Diabetes and Oral Health: What Your Dentist Sees

It’s no secret that diabetes is a health condition that must be treated because of the problems it can cause throughout the body—including the mouth.  Almost 26 million children and adults in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Dubuque dentist Dr. James Fili wants you to know the side effects diabetes can have on oral health.

When diabetics experience high glucose levels, those elevated sugars can help bacteria thrive, which causes major problems for their teeth.  Because of the risks, it’s important for diabetics to take especially good care of their teeth. Some diabetics have chronic inflammation and infections in their mouths or other special oral care needs.  Common dental conditions associated with diabetes include tooth decay, gum disease, saliva gland dysfunction, infections, and delayed healing.  If you are diabetic, it is paramount that you share that information with your dentist.

Diabetics, like all other people, should be vigilant about regular brushing and flossing habits. In addition, they need to:

  • Watch for signs or symptoms of oral disease and report them to their dentist
  • Remind Dubuque Periodontics of your diabetes at each visit
  • Maintain your blood glucose at normal levels whenever possible

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health Tagged with:

Ice Cravings – A Sign of Something Worse?

We all know someone who asks for extra ice just so they can chew on it. And we’ve probably all heard that chewing ice is not healthy for your teeth. So what’s the truth? Is it best to put a stop to ice chewing? Absolutely, and for more reasons than most people are aware of. Dr. Fili wants all Dubuque residents to know why chewing ice is a bad habit, so please read on for the facts!

Why should I stop chewing ice?

Read more ›

Posted in Dental News

Chocolate is Good for Oral Health – True or False?

Chocolate is Good for Oral Health – True or False?

Most of us were taught when we were kids that sweets like chocolate will rot your teeth. While this may remain true for some types of our favorite sweet snack, that doesn’t mean we have to take it off the menu altogether. In fact, recent studies have found that dark chocolate, containing high percentages of cocoa, may actually be beneficial to your dental health. Dr. Fili at Dubuque Periodontics wants Dubuque residents to know the facts so they can satisfy their sweet-tooth safely.

How does it work?

Dark chocolate is known to contain high levels of antioxidants, which work with our bodies to fight bacteria and disease. Dark chocolate can contain up to four times the amount of antioxidants found in green tea! High levels of antioxidants found in saliva have been proven to help fight periodontal, or gum disease, and slow tooth decay.

What about the sugar?

Yes, chocolate does contain sugar, which is bad for your teeth. However, that is why we are recommending dark chocolate, which has lower amounts of sugar, and higher levels of cocoa (at least 70%). The high levels of antibacterial compounds found in dark chocolate actually counteract the effects of the sugars, making it a safe option for a sweet-tooth. In fact, studies have found one of these compounds to be more effective in fighting cavities than fluoride!

So I can skip my nightly brushing if I have dark chocolate for dessert?

Absolutely…NOT! Even dark chocolate contains some sugar, and while some of its magical compounds help combat the effects of tooth decay, there is no substitute for regular brushing and flossing (at least twice per day) and regular checkups (every 6 months). Hopefully, however, we’ve helped rid Dubuque residents of their fear, guilt, and aversion when it comes to chocolate and oral health. Chocolate lovers rejoice!

For more questions concerning your oral health and the effects of your favorite foods or beverages, please give us a call or stop by Dubuque Periodontics, Dr. Fili will be happy to talk with you.

 Sources

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2661448/Want-whiter-teeth-Munch-dark-chocolate-cheese-strawberries-says-leading-dentist.html

http://www.jeffersondentalclinics.com/blog.html/2014/07/07/is-chocolate-good-or-bad-for-your-teeth/

http://www.tworiverspedo.com/blog/chocolate-teeth/

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/dark-chocolate-good-for-teeth.htm

http://askthedentist.com/chocolate-good-for-teeth/

http://www.aobjournal.com/article/S0003-9969(00)00042-X/abstract?cc=y

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Bleeding Gums

One of the most common and destructive myths about dental hygiene is that it’s normal for gums to bleed. Dr. Fili would like everyone in Dubuque to know that this is not the case! Imagine if we weren’t talking about gums- should any part of your body start to bleed whenever you touch it? The truth about bleeding gums is they are a sign of infection and/or irritation and can lead to serious problems that go way beyond your mouth if left untreated. Please read this article and educate yourself on how to keep your family’s teeth and gums safe. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Patient Care

A Guide to Cavity Prevention

Imagine this – you have come to see Dr. Fili for a cleaning and routine check-up. The cleaning goes well, but then Dr. Fili tells you that you have a cavity. You’ve been dreading the possibility of this news and now you fear that something must be wrong, since you have been brushing and flossing regularly. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

How to Clean Teeth Like a Dentist

Oral hygiene is the foundation of good dental health. Brushing and flossing regularly is the best way to keep your Dubuque smile healthy and clean. Consider this your personal tutorial on the art of dental hygiene, instructed by Dr. James Fili and the expert hygienists at Dubuque Periodontics. If you have any questions or would like to test your skills in person, feel free to give us a call!

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, and Mouthwash

Before we get to talking technique, we need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. You’re going to need a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and floss. Pick whatever floss is most comfortable for you and any toothpaste that you like, provided it has fluoride. Mouthwash is not required, but some Dubuque folks really like the extra oral health boost you get from a good swish and gargle. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Do Whitening Strips Actually Work?

