Tag Archives: Dr. Bartz

5 Myths About Periodontal Disease | Lawn Oak, IL

periodontal diseaseAccording to the American Academy of Periodontology an estimate of approximately three out of four Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontal disease ranges from a mild stage referred to as gingivitis to a more severe stage called periodontitis. This bacterial gum infection destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bone that holds your teeth in place. Though this disease has be highly publicized, many people still don’t take periodontal disease seriously because of certain myths and misconceptions that surround it. In this post I’ll be dispelling the truth behind the myths about periodontal disease.

Myth #1: Flossing my teeth isn’t important.

Fact: False. On top of brushing your teeth twice a day, you should be flossing at least once a day as to prevent gum disease. According to a survey that was released by Delta Dental, only 4 in 10 adults floss their teeth every day. Flossing your teeth is one of the best way to prevent gingivitis, a form of gum disease.

Myth #2: My bleeding gum are no big deal.

Fact: Let’s put it this way, think of your gum tissue the same as your hands. If your hands were to bleed every time you washed them, wouldn’t you worry? If your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to suggest the best periodontal treatment.

Myth #3: Poor oral hygiene is the only way I can get periodontal disease.

Fact: While poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of periodontal disease, there are other certain factors that can increase ones risk. The use of tobacco products, a poor diet, stressing, pregnancy and genetics can all contribute to periodontal.

Myth #4: I don’t have cavities so I don’t have periodontal disease.

Fact: While you may be cavity-free, it still doesn’t ensure that you are in the clear where periodontal disease is concerned. This is because periodontal disease is painless and several people don’t even know that they have it. Of course, gums that’s bleed easily or are red, swollen or tender are signs of gingivitis, which happens to be the only stage that’s reversible with periodontal treatment and practicing proper oral hygiene.

Myth #5: Having periodontal disease means I’m going to lose my teeth.

Fact: Once again, this is false. You won’t have to lose any teeth to periodontal is you practice proper oral hygiene on a daily basis. This involves brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, eating a healthy diet and visiting your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings every six months. Even if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, your dentist will be able to design a periodontal treatment plan to keep it under control.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from a form of periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal disease.

What Are The Three Stages Of Periodontal Disease? | Oak Lawn, IL

Periodontal DiseaseIf you’ve recently been told that you’re suffering from periodontal disease, you are not alone. Nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums which can progress to affect the bone and tissues that surround and support your teeth.

Periodontal disease is typically caused due to improper oral hygiene, however in some cases it can be caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, among other certain factors. When you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque to remain on your teeth, which will eventually infect your gums. Not only will periodontal disease affect your gums and teeth, but it can potentially affect your connective tissue and bone that supports your teeth as well. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Gum disease often exhibits worsening symptom as time goes on.

  • Gingivitis- Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and can be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by the plaque buildup. This stage of the disease can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when brushing or flossing your teeth. This is the only stage of periodontal that is reversible with periodontal treatment.
  • Periodontitis- When gingivitis is left untreated it progresses to a more advanced stage, known as periodontitis. At this particular stage the supporting bone and tissues will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, then form pockets below the gum line that become infected. . With periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene you and your dentist can usually prevent any further damage.
  • Advanced Periodontitis- This is the final stage of periodontal disease, not only has the infection affected your teeth, but it has also destroyed the fibers and bones that support your teeth. This can affect your bite and cause your teeth to shift, loosen and/or even fall out. If periodontal treatment can’t save your teeth, your dentist may have to remove them.

Periodontal disease does not discriminate and can occur to anyone at any age, however it is more common in adults. As mentioned earlier, if periodontal disease is detected in its early stages, it can be reversed.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to see which periodontal treatment best suits your needs. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal treatment.

Gum Contouring: What Are The Benefits?

186932212When people think of enhancing or improving their smile they usually think of teeth whitening, veneers, or other cosmetic procedures. Most people never think about gum contouring when it comes to cosmetic procedures. However, there are many ways one can benefit from gum contouring.

People don’t typically consider their gums a part of their smile because most times gum tissue doesn’t show very much when one smiles, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. However, there are many people that have what’s considered a “gummy smile”, which is where your gums are far below your upper lip when you smile. Fortunately, gum contouring can help you out if you are unhappy with your “gummy smile”.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring is a dental treatment used in cosmetic dentistry. The primary purpose of gum contouring is to improve a patients gums that have become or are uneven or rest too low. Both of the two can either be a result of genetics, particular health problems or taking certain kinds of medication. Though this procedure is consider cosmetic, it is also recommended to patients that have suffer from gum recession. Gum recession may not technically be an aesthetic problem, but it can increase some health risks.

