Effects of Osteoporosis on your Oral Health

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Osteoporosis isn’t a new discovery, or a disease unheard of by many. That being said, many people don’t realize how closely tied to your oral health it can actually be.
In short, osteoporosis is caused by an insufficient consumption of calcium and vitamin D. It affects the bones, making them less dense and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is directly tied to your long-term dental health as this weakening of the bones may heavily compromise the jaw bone. A weakened jawbone can have a host of detrimental consequences for your teeth, including increased tooth mobility, or complete tooth loss.
The best cure for the degradation of the jawbone is avoiding it all together with a balanced diet high in vitamin D and calcium, and getting a sufficient amount of exercise. Barring that, be sure to attend your dental appointments regularly so that way the structure and health of your mouth can be monitored, and any problems that may develop are addressed immediately and not permitted to deteriorate.
As it is, due to hormone imbalances and changes over life, women are most at risk to developing osteoporosis, but it can absolutely develop in either gender depending on a host of lifestyle variables, not limited to diet and exercise.
Symptoms to pay attention to that may be indicative of osteoporosis affecting the jaw include: pain and/or swelling in the gums or jaw, as well as infection; injured gums not healing in a timely fashion; teeth that become loose for no reason or after only minor strain; numbness or discomfort in the jaw; or at worst, exposed bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate contacting your dentist to prevent exacerbating the issue.

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Fast Food During The Holidays

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During the hectic holiday season, fast food is an easy go-to. We already know that sweets and sugary desserts are not good for our teeth or our waistlines. However, even the savory fast foods can wreak havoc on our teeth!
Some problems that may arise are:
– Acid erosion
– Staining
– Decay
Refined carbohydrates such as in white based pizza sauces and pastas, contain simple sugars that are able to quickly dissolve, causing acid that attacks tooth enamel.
Heavily pigmented foods such as certain spices and sauces within Chinese and Indian foods, as well as tomato based sauces, contain properties that can easily stain your teeth. It has been suggested that if you are going to be eating any of these foods, that you begin your meal with a green vegetable such as spinach or broccoli. Green veggies form a protective film on the surface of your teeth that creates a less porous surface for staining foods to be able to adhere to. Therefore, your teeth have a slight barrier to stop those yummy sauces and spices from staining your teeth!
Starchy and fried foods (probably the worst items to consume health-wise) also stick to your teeth very easily. These foods are highly processed with lots of preservatives, none of which are good for your teeth.
Even when you think you are reaching for a healthy pre-made sandwich; take a look at the ingredients contained within it. Some contain hidden sugars and calories, as well as an overload of salt. High amounts of salt, sugar and calories not only cause harm to your tooth surfaces and enamel, they can also contribute to high blood pressure or even a stroke! So the next time you reach for what you think may be the “smart option” take a little peak at the ingredients, especially those contained in the spreads or sauces. If there are high amounts of sugar or salt, you may want to consider a different option.
Large amounts of meat or tough-to-chew foods also need to be consumed in moderation. Even though the protein is good for you, when you over-indulge in chewy and tough meats, you can negatively impact your jaw joints or even cause misalignment of your jaw as well as headaches, and tooth aches. While you eat these types of foods, try to distribute them equally on the chewing surfaces within your mouth, alternating which side you are chewing on.
The convenience of fast foods is great! It’s always nice to be able to quickly grab something to satisfy your appetite. Perhaps after reading this, we can all be a little bit more mindful when we go to grab a quick bite. Take a couple extra minutes to choose what you are going to eat. A well balanced diet is a healthy diet. If you are going to consume fatty and sugar-filled foods, do so in moderation. Consider more healthful choices like fresh veggies and lean meats with a side of water! Then when you get to your sweet treat, it won’t be so detrimental to your teeth! So remember; always, always brush your teeth twice a day, be sure to regularly floss and schedule regular dental check-ups! Bon appétit!

A Time To Give Thanks

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As Thanksgiving swiftly approaches, here is a little insight as to how to not over indulge when turkey day hits!  We all know the famous expression “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach!” or “You eat with your eyes first!”  This is usually the case with most of us when it comes to sitting down to eat Thanksgiving dinner.  Let’s just put this out there…  Gorging yourself on snacks, cakes, pies, and starches just means a really big stomach-ache and a miserable rest of the night, not to mention the potential for damage that it can have on your teeth and gums!

This year, why not give your smile the attention that it deserves?

