Dentist in Chicago | Self-Care: A Woman’s Priority

Dentist Near Me

When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of an emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the results can be catastrophic, both for you and for those you might otherwise have been in a position to assist. While this is crucial information for all, many women particularly require this gentle reminder to prioritize their own needs above those of others.

All too often, we meet women who work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of their families. We see working moms, both at home and in office, who prioritize the health and wellness of their children, spouse and even friends before their own.

We get it: there’s joy and fulfillment in taking care of others. However, it may be time to “put on your oxygen mask” and consider whether you are remembering to care for yourself. Your health, both mental and physical, should be one of your top priorities. This will allow you to have the energy and strength you need to assist with the needs of those around you.

Smile restoration can take years off your appearance, while adding years to your life by improving your health. If you’re looking for a way to jump start your new self-care inclusive way of living, contact us for a cosmetic consultation. Your friends and family will love to see you with a vibrant, beautiful, healthy smile. You deserve it.

820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Dr. Cornell McCullom
Dr. Yetta McCullom
Phone: 773.488.3738

Dentist 60619 | Don’t Miss Your Screening

Dentist Chicago, IL

Oral cancer does not discriminate. It affects those of all ages, genders and races. Smokers do develop oral cancers at higher rates than non-smokers. However, this does not absolve the rest of the population from being at risk, as well.

It’s incredibly important to keep to your recommended schedule of oral health examinations. By visiting your general dentist at least twice per year, it is much more likely that our dental team will be able to identify potentially cancerous lesions in early stages. As you may know, the key to survival of most forms of cancer is early detection. Oral cancers are treatable, especially if caught before displaying obvious signs. The best results occur when oral cancer is identified and treated during early stages.

If your general dentist identifies a lesion that appears to be irregular, he or she may refer you to our team. We’ll recommend the next steps. Once pathology has been identified, we can proceed with treatment if necessary.

We will complete a biopsy to confirm whether a lesion is cancerous. It is not possible to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis without a biopsy. For this reason, try to refrain from making assumptions until we have confirmed your diagnosis. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last appointment or if you have noticed a lesion, bump or irregular patch of skin that doesn’t heal within a few days, consider an oral cancer screening by your general dentist. Know that your dentist will provide you with advice and may refer you to our team for a closer look.

If you have considered skipping the recommended dental visits that provide your first line of defense against oral cancers, please reconsider. It could save your life.

Dental Dream Team
820 East 87th Street Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 488-3738

Chicago, IL Dentist | Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue?

Dentist in Chicago

You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know.

What is hairy tongue?

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance.

Who is at risk of hairy tongue?

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances.

What causes hairy tongue?

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae.

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our practice at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.

If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our practice for an appointment today.

820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

(773) 488-9075

Dentist in Chatham Chicago IL – College Students Need Dentists, Too

The other day, a patient of mine came in for a regular check up — for the first time in two years. She is a college student who spends most of the year away at school. With everything going on at school, it can be easy to forget about scheduling visits to see the Dentist Chatham. We see this a lot with patients; they maintain regular check-ups from childhood all the way through high school, and then they go away to school and disappear for a few years. When they come back, though, they have to make up for lost time, and they face more complications than the patients who have been regularly visiting their Chatham Dentist.

 

When my patient stopped in for an appointment, she was showing the beginnings of gum disease. There was a lot of build-up on her teeth, and her gums were beginning to recede. Had more time passed, the periodontal disease could have advanced to a more severe stage. Although it was clear that she was trying to keep up with her oral health through regular brushing and flossing, the Dentist Chatham Chicago has the tools to target and clean the spots that are easily missed.

 

It is important to be proactive about making appointments to prevent gum disease and other complications such as tooth decay and teeth pain. If you stop in to see your Chatham Chicago Dentist over winter break and then over summer break, you will be able to maintain good oral health. If this timing does not work, you could also schedule appointments during a fall break and spring break. No matter what you decide, it is much more convenient to stop in twice a year for a cleaning than it would be to need to come home for restorative treatment during midterms.

 

To schedule your next appointment with your Dentist in Chatham Chicago IL, give our office a call.

 

 

 

Yetta McCullom     

Dentist in Chatham – Is Your Jaw Sore?

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are issues you experience with your jaw, as well as the joint and facial muscles surrounding your jaw. This can cause stress and discomfort in your daily life. Symptoms of TMD include tension and tenderness in your face or jaw, difficulty with opening your mouth wide, locking or clicking or your jaw, difficulty in chewing, a tired feeling in your face, and swelling on the side of your face.