Whitening strips are among the most popular health and beauty products in Dubuque. Brightening up your pearly whites is a great way to give your smile a boost, and with all the over-the-counter options, there’s no reason not to pick one up and try it out. Dr. Fili wants you to be informed about every aspect of dental health, so here’s a guide to which whitening options can give your teeth a bright new shine. If you have any questions or would like to visit Dubuque Periodontics for a consultation, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Teeth Whitening: The Basics

Nowadays, there are three basic types of in-home whitening: toothpastes and mouthwashes, whitening strips, and gel trays. While whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are the least expensive products on the market, they are also the least effective at creating a noticeable change in the short-term. This is because they don’t have a significant amount of the active ingredients in most whitening products, which are hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. However, they are effective at removing surface stains. On the other hand, gel trays and whitening strips can produce some serious whitening in as little as a week.

How Whitening Strips Work

Whitening strips are all the rage in Dubuque, so we will focus on how they work and what kind of results you can expect from them. Whitening strips are made from a flexible plastic material called polyethylene. Each strip is coated with hydrogen and/or carbamide peroxide and an adhesive to keep the strips in place. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes as it comes in contact with your teeth, which bleaches teeth, making the surface whiter. Carbamide peroxide works the exact same way, but has an acid that breaks up stains as well.

How Long Do Whitening Strips Take to Produce Results?

Treatment times vary from brand to brand, but the average whitening strip package comes with 28 strips, for two weeks of whitening (one per night per row of teeth). Usually, the directions instruct Dubuque residents to wear the strips for about half an hour before going to bed. Most people that try whitening strips notice a significant improvement in the whiteness of their teeth. However, they are not effective on tetracycline (antibiotic) or fluorosis (fluoride poisoning) stains, and they will not change the color of dental restorations.

Professional Whitening

Although they’re more expensive, professional whitening treatments are much more effective, safer, and some can provide dramatic, long lasting results in one visit, with a decreased chance of causing sensitivities.

Sources

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/do-whitening-strips-damage-teeth.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth_bleaching

http://www.3dwhite.com/teeth-whitening/teeth-whitening-safety/teeth-whitening-side-effects.aspx

http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/bleaching_risks.html

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

Don’t Get Kicked in the Teeth – At Least Wear a Mouth Guard

According to the American Dental Association, at least 13% of all injuries to the mouth occur during sports activities. While helmets, shoulder pads, shin guards, and the like do a great job of protecting most of the body, Dr. James Fili would like to make sure that every athlete knows how to keep their teeth safe from harm. No Dubuque parent should have to worry about their child’s teeth during the game, so at Dubuque Periodontics we would like to talk about how to take sports safety to the next level.

Mouth Guards and Sports Safety

In Dubuque, we live for a good game. Our athletes train hard to win, so it’s not hard to imagine why they don’t shy away from contact. However, that doesn’t mean that your family has to suffer the consequences of a sports-related oral injury. Mouth guards are the key to oral safety in sports. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

When a Toothache is Not a Toothache

Most of us in Dubuque have experienced a toothache. At their mildest, toothaches may cause just enough discomfort to get on your nerves and disrupt your concentration, but at their worst, they can be debilitating. Because the pain feels like it’s coming from your tooth, it’s natural to assume that all toothaches are caused by cavities, gum disease or some other tooth-related problem. However, Dr. James Fili would like you to know that not all toothaches are related to your teeth.

Wait, what? Toothaches that have nothing to do with teeth? Yes– as anyone at Dubuque Periodontics will tell you –it is possible and it does happen. That being said, most toothaches are tooth-related.

How can a toothache not come from your tooth?

Your mouth is a complex organ that contains a number of different types of tissue, nerves, and microorganisms. While run of the mill dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease are responsible for the majority of toothaches, there are many other conditions that can cause localized pain in one of more teeth –and some of them have nothing to do with your teeth. Here are a few examples:

What’s the most important thing to remember? If you experience moderate to severe pain in your mouth, it’s time to visit Dr. James Fili. Lots of pain, doesn’t necessarily mean you need emergency dental care, but it’s not worth the risk. We at Dubuque Periodontics have seen it all and we know how to care for your smile. Dr. James Fili will examine your mouth and help determine the source of the problem, whether or not it’s actually your teeth!

If you are suffering from a toothache and have questions or would like to make an appointment, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

The Science of Tooth Decay

If you’ve visited our blog before, you know that we love to talk about tooth decay. The chances are, everyone in Dubuque has had or will have tooth decay at one point. It is classified by the National Institutes of Health as the most prevalent disease in the world. Today we’re going to talk about a few of the factors involved in causing tooth decay and what you and Dr. James Fili can do to protect your smile.

The unique makeup of your teeth

Even within your own mouth, teeth vary widely in shape, size, and the quality and consistency of enamel formation. Some teeth are harder than others, and some, especially molars, may have deep fissures that can trap decay-causing bacteria. Additionally, defects in way enamel forms can cause yellow or brown areas on your teeth that are more susceptible to caries (tooth decay). Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care
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