Manhattan Dental Care
Laura M. Aversano, D.D.S.

175 South State Street
Manhattan, IL 60442
(815) 478-7788

175 South State Street
Manhattan, IL 60442
(815) 478-7788



Posts for category: Mouth Care

April 07, 2011
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Untagged

The biz on fizz

Are you a soda drinker? Do you like canned fruit punch, juice boxes, bottled tea, lemonade. . .? The typical American drinks 53 gallons of soda a year, and the consumption of soft drinks in general has increased 500% in the last 50 years, For instance, a 1950's soda was 6.5 ounces-less than one cup. Today, a 1 1/2-cup soft drink is standard, and a 2 1/2 , cup bottle is common! A "super sized cup" has more than five cans of pop in one serving! Each regular soft drink contains an average of 10 teaspoons of sugar and the more sugar in your diet, the greater the risk of cavities and weight gain.

Kids gain knowledge in school, but lose their teeth.

• Did you know that some schools receive support from soft drink companies, called "pouring rights?" These are contracts to require the sale of soda and other soft drinks in your school. In return, your school receives money for educational and athletic programs.
• Many schools have vending machines or school stores where you can buy drinks--nearly half of elementary schools, 3/4 of middle schools, and almost all high schools.
• Three out of every four drinks available are soft drinks, sports drinks or fruit drinks--all of which can cause major damage to your teeth.

Soft drinks--the cavity link

• Soda is sugar water with no nutritional value. The more sugar in your diet, the greater your chance of tooth decay.
• When sugar in soft drinks combines with the bacteria in your mouth, acid forms.
• Diet soda isn't safe either. It contains its own acid.
• The more you're exposed to acid, the greater the risk of damage to your teeth.
• Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes, and begins again with every sip you take.
• Repeated acid attacks eat away your tooth enamel.
• Cavities start when sugars and acids damage the enamel--and your teeth begin to rot away.

Nothing "soft" about 'em

• Sodas and sugar-filled drinks are loaded with empty calories that make you gain weight--even by just drinking one or two a day.
• Your jaws are made of bone--as your bones become weak from lack of calcium, so does your ability to hang onto your teeth. They'll rot and fall out.
• In later years, you may have weak bones that look like Swiss cheese!
• Soft drinks will also stain your teeth with artificial coloring.

Save your smile

• Your smile is one of !he first things that other people notice about you.
• After a soft drink, brush and floss. If you can't, rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugar.
• Don't sip over a long period of time--each sip is a new attack launched on your teeth.
• Don't drink soda or juice before bedtime--the liquid collects in your mouth and coats your teeth and tongue with sugar and acid.
• Say "no" to soft drinks at your school--and tell your teacher or principal why! Ask for healthy options, like bottled water, milk, and 100% juices.
• Floss every day to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth and along the gum line.
• Take time to read the label on whatever you drink.
• Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
• Visit your dentist for regular checkups!

From over 6,000 Illinois State Delltal Society dentists who care about your smile.

- Illinois State Dental Society

January 03, 2011
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Canker Sore  

Sore MouthIf you've ever suffered from a canker sore, then you know these small, persistent ulcers can be a real pain in the mouth. Unlike cold sores which appear on the outside of the mouth and are caused by a virus, canker sores are not contagious and usually disappear within a few weeks. Generally, canker sores make eating, swallowing, speaking and tooth brushing very painful. Fortunately, as the sore heals, the pain also diminishes.

Canker sores are characterized by one or more painful sores on the tongue, soft palate, insides of the cheeks or lips and the gums. These inflamed, tender sores are typically round, white, or gray in color, with a red surrounding border


While their exact cause is unknown, common triggers of a canker sore may include:

  • Stress
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Infection
  • Aggressive tooth brushing
  • Oral tissue injury
  • Allergic reaction
  • Spicy or acidic foods
  • Abrasive foods or dental appliances

If one does develop, rinse with salt water daily and apply an over-the-counter oral numbing agent to alleviate the pain. Doing so will speed up the healing process and make eating, drinking and brushing more bearable.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Monitor your canker sores as they develop to detect unusual changes. Canker sores will generally heal on their own and don't require treatment. If your sores are abnormally large, last longer than a few weeks or are so painful you can't eat or drink, you should make an appointment with our Manhattan IL office. Recurring canker sores and intolerable pain is not normal and should be examined by a dentist.

December 15, 2010
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Dental Emergency  

Dental EmergenciesA toothache. A knocked out or broken tooth. A lost crown or filling. You can't always stop dental injuries from occurring, but you can help ease the pain and prevent additional dental damage until you can get to a dentist. At Manhattan Dental Care, we realize accidents can happen, and when patients are prepared to handle dental emergencies, it can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Easy Ways to Avoid Dental Injuries

  • Avoid chewing ice or hard candy which can crack teeth
  • Avoid ripping objects with teeth, such as sealed packages and tape
  • Avoid the risk of injury to teeth, gums, lips and tongue by wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports and high-impact activities
  • Visit Manhattan Dental Care for regular check ups and cleanings

Whether you're at home, in the car or at work, when a dental emergency strikes, you'll want to be prepared. Until you can get into our Manhattan, IL dental office, following these basic steps can help relieve the pain, save your tooth and prevent additional damage. Before acting on any dental emergency, you should always contact Manhattan Dental Care first to ensure safe and appropriate care.

