Downers Grove Dentist (630) 629-6299
2932 Finley Road
Downers Grove, IL 60515
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Marcia Basciano DDS

Practicing Biocompatible Dentistry Since 1983

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Dentist in Downers Grove | Preventing Enamel Erosion

Do you have white spots on your teeth? Are your teeth quite sensitive? Do your teeth have cracks, chips, or indentations? If yes, then you may be experiencing enamel erosion.

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It is the clear coating that protects your teeth. However, being the strongest substance in the body does not mean it should be neglected. Enamel can erode. Without the protection of enamel, you not only risk developing decay, but also abscesses, tooth pain, and even tooth loss.

downers grove dentist

What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?

There are several factors that cause tooth enamel to erode, some of which are the result of everyday actions. Sugars and acids can wear down enamel. If you regularly drink soft drinks or sugary fruit drinks, you may be damaging your teeth. To protect your teeth, limit your consumption of such drinks. Alcohol can also erode enamel, as well as a diet that is high in sugary or starchy foods. The bacteria in the mouth can transforms starches and sugars in foods such as bread into damaging acid.

Other factors include acid reflux, recurrent vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, genetically inherited conditions, grinding your teeth, even brushing too hard or not flossing properly. All of these impact the health of your enamel, and, ultimately, your teeth. Once the enamel is worn or chipped away, it cannot be replaced.

Keep the sweets from becoming everyday treats, replace white breads with whole grains, and try eating more cheese and yogurt to bolster the calcium in your saliva to keep the acids in check.

How Can Enamel Erosion Be Prevented?

In addition to exercising moderation with soft drinks, alcohol, sugars and starches, and, of course, taking extra care with regard to medical conditions and your tooth care regimen, there are a few extra things you can do to protect your smile. Saliva can neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. By drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum, you can boost saliva production.

Keep the sweets from becoming everyday treats and replace white breads with whole grains. Add more cheese and yogurt to your diet. Not only are both foods high in calcium, but they also help neutralize harmful acids in your mouth.

Tooth enamel is essential for maintaining a healthy smile. Be mindful of what you eat and drink. Enamel erosion may also be the consequence of other complications such as excessive teeth grinding or acid reflux. Regular visits to our office allow our team to provide a full examination. If we detect that your enamel is eroding, we will discuss potential causes and solutions.

To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team today.

Dentist Near Me | Oral Hygiene at Work

family dentist downers grove

Do you brush your teeth after lunch? If you’re one of the millions of people who work outside the home, chances are you don’t have the time or resources to brush during the day. However, not being able to brush doesn’t mean you can’t protect your teeth at work.

Grab a drink of water. When you finish eating, get a drink of water. Swish the water around in your mouth, then spit or swallow it. Water helps to remove small particles of food that can remain on your teeth after your meal or snack.

Chew sugarless gum. There are certain types of sugarless gum that are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) as good for your oral health. The reason for this is that chewing stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth. That saliva washes away food particles and helps to neutralize acids on your teeth.

Limit time drinking coffee or soda. Coffee, soda, tea, and many other beverages contain high levels of sugars and acids. The more time you spend sipping your drink, the longer your teeth are exposed to these sources of decay. Instead of spending an hour taking small swallows, drink quickly to limit exposure, then rinse your mouth or switch to water to help counteract the effects.

Brush and floss when you can. Try to keep to a regular routine of good oral hygiene practices when you are at home. Brush at least twice daily, for two full minutes each time. Floss or use an interdental cleaner of your choice once a day. Keep your recommended appointments to have your teeth cleaned and evaluated by our team.

Taking care of your teeth doesn’t have to interrupt your workday. Keeping these simple tips in mind can help protect your mouth from tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health issues.

To learn more ways to preserve your oral health, talk to our team during your visit. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment today.

Downers Grove IL Dentist | Do I Really Need an Exam?

It’s highly likely that after visiting our practice, you understand the value of a thorough, professional dental cleaning. It’s also likely that you may not fully understand the importance of a complete exam and radiographs. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | Do I Really Need an Exam?

