Tag Archives: oral care

Why Custom Whitening Trays Are a Great Choice | Oak Lawn Dentist

Do 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.

While there are several over-the–counter teeth whitening treatments that can be used, like whitening strips or trays, they won’t work quite as effectively as custom whitening trays. 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.

The process starts off with your dentist taking an impression of your teeth, then using the mold your dentist can create the custom trays. 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.

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.

If you would like to find out more about custom whitening trays, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.comfor additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Gingivitis: Is It Really That Bad? | Oak Lawn Dentist

If you aren’t the most regimented patient with your daily dental hygiene, you may want to read this – because it can lead to severe, and costly, dental problems. Problems like gingivitis.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis is a very common condition characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed.

Both dental plaque and tartar are filled with harmful bacteria, and if they aren’t removed from teeth, they will begin to irritate the gums and cause gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis will often extend from the gums to the bone and lead to periodontitis. When the bone gets infected, it will start to recede away from the teeth and form deep gum pockets. These pockets collect plaque and bacteria as they are very difficult to keep clean, and more bone loss occurs. As periodontal disease progresses into later stages and more bone tissue is lost, the teeth may eventually become loose and fall out. Here are the most common risk factors:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor nutrition, such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake
  • Diabetes
  • Medications such as anti-seizure medications

Preventative care is simple. Brushing and flossing twice a day is of utmost importance, as are regular dental visits.

If you would like to find out more about gingivitis, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.comfor additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Crowns and Bridges: Which Is Best? | Oak Lawn Dentist

There are many risk factors that can lead to tooth loss, such as injury, disease or decay. 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.

Dental crowns are used to 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. 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.

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 would like to find out more about dental crowns and bridges, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.comfor additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

The Only Chips in Your Mouth Should Be Snacks | Oak Lawn Dentist

A crown is a cosmetic dental restoration that is used to replace an old filling or broken tooth to improve the function of your teeth. The two main signs that indicate an individual needs a dental crown are:

  • Cracks in the teeth are main indicators that one needs a dental crown. Deep cracks in teeth allow for plaque and bacteria to build up inside the tooth which can lead to infection and permanent tooth loss.
  • Chips in your teeth are a major sign of weakened and decaying teeth that should be examined immediately. If the chip was not caused by some kind of accident, the chip is most likely due to some damage that can only be fixed with a dental crown.

If you wonder if a crown is right for you, take a look at the advantages:

Natural looking. Porcelain and composite-created dental crowns have the look and feel of natural teeth. More importantly, your porcelain crown will be stain-resistant, so no one has to know you have one.

Durable. Last up to fifteen years, but only if you take good care of them. Treat them like your normal teeth for best results.

Non-slipping. Because they are cemented or anchored in place, you won’t have to worry about them moving around or irritating your gums like dentures would.

Restorative protection. Dental crowns not only restore your smile, but they also protect the tooth from further decay.

Confidence. Damaged, discolored or missing teeth causes confidence issues. Dental crowns help to make your smile beautiful and confident enough to show it off.

If you would like to find out more about dental crowns, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Dental Emergency 101: When You Chip a Tooth | Oak Lawn Dentist

There is little more frustrating than chipping a tooth. It is just one of those accidents that happen and until it’s fixed, totally bums you out. Perhaps you it was an injury or maybe bit into that hard candy at a weird angle. Regardless of the reason, it’s time to visit the dentist.

When you chip a tooth, it is important to see your dentist right away because you could risk more damage to the tooth or even lose it entirely. A broken tooth will also be exposed to things that can cause more issues, like bacteria.

Luckily, your dentist will generally repair minor chips with a dental bonding. For larger chips, could lead to structure loss in the tooth and a more complicated remedy may be required, such as a root canal or crown.

When a cracked tooth goes unchecked you’re opening your mouth up to the risk of developing an abscess. What is an abscess? Well, when a break (or cavity) in a tooth exposes a nerve, the nerve then eventually dies and causes the cells inside of the tissue to die and release their contents. This creates a backup of gases and purulent exudate, something you may also know as pus. Left untreated this could lead to the loss of the tooth in its entirety, not to mention severe pain, cost and time off from work.

A chipped or broken tooth may not hurt but it can potentially be a big problem. Always have your dentist inspect a fractured tooth.

If you would like to find out more about broken tooth emergencies, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

What’s with My Dragon Breath? | Oak Lawn Dentist

Fresh BreathBad breath is not something to take lightly and can easily put you in plenty of embarrassing social situations. But more of than not, it’s preventable and easy to cure. First, let’s take a look at what it is and reasons it occurs. Below are some of the most common causes of bad breath:

Eating certain types of food. While eating food and not brushing or flossing afterwards can cause bad breath due to bacterial growth, eating certain types of food can also affect your breath.  Garlic, onions and other types of spices can affect the smell of your breath while they travel through your body.

