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Although many patients take pains to protect their teeth and avoid cavities, many patients don’t realize that there are forces at work in your mouth every day that may be changing your dental enamel. The truth is that dental enamel can wear down over time—and there are a number of different causes of this phenomenon. Read on for more information from our Saint Louis dentists about what to look for in your mouth.

Do you grind your teeth?

If you regularly grind or clench your teeth, you may be wearing down your dental enamel. The trick is, many patients don’t immediately realize that they’re doing this because it happens when they are sleeping. So if you wake up with a headache, jaw, or neck stiffness, talk to your dentist about the possibility of you wearing down your teeth due to clenching and grinding.

How often are you rinsing your mouth after meals?

Every time you eat or drink something your mouth produces oral acids. These acids can wear down dental enamel over time—causing your teeth to look duller. Try to rinse your mouth with water or even brush directly after eating. Acids are produced for as long as 30 minutes after you consume something, so rinse right away to deter acid erosion.

Are you brushing the right way?

Patients who brush and apply too much force, or brush with bristles that are too firm may notice that their enamel starts to thin. Make sure to apply light pressure as you brush, and pick a soft ore medium bristled brush to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Your dentist will be able to most effectively monitor your teeth and gums for signs of wear and tear. Additionally, if you notice any oral sensitivity or irritation, let your dentist know right away to seek treatment. Our Saint Louis dental office is here to help you keep your teeth strong and healthy for years to come.

Your smile is an integral part of your appearance; you want it to make a positive impression, and represent you well.

If you are unhappy with the current state of your smile, please know that you are not alone! Many people contact our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists looking to achieve smile transformations. We are here to help you evaluate your treatment options, so that you can ultimately decide which aesthetic solution meets all of your needs.

One of the things that you want to consider when exploring your options is your ideal treatment timeline. If you need to achieve results quickly, you may benefit from professional dental whitening, dental bonding, and/or porcelain veneers. When you meet with our dental team, let them know if you are on a deadline for a special event like a wedding or reunion. We’ll work within your timeframe!

It’s also worth noting that different aesthetic solutions require different types and levels of post-treatment maintenance. Professional whitening treatments, for example, will need to be repeated bi-annually or annually in order to maintain bright, white enamel. On the other hand, porcelain veneers are naturally stain resistant, so these restorations will continue to look bright and fresh for years to come.

Another obvious consideration is budget. We offer treatment options to fit a number of different budgets, so that cosmetic treatment is never out of reach. Professional whitening is a very affordable way to refresh natural teeth. In order to achieve a more dramatic smile transformation you may look into dental bonding or porcelain veneer; with dental bonding being the more affordable of these two options.

The key to successful cosmetic treatment is really to weigh all these different treatment factors, and to give them their appropriate weight. The best way to get started is to contact our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists to schedule a personal consultation.

 Sleep apnea can be a sneaky, hard-to-identify threat to a patient’s dental and overall health.

Our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists are here with some information about why sleep apnea develops and how it presents. We hope that this short article helps you identify sleep apnea issues in your own life, so that you can seek prompt treatment for this common problem!

The Underlying Issue

Sleep apnea occurs when a patient’s oral tissues relax during sleep. The relaxed tissues fall into the patient’s airway, and make it difficult for the patient to inhale enough oxygen throughout the night.

The Symptoms

As the patient’s blood oxygen levels drop during the night, the patient will briefly wake in order to restart the breathing process. You may or may not remember waking, but, regardless, your sleep is being disrupted. You may suffer from:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and concentration problems
  • Dry mouth upon waking
  • Loud and disruptive snoring
  • Sensations of gasping or choking awake in the night

Treatments

The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP machine; this machine forces air past the obstruction throughout the night. The problem is that this type of machine is quite cumbersome, and, because the patient must wear a face mask, uncomfortable. 

Our dental team provides CPAP-alternative oral appliances to help guide the patient’s mouth into a healthier position, so that the airway remains unobstructed. These effective mouth pieces are much more patient-friendly than traditional CPAP machines.

When sleep apnea is left untreated, the symptoms can intensify, and the patient can develop a number of health issues as a result. If you think that you may be dealing with sleep apnea, our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists strongly encourage you to reach out for an assessment and treatment as soon as possible. 

You can always contact our team by calling our office, or by using the Contact Us page on our website. We’re here to help you sleep soundly again!

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