Kenilworth Dental Associates

Ways to Ease Anxiety at the Dentist

woman at the dentistMany adults deal with dental anxiety – some to the point of skipping their annual checkups. Here are some tips you can use to make yourself feel more at ease during your dental appointment:

Talk to Your Dentist

One of the best ways to reduce dental anxiety is to build a relationship of trust and communication with your dentist. Let them know everything about your fears and work with them to develop ways around it. You can even establish a hand-signal system to use when there are instruments in your mouth and can’t speak. Your dentist wants you to be comfortable and will always work with you to create a more comfortable environment.

Focus On Your Breathing

When you are nervous, you might be holding your breath without realizing it, which can increase feelings of panic. Focus on breathing slowly throughout the appointment.

Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages

Avoid sugary foods and caffeine before your appointment, as these foods can increase anxiety. Opt for a meal that is high in protein instead.

Choose a Good Appointment Time

Choose an appointment time where you do not have to be anywhere immediately after so that you don’t feel rushed. Making your appointments on a Saturday or early in the morning can help ease anxiety.

Ask About Sedation Dentistry

For some procedures, sedation dentistry is ideal for patients with dental anxiety. When you visit the doctors at Kenilworth Dental Associates, ask them if sedation dentistry in Chicago is right for you. Make your appointment online today.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

dental implants Chicago If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be considering getting dental implants. Unlike dentures and partial dentures, dental implants become a permanent part of your mouth. Here are some of the benefits of undergoing dental implant surgery.

Eating Properly

Eating becomes difficult when you are missing teeth, even if you’re only missing one. Because dental implants are attached to your jaw, they feel like natural teeth and restore your bite to normal. Dental implants allow you to eat normally so that you can get back to enjoying life.

Maintaining Facial Structure

Your teeth do a lot more for the shape of your face than you realize. Missing one or more teeth can cause your jawbone to recede and radically change your face shape. By replacing those teeth with dental implants, you can maintain the shape of your jaw.

Restoring Your Confidence

It’s hard to smile when you’re afraid people will notice your missing teeth. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth so that you can get your confidence back. No one will be able to tell the difference between your real teeth and the implants – even if you tell them you have one.

Make an appointment with the experienced dentists at Kenilworth Dental Associates for dental implants in Chicago. Call us at (847) 256-7700 or schedule your consultation online.

Are You a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

woman in dental chair giving thumbs upSedation dentistry is becoming more and more common in dental offices across the country. If you need to have dental work done, you may be wondering if you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Here are a few reasons why you may need to be sedated during a dental procedure:

Anxiety or Phobia – Dental anxiety and even full-blown dental phobia is surprisingly common among adults. This anxiety can prevent many patients from getting the dental work that they need. Sedation dentistry enables them to get healthy teeth and gums without dealing with the stress.

Physical Limitations – If you have neck or back problems that prevent you from holding your jaw in certain angles, sedation dentistry can help.

Gag Reflex – It is not very comfortable to have someone else’s hands in your mouth, but it can be even worse if you have a powerful gag reflex. Sedation dentistry can help you.

Is Unable to Sit Still – If for any reason you are unable to sit still, sedation dentistry is recommended to ensure the dentist can complete their work. Sedation dentistry is often offered to children for this reason.

Other Reasons – If the numbing medication does not affect you as much as it should, or you would simply like to experience a more relaxing dental visit, you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry.

Ask the expert dentists at Kenilworth Dental Associates if sedation dentistry in Chicago is right for you. You can book your appointment online or call us today at (847) 256-770.

The Effects of Poor-Fitting Dentures

woman pointing to denturesDentures can be a great option for people who are missing many of their teeth, or who have severely decayed teeth. What you may not know is that the fit of your dentures will change over time. When you are missing teeth, the shape of your jaw can also change, leaving you with poor-fitting dentures. Here are some of the ways that poorly-fitted dentures can affect you:

Sore Spots – When your jaw shrinks, it will cause your dentures to line up improperly. This can put pressure or cause friction in certain parts of your mouth, leading to sore spots. If your dentures are not relined to adjust the fit, the sore spots will only get worse.

Stomach Problems – If your dentures do not fit properly, it becomes difficult to chew your food. Improperly chewed food can create stomach problems.