-Instead of the incessant snacking on all of the empty calories, head over to the veggie tray!  A variety of veggies can do wonders for you!  Not only for your oral health, but also for your health in general.  Reaching for a nice healthy snack is a great decision!

-When you are loading up your plate with all those delicious foods, try and plan out your plate.  Be mindful of the items you are scooping on as well as how much of what, you are dishing.  Instead of piling on mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing and marshmallow covered yams, try this combination instead; A bigger scoop of green beans, some turkey, yams (minus the marshmallow), a smaller portion of the potatoes (minus that extra butter) and a little fruit salad on the side without the whipped topping.  Your plate will be well balanced with more appropriate portions and without all of the sticky, bad-for-your-teeth toppings.

– Thanksgiving desserts are a must for most! After you have yourself a small slice, if you are able to excuse yourself and go rinse your mouth and (if at all possible) brush and floss your teeth, you will be well on your way to a happier and healthier smile!  If you brush those teeth and gums after eating the sweets and dinner, they are not able to sit on your teeth allowing time for bacteria build-up and all that comes along with the damaging sugar ingredients that cause harm.

With proper oral health care and limited portion control when eating, you CAN quite literally “Have your cake, and eat it too!”

Aside from eating, here’s something fun to do.  Sit down with a friend or loved one and think about a couple of specific moments when someone’s smile impacted you, or when your smile meant something to someone else; even as little as holding a door open for a stranger and the exchange of smiles that was made at that point in time.  This will open up a conversation about smiles and positivity!  And really, what could be better than that?!

All-in-all, we hope you have a wonderful and love-filled Thanksgiving!

309 E. Riverside Blvd.
Loves Park, IL 61111
Phone: 815.633.181

To Trick Or To Treat? That Is The Question!

Halloween is a night full of spook-tacular thrills and terrifying fun! It can also be a dreaded nightmare with the overload of candy that can spark the start of a cavity! This year, why not try something new? When you are gathering your cauldron full of trick or treat goodies, try and opt for some alternatives to the sugar jitters that are bound to commence! There is no written rule that you HAVE to give out candy. This year, let’s stand out from the crowd and spice it up a little bit.
Here are some unique alternatives:
• Mini Play Doh
• Snack Packs (pretzels, popcorn, fruit chews… etc.)
• Temporary tattoos or stickers
• Spooky vampire teeth
• Halloween themed goodies (pencils, rings, toys, activity books… etc.)
• Glow sticks
• Mini juices or waters
• Small chalk packs
• Costume jewelry
• Mini bubbles
• Travel size floss and toothbrushes 😉
A couple of tips to keep in mind before the kiddos are ready to hit the town:
– Feed your child a well balanced meal before they go trick or treating.
– Use smaller candy loot bags instead of pillow cases or large grocery bags
Now, let’s be real, we all know that Halloween is a time to indulge, a little (or a lot) in the sugary goodness. Let this be a special day that your child can have a couple of pieces of candy out of their loot bag. But limit the amount they consume. Not to mention, no one likes a belly ache after too many sweets. Just keep in mind, when your child comes home from the wicked Halloween trick or treating, go through their candy. If there are any candy wrappers that are open or look to be tampered with, throw away without hesitation. And don’t let your kids keep their candy stash! If you are in control of it, you can monitor when they have a piece and how much they are eating.
If you only want to allow for a couple of pieces of candy, and get rid of the rest, consider these options:
• Dental Office Candy Buy Backs
• Donating the candy to the troops
• Make your child a deal. For every piece of candy they hand over, give them a dime and then let them pick something special they would like to do with their earnings! Instant allowance! Perhaps a movie of their choice? A dinner date? Or a new toy?
No matter what the decision you choose to go with this year, we hope you have a safe and frightfully fun filled Halloween!

Edward P. Laco, DDS, PC

309 E. Riverside Blvd.
Loves Park, IL 61111
Phone: 815.633.181

All you need to know about WISDOM… Teeth!

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are considered to be a third set (upper and lower jaw) of molars.  They typically appear during your last few teen years and early twenties.  There are some people who are lucky enough to experience no problems what-so-ever with their wisdom teeth.  If they are developing in the proper position and not causing pain or problems, there is no need to pursue any sort of treatment or extraction.