Temporary Treatment for Common Dental Emergencies

  • Toothache: Rinse mouth with warm water to clean the affected tooth, and gently floss to remove food or debris that may be trapped between the teeth. If pain persists, visit a dentist for a thorough evaluation as it may indicate a cavity or infection.
  • Broken tooth: Rinse mouth with warm water; locate the lost filling or tooth pieces; and control swelling or bleeding with an ice pack and gauze. See your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Knocked out tooth: Gently place the tooth back into the socket if possible. If not, tuck it between your cheek and gum or place it in a small container of milk. Getting to your dentist within one hour of the accident with the tooth is your best bet for successfully reattaching the tooth to the supporting tissues.
  • Objects caught between teeth: Rinse your mouth with warm water. If that doesn't work, gently try to remove the object with floss. Avoid using sharp instruments that could injure or cut the gums. If the object can't be dislodged, visit Manhattan Dental Care for professional assistance.

Temporary dental care is just that- temporary. It's important to seek professional dental assistance as soon as possible following an injury to your teeth or gums.

Fortunately, an unforeseen dental emergency can usually be prevented with early detection and preventative care. Practice good oral hygiene-brushing and flossing daily-and visit our Manhattan, IL office for regular check ups and cleanings. As a general rule, if your teeth or mouth hurt, visit Manhattan Dental Care for a careful evaluation and proper treatment.

December 01, 2010
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Tooth Abscess  

Tooth AbscessExperiencing a severe, unrelenting toothache? You may be suffering from an abscessed tooth- an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. A tooth abscess begins when bacteria invade and infect a tooth. As a result, a pocket of pus is formed which causes painful pressure. Tooth decay is the leading cause of an abscessed tooth, but gum disease and dental trauma can also lead to an infection.

Persistent toothaches that result in throbbing or sharp pain are common symptoms of a tooth abscess. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Feeling of overall uneasiness or illness
  • Redness and inflammation of the gums
  • Bad taste in mouth or foul smelling breath
  • Fever

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you'll want to visit Manhattan Dental Care as soon as possible, as an abscess won't go away on its own. Delaying treatment can lead to serious health complications, including tooth loss and the spread of infection to your soft tissues or the jaw bone. An abscess that ruptures or a tooth root that dies as a result of the infection may reduce the pain significantly, but dental treatment will still be necessary as the infection remains active and can continue to spread to surrounding tissues.

Treatment for a tooth abscess may vary depending on the severity of the infection. At Manhattan Dental Care our treatment plan focuses on eliminating the infection, preserving the tooth, and preventing further dental complications.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is the best way to prevent dental problems that may lead to an abscessed tooth, including daily brushing, flossing and a healthy diet. Additionally, regular visits to our Manhattan, IL office for cleanings and check ups are also critical for detecting dental problems early.

BruxismAlso known as teeth grinding, bruxism is a condition in which people grind, clench or gnash their teeth. Most people clench at night, but others do it unconsciously throughout the day. Bruxism does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can become damaged and other oral health complications can arise.

Chronic acts of grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening or loss of the teeth. Severe cases can also lead to jaw disorders, like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and frequent headaches.

Common warning signs and symptoms of chronic teeth grinding may include:

  • Worn down, flattened or chipped teeth
  • Frequent earaches, facial pain or jaw pain
  • Unexplained headaches, particularly in the morning
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Indentions on tongue
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deep layers of the tooth
  • Chewed tissue on inside of cheek
  • Enlarged or tightened jaw muscles due to severe contractions
  • Grinding or clenching that is loud enough to awaken others in your household

There isn't one cause of bruxism, but many times teeth grinding is related with reasons such as stress or a natural response due to the misalignment of teeth. In children, many times bruxism is a result of the growth and development of the jaws and teeth.

Treatment for bruxism will vary, depending on the severity and cause. Sometimes simple behavior modification or relaxation techniques may be enough to reduce teeth clenching. If bruxism is caused by dental problems, Manhattan Dental Care can work with you to correct the malocclusion. Other possible solutions include dental appliances which can also protect the teeth from the impact of grinding.

Unfortunately, you may not even realize that you have bruxism until it causes significant damage to your teeth. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, visit Manhattan Dental Care for an evaluation. During regular visits to our Manhattan IL office, the teeth are examined for evidence of grinding, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth. Manhattan Dental Carecan help you identify your cause of grinding and determine the best treatment to help you stop.


Laura M. Aversano, D.D.S.
Dr. Aversano believes strongly in providing quality dental care to her patients. A big part of her dental philosophy is listening to her patients and ensuring their comfort. Read more...

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