My Blog

Posts for tag: tooth decay


Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

By Suburban Family Dental
October 31, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root canal   tooth decay  

Find out how a root canal can actually save your tooth.

Chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of a root canal before, but what do you actually know about it? If you are shrugging your root canalshoulders, it’s a good thing our Des Plaines, IL dentists, Dr. Roman Dziubyk and Dr. Lorelei Grise', are here to give you a little insight into the purpose of a root canal and why it’s an important procedure if you have a damaged or infected tooth.

A root canal will often be something one of our Des Plaines general dentists will recommend if a tooth is dealing with severe decay, trauma or an infection that has affected the health of the inside portion of the tooth (also known as the dental pulp). When the dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected this often causes tooth pain. This pain may be persistent and throbbing or you may only notice pain when eating food. This pain is a major sign that you need to visit us right away for care.

Getting a root canal will preserve the tooth and often prevent the need for a tooth extraction, which is a major benefit. After all, we are pretty sure most people don’t want to have to go through the time and expense of having a tooth removed and then needing to choose an expensive restoration to replace the tooth. Getting a root canal when you need it most can actually save you from more expensive and invasive procedures later.

What goes into getting a root canal?

This is the million-dollar question that is on most patients’ minds before getting a root canal. We are happy to report that getting a root canal is really no more invasive than getting a dental filling. Plus, if you are dealing with dental pain, you’ll also be happy to hear that this treatment will finally give you the relief you deserve.

A root canal, like many procedures, is performed under local anesthesia. This means that the area will be numb during this procedure so you won’t feel a thing. Then we will drill through the hard outer layers of the tooth until we reach the inside. Then we will remove the infected tissue that has been causing you all that pain before filling and rebuilding the tooth. Most teeth that get a root canal will also require a custom dental crown.

Whether you have questions about your upcoming root canal or you need to schedule your routine cleaning turn to the dental experts at Suburban Family Dental in Des Plaines, IL. We are here for your whole family.