University Associates in Dentistry
UAD's general dentists are leaders in placing dental implants (including the All on 4 dental implant procedure) as well as sleep apnea alternative treatment, invisalign®, and All your dental needs!

Spotlight on Dentistry in the Middle Ages

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While you may not always enjoy visiting your dentist, dental patients in the Middle Ages really had it rough. In the Middle Ages, healthy, white teeth were considered to be signs of wealth and beauty, and people spent quite a bit of money on teeth cleaning and teeth whitening powders.

It was rare for anyone to suffer from missing teeth due to tooth decay, as people rarely consumed sugar during the Middle Ages. The infrequency of tooth decay was particularly beneficial due to the fact that only the wealthy could afford to replace missing teeth, using dentures made from cow bones or human teeth. Dentistry procedures and techniques were crude, and dental problems were often just treated by extracting a tooth. Barbers performed most procedures, and could also treat oral cancer by cutting out infected flesh and cauterizing the wound.

At University Associates in Dentistry, our dentists in Chicago use only the safest and most advanced methods of dentistry. We specialize in cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, and sports dentistry, and can also provide sleep apnea treatment. To schedule a dental consultation with one of our experienced dentists, call us today at (312) 704-5511.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

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Without proper sleep apnea treatment from a dentist, sleep apnea can be a serious, and even life-threatening, sleep disorder. The frequent sleep interruptions resulting from sleep apnea can cause an irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure, which increase your risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and obesity. Here is a look at the primary causes of sleep apnea.

Smaller than Average Windpipe
The size of your windpipe is affected by the bone structure of your head and neck. If your windpipe is smaller than average, it is more difficult for your airway to remain open while you’re lying down. When you lie down, more pressure is placed on the muscles of your neck, windpipe, and tongue. If your tongue and tonsils are larger than your windpipe, they can obstruct your airway when they are under pressure, causing sleep apnea.

Windpipe Obstruction Due to Obesity
As you gain weight, the fatty tissues in the walls of your windpipe will thicken, and causes your airway to narrow. As the muscles of your throat relax during sleep, your airway will narrow even further, leading to windpipe obstruction and breathing difficulties. When your brain senses your inability to breathe, it will briefly awaken you to restore breathing.

The Brain Fails to Transmit Signals to Muscles
Though it is rare, sleep apnea can sometimes be caused by your brain’s failure to transmit the right signals to the muscles that are responsible for controlling your breathing. This can occur as a result of the aging process. Your body will make no effort to breathe for a brief period of time, and you may awaken feeling short of breath, and have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep.

If you’re in need of sleep apnea treatment in Chicago, you should visit one of our experienced dentists at University Associates in Dentistry. We recommend oral appliance therapy using custom-fitted oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP or corrective surgery. To schedule a dental consultation with one of our dentists to discuss your sleep apnea treatment options, call us today at (312) 704-5511.

Spotlight on Dentistry in the Roman Empire

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One of the main advantages of living in the modern era is our access to safe, pain-free, effective dentistry. During the Roman Empire, however, dentistry was more advanced than you may be aware.

The Romans adopted many of their dental practices from their predecessors, the Etruscans. The Romans used opium for pain relief during dental treatments. Roman dentists were able to insert gold fillings into decayed teeth and may even have been able to replace missing teeth with primitive forms of dental prosthetics. They removed any gold fillings and teeth from the mouths of corpses before burial, however. In the Etruscan belief system it was considered taboo to allow gold objects to come into close proximity with the dead.

At University Associates in Dentistry, we honor the daring spirit and dedication to healing which those Roman dentists showed. Our own equipment and procedures, however, are fully modern. To find out more about we help present-day Chicagoans care for their teeth, visit our website or call us at (312) 704-5511.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Teeth

We go through the motions of brushing and flossing without really thinking about our teeth until an imminent dental appointment. Even then, our teeth are the subjects of countless medical studies and news articles; they are sources of confidence, and sometimes, pain. They help us eat tasty food and smile—but even then, we rarely think about our teeth!

Even so, our teeth are pretty interesting, and unique to every person—did you know that no two teeth are alike? In this video, you’ll learn 10 cool facts about teeth—not only ours, but animal teeth, too!

To find out more about how to keep your teeth in top health, call us at (312) 704-5511. At University Associates in Dentistry, we are here to help keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime.

Medieval Dental Health: Not as Scary as You Think

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Our modern conception of the medieval times evokes images of barbaric medical practices, knights and ladies, unusual fashion, poor hygiene and, by extension, rotting teeth. Surprisingly, medieval folk had pretty healthy teeth, bolstered not only by the era’s aesthetic preference for white teeth and fresh breath, but also by the calcium-rich diet that was prevalent during the medieval period.

Low-Sugar Diets
In the medieval era, people’s diets were relatively bland, with little to no sugar. At this time, sugar was either hard to find or astronomically expensive, so the common person turned to natural sources of sugar such as fruits and honey—and sparingly, even then. As we would discover hundreds of years later, sugar is conducive to tooth decay through the acid byproduct of bacteria as they feed on sugar remnants on the teeth. Only about 20% of teeth in a medieval person’s mouth showed signs of decay, according to archeological evidence. By the early twentieth century, sugar had become a dietary staple—but dentistry had yet to catch up to the times, and a whopping 90% of teeth showed signs of decay in some populations.

Mouth Maintenance
Medieval people ate the way they did because it was all there was to eat. But archeological evidence and historical records show that medieval people were fairly meticulous about their dental health. In what was an early form of tooth-brushing, people rubbed pastes made of salt and herbs on their teeth and gums to freshen breath and remove what would come to be known as plaque. If herbs weren’t available, medieval people rubbed their teeth with linen cloths instead. Even more surprising was that medieval people used acidic, vinegar or wine-based mouthwashes flavored with herbs and spices. And, for a quick fix for bad breath, people chewed strong, pleasant-smelling herbs. These habits helped maintain white, healthy teeth.

In those days, anesthesia didn’t exist, and the primary anesthetic, so to speak, was inebriation. As you can imagine, this was not particularly helpful, much less for the barber, who pulled teeth in addition to his other duties. Treatments for mouth cancers were just as, if not more painful: surgeons would cut out diseased tissue and then cauterize the diseased area—again, without anesthesia. When you take into account the dental “treatments” of the medieval era, it’s no wonder people took such good care of their teeth.

Here at University Associates in Dentistry, we’ve come a long way from the medieval times. We’re experienced providers of general and cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and more. If you’re looking for dental care in Chicago, visit our website, or call us at (312) 704-5511 to find out more about what we do.

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