There are many reasons the exam is an important part of your oral health routine.  

1. Exams allow the doctor to evaluate for signs of health conditions. Many health conditions present early signs and symptoms in the mouth, including: Crohn’s, Addison’s, Leukemia, Diabetes, Lupus, Anemia and many others. Skipping an exam could prevent your dentist from screening for oral manifestations of systemic disease.  

2. According to research, one American dies every hour from oral cancer. A thorough complete examination can catch early signs of oral cancer, allowing for early treatment, which can be key to survival.  

3. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and is related to serious systemic health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, among many others. Evaluating your soft tissue and bone health allows our team to identify early signs of periodontal disease, which can allow for prevention and early treatment. This is vital for your oral and overall health.  

4. Radiographs provide valuable insight. Decay and other oral health issues are often hidden from the human eye. Radiographs (X-Rays) allow us to find what we could not otherwise see, allowing for early treatment and less invasive solutions.  

Whether it has been 6 months or 6 years since your last appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here for you and your heath and comfort are our main concerns. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | 4 Ways to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

 Keeping up optimal oral health takes more than brushing and flossing. Maintaining oral hygiene demands a bit of work, but it is worth it in the long run. Here are four ways you can improve your dental health right now. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | 4 Ways to Achieve Optimal Oral Health
  1. Replace your toothbrush more often. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? A month ago? Six months? Most people don’t swap out a new brush often enough, which can lead to reduced brush effectiveness. Change your brush at least every three months. Be sure to switch after having an infection like the cold or flu to prevent reinfection. 
  1. Lay off the fizzy drinks. The acids present in soda wear away enamel, weakening your teeth and leaving them vulnerable to decay. In fact, people who drink three or more glasses of soda per day experience about 62% more tooth decay than those who choose another beverage like water. 
  1. Opt for chocolate. Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but did you know that certain candies are better for your teeth than others? The American Dental Association reports dark chocolate is the healthiest option, as it is soft and washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Hard, sticky, and sour goodies should be avoided, because they can stick to your teeth and even cause chips or cracks if you bite down too hard. 
  1. Visit your dentist. Trips to our office should occur at least twice a year—not just when you have a toothache. We offer preventative care, vital education, and important cleanings, which are all part of maintaining excellent oral health.  

We are pleased to offer a variety of solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment today. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | An Important Reminder About Your Next Dental Appointment

AAt times, life can seem to move quickly. Between work, school, sports, and social events, it can seem there is little time left for you and your health. It’s imperative for a healthy mouth and body to always have your next dental appointment scheduled and to prioritize this care. Our team will work with you to find the most convenient day and time for you. If you need to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you. Advanced notice of a change is greatly appreciated, whenever possible. Missed appointments without notice are harmful to our practice, as we’ve reserved your appointment time exclusively for you.  

Downers Grove IL Dentist | An Important Reminder About Your Next Dental Appointment

Missed dental appointments can lead to worsened oral and overall health. Whether receiving preventive or restorative care, if left without professional treatment, plaque and decay will progress and the state of your oral health will likely decline. Some of our patients are predisposed to more frequent oral health issues. Many times, these guests prefer more frequent office visits. Please know this is an option for you as well. Investing in one extra cleaning each year can often prevent more costly concerns. 

We know it can be tempting to skip your dental appointment. Perhaps you’d rather be relaxing at home or you’ve had a last-minute obligation arise. Please make every effort to prioritize your healthy smile, as it significantly contributes to your overall health.  

Please know we’re here for you. If you have any questions about our care or practice philosophy, don’t hesitate to contact us.  