Your dentist Chatham can examine your jaw in order to diagnose TMD. Your dentist will check for locking of the jaw while opening and closing your mouth. Additionally, your bite and facial muscle function will be examined, and your dentist will evaluate your jaw pain and tenderness. In some cases, x-rays will be taken to check your jaw, jaw joint, and teeth for irregularities.

It can be difficult to diagnose TMD and TMJ because the symptoms of these are similar to symptoms of other health issues such as toothache, arthritis, and sinus problems. However, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Chatham Chicago if you experience any of the symptoms of TMD and TMJ.

There are precautions your Chatham dentist recommends to avoid TMD and TMJ problems from arising. First, you can avoid hard foods and excessively chewing gum. Although gum can have many oral health benefits such as preventing cavities and tooth decay, it can tire your jaw and cause some soreness if you are not accustomed to regularly chewing gum.

Another way to prevent TMD problems is to develop and practice relaxation techniques to reduce tension in your face and jaw. Clenching, especially in your sleep, can cause tension in your jaw, so you can reduce soreness by learning to relax your jaw. For example, by placing the tip of your tongue at the roof of your mouth, your jaw will automatically relax, reducing some of the tension. If you struggle with clenching your jaw while you sleep, you may want to consider getting fitted for a mouthguard from your dentist in Chatham.

If you are feeling soreness or tenderness in your jaw, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist Chatham in order to receive a proper diagnosis and to explore your options. Your dentist can help you to maintain a beautiful, healthy mouth that is free of discomfort.

 dentist in chatham

Yetta McCullom
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Dentist Chatham Chicago – Pick Up A Pack (Of Chewing Gum)

If you are in the habit of chewing sugarless gum on a regular basis, you’ll be happy to know that this can have a positive effect on your oral health. It is a simple way to give your oral health a little boost. If you don’t typically chew gum, your dentist Chatham Chicago recommends picking up a pack.

Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. Your saliva washes away acids, sugars, and food debris in your mouth, preventing tooth decay and cavities. The flow of saliva can help to strengthen your tooth enamel, helping you to maintain strong, beautiful teeth. Your dentist in Chatham recommends chewing gum right after you eat for about 20 minutes to best fight off cavities caused by food consumption.

Chewing gum has aesthetic benefits, as well. It can ward off bad breath and brighten your smile. By washing away the food debris that may have remained in your mouth from your last meal, chewing gum rids your mouth of any lingering odors. Additionally, it prevents the acids and debris in your mouth from staining your teeth, leading to a healthier, whiter smile.

Not only does chewing gum protect your teeth, but it can also help your gums. Chewing gum reduces plaque build-up, which is a way to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease. Although this is not a cure to gum disease, chewing gum is a helpful way to supplement your oral hygiene in between visits to your Chatham dentist.

In order to maximize the benefits of chewing gum, your dentist in Chatham Chicago recommends that you look for sugar-free gum, specifically gum that has been sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol prevents harmful bacteria from lingering in your mouth, reducing your risk for cavities. Additionally, xylitol can help to repair damage to enamel, strengthening your smile.

While there are many benefits to chewing gum, there are also complications that can arise if you chew excessively. Frequent gum chewing can lead to inflammation and soreness in your jaw, causing TMD and TMJ. Also, you are putting stress on your facial muscles when you chew, which may cause headaches.

Although chewing gum can be beneficial to your oral health, it is still very important to floss daily and brush twice a day. Chewing gum should serve as a complement, not a substitute. Additionally, you should regularly schedule visits with your dentist Chatham to ensure that you maintain the best possible oral health.

 dentist in chatham

Yetta McCullom
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Chatham Chicago Dentist – Preventing Dry Socket

After having a tooth extracted by the dentist in Chatham Chicago, it takes time for your mouth to heal. You have just undergone a procedure that will benefit you in the long run, and you are looking forward to your once-again healthy smile. During the healing process, though, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid a condition called alveolar osteitis, or dry socket.

When you have a tooth extracted by the dentist Chatham Chicago, a blood clot forms over the socket in order to keep the bone and nerves protected. Sometimes, though, this blood clot can become dislodged prematurely. If the mouth has not healed sufficiently at the time of the dislodging, the bone and nerves are exposed to air, liquids, and food, and dry socket occurs. It is an uncomfortable experience that can last for about five or six days.

