• Dental Care Tips for over 50

    At Round Lake Family Dentistry, our goal is to not only provide the best dental care experience possible, but we try to educate all of our patients as much as possible to avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain when it comes to dental health.

    When people say, “Age is all in your head,” they’re half-way right. But then again, your teeth are in your head, so you likely can’t escape having to pay a little more attention to them after 50.  We’re not just talking about teeth, we’re also recommending paying attention to soft tissues in the mouth such as gums.

    Although some oral health concerns are fairly common at that age such as gum recession, tooth wear, worn down fillings and old restorations, if you start to be proactive  educate yourself, these concerns do not have to be common for you.

    As with any other areas in the body, anticipating and recognizing changes in your mouth can help you be on top of your health in this area, so let’s take a look at the main ones you have to watch out for.

    1. Dry Mouth: The most common oral health concern you’re likely to experience as you age is dry mouth.

    In the medical terms, dry mouth goes by the name Xerostomia, and can be brought on by many contributing factors, including excessive intake of beverages like coffee and alcohol.

    Another big contributor to dry-mouth especially in middle age and elderly population is the medications we take to treat various illnesses. The list of the medications isn’t a short one as there are at least 400 medications that can contribute to Xerostomia, including medications for high blood pressure and depression.

    2. Ill-fitting Dentures: First off, it’s important to note that at Round Lake Family Dentistry, our dentists believe in helping to keep natural teeth for all of our patients as long as possoble.  But when a tooth needs to be replaced, we offer Dental Implants as the next best alternative so we can avoid having to fabricate dentures that so many people come to hate.  With that said, if you wear dentures, it’s very important that they fit properly.  Ill fitting Dentures can cause pain or move around in the mouth causing sores that can be quite painful.

    Ill-fitting dentures can also cause a fungal infection thrush, which could lead to you having a rash inside of your mouth requiring medications to avoid further complications.  As always, we encourage you to come in and see your Round Lake and Round Lake Beach dentists if you have any issues with your current dentures.

    3. Physical Obstacles to Good Oral Care: As we get older, we sometimes find ourselves having physical limitations that may limit our desire to maintain good oral care at home. Arthritis, vision loss, or physical injuries are a few of the most common.

    To combat these concerns, using a floss pick to get between teeth can be helpful. The regular use of oral rinses can assist in dislodging difficult to remove food debris, while adding to the overall health of one’s mouth and gum tissue.

    Here’s how to choose the best mouth rinse for your needs!

    4. Naturally Receding Gums: “Long in the tooth” isn’t just a quaint expression about gaining wisdom with age – it also refers to how our teeth appear to “lengthen” as we grow older. In other words, it’s a fancy way of saying our gums are receding.

    While some degree of gum recession is indeed natural, this predisposes us to cavities along the root structure of the tooth where enamel doesn’t exist. So, as one ages, flossing, brushing and rinses are more important than ever.

    5. Gum Disease: Natural gum recession is one thing, a part of growing up if you will. Gum disease, however, is preventable. Each of the above items in this list can contribute to gum disease, and good oral care can prevent it.

    Failing to do so can lead to a need for dentures at its most extreme, and pain and swollen gums at its least. We’d prefer you experienced neither concern!

    6. Loss of Natural Teeth: If a tooth is lost due to decay, gum disease or trauma, and not replaced with a dental implant or other options such as a denture, it can have serious complications for the health of the jawbone.  Surrounding teeth can shift causing mis-alignment and jaw pain.  Ask your Round Lake dentist about dental implants.  We make it very affordable with monthly payment options.

    7. Lack of Insurance Coverage: As you get into retirement age and if you are without dental coverage, dental care expenses can sometimes be daunting.  At our office, we offer an in-house Dental Savings Plan that allows patients to get atleast their routine check ups and cleanings at a low rate of about $25/month.  If you end up needing any dental work, you can get upto 20% off any treatment costs.

    Goal is to be proactive and focus on preventing any dental problems so any of these above mentioned hindrances do not cause more suffering or stress.  If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this post, please feel free to call your Round Lake dentist @ (847)740-0217.



    Kalpit Shah, D.D.S.

  • Are Your Brushing Habits Wearing Away Your Tooth Enamel? Read On to Find out More….

    At your dental home here at Round Lake Family Dentistry, we care about not only treating your dental problems, but we strive to educate all of our patients to avoid dental problems to begin with.

    One of the most common complaints we hear from our patients is relating to tooth sensitivity and receding gums.