Benefits of Gum Contouring

There are many benefits that associated with gum contouring, some which include the following:

  • Makes a patient’s smile more symmetrical
  • Creates a more uniform and proportionate smile for patients
  • Helps patients whose teeth appear to be oddly shaped or small
  • Lengthen the appearance of a patient’s teeth
  • Even out a patient’s gum line
  • Help curb the effects of tooth decay and gum disease

Not only can gum contouring help improve a gummy smile, but as you can see, it can also help control and curb the side effects of certain dental problems.

If you feel that gum contouring would benefit you, contact. Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding gum contouring.

What Are Common Periodontal Treatments?

periodontal diseaseIf you’ve recently been informed that you have periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, you’re not alone. There are many people in the U.S. that suffer from some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range from inflamed gums to serious disease that can cause tooth loss. Whether a patient’s gum disease is stopped, slowed or gets worse ultimately depends on them and how well they care for teeth and gums.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease

There are many signs and symptoms that come along with periodontal disease, however, some people don’t even realize they have it, due to it being a painless disease. The following includes the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bad taste in mouth or persistent bad breath
  • Red or inflamed gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Gum recession or longer appearing teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

What are the most common periodontal treatments?

The primary purpose of periodontal treatment is to control the infection. The number and type of periodontal treatments vary, depending on the how far the disease has progressed. Any type of periodontal treatment requires the patient to practice proper oral hygiene at home. Dentists may also suggest that the patient change certain habits, such as smoking, as a way to improve the overall outcome.

  • Deep Cleaning- This periodontal treatment involves a dentist, periodontist or oral hygienist removing built-up plaque though a method called root planing and scaling. This gets rid of the rough spots on the patient’s teeth where germs accumulate, and also helps remove harmful bacteria that can contribute to periodontal disease. In some cases, a dental laser may be used.
  • Medications- In some cases, medication may be used with treatments that include root planing and scaling, but they can’t always take the place of oral surgery. Dentists base whether or not you should have oral surgery based on how far the patient’s gum disease has progressed. More studies are still needed to see if medication can work long-term. Common medications used include antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics and prescription antimicrobial mouthwashes.

Your dentist may suggest that you have oral surgery to help control your periodontal disease. The periodontal treatments that involve oral surgery include flap surgery, which helps further rid built-up tartar in deep pockets, and bone and tissues grafts. Bone and tissue grafts help regenerate a bone and tissue that was lost due to periodontal disease.

If you’re seeking ways to treat gum disease, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to see which periodontal treatment best suits your needs. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal treatment.

5 Myths about Porcelain Veneers Busted

186932212Porcelain veneers can be a great advantage for those patients that have suffered from dental trauma, excessive wear, tooth decay or discoloration over time. However, there are many myths that surround porcelain veneers, making people question this wonderful dental treatment. The following includes the five most common myths about porcelain:

  1. Veneers are bright white and noticeable. Thanks to advances in cosmetic dentistry, veneers have come a long way and are actually quite natural-looking. The color, shape and thickness are all customized to blend in seamlessly with the patients surrounding teeth.
  2. Veneers are only used for aesthetic purposes. While the primary purpose of veneers is for aesthetic reasons, they are also used to restore the function of a patient’s teeth. Veneers can rebuild molars, improve facial profiles and replace worn or misshapen teeth.
  3. Veneers require a dentist to file down your entire tooth before veneers can be placed. This is one of the most common myths regarding veneers. While reshaping is usually required before adhering a porcelain veneer, most patients only need a minimal amount removed. Veneers are now made to be fingernail thin, so less prep work is required.
  4. Veneers are only necessary for your front teeth. Although veneers are commonly placed on the six teeth located in the front of the mouth, veneers can actually be used anywhere throughout the mouth. There are many patients that use them on their lower teeth and premolars to even out or widen their smiles.
  5. Veneer placement is painful. Like any other dental procedure, patients will be put under a local anesthetic when veneers are placed, so there is no pain or discomfort.

As you can see there are many myths that surround the use of porcelain veneers. Don’t let these common myths impair your judgement regarding porcelain veneers and their effectiveness.

If you would like to see if you’re an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding porcelain veneers.

