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If one of your teeth becomes infected or broken, our Saint Louis dental team is here to help you overcome these problems and regain a healthy smile. When we assess the extent of your dental damage, we will be able to give you some personalized recommendations regarding which types of treatments may be right for you. Today, we are giving you some basic information on the various restorative treatments available to you, so that you will feel more confident moving forward if and when you are faced with dental damage.

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No matter what type of dental problem you are dealing with, the first step in our treatment protocol will be to remove the damaged and compromised dental material. Once this is complete, we will restore your tooth so that it is strong, attractive, and functional. To do this way may:

· Place dental resin over your natural enamel, or use resin to fill in holes that we needed to drill to eliminate dental infections. Resin is always custom shaded so that it looks natural. Once the resin is placed, our team cures it so that it hardens and bonds to the tooth.

· Use a dental crown to rebuild more significant portions of your tooth. When our team designs your porcelain crown, we will make sure that it mimics your natural tooth shapes and shades. Once the crown is made, our dentist permanently adheres it to your tooth using a specialized bonding medium.

· Recommend a cosmetic restoration, like a LUMINEER—these thin porcelain restorations are great for people who are suffering from surface dental enamel cracks and chips. LUMINEERS are used to achieve all kinds of aesthetic results—from dental whitening, to closing gaps between teeth.

As you can see, you have all kinds of options when it comes time to treat problematic dental damage. Our Saint Louis dental team is here to provide you with all of the information and support that you need in order to make great decisions for your smile!

Many people know about certain very common oral health threats, including cavities and gum disease. However, there are other, lesser known, things that can damage your smile over time. Today our Saint Louis dentists are explaining how TMJ disorder affects oral health.

What is TMJ disorder?

When your temporomandibular joints (the joints that connect your bottom jaw to your skull) become damaged or inflamed, you are dealing with TMJ disorder. Patients who are dealing with this disorder may experience jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, popping and clicking sensations in the jaw, and limited jaw mobility.

How do TMJ problems connect to oral health?

If TMJ issues go untreated, they can lead to dental damage over time.

· TMJ problems can prevent your top and bottom teeth from coming together naturally and comfortably. Over time, this may cause your teeth to wear down unevenly and prematurely. This can leave your smile susceptible to accumulating cracks and chips. Additionally, thinning dental enamel may make your smile look yellower and darker than it did previously.

· If you experience limited jaw mobility due to TMJ problems, it may become difficult to effectively clean your smile. Some TMJ sufferers are not able to open their mouths all the way; thus, these people struggle to effectively floss and brush their back molars. This can lead to cavity development, periodontal disease, and chronic bad breath.

· TMJ disorder is often accompanied by chronic dental grinding and clenching (this is called bruxism). Bruxism puts you at risk of developing cracks and chip in your enamel.

In order to minimize your risk of suffering from these unwanted oral health problems, it is critical that you seek prompt and effective treatment for developing dental decay and infections. Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to give you the further information that you need!

In order to maintain long-term oral health, it is very important that you prioritize the strength of your dental enamel. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to provide you with the information and treatments that you need to care for your enamel for years to come.

Brushing and flossing as recommended will help to prevent plaque and oral acids from thinning and weakening your enamel. Beyond that…

· Your dentist may recommend a specially formulated mouth rinse to further clean your smile and strengthen your teeth

· Your dental team may apply sealants over some of your smile’s chewing surfaces. These sealants prevent harmful bacteria from taking root in the grooves of your teeth, especially your back molars.

· Your enamel may benefit from topical fluoride applications. Dental patients with diminished enamel may undergo in-office fluoride treatments periodically to help re-mineralize enamel.

· It is important to look out for habits and behaviors that will thin and weaken enamel over time. For example, if you chronically grind and clench your teeth (this condition is called bruxism), you may need to wear a mouth guard at night in order to keep your enamel from becoming damaged. Also, if you regularly chew on ice, hard candies, or mints, try to limit this behavior, as it will hurt your teeth over time.

· Try to use gentle floss to remove dental debris from your smile. Using wooden and metal toothpicks can actually harm your enamel.

Take the time to care or your dental enamel now, and your smile will thank you in the future! As always, our Saint Louis dentists can provide you with all of the additional information and guidance that you need to care for your smile. If you want to schedule a consultation with our helpful team, just call our office, or use the Contact Us page on our website.

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