60619 Dentist | Connected Health – Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s

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Your gum health may have an impact on your cognitive function. A recent study found a correlation between gum disease and increased cognitive decline for people living with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While more studies are needed to make a definitive connection, the study is important in keeping the conversation going about oral health and its impact on your entire body.

Details of the Study

The study was administered by King’s College London and the University of Southampton. It observed 59 patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s. Blood tests were utilized to examine inflammatory markers present in the bloodstream, while patients’ dental health was examined by dental hygienists.

What it Found

The study found that patients with gum disease experienced cognitive decline at a rate 6 times faster than those without gum disease. The study suggested that the body’s reaction to inflammation may be responsible for causing the rapid decrease in brain function.

Importance of Healthy Gums

Previous studies have determined that gum disease can increase your risk of developing complications such as heart disease and stroke. Maintaining healthy gums is essential to staying healthy overall. You can keep your gums healthy by following good daily oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice each day for two minutes, as well as flossing regularly.

For those living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative that they maintain their oral health. If you are a caregiver of someone with the disease, make sure they are keeping up with their daily oral hygiene routine, as well as visiting our office for regular examinations. Keeping your gums healthy may be one key to keeping your body and brain healthy too.

For more information about gum health, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.

820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Phone: 773.488.3738

Dentist in Chicago | How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile

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How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile.

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine.

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard.

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel.

Steps for Preventing Decay

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our office.

820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Phone: 773.488.3738

Chicago Dentist | New Year’s Resolution: A Healthier Smile

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The new year is a time when many consider making positive changes in their lives.  Common goals include wanting to lose weight, exercise more, or quit a bad habit. What about vowing to improve your oral health this year? Here’s a few easy changes you can make that will lead to a happier, healthier smile in 2019.

Timing is Everything

Are you a fast brusher? A couple of passes over your teeth is not going to cut it in terms of keeping your teeth strong and clean. Here’s our suggestion for a new year’s resolution: brush for two minutes, twice a day. Start off the new year by trying to brush for the full time. Don’t brush hard because vigorous, fast brushing can lead to lasting gum damage.

Drink Water, Lots of Water

Replace sugary drinks with water this year. Your teeth will benefit from water, as it helps to clean off some of the excess sugar and acids left from food and drinks. Water also assists in saliva production, which is essential for maintaining your teeth’s enamel. Drinking water can also fit into a resolution to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle. Make sure it’s part of your resolution too!

Come See Us

The new year is a good time to schedule your next visit to our office. Keeping up with regular visits helps us to give your teeth a thorough cleaning and examination. Never wait until you think something is wrong with your teeth. Make 2019 the year you keep up with your dental work.

Floss

According to a study by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans are flossing daily. Flossing should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. We recommend changing your ways in the new year if you are one of the 60% of Americans avoiding dental floss. Flossing is essential for helping limit your decay and for maintaining healthy gums.

With the start of the new year, make a vow to look after your teeth. A few simple changes in your old habits will do a world of good for your teeth in 2019. Allow your good habits to rub off on others this year.

For more advice on keeping your teeth health or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

820 East 87th Street Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60619

Phone: 773.488.3738

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

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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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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