    Back’n’forth, back’n’forth – scrub, scrub, scrub!  Get those teeth clean!  Yes, get them clean … but, if your method of brushing more resembles a lumberjack sawing trees in half than it does a gentle cleansing of your teeth, you might be setting yourself up for a lifetime of sensitive teeth, bonding treatments and receding gums.


    Don't Brush too Hard!

    Avoid traumatic brushing habits….Friendly Advice from your Round Lake Beach Dentist

    Here’s more detail on this and three more common mistakes people make while brushing:

    1. Brushing too frequently: Taking to the toothbrush three times a day is ideal, particularly if you do it after meals. Any more than that, though, and you’re likely to do more harm than good. If you tend to snack throughout the day, and have a desire to brush after each little feast, switch up your brushing routine by rinsing with water between snacks instead. This will help keep your mouth fresh without overdoing it on the brushing. If your snacking is of the sticky variety, it might be best to perhaps rinse after lunch and brush after the snack.
    2. Brushing too vigorously: The number one self-inflicted cause of worn enamel is brushing too hard. Brushing your teeth is boring – we get that. But don’t make things worse for your teeth by brushing with a back’n’forth saw-like motion just to get it over with quickly. The continual friction caused by this type of brushing erodes the gumline AND your enamel. You can avoid this problem by brushing gently and in a circular motion, while aiming the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the base of the gums. It’ll be slow going at first, but in a week, you’ll have the hang of it.
      Using an ill-fitting toothbrush: The toothbrush we use should always fit our mouths, and sometimes – if your mouth is particularly tiny – the best brush for you might be a child’s toothbrush. Try out different sizes. Smaller is often better. If you’re at all uncertain, ask your dentist the next time you’re in for a visit, and they’ll get you the perfect size for your mouth.
    3. Using a toothbrush with bristles that are too stiff: Just as the dimension of a toothbrush matters, so does the stiffness of its bristles. Bristles that are too firm can be damaging to enamel and gum tissue in much the same way as brushing too vigorously. This is why most dentists will recommend either soft or extra-soft bristles on a toothbrush because it’s the technique (see tip #2) that really matters not the force of the brushing.. Again, if you’re not sure, ask your dentist for advice specific to your mouth.

    Saving your tooth enamel from slowly “disappearing” from your teeth is very simple to do, and with the above tips you pretty much have all you need to keep things in good shape!  Remember, when in doubt please seek a consultation from your local Round Lake Dentist & Round Lake Beach Dentist @ (847)740-0217



    Kalpit Shah, D.D.S.

  • What’s the deal with Dental Implants?

    Do you have missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures? Get excited because Dental Implants may be the right solution for you :)

    Round Lake Dentists offer full-phased dental implant solutions to restore your missing teeth, improve the stability of ill-fitting dentures and in some cases even eliminate the need for dentures. Dental Implants will provide you with a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Our highly qualified and experienced staff consists of a Board Certified Periodontist and General Dentists that use the latest technology and methods to provide the highest level of patient care possible.

    Maintaining your dental health is our primary goal here at Round Lake Family Dentistry and all of us strongly believe that keeping your natural dentition in full health for the rest of your life is the best thing you can do. However, due to unforeseen circumstances and past dental pathology, many patients are missing teeth and/or are unhappy with their current dentures or prosthesis. Dental implants are the next best alternative as it helps restore your missing teeth as close to its natural state without compromising your adjacent natural teeth.

    Dental implants are the best solution that replaces the entire missing tooth (root and crown portion of the tooth) and this treatment preserves the supporting bone, making it the preferred choice over fixed bridges or removable dentures.

    Advantages of dental implants

    • Dental implants provides high quality of life with natural functional ability over alternative options like dentures
    • Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, a few teeth, or all the teeth. Dental implants can also be used to stabilize full dentures to improve the retention and chewing ability.
    • Implants are fixed in place and do not move. Unlike bridges or dentures, dental implants are placed into and fuse with the bone in your jaws. This helps provides stability, and also prevents bone loss and atrophy of the jaw bone that normally results from missing teeth or gum disease.
    • Properly planned cases have a high rate of success. This success rate of dental implants is supported by decades of clinical experience and hundreds of thousands of satisfied patients.

    What are the Procedure steps Involved?