Eat Your Way to a Whiter Smile

natural teeth whiteningIf I were to tell you that you could eat your way to whiter smile, would you believe me? Chances are you wouldn’t believe a word I said. However, just as there are certain types of food that can stain our teeth, there are also foods that can naturally whiten them.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, there are several foods that can naturally cleanse and brighten your teeth, while also defending against bad bacteria that could potentially harm your teeth or gums. Your teeth and gums essentially mirror what is going on inside of your body, meaning that what you consume can influence the health and integrity of our teeth. If you’d like to achieve a healthier and whiter smile, try munching on these healthy foods:

  • Apples- I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, that saying may apply to your dentist as well. Apples acts as a natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Apples contain a high concentration of malic acid, which is natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent to whiten teeth.
  • Broccoli- When eaten raw, broccoli, just like apples, acts as natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Broccoli is high in fiber, and if eaten regularly, it can go a long way in preventing gum disease. Also, the iron found in broccoli can provide a barrier that can protect your teeth from stains and cavity-causing acids.
  • Celery- Say goodbye to tooth stains as you snack on a piece of celery. The yummy veggies are low in calories and high in water content, which can help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is our mouths way of natural cleansing.
  • Cheese- Though the color of some types of cheese may throw you off, most cheese doesn’t stain teeth. Cheese is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which helps provide your teeth with necessary nutrition to keep your enamel healthy and strong.
  • Garlic and Onions- The key is to eat these both raw. Eating both garlic and onions raw releases a bacteria-reducing compound called thiosulfinate and thiosulfonates, which promotes healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque.
  • Pineapple- This particular fruit is quite unique considering that it is the only food that contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is a natural stain remover that can help remove plaque buildup from the surface of your teeth, while also preventing tooth erosion and cavities from forming.
  • Strawberries- Like apples, strawberries contain malic acid, which acts as a natural bleaching agent that can remove tooth stains. Strawberries also contain vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and aid in plaque removal.
  • Water- If you ever needed another reason to up your water intake, it’s that it can help keep your pearly whites bright and healthy. In addition, drinking water throughout and after meals can help rinse your mouth of any leftover food debris and loosen plaque.

As you’ve read, there are many ways that you can go about whitening your teeth aside from teeth whitening treatments. Of course, regular consumption of these foods isn’t enough to maintain a white and healthy smile. You must also make it point to practice proper oral hygiene, and to visit your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings routinely.

If munching on these foods are not enough and you would like to look into teeth whitening treatments, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding teeth whitening.

How to Maintain a Bright Smile After Teeth Whitening

Woman brushing her teethBrightening your smile is as easy as a simple visit to your dentist’s office for teeth whitening treatment. However, there are many factors that can affect your newly whiten teeth. To help keep your pearly whites as bright as possible after having them whitened you must practice proper oral hygiene. On top of that, there are a few foods, beverages and products you should avoid, especially immediately following your teeth whitening treatment. I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to help you maintain a bright smile after having a teeth whitening treatment, which includes the following:

  • Be sure to avoid dark colored drinks, especially immediately after a teeth whitening treatment. Drinks such as black tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine can easily stain your pearly whites. If you do enjoy a cup of joe or black tea every morning, consider using a straw to lessen the exposure of the drink to your teeth.
  • Be sure to avoid eating any dark or brightly-colored foods immediately following a teeth whitening procedure. Stick to eating light colored foods such as potatoes, pasta and chicken.
  • You should avoid wearing lipstick immediately following a teeth whitening treatment. Lipstick can stain due to the semi-permanent color.
  • Be sure to avoid using tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco for at least 12 hours, or 24 hours if you can help it. Tobacco products are known to cause staining, among other oral problems.
  • Be sure to practice proper oral hygiene, which involves brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Brushing and flossing removes plaque buildup that can cause staining.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after every meal to get rid of any leftover food debris that could possible stain your teeth.

After having your teeth whitened, your long term results ultimately rely on your lifestyle choices and how well you keep up with practice oral hygiene. If you follow these advice mentioned above, you should be able to maintain a bright smile for a much longer period.

If you’re pearly whites are looking a little duller than before, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation to find out which teeth whitening treatment best suits you. Or you can visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Will Custom Teeth Whitening Trays Brighten My Smile?

whitening trayDo you avoid flashing your smile due to having stained or yellow teeth? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that there are many teeth whitening options to choose from that can safely and effectively brighten your smile.

One common dental treatment that’s done to whiten teeth is a bleaching procedure using custom teeth whiten trays. This specific whitening option is effective and most of all, it cost significantly less compared to alternative teeth whitening treatments.

Why should I choose custom whitening trays?

While there are several over-the–counter teeth whitening treatments that can be used, like whitening strips or trays, they won’t work quiet as effectively as custom whitening trays. This is because unlike custom teeth whitening trays, over-the-counter strips or trays aren’t customized and don’t have the ability to whiten your teeth as effectively. One of the risks that come along with using over-the-counter teeth whitening products is that the bleach can leak from the tray or strip. This can cause your gums to become irritated or sensitive. Custom whitening trays are made to fit your teeth perfectly.

