852 North Route 83
Mundelein, IL 60060-9159
Give Us a Call: (847) 566-2811
When patients of our office hear any mention of oral or dental hygiene, they probably think of brushing and flossing their teeth. Although these are extremely important, the term dental hygiene encompasses much more than that. Your mouth’s health, including your teeth, has an important impact on your overall physical health. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research published the surgeon general’s first ever report on dental health. It is called A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. In that report, the surgeon general states that the 1948 World Health Organization expanded its earlier definition of health to “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity.”
The Importance of Oral Health to Total Overall Health
One of the most important themes that the dental health report stressed is that you cannot be healthy without oral health. It went on to explain that oral health and general health are inextricably linked, and therefore can’t be seen as two separate things. Because oral health is so critical to overall health, it should be included in all community health programs. For individuals, this means that it is just as important to take care of your mouth, your teeth, and your overall oral health as it is to take care of the rest of your body. The two most prevalent dental diseases are caries (cavities), also known as tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease.
One important way in which good oral health contributes to better overall health is seen in the findings of several studies in which the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients were significantly lowered when their periodontal (or gum disease) was successfully treated. Your mouth has roughly 500 different species of bacteria. Many are harmless, and some are even good bacteria that help maintain the balance of your intestinal flora. Harmful bacteria can infect your gums, causing gingivitis. Your body’s immune system may try to fight off the alien invaders, but they attack your gums, causing inflammation and bleeding when you brush.
Now that you know how important good dental hygiene is, be sure to see to get your teeth cleaned every six months with Dr. Anthony Markiewicz, have regular dental checkups, brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, and replace your toothbrush at least every couple of months. Call us to schedule your next appointment at our convenient Mundelein, IL location.
Can you believe it’s already June? Today, Dr. Anthony Markiewicz and our team at our office thought we’d tell you June is National Smile Month, and remind all our patients to practice good oral hygiene between your visits to our office!
Below are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:
If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call, ask our team during your next visit, or ask us on Facebook!
YES! X-rays have been used in dentistry for a long time, and the amount of radiation has significantly decreased with advances in technology. While there is risk in every health diagnostic procedure at our office, the benefits must outweigh the risks. Dental X-rays do indeed fall into this category.
X-rays are exposed to a type of film to produce an image. The amount of X-rays required to produce this image differs with film speeds. Speed E or F is highly recommended, and digital X-rays require up to 50% less than speed E or F film. The digital X-ray software can adjust the exposure to produce a quality image. Digital X-rays are becoming a new standard and are most common.
Lead aprons have been used to reduce the amount of scatter radiation. All X-ray units have a cone to focus the X-ray beam so the exposure is highly localized. Lead aprons continue to be worn as a precaution for pregnant women, and a thyroid collar should also be worn. In most cases, this is sewn into the lead apron.
We get radiation exposure from environmental factors as well as healthcare diagnostic and treatment tools. To place this in perspective, in one year a person is expected to have 360mRem per year from the sun, air etc. By comparison, a single set of bitewing X-rays is 0.3mRem. Radiation can accumulate in our body over a lifetime, and additional exposure should be avoided whenever possible.
It was a privilege to have participated in a three day mission to the Dominican Republic organized by The American Dental Implant Association. Eighteen American dentists completed extractions, bone grafts, and placed about 350 dental implants at the Universidad Federico Henruquez Y Carvajal in Santo Domingo. Anesthetic, bone, sutures, dental instruments….fifty suit cases of supplies and instruments were transported by the Association from Miami for us to use.
I wasn’t alone in feeling uncomfortable at first with the somewhat primitive conditions in the clinic. Once we understood the desperate need for dental care and experienced the gratitude of the patients we treated, away we went. As you can imagine, most of these patients don’t have access to dental care. They arrive at the clinic at 4 am and wait for up to 14 hours to be seen. It was very rewarding to provide a valuable service to these patients and at the same time have the opportunity to improve our skills by learning from our very talented colleagues. I hope to be able to return in the future.
Each morning we were greeted with cheers. I videoed our entrance on the final day as we were greeted by some of the waiting patients. It’s only 57 seconds long. It makes me smile each time I see it. You can watch it at Markiewicz Dominican Video
My only regret; I have been to the DR, but really only saw my hotel room and the clinic, so don’t ask for any travel tips!