Changes to Facial Features – Your teeth affect the shape of your face, so ill-fitting dentures can also negatively impact the way your face looks. Ensuring that you always have properly-fitted dentures will keep you looking great.

The Importance of Oral Exams for Denture-wearers – As we mentioned earlier, your jawbone can shrink when you are missing teeth, which can disrupt the fit of your dentures. Dentures are not a “fit it and forget it” dental solution. You will still need to have your annual exams to ensure that your dentures fit properly and are not causing sore spots and other issues for your mouth.

When you need to be fitted for dentures in Chicago, turn to the experienced dentist at Kenilworth Dental Associates. Book your appointment online or call us today at (847) 256-770.

Dental Hygiene for Infants

smiling baby with two teethYou may think that your newborn does not need dental care. After all, they don’t even have teeth yet! The truth is that oral hygiene begins shortly after your little one is born. Every time you feed your child, take a clean, warm washcloth and gently clean the inside of their mouth. This can prevent your baby from developing thrush, or a yeast infection of the mouth.

Signs of Thrush in Infants

Thrush is a treatable fungal infection and develops in the mouth where there is torn tissue. This infection could be caused by pacifiers, bottles, or even breastfeeding. Here are some signs that your baby has developed thrush:

  • White patches on the tongue, cheek, and gums
  • Irregular white spots that cannot be wiped away
  • Pain during feeding or when using a pacifier

Your doctor or dentist can provide medication to clear up the infection.

Teething

Teething begins anywhere from 3-7 months of age and can cause excessive drooling, irritability, gumming/biting, a rash around the mouth, excessive crying, appetite loss, fever, and changes in bowel movements. You can relieve the pain of teeth by massaging the gums with a cool, clean washcloth. You can also provide them with a cool teething ring or biscuit, but only with supervision.

The First Dental Visit

You should bring your child to visit our holistic dentist in Chicago just after the child turns three. We will examine your child’s teeth and get them on the road towards good oral hygiene.

4 Contributing Factors of Gum Disease

daily pill organizer with medications in the backgroundGum disease, known as gingivitis or periodontal disease in its advanced stages, is an inflammatory infection of the gums. It can result in red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad bread, loose teeth, tooth sensitivity, abscessed teeth, and eventually tooth loss. While gum disease can be prevented with regular brushing and flossing, there are a few things that can leave you more vulnerable to the disease.

Tobacco Use – Chewing or smoking tobacco can leave you at risk for gum disease because it weakens your body’s immune system, allowing bacteria to take hold in your mouth. The longer you use tobacco, the higher your risk.

Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth – Tooth grinding or clenching can loosen teeth and create periodontal pockets, an ideal space for bacteria to grow. The stress that often causes tooth grinding (a condition called Bruxism) also weakens your body’s immune system, which can leave your vulnerable to bacterial infections like gingivitis.

Medications – Gum disease is an unfortunate side effect of some medications. Some drugs, particularly those used to treat cancer, high blood pressure, severe pain, depression, allergies, and even cold medicine cause dry mouth. Saliva is important to flush away bacteria in your mouth.

Genetics – Some people are just more predisposed to getting gingivitis. Check with your family to see if it is common among relatives.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of gingivitis, seek gum disease treatment in Chicago from the capable dentists at Kenilworth Dental Associates.

The Evolutionary Reason for Wisdom Teeth

dentist holding a molarIf you are over the age of 20, there’s a good chance that you no longer have your wisdom teeth. Almost everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, so why do we even get them in the first place? You may be surprised to know that they once served an evolutionary purpose.

Our Early Ancestors Needed Wisdom Teeth

In our caveman days, we didn’t have forks and knives to cut up our food, and we couldn’t even cook meat. Because early humans needed to chew coarse, hearty foods, they required a broader jaw. Wisdom teeth grew in to give them more chewing power for this purpose. Because the jaw was wider, the wisdom teeth were able to grow in with no difficulties.

Our Eating Habits Changed

These days, most of the food we eat is cut up and cooked, making it easy to chew. These new eating habits caused our jaw to narrow, leaving no room for wisdom teeth.

