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Many people think of a misaligned smile as an aesthetic issue, and they want to perfect their dental alignment in order to achieve a beautiful smile. While this is undoubtedly true, our Saint Louis dentists are here to tell you that, in addition, patients who have poorly aligned bites can end up dealing with a range of oral health issues as a result. Keep reading to learn more…

It is very common for patients to have some kind of dysfunction with their bites; you may find that your top teeth jut out too far or that your bottom teeth actually pass in front of your top teeth when you close your mouth. Additionally, you may be able to feel that your molars do not fit together comfortably when you chew with your back teeth. 

In the short-term, these kinds of bite issues can be annoying, because they make it difficult for patients to bite into tough foods and to chew comfortably. An uneven bite can also change how the patient smiles and speaks.

If these types of problems are left untreated, they can go from inconvenient to straight up unhealthy in a short period of time. An uneven bite puts you at risk of developing bruxism, or chronic dental grinding. Bruxism puts an immense amount of pressure on your dental enamel, and can make your teeth more susceptible to cracking and chipping.

Additionally, poorly aligned bite surfaces often lead to TMJ problems. Your temporomandibular joints connect your lower jaw to your skull. Because bite problems cause you to unconsciously change how you bite and chew, your TMJs can become aggravated. TMJ problems manifest as pain in the head/neck/jaw, clicking and popping noises when you chew, and even limited jaw mobility.

Our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you identify the nature of your bite issue, so that we can then effectively treat it. As always, you can reach out to our team by calling our office, or by using the Contact Us page on our website!

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and noticed that a stained or dull smile is staring back at you, then you are certainly not alone. Many of us develop some degree of dental staining as we get older. The good news is that our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists can help you refresh your smile with effective dental whitening treatments. In this short article, our team is going to review a number of treatments that we use to combat dental discoloration. Let’s get started!

Professional dental whitening is a quick, effective, and affordable way to actually lighten existing stains. The whitening formulations that we use are much stronger and more effective than those formulations that are available over-the-counter. Once the whitening gel is applied to your dental enamel, it goes to work lifting entrenched discoloration. This type of whitening treatment is especially effective on environmental stains, which develop due to color deposits from food, drink, and tobacco products.

While professional whitening treatments work to lessen stains within the tooth structure, dental bonding and veneers cover problematic enamel with fresh, natural-looking materials.

Dental bonding covers dental enamel with composite resin. Once the resin is cured it hardens and bonds to the natural tooth. Because composite resin can be shaded to suit the individual patient’s needs, the results are always natural looking. The entire bonding process can be completed in just one appointment, which is another advantage for busy patients.

You may also choose to cover dark enamel with individually crafted porcelain restorations. Once the veneers are complete, our team attaches them to the patient’s teeth in order to completely resurface and transform the appearance of the patient’s smile. Many people choose veneers to lighten their smiles when they want to simultaneously improve other aesthetic issues, such as closing gaps between teeth.

If you aren’t sure what type of treatment is right for your smile, our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are here to help you!

When many people think about dental damage, they think about sudden, traumatic damage that occurs due to vehicular or sport-related accidents. Undoubtedly, this type of dental damage is very serious and needs to be quickly addressed. However, many of the most common dental problems with which patients deal are actually the result of day to day wear and tear, rather than a sudden trauma. Today our Saint Louis dentists are going to be talking more about one seemingly banal threat to your oral health, acid erosion. 

Foods and drinks that contain a lot of acid coat your dental enamel and go to work weakening your enamel. A number of popular foods and beverages, like citrus fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks, and wine, contain appreciable amounts of acid.

Immediately after enamel is exposed to an acidic substance, the enamel is temporarily softened. During this period of time, your dental enamel is more susceptible to wearing away, as well as developing cracks and chips. Saliva helps your enamel to toughen up again once you’re done eating or drinking.

There are a number of simple steps that you can take in order to protect your smile day to day:

  • Try to consume acidic substances in short, defined periods of time. When you snack or sip on these things all day, your enamel is soft for long periods of time.
  • Get into the habit of rinsing your smile with water after eating or drinking. This not only rinses away acidic debris, but it also prompt saliva production.
  • Refrain from brushing your teeth or using toothpicks for about 20 to 30 minutes after you finish eating or drinking. In this timeframe, your enamel is most vulnerable.

Proper at-home and professional oral hygiene care will also help you avoid acid-related damage over time. As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help you build a personalized dental health plan.

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