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Crystal Lake Dental Care

We found this interesting article and wanted to share.

It may begin as a tiny fissure on the chewing surface of the tooth. You may not even be aware of its presence as repeated stress causes the crack to advance downward, dangerously close to the pulp — nerve and blood vessels — and further into the root. Dental advice is often not sought until symptoms manifest. Intermittent pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and unpredictable stints of discomfort are all telltale signs. In other situations, a small crack can become a large one in a very short amount of time. Sometimes all it takes is an instant, especially when biting down on something hard or even something soft.

Even when a crack extends into the pulp, the connective tissues at the center of the tooth, endodontists can treat it with root canal treatment and crown to prevent its spread. But when it creeps below the gum line, the tooth often cannot be saved, and extraction ensues.

In some respects, endodontists have a good problem with which to contend: One major contributor to the observed uptick in cracked teeth cases is the increasing lifespan of the American population, which according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has reached 78.8 years.
“Due to the efforts of the American Dental Association and the dental profession, people learned how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease so they started to keep their teeth longer,” says Dr. Robert Roda, an endodontist and graduate of the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry (TAMBCD). “Cracked teeth seem to be a result of repetitive stress injury, and so the longer teeth are in use, the more likely they will become cracked. This is a modern epidemic and something we have never before as a profession had to deal with.”

Endodontists are taking a proactive stance to educate patients on the oral health issue, says Roda, who maintains a practice in Scottsdale, Ariz., and is president of the American Association of Endodontists.

At TAMBCD, dental students and endodontic residents alike receive intensive training on early detection methods, says Dr. Gerald N. Glickman, Chair of the Department of Endodontics and Director of the Advanced Program in Endodontics.

“We want them to be thoroughly informed on early detection and treatments,” says Glickman, “as earlier detection and protection of teeth from the less severe cracks will keep them from propagating further, thus preventing tooth loss.”
When cracks in the teeth are not detected early, endodontists have their work cut out for them.

“Endodontists are the specialists in dental diagnosis, but sometimes cracked teeth will thwart even our best efforts,” Roda says. “The response of the pulp to a crack is sometimes very difficult to localize, and great care has to be exercised to not treat the wrong tooth.

“Sometimes cracks are plainly visible on the crown of a tooth as seen under the dental operating microscope, but sometimes they are hidden under fillings or other restorations, and they even occur on root surfaces under the gum line.”
The use of cone-beam computed tomography ­— a variation of traditional CT systems that uses a cone-shaped X-ray beam to produce 3-D patient images — has aided endodontists in diagnosis, but even that tool just allows them to infer the presence of a crack. All too often a fracture cannot be found without invasive surgery or until conventional therapies to save the tooth have failed, at which point extraction is the only remaining treatment option.

Considering the most effective and least invasive ways to avert the consequences of a cracked tooth include early diagnosis and preventive care, there is some good news: Patients, too, can take the offensive against this oral health concern.

Some pointers:

Avoid chewing on hard objects — think ice, pens, unpopped popcorn kernels, etc.

Don’t clench your jaw or grind your teeth — Since the stresses of daily life can often cause people to do this involuntarily, most often during sleep, talk to your dentist about getting fitted for a retainer or nightguard.

Protect yourself — Wear a mouthguard or mask when participating in contact sports.

Minimize decay — Fillings help stop the spread of cavities, but they can weaken the structure of the tooth and make it vulnerable to fracture. Preventing dental decay with healthy diet and oral hygiene choices can help mitigate this risk.

— Jennifer Fuentes
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The Impact of Skipping Your Bi-Annual Teeth Cleanings

By: Dr. Nhien Lu

Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year may not seem like a priority—you might have to take time off work, you might not have any problems, it feels like twice a year is too often. However, skipping those twice-yearly dental appointments has more of an impact on your oral health than just missing a professional cleaning. Your dentist is a doctor who is trained to identify problems in your mouth long before they become problems. What do you risk when you forgo your bi-annual teeth cleanings?

Oral Cancer

During your professional cleaning, your dentist may conduct an oral cancer screening. An oral cancer screening involves both a visual and physical exam of your mouth to ensure no signs of oral cancer are present. If you have a sore in your mouth that won’t go away or a lump around your face or neck, you could have oral cancer. A dentist can help identify potential oral cancer. When you skip your cleanings, you miss this important screening that could save your life!

Gum Disease

The symptoms of gum disease can be sneaky: bad breath even after brushing or using mouthwash; bleeding while brushing once in a while; gums that look red or irritated. Many people don’t know that common symptoms like bad breath, bleeding while brushing, or red gums could be symptoms of gum disease! Gum disease can progress and eventually lead to tooth loss if not treated. Your dentist can examine your mouth for gum disease during your cleanings—but if you skip these, gum disease could be progressing and be much more difficult to treat!

Physical Health

Research links oral health to physical health! The amount of plaque in your mouth has been linked to the amount of plaque in your arteries. The healthier your mouth, the healthier your heart! Getting professional cleanings twice a year ensure that your mouth is clean and healthy. Your dentist can identify spots you’re missing while brushing or the proper techniques for flossing. When you miss your appointments, these spots keep getting missed and plaque builds up.