Downers Grove IL Dentist | Dry Mouth – Not Just a Nuisance

Normal flow of saliva provides lubrication for swallowing and begins the process of digestion while you chew. Saliva also protects your teeth by neutralizing and washing away acids, sugars, and other particles left behind after eating. From time to time, we all experience some amount of dry mouth. Hot weather, exercise, and dehydration can all cause a temporary decrease in saliva production. However, if you have chronic dry mouth, or xerostomia, you could be at risk of serious oral health complications. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | Dry Mouth – Not Just a Nuisance

Some of the oral health issues commonly associated with dry mouth include: 

  • Much higher rates of tooth decay 
  • Oral yeast infection 
  • Bad breath (halitosis) 
  • Periodontal (gum) disease 
  • Constant sore throat 
  • Soft tissue infections 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Denture discomfort 

The most common cause of chronic dry mouth is medication. More than 400 over-the-counter and prescription medications include dry mouth as a frequent side effect. Dry mouth is also associated with stress, autoimmune and other systemic diseases, hormonal changes, radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancers, and salivary gland disease. 

You may find relief from dry mouth through a variety of methods. Some easy options to help alleviate your dry mouth include: 

  • Increased water intake 
  • Sugar-free candies or gum 
  • Artificial saliva, as recommended by doctor or dentist 
  • Alcohol-free mouthwash 
  • Limiting alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated soft drinks 
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home 
  • Change in medication, only as directed by doctor 

Brush and floss regularly to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other complications. 

If you are experiencing dry mouth, make an appointment and be sure to tell our team. We will review your medications and perform a thorough dental exam to check for any potential underlying oral health issues. 

For more information about dry mouth, contact our office

Downers Grove IL Dentist | Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth

Are you embarrassed to show your smile because of missing teeth? For many people, missing teeth can create a feeling of diminished self-confidence. Modern dentistry can not only replace the gaps in your smile, our team can also create long-term replacements that look and feel just like your natural teeth. You have options. Here are a few of the most common tooth replacement solutions.

Downers Grove IL Dentist | Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth

Dentures 

Dentures are a solution for those who have lost many or all their teeth. They create a realistic, aesthetically pleasing smile. They are ideal for patients that are missing multiple teeth on either the top or bottom. Our team will start by taking an impression of your mouth. We will then send the impression to a lab for a customized set of dentures to be created. Once your dentures are ready, we will ensure a proper fit and make any necessary adjustments. Dentures should be cleaned regularly with a non-abrasive cleanser. Our team will provide you with all the information you need to take care of your dentures. 

Bridges 

You may have heard of dental bridges referred to as partial dentures. Dental bridges are a replacement solution for one or more missing teeth. They help prevent your existing teeth from shifting into the empty gaps of your missing teeth. Bridges utilize your surrounding teeth as an anchor for your replacements. Our team can match the bridge to look like your natural teeth; no one will even notice the difference. 

Dental Implants 

Dental implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement option. Unlike dentures, which may require replacement, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Our team will ensure your gum tissue is healthy enough with adequate bone support to anchor the implant. For some patients, additional preparations may be necessary such as a bone graft to guarantee your implant has a strong, stable foundation. 

The gaps in your smile can be filled. Our team can help you decide on a tooth replacement solution based on your individual needs. It is important to fill the gaps of missing teeth to prevent deterioration to your gums and the shifting of teeth into these empty spaces. Additionally, tooth replacement solutions such as dentures, bridges, or implants can help improve your speech and comfort. 

If you are missing teeth, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | 4 Tips for Healthy, White Teeth

4Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you. One way to make a lasting impression is to have a healthy-looking smile. Over the years, teeth whitening has become immensely popular. People turn to in-office whitening, over-the-counter whitening, and home-made whitening techniques. Did you know that there are ways to keep your smile white with just small changes to your daily routine? Read the tips below to keep your smile looking pearly white. 

Downers Grove IL Dentist | 4 Tips for Healthy, White Teeth
  1. Brush and Floss  

To keep your mouth clean, healthy, and stain-free, brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Brush your teeth after drinking coffee, tea, soda, or red wine to help fight discoloration.  

  1. Diet 

Some of the food and drinks you are consuming may cause your teeth to look dull or stained. Wine, coffee, tea, soft drinks, and berries all contain substances that stain teeth. Chromogens are molecules found in all of these items that stick to the enamel of your teeth causing a dull look. 

