General Dentistry

Do you notice when you smile you see gum tissue more than your teeth? This is known as a gummy smile, and many patients are bothered by how their smile looks. There are treatment options to correct a gummy smile, and we are here to help you find a treatment that works best.

What Can Cause a Gummy Smile?

  • Your Bite

Your bite can be genetic and your top jaw may not align properly with your bottom jaw. If your bite causes the upper jaw to protrude this can cause a gummy look.

  • Hyperactive Upper Lip

If your lip raises up too high gum tissue may be exposed, and this results in a gummy smile.

  • Excess Gum Tissue

The most common cause of a gummy smile is having too much gum tissue. In many cases gum tissue can over grow when permanent teeth erupt in the mouth.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Crown Lengthening

Crown Lengthening helps to reshape the gum tissue around the tooth and correct a gummy smile. This procedure exposes more of the patient’s natural tooth and make the teeth look longer.

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring can help change the shape of your gum, and this can be done if you have excess gum tissue. This procedure also helps if the gum line is uneven. Gum contouring removes the excess gum tissue and exposes more of your teeth. This helps to give patients a beautiful even looking smile.

Scaling and Root Planing

If a gummy smile is caused by inflamed gums a deep cleaning treatment may be recommended. Scaling and root planing reach down deep into the gum pockets to remove bacteria. This can help the gummy appearance subside.

Lip Lowering

This procedure involves removing a section of gum tissue to reveal a shorter looking lip. This keeps the upper lip from rising too high and exposing your gum tissue.

Orthodontics

If you have an issue with your bite orthodontics may help correct your gummy smile. Orthodontic treatment can help adjust your bite to avoid gum tissue showing when you smile.

Looking To Take the Next Step to a Beautiful Smile?

If you are looking to correct your smile we encourage you take the first step and schedule a consultation in our office. This will give our team the opportunity to evaluate your concerns, and discuss possible treatment options that work for you. We want you to be proud of your smile, and we are here to help you get the smile you have always wanted.

If you are interested in scheduling a cosmetic consultation, contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

Family Dentistry

Creating an oral hygiene routine at home is important to help maintain your oral health and keep your teeth and gums feeling great. Brushing and flossing each day is extremely important, and the order in which you do these two items is a common question. Many wonder which way gives the most benefit.

Is Brushing First Better?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a key part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing cleans your teeth and removes plaque, as well as prevents cavities from developing. Brushing is not the only thing you need to do to keep your oral hygiene in check. Flossing is another integral part of oral hygiene. The order in which you do these two items is a popular discussion.

Brushing does allow the toothpaste with fluoride to get in-between the teeth and help lift residual plaque when you floss after brushing. Studies show that flossing first is better, and is a more efficient way to keep up with your oral health. Flossing last also leaves particles in your mouth if you do not remember to rinse afterwards.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

Benefits of Flossing and Brushing

  • Prevents gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene or not brushing and flossing properly. Routine dental cleanings in our office are important and we recommend dental cleanings at least twice a year.
  • Removes plaque that is the leading cause of gum disease. If you floss and brush your teeth regularly plaque does not have the chance to harden on your teeth.
  • Prevents decay and costly dental procedures. If you take care of your oral health you can avoid serious complications or dental procedures in the future.

Overall, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Cavities and gum disease are preventable, and remembering to floss and brush each day will help keep your mouth feeling great. Visiting our office regularly for your cleaning and exam is another way to stay on top of your oral health.

During your dental exam our team will discuss any hygiene recommendations, and review how to keep up with your oral hygiene care at home. Taking care of your oral health is important, and your health is our priority.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to improve your oral hygiene routine at home, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Oral Health

Mouthwash is used to help rinse away bacteria or food particles after you brush and floss each day. Using mouthwash is an additional way to help protect your teeth and gums. Knowing the differences between mouthwashes can help you choose the right one to incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.

What Are The Different Types of Mouthwashes Available?

