Posts for: June, 2015

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 02, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants give you a total smile makeover. Here's how.

It's estimated that 178 million American adults are missing at least one tooth from their full set. When one reads a statistic like that, it can feel Dental Implants like tooth loss is inevitable. Teeth function best when there is a full set; even just one missing tooth can start a cycle of pain, decay, and subsequent tooth loss. Maragos Dentistry in La Grange, IL is proud to offer dental implants, a revolutionary fix to this all-too-common problem.

How are dental implants placed?

A titanium post is the first part of a dental implant. It not only provides a sturdy foundation for the rest of the implant; it actually simulates the root of a natural tooth, which keeps your jawbone strong and your other teeth stable. Titanium is a strong, lightweight metal that integrates into the body without risk of rejection.

During an appointment at your La Grange dentist's office, the post is surgically placed beneath the gum line to replace the missing tooth. Most patients are surprised to learn that although it is considered a surgical procedure, the post placement is similar to having a cavity filled when it comes to the anesthesia used and the time spent in the dental chair. Healing typically takes a few days, but it will require several months to allow the post to fully integrate into the jawbone surrounding it.

After the healing process has finished, Dr. Maragos will attach an abutment to the post. This is the middle portion of the dental implant; it protrudes above the gum to hold a crown in place. These crowns, which are usually made of porcelain or ceramic material, are crafted to look just like natural teeth. They also function the same way the original tooth would. They don't just aid in chewing and talking; crowns also provide necessary support for the teeth next to them.

Low maintenance and long-lasting

Unlike older dental restorations like partials or dentures, dental implants are easy to take care of. They can be cared for in the same way that natural teeth are; daily brushing and flossing will keep them clean, while regular appointments with Dr. James Maragos will help monitor your implants. Proper care means that they can last a lifetime.

Could your smile benefit from dental implants? Don't wait another minute to fill in your smile. Contact the enthusiastic dental team at Maragos Dentistry in La Grange to learn more!

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 01, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj   tmd   tmj disorders  

Have you noticed a clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open or close your jaw? As many as 36 million U.S. adults experience this phenomenon in one or both of the joints that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull.

While the sounds may be disconcerting, there’s generally no cause for concern in the absence of other symptoms. They’re most likely caused by a harmless shift in the position of the disk inside each temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and it can diminish or disappear entirely over time. But, if you’re also experiencing persistent discomfort, severe pain, or limited function in your jaw (which can include getting it “stuck” in an opened or closed position), then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder — part of a complex set of conditions affecting one or both jaw joints, muscles and/or other surrounding tissues. (You may have heard the condition called TMJ, which is actually the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint itself. Health care professionals prefer TMJD or TMD.)

Depending on the severity, TMD can interfere with your ability to speak, chew and even make facial expressions. The cause is unclear, but genes, gender, environment, stress and behavior are believed to play a role. It can also be symptomatic of a larger medical problem, such as fibromyalgia, which can produce pain all over the body.

Management Options for TMD

TMD traditionally was viewed as a bite problem (malocclusion) requiring mechanical correction — e.g., through orthodontic braces or surgery. But the current therapeutic model approaches TMD as an orthopedic problem (joint inflammation, muscle soreness, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk damage) and favors a sequence of conservative, reversible procedures — hot or cold compresses in the jaw area, soft foods, physical therapy/massage, medication, and/or a bite guard to decrease pressure on jaw joints from tooth clenching and grinding — prior to more aggressive, irreversible treatment alternatives.

If you would like more information about TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Seeking Relief from TMD” and “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

Call Today (708) 352-7358

4727 Willow Springs Road
LaGrange, IL 60525

James M. Maragos, D.D.S.

Dr. Maragos’ commitment to his community parallels his commitment to his profession. In 2007, he was elected to... 

Read more about James M. Maragos, D.D.S.