Tag Archives: tooth decay

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.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns | Oak Lawn Dentist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Routine checkups and proper oral hygiene are designed to help patients maintain as many of their natural teeth as possible. If minor tooth decay were to occur, and caught early enough, will be treated with a quick filling. Unfortunately, some patients will find that simple fillings aren’t sufficient. Despite the cause, if severe tooth decay has developed, or a tooth breaks, dentists will occasionally need to recommend procedures involving dental crowns.

Dental crowns are synthetic caps placed on top of the tooth. They’re frequently recommended the tooth root and base is mostly intact, but a significant portion of the top of the tooth is removed. In cases of severe decay, simple fillings are insufficient. In these cases, the dentist will likely recommend a root canal, where the nerve-rich pulp is removed from the center of the tooth. Following the root canal, the removed material is replaced with synthetic resin, and capped with a dental crown.

Dental crowns may also be used when teeth are damaged, but the root structure remains sound. A crown may be used to hold the remaining part of the tooth intact and prevent further fractures. In addition, they’re typically less expensive than implants, and provide a strong, durable, but natural looking replacement for the normal tooth surface. While crowns are considered low-risk and have a high success rate, they do typically involve removing a significant amount of natural tooth material, so they are considered irreversible – once you have a crown installed, you will always need a crown on that tooth.

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 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.

Is the Pain in Your Mouth a Toothache? | Oak Lawn Dentist

Nobody likes to have a toothache. Most people feel pain in their mouth and assume they have a cavity. While decay can certainly cause pain, not all toothaches are caused by decay or cavities. Here’s a quick guide on what may cause the pain:

If you feel sharp pains when you eat or drink hot or cold food, you may have a cavity. However, it could also be sensitivity from exposed dentin. Exposed dentin is caused by either thinning or breaks in your enamel, like cracked or chipped teeth, or receding gums. A cracked tooth may cause pain deep in your jaw or gums when you bite down. The pressure of biting can put pressure on nerves, causing intense pain.

Throbbing pain, especially on one side of the mouth, may be caused by an infection below the tooth, often related to periodontal disease or dental abscess. Left untreated, the infection may spread to the bone, and potentially causing loss of gum tissue.

In many cases, mouth pain may not be related to dental problems at all – sinus issues and problems of the TMJ (jaw/skull joint) can both cause pain in the mouth and face, but aren’t necessarily dental problems.

This may give you an idea of what your dental problem may be, but it’s impossible to diagnose and treat the problem without your dentist looking at your teeth in person. In many cases the problem will get worse if left untreated so make sure to make an appointment as soon as you begin to have any pain.

If you would like to find out more about toothaches, 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.

The Toothbrush: Your Mouth’s Best Friend | Oak Lawn Dentist

480320367While we’ve all heard about how important brushing and taking care of our teeth is, most of us know virtually nothing when it comes to that little instrument we use to keep our mouths healthy – the toothbrush. For starters, did you know that the toothbrush wasn’t invented by a dentist? They weren’t even kin the medical field! Instead, the first bristled toothbrush was invented in China in 1498. It was basically boar’s hair attached to bamboo or a bone. Who knew, right? In fact, we didn’t get the bristles we know today until 1938. There is also the theory that China’s invention was too primitive, so the modern invention was touted as made in 1780, by a guy named William Addis due to his boredom in prison. Using a bone and bristles from a stationed guard. The fact that Addis eventually made a fortune mass producing his invention further proves that statement. Here are some more interesting facts about your teeth’s best friend:

It’s been shown that the average American will have spent more than a thousand hours, or close to 38 days brushing their teeth by the time they die.

Speaking of time spent brushing teeth, the average person usually spends 48 seconds a day brushing their teeth. Yikes! That’s more than a minute short of the 2 or 3 minutes that dentists recommend. Two minute is the bare minimum to even get your teeth clean, so take your time!

On average, the typical toothbrush will contain around 2,500 bristles.

This one will cause friction in your home, but placing a cap back on your toothpaste is actually counterintuitive. This is because the moist environment created by placing a cap promotes the growth of bacteria.

In America alone, Americans are believed to throw away 25,000 tons of toothbrushes every year. This has led manufacturers to try and minimize the waste by selling toothbrushes made out of recyclable plastic, or with replaceable heads, so only the bristles are thrown away when the time comes.

Despite how “little” time people devote to brushing their teeth when you go by what’s recommended, a survey back in 2003 showed that the toothbrush was the #1 thing people couldn’t live without.

Whether you could live with your toothbrush or not, you shouldn’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once and gargle with mouthwash to prevent bacteria and plaque build-up. Also, make sure that you don’t forget to schedule a regular check-up and cleaning with your local dentist.

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

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

Dental Crowns | Oak Lawn, Il Dentist

Tooth and dental equipment on white background.Routine checkups and proper oral hygiene are designed to help patients maintain as many of their natural teeth as possible for as long as possible. By brushing and flossing to minimize plaque and tartar, patients can help reduce their likelihood of tooth decay significantly. Routine professional cleanings will also help remove any lingering plaque and tartar, and will also provide the dentist with an opportunity to check for any early signs of tooth decay. Hopefully, if caught early enough, minor tooth decay can be treated with a quick filling, where very little natural tooth material needs to be removed, and the likelihood of further problems is kept low.