Mouthwash With Fluoride

Fluoride mouthwash contain sodium fluoride, and this helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and is added to our tap water. Only using the required amount each day is important because too much fluoride can be harmful to your health. Reading the labels can help to ensure you are only using the appropriate amount that is recommended daily.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common mouthwash used by most patients. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and can help to stop bacteria in its tracks. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help fight bad breath, and prevent infections. Patients must be careful using this type of mouthwash. Overuse can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. Following the recommended daily guidelines is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash is used to only freshen your breath. Cosmetic mouthwash does not do anything to help with your oral health. Using this type of mouthwash can help rinse food particles away, and is a temporary solution for bad breath.

Natural Mouthwash

Natural mouthwash is a common type of mouthwash that helps keep bacteria away and freshens your breath, but contains only natural ingredients. Natural mouthwash brands do not contain alcohol, and the ingredients are safer compared to other types of mouthwashes available.

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

Interested in Finding Out More?

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

If you are interested in finding out more about what mouthwash may be best for you, or to schedule your next exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Family Dentistry

Dental care can be costly, and simple procedures can even run up your bill. Caring for your teeth is necessary to keep your oral and general health in check. Many people have no dental benefits at all, or if they retire their benefits are lost.

Skipping dental care is not an option, and can lead to other more serious health issues such as diabetes, or heart conditions. There are ways you can reduce your dental care costs, and help pay for those costly procedures that are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Ask Your Dentist if They Offer an In-House Membership Plan

Many dental practices today offer their own dental membership for patients. These plans act like an insurance plan, and give patients discounts on procedures that are done in their office. If a patient does not have insurance it is wise to inquire about an in-house plan to help keep costs down.

Sign Up for a Dental Plan Through Your Employer

Many companies offer both medical and dental insurance plans. Most plans pay for at least half of the cost, and preventative services are typically covered 100 percent. Routine procedures are usually covered around 80 percent, and larger more involved procedures such as crowns are usually covered at 50 percent. Using in-network providers can help you save money, and allow you to get the dental work you need.

Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans are available to participants who pay a fee to join. The fee is typically annual, and allows you to choose from a network of dentists that offer discounts for members. Dental savings plans allow patients to get the work done that they need at a discounted price without insurance.

Affordable Care Act

Patients can apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Logging on to their website can let you know if you qualify to purchase dental coverage.

Dental HMO Plan

A dental HMO plan may be available in your state. Typically cleanings and exams twice a year are covered, and procedures are at a discount. Many dentists participate and accept HMO plans, and this is a good way to help save on dental care.

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran you qualify to receive insurance at a reduced rate. Disabled veterans are also eligible for free dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Do Your Research

If you are required to have a costly procedure, research the average price of that procedure. Ask your dentist for a discount, and most likely they will work with you, and help find a price and payment plan that fits your needs.

Create an Emergency Dental Fund

Setting aside money each month for dental care can help cover procedures or emergencies that are unpredictable.  Knowing you have a savings account will put you at ease if an emergency arises and you need dental care.

Looking for an Affordable Dentist Near You?

Taking care of your oral health is a great way to prevent costly dental procedures. Brushing and flossing each day, and staying away from foods and drinks that contain sugar can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Visiting our office regularly for exams and cleanings is extremely important to maintain your oral health. Regular visits allow our team to get in front of issues before they become urgent, and we can help you keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling great.

We care about our patients, and our team is here to help take care of your oral health. Ask our team if you have questions on coverage or payment plans, and we will work with you to ensure you can receive the very best care.

To find out more about dental programs we offer, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Many people suffer from chronic bad breath or halitosis. Bad breath is something you do not want to be known for, and typically finding the cause is easy. If you suffer from bad breath but also brush, floss, or gargle each day the cause may not be obvious. Taking the time to figure out the underlying problem that may be causing your bad breath is important, and finding a cure can be simple.

Common Cause of Bad Breath

Dental Hygiene

The first area patients should focus on is their dental hygiene habits. Gum or mints are only a short term solution, and finding the cause is the only way you can truly get relief from bad breath. Looking at your dental hygiene is a great place to start because dental hygiene is the most common cause of chronic bad breath. About 85% of bad breath comes from inside the mouth. If you do not brush and floss daily, bacteria can get left behind and cause issues with your breath. Bacteria eats the leftover food particles in your mouth, and as a result leaves a foul smelling odor in your mouth and on your teeth.

