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There are many types of substances—including popular foods and drinks—that can stain teeth over time. Plus, different types of dental damage can cause enamel to change color and become dull.

What happens when your teeth become discolored? How do stained teeth compare to white and luminous teeth? Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are here to explain.

First of all, we need to keep in mind that young teeth generally appear pretty white and luminous. Every person has a different level of natural enamel whiteness, but young, healthy teeth are pretty luminous. This is because the dental enamel in young teeth is thick and sturdy.

As enamel ages, and discoloration compounds, the outer layers of a patient’s teeth may start to look brown, grey, and dull.

This makes a patient’s teeth appear to be dirty, even if they aren’t. As dental discoloration worsens, a patient’s smile will look dark and dingy no matter how well they brush, floss, and rinse. Your teeth may look like they are covered with cavities and plaque, although they aren’t. Stains from tobacco products are especially prone to appearing as grimy streaks.

And because young teeth are naturally white and bright, discolored teeth will make a patient look, in general, older. Discolored teeth appear to be worn down and weak.

When it comes time to rejuvenate your smile, you want to make sure that you also address any underlying dental health issues that may be affecting the appearance of your teeth. You don’t want to achieve superficial cosmetic results only to leave the underlying structure of your smile at risk.

Our Saint Louis dentists would be happy to tell you more about the cosmetic treatments we offer—including those for dental whitening—when you give us a call. You always have cosmetic options—don’t keep living with a smile that you don’t love.

When sleep apnea starts to affect your life, it can be difficult to go through your daily routine. Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleep apnea for years without even realizing it. That’s why our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists work to educate people on the intricacies of obstructive sleep apnea. When you know what to look for, you can effectively spot, and seek treatment for, sleep apnea before it takes over your life.

So, here are some unfortunate consequences and byproducts of sleep apnea:

1. Fatigue

This is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea deprives your body of adequate oxygen, you actually have to wake up multiple times throughout the night in order to jumpstart the breathing process. This interrupts your healthy REM sleep cycle: depriving of you restorative rest.

2. Concentration/Memory Problems

Along with fatigue, you may find it difficult to concentrate and remember things. Many sleep apnea patients struggle to stay attentive during the day—this can sometimes affect a patient’s ability to drive safely.

3. Disruptive Snoring

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when oral tissues fall into a patient’s airway. As the patient tries to force oxygen through the airway, a loud snoring or gurgling noise results. Many people actually find out that they have sleep apnea because their sleeping partners tell them that they have been snoring!

4. Headaches

Chronic sleep deprivation, as well as the muscle tension that often accompanies sleep apnea, can cause painful headaches. These headaches are especially likely to pop up in the morning and before bed.

If you notice on or more of these issues in your own life, talk to your dentist about the benefits of sleep apnea treatment. As always, our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists are happy to provide you with more information and advice.

The dreaded cavity: every patient wants to avoid the annoyance and discomfort associated with cavity development. The good news is that with diligent dental hygiene care, you can significantly lessen your likelihood of suffering from cavities. The first step in this process is to understand how and why cavities develop in the first place. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to provide with you that important information.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a portion of a previously healthy tooth that has developed an infection. A cavity is a weak spot on a tooth. Once a cavity has taken hold, it can spread throughout the rest of the tooth; it can even infection gum tissue and bone tissue.

Why does a cavity form?

Every day our teeth are exposed to all kinds of substances that can break them down. Acidic substances, for example, weaken dental enamel and may make it more likely that a patient will get cavities. The oral bacteria in your mouth are always searching for a way to infiltrate your dental enamel (the white shiny part of your tooth). When the enamel is weakened—either by certain substances, or because the bacteria in your mouth have grown too strong—bacteria will take root in your enamel.

What can I do to stop this?

The best thing for you as a patient to do is to take steps to prevent cavity development in the first place. This means following all of your dentist’s oral hygiene advice, and completing regularly scheduled professional cleanings. It’s also a good idea to avoid, as much as possible, sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. Finally, drink plenty of water so that your body is able to produce saliva, which helps fight bacteria.

If you think that you may currently have a cavity, our Saint Louis dentist office is here to help you reclaim a healthy smile. Give us a call to get started right away!

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