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 | Oral Health and Cancer

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There are over 12 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year. There are a large variety of different kinds of cancer, some of which are more preventable than others. It might seem obvious that practicing good oral health and avoiding tobacco and other harmful substances can help protect you from the risk of oral cancer. However, there are other types of cancer that can be prevented through good oral care as well.

Dental Care and Oral Cancer

While it’s long been known that tobacco and heavy alcohol use are the main causes of oral, head, and neck cancer, poor oral health has recently been added to the list. A 2007 study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found that poor mouth health and missing teeth were strongly linked to the development of oral cancer. Likewise, patients with good oral health were found to be far less likely to develop oral cancer. If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, know that common oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay could be making the condition worse. Visiting our dental office regularly for professional cleanings, examinations, and oral cancer screenings to help catch signs of oral cancer early and make treatment easier and more effective.

Oral Health and Other Cancers

Poor oral health has been shown to be tied to other types of cancers outside of the mouth. For example, a recent study conducted by NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center found that certain types of bacteria found in patients with gum disease was tied to a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. While esophageal cancer only accounts for 1% of new cancer cases diagnosed annually, over 90% of patients will die of the disease. Untreated gum disease opens up the tissues around the teeth to bacterial infection, allowing these harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of the patient’s body. Maintaining optimal oral health can help protect you from this threat.

Your oral health effects much more than just your mouth. If you’re not taking care of your teeth, tongue, and gums, you could significantly increase your risk of developing cancer without even realizing it. If you’d like to learn more about the connection between oral health and cancer, contact our dental team to schedule an examination and cleaning today!

2932 Finley Road, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Downers Grove Dentist | 4 Ways to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

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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.

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.

2)      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.

3)      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.

4)      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.

2932 Finley Road, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Dentist in Downer Grove | Early Treatment May Save Your Life

60515 Dentist

Research completed by the CDC shows that nearly half of US adults suffer from some form of gum disease. Without proper detection and treatment, this disease can fester and spread, leading to a number of oral and overall health concerns including loss of teeth, bleeding and inflamed gums, heart disease, respiratory issues, stroke, and more. The damage periodontal disease is able to inflict on your body can be hugely mitigated through early treatment.

When caught in its early stages, gum disease can be relatively easy to treat. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding or sensitive gums, chronic bad breath, and small pockets beginning to form between your gums and teeth. Our doctor will measure the space between your gums and teeth and may recommend a treatment plan of scaling and root planing. These treatments are designed to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque around a tooth and smooth the area around the root to help prevent future buildup. They can often be completed in one visit. After treatment, our doctor will provide you with a plan for better oral care at home. It’s important to follow up with regular professional examinations and cleanings in order to prevent the future spread of gum disease.

If scaling and root planing are not sufficient to correct the damage caused by gum disease, more invasive procedures such as gum grafting, bone grafting, and dental implants may be necessary. While these procedures can help repair the damage caused by advanced periodontal disease, they generally require much longer recovery times and may not completely undo the damage inflicted on your mouth.

Early diagnosis and treatment is your best chance for mitigating the potentially life-threatening effects that periodontal disease can have on your body. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, sore or bleeding gums, or have noticed a recession in your gumline, you could be experiencing the early stages of periodontal disease. Contact our office today to learn more or to schedule a consultation with our doctor.

2932 Finley Road, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Dentist Near Me | Optimal Gum Health for Seniors

For seniors, it is imperative that gum health is a top priority. As you age, your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases. Periodontal disease is both preventable, and in many cases, reversible. When left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications such as bloody or swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Even more alarming are the numerous studies connecting periodontal disease to other serious illnesses. Here’s what you need to know about gum health as you age.

Periodontal Disease and Your Overall Health

Periodontal disease has been linked to serious health issues. In fact, a recent study conducted by the University of Southampton and King’s College London uncovered a link between periodontal disease and an increase in the rate of cognitive decline in those who suffer from early Alzheimer’s disease. In patients with periodontal disease, the study found cognitive decline underwent a rapid change, occurring six times as fast on average.

Periodontal disease has also been found to increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Risk factors for these serious issues increase with age, among other causes, and it is especially important to limit potential risk factors where possible. This can be as easy as improving your gum health with a visit to our office.

The Numbers You Need to Know

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, moderate or severe periodontal disease was found in over 14% of seniors aged 65 to 74. The number increases to more than 20% for those over 75 years of age. Men were found to be more likely than women to have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Smoking was also found to have a significant impact. The same study showed 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% for those who never smoked.

Steps You Can Take

As you age, it is essential to keep up with your gum health. Doing so is an important link in lowering your risk factors for other serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. You can keep your gums healthy by brushing twice each day for a full two minutes. Be sure to regularly floss your teeth as well. Flossing is an effective way to clean the hard-to-reach cracks and gaps where plaque builds up. Schedule a visit with our team for a complete gum evaluation. We can work with you to devise a course of action to ensure healthy gums.

Great White Sharks Have Heavy Metals in their Veins

A new study published in “Marine Pollution Bulletin” showed that great white sharks are able to survive and thrive with a high level of heavy metals sitting in their bodies. This study located heavy doses of arsenic and mercury in sharks. enough to harm or kill most other vertebrate species.

