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Archive for August, 2011

What, exactly, is a root canal?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

At Sandy Point Dental we know one thing no patient likes hearing when visiting our office is “root canal.” But what, exactly, is a root canal, and when might you need one? A root canal is a treatment Drs. Calabrese and McNerney use to repair and save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed to the point where the nerve is involved. In the past, if a patient had a tooth with a diseased nerve, dentists in most cases would recommend an extraction. Today, however, with a procedure called root canal therapy, available at our office, you may save that tooth—and your beautiful smile—after all!

Here are some symptoms that indicate a decayed or infected tooth, courtesy of WebMD:

• Severe toothache pain upon chewing, biting or application of pressure
• One tooth consistently more sensitive to hot or cold than other teeth
• Pain that hurts without any stimulus, keeps you awake or wakes you up at night
• A tooth that feels loose
• Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
• Pain that persists weeks following a filling or replacement of a filling
• Chronic pain and/or pressure that may extend to the ear, eye or neck

If any of these symptoms apply to you, we recommend you schedule an appointment with Drs. Calabrese and McNerney.

The best way to avoid a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene at home, and that includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing to reduce plaque and bacteria. For more tips on how to avoid root canal therapy or for general questions about your dental treatment, we invite you to ask us during your next visit at our convenient Lake Zurich office! We also invite you to ask us on Facebook!

What’s the deal with coffee and tea?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

At Sandy Point Dental, we know most folks enjoy a hot-brewed coffee or tea in the morning, followed by a cola (or more coffee) in the afternoon. But what many don’t know is that both coffee and tea are especially tough on your teeth, because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, and can stain your pearly whites brown.

So, if you can’t give up that morning cup o’joe, what can you do? Drs. Calabrese and McNerney and team suggest rinsing with a glass of water after every cup. If you enjoy iced coffee or tea, drink your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth. Even if you’re not a big coffee drinker, Drs. Calabrese and McNerney encourage you to swish and swallow some water at the end of each meal. Water, after all, helps neutralize acids left in your mouth after eating and also reduces cavity-causing bacteria.

Our team at Sandy Point Dental also invite you to visit our convenient Lake Zurich office for whitening options. We can help bleach your teeth with proven and professional products. To learn more about whitening options at our office, please visit our website, ask us on Facebook or give us a call!

$1.50 for a cavity

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Vending machines are a quick way to satisfy hunger. You put in $1.50 and you get back a candy bar, bag of chips or even a soda…but that’s not all! Drs. Calabrese and McNerney want to remind you that vending machines not only dispense sweet treats and caffeine bursts, but they also dispense cavities!

Every time you chow down on that chocolate bar the bacteria in your mouth have a party feasting on the sugar. The sugar quickly turns into acid; that’s right, ACID!!! The acid sits on your teeth and eats away at the tooth’s natural enamel (the stuff that protects your tooth from decay). When this enamel is eaten away by the acid on your tooth, you get a cavity! Brushing your teeth after eating a sugary treat can help prevent cavities; but before you indulge, remind yourself: “can’t brush? Hold the sugar!”

When choosing a snack, consider these nutritional options that will not only satisfy your hunger and that “sweet tooth,” but won’t cause acid build up resulting in cavities:

• Fresh Fruits (berries, oranges, melon, pears, etc)
• Raw Vegetables (broccoli, celery, carrots, etc)
• Bread
• Pretzels (low salt)
• Milk (low or non-fat)
• Cheese (low or non-fat)
• Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
• Sliced meat

If you would like more advice about how you can prevent cavities, give Sandy Point Dental a call or ask Drs. Calabrese and McNerney during your next appointment.

Who are the teeth grinders in your house?

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Grind, grind, grind. If you live with a teeth grinder, you may be familiar with this unpleasant sound, especially recently. A recent study published in the journal Head & Face Medicine suggests that people—adults and kids—faced with stress tend to cope by grinding their teeth. In addition, the Chicago Dental Society suggests that since the recession began in 2007, teeth grinding, or bruxism, has been on the rise.

The Chicago Dental Society surveyed more than 250 members about the connection between stress and oral health. Nearly 75 percent of dentists said their patients reported increased stress over the past year, largely due to the economic recession. During stressful times, teeth grinding can be a nuisance that causes headaches and sleep problems, but it also can cause lasting problems for your teeth and gums, including chipped teeth, worn enamel, chronic pain, or even TMJ, a painful jaw disorder.

The first step of recovering from teeth grinding is noticing the problem, say Drs. Calabrese and McNerney. Symptoms of teeth grinding include:

• Sensitivity in the teeth
• Tightness or pain in the jaw
• Dull headaches, earaches, or facial pain
• Chipped, worn down, or loose teeth

An important thing to remember is that people frequently grind their teeth in response to stress, and taking measures to reduce or eliminate stress can help solve the problem. If the teeth-grinder in your house can’t stop, schedule an appointment to see us by giving us a call. Drs. Calabrese & McNerney and our team at Sandy Point Dental can help determine the cause of the problem.

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