The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

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Healthy Teeth and Gums O'Fallon, IL Did you know that by taking care of your mouth, you are also protecting your heart? While the details and evidence are still being pursued, the research showing the correlation between gum disease and heart disease is quite strong. To understand this, it’s important to learn the shared effects that periodontitis (gum disease) and heart disease have on the body.

Inflammation: Gum disease begins with an inflammatory process within the gum tissues. When determining a patient’s risk for heart attack, a physician can look at the level of CRP (or C-reactive proteins) in the blood. High amounts of these inflammatory proteins are present in those with gum disease as well as those with heart disease. (more…)

The Power of a Smile: What’s Holding You Back?

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O'Fallon IL Smile MakeoversDo you know the power behind a smile? Studies have shown the remarkable impact that a smile can have on your personal well-being, your social acceptance, your health and so much more. In fact, social scientists have uncovered research studies that show that genuine smiles help you deal with negative emotions better, recover from grief more easily and be happier overall. Smiles portray positivity and warmth and can even boost your immune system and lower your stress levels. So what is holding you back from smiling more and gaining these powerful benefits? For many, it is the way their smile looks that makes them smile less or even hide their smile.

If you aren’t tapping into the power of your smile due to teeth imperfections, cosmetic dentistry can help. It may not be as time-consuming, painful or costly as you may think. In fact, a large majority of cosmetic dental procedures can be performed in 1 to 2 office visits. With the use of sedation dentistry and modern office amenities, your smile enhancement can feel more like a trip to the spa than the dentist. (more…)

Reasons Adults Choose Invisalign

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Dentist near Belleville IL Offering InvisalignInvisalign is a revolutionary smile-straightening treatment that continues to gain popularity with adults. Instead of metal braces, adults can wear a series of clear, nearly invisible aligners to comfortably move their teeth into ideal position over a set period of time. Invisalign ranks high in effectiveness as well as patient satisfaction.

Here are some top reasons you may choose Invisalign as an adult for your crooked or imperfect smile:

You had braces as a child or teen, but didn’t wear your retainer. Unfortunately, a large number of orthodontic patients forgo wearing their retainer as early as 12 to 18 months after their braces come off. This commonly results in shifting teeth and a return of orthodontic concerns as an adult. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to wear metal braces again. Those who wore braces in the past and need corrective treatment now can achieve excellent results with Invisalign. However, you should know that after treatment, you will need to be diligent about wearing a retainer to maintain your straight smile. (more…)

The Ideal Candidate for Invisalign

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O'Fallon IL Cosmetic DentistInvisalign is one of the newest and most innovative options in orthodontics. Using this clear aligner system, adults and teens can straighten their smile without wearing metal brackets, bands and wires. There are countless advantages of choosing Invisalign, but this treatment option is especially ideal for certain patients.

You may be a great candidate for Invisalign if you:

Have a high-profile career or a job that requires public speaking. In such cases, wearing traditional metal braces may not be a smart option for you. The nearly invisible design of Invisalign allows public officials, salespeople and other career-oriented adults to remain successful and confident in their job while undergoing orthodontic treatment. (more…)

Should You Go ‘Au Naturale’ With Your Toothpaste?

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O'Fallon IL Family DentistThe desire to “go organic” is a prevalent one. People are seeking out more natural food choices, skin care products, household cleaners and much more. If you are concerned about what you are breathing in or putting on your body, you may also be wondering about what you are using to clean your teeth. Toothpastes come in all varieties, including All-Natural options. Is it right for you? Here are some helpful tips on the benefits of an all-natural toothpaste as well as what you should never skimp on. (more…)

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…)