    • Thorough Examination by your Dentist which may include x-rays, diagnostic casts and pictures
    • A CT-scan, which is a 3-D type of x-ray may be required in certain instances when quality and quantity of bone seems to be in question. Sometimes, vital anatomical structures like the sinus cavity and/or nerve structures may be in close proximity to the location where implant has to be placed and the 3-D scan helps us evaluate proper placement location to avoid complications.
    • After the initial work-up, your dentist will have a guide ready to help with the placement of the implant under local anesthesia just like any regular dental treatment like fillings, root canals, crowns, etc.
    • Once the implant fixture is placed in the jaw bone, we need to allow about 3-6 months of healing time where the implant fixture can integrate in the jaw bone. You may have a temporary prosthesis during this time to help fill the missing space.
    • After the full healing time has passed for the dental implant, your dentist will fabricate a crown (if replacing a single tooth) or help fit existing or new dentures to the implants.
    • Once the full treatment has been completed, it is highly recommended that you keep your regular maintenance visits for cleanings and check-ups.

    As always, a thorough evaluation by a properly trained dentist is necessary to discuss this treatment option. Call Round Lake Family Dentistry at (847) 740 – 0217 with any questions or visit www.roundlakedentistry.com to make an appointment. Until next time, Keep Smiling….

  • Oral Health and Pacifier use for Kids

    Pacifiers can be great for children, especially early in their infant years. They provide a calming effect, and in addition to that, they can help decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrom (SIDS). Pacifier use is generally a healthy habit within the first couple of years of life, however continued and improper use may ultimately have a negative impact on your child’s oral health.

    Tips for Correct Pacifier use:

    • Clean them regularly (atleast once a day). This will prevent colonization by bacterial organisms which can cause infections. Pacifiers that are dishwasher safe can be cleaned easiliy in the dishwasher as well.
    • Check for cracks, discoloration, or tears in the rubber. Discard appropriately if necessary.
    • DO NOT tie pacifiers around the child’s neck
    • Offer pacifiers after and between meals, before naps and before bedtime.
    • Replace old pacifiers and wash prior to first use

    Potential Pacifier problems:

    Research shows that continued pacifier use after age 2 can be associated with the following:

    • Increased risk of middle ear infection
    • Misalignment of teeth
    • Dental crossbite and/or open bite
    • Develpment of a thumb sucking or a tongue thrusting habit

    Pacifier use is typically acceptable after the infant is about 1 month old and has had sufficient time to develp a healthy breast-feeding habit. Experts still recommend that children stop using pacifier after age 2, since that’s when it becomes a habit rather than a developmental need.

    Saying Good-Bye to the pacifier:

    For some infants, giving up pacifier use may be difficult especially if they’re emotionally attached which is why it’s important to start the weaning off process soon after they turn 1 so they can let go before they turn 2. Parents looking to wean their kids off pacifier use can begin by using alternative techniques including:

    • Rocking motions, singing or music before naps or at bedtime
    • Activities and games
    • Toys
    • Limit pacifier use slowly over time
    • Try to dip the pacifier into safe but undesirable tasting flavor such as white vinegar

    As always, contact your dental care provider with any questions or concerns. Here at Round Lake Family Dentistry, we offer a complimentary oral evaluation for kids under the age of 2 as we believe stronly in establishing a dental home for kids at an early age. Call us with any questions or concerns at (847)740-0217 . And don’t forget to Keep Smililng…….. pacifier

  • Are X-rays safe? Understanding Dental Radiation…

    We have all heard of the alarming radiation study results reported by our national news coverage recently, and thankfully most of these have been updated with relevant facts to put our worries at ease. But many reports fail to mention that these reported cases of brain damage were many years old when all x-ray procedures delivered much higher radiation exposure compared to today. X-rays should never be taken without need, but proper findings from OSHA and other regulatory commitees will help put things in prespective.


    • A full series of 18 dental X-rays has 27 times less radiation than a lower gastrointestinal (GI) series and 20 times less radiation than one year of normal background radiation from the environment.
    • The 4 bitewing X-rays taken during dental check ups have 79 times less radiation than a year of normal background radiation.
    • Further, as more and more dentists are using special high-speed film, thyroid collars and digital X-rays machines, dental X-rays are becoming even safer.

    Declining dental X-rays based on unfounded an unuspported fears regarding radiation exposure removes an important diagnostic tool from a dentist’s repertoire. X-rays are an essential diagnostic tool with dentists relying on them for:

    • exposing hidden dental decay and/or gum disease
    • revealing dental abscesses, cysts and tumors
    • showing impacted or extra teeth
    • determining the condition of fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals
    • locating tarter build-up,finding foreign bodies within the gum or bone
    • identifying bone loss from periodontal (gum) disease and whether enough bone for dental implant placements, etc..

    Again, it is worth noting that ONLY the necessary dental x-rays should be taken and it is imperative to discuss your concers about dental radiation with your dentist.

    As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Keep Smiling….

