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Modern Dentistry: Managing TMD Discomfort | Dentist in 60618

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Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our team understands how TMD can make your day a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort, but also encourage you to schedule a visit to see us for a full evaluation. 

Finding Relief at Home 

If your jaw is swollen, try applying a cold compress to your face. We recommend holding the compress in place for about 10 minutes. If you are able, try a few gentle jaw stretches. After the cold compress, apply warm, moist heat to the same area. You can keep this warm compress in place for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.  

If your discomfort is particularly noticeable, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. If you find yourself taking pain-relieving medications daily, please contact us immediately. 

The “Don’ts” of TMD 

Applying excess pressure to your jaw can make your TMD discomfort worse. Don’t use your hand as a rest for your chin, as doing so increases the amount of pressure and strain placed on your jaw. If you talk on the phone frequently, avoid holding the phone on your shoulder while bending your neck to keep it in place.  

Clenching your jaw and keeping your teeth tightly closed can also lead to a build-up of pressure in the jaw. During the day, try to keep your teeth from touching. By creating a little space between your teeth, you will be relieving pressure from your jaw. 

Contact Us 

Our team is here to help you. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the solutions available for people just like you dealing with TMD discomfort. We will provide a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment for your TMD.  

Relief may be closer than you think. Contact our dental team to learn more today.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | 60618 Dentist

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Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria that attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level that causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning to ingest acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adopt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our office today. 

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Self-Care: A Woman’s Priority | 60618 Dentist

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When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of an emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the results can be catastrophic, both for you and for those you might otherwise have been in a position to assist. While this is crucial information for all, many women particularly require this gentle reminder to prioritize their own needs above those of others.  

All too often, we meet women who work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of their families. We see working moms, both at home and in office, who prioritize the health and wellness of their children, spouse and even friends before their own.  

We get it: there’s joy and fulfillment in taking care of others. However, it may be time to “put on your oxygen mask” and consider whether you are remembering to care for yourself. Your health, both mental and physical, should be one of your top priorities. This will allow you to have the energy and strength you need to assist with the needs of those around you.  

Smile restoration can take years off your appearance, while adding years to your life by improving your health. If you’re looking for a way to jump start your new self-care inclusive way of living, contact us for a cosmetic consultation. Your friends and family will love to see you with a vibrant, beautiful, healthy smile. You deserve it. 

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile | Dentist Roscoe Village

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How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth 

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies 

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.  

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard. 

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel. 

Steps for Preventing Decay 

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.  

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.  

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our office.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue? | Dentist In Roscoe Village

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You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is hairy tongue? 

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance. 

Who is at risk of hairy tongue? 

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances. 

What causes hairy tongue? 

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae. 

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our Roscoe Village dentist at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.  

If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact Zephyr Dental for an appointment today.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Biting Off More than You Can Chew? | Roscoe Village Chicago Dentist

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It is not uncommon for many of us to grab a bite to eat in a hurry. Americans have grown accustomed to bigger food portions at restaurants, but our mouths have not. Trying to fit that oversized sandwich or apple in your mouth might be worse for you than you have ever imagined. Below are some reasons why this could be detrimental for your oral health and what you can do about it.  

Why This Is a Problem 

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), taking bites that are too big for you to chew can not only cause jaw and teeth issues, it can also cause digestive problems. Discomfort, swelling and difficulty eating may result from opening your jaw too wide. Taking large bites may also result in food not being chewed thoroughly, which can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.  

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) 

Constantly opening your jaw too wide becomes an even larger problem for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull bones enabling movement during chewing. People with TMD, usually have a restriction with how wide they can open their jaws. Taking large bites of food, especially hard foods like apples, can aggravate this condition making pain and jaw clicking worse.  

What You Can Do 

If you have food that is too large to chew or starts to cause jaw discomfort, try cutting your food into smaller portions. This makes food easier to eat with less hassle. Also consider eating softer foods that won’t harm your teeth or irritate your jaw.  

Tip: Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and opening nuts with your teeth. This can lead to a chipped tooth! 