What can I expect with them?

If you decide to get custom teeth whitening trays, your dentist will begin with a professional teeth cleaning and correct any existing dental problems you may have. Once your dentist is finished, he or she can proceed to fabricate your custom tray.

The process starts off with your dentist taking an impression of your teeth, then using the mold your dentist can create the custom trays. This process can take a few days to complete, so after taking your impression, you will have to be called back for a second office visit.

Once your custom whitening trays are complete and your go in for your second visit, your dentist will give you instructions to properly use them. This typically involves you wearing the trays up to four hours a day for a week, two weeks at the very most. You only have to use a very little amount of the bleaching solution to achieve optimal results.

During the whitening process, you should start to notice a difference in the shades of your teeth as they begin to whiten. Once this short process is over, you should be able to enjoy flashing your significantly whiter teeth. To maintain the appearance of your pearly whites you may want to get treatments done every now and then.

Of course, to help maintain their appearance you should also practice proper oral hygiene and avoid stain-causing food, drinks or products. Proper oral hygiene involves you brushing twice as day, flossing once and visiting your dentist for regular checkups. As far as stain-causing food, drinks and products go, those include tobacco products and foods or drinks such as blueberries, coffee, tea, beets and so on.

If you’re feeling a bit down about having stained or yellow teeth, it may be the perfect time for you to get in contact with Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule an appointment to ask about custom whitening trays. Or you can visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

How to Properly Care for Your Dental Bridge

Woman brushing her teethIf you have missing teeth, I’m sure you’ve experienced trouble eating effectively, speaking clearly and even biting down correctly. When you do have a missing tooth or teeth, it’s important to visit your dentist immediately to discuss tooth replacement options, as having missing teeth can lead to further dental problems.

A dental bridge may be one of the options your dentist may give you to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Dental bridges are used to span between the space where the teeth are missing and connect to the surrounding teeth. The teeth that remain on both sides are referred to as abundant teeth and the replacement tooth is called a pontic.

How long do dental bridges last?

Dental bridges can last up to 15 years, though how long they last ultimately depends on how well you take care of them. Practicing proper oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist on a regular basis for routine checkups and professional cleanings will ensure that your bridge lasts for years to come.

If by chance your bridge fails, such as your crown falling out, make sure to place it somewhere safe, preferably in a zip lock bag, and call your dentist to schedule an appointment immediately. Your dentist may be able to re-bond it back into place if the crown or bridge isn’t damaged. If your dental restoration is damaged, you will have to have a new crown or bridge placed.

How to take proper care of your dental bridge

Caring for your dental bridge is no different than taking care of your very own natural teeth. However, there are certain things that you should consider avoiding, such as chewing on ice and biting your nails, as both of these habits can cause damage to your dental restoration. If you grind or clench your teeth while you’re asleep, you should ask your dentist for night guard for added protection.

Your overall oral health is key to having your dental restoration last. To ensure the longevity of your dental bridge, brush twice a day for two minutes each session, floss at least once a day and use mouthwash. And, as I mentioned before, be sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental bridge, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding dental bridges.

What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?

Nice TeethThere are many risk factors that can lead to tooth loss, such as injury, disease or decay. Though, with proper dental treatment, your confidence and smile don’t have to suffer as much. As a matter of fact, with proper dental treatment your smile may appear to look better as a result.

What are crowns and bridges?

Both dental crowns and bridges are known as fixed prosthetic appliances. They are placed by cementing them to the affected tooth, or in some cases, to a dental implant. Unlike removable dental appliances like dentures, which can be taken out, crowns and bridges can only be removed by a dental professional.

How do crowns and bridges work?

Dental crowns are used to cover the entire affected tooth. They can strengthen a damaged tooth, while also improving the alignment, appearance and shape. Crowns can also be placed on top of a dental implant, as to replacing a missing tooth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns can be customized to match the color of your natural teeth. There’s also the option of using other materials, such as gold and metal alloys, and acrylic and ceramic. Though porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often the best choice for both appearance and durability.

As for dental bridges, these are recommended if you have one or more missing teeth. They essentially create a bridge to fill the gap where teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to either your natural tooth or a dental implant surrounding your missing teeth. As with crowns, the material used to fabricate dental bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. Your dentist can help you decide which option best fits your individual needs.

Benefits of dental crowns and bridges

There are several benefits when it comes to replacing missing teeth with dental crowns and bridges. They can be used to improve the appearance, shape, alignment and bite. Empty spaces caused by missing teeth can result in your teeth shifting, which can cause a bad bite. Crowns and bridges will help prevent this from occurring.

If you’re interested in replacing your missing teeth with a crown and bridge, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.