Posts made in March 2018

Why Do I Need an Oral Surgeon?

Has your dentist referred you to an oral surgeon and it’s causing you anxiety? That’s a normal response, mostly because people are unfamiliar with exactly what an oral surgeon does. One might immediately picture a wisdom tooth extraction and cringe. But an oral surgeon does much more than pulling teeth. In fact, they are the front line when it comes to oral health and mouth reconstruction.

What is an oral surgeon?
An oral surgeon (formally known as a maxillofacial surgeon) is a dental specialist. All dentists, whether they are generalists or specialists, spend seven or eight years in college and dental college earning a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). An oral surgeon, though, spends an additional four to six years of training after dental school, mostly in a hospital-based surgical environment.

What does an oral surgeon do?
Dental surgical procedures performed by an oral surgeon include simple and complicated teeth extractions (including wisdom teeth); dental implant placement; repair of broken bones in the jaws and face; removal of cysts and tumors of the jaws; soft tissue biopsies; jaw realignment surgery; and cosmetic and TMJ surgeries.

Talk to your dentist
If you have problems with your teeth, gums, or jaws, see your dentist, even if the pain is in the area around your mouth or face. They can evaluate your needs and refer you to an oral surgeon, if necessary. In Wheeling, IL, Dr. Daniel Kim, DDS, DICOI, performs both tradition dental examinations as well as oral surgery related to dental implants and mouth reconstruction. Do you find yourself in pain, discomfort or embarrassed of your teeth? Let Dr. Kim and his staff help you. Contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

Top Foods That Damage Your Teeth

Your mother taught you to avoid too many sweets to ward off cavities, but did she also tell you about oranges and potato chips? Sugary candy isn’t the only culprit when it comes to possible tooth damage and decay. There are many other foods, including some fruits (gasp!) that are actually harmful to your pearly whites.

While you likely can’t completely avoid some of the foods on this list, it’s good to be aware of them so as to limit them in your diet. Here’s a list of some of the most common foods and drinks that damage your teeth.

Citrus Acid – Strong acids (foods with a low pH rating), such as limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit are the number one cause of enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Carbonated Drinks – This seems like a no-brainer. Little, if any, good comes from soda or pop, even if it’s the “diet” version. Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel.

Coffee – Sorry, coffee addicts. Not surprisingly, that morning cup of coffee is full of tannic acids, which wears down enamel and can stain your teeth.

Potato Chips – Crunchy snacks, like potato chips, become sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque.

Dried Fruits – Though intended as a healthy snack, dried, sticky fruits, such as apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar.

What you eat matters, not only to your overall health, but that of your teeth and gums. Limiting your intake of the worst foods for your teeth, including limiting alcohol and hard candy, as well as regular cleanings from your dentist in Wheeling, IL, will minimize the long-term damage to your teeth.

Healthy Foods for a Healthy Mouth

It’s true: You are what you eat. At least, that’s the case when it comes to your dental health. As everyone knows, brushing twice per day, flossing often and using mouthwash is vital to healthy teeth, but eating right is also key.

So, is the secret to healthy teeth for life found in your refrigerator? Certain foods can help prevent cavities and tooth decay, keep plaque (sticky bacteria filled-film that can cover the teeth and gums) at bay, and even freshen breath. Sugary foods, such as candy and soda, contribute to tooth decay, we know this. However, there are plenty of healthy foods that are proven to improve the health of your teeth and have a positive effect on your smile. Below is a list of the some of the good foods for your mouth.

Milk & Eggs – Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D. The body requires a dose of vitamin D to absorb calcium, which in turn strengthens bones and teeth.

Cheese & Yogurt – Foods rich in calcium and phosphorus can protect tooth enamel and even help replace minerals in teeth.

Celery, Carrots & Crunchy Veggies – Your teeth require a little work to help them stay sharp. Crunchy, firm foods that contain lots of water are good for oral health by stimulating the flow of saliva and can actually scrub tooth surfaces, brightening your pearly whites.

Apples, Bananas & Strawberries – High-fiber fruits can scrub away plaque and freshen your breath.

Incorporating a healthy diet, good dental hygiene, and seeing a dentist in Wheeling, IL, for regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Kim at Northwest Implant Dental Spa will not only improve your smile, but your overall health. You can book your next dental exam by calling our office at (847) 629-4875.