shooting pain deep into the nerve endings of your teeth. Some of the causes of tooth crown disintegration include tooth decay, a cracked tooth, a chipped tooth, or a broken tooth; damaged teeth may fill with bacteria, entering the pulp and causing inflammation. Teeth sensitivity can mean significant pain and it often impacts daily activities, such as eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth. It can also lead to painful dentist office visits and procedures.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are many causes of tooth sensitivity, and sensitive toothpaste can help protect against painful teeth sensitivity. Identify the cause of your tooth sensitivity and ask your dental professional for advice. To determine the root for your sensitivity and whether or not sensitive toothpaste will help, see if any of the following causes apply to you.
You will notice sensitive teeth when stimuli, such as hot or cold sensations, reach the nerves inside the teeth and cause pain or tingling. Some common causes of sensitive teeth include:
Your toothbrush type: What type of toothbrush do you use? Most dental professionals recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. The soft bristles prevent long-term damage to your enamel and are gentler on your gums. When combined with a sensitive toothpaste such as Crest Gum and Sensitivity, the right toothbrush can help avoid painful discomfort. Most of Crest toothpastes use an active ingredient called stannous fluoride, which is clinically proven to help protect teeth from painful sensitivity.
Teeth Whitening: Whiter teeth can boost your self-confidence and improve your appearance, but you can have too much of a good thing. If you have sensitive teeth, be sure to use teeth-whitening products no more frequently than the manufacturer recommends. Try limiting yourself to one whitening product, and then use other oral care products for sensitive teeth so you can maintain a regular oral care routine and enjoy a brighter smile, or try whitening products designed for sensitive teeth. Crest Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening Toothpaste can help maintain your whiter smile while helping to protect against sensitivity.
Irregular flossing: Do you floss regularly? Flossing is one of the most important components of your oral hygiene routine. Flossing can prevent plaque build-up that leads to gum disease, receding gums, sore gums and tooth sensitivity. Since 80% of sensitivity starts at the gum line, it’s important to care for your gums to ensure a healthier smile. When combined with sensitive toothpaste such as Crest Gum and Sensitivity, it can help protect your teeth and gums from painful sensitivity.
Tooth Decay: Sensitive teeth can be an early sign of a cavity. A cavity in a tooth is another way by which nerves in the center of the tooth become exposed. Crest Pro-Health toothpastes contain stannous fluoride, which helps protect sensitive teeth from cavities. All Crest Pro-Health toothpastes are triclosan-free.
Gum Disease: If you have gum disease, you can develop sensitive teeth if the inflamed tissue in your gums is not protecting the tooth roots. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. It can progress and destroy the bone and other tooth-supporting tissues, exposing the teeth roots. Gum recession can occur due to age. Chewing tobacco, or snuff, causes the gums to recede. A healthy mouth starts at the gum line so be sure to incorporate gum care oral care products into your routine.
Damaged Tooth Enamel: Everyone's tooth enamel can start to wear away with age, but tooth enamel can also wear away due to factors including high exposure to acidic foods or overzealous brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. Damaged enamel exposes the inner layer of the teeth and causes them to become more sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure.
Brushing Too Hard: Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause gum recession and root exposure over time. Tooth enamel can be worn down or abraded and the dentin exposed by brushing too hard, brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. Tooth roots can become exposed by aggressive brushing, incorrect brushing, or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. The sensitive tooth roots can also become exposed.
Acidic Foods: Eating acidic foods and beverages on a regular basis can cause enamel to erode, increasing the likelihood of sensitivity. regularly consuming foods and beverages with high acid content (citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, tea), or by sucking on hard candy.
Dental Work: Believe it or not, even caring for your teeth can cause sensitivity. Sensitivity can occur after dental work, however, it is temporary and usually disappears in four to six weeks. Dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, crown placement, root planing or tooth restoration can cause temporary sensitivity that can last for four to six weeks.
Teeth Grinding: Do you grind your teeth? Grinding your teeth can cause damage to the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) and expose the tooth’s inner layer (dentin), making it more susceptible to sensitivity and decay.
Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth
Crest Gum and Sensitivity Toothpaste: Clinically proven to promote healthier gums, the uniquely formulated toothpaste helps protect from sensitivity by treating it right at the source. The foamy action works at the gum line to help neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and forms a protective shield against food and drink that causes sensitivity.
Crest Gum Care Mouthwash: The alcohol-free formula helps to reduce gum disease, inflammation, and bad breath germs for a healthier gum line, which can help alleviate sensitivity.
How Does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?