Tooth Decay

Cavities are very common and like gum disease, can progress if left untreated. Cavities can be difficult to notice, especially since they usually start out small. By the time you can see a cavity, it likely needs to be treated with a filling. Skipping your bi-annual teeth cleanings could leave cavities to progress in your mouth. If you consistently miss your dentist appointments, you could have cavities that get so large they’re unable to be treated with a filling—an extraction, root canal, or other form of treatment may be needed.

Scheduling an appointment at your dentist office for a teeth cleaning is easy and the appointment generally doesn’t take long. By keeping up with your oral health, you can ensure your body stays healthy as well as your mouth. You can also prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and catch oral cancer before it progresses. Keep up with your teeth cleanings— they could save your life!
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Have you promised yourself to become healthier this year? Don't neglect the importance of your oral health! Gum disease, abscesses, and decay can all make an impact on your overall health!
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We will be closed Monday, Dec. 26th and will reopen Tuesday, Dec. 27th.

Have a wonderful day.
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It is not too late to use your dental benefits and FSA money!

We have 2 great ideas for small gifts. Call us today.
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There are only 2 months remaining before many insurances roll over! Hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost every year through non-use of dental insurance and or FSA/Cafeteria plans!

If you haven't been to a dentist in awhile, it is an excellent time to come in. If you have a large treatment plan and you insurance rolls over in January, we can easily save you money be splitting your treatment between this year and next year!

Contact us today at 763-588-8426 to see how we may best help you.
Crystal Lake Dental Care
Crystal Lake Dental Care
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The end of the year is fast approaching! The vast majority of people with dental insurance will lose any remaining maximum at the end of the year!

Now is a great time to come in for a cleaning and exam and or any dental work that may be needed.

We look forward to hearing from you.
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Are you aware that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease and or have high blood sugar? Over 50% of Americans have some form of gum disease! Please remember to visit your dentist regularly as many people are not aware they may have gum disease.
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Are you aware that there is a correct and wrong way to brush your teeth and that your choice of toothbrush weighs in?

We're sure you have heard many times that regularly brushing your teeth is key to maintaining healthy teeth and in preventing periodontal (gum) disease. Did you know that choosing the right toothbrush and use of proper brushing techniques are equally important?

Click on the link to read more.
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Dental Health at Any Age
By Erica Patino
Keeping your mouth healthy throughout life

Awareness of the oral-health conditions you are likely to face at different stages of life can help you stay a step ahead of potential dental problems, and build a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dental Health: Pregnancy and Children

Expectant mothers can give children a head start by eating an array of healthy foods and taking calcium supplements while pregnant. Also, taking folic-acid supplements decreases the risk of a baby being born with a cleft lip and palate. After the baby's birth, parents should wipe the infant's gums with a soft, damp cloth after feedings, as this helps prevent the buildup of bacteria. When teeth come in, typically at six months old, parents can use a soft children's toothbrush twice a day to clean the teeth and gum line, where decay starts.

Dr. Mary Hayes, a pediatric dentist in Chicago and a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, tells parents there is a risk for tooth decay even in children as young as nine months. "Parents need to pay attention to baby teeth — they aren't disposable," says Dr. Hayes, who also recommends parents brush their children's teeth until they are six years old. "This instills good habits and a routine." Hayes notes that prior to six years old, children aren't able to brush their own teeth effectively. Parents can begin taking children to a pediatric or family dentist around one year of age. Another important habit parents can establish is to avoid feeding kids sweet and sticky foods. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese and crackers, for tooth-friendly snacks.

Dental Health: Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report nearly one-third of adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Early detection is important: In the early stages, tooth decay is often painless and can be picked up only during a dental exam. A visible sign of the separate dental problem of periodontal disease is loss of bone around the teeth and requires a dentist's intervention as well.

Risk factors for dental health are often tied to overall health. Diann Bomkamp, a clinical dental hygienist and president of the American Dental Hygienists' Association, cites smoking and certain medications as risk factors for periodontal disease. "There's a direct relation between gum disease and other diseases," says Ms. Bomkamp. "If you're on medications for high blood pressure or epilepsy, or have diabetes, visit the dentist on a more routine basis." (To learn more, read Dental Health and Overall Health.) If you are taking medication for these conditions or have diabetes, talk to your dentist about how often you should go for checkups, as it may be best to go in more often than every six months. Additionally, people of all ages can drink fluoridated water to reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. Most cities have fluoride in tap water — however, the majority of bottled waters do not. If your water source doesn't have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements.

Dental Health: Older Adults

Even as people are living longer, more older adults are keeping their natural teeth. However, older adults still need to visit a dentist regularly, as they are at increased risk of developing throat and oral cancers (especially those who smoke or drink alcohol heavily). Bomkamp notes that older adults also have an increased risk of dry mouth and may be on a number of medications that affect oral health. For those with dentures, Bomkamp finds, "Many older patients don't think they need to go to the dentist, but they might not be cleaning their dentures correctly." If your gums are red and swollen, check in with your dentist, it may be a sign your dentures don't fit anymore.
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