Smoking and chewing tobacco. Anything tobacco-based can lead to bad breath because of the distinct, foul odor that tobacco leaves in your mouth. Not only can tobacco products increase your risk for health complications, but they can also lead to bad breath.

Improper dental care. If you skip brushing and flossing your teeth for just one day, or even one meal, your breath is bound to smell bad. Your breath may also smell bad from improper care of any dental appliances in your mouth, such as retainers and dentures.

Dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, there’s not enough saliva to help clear away food particles, which can lead to bad breath. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water frequently.

Certain medical conditions. There are certain respiratory infections, liver and kidney diseases and other medical conditions have been known to cause bad breath.

If you would like to find out more about halitosis, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know about Night Guard Care | Oak Lawn Dentist

Custom Mouth GuardBruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding is a common habit that wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Although it’s a good thing that night guards are there to help, these custom-made oral appliances can help teeth from getting damaged or chipped. But night guards also need proper care and attention to prevent further dental issues.

Here are some essential night guard care tips:
Clean your night guard. Whenever you take out your night guard in the morning, brush it as you would your teeth. Preferably, use a different, soft toothbrush and a liquid antibacterial soap. Also, use warm water and be sure to dry it thoroughly before storing it in its respective case. Using hot water is not advisable because it can ruin the appliance.

This includes the case. Use liquid antibacterial soap and feel free to use hot water this time around, as it won’t ruin the case in any way. Store it in a place far from dust and other contaminants.

Take care of your teeth. Before you even think about putting your night guard in your mouth, make sure that you have brushed and floss first. Otherwise, bacteria will transfer from your mouth to your night guard and allow them to grow through the night.

Have your night guard checked. Every time you visit your dentist, have your night guard with you. The dentist can examine it for wear and tear, as well as clean it. If you notice any damage, go to your dentist immediately and ask for proper advice.

If you would like to find out more about night guards, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Gum Contouring: A Smile Secret Agent | Oak Lawn Dentist

Ask yourself – what is the physical feature you find most attractive? Chances are you said the smile. They come in all shapes and variations, but aren’t always what we think of is a pretty one. And when it comes to cosmetic procedures, our minds automatically go to things like bleaching, veneers and braces. But there is a procedure out there many don’t know about but wish they did. It’s called gum contouring.

You may not directly relate your smile to your gums, but they are the tools used to keep your teeth in place. Sometimes the gums cover too much of the teeth, giving the impression that their teeth are shorter than they really are. This is known as a gummy smile.

A gummy smile is perfectly acceptable for most people, and uneven gums are a fairly common problem. Some people are just born with it, while there are those whose gums become uneven as they grow older. These are other factors that may lead to developing a gummy smile:

  • Improper brushing and flossing techniques
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Frequent teeth grinding
  • Oral piercings
  • Sensitivity to certain chemicals
  • Shifting teeth
  • Periodontal disease

Gum contouring has long been around as a cosmetic procedure but has begun to gain in popularity since modern dental medicine now allows dental practitioners to completely bypass the use of scalpels. Instead, soft tissue lasers are used to slowly and gently scalp the gums. This helps speed up the healing process, as well as to prevent any bleeding. So if you feel gum contouring can improve your smile, make a dental visit today!

If you would like to find out more about gum contouring, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Is Dry Mouth Haunting Your Sleep? | Oak Lawn Dentist

A sound sleep is important for good health, but sleeping in peace is not so easy if you wake up frequently with dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia. The exact causes of xerostomia vary, but if you snore while you sleep, or sleep with your mouth wide open, other factors, such as stress and medication, may also play a factor.

The first step in having your dry mouth treated is to talk to your dentist and ask for advice. In the meantime, there are some things that you can do to make it a bit less uncomfortable for you. One thing that you can do is to cut back on beverages such as caffeine, soda and alcohol. You can also benefit from refraining from smoking and tobacco use.

Drinking lots and lots of water during the day can also help, as frequent water intake can maintain, or increase the production of saliva. Before sleeping, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse as opposed to an alcohol-based mouthwash can help keep your mouth from drying at night. If the air in your room is too dry at night, try using a humidifier. Also, keeping a glass of water next to your bed is also handy.

In some cases, xerostomia may not be the biggest issue, but may only be a symptom of a worse medical condition. If you find that dry mouth is becoming an issue, see your dental professional as soon as possible.

If you would like to find out more about xerostomia, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Dental Veneers Will Give You that Celebrity Smile | Oak Lawn Dentist

Porcelain veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. But dental veneers can also be placed over the surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks.

Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

Veneers are routinely used to fix teeth that are:

  • Discoloration due to root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Worn down
  • Chipped or broken
  • Misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
  • Gaps

Veneers offer the following advantages:

  • Natural (even whiter) appearance
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
  • Stain-resistant

Veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative. Additionally, porcelain veneers do not require any special care. All that is required is that you follow good daily oral hygiene practices. Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years before they need to be replaced.

If you would like to find out more about veneers, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.