There are three main reasons as to why your wisdom teeth would need to be surgically removed:

  1.  There is not enough room for them to fully erupt.
    When there is not enough space for your wisdom teeth to pop through the surface of your gums, you run a higher risk of them being impacted.  Most commonly, this means that your wisdom teeth have made it through the bone but cannot get through the gums.
    Sometimes symptoms come along with this type of impaction.  Other times, one may not experience a single symptom.  This is one of the reasons why frequent visits to our office are very important.  In order to look in to this, an x-ray is required.
  2. The wisdom teeth are not coming in at the proper vertical angle.
    A lot of times wisdom teeth develop in different positions.  They could even be developing facing towards your other teeth instead of growing upwards.   When this occurs, people face problems with their other fully developed teeth, crowding and can even cause poor bite and jaw alignment.  As stated above, in order to see how your wisdom teeth are growing, which direction or any other abnormality, x-rays will need to be taken.
  3. Partially erupted wisdom teeth.
    Sometimes the wisdom teeth are able to poke through the top of the gum but cannot fully erupt.  If this happens, there is an elevated chance that infection may occur.  This infection is called Pericoronitis.  This occurs when bacteria from plaque or food get trapped between the partially erupted tooth and the gum surrounding it.

Warning signs and symptom to look out for include:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain while trying to eat
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please give our office a call to schedule an appointment and x-rays to see exactly what is going and what steps need to be taken in order to get the problem treated and relieve any discomfort you may be experiencing. Wisdom teeth extractions are typically done by an oral surgeon, however, in some cases a certified dentist can extract them.  Local anesthesia is most commonly administered.  Healing time is usually less than 1 week.

Post oral surgery instructions will be explained and given to you.  It is imperative that you continue to practice good oral health care during this time and to follow those instructions carefully.  Having your wisdom teeth removed will not hinder the functionality of your mouth.  (For example being able to eat, chew, speak or your bite position.)   When an extraction is required, the younger you are when it is discovered, the better.  Wisdom teeth extractions are considerably easier to extract while the teeth are still in development.  If you are interested in your wisdom teeth and their current stage or any other information you are curious about, give us a ring today!

309 E. Riverside Blvd.
Loves Park, IL 61111
Phone: 815.633.181

The Importance of Dental Hygiene and Back to School

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Ah, the hustle and bustle of going back to school!

As we head back into school mode, there are lots of things on the “to do” list to get done before the first day rolls around.  Every student should be equipped with these essentials:

-Backpack

Notebooks

Markers, pens, pencils

Dental cleaning

Dental cleaning?!?  Yes!  Healthy teeth, gums and proper dental hygiene are as crucial as everything else on the list in preparation for the coming school year.

Studies have shown dental related issues are a main reason that children miss school. If you maintain and stay on top of your oral health care you are setting yourself up for future success! There is no age limit when it comes to having a healthy mouth and smile.*

As your first day of school swiftly approaches, no matter what grade you are going into, first impressions are always looming in the back of your mind.  And first impressions are huge!  No one needs to have a big chunk of cereal in their teeth or stinky breath on their first day back. Your buddies will never let you live it down. When your teeth are well taken care of, brushed, flossed, with clean fresh breath, you are well on your way to a GREAT first impression!

A friendly smile says a lot about a person.  When you have a clean , attractive smile  you’ll exude confidence. When you are feeling confident, you promote a positive sense of self which can help spark a conversation or attract another person’s attention.  You’ll have a lunch buddy in no time!

Not to mention, those school pictures that wind up being a permanent fixture in the yearbook (and on your fridge at home). With a dashing smile, you will have no regrets when you look back years later and think, “Man!  That is one good looking smile!”

If you are due for a dental cleaning and polish, now is the perfect time to go in for an appointment!  This goes above and beyond your daily standard brushing and flossing.  A good dental cleaning will remove all of the plaque or tartar build up that may have accumulated over the past few months.  Any sort of gingivitis will be examined and taken care of. A nice polishing of your teeth will finish up your look.  Afterwards, your teeth will feel AMAZING!  Your teeth will literally be squeaky clean!  There is no better feeling than a smooth fresh tooth surface.

We all get those first day jitters when going back to school.  It’s completely natural.  But when your alarm clock goes off the morning of your first day back, you eat your breakfast, gather your belongings, and you brush and floss your teeth, you will have one less thing to worry about before you get to class!

So just remember, before you walk out the door for your first day of school, make sure that you have spent at least two minutes brushing those pearly whites, flossed each and every tooth, and maybe even given a quick once over with some mouth rinse.  You are bound to have a great first day back with smiles all around!

*Source:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21330579

Edward P. Laco, DDS, PC

309 E. Riverside Blvd.

Loves Park, IL 61111

Phone: 815.633.1815

39 Tips and Alternative Uses for Everyday Dental Hygiene Items #LifeHack

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Life Hacks – The Dental Edition!