  1. Quit Smoking 

Smoking is not only bad for your heart and lungs, it is also bad for your mouth and teeth. Smoking causes tooth discoloration, increased plaque buildup, gum disease and more. 

  1. Visit Your Dentist 

Dental cleanings and exams are an important part in keeping your teeth healthy and bright. You may need frequently follow up visits based on your oral health care. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment twice a year. 

Even if you do use in-office whitening or over-the-counter products, your teeth need extra care to keep up with the initial results. By flossing, lifestyle changes, and regular dental visits your teeth will be looking bright. 

Contact our office to schedule your dental cleaning today.

Downers Grove IL Dentist | 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Tooth Decay

3A happy smile is a healthy smile! There are a number of steps you can take to keep your smile healthy by reducing your risk of developing tooth decay. Here are a few suggestions from our team. 

Eat a Tooth Friendly Diet  

Reduce the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. Decay-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on these substances.  

We suggest you reduce grains, beans, seeds, and nuts in your diet when possible. These foods can lead to demineralization of your teeth and bones due to their acidic content. Consider adding foods high in minerals and vitamins to your diet such as apples, leafy greens, celery, or carrots. 

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat 

Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the optimal at home dental care routine. Brush for at least two minutes in the morning and at night. Use a soft bristle toothbrush that is small enough to reach every tooth.  

Dental Sealants 

Children often get dental sealants to protect the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of their mouths. However, dental sealants can benefit adults and those who have a higher risk of decay. Dental sealants are a layer of plastic-like material that coats the top surface of the tooth. Sealants protect the crevices in the tooth where bacteria reside and minimizes exposure of the tooth to harmful acids and sugars that wear down enamel.  

When left untreated, tooth decay can cause discomfort and spread to other healthy teeth. You can combat tooth decay by reducing sugars and acids in your diet and brushing and flossing regularly. For some patients, dental sealants might be a solution.  

Don’t forget to schedule your next visit to our office. Our team can provide a professional cleaning and check for signs of tooth decay. 

Marcia Basciano DDS of Downers Grove Email: info@dentalwellnesschicago.com Phone: (630) 629-6299 Url: http://dentalwellnesschicago.com/ 2932 Finley Road Downers Grove, IL 60515

Downers Grove Dentist | Hidden Fluoride in Tea and other Foods and Beverages

Hidden fluoride in tea and other foods and beverages

BDental hygienists are pretty knowledgeable about fluoride. We apply fluoride treatments under ADA guidelines during recare appointments. We recommend different levels of at-home fluoride therapy depending on circumstances and need. We know the approved parts per million in community water supplies. Beyond that, we know which communities in our practice areas have fluoridated water supplies, and which do not have that benefit. We’re aware of fluorosis and its causes.

But did you know fluoride can be present in potentially toxic levels in tea? I was leafing through one of my mother’s less-than-reputable women’s magazines when I read that fluoride found in instant tea mixes can be more than 200% of the recommended safe level. According to the magazine, we should drink only green tea, because fluoride levels in green tea are much lower than in black and instant teas.

Being a typical hygienist, I went straight home to look it up. A cursory Internet search turned up PubMed studies, USDA research papers, and newspaper articles on high fluoride levels in tea. I started wondering about the possible links between tea’s high fluoride levels and fluorosis.

Suppose you have a tea-drinking patient who is in her 50s, with a family history of osteoporosis, and lives in a fluoridated community. On a daily basis, she drinks large quantities of iced tea made from mixes at her favorite coffee shop. This article will give you the background you need to discuss her tea consumption.

How Does it Get There?