Contact Zephyr Dental today to schedule an exam and cleaning.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth | Roscoe Village Dentist

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If you’re self-conscious about your smile due to missing teeth, modern dentistry offers a variety of tooth replacement options that look and feel like natural teeth. Here are three of the most common solutions to replace missing teeth:

Dentures

Dentures are ideal for those missing many or all of their teeth. Our team will take an impression of your mouth and send it to a lab to create customized dentures that fit your mouth perfectly. Regular cleaning with a non-abrasive cleanser is necessary to keep your dentures in good condition.

Bridges

Dental bridges are a partial denture solution for one or more missing teeth. They anchor to your existing teeth to prevent shifting and are designed to match the look of your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a long-lasting solution for missing teeth. They can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Our team will evaluate your gum tissue and bone support to ensure that the implant has a strong foundation. Additional preparations, such as a bone graft, may be necessary for some patients.

Replacing missing teeth is important for preventing gum deterioration, teeth shifting, and improving speech and comfort. Zephyr Dental can help you decide on the best tooth replacement solution based on your individual needs. Don’t let missing teeth hold you back from a confident smile. Contact our Chicago Dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

An Important Reminder About Your Next Dental Appointment | Roscoe Village Chicago Dentist

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Making your dental health a priority is essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Despite our busy schedules, it’s important to schedule regular dental appointments and keep them. Our Chicago dentist understands that life can get hectic, which is why we work with you to find the most convenient appointment time for you.

Rescheduling appointments is understandable and we try our best to accommodate you. However, we greatly appreciate advanced notice when possible, as missed appointments without notice can be harmful to our practice. It’s important to remember that missed dental appointments can negatively impact your oral and overall health. Whether you’re receiving preventive or restorative care, neglecting professional treatment can lead to the progression of plaque and decay, and a decline in your oral health.

Some patients are more prone to oral health issues and may benefit from more frequent office visits. Investing in an extra cleaning each year can often prevent more costly concerns down the road. It may be tempting to skip a dental appointment and prioritize other activities, but maintaining a healthy smile significantly contributes to overall health.

We are committed to providing the best possible care and making your dental health a priority. If you have any questions about our practice philosophy or the care we provide, please don’t hesitate to contact Zephyr Dental. Our team is here for you, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

How Probiotics Improve Oral Health | Chicago IL Dentist

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Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.  

Reducing Gingivitis 

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status. 

Combating Periodontitis 

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth. 

Fighting Cavities 

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.  

Minimizing Bad Breath 

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.  

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.  

Contact Zephyr Dental for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit with our Chicago IL dentist today. 

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Health Alert: Preventing Osteoporosis | Chicago IL Dentist

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Osteoporosis is a disease that affects roughly 10 million Americans, according to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Additionally, another 44 million people are at an increased risk of developing the disease due to of low bone density. Symptoms appear in more than one-third of women over the age of 65. Fractures, pain, and mobility limitations can occur from osteoporosis. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as prevention methods, can decrease your chance of developing osteoporosis.   

What is Osteoporosis? 

Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones. Many people are unaware that they have this disease, and only catch it after an injury. Bone fractures can greatly diminish your quality of life through persistent discomfort and limited mobility. 

Oral Health Linked to Osteoporosis 

If you suffer from osteoporosis, your oral health is also at risk. Your jawbone may begin to weaken, leading to significant oral health complications. A routine visit to our dental office can allow us to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Tooth loss and gum disease are potential indicators of an underlying health issue. Our team will take X-rays of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. If we detect diminished bone density, or signs of bone loss, we will discuss the best course of action with you.  

What You Can Do 

The risk factors associated with osteoporosis include genetics, calcium deficiency, smoking, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle. Simple changes such as increasing your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, exercising, quitting smoking, decreasing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and visiting our team regularly can help lower your risk. 

Osteoporosis affects the lives of millions of people. It can significantly diminish your quality of life. Through regular oral health examinations, our Chicago IL dentist may be able to identify early signs of bone loss.  

Schedule your visit to Zephyr Dental today.

Zephyr Dental
Phone: (773) 796-5928
3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Plan Your Visit

Dentist in Roscoe Village

Zephyr Dental

3531 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 796-5928

We are located across the street from Lane Tech High School.

Office Hours:
Monday: 10am-7pm
Tuesday: 9am-6pm
Wednesday: 10am-7pm
Thursday: 8am-5pm
Friday: 8am-2pm
Saturday: Available by appointment

3531 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60618