While dry socket is definitely something to keep on your radar, it is an uncommon occurrence in most patients. Dry socket is most likely to develop within the first week or two after you have had a tooth extracted, and only about 2% to 5% of patients develop this condition. Still, the Chatham Chicago dentist recommends the following precautions in order to prevent this from happening to you.

First, you should avoid intense exercise for at least 24 hours after the extraction. It is important to rest up and avoid excessive movement while your mouth begins to heal. Your dentist Chatham Chicago IL also recommends that you avoid drinking through a straw for at least a week after receiving an extraction. The suction from the straw could cause the blood clot to dislodge. Additionally, you should avoid spitting in order to reduce the risk of dry socket. After the initial 24 hour period, you should begin gently rinsing with warm salt water about four times a day in order to remove any food particles in the area.

Although some patients have a greater risk of developing dry socket than others, all patients can avoid this condition by closely following after-care instructions from the dentist in Chatham Chicago IL.

 dentist in chatham chicago

 

Dentist Chatham Chicago – Caring For Dental Implants

If you have received a dental implant from your dentist in Chatham Chicago IL, you have invested both time and money into the future of your smile. It is important to protect this investment in order to maintain good oral health. There are certain steps you should take after undergoing a dental implant procedure in order to care for your mouth.

After the procedure, your mouth might be tender at first. This tenderness only lasts about ten to fourteen days. Your dentist Chatham Chicago IL recommends a diet of warm soup, soft foods, and cold foods during this time. Additionally, you should refrain from smoking. Although the healing time for a dental implant tends to vary depending on the patient and the situation, it generally takes between two and four months for your mouth to fully heal after receiving a dental implant. You will not experience discomfort throughout this period, though.

Once your mouth has healed, caring for an implant is very similar to caring for a natural tooth. Although an implant cannot develop a cavity, it can still undergo the same wear-and-tear as a normal tooth. When not maintained properly, there is a risk for peri-implantitis to occur, which is similar to periodontal disease. However, this is easily preventable through regular check-ups, as well as daily brushing and flossing.

In order to maintain good oral health, it is important to continue to regularly visit your Chatham Chicago dentist. Your dentist can clean the areas that you are unable to reach. Additionally, your dentist Chatham Chicago will be able to check the surrounding gums and bone to ensure that they are healthy.

As always, your dentist in Chatham Chicago recommends thorough brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Paying attention to your oral hygiene will ensure that your implant survives. If you continue to maintain good oral hygiene, your implants can last a for the rest of your life without a need for replacement.

 dentist in chatham chicago

Dentist in Chatham Chicago – Diabetes and Your Oral Health

There are nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes. Diabetes is a group of diseases that affects how your body uses blood glucose, or blood sugar. Glucose is very important because it provides energy for your body and brain.

 

People who live with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. This is because diabetes makes the body more susceptible to bacterial infections. Gum disease develops gradually which is why it important to see your Chatham Chicago Dentist regularly to prevent gum disease from occurring or getting worse.

 

Tooth Decay: People with diabetes are more prone to tooth decay because diabetes is associated with dry mouth and low saliva production which promotes bacterial growth. Naturally, everyone has many forms of bacteria coating their teeth, which creates plaque. When you eat sugary or starchy foods, the plaque begin to release acid that attacks the enamel of your teeth. The more sugar you consume the more acid is released. Over time, the enamel of your tooth will break down resulting in cavities.

 

Early Gum Disease: Diabetes lowers your resistance to infection and slows down your healing process. Because so, you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. When plaque isn’t removed promptly, it will harden and turn into tartar. Once tartar starts to build up and irritate the gum lines, you will produce an early form of gum disease known as gingivitis. With gingivitis, your gums will become inflamed and tend to bleed easily. Once gum disease is prevalent, only your Chatham Chicago IL dentist can help to maintain the disease and prevent it from progressing.

 

Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, the infection becomes more serious and moves from your gums to the soft tissue and bone structure of your teeth. This more serious condition is called periodontitis. Having periodontitis can result to tooth loss and increases your chances of stroke or heart attack. Also with periodontitis, it can make diabetes harder to control. Be sure to consult with your Dentist in Chatham Chicago IL for periodontitis solutions.

 

Maintaining proper oral hygiene every day can help you reduce the risk of developing gum disease. It is important to remember that living with diabetes requires a lot of special attention to your health, including oral health. Be sure to see you Dentist in Chatham Chicago regularly to help prevent gum disease from progressing. Also, it is important to notify your dentist that you have diabetes so that they will be able to better assist you.

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