Tag Archives: Evanston Dentist

Dentures – Full and Partial

DenturesWhat is a denture?

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjoining tissues.  Complete dentures replace all of the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from shifting position.  Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth after all of the teeth have been removed and the extraction sites have healed.   An immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed.

Who needs a denture?Partial denture

Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth.  A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining.   A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles.   A denture can greatly enhance a patient’s facial appearance and smile.

How do you get a denture?

ImpressionsThe denture process takes about one month. There are usually five or more appointments needed to complete the process.  The process includes the initial diagnosis; the making of an impression and wax bite to determine the dimensions and proper jaw position; a “try-in” to assure proper color, shape, and fit; placement of the final denture; and any minor adjustments. 

New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth,” Woman wearing denturesbecause even the best-fitting dentures will feel awkward at first.  Your normal speaking ability usually resumes shortly after final denture placement.  In addition, in order to become accustomed to chewing with the new denture, it is often recommended that you start with soft, easy-to-chew foods.  To ensure proper fit, see Dr. Marinic on a regular basis.

How do you care for a denture?

  • Remove and brush the denture daily with a denture cleanser or toothpaste and a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures.
  • Avoid using boiling water to sterilize the denture, because hot water can cause the denture to lose its shape.
  • If you wear a partial denture, remove it before brushing your natural teeth.
  • When you’re not wearing the denture, soak it in denture cleanser or water.
  • To avoid misplacing your denture, store it in the same place after removal.

Should a denture be worn at night?

While you may be advised to wear your denture almost continually during the first two weeks – even while you sleep – under normal people sleepingcircumstances, it is considered best to remove it at night.  Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest, and permits for normal stimulation and cleansing of the mouth by the tongue and saliva.  This promotes better long-term health of the gums.

Are there any alternatives to dentures?

Dentures are no longer the only way to restore a mouth that has little or no teeth.  Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place.  Implants and bridges may more closely resemble the “feel” of real teeth, but they tend to be more expensive than dentures.  Not everyone is a candidate for implants and bridges, however.  Talk to Dr. Marinic to learn more.

I’m Not Being Sensitive – My Teeth Are!!

What is dentin hypersensitivity?

Tooth anatomyDentin hypersensitivity, more commonly referred to as sensitive teeth, can be defined as short, sharp pains that come from exposed dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp).  Individuals with sensitive teeth may find that the pain can be triggered by hot, cold, sour, or sweet beverages or foods, forceful brushing or flossing, or even by cold air.

What causes the sensitivity?Eating ice cream

Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes (pores) located in the dentin, which results in nerve irritation.  When the hard enamel of a tooth is worn down or gums have receded, the surfaces of these tiny tubes can become exposed, resulting in pain while eating or drinking certain foods, such as ice cream or hot coffee.

How common is this condition?

Dentin hypersensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients.  One in five people in the United States experience dentin hypersensitivity at some point in his or her life.

How can I avoid dentin hypersensitivity?

Excessive consumption of acidic beverages, such as orange juice or cola, can wear down hard enamel and put you at risk for dentin hypersensitivity. Limiting your consumption of acidic foods and beverages can prevent the Acidic foodserosion of hard enamel.  Conditions such as bulimia nervosa and acid reflux also can have similar erosive effects on tooth enamel.  Abrasion of the enamel from aggressive use of a toothbrush also can lead to dentin hypersensitivity.  Notify Dr. Marinic if you experience tooth sensitivity.  He can monitor the condition and can help remedy the sensitivity.

I have dentin hypersensitivity.  What can I do to prevent pain?Sensodyne

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing in a circular motion will minimize enamel abrasion and thus reduce sensitivity.  Using toothpaste containing a desensitizing agent that protects exposed dentin by blocking the tubes connected to nerves can alleviate pain.  In-office treatments, such as topical agents or sealants, can be applied by Dr. Marinic to help reduce sensitivity. Of course, limiting your intake of acidic foods and beverages is always recommended.

What other issue might be associated with dentin hypersensitivity?

Research suggests that sensitivity in the mouth may be associated with sensitivity in other areas.  A study published in the 2002 November/December issue of General Dentistry examined 47 individuals with dentin hypersensitivity and found that all participants showed sensitivities in another area such as sight, hearing, taste, smell, or touch.  Sight sensitivity, specifically to sunlight, was the most common association.

Dental Emergencies

ToothacheDental emergencies can be avoided by taking some simple precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard during sports and recreation and staying away from hard food such as candy that may crack a tooth.  Accidents do happen however, and it is important to know what actions to take immediately.

Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out (avulsed), forced out of position and loosened (extruded) or fractured.  In addition, lips, gums or cheeks can be cut.  Oral injuries are often painful and should be treated by Dr. Marinic as soon as possible.

What do I when a tooth is knocked out?knocked out tooth

Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment.  Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root.  Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can damage cells necessary for bone re-attachment.  Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt.  Do not scrub.  Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum to keep it moist.  It is important not to let the tooth dry out.  If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk or saline solution.

What do I do if the tooth is pushed out of position?

Attempt to reposition the tooth to its normal alignment using very light finger pressure, but do not force the tooth.  Bite down to keep the tooth from moving.  Dr. Marinic may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy teeth next to the loose tooth.

broken toothWhat about when the tooth is fractured?

Rinse mouth with warm water and use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Take ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain. Minor fractures can be smoothed by your dentist with a sandpaper disc or simply left alone. 

Restorative procedures can also be done to fix the tooth.  In either case, treatTooth anatomy the tooth with care for several days.  Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, tissue and/or pulp.  If the pulp is not permanently damaged, the tooth may be restored with a full permanent crown.  If pulp damage does occur, further dental treatment will be required.  Severe fractures often mean a traumatized tooth with slim chance of recovery.

What should I do when the tissue of my mouth is injured?

Injuries to the inside of the mouth include tears, puncture wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue.  The wound should be cleaned right away with warm water, and the injured person taken to a hospital emergency room for the necessary care. Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound.

Can I somehow prepare for dental emergencies?  Yes, by packing an emergency dental care kit including:

  • Dentist’s phone numbers Emergency kit
  • Saline solution
  • Handkerchief
  • Gauze
  • Small container with lid
  • Ibuprofen (Not aspirin – Aspirin is an anti-coagulant, which may cause excessive bleeding in a dental emergency.)

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Child in dental chair holding toyIt’s important for children to visit the dentist early to ensure they are off to a good start with their oral health.  The first dental visit is an extremely important step in a child’s life long oral health.

When should my child first see a dentist, and why?

The ideal time for a child to visit the dentist is six months after the child’s firstSMall baby (primary) teeth erupt – and no later than his or her first birthday.  This time frame is a perfect opportunity for Dr. Marinic to examine carefully the development of the child’s mouth.  Because dental problems often start early, the sooner the child visits our office, the better.  Dr. Marinic also can provide or recommend special preventive care to protect against problems, such as early childhood tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb or pacifier sucking.

How do I prepare my child and myself for this first visit?

Before the visit, ask Dr. Marinic about the procedures that will take place during theMom talking to child first appointment so there are no surprises.  Plan a course of action for any possible reactions your child may have.  Very young children may be fussy and not want to sit still.  Others may become very frightened and cry.  Some children may not react negatively at all.  Some may enjoy the appointment very much! 

Make the upcoming appointment something for your child to look forward to.  Help your child understand what will happen during the visit.  There are a number of children’s books about going to the dentist.  Read these books with your child before his or her first visit to familiarize your child with what will happen at the dental office and help lessen any potential anxiety.

Also, be sure to bring records of your child’s complete medical history for his or her dental file.

What happens during the first visit?Child in dental chair

Often a first visit is simply a time to acquaint your child with Dr. Marinic and the practice.  As a parent, you should reassure your child that the visit is not scary or something about which to be afraid.  Short, successive visits can build the child’s comfort with Dr. Marinic and the dental office.

Your child’s appointment should be scheduled earlier in the day, when your child is alert and refreshed.  You may need to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the first examination.  The first visit usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes and may include any of the following, depending on the child’s age:

  • A gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues to monitor growth and development and observe any problem areas
  • A gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar build-up, and stains
  • X-rays
  • A demonstration on how to properly care for your child’s mouth and teeth at home
  • Nutritional counseling
  • An assessment of the need for fluoride

Dr. Marinic will be able to answer any questions you have and will make you and your child feel comfortable throughout the visit.

When should we schedule the next appointment?

Children, like adults, should see Dr. Marinic every six months.  When your child is very young, some dentists may schedule interim visits every three months in order to build the child’s comfort and confidence levels or for treatment needs.

If you have questions about your child’s dental needs, please talk with our team.

Fluoride Treatments – Are They Really Necessary?

Water and faucetFluoride is a natural mineral that is found in various concentrations in soil and drinking water.

Why is fluoride important?

Every day, a tooth’s enamel (the outer layer that makes a tooth hard) has minerals both added to it (remineralization) and removed from it (demineralization).  During Tooth anatomyremineralization, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are added to the enamel layer via foods and drinks that contain these minerals.  Minerals are lost (demineralization) when acids—from bacteria in the mouth and certain foods and drinks – attack the enamel.  Tooth decay results when the enamel loses more minerals than it receives.

