Few of us are lucky enough to be born with perfect dental alignment. The simple truth of the matter is that most of us experience some level of tooth crowding, dental gaps, and crooked teeth. The good news is that there are treatments from our Saint Louis dentists that can help to improve your dental alignment. And the reasons for doing so go far beyond aesthetics.
While it’s certainly true that a straight and seamless smile is attractive, properly aligned teeth can also help you protect and maintain your oral health.
Consider, for example, how difficult it is to thoroughly clean between crowded teeth. When your smile is misaligned, there are a multitude of hard-to-reach spaces in which plaque and tartar can colonize. All of this increases your risk of suffering from dental cavities as well as gum disease. A straight smile is easier to floss, and more effectively cleaned by brushing and using mouth rinse.
There are also a number of structural maxillofacial issues related to dental misalignment. If your top and bottom teeth, for example, do not come together in a natural and comfortable way, you will likely shift your lower jaw in order to compensate. Unfortunately, this puts pressure on your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and can actually create additional oral health issues. Patients with poorly aligned bite surfaces are at risk of developing head/jaw/face/neck pain, as well as temporomandibular joint damage. These patients may also find that certain teeth are wearing down prematurely, as they tend to favor one side of their smile over the other.
With proper treatment, you can improve our dental alignment and minimize your risk of suffering from related health issues. Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need—give us a call to schedule an appointment, or submit a question for our team through our Contact Us page!
Undergoing dental treatment can be a stressful experience for some people. Patients who suffer from dental anxiety, or who have had specific negative dental experiences in the past may even avoid coming to the dentist all together because the anxiety is so bad. Our Saint Louis dentists have found over the years that the number one factor that can transform the dental experience for a person is a sense of trust between the dentist and patient.
Developing trust between the patient and dentist begins with communication. When you meet with your dental team, give them as much information as you can about your dental concerns and history. The more that our dental team knows about a patient’s concerns, the better we’re able to tailor treatment to suit his or her needs.
Many dental patients also feel more comfortable as they learn more about the treatments they’ll undergo, and why these treatments are beneficial. Our dentist is here to be your partner in dental care—we’re here to answer all of your questions and help you get the treatment that you need.
Our team has also found that, in an ironic twist, many patients who suffer from dental anxiety actually avoid sedation treatments (which could help them in the dentist’s chair), because they don’t like the idea of being incapacitated during treatment. That is one reason why our team offers oral conscious sedation, which allows you to remain conversant with our dental team while benefiting from the effects of sedation. Once you’ve developed a sense of trust with our team, you can further minimize dental anxiety with state-of-the-art relaxation treatment.
Our Saint Louis dentists are here to support you as you pursue the preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments that you need to stay well. The best way to get started is to give our office a call and schedule a consultation. We look forward to meeting you!
Sleep apnea—a chronic sleep disorder—can wreak havoc on your daily life and your health overall. If left untreated, you may be at an increased risk of suffering from dental problems as well as whole-body health issues. Our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists are here with some more information about how sleep apnea can spiral out of control and do serious damage.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is characterized by the patient experiencing low oxygen levels and frequent sleep disruptions during the night. Basically, as the patient sleeps, relaxed oral tissues block his or her airway, preventing him or her from breathing naturally. As a result, the patient’s blood oxygen levels continue to drop until the body is forced to wake itself and restart the breathing process.
In the short term, sleep apnea disrupted sleep can make it more likely that you’ll suffer from headaches and other kinds of maxillofacial pain. Sleep apnea sufferers are especially likely to report headaches upon waking or right before bed. You may also find that you feel fatigued and distracted, and that you have trouble concentrating.
The mechanics of sleep apnea can also increase your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. Many sleep apnea sufferers sleep with their mouths open almost all night, in an effort to maximize oxygen intake. Sleeping this way contributes to dry mouth, and dry mouth leads to oral infections: cavities as well as gum disease.
The long-term effects of chronic sleep apnea are even more serious. Emerging research shows that untreated sleep apnea is linked to a number of worrisome health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
The sooner that you begin to treat sleep apnea the sooner you’ll be able to sleep soundly and healthily again. Please don’t hesitate to give our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists a call if you want to learn more or schedule a personal consultation—we’re here to help.
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