Downers Grove Dentist (630) 629-6299
2932 Finley Road
Downers Grove, IL 60515
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Marcia Basciano DDS,
Arif Samee, DDS,
Robert Peterson, DMD

Practicing Biocompatible Dentistry Since 1983


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

Downers Grove Dentist | We Love to Make You Smile

For most people, visiting the dentist isn’t exactly their idea of fun. Some people have a fear of going to the dentist and this keeps them from getting regular professional cleanings and essential oral health care. We understand how important it is that you enjoy your time with us. To help make your visit something to look forward to, we’ve considered the following.

When you relax in the comfortable, cushioned chairs in our office, take a deep breath and take comfort in knowing that you’re in a judgement free zone. Our dental team is here to improve your health and brighten your smile, not lecture or judge your current oral health status. Whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years since your last visit, know that you’ll be treated with respect and kindness.

Our team is well trained to care for you and your family. Knowing that you’re in good hands will put you at ease and allow you to relax. We encourage you to bring your own music or audio book to enjoy while your hygienist gently removes build up and stains, revealing your clean and beautiful smile.

Our dental team is here to help you. We want to give you something to smile about. Enjoying your dental visit, makes you more likely to set and keep your appointments. Utilizing provided comfort measures at your next dental visit will help you feel more relaxed and less anxious. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you will be to take the steps needed to prevent and treat unwanted oral health problems.

We look forward to serving you with comfortable care. Call us to schedule your next appointment.

Dentist in Downers Grove | Oral Health and Cancer

60515 Dentist

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

Dentist in 60515

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.

Dentist in Downers Grove | 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.

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