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Your smile is just one component of your larger maxillofacial structure. When one part of this system is not working well, the component parts can suffer as a result.

Today our O’Fallon dentists are talking about the ways in which your jaw joints can affect your bite and vice versa. As you’ll see, maintaining a healthy smile is about a lot more than simply brushing and flossing regularly. 

The way that your top and bottom teeth come together makes a big difference as to how your smile ages over time. If your bite is not even and comfortable, you’ll likely alter the position of your lower jaw when you bite and chew. You might not even realize that you’re doing this, but it can cause your dental enamel to wear down unevenly over time. 

A poorly aligned bite is also often associated with bruxism, or chronic dental grinding. This condition is caused bruxism. In some cases, a poorly aligned bite causes bruxism, and in other situations, chronic grinding causes the patient’s bite to shift.

Bruxism puts an enormous amount of pressure on the patient’s temporomandibular joints as well as the patient’s dental enamel. You’ll likely develop dental cracks and chips if bruxism goes untreated, and your enamel may thin and become more susceptible to infection.

Some patients benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard at night to help take the pressure off of their jaw joint, and to protect their dental enamel. Our dental team may also recommend that you use bonding or restorations to improve the way that your top and bottom teeth come together. The key is to match the treatment solution to the specific underlying cause of your bite dysfunction.

The best way to get started is to contact our O’Fallon dentists to schedule a personal consultation. We are here to give you all of the information and support that you need to smile confidently!

Dental emergencies are often overwhelming and panic-inducing. That is why our O’Fallon dentists are here with some tips on how to move forward in a dental emergency. We know that with a little foresight, you can greatly improve your oral health outcome in a dental emergency. Keep reading to learn more.

Pain management

Dental traumas are often associated with pain and discomfort. You want to make sure that you don’t put any numbing agents or medications directly on your teeth and oral tissues in these cases, as this can inadvertently cause additional damage to your smile. Over-the-counter medications can help you manage pain until you get to your dentist, and using an ice pack to numb your cheek and jaw is pretty effective.

Retaining oral tissues

If you lose part of a tooth or a whole tooth due to dental trauma, try to keep a hold of as much dental material as possible for your dentist. To keep a whole tooth viable for as long as possible, you can gently place the tooth back into tis socket along the gum tissue. If this doesn’t work, or if it is uncomfortable to do this, then place the tooth in a glass of milk until you get to your dentist’s office. You can also hold on to chipped away portions of enamel, as these can help guide your dentist when designing a restoration or completing dental bonding. You also want to be careful to keep as much dental tissue/nerves/and roots in place as possible: both those that are attached to a lost tooth and those that are in the tooth socket.

We know that dental emergencies are awful, but we are here to help you through it, so that you can reclaim a whole and healthy smile. As always, you can contact our O’Fallon dentists to learn more and to schedule a personal consultation with our team.

 

One of the most common complaints that our O’Fallon cosmetic dentists hear from our patients is that their smiles have started to look stained and dull over time. Dental discoloration is a very common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that it’s something you just have to live with. Our dental team offers a number of effective and efficient treatments to refresh and even transform stained smiles. Keep reading to learn more!

Professional dental whitening is a fast and non-invasive way to lighten discoloration. Professional-grade whitening formulations are stronger and more potent than over the counter options. Once the gel is applied to your teeth, it goes to work lifting stains from your tooth surfaces. Treatments can be repeated over time in order to achieve maximum results. The entire process is comfortable and stress-free.

While dental whitening treatments are designed to lift stains from the natural tooth, dental bonding and porcelain veneers cover discolored enamel to improve the patient’s smile.

Dental bonding uses composite resin to resurface damaged or unattractive dental enamel. This treatment is widely popular because it is affordable, and can be completed in just one dental appointment. Because composite resin is shaded to suit the individual patient’s teeth, bonding yields exceptionally natural looking results. 

Another option is to cover your natural teeth with porcelain veneers or LUMINEERS. These are thin, individually-crafted aesthetic restorations that, once attached to the tooth surface, cover the entirety of the patient’s visible enamel. It generally takes two to three appointments to finish veneer/LUMINEER treatment, and the restorations are personalized in shape, size, and shade to ensure natural looking aesthetics.

You absolutely do not need to live with a stained smile that you don’t love. Our O’Fallon cosmetic dentists are here to help—give us a call to get started by scheduling a personal consultation! 

 

 

 

 

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