Sleep Bruxism: What’s Your Risk?

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O'Fallon IL Bruxism TreatmentAccording to Mayo Clinic, bruxism is defined as a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism during the night, it is called sleep bruxism. If that term doesn’t ring a bell, you may be more familiar with the phrase “nighttime teeth grinding.” They are one in the same. While this sleep habit can be quite disturbing to your bed partner, it can be eve more harmful to your dental health.

Your nightly teeth grinding habit is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. It can wear down your teeth, causing sensitivity, chips and cracks. But sleep bruxism is also commonly associated with TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Problems within your jaw joint can be quite uncomfortable, and even impact your quality of life. Sufferers may experience tension headaches, jaw stiffness, jaw pain and other bothersome symptoms. (more…)

Is Cavity Repair In Baby Teeth Optional?

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O'Fallon IL Cosmetic DentistryYou just took your child to the dentist, only to hear that dreaded word – “cavity”!  After learning more, you discover the cavity is on a baby tooth, which makes you wonder, “isn’t that tooth going to fall out anyways? Can we opt out of a dental filling?”  This is a common concern among parents. The truth is, baby teeth do matter. They allow your child to eat and speak properly and provide a healthy pathway for their permanent teeth to erupt.

If your child has a cavity, it means they have an area of decay in a tooth. Untreated tooth decay can lead to pain, the spread of harmful bacteria and even infection. Baby tooth or not, that tooth is diseased and can compromise their entire oral health if not taken care of in a prompt manner. (more…)

The Benefits of Custom Mouthguards for Sports

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O'Fallon IL General DentistDo you have a child who plays sports? You’ve probably been diligent to purchase helmets, knee pads, shin guards and other protective equipment before their first practice. However, have you considered protecting their smile too? While athletic mouthguards aren’t required for every sport, they should be considered for sports that involve any type of contact, whether it is a ball or another player.

Traumatic injuries to the mouth are all too common in youth sports. They may include knocked out teeth, chipped teeth, lacerations to the lip or cheek and more. Dental accidents can not only be costly, but they can produce serious and long-term consequences within your child’s smile. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented by simply wearing an athletic mouthguard. (more…)

Dental Bridge VS. Partial Denture: What’s the Difference?

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O'Fallon IL Cosmetic Dental TreatmentsReplacing missing teeth can involve a variety of scenarios. The restoration you choose, however, is primarily based on your clinical needs – such as how many teeth you need to replace and where they are located within your mouth. While a full denture is required to restore a full arch of missing teeth, what about when a patient has just a few missing teeth? Is a bridge or partial more appropriate? Here’s a closer look at each restorative solution: (more…)

Saliva and Your Oral Health

Did you know that the average person produces over 25,000 liters of saliva in a lifetime? That is enough to fill two swimming pools! Clearly, there are important reasons why our bodies produce so much saliva. While some people have more than others, we all have saliva in our mouths. And your “spit” does far more than you think. While it certainly keeps your mouth from drying out, it also aids in digestion, helps you speak comfortably and supports your oral health. In fact, without proper amounts of saliva, your dental health may be in real danger.

Saliva helps break down food in your mouth when you eat and allows you to swallow more comfortably, these are critical steps in the digestion process. However, there’s another role that saliva plays towards your smile health. Not only does the extra liquid in your mouth help rinse off debris and bacteria from your teeth, but it also works to neutralize acids after eating and drinking. If extra bacteria hangs out on your tongue and the pH of your mouth stays on the acidic side of the scale, you’re more vulnerable to decay, gum disease and bad breath. (more…)

Can Something Be Done For Your ‘Gummy Smile’?

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O'Fallon IL Family DentistIf you flash your smile in the mirror and all you notice is the overpowering appearance of your gums, you may have a “gummy smile.” A gummy smile is a common concern. It can be traced back to an oral health issue, but in many cases it is simply an aesthetic drawback. The good news is that a skilled cosmetic dentist can typically correct your gummy smile so that you can properly show off your pearly whites more than the surrounding fleshy gum tissue. (more…)

7 Surprising Dental Facts

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O'Fallon IL DentistHow well do you know your teeth? Statistics show that Americans spend as much as $100 billion on hair care products per year compared to only $2 billion on dental care products. Since the average person is likely to think less of their teeth than their hair, it is time to “brush up” on your dental knowledge. Understanding more about your oral health can boost your smile appearance as well as protect your overall health and quality of life. (more…)

Why Choose Composite Fillings

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O'Fallon IL Cosmetic Dental TreatmentsYou are probably well aware of the fact that dental fillings are used to repair a cavity or minor tooth damage. What you may not know is that dental fillings are no longer restricted to amalgam or silver fillings. In fact, today’s filling alternative doesn’t contain metal at all. Composite resin has now become the most preferred choice for both patients and dentist. They represent a tooth-colored solution that restores the health and function of the tooth without compromising its appearance. (more…)

Ear Infection or TMJ?

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O'Fallon IL Family DentistIf you are experiencing ear pain as an adult, don’t be too quick to assume it is an ear infection. A professional diagnosis is always necessary, but it is important to be aware of another common cause of ear pain in adults, which is TMJ dysfunction. TMJ is the temporo-mandibular joint, or the joint that opens and closes your mouth and helps you chew. (more…)

Reasons Teens Say Yes To Invisalign

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O'Fallon IL Invisalign Teen BracesIt can be difficult to get your teenager on board to wear metal braces. Fortunately, there is now a more preferred solution to straighten their crooked smile. Invisalign Teen is an advanced clear orthodontic solution that is gaining increasing popularity.

Invisalign involves a series of clear aligners that are changed out every two weeks until your teeth move into their final position. The soft, thin aligner trays are also removable for eating, brushing and flossing. Invisalign Teen can effectively treat overly crowded or widely spaced teeth as well as improve more complex issues such as overbites, underbites and even crossbites. (more…)