How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?

Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks.  Fluoride also helps to speed remineralization of erupted teeth in both children and adults.

Where is fluoride found?

Fluoride toothpasteAlthough some foods, such as seafood and certain teas, naturally contain fluoride, the primary source of fluoride is drinking water.  Tap water in most cities in the United States contains fluoride.  Some, but not all, bottled waters contain fluoride.  Fluoride also can be applied directly to teeth through toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain fluoride.  You can buy these products at most pharmacies and grocery stores.

Dr. Marinic and/or his hygienist can also apply fluoride directly to your teeth in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish.  These products contain a much higher level of fluoride than toothpastes and mouth rinses.

When should fluoride use begin?

Infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years shouldInfant smiling receive fluoride.  Their primary teeth and permanent teeth develop during these ages, so the stronger their enamel is, the better.  Because most children receive their first permanent teeth at around age 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends prescribing fluoride supplements for children between the ages of 6 and 16 who are at high risk for dental caries and whose community water source is less than optimal.  In areas that have minimal fluoride in the water, fluoride supplementation may begin earlier.

Although fluoride is an immediate concern for children and adolescents, adults also can benefit from fluoride.  Topical fluoride – including toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments – is as important for fighting tooth decay in adults as it is for strengthening the teeth of children.

When is additional fluoride necessary?

Additional fluoride treatment can benefit children and adults with certain oral conditions, including dry mouth, gum disease, and cavities.  Dry mouth makes an individual more prone to tooth decay because the decreased saliva production makes it harder to wash away food particles and thus decrease the cavity-causing acids.  Gum disease can expose more of the tooth and tooth roots to bacteria, increasing the chance of tooth decay.  Patients who have many cavities and develop new ones each year may benefit from additional fluoride treatment.

Additional fluoride might also be appropriate for patients with crowns, bridges, and braces, as the portion of the tooth that isn’t covered by a crown, bridge, or brace may be at greater risk for tooth decay.  To find out if you and/or your children are receiving enough fluoride or should consider fluoride treatment or supplements, ask Dr. Marinic.  He may prescribe fluoride supplements (in liquid or pill form) or offer suggestions for increasing the amount of fluoride you receive.

To Floss or Not to Floss – THAT is the Question

Do I really need to floss?

dental flossYes.  Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath.  Flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque and, in some ways, more important than the toothbrush.  By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chance of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease the chance of getting gum disease.  Many people don’t spend enough time flossing and many never have been taught the proper way to floss.

Floss at least once a day and spend at least two or three minutes.

Which type of floss is the best?Types of floss

Dental floss comes in many forms: 

  • Waxed and unwaxed
  • Flavored and unflavored
  • Wide and regular

They all clean and remove plaque.  Wide floss, also known as dental tape, may be helpful for people with a lot of bridgework and is usually recommended when the spaces between teeth are wide.  Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth with very little space between.  The unwaxed floss, however, makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean.  Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but does tear more than waxed floss.

How should I floss?

Woman c-flossingThe spool method:  Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind the bulk of the floss lightly around the middle finger.  (Don’t cut off your finger’s circulation!)  Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the same finger of the opposite hand.  This finger takes up the floss as it becomes unusable.  Maneuver the floss between teeth with your index fingers and thumbs.  Bring the floss up and down several times forming a “C” shape around the tooth being sure to go below the gum line.

The loop method: This method is suited for children or adults with lessLoop floss nimble hands, poor muscular coordination or arthritis.  Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make it into a circle.  Tie it securely with three knots.  Place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop.  Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth, going below the gum line forming a “C” on the side of the tooth.

Do I need a waterpick?

Waterpicks should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing.  They are effective, however, around orthodontic braces that retain food in areas a toothbrush cannot reach.  Unlike flossing, waterpicks do not remove plaque. Dentists frequently recommend waterpicks for people with gum disease.

 

Cosmetic Dentistry

People smilingWhat is cosmetic dentistry and how can it improve my smile?

Dr. Marinic can perform a variety of cosmetic procedures to improve your smile—from subtle changes to major repairs.  There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing.  Dr. Marinic can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn teeth, or alter the length of your teeth.  Common procedures include teeth whitening, bonding (white fillings or composites), caps, crowns, veneers, and reshaping and contouring.

