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…)

Mouthwash: Obligation or Optional?

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O'Fallon IL General Dental TreatmentThe oral health care aisle at your local drug store offers a variety of brands for toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. Are you using all three products? While the American Dental Association specifically lists flossing and brushing as recommended daily hygiene habits, mouthwash seems to be in more of a “gray” area. Statistics reported by National Smile Month tell us that only 31% of adults use mouthwash. This begs the question: is mouthwash an obligation or simply optional? (more…)

How Well Do You Understand Your Dental Insurance Plan?

With the majority of the calendar year still ahead of us, it is the perfect time to make sure you understand your dental insurance benefits. A common mistake that we see patients make is waiting until the last couple months to “cash in” on their covered preventive dental visit. Not only does this mean a patient has probably waited too late for proper routine care, but the visit may reveal additional treatments that need to be performed when there is not enough time in your covered plan to complete them. Many restorative dental treatments need multiple visits to complete, including dental crowns, implants and bridges. (more…)

Dental Care With A Sensitive Gag Reflex

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O'Fallon IL Comfortable Dental TreatmentsIf you gag easily, going to the dentist can be a major source of dread and anxiety. While we all have a natural gag reflex, some people have one that is more sensitive than others. A gag reflex is essentially your body’s natural response to regurgitate a potential obstruction in the throat to prevent choking.

When something touches the glossopharyngeal nerve fibers behind the nasal cavity at the very back of your mouth, the brain sends signals to “gag” and get the object back up. It is designed to be a protection mechanism. However, when these pharyngeal nerve fibers are overly sensitive, it can be problematic – especially in the dental chair. (more…)

Custom Mouthguards and Concussion Prevention

indexYou may be aware of how an athletic mouthguard can prevent knocked out teeth and mouth lacerations during sports, but did you know that it is a small piece of equipment that can also prevent concussions? In any given sport season, approximately 5-10% of athletes will experience a concussion. According to the CDC, 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur yearly. It has become a concern that has gained widespread attention, even from the White House. President Obama took action to raise concussion awareness during his recent presidential term.
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