This information was located on Smithsonian.com. To read the entire article, Click Here.

60515 Dentist | 3 Ways Gummy Vitamins Can Impact Your Child’s Oral Health

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Multivitamins are an excellent way to help children and adults receive nutrients that their diet lacks. For parents of picky eaters, this can be especially helpful. However, not all vitamins are created equally. Chewable, gummy vitamins are often marketed to children but carry risks to your child’s oral health. Here are three ways gummy vitamins affect your child’s oral health.

1. Gummy Vitamins Stick to Your Child’s Teeth

Like gummy candy, particles of gummy vitamins can easily stick to your child’s teeth. Bacteria that causes decay feeds on sugars and food matters left on your teeth. Because they can be harder to clean by brushing, the risk of developing decay increases. If your child takes a gummy multivitamin, encourage them to brush their teeth thoroughly shortly after consuming one. Our dentist also suggests scheduling your child’s next visit to ensure a professional and thorough cleaning.

2. Gummy Vitamins Contain Sugar

Compared to pills and harder, chewable multivitamins, gummy vitamins generally contain more sugar. Ingredients such as gelatin and sucrose are often found in gummy vitamins. Sugar feeds bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay.

3. Don’t Confuse Them For Candy

Candy contributes to tooth decay because the sticky, sweet, sugary contents cling to teeth, promoting decay. Gummy vitamins are similar because they share several key ingredients with gummy candies. It is vitally important that your child never confuses a multivitamin for a candy. Consuming more vitamins than the suggested amount can lead to serious health complications.

Multivitamins can help balance a diet that does not include key nutrients. While gummy vitamins are often a great way for children to be excited to take a vitamin, consider the risks they pose to your child’s oral health. If your child does regularly take a gummy multivitamin, have them brush their teeth after taking one. Taking a vitamin before brushing your teeth prior to bedtime is one way to ensure your child’s teeth remain clean.

We advise you to consult your child’s pediatrician for information regarding which multivitamin supplements are best for your child. Children should receive at least two dental examinations per year, with additional visits needed for those with a high risk of developing decay or other oral health complications.

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

2932 Finley Road
 Downers Grove, IL 60515
 (630) 629-6299


Downers Grove Dentist | Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?

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We often have visitors to our office ask about solutions for fixing stained teeth or filling in gaps between teeth. We sometimes suggest veneers. Veneers are one cosmetic option available for correcting your smile. Here’s what you should know about veneers, and whether they are right for you and your smile.

What Are Veneers?

A Veneer is a thin cover placed over the front of the tooth. Typically, they are made of dental porcelain and designed to cover your existing tooth, not replace it.

What They Do

Veneers are used to fix a broken or chipped tooth, shrink the noticeable gaps in between teeth, or reduce the visible stains on teeth. Our office specially sizes them to fit your teeth. Generally, the structure of your teeth is not altered since the veneers are placed over your teeth.

What You Need to Know

Those who get veneers sometimes experience a minor increase in sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold food and drinks. Veneers are typically nonreversible, as they often require a small amount of tooth enamel to be removed. After getting them, it is advisable to avoid drinks such as wine, coffee, or tea that are often culprits of causing staining. Taking care of them still requires you to brush twice each day and floss regularly as well. Your teeth are not invincible to staining or decay so be sure to continue to take care of them.

It is important to know that veneers are a solution to minor tooth issues such as discoloration, gaps, or misaligned teeth. They are not a substitute for braces, bridges, or other dental work. Schedule a visit to our office to meet with our dentist. Together our team can work with you to develop a plan to reach the goals and look you are hoping to achieve.

For more information on how to achieve the smile you have dreamed of, contact our office. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit with us!

2932 Finley Road
 Downers Grove, IL 60515
 (630) 629-6299

Dentist in Downers Grove | New Discovery Made!

New research published today in Science Advances uncovers evidence of ultramarine in the dental plaque of a woman found buried next to a medieval monastery in Germany.  The presence of blue pigment in her teeth suggests she, and possibly her female peers, contributed to the preparation and/or production of colored medieval manuscripts, also known as illuminated texts.  It’s an important discovery because women were previously thought to have minimal involvement in this industry.  The unexpected discovery of ultramarine in the dental tartar, or dental calculus, of an 11th century woman in rural Germany is shedding new light on this poorly understood time and the roles played by women during the production of illuminated texts.

Among the sources of blue pigment during medieval times, ultramarine was easily the most expensive, “reserved along with gold and silver for the most luxurious manuscripts” according to the authors of the new study.  Consequently, the use of ultramarine in illuminated works was limited to “luxury books of high value and importance,“ and only scribes of “exceptional skill would have been entrusted with its use.”  But historians have found it difficult to identify the contributions of women.

As to how the pigment got into her mouth, the researchers speculate that she licked the end of the brush while painting.  “We think she was likely using her lips to shape the brush to a fine point, this is a common technique used by painters and was even described in medieval artist manuals.”

Contact our office to schedule your next appointment.