What is teeth whitening?White teeth

Teeth whitening is a common and popular chemical process used to lighten teeth.  Some people get their teeth whitened to make stains disappear, while others just want a brighter smile.  Discoloration, which occurs in the enamel, can be caused by medication, coffee, tea, and cigarettes.  Discoloration also can be due to your genetic make up or simply from aging.  Teeth whitening can be performed by Dr. Marinic in the office or, under dental supervision, at home.

What is bonding (white fillings or composites)?

Bonding is the use of tooth-colored material to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth.  Bonding lasts several years and often requires only a single office visit.  Bonding is more susceptible to Silver and white fillingsstaining or chipping than other forms of restoration.   When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice.  Bonding also is used to fill small cavities, to close spaces between teeth, or to cover the entire outside surface of a tooth.

What are veneers?Veneers

Veneers are placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth.  Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces; on teeth that are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced, or crooked; or on teeth that already have large fillings placed.  Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic that are cemented over the front of your teeth.  Veneers are used to treat some of the same problems that bonding is used to treat.  Veneers also are an alternative to crowns.

What should I look for in a cosmetic dentist?

In order to make sure your dentist is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends that you ask Dr. Marinic for the following items before undergoing treatment:

  • Before and after photos – These photos will allow you to examine the results of other patients being treated by Dr. Marinic to make sure his work fits your dental needs.
  • References – References allow you to get a sense of the quality of care the Dr. Marinic provides.
  • Proof of continuing education – Dr. Marinic has taken continuing education courses to keep him up-to-date with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.  Dr. Marinic can answer the questions you have about the techniques used to improve your smile.

Continuing Education – Is It Really Necessary?

Dentists learning and workingContinuing education (CE) is an important component of overall professional excellence for dentists and other health care professionals.  By choosing a general dentist who frequently participates in CE programs, like Dr. Marinic, you can trust that he is up-to-date in the field of dentistry and will provide your entire family with quality treatment.

What is CE?Students learning in dental school

CE consists of classes, courses, and organized learning programs.  Dentists participate in CE after they graduate from dental school so that they can stay up-to-date in their field and learn about the latest techniques and procedures, such as laser dentistry, cosmetic procedures, or sleep dentistry.  Some CE classes are free to the dentist, and others cost thousands of dollars.

Who is required to take CE?

Doctors, dentists, and psychologists are among the many professionals required to take predetermined amounts of CE to maintain licensure and certification so that they may continue to practice within a particular state or region. 

What are professional designations?

Professional designations are given by professional bodies and organizations as a means to apply professional standards, increase the level of practice, and better serve the public.  Attaining a professional designation usually requires the completion of specific training (via CE) and/or passing an exam.

What are Fellows of the AGD?Adult learning

A general dentist who has earned Fellowship in the AGD (FAGD) has completed a minimum of 500 FAGD-approved CE hours, passed a comprehensive exam, and has been an AGD member for three continuous years.  Dr. Marinic has earned this designation.

What are Masters of the AGD?

A general dentist who has earned Mastership in the AGD (MAGD) has completed a structured and demanding set of requirements.  After receiving their FAGD, these dentists must complete a challenging course of hands-on study in 16 dental disciplines, totaling 600 hours of CE, to earn their MAGD.  Dr. Marinic has completed 90% of his requirements to earn is Mastership in the AGD.

How do these award designations benefit me?

Dr. Marinic cares about the long-term oral health of you and your family and demonstrates that concern by participating in CE.  The general dentist who remains current in general dentistry is better able to offer you and your family a variety of diagnosis and treatment choices.

GERD – What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing

Man with heart burnMore than 10 percent of Americans experience the burning and discomfort of heartburn every day.  What many don’t know is that heartburn, or acid indigestion, is a common symptom of chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesopheageal reflux disease (GERD).

What is acid reflux and GERD?

Acid reflux occurs when muscles of the lower esophagus relax and allow Digestive systemstomach acids to flow upwards into the esophagus and even the mouth.  These stomach acids can cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus while negatively impacting your oral health.  Acid reflux may progress further, developing into GERD.  In patients who have GERD, the esophageal muscles are unable to keep stomach acids from flowing upwards, causing corrosion of the esophageal lining and the uncomfortable burning sensation associated with heartburn.

Signs and symptoms

Though often times difficult to detect, GERD can be associated with the following signs and symptoms:Woman coughing

  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Regurgitation
  • Burning sensation in mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea, vomiting, belching
  • Chronic coughing
  • Erosion of tooth enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Chipping, discoloration of teeth
  • Bad breath

How does GERD affect your oral health?