Devices

If patients wear retainers, dentures, or mouthguards while they sleep, these devices can trap bacteria or food particles if not cleaned properly. This can attribute to halitosis or chronic bad breath. Taking care of your teeth and mouth is extremely important for your overall and oral health, and can prevent issues such as bad breath that could be embarrassing around others.

Cavities or Infection

If you suffer from cavities or have an infection lingering in your mouth that has not been treated, this can cause bad breath. Attending regular visits to our office for your dental cleaning and exam is important. Our skilled staff can get in front of issues such as cavities or infections and prevent further problems in the future. If patients have issues with their tonsils or throat, this can cause bad breath, and can be from an infection such as strep throat. Patients should seek treatment from their primary care physician if they feel there is an issue with their tonsils or throat.

Dry Mouth or Dehydration

Dehydration or dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath. Saliva and water wash away bacteria or food particles. If your mouth is not hydrated this reduces saliva and can cause halitosis. Our saliva contains pertinent minerals and proteins that help defend against bacteria. Staying hydrated is important to keep our mouth healthy and to prevent bad breath.

Other Possible Causes for Bad Breath

• Diabetes
• Throat or mouth cancer
• Sinus infection
• Digestive issues
• Acid reflux
• Lung infection
• Liver disease

What Can I Do to Cure My Bad Breath?

• Brush and floss two times a day
• Use an antimicrobial rinse daily
• Tongue scrape daily to remove bacteria
• Remove any devices and clean them thoroughly
• Visit our dental office for regular cleanings and exams
• Review your diet and try and stick to eating healthy foods
• Drink water and stay hydrated
• Avoid tobacco products

Looking For Help With Chronic Bad Breath?

There are many simple solutions to cure bad breath. We encourage you to make an appointment for an exam in our office to discuss your concerns. Our skilled staff can help give you tips, and our thorough dental exam can help identify any issues you may have that could be causing chronic bad breath. If you have already tried simple solutions and still notice your bad breath does not go away, we may advise you make an appointment to see your primary care physician.

If you are interested in finding a solution to cure bad breath we can help. To schedule your appointment contact our office, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

Taking care of your oral and overall health must be a priority. Knowing when you need to call your dentist is important. Practicing good oral hygiene habits help to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and many other issues. Cavities are one of the most common issues patients face, and about 30 percent of Americans have untreated dental cavities. Leaving a cavity untreated can destroy your teeth leading to tooth loss, infection, and other more serious conditions.
It is helpful for patients to understand what a cavity is, and also know what symptoms to look out for if you think you may have a cavity.

What is a Cavity?

A cavity is when bacteria or food build up and form plaque on your teeth. The bacteria eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause decay. Good oral hygiene habits are so important, and brushing and flossing can help you get rid of the plaque build up to prevent cavities from developing. Once the cavity is formed there is a small hole in your tooth, and if left untreated the cavity can destroy your tooth or develop an infection.

What Are the Signs of a Cavity?

There are signs you can look out for that may indicate you have a cavity. If you experience any of these signs we encourage you to contact our office, and our staff will get you in as soon as possible. Our team always works to keep our patient’s teeth and mouth healthy and pain free.

• Sensitivity to hot and cold that lingers and does not go away
• Sensitivity to sweet foods or drinks
• A toothache that is on or around one or more teeth
• Pain when you bite down or pain during eating
• Discoloration, white spots, or staining on a tooth
• A small hole or mark on your tooth

Need to Contact Our Office?

Knowing these signs can help you decide if you need to contact a dentist. We always tell patients to never hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We are here to help, and a cavity should never be left untreated.
If you think you may have a cavity and need to schedule an appointment, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

Oral health is extremely important for many reasons. If patients suffer from gum disease, cavities, or bad breath this can cause issues with your teeth and mouth. Our mouths are a pathway for bacteria to enter the body. The bacteria are able to enter the blood stream, and this can also cause infection or inflammation in other parts of our body.

