My Blog

Posts for: March, 2018

By Valerin Dental Group
March 30, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  
BaseballTobaccoandOralCancer

Spring means different things to different people—but to baseball fans, it means just one thing: the start of another thrilling season. All 30 Major League Baseball teams begin play this month, delighting fans from Toronto to Texas and everywhere in between.

The boys of spring carry on an age-old tradition—yet baseball is also changing with the times. Cigarette smoking has been banned at most ballparks for years; smokeless tobacco is next. About half of the MLB venues now prohibit tobacco of any kind, including “snuff” and “dip.” What’s more, a recent contract agreement bars new Major League players from using smokeless tobacco anywhere.

Why all the fuss? Because tobacco isn’t safe to use in any form. People who use smokeless tobacco get just as much highly addictive nicotine as cigarette smokers. Plus, they get a mouthful of chemicals that are known to cause cancer. This puts them at higher risk for oral cancer, cancer of the esophagus, pancreatic cancer and other diseases.

A number of renowned ballplayers like Babe Ruth, Curt Flood and Bill Tuttle died of oral cancer. The death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwinn in 2014 focused attention on tobacco use in baseball, and helped lead to the ban. Gwynn was convinced that his addiction to smokeless tobacco led to his getting oral cancer.

Yet tobacco isn’t the only cause of oral cancer. In fact, the disease is becoming more common in young people who do not smoke. That’s one more reason why it’s so important for people of all ages to keep to a regular schedule of routine dental exams. These visits offer a great opportunity to detect oral cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.

So as you watch your favorite team, take a tip from the professional athletes’ playbook. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. If you do, now is a good time to quit. For help and support, call an expert at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit smokefree.gov.

If you have any questions about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”


By Valerin Dental Group
March 16, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental emergency  

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when a dental emergency occurs can mean the difference between losing and saving a tooth. dental emergencyDental emergencies are serious and shouldn't be ignored. Dr. Manny Valerin at Valerin Dental Group in Peoria, IL, offers a full range of dental services, including emergency care. Here are some tips for handling the most common dental emergencies.

1. A Severe Toothache- Toothaches are usually the result of either tooth decay or an infection. Rinse your mouth with salt water and use an interdental cleaner or dental floss to make sure the area is clean. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to reduce pain. Call your emergency dentist immediately. Appropriate treatment could include antibiotics and root canal treatment.

2. Broken Tooth- A cracked or broken tooth is a dental emergency. Call an emergency dentist immediately. If the pulp of your tooth is damaged, you may need root canal treatment. If the pulp isn't damaged, you might only need a dental crown. In the interim, you should rinse your mouth with salt water to keep the area clean. Put an ice pack on your face to reduce swelling. If you have the broken tooth piece, wrap it in a wet cloth or wet gauze and bring it with you to your Peoria dentist. 

3. Knocked-Out Tooth- When a tooth is knocked out, you should call an emergency dentist immediately. If it is within 30 minutes of the injury, it may be possible to reimplant the tooth. Gently rinse the tooth to remove debris or dirt. If you can, gently place the tooth back in the socket. If you can't put the tooth back in place, wrap the tooth in gauze or a clean cloth and immerse in milk. Seeing an emergency dentist quickly is critical for saving a knocked-out tooth. 

4. Tooth Abscess- A tooth abscess may occur when a tooth is fractured or injured in other ways. A tooth abscess is a collection of pus that's caused by a bacterial infection. Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include a severe toothache, swelling in your face, and jaw pain. If you have a tooth abscess, rinse your mouth with warm water to dislodge any food debris. Clean the area around the tooth by flossing and brushing gently. Apply an ice pack on the outside of your cheek. Contact an emergency dentist immediately.

If you're experiencing a dental emergency, call Valerin Dental Group at 309-693-2310 immediately for emergency dental treatment. We will make sure you receive quality care and are seen as soon as possible. Our Peoria, IL, dentist will get you out of pain and on with your life.


AChildsTeethGrindingisNormal-ButYouShouldStillKeepanEyeonit

When you're first startled awake in the middle of the night by a loud, gritting sound emanating from your child's room, you may have two questions: how can such a loud racket not be harmful to their teeth? And, how can they sleep through it?

While it sounds earth-shattering, teeth grinding (medically known as bruxism) is a common habit among children. It involves an involuntary grinding, clenching or rubbing of the teeth together, either during the day or during night sleep.

While certain medications or conditions could be factors, it's believed most teeth grinding arises from the immaturity of the part of the neuromuscular system that controls chewing. It's believed to trigger a night episode as the child moves from deeper to lighter stages of sleep toward waking. Older children and adults typically handle these sudden shifts without incident, but a young child's under-developed chewing response may react with grinding.

If a child's teeth are normal and healthy, teeth-grinding typically won't create any lasting damage. But because grinding does generate pressures greater than the teeth normally encounter, it can be harmful to decayed teeth or those with enamel erosion due to high acid from consumption of sports and soda drinks. And it's also a cause for concern if the habit continues into later childhood or adolescence.

To avoid these problems, it's best to keep your child's teeth as healthy as possible by practicing daily brushing and flossing, and regularly seeing a dentist for cleanings, treatments and preventive measures like topical fluoride or sealants. And be sure to limit sugar and acidic foods and drinks in their diet to protect against decay and erosion.

You can also take steps to minimize teeth grinding and its effects. Consult with your physician about any medications they're taking that might contribute to the habit. If there are psychological issues at play, seek therapy to help your child better manage their stress. Your dentist can also fashion a custom night guard worn while they sleep that will prevent their teeth from making solid contact during grinding episodes.

Most importantly, let your dentist know if your child grinds their teeth. Keeping an eye on this potentially harmful habit will help lead to appropriate actions when the time comes.

If you would like more information on teeth grinding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Children Grind Their Teeth: Is the Habit of 'Bruxism' Harmful?