Tooth erosionIn addition to damaging the esophagus and increasing your risk of esophageal cancer, over time GERD can erode tooth enamel.  Research indicates tooth enamel begins to erode at a pH, or acid level, of 5.5.  With a pH of less than 2.0, your stomach acid can easily damage tooth enamel and cause increased tooth sensitivity, decay, discoloration, and chipping.

Treatments and lifestyle modifications

GERD can be diagnosed by your physician using a variety of tests, including pH monitoring, X-rays, or endoscopy.  Though GERD is a chronic condition, its symptoms can be treated using medications and lifestyle modifications.  In addition to taking over-the-counter antacids and prescription H2 receptor blockers, you can reduce GERD symptoms by:

  • Avoiding trigger foods and beverages, including chocolate, spicy/greasyGreasy food foods, tomato-based foods, alcohol, and coffee
  • Quitting smoking
  • Refraining from eating several hours before bed, or lying down two to three hours after eating
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Avoiding tight clothing

Protect your teeth against acid reflux

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent acid reflux or GERD from damaging your teeth and causing decay.  In addition to brushing twice a day, you can take the following steps to ensure GERD doesn’t impact your oral health:

  • Visit our dental office at least twice a year for tooth enamel evaluation
  • Use dentin-sensitive toothpaste
  • Rinse your mouth with water following acid reflux episodes
  • Do not brush your teeth for 60 minutes after consuming acidic foods or drinks
  • Dissolve baking soda in water and swish around the mouth after acid reflux occurs
  • Receive fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth
  • Wear a dentist-prescribed mouth guard at night to prevent acid from damaging your teeth
  • Avoid over-the-counter antacids, especially at night, that have high sugar content

If you believe you may be at risk for acid reflux or GERD, speak with Dr. Marinic or your primary physician.  Though GERD can be incredibly damaging to your oral health, lifestyle modifications and treatment can help ensure your teeth remain safe and healthy.

This article has been modified from The Academy of General Dentistry.

 

Is Everything OK in Your Mouth?

Dorothy cleaningRegular dental exams not only help decrease your risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and gum (periodontal) disease, but may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions.  Dr. Marinic is an important part of your health care team.  He is able to assess your overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes and cancer, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside your mouth.  There are many diseases with oral manifestations that, in many cases, may first present in the mouth.

Diabetes

More than 25 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes. Diabetes is associated with high levels of blood sugar and is known to lower resistancGum diseasee to infection and increase the chance of the following:

  • Gum disease, including gums that bleed easily or are tender and swollen
  • Tooth decay
  • Taste impairment
  • Inflammatory skin disease
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Changes in teeth position

Additionally, patients with diabetes (especially those with dentures) are more likely to experience oral fungal infections, including thrush (oral candidiasis).

Oral cancer

During your regularly scheduled dental check up, Dr. Marinic will also search for signs of oral cancer.  Oral indicators of cancer include:Oral cancer

  • Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
  • Crusted, rough areas of skin
  • Lumps or thick hard spots
  • Red, brown, or white patches
  • Changes in the lymph nodes or other tissues around the mouth and neck
  • Tenderness or pain, numbness inside the mouth
  • Changes in the way the teeth fit together

While Dr. Marinic will check all his patients for these signs and symptoms, patients with a history of smoking, using smokeless tobacco, or drinking heavily are at an increased risk for developing oral cancer.

Eating disorders

Eating disorderEating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, physically damage both your oral and overall health.  These disorders, which include patterns of insufficient food intake or excessive food intake with purging, can rob the body of much needed vitamins and minerals.  These vitamin and mineral deficiencies can present themselves orally.   Without proper nutrition, the gums can lose their healthy pink color and become increasingly soft and tender, bleeding easily.

Additionally, disorders that involve excessive vomiting, such as bulimia, can cause discoloration and erosion of the teeth through constant contact with stomach acid. Those with eating disorders may also experience:

  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Dry mouth
  • Thin, sensitive teeth
  • Loss of tooth enamel

Alcohol use disorders

Alcohol use disorders affect more than 17 million adults in the United StatesAlcoholic beverages alone.  In addition to causing irreparable social and medical problems, alcohol use disorders can severely impact your oral health.  Dentists treating patients with alcohol abuse problems may observe the following signs and symptoms:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth erosion
  • Moderate to severe gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Gum irregularities
  • Poor dental hygiene

Be proactive about your oral health

Diseases that negatively impact your general health also can damage your teeth, gums, and mouth.  Regularly scheduled dental exams allow Dr. Marinic to detect or monitor these diseases and recommend treatment.  Patients should inform Dr. Marinic about all medical conditions they have or medicines they are taking, which may affect their oral health.  Remember, maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health.