  • Ahhhh…..My Jaw hurts!! Could I be Grinding??

    clentch Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unconciously. Teeth Grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm if it’s occasional, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be worn down, significantly damaged and at a higher risk of fracture. Constant pressure on the teeth and constant jaw muscle activity can also result in headaches and pain in the jaw joint, commonly known as the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint). Often times, patients with TMJ disorders are screened for parafunctional habits of clenching or grinding as their symptoms can be attributed to constant, irregular bite forces created by clenching or grinding.

    So why do people grind or clench their teeth????

    No specific correlation has been linked to anything in particular but grinding/clenching is usually broughtby stress and anxiety. It can occur while awake, but often occurs during sleep. Although not proven with any solid research, theory suggests that uneven bite and crooked teeth can shift the bite forces on one side of the mouth more than the other causing jaw muscles to fire actively.

    How can you find out if you’re grinding/clenching????

    Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is usually a good sign. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night. Wear patterns on the teeth when examined by dentists is also able to distinguish possibility of grinding.

    If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and wear patterns in your teeth including signs of craze lines, fractures or secondary periodontal disease caused by traumatic grinding/clenching.

    Risks of Grinding

    Constant teeth grinding can result in a generalized sensitivity in teeth, fracturing, loosening, or even loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down significantly exposing the more sensitive tooth structure of dentin. When these events happen, more invasive restorations such as root canals, crowns, bridges and sometime even a tooth removal may be required.

    Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, resulting in the TMJ problems as mentioned earlier. Worn down teeth can cause the facial profile to look much older due to inadequate tooth support for the lips and cheek muscles that surround the mouth.

    Lack of adequate tooth height, inappropriate shape and dark color of teeth can cause aesthetic compromises and may cause social awkwardness in individuals.

    How can I Stop Grinding?

    Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep or even when you’re awake.

    If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program like yoga, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered depending on signs and symptoms once examined by your dentist.

    Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

    • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain acidic content such as colas, sport beverages, excessive juice.
    • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
    • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid biting your nails. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching, making them stronger and making you more likely to grind your teeth.
    • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, stretch your jaw muscles by finger pressure massage and opening and closing in a normal range five-ten times within a few minutes. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
    • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe and again stretching your jaw muscles after finger pressure massage.

    As always, consult your dental care provider for a proper examination and evaluation. Please call Round Lake Family Dentistry at (847) 740-0217 to schedule your appointment today.

  • When do you need to get your wisdom teeth removed??

    teeth chart

    When is it recommended to remove the wisdom teeth?

    It is generally recommended to remove the wisdom teeth when:

    1. They are partially erupted, as this can leave an open communication for bacteria to enter and cause an infection

    2. They are growing in such a way that they can damage adjacent teeth or bite into your cheek

    3. If a cyst (fluid filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

    Fully erupted 3rd molars in proper bite, without decay or gum disease have no clinical reasons for a full removal. Although, certain dental providers argue that taking the 3rd molars out early in their developments may prevent future nerve damage especially on bottom teeth. The theory is that once the 3rd molars fully develop, their roots may involve the nerve canal which may be damaged during tooth removal.

    Be sure to report any signs or symptoms of wisdom tooth related pain to your dentist. A thorough examination and evaluation of gums and teeth on a regular basis can avoid any possible complications in future.

    As always, call Round Lake Family Dentistry at (847) 740-0217 with any questions/concerns. and Keep Smilling…….

  • Dental Health and Overall Health

    Why is maintaining your dental health important? Well…..it’s more than what meets the eye. Shiny peraly whites aren’t there just for aesthetic reasons and changes in the oral cavity with regards to your teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw bone can have a significant impact not only in your dental health but your overall health.

    You should understand your own oral health needs.

    Dental health can be affected by your overall health and vice versa. Cancer treatments, pregnancy, heart diseases, diabetes can all impact your oral health and may necessitate a change in the care of your mouth and teeth.

    There are many signs and symptoms of different health diseases that can manifest in the mouth.

    For example, changes in the size, shape, texture and inflammation of the gums, floor of the mouth and even tongue can be early signs of many different conditions including uncontrolled diabetes, medication related gum disease, oral cancer and even leukemia to name a few.

    Comprehensive examination from your dentist atleast twice a year can detect any of these changes and possibly detect a problem before it gets worse.

    As always, be sure to tell your dentist if you have experienced a change in your general health or in any medications you are taking since your last dental visit. Accurate and proper medical history is very important.

    Has it been more than 6 months since your last dental check-up? Call Round Lake Family Dentistry today at (847)740-0217 to schedule an appointment.

    Dr. Kalpit Shah D.D.S.