Unfortunately, some patients will find that simple fillings aren’t sufficient. Whether it’s caused by insufficient oral hygiene leading to more severe tooth decay, or a tooth breaks due to injury or long term wear, dentists will occasionally need to recommend procedures involving dental crowns.

Dental crowns are synthetic, lab created caps placed on top of the patient’s natural tooth. They’re frequently recommended when the patient’s tooth root and base is mostly intact, but the removal of a significant portion of the top of the tooth is necessary for some reason. One of the common reasons that the top of the tooth needs to be removed is a root canal: in cases of severe decay, the decay may reach into the central, nerve-rich area of the tooth, where simple fillings are insufficient – in these cases, the dentist will likely recommend a root canal, where the nerve-rich pulp is removed from the center of the tooth. Following the root canal, your dentist will replace the removed material with synthetic resin, and then cap the tooth with a dental crown.

Dental crowns may also be used when teeth are damaged – in some cases, if a tooth is chipped or broken near the top of the tooth, but the root structure remains sound, a dentist may recommend a crown as a way to hold the remaining part of the tooth intact and prevent further fractures. In this case, the crown acts as a protective surfaces, holding the rest of the tooth together and providing strength.

Dental crowns have a number of advantages: they’re typically less expensive than implants, allow patients to maintain some of the existing natural tooth (which helps keep teeth aligned properly), and they provide a strong, durable, but natural looking replacement for the normal tooth surface.

While crowns are considered low risk and have a high success rate, they do typically involve removing a significant amount of natural tooth material, so they are considered irreversible – once you have a crown installed, you will always need a crown on that tooth. If you have a situation where your dentist recommends a crown, talk to your dentist about the types of materials available, the pros, cons, and alternative procedures that may be appropriate given the condition of your teeth.

For more information on dental crowns, contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at  bartzandbartzdental.com.

Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.

Toothaches | Oak Lawn, Il Dentist

jaw pain-tmjMost people feel pain in their mouth and assume they have a cavity. While decay can certainly cause pain, not all toothaches are caused by decay or cavities. Here’s a quick guide on what may cause the pain – but keep in mind that if your mouth hurts, you probably need a dentist.

If you feel sharp pains when you eat or drink hot or cold food, it could be caused by a cavity, but it could also be sensitivity brought on by exposed dentin. Exposed dentin is typically caused by either thinning enamel, breaks in enamel (such as cracked or chipped teeth), or receding gums. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth may help minimize the pain, but a visit to the dentist can help treat serious problems (especially if it’s caused by decay or a cracked tooth).

A cracked tooth may cause pain deep in your jaw or gums when you bite down. The pressure of biting can cause the cracked tooth to spread, putting pressure on nerves, and causing an intense pain localized to a single tooth.

Throbbing pain, especially on one side of the mouth, may be caused by an infection below the tooth, often related to periodontal disease or dental abscess. Left untreated, the infection may spread to the bone, jeopardizing one or more teeth, and potentially causing loss of gum tissue.

In many cases, pain in the mouth may not be related to dental problems at all – sinus issues and problems of the TMJ (jaw/skull joint) can both cause pain in the mouth and face, but aren’t necessarily problems your dentist can solve – you may be referred to a specialist.

The best thing to do if you feel pain is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The brief list above may give you an idea of what the problem may be, but it’s impossible to diagnose the problem without looking at your teeth – your dentist will need to see your teeth in person to properly diagnose and treat the underlying cause, and in many cases the problem will get worse if left untreated.

For more information on oral health, contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at  bartzandbartzdental.com.

Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.

Types of Dental Fillings | Oak Lawn, Il Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Dentistry has changed significantly in the past few decades. As technology improves, dentists are able to take advantage of advances in techniques and materials to provide better solutions for their patients. One of the most common dental procedures is a simple filling, and even those have benefited from advances in dental technology.

Traditional fillings were typically made of metal – usually an amalgam of tin, zinc, copper, and silver. Mixed together and placed into the cavities left after dentists removed decay, these fillings could last for a very long time – often 30 to 40 years – without further maintenance.

Modern dentists have far more flexibility in their choice of materials to use to fill cavities. While traditional metal amalgam is still an option for back teeth – where its low cost and high durability make it a viable option, many dentists favor composite resin – a mixture of synthetic materials such as plastic and fine glass particles. While composite resin is more expensive and requires more effort for the dentist to properly install, composite fillings can very closely match the look and feel of your natural teeth, allowing its use for front teeth and in places where traditional fillings may be too visible.

In many cases, dentists may use glass ionomer – an acrylic resin. Glass ionomer is set with a bright blue light, which seals the resin and permanently bonds it to your teeth.

If you’re in need of dental work, it’s likely that your dentist will choose one or more of the types of fillings above. If you’re curious about which your dentist will use, ask your dentist questions – they’ll be more than happy to explain which they’re using, and why they’ve selected that option.

For more information on dental fillings contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at  bartzandbartzdental.com.

Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.