Sensitivity toothpastes work by either blocking the exposed dentinal tubules or by desensitizing the nerve endings in the dentinal tubules. Most sensitivity toothpastes, including the leading sensitivity brand, work by numbing the nerve inside your tooth. Crest Gum and Sensitivity works differently. It fights sensitivity at the source by treating your gum line. Additionally, it’s formulated with stannous fluoride which helps block the tubule openings to keep the external triggers such as heat and cold from ever reaching and stimulating the nerve inside the tooth. Stannous fluoride also binds to enamel to create a micro-thin shield, strengthening the tooth.
How to Whiten Sensitive Teeth
If you want whiter teeth but you have sensitive teeth, start by following a complete oral care routine. Continue to use oral health products for sensitive teeth, and gradually introduce gentle whitening products. Crest Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening Toothpaste cleans stains on the surface of teeth and protects against tooth sensitivity.
Breastfeeding is one of the first (and most personal) decisions a mother makes for her baby. It can help your baby’s body fight infections and reduce health risks like asthma, ear infections, SIDS and obesity in children. Nursing moms may lower their chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer. But did you know breastfeeding can impact the dental health of both baby and mom? Here’s how:
Breastfeeding May Help Build a Better Bite
Several recent studies, one in Pediatrics in 2015 and one in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that babies who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months were less likely to have teeth alignment issues such as open bites, crossbites, and overbites, than those exclusively breast fed for shorter lengths of time or not at all.
Still, this doesn’t mean your exclusively breastfed baby won’t need braces someday. Other factors, including genetics, pacifier use, and thumbsucking, affect alignment. “Every baby, every child is different,” says Dr. Ruchi Sahota, mother and American Dental Association spokesperson. “The best thing for mom to do is to take the child to the dentist and make sure the dentist is able to monitor eruption, that baby teeth are coming out at the right time and permanent teeth are coming in at the right time.”
You Don’t Have to Wean When Your Baby Gets Teeth
It’s a question that often pops up in parenting message boards and conversations with new moms: Should I stop breastfeeding when my baby starts teething? The answer is not if you don’t want to.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a baby’s life; the World Health Organization encourages moms to go for two. “As it goes with breastfeeding, every child is different, every mother is different,” Dr. Sahota says. “You should stop breastfeeding when you think it’s the best for you and the baby but not just because the teeth come in.”
Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Another benefit of exclusive breastfeeding, Dr. Sahota says, is a reduced risk of baby bottle tooth decay, the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. This type of tooth decay often occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle – even ones containing formula, milk or fruit juice. (Water is fine because the teeth won’t be bathed in sugary liquids for a prolonged time.) It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.
Breastfed Babies Can Still Get Cavities
It’s one of the most common questions nursing mothers ask: Can breastfeeding cause cavities? Yes, it can. Although natural, breast milk, just like formula, contains sugar. That is why, breastfed or bottlefed, it’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. A few days after birth, begin wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth every day. Then, brush her teeth twice a day as soon as that first tooth emerges. Use fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.
Need Dental Work Done? Double Check Your Medications
If you need to have a dental procedure that requires medication while nursing, check with your dentist, personal physician and pediatrician to make sure it is safe for baby. “It’s important to know there are antibiotics we can give you that won’t hurt the baby,” Dr. Sahota says. “It’s not only safe to go to the dentist while you’re pregnant and while you’re nursing, it’s very important to do so for the best health of your child.”
Dr. Sahota says there’s one thing she sees in new moms, breastfeeding or not. “I definitely see moms who are, as simple as it sounds, are not able to take care of themselves as well as they did before the baby,” she says. “Moms that are just not brushing as much as they used to, whether they’re brushing once a day or not brushing at all.”
A dip in dental care could lead to more gum disease and cavities. Cavity prevention is especially crucial for moms, as even the simple act of sharing a spoon with could transfer that bacteria into your baby’s mouth. “It’s really important to do the basics: Brush twice a day, floss once a day. See your ADA dentist regularly,” she says. “Make sure you have prevented decay and don’t have any cavities so you don’t transfer that to your baby.”
Dr. Sahota says she also sees more teeth grinding (bruxism) in moms. “I see a lot more head and neck muscle tension, which causes our jaws to be a little bit more tense and then that causes us to grind our teeth,” she says. “Trouble sleeping when we’re pregnant, that can cause us to grind our teeth a little bit. Postnatally, stress can increase and it can also be an issue.”
All moms need to stay hydrated, especially if breastfeeding. “Not drinking enough water, that in itself is a very dangerous thing for your mouth,” she says. “If we have a dry mouth, we put ourselves at risk for gum disease, for cavities, so many things.”
And there’s one last piece of advice Dr. Sahota gives all moms. “Just like if you’re on an airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you put it on your child,” she says. “If you’re not healthy, you will not have the time and the energy to make sure your children are also healthy.”