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General Dentistry

If frenum is removed will my gap close?

By General Dentistry, Tooth Gap

I have a large piece of fleshy tissue between my teeth that has created a pretty big gap. I guess the technical term is frenum. If the frenum is removed why wouldn’t my teeth grow closer and close the gap? Do I really need braces? – Nick

Nick – Your case needs to be evaluated by an orthodontist. Removing the frenum, or muscle tissue, before you have orthodontic treatment can create scar tissue that will prevent the gap from closing. In some cases, only minor tooth movement is required to close the gap, and it may be possible to accomplish the closer with a retainer.

If too much muscle tissue is removed, when the gap is closed, a dark triangle will be left between your teeth. Generally, it is best to close the gap first, and then remove the frenum with a simple surgical procedure. An orthodontist will let you know your options.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Can dentist tell if I’m a under age drinker?

By General Dentistry

My parents caught me drunk a few times already. I am 16 so they get really mad. I tried to tell them that it’s a social thing that happens at all the parties and it’s not like I’m a alcoholic. There are other times that I drink too depending on who I am with but it’s social. Everybody does it and I don’t want to be the dude that can’t hang. The problem is that I have a toothache that is killing me and I need to get to the dentist really bad. Can the dentist tell that I drink? – R.

R – If a person regularly drinks alcohol in excess, the signs will be seen in the teeth and gums. Excessive alcohol consumption can create cavities, darken your teeth, and deteriorate your gums. It can also increase the risk of oral cancer. If you drink alcohol often, it can linger on your breath, and the smell can escape through the pores of your skin. So if there are no visible signs yet, a dentist may be able to smell the alcohol on your breath or in your skin.

Your toothache needs attention. You probably have an infection in your tooth that needs to be removed and treated. If you don’t treat the toothache, it can make you very sick, and it can become life threatening.

We really encourage you to be honest with your parents about your drinking habits. If you are unable to speak with your parents, speak with a responsible adult who will listen to you and help you.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Crown broke off twice. Should we trust this dentist?

By Dental Crowns, General Dentistry

My husband got a crown in November 2012. In March of last year the crown cracked. Before my husband got a chance to go to the dentist for it, the crown fell off. He took the crown with him and got a replacement crown. He is now wearing the second crown. I should say he was wearing the second crown because it broke off yesterday again. He is so disgusted with this whole thing, but for some reason he wants to give the dentist another chance. Should we trust this dentist? – Aarti


Aarti – We will leave it to you and your husband to determine if you really trust the dentist.

What we can tell you is that with proper preparation of the natural tooth that is to be crowns, and with bonding techniques, a dental crown should not fall off. Your husband can ask the dentist what will be done this time to ensure that the crown is not dislodged again.

You can also have a second opinion dentist examine your husband’s tooth and crown to determine if the tooth was properly prepared for the crown and if the crown is properly sized for the tooth.

After your husband receives the second opinion, he can determine if he wants to return to your current dentist, or have the restoration done by a different dentist.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

What can I do about cavity pain until my dentist’s appt?

By General Dentistry, Tooth Decay

I made an appointment with a dentist already for a cavity, but the appt isn’t until next week. The office is closed for the holidays. I feel more sensitivity in the tooth each day and I am afraid that it’s going to get very painful before I can get the tooth treated. What can I do at home? – Zach

Zach – If your tooth is sensitive, try to limit cold or hot beverages that can increase sensitivity. If you start to experience pain, you can take over-the counter pain medication to relieve the pain.

It is unlikely that your pain will become extreme, but if it does, you may be able to find an emergency dentist who has on-call personnel who will see you and relieve your pain.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Bad breath

By Bad Breath Treatment, General Dentistry

My children keep telling me I have horrible breath. I brush every day, so I can ‘t figure out what the problem is.  Mints aren’t helping. Do you have any suggestions?

Brent W. – Little Rock, AR


Bad breath is caused by bacteria.  Though brushing is a good first step, you’ll need to also include flossing, as well as periodic professional cleanings with your dentist.  The reason the mints aren’t helping is because they contain sugar, which adds to your bacteria. Instead of using a mint, try chewing gum. The gum helps stimulate your saliva flow, which fights the bacteria in your mouth instead of adding to it. Also, look for a dentist who does bad breath treatments. They’ll help find the cause of your breath problems.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

You may also be interested in sensitive teeth.

How do I correct a bad breath problem?

By General Dentistry

I have a bad breath odor in my mouth. I brush my teeth daily, but this doesn’t seem to help. What should I do?

Henry in Jefferson, KY

Dear Henry,

Bad breath or a bad smell in your mouth can be caused by many issues. Most common is from the bacteria that are in your mouth. Brushing daily is a step in the right direction, but you should also floss your teeth daily. If this doesn’t help, then you may want to get a tongue cleaner.

You may also want to check out some over the counter products used to fight bad breath that you can purchase called BreathRx. Or you may want to purchase a special rinse for your mouth. These are very effective for fighting bad breath. There is also bad breath toothpaste you may want to use.

Read more about bad breath and other common dental problems here on our website.

We’re committed to refining our customer service and staff training.

By General Dentistry

At Naperville Dental Specialists, we’re always trying to refine and improve the customer service we provide to our patients.

One of the most effective ways we do this is by using a service called Kall8. This service is an 800-number subscription that allows us to record the phone conversations that take place between our staff and patients.

Being able to review these calls allows us to make sure that the NDS staff is being courteous, informative, and professional when talking with existing and prospective customers.

Kall8  also allows us to better track the information that callers provide us with regarding the method in which they found our business. Anyone in business can tell you that any piece of data that you can use to determine where your advertising and marketing dollars should  go is extremely important !

Is there a toothpaste that is specifically designed to help with bad breath ?

By General Dentistry

My husband has tried a lot of different “cover-up” treatments for his bad breath…things  like breath mints, gum, and special kinds of mouthwash. But I have a feeling that we’re only going to be able to make it better with the right kind of toothpaste. Do you have any info. or suggestions ?

Jeanette in Chicago


There are some toothpastes that have antibacterial properties and are good for treating bad breath.
There are also dentifrices especially formulated for fighting oral malodor. They have antibacterial ingredients such as chlorine dioxide and cetylpyridinium chloride.
If you use this formula in also cleaning your tongue, it can be very effective.
The cause of bad breath is, in most cases, bacteria that live in your mouth. To combat this smell with toothpaste, it should have an antibacterial agent that will kill the bacteria at the source of the smell. It can also have odor-neutralizing chemicals in its formula.
Please contact us if you have further questions about the causes of bad breath
Some companies that make bad breath products such as these special toothpastes are Dr. Harold Katz’s TheraBreath, and Discus Dental, which makes BreathRx products.

Welcome to Our Blog!

By General Dentistry No Comments

Here at Naperville Dental Specialists, we want you to be as informed as possible when you make decisions about your dental health care. More and more research is indicating that dental health is intrinsically linked to whole body health, and so regular dental care becomes even more vital in maintaining your health and well-being.

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