Smaller Jawbones

Over time, our jawbones have evolved to be much smaller, meaning that all 32 teeth can no longer fit in our mouths. For this reason, wisdom teeth now need to be extracted when they erupt – usually when you are between 17 and 21. These teeth can become impacted and cause many issues, especially because they are so far back in the mouth that adequately cleaning them can be a problem, even if they grow in with no issues.

If you need your wisdom teeth extracted, visit our oral surgeon near Chicago. Make an appointment today for your consultation.

Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea – A CPAP Alternative

couple sleepingThe most widely accepted treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP mask, but many patients have issues with the device, like skin irritation, dry nasal passages, accidentally removing the mask in their sleep, claustrophobia, and difficulties handling the pressurized air. For these patients, dental appliances are available depending on the severity of your sleep apnea. When you come to our dentist for sleep apnea treatment near Chicago, you will be custom-fitted with a dental appliance that can drastically improve the quality of your sleep.

When a Dental Appliance is Recommended

The first thing you need to do before beginning any sort of treatment is undergo a sleep study to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. For very severe cases, you will likely need a CPAP treatment, but dental appliances can work well for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea who don’t respond well to CPAP. In some instances, you may need a dental appliance in addition to CPAP mask to lower pressure.

The Two Types of Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

When it comes to dental appliances for sleep apnea treatment, there are two categories:

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) – This device prevents the throat muscles from collapsing back into the areas by moving the lower jaw and tongue forward slightly. They look at lot like sports mouthguards.
  • Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces – This device works similarly to MADs, but it also has a small compartment to hold the tongue, using suction to hold it in place. This prevents your tongue from sliding back against the airway. If you cannot have your jaw adequately repositioned with a MAD, this treatment is recommended.

Make an appointment with our dentist today to learn more about our sleep apnea treatments.

Oral Health Tips for Pregnant Women

a pregnant woman with beautiful teethWhen you are getting ready to welcome a new baby into the world, your body goes through a lot of changes, including changes in your mouth. The increase in hormone levels during pregnancy leaves your mouth more susceptible to dental health problems.

Hormone Changes Affect Oral Health

You may start noticing symptoms of a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis” during your first trimester, including bleeding, swollen, red, and tender gums. Periodontal disease is linked to premature birth and low birth weight, so it’s crucial to see your dentist for treatment right away.

Additionally, you become more vulnerable to plaque buildup during pregnancy. Getting regular dental cleanings during this time is important.

Morning Sickness and Enamel Erosion

If you suffer from morning sickness during your pregnancy, the acidity of the vomit may cause acid erosion of your enamel. After a bout of morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water. This neutralizes the acid. Make sure to do this step before brushing your teeth to minimize enamel loss.

Oral Health Tips for Expecting Mothers

While pregnant, it’s important to keep a close watch on your oral health. Always:

  • Visit your holistic dentist in Chicago for regular cleanings.
  • Use antimicrobial rinses after brushing.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Brush or scrape your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Try to avoid sugary foods.

Make an appointment with our dentist today to ensure your mouth is in optimal condition during your pregnancy.

The Benefits of Laser Treatment for Gum Disease

dentist with patientGum disease is a major issue facing many Americans. Treatment varies depending on the progression of the disease. You may need a small change in habits, scaling and root planing or even periodontal surgery. These treatment methods can be painful, but luckily there is another form of gum disease treatment in Chicago available: laser therapy.

Comfort

Laser treatment is more comfortable for patients than other methods. There is reduced bleeding and swelling, no charring, and no drill noise or vibration. This also greatly reduces stress and anxiety, meaning that you can get treated quickly without the negative emotions that can come with a big dental procedure. Healing time is also greatly reduced.

Reduced Risk of Infection

The cool thing about the high-energy light of the laser is that it acts as a sterilizer as well. This significantly reduces the risk of infection and reduces the risk of your gum disease relapsing. In this way, laser treatment is much more effective than more invasive procedures.

Anesthesia Limited

Laser dentistry is virtually painless, so you won’t need to worry about injections and numbness. In most cases, a light spray anesthetic is all that you need, eliminating the complications and costs that come with anesthesia.

Make an appointment with our dentist today to learn about your gum disease treatment options.