Taking good care of your teeth and mouth can keep your body healthy, and can also help avoid serious issues in the future. At Confident Smiles in Chicago, IL, we encourage our patients to practice good oral hygiene habits at home. We also promote overall health and wellness. Our team cares about each patient, and keeping up with your oral health not only can keep your teeth and mouth feeling great, but your body feeling great also.

What Problems Can Occur From Poor Oral Health?

Respiratory Infections

If you have infected or inflamed gums that bacteria can transfer into the lungs. This can lead to respiratory infections, pneumonia, or even bronchitis.

Dementia

Inflamed gums can release substances that are harmful to our brain cells. This can lead to memory loss that is a result of bacteria spreading to the nerves.

Cardiovascular Disease

If you have poor oral health you are at risk for cardiovascular disease. The bacteria from the infected gums enters the bloodstream, and can cause the arteries to build up plaque. This can put you at risk for a heart attack.

Prostate Problems

If men suffer from periodontal disease they may have prostatitis. This condition causes irritation and other prostate related problems.

Diabetes

Diabetics are more likely to have infected gums over those that do not have diabetes. This can make diabetes difficult to control due to unregulated blood sugar levels. Gum disease can lead to higher blood sugar levels and this can put a person at risk for developing diabetes.

Infertility

Poor oral health and infertility in women are linked. If a woman suffers from gum disease this can lead to issues with infertility, and may make it difficult for a woman to conceive or have a healthy pregnancy.

Cancer

Poor oral health can put patients at risk for kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, or blood cancer. In addition if patients smoke or use tobacco products this can lead to oral or throat cancers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

People who have gum disease are more likely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. The bacteria in our mouths can increase inflammation in the body, and this increases the risk for developing Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a health problem that affects the kidneys, heart, bones, and blood pressure. Periodontal disease can lead to kidney disease. Patients with gum disease typically have weaker immune systems, and this can make them susceptible to infection. Many patients that have poor oral health also have kidney disease, and this can lead to kidney failure if not treated.

How Can I Prevent These Health Issues?

In order to prevent serious health issues caused by bad oral health habits you must take care of your oral health. Scheduling regular dental exams in our office can help keep your teeth and gums clean, and get in front of any issues before they arise. Dr. George BarsaDr. Carla Delafuente and Dr. Salem always put our patients first, and complete a thorough exam of your teeth and mouth to ensure everything is looking and feeling great. If we do have concerns, we will discuss those with you and develop a customized treatment plan to take care of any issues right away.

Tips for Good Oral Hygiene

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products
  • Use mouthwash that contains fluoride
  • Try and stay away from food and drinks that contain lots of sugar
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Exercise and take care of your overall health

If you take care of your oral health, you take care of your body. Good oral hygiene can help prevent problems such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, as well as prevent more serious health issues in your body.

Looking for a Family Dentist Near You?

At Confident Smiles, we provide the highest level of dental care for patients of all ages. We welcome all new patients, and use state of the art technology to ensure our patients have an exceptional experience when visiting our office.

If you are looking for a dentist near you, contact our dental office in Chicago, IL to schedule your next dental exam and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

CORONAVIRUS
HEALTH UPDATE

Here at Confident Smiles, we practice all CDC and OSHA standards of infection control on a daily basis, even prior to this virus. We treat everything to the highest standards for our patient’s and employee’s safety. 

We are able to see ALL patients at this time. 

We clean everything with hospital level disinfectants as part of our standard protocol and we sterilize all of our instruments. The handwashing protocol advised by the CDC is routine for us. We feel safe enough to continue to stay open and care for our patients since we always practice disease prevention as advised by OSHA and the CDC. As per our standard policy, sick patients will NOT be seen to protect all involved in their dental care. 

We have added the following precautions to our daily protocol

  • Patient phone screening questions about current symptoms illness and/or recent travel
  • Usage of hand sanitizer for every patient who enters the office
  • Daily employee screening questions about current symptoms of illness 

To learn more about the steps you can take to prevent being exposed, please visit www.cdc.org