Today we’re sharing our office’s best tips, tricks and secrets to making difficult tasks easy and fixes for the most annoying problems. Get ready to have your mind blown because ALL of these use dental related items!

Denture Tabs
Did you know they can also be used to help clean common household items? Here are six alternative uses for denture cleanser tablets:

  1. Put them in with a diamond to spruce up that sparkle
  2. Remove mineral deposits from glass
  3. Pop a denture tablet into your coffee pot, run the water through and then rinse. Cleans up stains in a snap! BONUS: also great at removing coffee and tea stains in mugs
  4. Toss a tab in to a full toilet or bathtub and watch the grime dissipate
  5. Use to clean enamel based cookware
  6. Great for unclogging drains

Dental Floss
Be sure to use the dental floss that is flavorless, otherwise you are going to have some unsatisfactory results for some of these hacks.

  1. When your shoelace breaks and you need a fix in a pinch— lace up with floss until you can get a replacement!
  2. Got long hair? When your ponytail’s elastic band snaps off, wrap some floss to create a new hair tie
  3. Sentimental pictures stuck to your scrapbook page? Or cookies stuck to the baking sheet?  Wiggle some floss gently in between to release
  4. Slice clean pieces of bread, cheese or cakes by holding the floss taunt and gliding down the soft item you are wanting to “cut”
  5. Are you travelling and you need to “lock” you luggage? Wind some floss through the zippers to secure
  6. Create a makeshift clothes line out of floss
  7. Use as string for crafts and jewelry making
  8. Leaky faucet? Tie floss around the spout and let the rest hang into the drain to eliminate the dripping sound

Toothpaste
The miracle worker!

  1. Remove scratches from DVD’s and CD’s by applying a little white toothpaste and gently rubbing over the surface
  2. Ring Around the Collar: take some toothpaste on a toothbrush(double dental life hack!)and scrub in a circular motion over the stain before normal washing
  3. Got Kids? Do they have crayons? Use toothpaste as an abrasive to scrub the crayon right off the walls
  4. Scuffs happen. Shoes, furniture, other surface areas, etc.  Put some toothpaste on a toothbrush and scrub away to watch the scuffs vanish
  5. Did someone forget to use a coaster? Rub toothpaste over the ring and wipe clean with a damp cloth
  6. Use as a deodorizer for baby bottles.Remember to rinse thoroughly after soaking!
  7. Rub toothpaste over mirrors, glass, and water goggles then wipe clean to create a fog deterrent
  8. Make your sink and faucets shine by polishing with toothpaste!
  9. Ink and lipstick stains are no longer a problem with the help of toothpaste
  10. Helps remedy stubborn pimples: dab a little toothpaste on the problem area before bed and wash your face in the morning.
  11. Foul scents lingering? Wipe some toothpaste over the area and rinse thoroughly
  12. Remove carpet stains by using the paste with a scrubber

Mouthwash
Mouthwash can help out with more than just bacteria in your mouth and odorous breath!

  1. Use mouthwash as an antiseptic replacement when you run out
  2. “That’s going to leave a bruise!” Heal up faster by rubbing it with some mouthwash on a cotton ball
  3. Poison ivy itches! Smooth over the affected area and discard the used cotton ball to avoid cross contamination
  4. Hand sanitizer substitute!
  5. Did you forget deodorant? Swipe a little mouthwash to remove “ripeness”
  6. Great as a disinfectant
  7. Soak nails and toes in mouthwash to help with fungus and athletes foot
  8. Also works as a great for helping to soften and soothe feet
  9. Can be used as a temporary face astringent
  10. Soak smelly containers in mouthwash and rinse. Say goodbye to stink!

 

 

Toothbrush
Toothbrushes make excellent cleaning tools and are great scrubbers. Here’s a few of our favorites uses!

  1. If you need to touch up your roots, use a toothbrush to assist in the hair dying process
  2. Works wonders as an exfoliater
  3. Nail brush – work out the dirt under your nails gently

If you carry little travel sizes of mouthwash, a toothbrush, white toothpaste and some denture tabs, you are fit to solve almost any spill, scuff or stain! These items are great to always have on hand.  Next time one of these problems tries to kick you when you’re down, remember these dental life hacks!  Give them a try and let us know how well their magic works for you!

Edward P. Laco, DDS, PC

309 E. Riverside Blvd.

Loves Park, IL 61111

Phone: 815.633.1815