How, exactly, does fluoride get into tea? It all starts with tea plants. Camellia sinensis (var. sinensis) and Camellia sinensis (var. assamica)are the varieties usually grown today. All types of tea—white, yellow, green, oolong, dark, black, and pu-erh—come from these two plants. (Remember that herbal teas are not made from tea plants, but from herbs.) The age of the tea leaves and the fermenting processing differ for each kind of tea. Dark, black, and pu-erh tea would typically be made from older leaves.1

Tea plants are known as fluoride hyperaccumulators, which means they absorb potential toxins and heavy metals to a greater concentration than is in the soil surrounding them.2 The older individual tea leaves get, the more fluoride they can absorb. The fluoride is then released during tea infusion. Bioavailability is close to 100%, because the GI tract readily absorbs soluble fluoride.3

Older tea leaves are also used to make less expensive tea.4 An article in ScienceDirect described a study in the United Kingdom of economy supermarket-branded teas. It was determined that drinking these cheaper teas made from older leaves carried a risk of high exposure to fluoride, up to 150% of the dietary reference intake level.5

Other Sources of Fluoride

Other fluoride hyperaccumulators include fruit juice, crab, fish, chicken, and rice, but the amounts of fluoride in those foods are much less than in tea.6

We already know our fluoride intake comes from naturally occurring and community fluoridated water, plus toothpastes and mouthwashes, plus recommended supplements. The Public Health Service recommends community water fluoridation at optimum levels ranging from 0.7 ppm to 1.2 ppm (1 ppm is equal to 1 mg/L). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set maximum allowable fluoridation at 4 ppm with a secondary limit at 2 ppm. The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Academy of Pediatrics jointly recommend guidelines that range from none for infants to 1 mg/day for adults, depending on availability of fluoridated water. The Institute of Medicine recommends a tolerable upper intake at 10 mg/day for those over nine years old.7

The USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods, Release 2, offers a comprehensive look at fluoride levels in foods and beverages.8 Here are some examples in parts per million:

  • Strained applesauce baby food – 0.01
  • Blueberry muffin – 0.39
  • Light beer – 0.45
  • Coffee, brewed – 0.91
  • Chamomile herb tea, brewed – 0.13
  • Black tea, brewed – 3.73
  • Green tea, brewed – 1.15
  • Instant tea powder, unsweetened, dry – 897.72
  • Instant tea powder, unsweetened, prepared – 3.35

You can see that many foods and beverages have trace amounts of fluoride, but that there are frightening amounts in dry instant tea. Also notice the difference in black and green teas.

Effects of Excessive Fluoride

Now consider the effects of a heavy tea-drinking habit on fluoride accumulation in body tissues. We know that dental fluorosis caused by excess fluoride is a risk only in childhood, since fluorosis occurs during tooth formation. Children probably aren’t likely to drink tea in large amounts, so dental fluorosis from that source isn’t common. There have, however, been documented cases of skeletal fluorosis linked to tea. This type of fluorosis, caused by chronic consumption of fluoride, can be a crippling condition in which bones become weak and joints are stiff and painful. Deformities are seen in severe cases. There can also be neurological complications.9

A 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism concluded that skeletal fluorosis “can result from chronic consumption of large volumes of brewed tea” and that “daily consumption of 1-2 gallons of instant tea can lead to skeletal fluorosis.”10

A 2016 study done in the Republic of Ireland, home of serious tea drinkers, assessed the risks of fluoride intake in tea.3 The authors concluded that in all age groups, daily tea consumption can be higher than the maximum tolerable intake and result in chronic fluoride intoxication. That can contribute, they suggest, to the country’s high incidence of musculoskeletal disorders and undiagnosed skeletal fluorosis. Another concern they identified was for people with reduced renal function, since in that case fluoride can’t be easily excreted and is more damaging.

Tea is supposed to be good for us. It has flavonoids, a mild amount of caffeine, and has been shown to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. It’s an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.11 Now, it appears, it could also be dangerous in certain circumstances. We, as hygienists, are the health-care workers patients trust to keep them informed about fluoride. When you discover a heavy tea habit in a patient, be sure they’re aware of the risks to their overall health.

For more information or to schedule your next visit, contact our team today.

Marcia Basciano DDS of Downers Grove Email: info@dentalwellnesschicago.com Phone: (630) 629-6299 Url: http://dentalwellnesschicago.com/ 2932 Finley Road Downers Grove, IL 60515